I have a strong stomach, but if I hear one more Democrat justify the government's importation of Syrian, Roma, Somalian, Afghan, and Libyan peoples, and their grandmothers, by mindlessly chanting that we're a "nation of immigrants," I'll retch.
An immigrant is my great grandmother trotting off a sailing ship in a snowstorm in Lower Manhattan with nothing in her purse, surprised that she couldn't walk the miles to where her aunt had a job for her in Brooklyn and having to spend a day hungry and freezing until a priest paid her ten-cent ferry fare. An immigrant is the very successful Chinese woman I did some business with who came over in the nineties with her extended family. She was on public assistance "two weeks," she told me proudly, before they founded "two corporations" making things by hand for the aircraft aftermarket in their tiny apartment. An immigrant is the Jew jammed into a tenement on Lower East Side (then the most densely populated place on Earth) at the turn of the last century – a worker in the "needle trade" who lived cheek by jowl with the other workers in order to save the few dollars necessary to bring his family over. These are families who, once they arrived, all went to work themselves. An immigrant is the Palatine German clearing a farm in the Mohawk Valley in the 1700s and starving until he and his wife and children could bring a crop in. It's the Cuban who fled Communism and labored sixty hours a week in the building trades in order to pay his son's freight in law school.
An American immigrant is not someone supported by government funds in a "relocation" center; flown over here at government expense; given a cash allowance, free housing, and medical care; and then eased onto local public assistance: Section 8 rental grants, food stamps, WIC, AFDC, clothes from one government-sponsored charity or another, Medicaid, and public schooling, with free lunch and breakfasts and even help with furniture.
That's not an immigrant. That's a future Democrat voter.
The American immigrant was never a burden – which is why we raised the lamp beside the golden door for them. They made us all richer with what they gave, with how they gave of themselves in America. But transporting a class of people here who believe we owe them a good living has nothing to do with what made America great. That's doubly true when so many of these "immigrants" despise our most closely held beliefs and insist we acquiesce to certain ugly practices.
So stop already.
They're not immigrants.
Richard F. Miniter lives and writes in the colonial-era hamlet of Stone Ridge, New York and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The acclaimed author of The Things I Want Most, his most recent book, What Sort of Parents Should We Be?: A Man's Guide to Raising Exceptional Children, is now available here.