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On October 20, 2016 Matthew J. O’Brien, Director of Research for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and a student of IWP, spoke to IWP about Immigration, National Security, and Foreign Policy. He offered a distinct perspective on these topics based on his 20 years of experience working on immigration through the government’s national security and immigration services, as well as with FAIR now. His lecture provided constitutional context to the migration issues regularly seen on the news and discussed in this presidential election.
He began his lecture discussing how immigration has distinctly changed over the years and has become considerably controversial. He elaborated on his disagreement with those who claim migration issues stem from the recent globalization of the world. O’Brien maintains the world has been global since people began moving, which dates back to the Roman Empire. It is only recently that migration has become a major issue.
O’Brien emphasized the primary role of sovereignty and the Constitution in regards to immigration. He explained how it implies directly the inherent right of Americans to determine who can and cannot enter into the country, and thus, also forms the basis on which Americans can forbid entry of peoples whose residence in the U.S. is deemed harmful to the greater community. Furthermore, he maintains we do not have a terrorism problem, but an immigration problem underlying it. O’Brien also focused on assimilation as necessary for immigrants and to help elevate them onto equal footing.