Immigrants homesteaded and helped create Americaby Hugh Holub on Jul. 02, 2011, under immigration law reform, politics
USA Today had this very interesting article on July 1, 2011:
COMMENTARY: I did not know that under the 1862 Homestead Act a person who intended to become a citizen could also file and get 160 acres of land.
Back in those days, after an immigrant came to America, they signed a document called a “Declaration of Intent to become a citizen”.
One can research this stuff…I found where my great great grandparents who immigrated from Czechoslovakia signed their “declaration”..and they ultimately became citizens. And now I know where the original family farm came from.
In the context of the 2011 debate over immigration law reform which seems to be polarized between “amnesty” and deportation of 11 million people…it is hard to imagine a time when not only were immigrants being invited to come to America…they were even offered a chance for free land.
Makes one wonder how many people today who are screaming about the problems of “illegal immigrants” would find that their ancestors who immigrated managed to get their grubstake in America from the government under the Homestead Act before they were citizens.
There is a whole new version of “homesteading” being proposed around the country to revitalize decaying urban areas…like in Detroit.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to consider…instead of trying to boot out illegal immigrants…to offer them a homesteading opportunity in our urban wastelands.
Funny how what was mainstream American law and policy in the 1860′s…that helped create America…would now be a totally radical idea today.
How far we’ve gone….backwards.