Freedom or plunder?
by Missouri Rep. Ed Emery
(R-126 including the counties of Barton, Dade, Jasper and Polk)
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. --Ronald Reagan
Today’s United States is sadly lacking in competent and honest historians. Those that remain are censured in the media and in government education because their accounts frequently conflict with the post modern, secular humanistic leanings of society’s “elite.” You might ask “why does it matter?” It matters when the lack of historical perspective leaves an important argument irreconcilable. A historical perspective provides fundamentals from which analysis and debate can progress. Without it, only opinion and emotion remain, and they are nearly immovable. The work of Missouri’s Special Committee on Immigration Reform suggests that America’s immigration crisis presents a case-in-point.
Historically countries are invaded with one of two objectives, either to gain influence or to plunder. Legitimate immigration always satisfies the first objective; it facilitates those who seek liberty and opportunity. Good immigration law helps the immigrant who seeks to merge into the fabric of free society, whose objective is synergy rather than contention, public good as much as personal gain (giving more than taking). Legal immigrants to this country have understood the importance of the American experiment in government and liberty. They have recognized the contrast America presents, and they have come to help promote and improve that experiment.
The alternate and ignoble purpose for invasion is plunder. Plunder violates the spirit of America and elevates personal gain above a sense of justice and fair play. It places self above community demonstrates a total absence of national loyalty or patriotic commitment. Plunder is usually associated with war, with the conqueror plundering the conquered. But that is not always the case; there are other types of invaders who enter a nation illegally and without loyalty or noble purpose toward that nation. These invade solely for personal gain without regard for the welfare or success of the country being invaded.
The purpose of immigration law is to welcome those who wish to strengthen America and stop those whose purpose is plunder. That is why immigration laws are important; they protect us from invasion and plunder. Those who sneak in illegally are not coming to contribute to the American experiment and promote our success, they come to plunder and weaken our society. Some openly threaten aggression; few seek citizenship. Legitimate immigrants to America have brought visions of citizenship and liberty; invaders bring only their desire to plunder.
Most agree that immigration laws need reform. But my prayer is that we never forget the relationship between loyalty and legitimacy when it comes to immigration. History confirms that immigration laws are important, and their enforcement is critical to the future of this nation and this state. Your Special Committee on Immigration Reform is working to develop laws and policy that will protect all Missourians from the threats of invasion.