Immigration Opinions of Teddy Roosevelt

one-nation_fbHere is a short video that I wish Trump and Clinton would watch and more importantly, agree with. While the video below regarding immigration is almost correct, the audio is not a direct quote. Nor was it written in 1907 by President Roosevelt but rather by ‘former’ president Theodore Roosevelt on January 3, 1919, to the president of the American Defense Society. He died the following day. Here is the exact text from that letter: (emphasis mine)

We should insist that if the immigrant who comes here does in good faith become an American and assimilates himself to us he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed or birth-place or origin.

But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American and nothing but an American. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. . . We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding-house; and we have room for but one soul loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.


Roosevelt was not anti-Immigration as many today might insist, but rather was pro-Amerian. Here is another of his quotes on immigration:

Any discrimination against aliens is a wrong, for it tends to put the immigrant at a disadvantage and to cause him to feel bitterness and resentment during the very years when he should be preparing himself for American citizenship. If an immigrant is not fit to become a citizen, he should not be allowed to come here. If he is fit, he should be given all the rights to earn his own livelihood, and to better himself, that any man can have.

Roosevelt’s thoughts on ‘hyphenated Americans” can be read in this article in the NY Times (published on October 13, 1915) here.

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