1860s Immigration Levels

Historical Ignorance Of Phil Gingrey And Other Republicans On 14th Amendment!

Georgia Republican Congressman Phil Gingrey was on Hardball With Chris Matthews on MSNBC today, speaking up on the GOP attempt to change the 14th Amendment guarantee of citizenship to all born in the United States! This is all part of the strategy to deny “anchor babies”, children born to illegal immigrants and tourists, from having the right of American citizenship!

Gingrey argued that European nations do not allow “anchor babies” to be citizens, which is interesting since Republicans usually condemn the idea of America following any European traditions!

He also forgets that America is unique, a land of opportunity, different from so called “old Europe”, and that we have always been a nation that was different than all others, the beacon of hope in the world!

When people come to this nation, even those who are illegal, 98 percent of them came for a better life, not to get involved in drugs or gangs or crime! A small percentage of criminals and drug dealers and gang members should not reflect upon an entire ethnic group, as that is stereotyping! 🙁

But beyond this point, Gingrey also said that immigrants were not part of the equation during the debates over the 14th Amendment, as there were only SIX THOUSAND immigrants to this country during the 1860s!

What an unbelievable statement–SIX THOUSAND–and totally false! If one peruses historical census records, one discovers that in the decade from 1860-1870, 2.1 MILLION immigrants came to our shores–Germans the most, British second, Irish third, and Scandinavians fourth!

Anyone with any historical knowledge knows that so called “native” Americans, meaning those born here, despised the coming in of those “horrible Catholic” Germans and Irish!

And 2.8 percent of those who came into America during the 1860s were from Asia, primarily Chinese! 2.8 percent of 2.1 million immigrants means approximately 60 THOUSAND Chinese or other Asians migrated here in the 1860s! That alone is TEN times the total number of all immigrants that Congressman Gingrey claims arrived in the US during the entire decade of the 1860s! And they were not well received, even by the Irish, who lobbied over the next decade to bar them, succeeding in 1882, with the Chinese Exclusion Act!

So immigration was alive and well while the 14th Amendment was being debated, discussed, passed through Congress, and ratified by the states between 1866-1868!

No one suggested that so called “anchor babies” or children of immigrants should not be citizens at birth in the 1860s!

For Phil Gingrey and other Republicans and conservatives to suggest otherwise shows historical ignorance, prejudice, discrimination, and willingness to exploit an issue to gain votes, but knowing that under no circumstances will a change in the amendment EVER come about! 🙁

In other words, the GOP is again, for the umpteenth time, acting in a despicable and disgraceful manner! 🙁