The United States has a history of fear of an invasion by people who didn’t look, speak, or behave like the citizens of their time. It started with The Alien and Sedition Acts passed by Congress in 1798 fearing growing numbers of French and Irish. The Naturalization Act of 1798 increased the residency requirement for American citizenship from five to fourteen years, required aliens to declare their intent to acquire citizenship five years before it could be granted, and made persons from ‘enemy’ nations ineligible for naturalization. Aliens could be deported if they were deemed “dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States.” These laws were signed by our second president, John Adams.
There has been fear and hatred of Irish-12.5% of the total population reported Irish ancestry in 2013, Italians, Jews, Chinese, Japanese and other groups.
In every instance those groups have integrated into American society and made the United States the melting pot of the world. Out of those many groups have come some of our most valued Americans. President John F. Kennedy’s family from Ireland; the Gershwin brothers and Irving Berlin were Jews who brought America some of its most favorite music; Neapolitan immigrant Attilio Piccirilli and his five brothers carved the statue of Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial; Frank Sinatra, Vic Damone (Vito Farinola); Dean Martin ( Dino Crocetti), Tony Bennett (Anthony Benedetto), Frankie Laine (Frank Lo Vecchio) all brought us wonderful entertainment; novelist Amy Tan (her first novel, The Joy Luck Club) is the daughter of Chinese parents who had immigrated to the United States three years before her birth; Hispanic Americans worthy of note are Alberto Gonzales (Attorney General of the United States under George W. Bush), Antonio Villaraigosa was mayor of Los Angeles, Sonia Maria Sotomayor is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
The question is which group of people would you eliminate from those who should have the opportunity to migrate to the United States? In almost every instance their parents or grandparents spoke little or no English when they arrived at our shores. Multi-culturalism has made America the greatest country in the world.