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Immigration Quote

“The evils of immigration are not temporary. The direct descendants of people who fought for and founded the Republic, and gave us a rich heritage of democratic institutions, are being displaced by _________”

You fill in the blank any way you wish. Is it plausible that ¬†immigration only occurs because different looking people want to come here and change “our” institutions? Is it plausible that liberty, democracy and tolerance are among the reasons people want to come here? Are people that look different than us so inferior that they have not reached the heightened stage of civilized development that “we” have?

So, the author above filled the blank in with, “Slavic, Balkan and Mediterranean peoples.” How would you fill it in? Here is the reference: ¬†Robert Hunter, Poverty, Social Conscience in the Progressive Era (1965).

2 Responses to “Immigration Quote”

  1. Rod says:

    When my German ancestors on my mother’s side came to this country, Germans were looked down on as being inferior to “red-blooded Americans.” Anyone who did not speak English was in the same category (in the same boat, literally). That has to be one of the reasons why immigrants coming here were so strongly motivated to succeed and assimilate.

    My great-great grandfather, Louis Blenker, was a professional soldier when revolution broke out across Europe in 1848, and he wound up fighting on the losing side of the revolution in the Palatinate region of Germany. His life story then was something out of a romance novel: his bride, Elise Aue, was the daughter of the Lutheran Bishop of Worms, and she rode with his military unit as his aide-de-camp, dressed as a man. (I imagine my GGG on the cover of a paperback on horseback but with his shirt unbuttoned, with his aide clinging to his pecs and abs as they charged the enemy’s castle.) At any rate, they had to get out of Germany and fled eventually to Paris, where Louis hit the lottery and suddenly became rich enough to pay for the passage to America for himself, his family and his general staff. He settled in Rockland County, New York, and founded a town, Neustadt, which eventually became New City, the county seat of Rockland.

    He was involved in politics in 1860 — a Republican — and when the Civil War broke out, he financed the raising of his own regiment and artillery battery, the 8th New York Volunteers. The only requirement for joining his unit was that one had to have honorably served with some other army.

    His unit went to Washington, and they then became part of the Army of the Potomac under George McClellan. McClellan put everyone who could not speak English under Blenker’s command, including the Garibaldi Guards. At the first battle of Bull Run, Blenker’s unit was kept in the rear so the red blooded American boys could have the opportunity to whip those rebels in just an hour. The problem was that those red-blooded American boys had no experience at all in warfare, and they were the ones that got whipped by the rebs. The Union army, then exhausted after a whole day’s fighting, retreated (skedaddled) down the Centerville Turnpike. Blenker’s unit then covered their retreat and turned the confederates back, preventing them from invading Washington. Blenker’s men also scooped up all the papers and maps in Irwin McDowell’s headquarters and took it all back to Washington. For doing that, the ladies of Washington presented Blenker with a decoration, an enamel pin that I wear every election day.

    When McClellan was about to mosey on down the Peninsula, Blenker’s unit was detached and was sent west to the Shenandoah Valley. They rode and marched westward without supplies, which were supposed to follow but which never actually followed. Instead, they stole their way across Virginia, taking what they could from the farmers along the way. Being Germans who could not speak much English, they made no friends among the Virginians.

    Upon arriving at Harrisonburg, Blenker was put under the command of John C. Fremont, a self-promoter if there ever was one. Fremont had been a pretty good scout in the wild west, but as a general, he was no match at all for Stonewall Jackson. Blenker’s brigade was wiped out at the Battle of Cross Keys when Jackson’s men, many of them dressed not in official grey uniforms but in blue clothing, were mistaken for retreating Union forces. By the time they were recognized to be Stonewall Jackson’s “foot cavalry,” it was too late.

    My other civil war ancestors were also Germans. I think they came over in the mid 1700’s and settled in the Pittsburgh area. They were brothers-in-law, and they served in the 11th corps at many battles, including Chancellorsville, where they were used as pickets because the southerners had a hard time imitating a German accent. (Gutenhaben, y’all!) One of them died at Gettysburg, and the other made it home in 1865.

    I hope the above has not been too boring to read. My point is that immigration is more than not bad for this country: if people come here and become productive, responsible citizens, they only add to the wealth and ultimate richness of the country. On the other hand, if people come to this country because they think it’s easy to get paid to have illegitimate children, they only bring us one step closer to ruin. When people immigrate legally, they have to show they can speak English and they have to take a course in American citizenship; they also have to swear allegiance to the United States.

  2. Anyone that would say something like the text you quoted with firm conviction; is either ignorant, stupid, or downright evil.

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