Happy Independence Day.
Would the signers of the Declaration of Independence have thought it principled for the majority of U.S. politicians today to refuse to give even returning U.S. military veterans preference over illegal aliens for jobs?
IMAGINE GOVERNMENT FOR THE PEOPLE
You see, strangely enough, our Founders believed in something called a national community. (They CREATED the national community!) Government was to be BY and OF the members of that national community. But it also was to be FOR the members. EVERYTHING about our current immigration policies ignores any special treatment or consideration for the members of our own community.
These immigration policies serve the interests of the few against the many -- they serve the powerful and rich against the weak and poor.
PUTTING ILLEGAL ALIENS AHEAD OF RETURNING VETERANS
The high-immigration lobbies and their allies in Congress, in the White House and in most state legislatures have taken an extremely ANTI-4TH-OF-JULY approach to our current jobs depression. Official unemployment has now hit 9.5%. But all parts of the federal government and all but a few states have refused to require E-Verify to keep a dwindling number of U.S. jobs available for our fellow citizens.
Thus, I read today about the very sad lot of so many returning National Guardsmen who are returning to an economy that has no job for them. Yet, more than 8 million illegal aliens currently hold U.S. jobs. Wouldn't it make sense to require all employers to use E-Verify to open up those jobs for our returning military -- and so many others of our fellow citizens trying to survive economically?
Only 12 state legislatures have required E-Verify at least to some extent to protect jobs for veterans and other Americans. In 38 states, though, the illegal aliens with jobs have priority.
CORE PRINCIPLES BEHIND THE DECLARATION MAKE THIS OUR HOLIDAY
Perhaps no holiday is more fitted to those of us in the immigration-reduction movement than the 4th of July. For what was the signing of the Declaration of Independence about if not the defining of a new national community and the insistence that the government exists primarily to protect and provide for the quality of life of the members of that community?
There is a tendency to celebrate the individual liberty made possible by our form of government without recognizing the role of community which implies rights and responsibilities toward each other.
Government was said to exist based on the consent of the governed. The inalienable right of individuals to choose their own government was based on theories of natural rights, especially as propounded by the British philospher John Locke.
Our Founders had long believed in natural rights. But in the Declaration of Independence, they had reached a consensus that natural rights were inextricably tied to nationhood. We were a separate people from all other peoples. Unless individuals were part of a national community, there was seen to be little chance that they could achieve their natural rights. For all kinds of geographic, economic and cultural reasons, it was no longer practicable for the colonists to be a true part of the British national community. We had to have our own community if we were to have our individual rights.
Historian Ralph Ketcham concluded that the principles of the Founders were that:
. . . the legitimate powers of government were derived from the people, that government existed to promote the happiness and safety of the people . . .
What kind of happiness do our 15 million unemployed Americans derive from government policies that continue to import some 138,000 foreign workers a month (not counting illegal aliens)?
HIGH-IMMIGRATION ADVOCATES NOT SO SURE ABOUT NATIONAL COMMUNITY
But I have come to see that many high-immigration advocates do not really believe in the national community that the Signers of 1776 created.
We at NumbersUSA earnestly do believe in it. We would never put illegal aliens ahead of returning veterans, for example. We see radical immigration numbers and slovenly enforcement of immigration laws as a grave threat to the members of our national community.
We disagree with the majority of politicians, with the President, with the former President, and with most newspaper editorial boards that huge numbers of citizens of OTHER national communities have just as much right to the jobs, the infrastructure and the land in the United States as do those who are citizens of THIS national community.
Don't interpret me too narrowly. I believe -- as did the Signers of 1776 and John Locke -- in the national communities of peoples across the world. It is in their own national communities that they have the possibilities of fulfillment of their natural rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is in their ability to define the membership of their community and to maintain governments of, by and for those communities that any real improvements in quality of life are possible around the world. That is the global spirit of July 4, 1776.
Open borders and second-class status for members of our own community is not the Spirit of 1776.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA