2007 June 19 Tuesday
Early Americans Discouraged Undesirable Immigrants

Razib at Gene Expression quotes from the history book Albion's Seed by David Hackett Fisher about immigration control in early American colonies.

...The founders of Massachusetts, unlike rulers of other European colonies, deliberately excluded an aristocracy from their ranking system.

At the same time, the leaders of Massachussets also made a concerted and highly successful effort to discourage immigration from the bottom of English society. They prohibited entry of convincted felons (many of whom ahd been punished for crimes of poverty) and place heavy impediments on the path of the migrant poor. A series of poor laws were enacted in Massachusetts, which rules of settlement and "warning out" that were even more strict than in England.

The pro-Open Borders crowd wants us to believe that we are a nation of immigrants and that therefore immigration is an unalloyed blessing. Mark Krikorian has pointed out at The Corner that the phrase "nation of immigrants" was created relatively recently in order to attack an earlier conception of America and American culture.

JPod: Sure, many phrases are no longer connected to their origins. Few people saying "writing on the wall" are even aware that it's a reference to the Book of Daniel, let alone trying to make a point about the king of Babylon.

But "nation of immigrants" is not that kind of phrase. It has an ideological purpose, to downgrade and delegitimize America before the beginning of mass immigration in 1848, or maybe even before 1880. It is, in a sense, the unofficial motto of multiculturalism. America is much more a "nation of settlers" and a "nation of slaves" that it is a nation of immigrants. As important as some immigrant groups have been in shaping the ongoing development of American culture (especially Germans, Italians, and Jews), the template was established by English and Scottish settlers, as well as by the reinterpretation of Anglo-Celtic culture by the African slaves. Immigrants may be the frosting but the cake was baked long before they arrived.

Settlers who bring their own culture and legal system with them to live in their own self-organized societies do not play the same role as immigrants who move to live in an already organized much larger society. The advocates of mass immigration today seek to break the template for American society created by the original settlers. They've certainly greatly weakened that template. I say they've done enough damage and it is time to stop immigration for a few generations.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 June 19 09:51 PM  Immigration History

John S Bolton said at June 19, 2007 11:20 PM:

It can't be our identity to have no identity.
It can't be our tradition to have no tradition.
It can't be our heritage to have no heritage.
It can't be our loyalty to have no loyalty.
These are all contradictions-in-terms, like the 'nation of immigrants' statement.

John S Bolton said at June 19, 2007 11:43 PM:

There being no arguments for mass immigration of hostiles,
which do not involve contradictions like the above,
and with such high hopes of power riding on transmission of conflict,
more such contradictory assertions will be put out.
It is our continuity to have no continuity?
It is our loyalty to citizens to have no loyalty to citizens?
It is our patriotism to have no patriotism?
It is our community of values to have no community of values?
It is our common culture to have no common culture?
Properly interpreted, 'nation of immigrants'
and multiculturalism, pro-diversity, and more,
imply all the above contradictions-in-terms.

John S Bolton said at June 20, 2007 12:09 AM:

It is also an exaggeration to say that for example, German immigrants assimilated
and became more like Anglo-Saxons, more than they changed America,
to resemble their characters.
There is indeed a founding culture which is not on a level with immigrant importations,
but always occupies a sovereign and superior position.
A non-sequitir is involved where one additional increment is
implied to have no different effect than an earlier increment.
No argument has ever been given which could demonstrate that there are no thresholds beyond which
historical expreiences such as assimilation, can not be expected to continue as before.
Basically what were given is a set-up for a smear,
claim that assimilation is to be expected to be always the same regardless
of which populations are being compared, when this is doubted or denied,
say that only racial hatred can motivate disbelief in the equation
of hugely divergent populations.
Use the smears only, since no rational arguments are available for traitorous openness.

Robert Hume said at June 20, 2007 8:50 AM:

If you put the search terms below into Google

site:inductivist.blogspot.com english welsh

you will find statistical studies by Ron Guhname using the rigorously gathered General Social Studies (GSS) database sda.berkeley.edu (you can duplicate the analyses yourself) showing that US citizens of English/Welsh extraction have substantially the best civic virtues (trust, pay taxes, minimal crime, etc.), and those of African and Mexican extraction have by far the worst.

An interim summary of his results can be found at


Scroll down to December 03.

He writes:


I included all variables that I have posted on--here's a list of them: okay to cheat on taxes; drinks too much; ethnocentric; dirty house; frequents prostitutes; promiscuous men over 30; feel that infidelity is not wrong; gay; lesbian; husbands and wives who cheat; fathers divorcing mom; women arrested; and promiscuity for men and women and under. I realized that I had not posted on drug abuse so I added that to the rest. I ranked group so high numbers indicate more bad behavior, then I simply summed the 16 rankings for each ethnic group. Here are the totals:

Bad Behavior Index

Blacks 106
Mexicans 85
American Indians 85
Italians 70
Irish 67
Jews 64
Germans 56
English/Welsh 47

My hunch was correct. This pattern coincides with that feeling that goes way back among nativists that the moral quality of the country was slipping with the mass immigration from Catholic, southern and eastern European countries, and more recently in concern over immigration from Mexico."

Perhaps xenophobes have a point?

Dave said at June 20, 2007 10:00 AM:

The "nation of immigrants" slur is also used in England.

Robert Hume said at June 20, 2007 10:29 AM:

Guhname analysis also finds that Mexicans are Pessimistic and Selfish.


Go to March 23.

He writes:

These image-breaking stats keep popping up. Mex-Ams are thought to exemplify conservative values--familism and industriousness, for example--but the GSS and other surveys have revealed that this group has many comparatively undesirable characteristics: criminality; gang proliferation; indifference to education; big government and pro-censorship values; indifference to the environment; lack of cleanliness; marital and relationship instability; female infidelity; "race" consciousness and ethnocentrism; school misbehavior--need I continue?

Like an oily used car salesman, the open borders crowd has sold us a lemon. At the risk of sounding like a pessimist, the hustle might continue to dupe, but readers of this blog at least know their getting screwed. I don't know about you, but I don't like to sleep through a good screwing.

Bob Badour said at June 22, 2007 4:38 PM:
The advocates of mass immigration today seek to break the template for American society created by the original settlers.

Actually, I think a strong argument can be made that they secretly want to return to a template created by the original settlers. Namely, the template of settlers displacing a local population and fundamentally changing local laws, customs and culture.

They seek to hide it under the rubric of immigration to mask the ultimate goal of creating a lesser world with fewer freedoms and lower standards of living. (Perhaps even to mask it from themselves.)

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