This question is a recurring one on right-wing blogs, and especially so since all the talk and heated rhetoric about deportations (also known as sending people home) and walls.
Because America has had a history of rather promiscuous immigration policies it’s a fact that the homogenous America our Founding ancestors wrote of is no longer a reality — but yet it is also not a reality that the Founding stock, that is, the ‘posterity’ of the Founders, is long gone and irrelevant, or that we are a ‘proposition nation.’
That last assertion is now the official dogma of the multicultists in both the GOP and the Democrat party. The fact is it was never true.
Those who object to any mention of sending foreigners back to their homelands protest that many of them are ”as American as you and me”, fully American in their culture and their tastes and their speech — in some cases. Some of these immigrant advocates go so far as to say that even the new arrivals are more American than the Americans themselves because ”they [immigrants] appreciate this Free Country; they love liberty”, unlike most spoiled, jaded native-born Americans.
But loving ”liberty”, whatever meaning that has for individuals who come here, does not an American make.
To my mind, it comes down to this: those of kindred stock to the original colonists, whose ancestors have been here since pre-Revolution times, are American. Those who are genetically and culturally more distant, and whose ancestors have not been here for at least several generations? Not necessarily. Assimilation is not an automatic and natural process; greater genetic and cultural distance may mean that they never fully assimilate to the original stock population or share our mores and standards.
Those belonging to some ‘victim’ group, holding grievances and nursing grudges about what their sometimes-distant ancestors suffered at the hands of the ‘xenophobic WASPs’ or whatever — are not Americans in any real sense. Here’s what it comes down to for me: if you don’t and apparently can’t identify with, or have some regard or loyalty to the original stock population, you aren’t of us, by your own choice. Loyalty to this nation would seem to imply identifying and sympathizing with the majority of ‘legacy’ Americans, and our national story. Absent that loyalty to the folk, you have defined yourself as being Other, with a capital ‘O’. These types of people, even if their ancestors came here 5 0r 6 generations back, still harp on the unfair treatment they imagine their distant forefathers suffered:”My great-great-grandfather wasn’t even considered White! I deserve reparations just as much as blacks! More so!”
It’s also this group of perpetual-grievance-holders who most often champion today’s mass immigration, and support open borders, multiculturalism, and the Democrat Party — though one can be a GOPer and be all for those things, sad to say. These are the people who say “How can I be against immigration? My ancestors would never have been allowed in if the xenophobes had their way.” And how would America have even existed without these people and their ancestors having been admitted? America just wouldn’t have been America without them. So they flatter themselves.
In a sense they are right; America as it is now would not be the same country had we not let in millions of such immigrants in the past; it was the old melting pot philosophy, the proposition nation, Emma Lazarus ideology, that led to today’s ethnically and racially divided, conflict-ridden America. Immigration led to more immigration; it’s a perpetual cycle.