In his Aug. 14 letter, Paul Friedman writes that the United States is defined by its borders.
I assume that he means America can be summed up by its rivers. One, of course, is the Rio Grande to the south. Perhaps, the other is the Niagara River to the north which includes Niagara Falls and separates Canada from New York state.
When he addressed the Republican National Convention in 1992, President Reagan acknowledged that the United States was an empire with interests that reached far beyond its borders. But, he said that the American empire was unique in history because it was "an empire of ideals" only.
He went on to say that America sought to influence others only to bring to them freedom, peace and prosperity and not to dominate them so as to enrich its own national power and wealth.
During his presidency, Reagan granted amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants because he felt that all immigrants, documented or not, were a tremendous asset, both in their hard work and in their love for America.
During the late 1930s, when Nazi persecution of Jews was becoming ever more blatant and obvious, thousands, and perhaps tens of thousands, of European Jews sought to enter the United States as refugees from Nazism. But, our country refused to grant refugee status to most of these Jews and thereby unintentionally helped to condemn them to an almost certain death. Perhaps, we were worried that these refugees might bring diseases and corrupting influences into our society.
Paul Friedman ends by exhorting that I may not like the answer if America continues to allow entry to immigrants with insufficient, or no, paperwork.
One thing's for sure. I certainly don't want to have anything to do with his answer.