President Obama is soon expected to issue an executive order that would make it possible for some illegal immigrants, many of whom are the parents of children who are American citizens, to live and work in this country without the threat of deportation, in effect granting amnesty to up to five million people.
Beyond concerns over the constitutionality of a president deciding which laws to uphold and which to ignore in violation of his oath to "faithfully execute" laws passed by
The debate about immigration is not a new one; it extends to the beginning of the country. In 1801, President
In his first message to
Here's Hamilton, writing under the pseudonym "Lucius Crassus": "The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of citizens from foreign bias, and prejudice; and on that love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education, and family."
Hamilton used Jefferson's words against him from his book "Notes on
The wisdom of our Founders could instruct the 44th president and the nation about so many things, if he and we paid attention.
Hamilton continued: "
Isn't that what is taking place in our time -- the pitting of races, classes, gender and income groups against each other? Not all of this is because of illegal immigration, but it is likely a contributing factor, as is politics. The conservative
Chrystal notes that Hamilton wasn't opposed to immigration, only that America's interests be primary: "...there is a wide difference between closing the door altogether and throwing it entirely open; between a postponement (he recommended 14 years) and an immediate admission to all rights of citizenship. Some reasonable term ought to be allowed to enable aliens to get rid of foreign and acquire American attachments; to learn the principles and imbibe the spirit of our government; and to admit of a probability at least, of their feeling a real interest in our affairs."
Hamilton compared the indiscriminate admission of foreigners to the admission of "the Grecian horse into the citadel of our liberty and sovereignty."
I asked constitutional attorney
The one promise President Obama is keeping is to "fundamentally (transform)
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Cal Thomas, America's most-syndicated columnist, is the author of 10 books.