Sen. Kamala Harris, California Democrat, ignited fireworks on social media by stating in a Fourth of July tweet that the Declaration of Independence was signed by “eight immigrants.”
“A reminder this Fourth of July: it was eight immigrants who signed the Declaration of Independence. Happy Independence Day,” said Ms. Harris, whose message was echoed by others.
A reminder this Fourth of July: it was eight immigrants who signed the Declaration of Independence. Happy Independence Day.
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) July 4, 2018
Eight immigrants signed the Declaration of Independence. Happy 4th Of July.
— ERIC BALFOUR (@ERICBALFOUR) July 4, 2018
Critics accused Ms. Harris of politicizing the holiday celebration with a faulty comparison to the current political debate over illegal immigration.
“In case you were wondering, the answer is yes. Democrats will politicize everything,” said the conservative website Twitchy. “Kamala Harris doesn’t so much want to celebrate the Fourth of July as use it to try and score cheap political points.”
A reminder: Dems just can’t stop with identity politics. It was actually 56 individuals who signed the Declaration of Independence. Eight born outside the colonies. All pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for this new nation. https://t.co/ra2GT8eWDM
— Cam Edwards (@CamEdwards) July 4, 2018
The Declaration of Independence had 56 signers, eight of whom were born in Great Britain: Two each born in England, Ireland and Scotland; one born in Northern Ireland, and one born in Wales, according to History.com.
She’s not wrong. She mentioned the immigrants only. She said nothing about the others…maybe because they were born here. But no reason for you to know that, ms snippy pants. Reading requires comprehension.
— LoriM (@InAllMyGLori) July 4, 2018
Whether they would have been viewed as foreign “immigrants” is unclear, given that the American colonies were under British rule and native-born colonists were considered British subjects.
None of the 56 signers was born a U.S. citizen because there was no United States of America until July 4, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Second Continental Congress.
Brilliant! When you’re trying to make a lame political point, why distinguish between an immigrant and a colonist. You couldn’t possibly immigrate to the US before 1783, since the country didn’t actually exist.
— Barry Weir French (@WeirFrench) July 4, 2018
How can they be immigrants when they were in British Colonies and it’s subjects. They were declaring independence from the crown to become sovereign states.
— C. Doniparthi, MD (@CDoniparthi) July 5, 2018
Ms. Harris also came under criticism from those who argued that the eight “immigrants” arrived in the colonies legally, whereas the ongoing political debate is focused on illegal immigration.
Keep in mind that those eight European immigrants had to swear an allegiance to King George as a condition to immigrate. One more reason why the founders took the obligations of citizenship so seriously.
— Bruce Huffman (@Cavalier6) July 4, 2018
Eight LEGAL immigrants. Those pesky details, Kamala.
— Carrie Jo (@CarrieJoCovfefe) July 4, 2018
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