From Robert Tracinski at TIA Daily:

The anti-immigration House Republicans who just pushed through a massive assault on immigration stand for a giant fraud. They claim to be patriots, acting out of a desire to protect America from an “invasion” of illegal immigrants. In reality, they are promoting an agenda that is thoroughly un-American, both in its goal and in its methods.

It has often been said that America is a nation of immigrants, but few people understand how deeply this is true. It is not just that America was settled and built almost entirely by people from somewhere else–from English settlers in the 18th century, to Irish, Italian, and Eastern European immigrants who came at the turn of the 20th century, on through every other racial and ethnic group in the world. The deeper reason America is a nation of immigrants is that the motives and goals of immigrants–and the moral outlook they represent–are the essence of the American character.

Why do immigrants come to America? They come for the freedom to pursue a better life. They do not come merely for jobs that pay more than what they can make back home. They come for the kind of culture that makes those jobs–and a million other opportunities–possible.

The immigrants I know are drawn here by the distinctively American culture of work and achievement that is the essence of our national identity. America was founded on the idea that all men are endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And how is happiness pursued? By hard work and ambitious effort. To become an American, this is the only creed one has to accept: the political ideal of liberty, the economic ideal of a free market, and the cultural ideal of individualism. Many immigrants do not have a full, explicit understanding of all of these ideas. But they do know that they are escaping from stagnant and corrupt nations in which little is possible to them, and they are coming to a land in which everything is possible.

They come because this is a nation where anyone can improve his life through his own effort, limited only by his talents and his capacity for hard work.

That is the essence of what we call the “American dream.” It’s what most of our forebears did, from the first settlers in Jamestown nearly 400 years ago, to a Polish carpenter named Traczynski (the spelling was later simplified) who came here a little more than a century ago, to the Indian, Chinese, and yes, Mexican, workers who continue to come here today. They all came here in pursuit of the most American of ideals: the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

So why are so many Republicans coming out against the American dream?

Read the rest.

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