Rush Limbaugh was quite interesting on Wednesday. When I did have time to listen to him, he was discussing the history of immigration in the US – the non-revisionist version. During his monologue, he discussed an elderly gentlemen he knew, and his version of immigration.
“…Folks, this was all… Back in 1990, it wasn’t just strictly southern border immigration. And he said, “You know, I remember those debates all the way back in the early 1900s, back in the days of Ellis Island.” He said, “Immigration has been has been a polarizing subject in this country for as long as we have been doing it,” and he started telling me stories of the efforts to impugn new arrivals from Western and Eastern Europe.
He would tell me that there were so many people who didn’t want any of those people from Eastern Europe, Western Europe. They were people that… His point was the arguments haven’t changed. The issue has been something that is constant. But the one thing that has changed… Even back in 1990, when we were talking about it, he was talking about legal immigration. He was saying that back in the early 1900s, the late 1800s, the controversy then was about legal immigration.
Even with legal immigration, there were people opposed to opening up Ellis Island and permitting masses of humanity to come in — and for reasons similar to what are said today. The differentiating thing today is that legal immigration is seldom even discussed, and we have both political parties (and predominantly one of them) now advocating for lawlessness, advocating for illegal immigration, and then using opponents of illegal immigration as examples of racism and bigotry, so forth.
So while the issue has always been around and it’s always been a controversial thing — immigration and how we manage it — the idea that illegal aliens should be automatically granted citizenship or amnesty upon their arrival is what’s new to this debate, and that is what the Democrats and the American left today are advocating, and they’re doing so on the premise that America is responsible for the economic plight of these people….”
Rush then had a caller who began discussing immigrants who arrived after the Civil War, primarily at Ellis Island. Only the strong and fit were allowed entry into the US. All others were shipped back to their country of origin. It reminded me of the studies I’d done for a book. Those who were week or ill were not allowed into the country. They were given no public assistance and expected to assimilate or starve.
As for those who like to denigrate our colonial ancestors. Maybe they need to learn a little history. Every single passenger ship that came from England, France, or Spain had a manifest. Every single male (and most females) were listed on the passenger lists, which are so complete, they are gold for genealogists. The location of everyone’s birth, especially in the UK, can almost always be traced. The ships were traveling under the auspices of the Crown – of England, France, or Spain. Anyone who received land received it by charter. They were not going, illegally.
Illegal is something relatively new.