Anti-Immigration Sentiment has Always Been With Us

Liberals, and indeed most Americans, see the United States as “a nation of immigrants” epitomized by the Statue of Liberty and its iconic inscription,

Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore
Send these the homeless tempest-tost to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Statue of Liberty

Unfortunately, from the anti-miscegenation laws of the 1680s prohibiting the the interbreeding of people considered to be of different racial types, the Chinese Exclusionary Act, the President’s Muslim travel ban and, most recently, his administration’s attempts to include a question on the US Census form asking the taker’s citizenship, foreigners have never been welcomed to our shores with open arms, from the initial European settlers to those who would immigrate in the present day.

There’s an article in the New York times, referenced below that gives an excellent account of the on-again, off-again inclusion of a citizenship question in the US census and the political reasons surrounding it.

The anti-immigrant crusade would climax with a law in 1924 that slashed immigration quotas and favored immigrants from the northern European countries that had settled the nation. But fears about sabotage by foreigners in the country surfaced after World War II began in 1941.

With the Census Bureau’s cooperation, the government tapped into what would today be confidential data on respondents of Japanese ancestry to locate and imprison in so-called internment camps more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans who were regarded as security risks. Two-thirds of them were American citizens.

While providing that data was legal at the time, the disclosures are seen now as one of the census’s darkest moments . . .

The New York Times, The Long History of the U.S. Government Asking Americans Whether They Are Citizens By Michael Wines July 12, 2019.

It seems apparent that the decision to include a citizenship question has always been born out of hatred, fear, and a perceived need to attain or maintain political superiority either by one race over another or by a political party. Including a citizenship question is not only a sham, it is disgraceful.

In case you were wondering . . .