McClintock’s Speech on the Boycott

SCR 113 – Illegal Immigration Boycott Resolution
Senator Tom McClintock
State Senate Floor Speech

Senator Alarcon’s talk about the views of the Founding Fathers on immigration caught my attention and interest. I am quite familiar with the writings of Benjamin Franklin on the subject and Senator Alarcon may be very surprised to learn that there was no more ardent or vigorous critic of illegal immigration than Benjamin Franklin. He wrote about it extensively during the mass immigration of Germans into Pennsylvania, in the 1750s. His solution however was not to ban immigration, but rather to insist upon legal immigration.

And that is the problem I have with this resolution: it blurs that vital distinction between legal and illegal immigration. The proponents are absolutely right and absolutely solid in saying that ours is a nation of immigrants. Virtually every one of us is either an immigrant ourselves or the son or daughter of immigrants.

That is what makes this country so great. That is the foundation of a nation, built on that uniquely American motto, E Pluribus Unum: from many, one.

From many people, one people. The American people.

From many races, one race. The American race.

Our immigration laws are not written to keep people out. Our immigration laws are written to ensure that as people come to America, they come to become Americans and to assimilate to American society: they acquire a common language, a common culture and a common appreciation of American constitutional principles and American legal traditions.

Illegal immigration undermines the process of legal immigration that makes our country possible in the first place. Blurring the distinction between legal and illegal immigration is an insult to the millions of legal immigrants who right now are obeying our laws; who are doing everything our country asks of them; who are waiting in line to become Americans and who are helplessly watching as millions and millions of people cut in line in front of them.

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