To the editor:
In view of the current immigration situation, I feel that we should remember something that President Theodore Roosevelt said in 1907.
“Let us say to the immigrant not that we hope he will learn English, but that he has got to learn it. Let the immigrant who does not learn it go back.
“The effort to keep our citizenship divided against itself,” the colonel continued, “by the use of the hyphen and along the lines of national origin is certain to a breed of spirit of bitterness and prejudice and dislike between great bodies of our citizens. If some citizens band together as German-Americans or Irish-Americans, then after a while others are certain to band together as English-Americans or Scandinavian-Americans, and every such banding together, every attempt to make for political purposes a German-American alliance or a Scandinavian-American alliance, means down at the bottom an effort against the interest of straight-out American citizenship, an effort to bring into our nation the bitter Old World rivalries amid jealousies and hatreds.
“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes 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 birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American… There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but is something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”