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When we are considering the advantages that may result from an easy mode of naturalization, we ought also to consider the cautions necessary to guard against abuses. It is no doubt very desirable that we should hold out as many inducements as possible for the worthy part of mankind to come and settle amongst us, and throw their fortunes into a common lot with ours. But why is this desirable? Not merely to swell the catalogue of people. No, sir, it is to increase the wealth and strength of the community; and those who acquire the rights of citizenship without adding to the strength or wealth of the community are not the people we are in want of … I should be exceedingly sorry, sir, that our rule of naturalization excluded a single person of good fame that really meant to incorporate himself into our society; on the other hand, I do not wish that any man should acquire the privilege, but such as would be a real addition to the wealth or strength of the United States.

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Source:
James Madison, House of Representatives, Rule of Naturalization (February 3-4, 1790); Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, eds., The Founders’ Constitution, Volume Two: Preamble through Article I, Sect

Submitted by Normando on May 08, 2019

James Madison

4th President of the United States; member of the Continental Congress and rapporteur at the Constitutional Convention in 1776; helped frame the Bill of Rights (1751-1836)

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