Saturday, December 14, 2013

US Immigration and Naturalization Policy Debate, Dec 1, 1813



               It now behoves the United States to repeal their naturalization laws, or in a solemn manner to maintain their validity. While they remain on the statute book, and form a part of the law of the land, it would be disgraceful to submit to their violation. If they are just in point of principle, they ought to be defended. If wrong, they should be instantly revoked; and then, that subject of contention with Great Britain would be removed. It is very extraordinary circumstance, that England who accepts and courts the services of the subjects of other nations, should be so Stern in enforcing an opposite rule against them. An American or a Dane, serves two years in the British Navy, is thereby ipso facto, naturalized; but an Englishman regularly naturalized in the United States, if taken in their service, is liable to be hung.

               The question before us is a very important one. It possesses extensive relations in peace as well as in war. If naturalization is not valid, the natives of the British dominions cannot become American citizens, neither can they be entitled to hold ships, pursue trade, or perform any other act in that character.

               We hold the right of immigration to be a law inseparable from our nature, and as ancient as civilization itself. - That it was recognized by the Roman Republic, sufficiently appears by the Plotian law, and the celebrated orations of Cicero, pro Archias. Contrary doctrines, principally spraying, from the system of feudal vassalage and cannot be sanctioned by states, whose institutes are founded on the universal law of nature and of nations. This is a subject that deserves an able and accurate discussion.

               We are happy to see our government retaliate in a manner that will eventually ensure safety to the person of our naturalized fellow citizens and cause their rights to be respected. The principle must be settled by the maxims of justice, and not by the arrogant despotism of a British cabinet.

Headline: From the Standard of Union. A Point of Controversy; Article Type: News/Opinion
Paper: Baltimore Patriot, published as Baltimore Patriot & Evening Advertiser.; Date: 12-01-1813; Volume: 2; Issue: 125; Page: [2]; Location: Baltimore, Maryland

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