In my current reading, I've come across a quote from Benjamin Franklin, uttered in the 1760s. In speaking of German immigrants coming to Pennsylvania, Franklin worried that they would, "swarm into our settlements, and by herding together, establish their language and manners, to the exclusion of ours."
Sounds rather familiar doesnt' it? Similar arguments have been made by Americans regarding foreign immigrants ever since. Today, these arguments are most likely posited by those opposing illegal immigration from Latin America. While I am by no means condoning illegal immigration, I think it's interesting that Americans have held these views since pre-independence. I also think that the quote shows that just because Franklin may have been one of our most enlightened citizens, he still had a conservative streak in him. I'm quite sure he wasn't alone in his sentiment. And for the record, my German ancestors came to Pennsylvania in 1830, long after Ben had left this world. I'm glad they were of no concern to him.