A Republican Immigration Policy


Republicans are primarily concerned with the resources and institutions shared by the communities in a civic entity, or republic. In the Roman Republic, these communities were the Roman gens. At various times, and into the present, communities in the United States have been indigenous tribes, farming hamlets, boroughs and neighborhoods in a city. The republics have been the union of these communities into federations, rural parishes, counties and cities.

In the Republican model, each community in a republic was allowed to handle its own affairs, while the "res publica", meaning "public matter", was decided by a consensus of the communities. In the Roman Republic, each gens was represented by their "pater", meaning "patriarch", on a council of "senators", meaning "elders". American Republicanism did not have the same social organization, though it still followed this model in having city aldermen and senates at the state and federal levels. However, one problem remained: the lack of a long tradition which would favor communal bonds or affection within an American settlement.

Various settlements attempted to correct this deficiency through religion, particularly through communities following the Way of the Christ Jesus, in what has been mistakenly called "1st Century Christianity", as if Christians no longer practice the same fellowship, in the same breadth of communion, and with the same kinds of social obstruction. For all their attempts to establish and maintain communities within their small and humble scope, these communities regularly faced existential threats from the corrosive influence of nearby settlements with ambitions of commercial rule. Other settlements accepted the division along political lines, both sectarian and ideological, resulting in fractured settlements with no sense of a communal whole. They tried to make up for that deficiency by reducing their concept of community to individual families and, further, to individuals, so that their republics became the close-knit small towns which once dotted the landscape.

Free Immigration

Free Immigration is the American Republican way. It is the notion that our ancestors came to this country with no real restrictions. For those of us with Mayflower forebears, they came undocumented, far off course, so lacking in authority for landing in the land of the Wampanoag, that they had to draft an ad hoc political charter, namely the Mayflower Compact, to avoid anarchy. It is based on the fundamental notion of fairness expressed in the Golden Rule: Treat people as you would be treated, indeed as well as your ancestors were, especially given the vulnerability of their arrival on these shores.

Opposed to this is the selfish, Democratic way of "I got mine and you will have to fight me for yours". Thank heaven the Wampanoags were not Democrats!

Free Immigration, in the Republican sense, includes not just letting other people in, but being gracious hosts, like Tisquantum was for us. It is expressed in the famous poem by Emma Lazarus, "The New Colossus": "her name "Mother of Exiles"..."send these, the homeless tempest tost, to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

For my own humble part, I express Free Immigration thus:

A Home for All

Being the gracious host is never without its cost or risk. For American Republicans, with communities not yet developed, it was a courageous act of faith in the American Republican dream, even while their cause was being under cut by Democratic adventurism.

The Democrats and Their Slaves

Arrayed against these valiant attempts at Republicanism were the forces of Democracy and of the alien merchant banker. The former tempted the gullible poor with false promises of rule and the latter with false promises of luxury. These were then their accomplices in imposing a hierarchical Democratic tyranny, reaching deep into the most intimate corners of the Democratic household. The economic power gained by the Democratic middle-class through slavery then spread into the surrounding area.

Both religious and secular Republicans were dismayed to find, as encroaching neighbors, feudal settlements with a total disregard for community.  The Republican Party bit their collective tongue while holding to their principle of not meddling in the affairs of others, even when the Democratic settlements had shown themselves to be excoriable affairs. When the Democrats left their settlements to trespass on Republican communities, and then had the gall to bring their slaves with them, Republicans felt entitled to free those slaves. When the Democratic Party held the country at gunpoint to get their Fugitive Slave Act passed, Republicans kept on helping slaves to freedom and the Democratic law be damned. When the Democrats proceeded to then start the Civil War with their attack on Fort Sumter, the Republicans urged, but did not get fully, an abolition of chattel slavery.

Alongside the Democratic economic slavery on the plantation was their political slavery of vulnerable immigrants in the industrial cities. All hope of building a republican community in the New World was lost, their immigration twisted to place Democrats upon thrones of graft.

Worshiping the Golden Job

The Republican sine qua non of community could easily handle the full inclusion of immigrants. If republican communities had become the norm in this country, the people would have rested secure in the shared shelter, shared meals, shared reserves of furniture and clothing, shared physicians, and a shared inheritance of all that makes life worthwhile, the literature, music, dance and art that is, at once, heritage from the past and legacy to the future. If Republicanism had been allowed to come to fruition, working at home would have been considered more esteemed than gallivanting outside the community for mere commercial gain.

However, a wrong-headed notion of "working for a living" has been carefully inculcated in the minds of the people, so that with any influx of immigrants, demagogues will incite fears that "they" will take "our" jobs. These fears are heightened by the dire straits into which the national banks and national merchants have put the people. Due to the mortgage loans on national banks, people owe their homes more than they own them, and at exorbitant prices. Due to the alliance of national banks with national merchants and national advertisers, people are encouraged to buy from the national merchants and then forced to pay prices made exorbitant by the inflated bids made possible by national banks. When individuals and families look at their mounting debts, incurred at a time of equally extravagant optimism in the longevity and profitability of their employment some ten or twenty years back, they are gravely concerned that a job loss or wage cut will cause their financial doom, their homelessness and worse.

The Remedy

I am here to say that those fears are misplaced. We can, and economic efficiency demands that we must, allay those fears by providing the necessities to everyone, without requirement or exclusion. [See Popular Capitalism ] Indeed, not only can we make republican communities possible for immigrants without detriment to those currently employed, but we can liberate those employed from the compulsion to work and thus from their wage slavery. Further, we make republican communities possible among those whose families have suffered the worst from Democratic oppression. We can make our amends to the indigenous communities and join with them in forming fully American republics.

Note: The people also need not fear that we cannot afford any of this, if they but allow themselves to be educated on this economic point. [See The Way Out ]