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Margaret Stock Reviews The Founders on Citizenship and Immigration by Edward J. Erler, Thomas G. West & John Marini

By Margaret D. Stock
October 02, 2007
Given the prominence of immigration issues in American politics today, an up-to-date and scholarly volume on the Founders’ views on immigration and citizenship issues could benefit those who seek an understanding of first principles. Unfortunately, The Founders on Citizenship and Immigration, a slim volume of four essays, will not answer the pressing need for an authoritative resource. Th e book is mostly not about the Founders, and provides little in the way of a scholarly addition to the debate. Instead, all but one of its essays simply repeat the restrictionist arguments made in the popular press in the last few years—often lacking citations, and nearly always without consideration of alternative, contradictory sources. Conservatives and libertarians who appreciate the value of understanding “original intent” when evaluating constitutional debate, and who would like to pursue this approach with immigration issues, will be disappointed....