You will prepare and submit a term paper on Immigration as One of the Most Controversial Topics in the American Political Discourse Today. Your paper should be a minimum of 1250 words in length. In reality, an increase in immigration to a different country moves production capital into the host country, increases real wages, and provides a positive indicator of economic growth within the country. Within the past century, the colonial notion of America as “a city upon a hill” and therefore conservatively opposed to the notion of open borders, has replaced the liberal philosophy of an open frontier in which resources are not scarce: producing government policies aimed at limiting the number of individuals seeking to benefit from the United States’ welfare. Economically, immigration surplus is valuable to the welfare of a country when factors of production shift from that country to another. environmentally, immigration poses no great additional threat beyond the hazards of previously existing infrastructures.
In the religious language of Puritan John Winthrop and the political discourse of the conservative President Ronald Reagan, America is “a city upon a hill” (Chace). This characterization of American exceptionalism paints the nation with the brush of exclusivity: a community chosen and ordained by God to be an example for the rest of the world. This conservative ideal of an American held off from the rest of the world is the bastion of a social traditionalism that has descended from Colonial times to the present day, when the same ideas are being discussed, only in different contexts and in relation to different issues. This notion of a city upon a hill faded through the establishment of the new American nation, and through the opening of the frontier, in which individuals were allowed from every corner of the world to come (Shipton 510). This liberal conception of immigration opened the door for concepts like the American Dream to take root in the American consciousness. However, with the closing of the frontier, and the realization of a scarcity of land in the new United States, the last 100 years of American ideological history have witnessed the return of the colonial-conservative concept of immigration—a threat and a menace to the stability of the country—return to prominence.