The most frequently used description of America by those who advocate for large numbers of immigrants — those here legally or illegally — is “America is a nation of immigrants.”
The statement sounds meaningful. But in reality, it’s meaningless. What else could America be? If no one had come to America from elsewhere, the North American continent would have remained populated only by its indigenous people — which is what many on the left wish had happened. As the late Howard Zinn, author of “A People’s History of the United States,” the most widely used American history text in high schools and universities, said to me, the world was not better off thanks to the founding of America.
So, the statement “America is a nation of immigrants” tells us nothing about the only questions that matter: Should be there any limits to immigration? And what should we do about illegal immigration?
Regarding the first question, an increasing number of Americans on the left do not believe in any limits: We should allow all those escaping poverty or violence into the United States. As Hillary Clinton was caught on tape saying, she doesn’t believe in borders. She speaks for the American left: In the past few weeks, leftists have marched in American streets demanding the abolition of ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
Therefore, for the left, the second question, “What should we do about immigration?” is essentially irrelevant. Their answer is “Nothing. All migrants are welcome.”
However, for those of us — liberals, conservatives and independents — who do believe in borders, the second question is critical.