Immigration to the United States is an often misunderstood part of American history. Many quasi-scholars, politicians, and definitely special interest groups, who aggressively use our history of immigration as an argument for mass immigration in the present day, imply that the present day situation is comparable to different times in American history when there were large influxes of migrants to the U.S.
However, nothing could be further from the truth.
The current reality is far more complex, and speaks to our present immigration crisis in a number of ways. Oh yes! I still get a bit ticked when most people are scurrying around espousing such idiosyncrasies as ‘immigrant rights, or whether or not an illegal alien should be subject to the same laws as any other citizen of the United States.’ Worse still is the notion of the benefits illegals receive that U.S. citizens don’t.
Those who are against illegal immigration should hone in on their American history skills and be prepared, more than prepared-qualified-to discuss our present day atrocious situation.
For starters it is important that all of us, albeit, for illegal immigration or against the shameless act, need to come to a working set of definitions. Let me illustrate:
In the strictest terms the first settlers to come to this mass of land were not immigrants at all; rather they were colonists, which is a distinction between the founders of a nation and the later additions to it. Unfortunately, far too many people have either never known this distinction or simply have forgotten it.
The first colonists to this land were the Puritan’s that settled in the New England colonies during the first wave of settlement and often referred to as the “Puritan Wave” of 1629 to 1641.
From this point it is extraordinarily important to understand that although in the southeast, especially what is present day Florida, many Spaniards, Portuguese, Caribs, and a wayward entrepreneur with a boat of African prisoners-of-war, crashed into Florida, the Caribbean islands, and of course the Outer Banks area off the middle colonies coast.
As in the case of St. Augustine, Florida, who boast being America’s first established settlement by the Spaniards in the late 1500s. It is important to establish this working definition “established settlement.” Don’t get too excited and start making claims to Florida inasmuch as the entire settlement was sold off to the French, Seminole Indians, Geo. Oglethorpe, Haiti, among others.