The Right View: Be thankful for a measured immigration approach

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Ask most people about what is looked upon as our first Thanksgiving as a fledgling nation, and my guess is they can tell you that it was a meal shared between the “Pilgrims and some Indians.”

Beyond that, I’m not sure how many other details would be forthcoming.

Now, with much greater consequence perhaps than children not knowing who Squanto was, we are also viewing the global refugee crisis we face through a lack of knowledge.

As a deep and detailed understanding of our nation’s history has been erased from our schools over the past 50 years or so, we have a population that has come to believe that those who would want to pause, or at the very least examine, the potential consequences of importing 100,000 refugees over a 12-month period from a part of the world that is the hotbed of terrorism, are racist, bigoted, xenophobic, or insert explicative here.

This is where we are today, and it is quite stunning.

The very idea that we as a nation have always simply held the front door wide open to anyone and everyone who is a refugee, a would-be immigrant, or is profoundly poor and disadvantaged is utter nonsense. For President Obama to engage in rhetoric stating that for us to deny these refugees unfettered access to our borders is “against our values as a nation” is also false.

We, as a nation, have throughout our history taken steps to ensure those that come here mean us no harm. Were those steps sometimes flawed? At times, yes. But it doesn’t change the fact that while we want to receive the world’s huddled masses and those yearning to breathe free, we are under no obligation to do so at potentially our own peril in the last remaining months of one president’s final term.

Putting out the welcome mat for a terror group who has said they will in fact hide among refugees to gain entrance to America, and who are developing a chemical weapons branch within their organization, without some kind of thoughtful, careful approach, is not in our best interest as a nation, nor in the interest of the refugees and immigrants who wish to come here.

In fact, America has a long history of not allowing certain immigrants into the country at various times.

Most historical documents point to The Chinese Exclusion Act of May 1882 as the first federally controlled exclusion of a certain class of people. From there, the list is long of groups who have been restricted over time, for various reasons., which is a website for students, has a section that reviews the Ellis Island Era Immigration Time Line. It cites the Chinese Exclusion Act, and goes on from there to include several immigration acts and restrictions, the Haymarket Riot, the Ford Committee investigations, immigration quotas and more.

Did we get it right every time? Of course not. But the idea that we’ve never had immigration quotas or a careful approach to whom we let in is fantasy.

This Thanksgiving, let’s look to our nation’s history to see where we got it right, and where we’ve gone astray. Let’s turn off the politically incentivized sound bites, and actually examine who we are as a nation from our own historical facts. Let’s celebrate, embrace and relearn about that first Thanksgiving, our history, and what makes America special and unique on the face of the globe, so that when we face these modern challenges we can have a command of who we are as a nation.

Let’s work to export the American ideas of liberty and freedom and prosperity around the world so there aren’t billions of people on the planet living in poverty and war and tyranny, where terrorism thrives and can grow; people who are desperate to come here, but will never be able to.

The best way to honor our heritage as a nation of immigrants, from the first Thanksgiving between the Wampanoag and the dwindling Mayflower colonists (and, incidentally the decades of peace that initially existed between them) right up until now, is to keep America safe from those who wish us harm. If we don’t protect the idea of America, we will lose Her.

It is insanity to suggest that by denying entrance to those who wish to destroy us, we are somehow being untrue to our ideals. We only have to look to our own history, our mistakes and successes, and remember who we are to show us how to get it right this time.

Julie McDonald-Smith lives in North Yarmouth. She is a registered nurse, former Capitol Hill staffer, publicity chairwoman of the Cumberland County Republican Committee, and occasional guest host on WGAN 560AM. Her column appears every other week.

  • Kevin McCarthy

    From its headline, I expected to see an informed, thoughtful commentary on this issue from the conservative perspective. And I was hopeful through the end of the third paragraph. But then the seemingly (and regrettably) inevitable mix of propaganda, hysteria, misinformation, disinformation, hypocrisy and incoherence overwhelm the balance of the column. It’s actually painful to read.

    As I was reading this, I wondered whether the author is trying to influence anyone and, if so, who? Her base of supporters has already been fed a steady stream of disinformation from right-wing media, so at best, this is old news. Their beliefs however erroneously conceived aren’t going to be altered. Anyone with a more expansive view of the refugee issue will likely see the weakness of the column’s premises and reject them without spending a lot of time thinking about it. So what is the point of this column? I should have thought the editors asked that question before publishing it. Maybe I’m just missing something.

    At the very least JMS could have stated the Obama Administration’s policy correctly and she could have developed an argument against it. She naturally gravitates to the expected criticism of Obama himself but uses his words completely out of their full context. This isn’t the result of any subjective assessment on the part of JMS. This is outright deceit. She does a real disservice to her readers by arguing against something that doesn’t exist.

    • James Post

      Let’s have a Presidential address going over how we are vetting these potential refugees, what the residual risks will inevitably be even if we vet them, how we understand that on first blush there can be resistance to them but we feel confident that we can minimize the exposure.

      Obama can further say the executive and legislative branches will work together to allay the public’s concerns. We have had a lot of comments in different contexts from Obama on why this is a good idea, but given what I consider to be a legitimate concern, a “one stop shopping” televised speech would be useful. Let us recall that Castro threw in a lot of criminals in with the legitimate boat people. There are other similar examples. No, the Syrian case is not analogous to the boat people, but it would be useful to draw distinctions.

      I believe the case is solid for accepting the refugees, but better Presidential leadership would help. There is a lot of misinformation posted about many subjects, and a comprehensive explanation of why we should do this would be helpful.

      No, there are some people who will never accept anything that Obama says, but there are reasonable people who have concerns.

      • Kevin McCarthy

        Not a bad idea and a much more useful discussion than ensuring the continuous flow of anti-Obama venom.

  • KC1979

    “But the idea that we’ve never had immigration quotas or a careful approach to whom we let in is fantasy.” A lot like the fantasy world you’re describing, Julie. We are careful about letting in refugees (that’s who, we’re talking about, right?). But don’t actually describe the refugee resettlement process and provide a thoughtful discussion of how you think it could be improved — just write “FEAR, FEAR, FEAR, FEAR!” Good job.

  • Kafir911

    I’ve previously suggested people read several short books: “Refugee Resettlement and the Hijra to America” by Ann Corcoran or Jim Simpson’s, “The Red-Green Axis”. Both explore the costs and danger of resettling refugees and asylum seekers especially from Sharia-adherent Muslim countries. Another option is to watch this 6 minute video on immigration:

    • Ted Markow

      Well, here’s a short book I recommend: All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. If you don’t feel like reading it, here’s an excerpt that I find apropos:

      “Always trust your fellow man. And always cut the cards. Always trust God. And always build your house on high ground. Always love thy neighbor. And always pick a good neighborhood to live in.”

      The only problem is, we can’t all pick good neighborhoods to live in…or be born in.

      Oh, here’s another:

      “There is no they, only us.”

    • KC1979

      Ann Corcoran and Jim Simpson are fascists.

      • Kafir911

        Hmmm, that must mean I’m a fascist, too, since Jim Simpson has actually stayed at my house when we met with Gov. LePage last month. Maybe you should also include in your fascist category Brigitte Gabriel when she’s on WLOB soon?
        Do you really think ad hominem attacks are going to stop any of us?

        • KC1979

          I didn’t say you were a fascist, I just said that Jim Simpson is a fascist. Gabriel is as well.

          • Kevin McCarthy

            Don’t even bother with this guy. When he tried to post a poorly edited video that supported his delusions about Obama, he got caught and his response was: “Whether or not it was [accurate], Obama is still a globalist, a racist, a Marxist and a Muslim.” Unfortunately for him, facts tend to be a nuisance. Not surprising at all that he would rely upon an anti-Muslim website as an authoritative source for anything other than its own hysteria.

          • Kafir911
          • Kevin McCarthy


          • Kafir911

            Robert Spencer from “Jihad Watch” will be in Stoughton, MA on 12/15. Why don’t you attend and then shower all of us with your brilliance by questioning him after his presentation?

          • Kevin McCarthy

            Are wire brushes provided to attendees to help clean them afterwards?

          • Kafir911

            Very, very clever. Need the address of the synagogue? Probably not, you seem to know everything already.

          • Kevin McCarthy

            Much to my chagrin, I don’t know everything. But I do know that the rhetoric of Spencer, Simpson,, etc. are sure signs that the terrorists are winning.

          • KC1979

            Have fun at the hate rally! I hope the attendees don’t have to pay a fee — from what I’ve heard, Spencer has become quite wealthy as a hate peddler.

          • Kafir911

            I have been at several of his debates in the past including one at Thomas More College in NH about 5 years ago. He was a gentleman, extremely factual, quoted directly from the Qu’ran, and the Sunna for the basis of his position which was that a moderate Muslim is not a “good” Muslim. Only a fundamentalist and a jihadist can be a good Muslim. When you are as knowledgeable as he is, have written several thousand articles and given hundreds of speeches on this subject, then I’ll believe you instead of him. I’m still waiting for you to challenge him one-on-one just for the pure pleasure of you rolling up into the fetal position and crying like a little girl.

          • Lucy Ball

            Now that is something I would love to see.

          • Kafir911
          • KC1979

            Yup — why would a conspiracy-theory site change my mind? It’s people like you that frighten me.

          • Kafir911

            You only have to be afraid of me if you sympathize with the jihadists such as the ones who are thankfully no longer with us from San Bernadino.

  • Christopher White

    Another in a seemingly endless string of far right nonsense from this columnist. It is distressing that the Forecaster cannot seem to find a conservative columnist capable of writing reasonable and well-reasoned opinion pieces from a conservative perspective. Ms. McDonald-Smith, in this piece, appears to celebrate rather than be ashamed by, past blunders in US immigration policies. She seems almost giddy about the Chinese Exclusion Act. One suspects she could argue for the ‘good’ done by our shameful internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry during WWII.
    What I most resent is the way she and those who support her views, views which are demonstrably against the Constitution and which many would consider anti-American, insist on claiming for themselves the mantle of being ‘Patriots’ and wrapping themselves in the flag. It is time for ‘progressives’ and ‘liberals’ to reclaim both the flag and self-identification as patriots.

  • Lucy Ball

    Well Julie, I see as usual the drop off the far left cliff liberals are having a good time dismissing and demeaning everything you say.

    Have at it guys I happen to agree with her and imagine it she knows what the Statute of Liberty says…and it isn’t “yearning to BE free” as your King Obama stated recently.

  • Kafir911

    Check out all the able-bodied military aged men trying to immigrate to Europe at Bare Naked Islam:

    • KC1979

      Are there any more hate websites we can check out?

      • Kafir911

        Wow, willful blindness at its best!

        • KC1979

          You’re right! I should open my eyes by reading such unbiased coverage and analysis of this issue. What else should we check out? or

          • Kafir911

            Whaaah. All immigrants who come here legally and swear allegiance to our U.S. Constitution and ASSIMILATE are welcomed. I’ve gone through the arduous process of sponsoring a Korean family, but they had skills, did not receive welfare and certainly didn’t vote for Democrats which is NerO’s
            goal. If you really believe Sharia-adherent Muslims won’t have a negative economic or cultural impact on our communities, then, by all means, house, clothe, feed and educate them yourself.