“We came to be Americans!” Irish Prime Minster Enda Kenny said of Irish Immigrants.
Amen to that sir. In that moment where the Prime Minster spoke of the roots of Irish Immigrants and their indelible mark left on American society, the left found a strange solace. Indeed, left-wing publications and the #altleft poured out articles, memes, posts, and tweets, all suggesting that the Irish Prime Minister stuck it to Mr. Trump. They say, he showed Trump America is a country of “immigrants.”
That narrative is stupid, false, and the best evidence that liberals don’t understand the difference between legal immigrants and illegal immigrants. Likewise, they have no concept of the danger of an illegal alien invasion, let alone the difference between coming to the United States to be Americans, rather than coming to our country to be in America. The latter is about taking advantage of a welfare state. The former is about embracing American culture. The difference is cataclysmic.
History is the sworn enemy of the politically ignorant.
Irish immigrants did, indeed, pour onto our shores as huddled masses, yearning to be free. They did so through various times of great hardship in Ireland. When they came, they sought to be Americans. They sought work, opportunity, and liberty. They did not seek a welfare state, because none then existed. Their risk in coming to America was quite literally a risk of their lives, for no safety net or big government was there to catch them.
“It is obvious you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state.” That was the great economist Milton Friedman admonishing the Wall Street Journal on open borders.
The Irish Prime Minster surely didn’t fly across the great pond to stick it the President of the United States, as the left suggests. In fact, one might better argue that like responsible conservatives, he made the case for vigorous, legal immigration among daring, risk-taking, people who want to become Americans … not for their sake alone … but for our sake.
Likewise, when the Irish came, like my ancestors whose 1852 farm in New Jersey is still in family hands, they came before this country had fully formed. They came under different laws and conditions in this country. We, in fact, had open borders. We had wide open spaces and a great demand for cheap, plentiful, hard-working labor. Now, we have laws that prevent free immigration because we don’t have unlimited demand for cheap, unskilled labor and because we have a broad, expensive, welfare state for immigrants who cannot pull their weight. Liberals ignore these facts when they compare apples to oranges.
Facts and reality have always confounded the left on issues related to immigration. For years now, I have watched countless people post, tweet, and resend a popular meme on immigration. I have reposted a version of it below. When posted by a liberal, it often comes with some silly, sneering, superior-than-thou comment designed to inflict upon recipients proof of their idiocy and xenophobia. In fact, the meme is proof of the opposite. Liberals either do not understand facts and analysis married together, or they refuse to pair the two off.
My Indian Chief friend doesn’t make the case for illegal immigration. He makes the case against it. If you want to lose your country, trust the uninvited foreign arrivals and let them come without any regulation on borders or security. That is the case made by Chief Stupid Meme.
I am quite proud of my Irish and Italian roots, though I am a self-identified … American. My ancestors came here legally, to be Americans. My Italian immigrants came through Elis Island. My grandfather’s family did as well, and my grandmother was of Irish decent. She emigrated here legally from Canada.
You don’t have to be an illegal alien to be an immigrant, and most of our great immigrants about whom we often wax poetic were not illegal immigrants. That is overwhelmingly true for the many Irish immigrants of whom the Irish Prime Minster spoke.
If you want to honor our country, come to America to be an American … and follow our laws. That first step is the best indication that you intend to be an American … a country whose entire existence is predicated on the rule of law in a civil society.
Author: Richard Kelsey
Richard Kelsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Committed Conservative.
He is a trial Attorney and author of the new book on higher education, “Of Serfs and Lords: Why College Tuition is Creating a Debtor Class”
Rich is a former Assistant Law School Dean and Law Professor. At Mason Law Kelsey conceived of, planned, and brought to fruition Mason’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, known as CPIP, drawing on his expertise as a former CEO of a technology company specializing in combating cyber-fraud.
Before returning to private practice, Rich taught legal writing and analysis and an advanced litigation seminar. In 2014 he was elected by the graduating class as the faculty speaker at their graduation.
He is a regular commentator on legal and political issues in print, radio and on TV. Rich has appeared on hundreds of stations as a legal expert or political commentator. He provided the legal analysis for all stages of the Bob McDonnell trial and appeal for numerous outlets including NPR and WMAL.
Rich also writes on occasion for the American Spectator and CNSNews.com.
In his free time, Rich is part of the baseball mafia of Northern Virginia, serving on numerous boards and as a little league and travel baseball coach.
His Twitter handle is @richkelsey.