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Home / News / Columns / The Pilgrims and the truth about good immigration

The Pilgrims and the truth about good immigration

In 1620, the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. That’s it for most people. There’s no more story to it nor is there anything added outside of Squanto saved them and the first Thanksgiving feast. As in all things, there is so much more to the story.

IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620.Mayflower Compact

Contrary to popular belief, the Pilgrims were Separatists (those who wanted nothing to do with the Church of England) not Puritans (those who wanted to purify the Church of England). That made them hated by both the Church of England and the Puritans. With the ascension of King James, things became untenable in England for the Separatists that would one day be called Pilgrims.

Seeking freedom of religion, the Scrooby congregation gained permission from the Netherlands to settle in Leyden. They booked a ship to the Netherlands. As they made their escape from England (outlaws because the Church of England and the government of England were one), English soldiers captured their wives and children as the Pilgrim men barely escaped on the ship they chartered. An English judge frustrated by the cries of the children shipped those captured to their husbands in the Netherlands.

The Dutch gave them freedom of religion but that’s it. According to Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford, the worldly Dutch had too much pull on their young people. You would almost think Bradford was talking of today. Fearing they might lose their children, the Pilgrims decided to make for the new world in order to train their children to be proper Christian Englishmen and to reach the lost of this New World.

King James gave them a charter to form a new colony in the New World. They commissioned two ships to sail them to their new home. One ship, in such poor condition, needed to turn back and split the Scrooby Congregation forever.

The Mayflower captained by the great Miles Standish pressed on through harrowing storms which pushed them off course. They landed in Massachusetts not northern Virginia. Winter was coming.

Realizing that they were far from their legal colony, the passengers, the Separatists and the Strangers (those who were not members of the Scrooby Congregation) of the Mayflower created the Mayflower Compact setting up a self-government for this new colony and the first in the New World. This is a foundational document for our country. To not know it is to not know why our country exists.

The Pilgrims suffered greatly during their first harsh New England winter. Two thirds of their number died from sickness and starvation. The forty-four survivors of the original hundred and two all chose to remain when the Mayflower set sail back to England. Thus was the courage of the Pilgrims.

Squanto lent aid to the struggling colony bringing peace and knowledge of crops from Massasoit and his people. The Pilgrims built a new life in America. They tried communism and failed miserably at it. Then they invited the Indians to the first Thanksgiving feast. The Pilgrims and the Indians lived peaceably until the Puritan Colony of Massachusetts swallowed up Plymouth.

So how do we come about a sensible immigration policy based on the story of Plymouth? First, all those who come here must want to become a part of the distinct American culture our founders created. Despite the leftist narrative spoken ad nauseam, America was founded on the Christian principles of religious freedom and self-government. While no religion is forced upon anyone in order to be a part of the body politic, Christianity is paramount for a nation to remain free. Read the writings of our founding fathers to understand this. As a nation, we need those of the world who want to become American not another nation’s citizen who just happens to live and benefit from our country. The Pilgrims came for the glory of God and to advance the Christian faith.

America was once known as the melting pot of the world. America does not care if you’re from Armenia or Sudan. America wants and needs people who will assimilate and become Americans. The Pilgrims left the Netherlands because they did not want to be Dutch. They were not American back then, but they help forged that term.

We took the good into our country and left the bad back in other countries. There is no need for the criminals of the world to be brought here. We have enough of those in congress. We need people who respect and revere our Constitution to join our nation. If you cannot come to our country legally, you cannot be an American. Seeing that they were far from the government of England, the Pilgrims formed their own government to keep things legal.

Not everyone deserves to be an American. Not everyone needs to come to our country. Half the Scrooby congregation returned to England. Two thirds of those who landed on Plymouth died. Those who are willing to work hard, those who obey the laws, those who want to better themselves, those who want religious freedom not those want to impose their own laws (Sharia Law) are the one America needs.

Welfare is not the American Dream. Public Housing is not the American Dream. Social Security is not the American Dream. A national Health Care is not the American Dream. Any seeking these should never be allowed into our great nation. Those who want to rise above themselves and become something greater than who they were in their mother country are those who strive for the American Dream. Those are they who need to come to America and none other.

Many nations like those in the Muslim Middle East and Communist Asia suppress the right to freedom of religion, to free speech, to free press, and to own property among other things have always been the enemies of our country. There are those suffering under these tyrannical regimes who thirst for freedom who long for what makes America great and exceptional. These should be at the front of the line of those considered to come to our great nation not those wanting a free meal ticket.

Things easily gained are things easily lost. The Pilgrim suffered greatly to get here. They sacrificed much to build our country. We have inherited the fruits of their labor. Let’s not waste them like pearls before swine.

–George Ismael Feliu Jr.


As the British attack, Francis Scott Key writes Star Spangled Banner