In the Rose Garden recently, President Donald Trump unveiled his administration’s long-awaited immigration-policy overhaul, designed by his son-in-law Jared Kushner to unite Republicans on the issue before 2020. The president, in a rare display of eloquence, said he wants the U.S. to “become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind.”

Wait a minute. That was George Washington, America’s first president, the general and military strategist who led the colonies in a successful eight-year rebellion against King George. Our nation’s most heroic founder believed that immigrants “whatever nation” or station of life they may come from should be welcomed in the newly formed United States and allowed to “settle themselves in comfort, freedom and ease in some corner of the vast regions of America.”

What Trump said in the Rose Garden was this: “Democrats are proposing open borders, lower wages, and frankly, lawless chaos. We are proposing an immigration plan that puts the jobs, wages, and safety of American workers first.” So much for what Washington called the “persecuted part of mankind.”

The Trump proposal would largely replace the current family-based system that enables immigrants to sponsor their relatives with a system that favors highly skilled, “financially self-sufficient” immigrants.

This runs counter to Washington’s vision of America as an “asylum” for the “persecuted” as well as the vision President Ronald Reagan described so eloquently in his Jan. 11, 1989, farewell address.

“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.”

Thirty years later, we would hope that the president and his party would return to Reagan and Washington’s vision. We know this may come across as naïve or unrealistically idealistic in our current political climate. But we also know that what is more important than party politics or any one election is the idea of America as a refuge, a place where, if we have walls, we must also have doors that, in the Gipper’s words, “are open to anyone with the will and heart to get here.”

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(5) comments

Chuck Johns

What the Democrats, or Progressives, or Communists fail to understand is that America is no longer a vast open land. They also fail to understand the difference between people who follow the rules and LEGALLY immigrate to this country, and those who flaunt their disregard for our laws and expect to be provided with everything.
TRUE immigrants will always be welcomed in this country. the illegal variety will always be shunned as criminals by normal people.

Marion Scott

When my grandparents, both Scottish and German, came to this country in the early 1900's, they had not only to be self sufficient and able to earn a living but healthy as well. My mother was thin as a child and was thought to possibly be unhealthy by the immigration authorities. They held the family until it was determined that Mother was healthy albeit thin. There was no welfare or other benefits then that immigrants today are able to access.

Chuck Johns

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Paul Serwatka

Another DD editorial pushing Progressivism... God forbid Trump wanting to ensure immigrants can be self-sufficient and able to earn and provide for themselves.

Meanwhile this editorial, as with all progressive agendas, seeks to overwhelm America's welfare programs while also recruiting more voters who will continue to vote for more welfare, keeping the vicious circle - Cloward Piven Strategy moving at full speed. - How very socialist of you...

Chuck Johns

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