In Defense of Legal Immigration

Congressman McClintock delivered the following remarks on the House floor:


 In Defense of Legal Immigration

July 10, 2013
Mr. Speaker:
America is a nation of immigrants.  We are all either immigrants ourselves or we are the sons and daughters of immigrants.  America’s motto is “E Pluribus Unum” – from many, ONE.  From many nations we have created one great nation – the American nation.  
There is only one way to accomplish this remarkable feat and that is through the process of assimilation.  
        Unlike other nations, our immigration laws were not written to keep people out – they were written to assure that those who come here demonstrate a sincere desire to become Americans -- to acquire a common language, a common culture, and a common appreciation of American Constitutional principles and American legal traditions.  
         Illegal immigration undermines the process of legal immigration that makes our nation of immigrants possible.  If we allow illegal immigration, then legal immigration becomes pointless, the process of assimilation that our immigration laws assure breaks down, and the bonds of allegiance that hold a country like ours together begin to dissolve.  
As a recent article by John Fonte of National Review points out, earlier immigration reform bills included a provision calling for (quote) “patriotic integration of prospective citizens into the American way of life by providing civics, history, and English . . . with a special emphasis on attachment to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, the heroes of American history and the meaning of the Oath of Allegiance.”  
The Director of Immigration policy for La Raza objected to this language, writing that (quote) “while it doesn’t overtly mention assimilation, it is very strong on the patriotism and traditional american [sic] values language in a way which is potentially dangerous to our communities.”  
This language is pointedly missing from the Senate measure, suggesting a purpose fundamentally different from past immigration laws.  It raises the question of why the groups behind this bill find the mention of assimilation objectionable and consider patriotism and traditional American values not only disagreeable but, in their word, “dangerous.”
To those who say that we need a path to citizenship, I must point out that we already have such a path that is followed by millions of legal immigrants who have obeyed all of our laws, who have respected our nation’s sovereignty, who have done everything our country has asked of them to do – including waiting patiently in line – and are now watching millions of illegal immigrants cut in line in front of them.  
The 1986 Immigration Reform Act promised a “balanced approach” that combined legalization of the three million illegal immigrants then in the country with promises of employer sanctions and tougher border security.  As we all know, legalization occurred instantly – but the promises of enforcement were first ignored and later actively resisted by the Presidents who followed.
The current administration, for all its rhetoric, has unlawfully suspended enforcement of our existing immigration laws and actively obstructed states from assisting in their enforcement.  If this administration will not enforce our existing law, why should anyone believe its promises to enforce even stricter laws in the future?
A common tactic of those on the Left is to blur the distinction between legal and illegal immigration and to paint those in opposition to amnesty as “anti-immigrant.”  This is simply dishonest.  
Legal immigration is the very essence of our country – it sets us apart from every other nation in the world – the fact that citizenship is open to all who evince a sincere desire to understand, adopt and revere those uniquely American principles enshrined in our Declaration of Independence and animated by our American Constitution.  They do so by the thousands – every day – by obeying our immigration laws, renouncing foreign loyalties, and embracing American principles.   By doing so, as Lincoln said, they become the “blood of the blood and the flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote that Declaration.”  
Illegal immigration destroys all of that – and any measure that encourages more of it by granting special privileges to those who defy our immigration laws is a direct affront to every legal immigrant who has become an American and it is a direct challenge to the process of immigration that built our nation.  
To those illegal immigrants who seek citizenship out of a sincere desire to become Americans, I ask them to respect our laws and I invite them to begin the process of legal immigration that is already available to them and has been followed by the millions who have come before them.   
# # #

Tele-townhall banner 

Latest News

A Squandered Opportunity

I rise to express my deep disappointment in the address by the President last night in this chamber.

He Died For These Principles

This is Placer County Sheriff's Detective Michael Davis, Jr. You may have heard of him. He was gunned down on October 24th last year in one of the most shocking murder rampages in the history of that county.

Congressman McClintock Appointed Chairman of House Subcommittee on Federal Lands

Congressman Tom McClintock (CA-04) has been appointed Chairman of the Federal Lands Subcommittee of the Natural Resources Committee for the 114th Congress. McClintock has served as a member of the Natural Resources Committee since 2009, most recently chairing the Subcommittee on Water and Power.

View more »


Connect with Tom

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • News Feed

Upcoming Events

Staff Satellite Office Hours

Office staff members are available to assist constituents with problems or concerns at satellite office locations held throughout the district.  Anyone wishing to discuss an issue of federal concern is invited to attend one of these satellite office sessions and speak with a member of staff.  For more information, or to reach staff, please call the district office at 916-786-5560.
Upcoming Staff Satellite Office Hours for January 2014:
Amador County
Tuesday, January 27th
9:30 am - 11:00 am
County Administration Center
Conference Room D
810 Court Street
Calaveras County
San Andreas
Tuesday, January 20th
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Calaveras County Water Agency Conference Room
120 Toma Court
El Dorado County
Tuesday, January 6th
9:45 am - 11:30 am
El Dorado County Government Center
330 Fair Lane
El Dorado Hills 
Tuesday, January 6th
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce
2085 Vine Street, #105
Thursday, January 8th
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Pollock Pines/Camino Chamber of Commerce
Suite B
4123 Carson Road
South Lake Tahoe 
Tuesday, January 20th
9:45 am - 11:30 am
South Lake Tahoe Public Utility District
1275 Meadow Crest Drive
Fresno County
Thursday, January 8th
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
The Auberry Library
33049 Auberry Road
Madera County
Wednesday, January 28th
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Yosemite Visitor Bureau Conference Room
40637 Highway 41
Thursday, January 8th
3:00 pm - 5: 00 pm
Yosemite Lakes Park Clubhouse
30250 Yosemite Springs Parkway
Mariposa County
Tuesday, January 6th
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Mariposa County Library 
Conference Room
4978 10th Street
Placer County
Tuesday, January 6th
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Auburn City Hall
The Rose Room
1225 Lincoln Way
Tuesday, January 13th
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Lincoln City Hall
600 6th Street
Tuesday, January 27th
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Rocklin City Hall
3980 Rocklin Road
Tuolumne County
Tuesday, January 20th
9:30 am - 11:30 am
Small Business Center Conference Room
99 North Washington Street
For further information on staff satellite office hours, please call 916-786-5560.