Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Immigration and the Founders
I'm blogging on the theme of immigration, specifically how it related to the founding fathers. In class we watched "Hamilton" which was about Alexander Hamilton's experience as an immigrant. The play assumes that he supported immigration without qualification. But this link shows that Hamilton was more lukewarm on the issue. In 1776, at the Constitutional Convention, there was a debate on limiting membership to Congress to native-born Americans. Hamilton opposed it – “The advantage of encouraging foreigners is obvious…” and a residency requirement was put in place as a compromise. But his views on immigration began to change. Later, he worried that “the influx of foreigners” would “change and corrupt the national spirit.” Like Hamilton, many modern day Americans have made the same change in opinion.