George Washington on Immigration
One can imagine the thousands of former British white men across the newly-established United States of America nodding their heads in agreement when President George Washington released the details of the republic’s first immigration policy.
In the Naturalization Act of 1790, Washington limited citizenship eligibility to aliens who were “free white persons” of “good moral character” only. The policy also established who were not free citizens: Native Americans, blacks, and other minorities, as well as some women.
The overt racist and sexist tones of the Naturalization Act of 1790 should not be a surprise given the times. Washington and his wife Martha bought slaves throughout their lives and even spent their time post-presidency trying to track down Martha’s personal slave, Ona Marie Judge, who ran away to New Hampshire.
More than 200 years later, U.S. immigration law has evolved drastically. Blacks and other non-whites are citizens, and women no longer have to rely on their fathers for citizenship. Native Americans, too, are citizens, although they did not earn that right until 1924. If Washington were able to time travel to current day, he and his powdered brown locks would certainly be startled by the evolution of how we as a people embrace immigration. Had he been informed that in 2012, white births would account for less than half in the U.S., he would surely mount his horse to gather an army and start another revolution on behalf of his 18th century white brethren.
George Washington may not have foreseen how quickly the country would evolve multi-culturally and multi-racially, nor approved of it, but he apparently understood that the “intermixture” was inevitable. And if he truly valued men of “good quality,” then he would have adapted his policies accordingly to reflect the ever evolving standard of decency and morality. written by Kendrick Nguyen Esq. for the Huffington Post July 5, 2012
This is an interesting bit of history: We did learn that the ever evolving world is changing to expect new Immigration guidelines. Stephen K. Tills Esq. is well versed with the latest changes in the Immigration Law addressing deportation, detainees in the New York Immigration Detention Center. If you need an Immigration Lawyer in the Buffalo area, fluent in Spanish, be sure to contact Stephen K. Tills Esq.