Joe Biden, our self-proclaimed ‘defender of the working man’ Vice-President, went before the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recently to patronize the ‘shadow population’ of 11 million illegal immigrants who he claims are, “in my view…already American Citizens.”
Biden has a knack for talking his way into corners. In this instance, quoting Teddy Roosevelt to support his sentiment that illegal border crashers are unfairly treated, unappreciated and discriminated against, was probably the worst decision he has made in, oh, at least a few days!
Citing Teddy Roosevelt’s 1894 ‘True Americanism” speech, Biden quoted TR:
“Americanism is not a question of birthplace or creed or a line of descent. It’s a question of principles, idealism and character”
The intent of Roosevelt’s speech was to point out that Americans have unique traits. Those who wish to be Americans must embrace and practice those traits, ‘principles, idealism and character.’
What Biden failed to mention about that speech might have some bearing on the current national immigration policy controversy. Had our VP truly been interested in and influenced by Teddy’s ideas about immigration, he would have noted Roosevelt also said in the same speech:
“It is urgently necessary to check and regulate our immigration, by much more drastic laws than now exist; and this should be done both to keep out laborers who tend to depress the labor market, and to keep out races which do not assimilate readily with our own, and unworthy individuals of all races - not only criminals, idiots, and paupers, but anarchists. From his own standpoint, it is beyond all question the wise thing for the immigrant to become thoroughly Americanized.
Moreover, from our standpoint, we have a right to demand it. We freely extend the hand of welcome and of good-fellowship to every man, no matter what his creed or birthplace, who comes here honestly intent on becoming a good United States citizen like the rest of us; but we have a right, and it is our duty, to demand that he shall indeed become so and shall not confuse the issues with which we are struggling by introducing among us Old-World quarrels and prejudices.”
Biden compared illegal immigrants to immigrants who legally entered the United States, saying it took “a lot of courage” to pick up and go to America where they don’t speak the language and no one seems to want them. As if the immigrant who sneaks into the country has more courage than the one who waits years in line, undergoes months of administrative documentation, personal and social scrutiny and who must pass strenuous citizenship tests face any less difficult cultural challenges or are any less courageous!
Likewise, Roosevelt railed against hyphenated-Americans who refused to cut loose psychologically from their country of origin.
“I appeal to all our citizens no matter what land their forefathers came from, to keep this ever in mind, and to shun with scorn and contempt the sinister intrigues and mischiefmakers who would seek to divide them along lines of creed, or birthplace or of national origin… The effort to keep our citizenship divided against itself by the use of the hyphen and along the lines of national origin is certain to breed a spirit of bitterness and prejudice and dislike between great bodies of our citizens.”
Biden is a classic old-school politician who panders to the lowest common denominator, pools the poor, the uneducated and even the illegal together to form another special interest sub-class of voters, pitting them against the ‘ruthless, rich and privileged’ and pretends to give them ‘dignity’ through legislation sponsored by Democrats who, he claims will ‘fight for’ their freebies.
Biden said, “All they want—they just want a decent life for their kids, a chance to contribute to a free society, a chance to put down roots and help build the next great American century. I really believe that.”
Mr. Vice President, their ambition is admirable, but as Teddy made clear, Americanism is defined by playing by the rules!
You could care less about what Teddy Roosevelt really felt about immigration, because if you did, you would have denounced the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as the modern-day example of what TR feared would divide and ultimately destroy America.
"The men who do not become Americans and nothing else are hyphenated Americans; and there ought to be no room for them in this country…There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else...."