Mico, a fellow artist, social activist and associate of mine made two very astute and profound statements recently. I am not sure if it originated with him or not, but because he is such creative and brilliant thinker I am inclined to believe he is the creator. “Being an immigrant is not illegal” and “The constitution does not say ‘we the Citizens of the United States of America’ it states, we the people”
This really got me thinking. Who the hell do we think we are (as if this was the first time I’ve ever thought that)? Here we sit, on stolen land where the original owners still reside, each and every one of us an immigrant or the descendant of an immigrant (whether by force or free will), INCLUDING the Founding Fathers. Let’s be very clear, not one of the Founding Fathers was born in The United States of America. They were British subjects living in the American Colonies who at best had ancestors immigrate from elsewhere. Now I can just see the nerd in the front of the class, thinking himself an intellectual giant, raising his hand and bouncing in his seat making orgasmic sounds reminiscent of Arnold Horshack. I call on my Tea Party Sweathog a waft with eager anticipation, all the while knowing full well what his “Gotcha” statement will be. “But they were all born in what later BECAME the USA”, thumbing his nose with a shit eating grin as he retakes his seat with a smug smile. But alas he would be wrong… It is very true that the vast majority of the Founding Fathers could trace their lineage back at least a generation or two to the 13 original colonies but, at least one, Mr. Alexander Hamilton was neither born nor raised on the North America Continent. Now as far as the Founding Fathers go, Hamilton is a biggie and if you don’t know that maybe a history lesson is more up your alley than this debate. Knowing what I know about Hamilton, I feel quite certain that he would not have participated in the creation of a constitution and nation that would make himself a criminal.
Of course, one could always argue that he WAS a citizen of the United Kingdom and residing in North America when the revolution began... But that does not change the fact the he was not native born to what became the USA.
Hamilton was not even close to being the only non American Born Founding Father:
1. Charles Thomson, born in Ireland, was the architect of the US Seal in use to this day. He was also the 1st Secretary of Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence
2. Button Gwinnett signed the Declaration of Independence and served as Governor of Georgia but was born in England.
3. William Jackson, Secretary of Constitutional Convention was also born in England.
4. Robert Morris Signed the Declaration of Independence as well as the Constitution and was a hyper active revolutionary Superman. This is a man that left his fingerprints and DNA all over the formation of our nation, born in England.
5. Thomas Fitzsimmons of Ireland was a Founding Father, member of Congress, as well as founder of Bank of America.
And let’s not forget the fact that the revolution was only won with aid from the Prussians and the French. With that in mind, let me throw out a scenario… A Mexican citizen crosses the border into Texas (which was at one time part of Mexico for those of us that are historically challenged), to pick crops for an American company. While he is there, he meets and marries another Mexican immigrant and they have 2 children. After 9/11 he joins the Marines and ships out to do a tour in Iraq and two in Afghanistan only to be deported back to Mexico upon coming back stateside as a wounded vet. To add insult to injury they now want to pass laws to ship his Natural Born American children off to Mexico as well, where they are NOT even citizens.
Friedrich Wilhelm Von Steuben, Founding Father and leader of the Prussian army, a signer of the Declaration of Independence became citizen well after the Revolutionary War ended and was born in Prussia. Without his aid we would likely still be British citizens. I think this Founding Father would be rolling over in his grave if he knew what people were doing in his and the other founder’s name. Not only were the Founding Fathers NOT against immigrants (because they WERE immigrants), but the Founding Fathers made immigrants automatic citizens after 5 years of residence. The Naturalization Act of 1798 extended it to 14 years, but this is further proof that the founding fathers were not anti immigration nor thought it a crime like the Tea Party would have you believe. Even Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to immigrants just like the Founding Fathers, but these idiots who worship him like God will never admit that, any more than the will admit he raised taxes and that taxes are lower in 2011 than under him. The Tea Party likes to call upon and reference historical individuals in order to Glam you like the blood sucking vampires they are. They never let the facts or their lack of historical knowledge get in their way or trip them up either. “The Founding Fathers ended slavery and Paul Revere rode to preserve our right to bear arms” according to them. The stupidity that fuels their immigration fears is a perfect example why the founding fathers made us a republic instead of a democracy. Thank God they were wise enough to realize that we are too stupid to think for ourselves, much less make the decisions that govern our great nation.
Bottom line, America has always been made up of immigrants, from imported African slaves and forced Chinese labor to the German, Polish, Jewish, Irish and Italian immigration waves. The founders were quite aware of immigration and made provisions for it and purposely did not make it illegal.