Saturday, July 13, 2013

Wordsmithing, Semantics, Word Games, Nonsense, Legal Nitpicking

21st Century View of the GOP: Vis-à-Vis Immigration, Women Rights, Most Social Issues


I really enjoyed this article and I hope you do, too, written in 2010 by Robert Slayton, a Henry Salvatori Professor of History at Chapman University (Orange, California), and posted here.

A few highlights regarding the terms "illegals, illegal aliens, or illegal immigrants, and such."

So who are these evil-doers that have everybody in a tizzy? And how can knowing this help Arizona? History is a useful guide in this case, or, as Al Smith used to say, "Let's look at the record."
This topic seems like one of those longstanding debates that goes back a long time, maybe even to the dawn of the Republic. After all, we've been arguing about this forever, had illegal aliens since the days of the Founding Fathers, correct?
Simply put: no. That is not accurate. The term illegal alien only dates from the 1920's, no earlier.
There is useful history here. While America has always had immigrants -- it was founded by people whose ancestors weren't born here, for crying out loud -- we didn't divide them into categories till fairly recently.
During the late nineteenth century, Americans were becoming concerned about newcomers from Southern and Eastern Europe. We called this the new immigration, compared to the older streams from Northern and Western Europe. Places like the British Isles (excluding Irish -- they were only good at being big city bosses) and Germany. We had our favorites, of course -- the old was good, the new was bad--and we passed some mild restrictive laws, but no one knew from illegal aliens.
In 1914 the First World War started, and cut off the flow of people migrating from Europe -- anywhere in Europe -- to the United States. No one could get across war zones to make it to the ports, and passenger ships weren't going to buck the submarine threat, either.
Continue at the link above and enjoy -- this is a very good read.

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