Reading Assignment: Gird for Looming Battles with the “Great Books” of Immigration Sanity
By Paul Nachman
The Social Contract
Volume 20, Number 1 (Fall 2009)
Issue theme: “Immigration and population growth”
First a confession: No books are discussed here! This is an article about
articles, but “Great Articles” just doesn’t have the same cachet
as “Great Books.”
There are, of course, some (literally) great books on America’s immigration madness, too. But my aim here is to put before you seminal readings that are less daunting projects than reading whole books.
The approximately 30 items cited below (and linked in the online version) are articles (plus a video and a poster) that have impressed me, over about the last ten years, as particularly memorable and instructive.
Because I want people to actually read these works without getting sidetracked, I’ve omitted references to anything besides the items themselves. If you want a reference on something that I’ve merely asserted here, try emailing me (PNBL48@hotmail.com) about it.
I hope you’ll read your way through the entire collection. The writing in the selected articles is good to superb, so I think you, too, will find these items to be memorable and their aggregate to be a broad-spectrum resource for your immigration-sanity endeavors.
To make the present article more tractable, I’ve divided the recommended readings into the following nine themes:
1. Scoping Our Subject
2. Life in the Trenches (or Immigration in One Country)
3. Mexico and Mexicans
4. The Nation-Wreckers Reveal Themselves
5. Larger perspectives (A): Is it the Rest against the West?
6. Larger Perspectives (B): The Auto-Immune Sickness of Western Civilization
7. Three Memorable Perorations
8. Our Heavy Artillery
9. A Statement for Our Side
I. Scoping Our Subject
By 2000, it was rare to have a realistic article about immigration published anywhere prominent, including conservative outlets. So, even though he had an in with David Horowitz, it was notable that Robert Locke was able to get his piece “Close the Borders!”1 before the public in Horowitz’s online FrontPageMagazine. (Originally, the article included an introductory disclaimer by Horowitz that he disagreed with it but that it was offered for the sake of public discussion. That disclaimer has vanished.)
Locke wrote it to refute an article by someone else, but there’s no need to read the refuted article — Locke’s piece stands on its own as a tour de horizon of our immigration cancer.
The article really doesn’t make arguments. Rather, it’s a collection of assertions about immigration that won’t be controversial if you’re a long-term
Social Contract reader.
If you wanted to write a comprehensive book on U.S. immigration, this article would be a splendid source of topics. When I first read it, I viewed it as a hyper-condensed subset of Lawrence Auster’s Huddled Cliches, to be discussed later.
Locke opens with a smorgasbord of “bads” about immigration organized into categories — economic, social, environmental, and moral — and follows with several policy recommendations. Herewith, a sampling.
Economic reasons, e.g.:
People who say immigration causes economic growth are right only in the sense of aggregate GNP. Per capita GNP is the rational goal, and immigration lowers this by diluting our economy [with] poor, i.e. unproductive, workers.
Social reasons, e.g.:
Immigration undermines the social, cultural, and ethnic cohesion necessary to sustain our society. These factors are more important than people think.
Environmental reasons, e.g.
Immigration-driven population growth drives sprawl, traffic congestion, and the costs of suburban growth. It also drives up the demand for housing, pricing natives out of the regions where they grew up, fraying the social fabric and squeezing middle-class families. Southern California is the best example of this.
Moral reasons, e.g.:
“America is a nation of immigrants.” First, this is a flat statistical falsehood. The vast majority of Americans were born here. Second, there is no “ergo” in this
argument; why does the fact that many of us are descended from immigrants
oblige us to take immigrants today?
Policy prescriptions, e.g.:
What we want is the lowest possible number [of immigrants] compatible with true (not Santa Claus) humanitarian principles and the fact that some individuals make exceptional contributions. The presumption must be “no,” with a few exceptions. The fundamental principle must be enthroned that immigration is the exception, not the rule.
The Locke article is brief. Its natural follow-up is the collection of 20
“one-minute essays” (each takes about a minute to read) in Common Sense on Mass Immigration,2 a gem of a resource instigated by John Tanton, publisher of The Social Contract and founding father of the immigration-sanity cause (and who is discussed further below).
These micro-essays, which can be read in any order, cover many of immigration’s intellectual battlefronts such as assimilation, resources, public health, education, and crime and are authored by a host of stalwarts, most of them familiar names to Social Contract readers. My favorite among the essays is “Mass Immigration and Basic Freedoms”3 by John Vinson of the American Immigration Control Foundation, since it strikes me as the one most likely to disturb the apathy of our naive, cliché-enthralled fellow citizens. Here’s Vinson’s parting shot:
[F]ree speech among people with little in common can easily cause someone to take offense. For the sake of keeping peace, some people will say “we must limit free speech.” European countries and Canada, influenced by multiculturalism, have already moved in this direction. We Americans still enjoy legally protected free speech, but for how long? We must make a choice. We can have the multiculturalism made inevitable by mass immigration, or we can have freedom. But we can’t have both.
In another example, the late John Attarian distilled some of his scholarship on Social Security into a micro-essay “Mass Immigration and Taxes: Social Security Costs.”4
We’re often told that immigration, including illegal immigration, will rescue Social Security from a disastrous future. John Attarian explained why not:
Adding such huge numbers of workers would depress labor productivity unless matched by trillions of dollars in investment. Since immigration is already making labor incomes stagnate, much higher immigration would almost certainly depress wages, and perhaps even reduce Social Security revenues. And most immigrants are poorly-educated and unskilled, hence earn low incomes, making them poor Social Security revenue sources.
Common Sense on Mass Immigration is also available as a printed booklet, to hand out or to put in the mail (needing no envelope, just a single first-class stamp).
Filled with such hyper-short essays, there’s a realistic chance that people upon whom you bestow the booklets will actually read them. Bulk purchases of this non-virtual version are available for prices as low as 40 cents apiece.5
What should be the fundamental criteria for our immigration policies? John Miano nailed these years ago with his very brief “Ten Principles of Immigration” at VDARE.com.6 His first principle would likely shock most Americans, steeped as they are in all the clichés about immigration’s wonderfulness:
The purpose of immigration policy is to benefit the citizens of the United States.
I sometimes employ this idea when talking with people about immigration, first asking them “What’s the purpose of the United States?”
Answer: To benefit the citizens of the United States — see the Constitution’s Preamble (“to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”). Then I ask, “What’s the purpose of our immigration policy?” It’s no leap to use Miano’s first principle at that point. His other nine principles include some simple, creative ideas. Please check them out.
2. Life in the Trenches (or Immigration in One Country)
“Life in the trenches” alludes to the impacts mass immigration is having on American life. Of course this encompasses a myriad of particulars, so I just present
here a few memorable sample articles in that vein plus a couple of items that point to the predictable new chaos that will result if the amnesty fanatics get their way.
Illegal immigration, specifically, has mushroomed into a catastrophic problem partly because some cynical American citizens employ illegal aliens in order to save a buck (while dumping the social-welfare and quality-of-life burdens on the rest of us). In the process, they drive employers who want to obey the law out of business. Free-lance journalist Mark Cromer, who’s also a senior writing fellow at Californians for Population Stabilization, wrote the story7 (“Immigration: When doing the right thing hurts,” San Diego Union-Tribune, March 22, 2007) of Kirsten Stewart, a woman in Santa
Monica, CA who routinely used illegal-alien day laborers in her landscape-design business until she had an epiphany from talking with her nanny:
“[The nanny] told me that she was so happy that she was having her baby here because (her child) would get a real Social Security number. She told me how surprised she was at all the ‘free’ neonatal care she was getting and all the other ‘free’ health services,” Stewart says. “That’s when the light bulb went off.”
The article is brief and powerful. I recommend, also, this 7-minute video interview of Stewart by (off-camera) Cromer.8 I gather from Cromer that Stewart ultimately did have to fold her business because her costs, using legal workers only, were no longer competitive. (This nicely exposes the hypocrisy of the wealthy “progressives” in a hotbed of “living wage” sentiment such as Santa
Monica. These sensitive souls routinely opted for the lower bids from contractors who relied on illegal labor.)
The death-by-illegal-immigration of an honestly-run small business is one modern American experience. The effect of a sustained surge of concentrated legal immigration from a Third World country to a small city in the American heartland is another. In “The ordeal of immigration in Wausau”9 (The Atlantic Monthly, April 1994), Roy Beck tells us how a large influx of Hmong (late refugees from the Vietnam War) has affected life in Wausau, Wisconsin.
His 6,100-word article opens:
It all began simply enough, when a few churches and individuals in Wausau, Wisconsin, decided to resettle some Southeast Asian refugees during the late 1970s. To most residents, it seemed like a nice thing to do. Nobody meant to plant the seeds for a social transformation. But this small and private charitable gesture inadvertently set into motion events that many residents today feel are spinning out of control. Wausau — the county seat of the nation’s champion milk-producing county — has learned that once the influx starts, there’s little chance to stop it. Regardless of how many newcomers failed to find jobs in this north-central Wisconsin city of 37,500, or how abraded the social fabric became, the immigrant
population just kept growing.
By 1994, Wausau was home to about 4,200 Hmong, its schools were crowded-to-bursting, and the previously bucolic micro-metropolis was starting to experience the attentions of Asian gangs spilling over from Milwaukee and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Beck also explains the mechanism behind Wausau’s pain:
Federal officials say that refugees cannot be brought into the country unless a voluntary agency is willing to settle them. The agencies sign an agreement — voluntarily — with the State Department to resettle everybody the government wants to bring in. At the time of the annual agreement could the agencies pledge smaller numbers than the government wants to bring in? “That is hypothetical; it never occurs,” a State Department spokeswoman says. Actually, the voluntary agencies tend to lobby the government to bring in many more refugees nationwide than it chooses to each year. They receive compensation for each refugee.
As Beck points out, this is Wausau’s second bout with immigration-induced anomie:
Various Wausau residents told me they favor a “cooling-off period” before more refugees are resettled in their city. Few residents know it, but such a period played a major role in creating the homogeneous Wausau they now  consider the norm. After the turn of the century [i.e. 1900], immigration caused a social upheaval in Wausau. Back then the Germans and the Yankees were distinct ethnic groups, neither of which found particular strength in diversity. From 1880 to the start of the First World War, Germans streamed into Wausau, eventually overwhelming its New England Yankee founders. Jim Lorence, a local historian, says that the Germans became the predominant ethnic group around 1910. By the end of the decade the immigrants had turned the once conservative Republican town into a Socialist powerhouse. After the November, 1918, elections nearly every county office and both of the county’s seats in the state assembly were filled by German-elected Socialists, Lorence says. Amid the political turmoil, natives felt like foreigners in their own home town.
Quoting historian Lorence, Beck notes that it took about two generations for the Germans and the Yankees to adjust to each other after the immigration cut-off of the mid-1920s. Whether today’s much-more-diverse Wausau will, ever again, reach a satisfactory equilibrium seems to me an open question.
The crush of illegal immigration is, among many other effects, breaking down institutions of the federal government. A frank article10 (“Immigration Crisis Tests Federal Courts on Southwest Border”) from an official magazine, The Third Branch: Newsletter of the Federal Courts (June 2006), describes the understandable, yet impossible, burden on federal district courts in the southwest. A few choice points:
Not only judges are affected; all in the criminal justice system struggle to keep pace. “You can add Border Patrol agents but if you do, you’d better think upstream. You’d better think marshals, you’d better think prosecutors, probation and pretrial services officers, defense lawyers, judges, and clerk’s staff — all of those things,” said Judge Robert Brack [District of New Mexico] in Las Cruces.
“Security is a main concern,” said Alex Ramos, the deputy U.S. marshal in charge of the Laredo division. The overwhelming majority of the prisoners offer no threat of violence, but their sheer numbers make full restraints necessary. “In most
federal courts, the ratio of prisoners to deputy marshals is one-to-one or two-to-one,” Ramos said. “Here, as it is in most other border courts, it’s more like 30-to-one even though we enlist help from other law enforcement agencies.”
A person who enters the United States illegally to look for work and has no other criminal charge pending typically may be ‘voluntarily returned’ to Mexico more than a dozen times before facing the charge of illegal entry. Some did not get into federal court until they amassed 60 voluntary returns.
Chief Judge William Downes of the District of Wyoming has served in Las Cruces as a visiting judge. In Wyoming, he said, he may sentence 75 people a year to long prison terms. In Las Cruces, he has sentenced 50 in a week.
“The challenge that my border colleagues have is astonishing,” Downes said. “I’ll go down there for two weeks and I go home exhausted. But I can go home. They stay, day in and day out.”
Altogether, the article describes a classic example of consequences that slowly build toward disaster when — for convenience, and under political pressure — a society gets in the habit of winking at its basic laws.
By actually thinking about such mundane matters, one can readily predict that a mass amnesty will cause chaos in — maybe even collapse of — the government’s immigration bureaucracy. This apparently wasn’t even the tiniest consideration for our congressional Masters of the Universe who tried to arrange mass amnesty in 2007. But right when we were in the heat of that battle, Kris Kobach, Professor of Law at the University of Missouri (Kansas City) and
immigration-policy counsel (2001–2003) to then-U.S. Attorney General John
Ashcroft, laid it all out in his “Rx for Breakdown”11 (New York Post, May 27, 2007). Wrote Prof. Kobach:
One of the biggest — and least discussed — problems with the immigration bill now before the Senate is the sheer impossibility of implementing it.
The measure would triple the workload at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS] — an agency that the Government Accountability Office says is already at the breaking point. It’s an invitation not only to fraud, but to any terrorist group or criminal gang that’s looking to insert minions into America.
The bill allows the federal government only one business day to do a “background check” on each applicant.
The bill’s authors seem ignorant of what this means in practice. The government has no single, readily searchable database of all the world’s dangerous people. Much of the relevant information exists only on paper, while foreign governments are the source for other data.
Kobach estimated the number of amnesty applications that would have to be processed every day, put the number in context with the existing dysfunction at USCIS, and concluded that “Fraudulent applications would sail through by the millions. It’s a recipe for bureaucratic collapse.”
Most of a year later, during the calm between amnesty storms, Mark Cromer zeroed in on one aspect of what concerned Kobach: How would one actually establish the identities of illegal aliens being legalized? In “Documenting Illegals” 12 (EM>Washington Times, February 26, 2008), Cromer drew on his experiences as a reporter and presented the picture for us lay people. Here’s the central idea:
[T]he prospect of actually conducting legitimate background checks on illegal immigrants is, in fact, the absolute pinnacle of the bald-faced lies that typifies the security assurances offered by the proponents of amnesty.
Journalists who have conducted investigative research into the background of individuals know that it is a time and resource intensive enterprise — one that can be incomplete if reliable data is lacking on a person. And these are background checks that are conducted into the lives of people who have legitimate, discernable footprints in our society: credit histories, educational backgrounds, property records, employment references, family history, civil litigation and, sometimes, criminal records.
For the rest of a powerful case, read Cromer’s brief article.
3. Mexico and Mexicans
Immigration would be a much more tractable problem if we didn’t have a Third-World neighbor like Mexico, with all the accompanying ethnic subtext.
(People have suggested, plausibly, that if we were confronted with massive, unwanted immigration from, say, Iceland, there would be no problem getting our government to squelch the inflow.) So insights into Mexico and Mexicans are important.
Well-traveled newspaper reporter Fred Reed retired to Mexico and, until recently, provided a continuing stream, online, of frank observations about the world, periodically focussing on his current surroundings. His column of March 26, 2008, “Scoping Out Pepe: Why We Should Get It Right, But Won’t,”13 covers a lot of ground in just 1,100 words. Sample observations from the article:
It is one thing to have Mexicans in America while they still fearful of being deported. They are polite and brown and eager to work. This encourages the tendency to which Americans are prone, to patronize them as just the nicest babysitters and garbage men. Why, they are almost like real people.
It will be a different thing when they are legal and have a voting majority in the Southwest. They understand perfectly that their day is coming.
Inequality can be seen in the streets here. In Guadalajara, una ciudad muy guera, a very white city, you have highly sophisticated people who talk of the arts on the radio as intelligently as any in America. They go to the opera, buy in good bookstores, and serve competently as doctors and technicians. In the villages you find people with far more Indian blood and almost no academic achievement or interest. Out in the hills there is, dead serious, a lot of witchcraft.
It’s a different world. And coming to a mall near you.
Although only a rare visitor to the website of libertarian Lew Rockwell, years ago I somehow stumbled upon “Cultural Suicide”14 by Christopher Manion (July 19, 2001), an unforgettable article about the character of Mexican civilization and the implications for our civilization of mass illegal immigration from Mexico. Manion’s analysis is at a deeper level than Fred Reed’s, focussing on first principles:
Briefly stated, the legalization of this illegal alien population amounts to American cultural suicide (because it is done intentionally, rather than by accident) and a political disaster.
Legalization’s’ disastrous consequences will not be visited so much on one party, or one ideological faction, rather than another. The damage is deeper, far more abiding, and irreversible by any future election or other invocation of the political process. It will powerfully contribute to the ruin of our free society and rule of law.
Every society before Aristotle recognized and underscored the importance of good habits to social survival and prosperity. Aristotle gave these habits names — virtues. He delineated certain virtues required of a polis, virtues known to us all, because they have remained virtually unchanged for the past two millennia.
These preambles to politics, based on a goal of man that is beyond politics, are imbedded deep in the Western psyche, and are fundamental to America’s
founding. They are indispensable to the history, the institutions, and the rationale of freedom.
Mexico, I am afraid, does not have them. Zip. Zero. Nada. Eighty years ago, these values were hatefully scorned, abandoned, and persecuted by the PRI — the
“Institutional Revolutionary Party” — the very name is a parody, hilarious and
Manion goes on in his 2,200-word essay to detail the sway of anti-virtue in the Mexican polity, especially the centrality of mordida (bribes), and to tell us one consequence for the illegal aliens among us, a consequence that also matters to us.
[W]e must underscore the fact that, as far as the illegal Mexican is concerned, he is here “legally.” That is, he has paid all his bribes, to the coyote who spirited him across the border, to the petty official in his hometown who would otherwise plague his family, and to the contact in the U.S. who will supply him with a false ID and bogus Social Security number. He has done all this according to the only legal code he knows: playing the system, and bribes. He is as legal as he knows how to be.
Note that Manion’s version of an illegal alien’s worldview is quite different from Reconquista—but equally alarming.
While Manion was considering principles and consequences, the Mexicanization of South Gate, a close-in eastern suburb of Los Angeles, was providing Manion’s validation. Former UCLA and Cal State Northridge history
professor Roger McGrath assembled the story in “South Gate: Mexico Comes to California”15 (The American Conservative, May 19, 2003), a story I remember coming out in bits and pieces in the Los Angeles Times. We jump in as McGrath introduces political entrepreneur Albert Robles:
Robles moved to South Gate when the demographics turned to his favor and was elected to the city council in 1992. At that time the job was part-time, and council members were paid $600 a month. A few years later, while still serving as a councilman, he was elected to the local water board at a compensation of $23,000 a year. In 1997, he won the race for city treasurer and began collecting an annual salary of $69,000. Meanwhile, Robles had seen to it that his friends and business associates were awarded city contracts worth millions. What Robles was getting out of these deals is anybody’s guess, but his political opponents were not faring nearly as well. City councilman Henry Gonzalez was shot in the head but survived the wound. Another political rival had his car firebombed. The crimes remain unsolved.
In the spring of 2002, just when Robles was on the verge of turning South Gate
into his personal fiefdom, he was arrested on felony threat charges. Astonishingly, after his arrest his cronies on the city council appointed him deputy city manager at $110,000 a year and ordered the city to pay his legal bills.
By 2002, then, the city was decisively in banana-republic mode. Nevertheless, a contingent of civically-virtuous South Gaters, with assistance from California
Secretary of State Bill Jones, collected enough signatures to force a January, 2003 recall election for most of the city government, including Robles. As McGrath describes, those targeted by the recall campaigned for their jobs in the style of the old country:
Campaigning could have taken place somewhere in Jalisco or Michoacan.
Robles & Co. had the city give everyone a month of free trash collection, hand out baskets filled with groceries, present a plan for free medical care at a new city health clinic, and hold a drawing for a house. The drawing for the house was held at City Hall, gaily dressed with yellow balloons and reverberating with ranchera music.
The recall was ultimately successful, but do read McGrath’s article to learn about South Gate’s consequent near bankruptcy, and reflect on the subtitle of McGrath’s article, along with his conclusion: “[Robles] will be back, if not in South Gate then in another California town that is on its way to becoming a Mexican village.”
4. The Nation-Wreckers Reveal Themselves
The Los Angeles Times is generically an enthusiast for mass immigration and a steadfast apologist for the illegal variety. This is surprising from the point of view of self-preservation, since the Mexifornication of Los Angeles is destroying their readership base, as the paper’s plummeting circulation numbers attest.
But occasionally, a startling quantum of truth slips through. Such was the case on July 28, 2006 when, to the astonishment of us immigration-sanity activists, the TimesTimes ran an article, “6 + 4 = 1 Tenuous
Existence,”16 by Sam Quinones. “Hero” and “heroine” of this
infuriatingly revealing tale were a married couple, Anzaldo and Angela
Magdaleno, both illegal aliens from Mexico, both in our country more than two
decades (but dumb in English) and recent parents of quadruplets, to supplement
their existing brood of six, which included triplets. Of course, the Magdalenos were heavily on the dole, especially since one of those triplets had spent most of his three years in the hospital.
You need to read the article to absorb all its horrifying details. Most memorable though, is the side story of Angela Magdaleno’s nine (!!!) siblings, who had also come illegally to California but, somehow, obtained legal status since, perhaps in 1986’s IRCA amnesty. As sentient beings, they had seen how things were going in California and all high-tailed it out of the state. We focus on Angela’s sister Alejandra:
Alejandra was the first to leave. In Los Angeles, she and her husband were barely able to make ends meet. As in Mexico, “there was little work and it’s poorly paid,” she said.
Eight years ago, she and her family moved to Kentucky, where a friend said there was more work and were fewer Mexican immigrants bidding down the wages for unskilled jobs.
Today, the Magdalenos in Lexington earn more than they did in Los Angeles, in a city where the cost of living is lower. Kentucky is now their promised land, and they talk about California the way they used to talk about Mexico. “We’re in a state where there’s nothing but Americans. The police control the streets. It’s clean, no gangs. California now resembles Mexico — everyone thinks Readers who are going to be discussing immigration from points south with uninformed audiences need to have the story of the Magdalenos, especially the quotes from Alejandra, close at hand. Alejandra’s parting observation about California has visibly impressed most people to whom I’ve read it. The poster child for demanding and repellent illegal aliens may be Ana Puente. As a Los Angeles Times article17 (“Immigration debate hits home for liver transplant patients,” by Anna Gorman, April 13, 2008) explains, Ana Puente was an infant with a liver disorder when her aunt brought her illegally to the U.S. to seek medical care. She underwent two liver transplants at UCLA Medical Center as a child in 1989 and a third in 1998, each paid for by the state. But when Puente turned 21 last June, she aged out of her state-funded health insurance and was unable to continue treatment at UCLA. And, in April 2008, she needed yet another liver transplant. Each such transplant costs about $500k. Not a problem! A through-the-looking-glass feature of California public benefits swung into action: Late last month Puente learned of another, little-known option for patients with certain healthcare needs. If she notified U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that she was in the country illegally, state health officials might grant her full Medi-Cal coverage. Puente did so, her benefits were restored and she is now awaiting a fourth transplant at UCLA. Of course, that’s only what Puente expected: “It doesn’t matter if I’m undocumented,” she said. “They should take care of me at UCLA for the rest of my life because I’ve been there since I was a baby.” This does have a sort of logic: “You Americans have been patsies long enough that I’ve developed a lifestyle to which I’ve become accustomed,” Puente might well think. What judge would turn her down? Also of interest in the liver-transplants-for-illegal-aliens story — by no means limited to Puente — is the penetrating insight of some American medical professionals: Dr. Michael Shapiro, vice chairman of the ethics committee for the [United Network for Organ Sharing], said illegal immigrants have just as much right to organ transplants as U.S. citizens. He said it is likely that more illegal immigrants donate organs than receive them. [Evidence?? – PN] “People are people, and when you make an incision in an organ donor, you don’t find little American flags planted on their organs,” Shapiro said
“What we weren’t able to do in many years in California,” Alejandra said, “we’ve done quickly here.
like in Mexico. California’s broken.”
“We’re in a state where there’s nothing but Americans. The police control the streets. It’s clean, no gangs. California now resembles Mexico — everyone thinks
Readers who are going to be discussing immigration from points south with uninformed audiences need to have the story of the Magdalenos, especially the quotes from Alejandra, close at hand. Alejandra’s parting observation about California has visibly impressed most people to whom I’ve read it.
The poster child for demanding and repellent illegal aliens may be Ana Puente. As a Los Angeles Times article17 (“Immigration debate hits home for liver transplant patients,” by Anna Gorman, April 13, 2008) explains,
Ana Puente was an infant with a liver disorder when her aunt brought her illegally to the U.S. to seek medical care. She underwent two liver transplants at UCLA Medical Center as a child in 1989 and a third in 1998, each paid for by the state.
But when Puente turned 21 last June, she aged out of her state-funded health insurance and was unable to continue treatment at UCLA.
And, in April 2008, she needed yet another liver transplant. Each such transplant costs about $500k. Not a problem! A through-the-looking-glass feature of California public benefits swung into action:
Late last month Puente learned of another, little-known option for patients with certain healthcare needs. If she notified U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that she was in the country illegally, state health officials might grant her full Medi-Cal coverage. Puente did so, her benefits were restored and she is now awaiting a fourth transplant at UCLA.
Of course, that’s only what Puente expected:
“It doesn’t matter if I’m undocumented,” she said. “They should take care of me at UCLA for the rest of my life because I’ve been there since I was a baby.”
This does have a sort of logic: “You Americans have been patsies long enough that I’ve developed a lifestyle to which I’ve become accustomed,” Puente might well think. What judge would turn her down?
Also of interest in the liver-transplants-for-illegal-aliens story — by no means limited to Puente — is the penetrating insight of some American medical professionals:
Dr. Michael Shapiro, vice chairman of the ethics committee for the [United Network for Organ Sharing], said illegal immigrants have just as much right to organ transplants as U.S. citizens. He said it is likely that more illegal immigrants donate organs than receive them. [Evidence?? – PN]
“People are people, and when you make an incision in an organ donor, you don’t find little American flags planted on their organs,” Shapiro said.
No flags on the organs! Who would have guessed it?
Nation-destroying immigration can be the project of individuals such as Alejandra Magdaleno (who seems to have an inkling of her impact) and Ana Puente (who appears to be a solipsist) or of ethnic-chauvinist organizations. For the mentality of the latter, it’s worth examining carefully a sign that was used in some of 2006’s earlier illegal-alien marches. This sign [see below] was a joint product of the Mexican-American Political Association and of Hermandad Mexicana (the “Mexican Brotherhood”). Pay particular attention to the four demands printed just below “We Want!” Three of the four clearly add up to amnesty for everyone here illegally, even for those who just jumped the border five minutes ago. But the other one, “No Border Walls,” is what’s really revealing: Obviously “Amnesty for all!”
isn’t good enough — they also demand “Illegal immigration without end, amen!”
While we’re on the subject of those “in-the-shadows” people waving signs in our faces, take a look [online only, using link provided] at their own photography of the “Gran Marcha” in Los Angeles, later in the spring of 2006 (keep scrolling down, down, down!).18
Beyond these damning stories and images that are useful for making our case, there are flagrant statements made by Hispanic personages when they presumably thought that the larger society couldn’t listen in. My VDARE article “CCIR’s Greatest Hits: The Reconquista Rant Audio Clips”19 provides links to such revealing utterances.
5. Larger Perspectives (A): Is It the Rest Against the West?
The phrase “the rest against the west” comes from a cover feature on immigration by historians Matthew Connelly and Paul Johnson in The Atlantic Monthly, December, 1994. (Kennedy and Connelly launched their
discussion from the ideas in Jean’s Raspail’s dystopian immigration novel The Camp of the Saints.) The answer to the question appears to be “Yes,” since being pushovers for incompatible immigration seems to be a universal characteristic of modern Western societies, from the Continent, across North America, to the Antipodes.
This pushover impulse for the case of England was described in May 2001 by John Derbyshire in his “The Island Race ... Riots,”20 written to explain the domestic violence across England that spring. A couple of enticing
excerpts from Derb’s unforgettable article:
The first generation of south Asian immigrants had the physique of people raised on a subsistence diet, and the manners of those who, to survive at all, have had to fawn and scrape for centuries before callous, arrogant landlords and bureaucrats. When I started doing office work in London, the companies were full of Indian bookkeepers who had to be restrained by force from beginning their business letters: “Esteemed Sir...” and ending them: “I beg to remain, esteemed Sir, with consideration, your most humble, most obedient servant...”. Their children ..., raised on an ample diet, tower over them, and are physically a match for any gang of white English skinheads. Products of modern western culture and an educational system steeped in psychobabble, they esteem no one but themselves.
In 1968 a leading English politician, Enoch Powell, made a well-publicized and colorful speech in which he deplored the incoming flood of immigrants, and
predicted, pretty accurately, the problems his country would face in the future if the process was not reversed. Powell was promptly sacked from his post in the Conservative party (then in opposition) and all the panjandrums of the British establishment denounced him. Yet a poll taken at the time showed that 74 percent of the public agreed with his opinions. Why did that 74 percent not translate into actual government policies through the ballot box? Presumably because, when time came to vote, people thought other things were more important; and also because citizens were willing to be browbeaten by their elites into being ashamed of their own feelings — to believe, because politicians, intellectuals, clergymen, and TV talking heads told them so, that their own instinctive national pride, which had preserved their country’s independence for a thousand years, was a sinful thing, a species of that greatest of all modern sins, “racism.”
Another interesting example is Ireland. An article21 that could have been titled, ala Roy Beck, “The Ordeal of Immigration in Ireland” but is
actually titled “Risible lies about immigrants no substitute for honest debate”
(from The Independent [Dublin], by Kevin Myers, August 15, 2008) gives details about the highly disproportionate use of Irish public benefits by newcomers from Nigeria. Please read the article for its appalling facts. Here I’ll just quote part of Myers’s ruminations about the situation:
Why are so many people, from a country to which we have no moral or legal or historical obligations, living off this state? Why are they being allowed through immigration, if they have no jobs to go to? Why are they choosing to come to Ireland, when 20 countries or more lie between their homeland and ourselves? And
finally, and perhaps most important of all, why is no one else asking why? Why did no one else pick up on the immigration digest so thoughtfully provided by the [Central Statistics Office]?
Is it because we are too polite? Too timid? Too stupid? Too scared about being called racist? Which is all very well, but such intellectual and emotional repression does not usually end benignly.
For the real issue is not the number of Nigerians living here, nor even the absurd and unacceptable dependency of so many of them on this State. No, it is the abject refusal of the Irish people, both through the media and the [parliament], to have an open debate about the biggest issue facing this country.
Those two sample articles plus a plethora of others from all precincts of European-derived civilization make clear that both the symptom (harmful mass immigration) and the cause (terror at being called “racist”) are pan-Western.
6. Larger Perspectives (B): The Auto-Immune
Sickness of Western Civilization
At the start of Alien Nation (1995), Peter Brimelow, founder of VDARE.com, wrote,
There is a sense in which current immigration policy is Adolf Hitler’s posthumous revenge on America. The U.S. political elite emerged from the war passionately concerned to cleanse itself from all taints of racism or xenophobia.
Maybe social scientists would demur, but to a simpleminded physicist such as me, those two sentences have enormous explanatory power.
And their power goes beyond explaining why we can’t seem to shut off unwanted mass immigration. So much of today’s decay in Western societies
seems (to me) to originate in the generally unstated notion that “Everything is
as good as everything else, unless it’s — yuck! — Western.”
That notion is obliterated in the second greatest polemic essay (to my taste) that I’ve ever read, Thomas Sowell’s “Multicultural Education.” 22
(The greatest polemic essay is discussed further below.) The piece is brief, and quoting extensively from it would deprive you of the pleasure of reading it intact. So here’s a single nugget, from mid-essay:
Why are the traditional classics of Western civilization written by dead white males?
Take it a step at a time. They are written by dead people for two reasons: First, there are more dead people than living people. Second, a classic is not something that is hot at the moment but something that survives the test of time. There may be things written today that will survive to become classics, but we won’t be here when that happens. The things we know are classics were almost by definition written by dead people.
Why were they white? Do we ask why the great classics of China were written by people who were Chinese? If we found that the great classics of China were written by Swedes, wouldn’t we wonder what the hell was going on?
When you read it, you may learn more about the suppression of slavery from Sowell’s two paragraphs on that subject than all you knew before.
A worthy, longer (~5,600 words) companion for the Sowell article is “The Myth of Diversity: Seldom have so many pretended to believe something so absurd,” 23 Jared Taylor’s classic torpedoing of our diversity-mania. “Torpedoing” is an appropriate word, since when Taylor points out the absurdity of received ideas, one tends to remember it, in my experience.
Of course, immigration is part of his subject. For example:
Immigrants do not teach us about Cervantes or Borges or Lady Murasaki and it would be silly to think they did. Chinese stowaways do not arrive with a curator’s knowledge of Ming ceramics and copies of the Tao-te Ching in their pockets.
High culture and world history cross borders by themselves. Who in America
first learned of Tchaikovsky or the Mayans from an immigrant? Nearly every good-sized American city has an opera company but it wasn’t established by
Next, an arresting passage about diversity itself:
It would be edifying to count the number of public and private organizations that exist in the United States only because of its diverse population, and that
are not needed in places like Japan or Norway. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Office of Federal Contract Compliance, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and every state and local equivalent of these offices exist only because of racial diversity. Every government office, every university, every large corporation, and every military installation has employees working full-time on affirmative action, discrimination claims, and other “diversity” issues.
Countless outreach programs, reconciliation commissions, blue-ribbon panels, and mayoral commissions fret professionally about race every day. Not one of these would be necessary in a nation of a single race. There must be tens of thousands of Americans consuming hundreds of millions of dollars every year enforcing, adjusting, tuning, regulating, and talking pure nonsense about the racial diversity that is supposed to be our strength.
If diversity were a strength people would practice it spontaneously. It wouldn’t require constant cheer-leading or expensive lawsuits. If diversity were enriching, people would seek it out. It is in private gatherings not governed by some kind of “civil-rights” law that Americans show just how much strength and enrichment they find in diversity. Such gatherings are usually the very opposite of diverse.
It is an article worthy of many re-readings.
7. Three Memorable Perorations
It would have been exciting to have been present for any of these speeches, and they work well as essays, too.
Former Colorado Governor Richard Lamm gave a brief, after-dinner talk,24 “I Have a Plan to Destroy America, and Many Parts of It are Underway,” at the Federation for American Immigration Reform [FAIR] annual meeting’s banquet in October 2003. Lamm was on the program with Victor Davis
Hanson, author of the then-recently-published Mexifornia: A State of
Becoming, and Lamm refers admiringly to Hanson’s book at the end of his
talk, jumbling Hanson’s name a bit in the process.
To give you the flavor of this brief, perceptive gem, here are two parts of Lamm’s “plan”:
We must first make America a bilingual-bicultural country. History shows, in my opinion, that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; it is a curse for a society to be bilingual.
I would find a word similar to “heretic” in the 16th century — a word that stops discussion and paralyzes thinking — a word like “racist” or “xenophobe” that halts argument and conversation.
Evidently I’m in tune with Gov. Lamm when I refer to the charge of “racist” as “the all-occasion, politically-correct thought-stopper”!
Columnist and world-class phrasemaker Don Feder had addressed FAIR’s 1999 banquet. In his “How the Grandson of Jewish Immigrants Became an Anglo-Saxon, Nativist Xenophobe, in Three Easy Lessons,” 25 Feder first rattled off his own particular list of disagreeable facts about today’s immigration, e.g.
More than 50,000 members of the Caribbean Santeria cult have settled in South Florida, where they are enhancing the state’s diversity by sacrificing chickens, goats and other small animals in voodoo rituals.
In Lincoln, Neb., in 1997, two Iraqis were arrested for marrying sisters, ages 13 and 14. Such unions are common in Arab lands. Since America must now adapt to immigrants (rather than the reverse) perhaps we should abolish our culturally insensitive laws against statutory rape.
Following his litany of facts are Feder’s commentary and conclusions. An example of the former:
The old immigrants were grateful to be here and touching in their eagerness to adapt to their adopted land. As a whole, the new immigrants are decidedly ambivalent. They want the economic/political advantages of living here while maintaining their old loyalties. They demand that their children be educated in Spanish, Chinese, Russian or Lao and instructed in the swellness of the countries they couldn’t wait to leave.
VDARE’s Peter Brimelow spoke about immigration in 1998 at a conference on multiculturalism and education held at Windsor Castle in England. His speech-become-essay,26 “Immigration’s Impact on Education and Multiculturalism,” dwells in my memory because of several of his observations, colorfully made.
Why has it been so hard for immigration realists to get traction — or even consistent public attention — for our subject? To my mind, Brimelow’s explanation has the ring of truth:
[B]ecause this issue didn’t exist before the late 1960s, most of the people who are currently in positions of authority in politics and journalism and so on, were mature adults — well, at least adults — before the issue really took hold. Most people are not capable of grasping new ideas after they’re about 21 or so, some people not at all, of course! And a lot of them are just not up to speed on this question. [emphasis in original]
Brimelow’s musing about inability to grasp unfamiliar ideas brings to mind the Bertrand Russell quote, “Most men would rather die, than think. Many do.” — quite appropriate, since immigration is an existential threat to the United States.
Continuing with points worth remembering, Brimelow explains:
Occasionally you get people who argue [immigration] is not big by historical terms and standards. It is. There are about 1 million legal immigrants a year and there are maybe 300,000–500,000 illegal immigrants net a year.... These are large numbers by historical terms. But they’re exceptionally large compared to the birth rate of the native-born American population, which is the way a demographer would look at it.
In the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century, when we last saw these very large numbers, the native-born Americans were reproducing themselves at a fantastic pace, and that kind of swamped the immigrant impact. But in this century, right now, native born Americans of all races have brought family sizes down to the point where the Census Bureau says the population is stabilizing — we’re stabilized at about 270 million, absent immigration.
The speech/essay makes other basic points that activists for immigration-sanity need in their intellectual armories. But I’ll offer up, instead, another memorable vignette from Brimelow’s experiences discussing our subject with the non-thoughtful:
When I was talking to the NEA [National Education Association], in the days that they would let me interview them, I actually asked them once why they haven’t spoken up on the question of immigration. Don Cameron was there and also the previous head of the NEA, Keith Geiger, and they were astonished. They couldn’t have been more amazed than if I had hit them on the head with a wet fish — it just literally never occurred to them that anybody would even raise this question. They even said the usual “Well, we’re a country of immigrants,” you know, the basic stupid thing that people say when they’re confronted with this issue.
8. Our Heavy Artillery
In his later years, legendary American diplomat and historian George F. Kennan, who died in 2005 at the age of 101, was pessimistic about our civilization’s prospects. One component of that pessimism blended his concerns about our unsustainable population and about immigration’s effects on both our population numbers and our civic cohesion. He wrote about both concerns in the chapter “Dimensions” of his 1993 book Around the Cragged Hill: A Personal and Political Philosophy.
The Social Contract excerpted part of that chapter, making Kennan’s striking remarks readily available.27 We jump in at his first remark about population, followed by a segue onto immigration:
If, as my first ambassadorial chief, Bill Bullitt, once said, mankind is “a skin disease of the earth,” then there is an optimal balance, dependent on the manner of man’s life, between the density of human population and the tolerances of nature.
This balance, in the case of the United States, would seem to me to have been surpassed when the American population reached, at a very maximum, two hundred million people, and perhaps a good deal less.
This is a big world. Billions — rapidly increasing billions — of people live outside our borders. Obviously, a great number of them, being much poorer than they think most of us are, look enviously over those borders and would like, if they could, to come here.
Just as water seeks its own level, so relative prosperity, anywhere in the world, tends to suck in poverty from adjacent regions to the lowest levels of employment. But since poverty is sometimes a habit, sometimes even an established way of life, the more prosperous society, by indulging this tendency, absorbs not only poverty
into itself but other cultures in the bargain, and is sometimes quite overcome,
in the long run, by what it has tried to absorb.
In that last passage, Kennan was clearly thinking along the same lines as Christopher Manion, quoted in Section 3, above. Kennan goes on to spell out the many consequences and the futility of continuing on our present course. Here’s such a passage, parts of which I’ve incorporated in some letters-to-the-editor:
What we shall then have accomplished is not to have appreciably improved conditions in the Third World (for even the maximum numbers we could conceivably take would be only a drop from the bucket of the planet’s overpopulation) but to make this country itself a part of the Third World (as certain parts of it already are), thus depriving the planet of one of the few great regions that might have continued, as it now does, to be helpful to much of the remainder of the world by its relatively high standard of civilization, by its quality as example, by its ability to shed insight on the problems of the others and to help them find their answers to their own problems.
So Kennan is quite quotable on our subject (and others!). Equally quotable is conservative writer Lawrence Auster, author of the following two works. These are extended essays, requiring some commitment of time, for which you will be well rewarded. First up is Auster’s Huddled Cliches: Exposing the Fraudulent Arguments That Have Opened America’s Borders to the World,28 originally published in 1997 by American Immigration Control Foundation, which still has the printed version available.29
In Huddled Cliches, Auster sets up each familiar verbal ploy of the open-borders lobbies and then demolishes it, relentlessly taking one after another. (To confirm the obvious, the essay’s main title is a play on the phrase “huddled masses” in the Emma Lazarus sonnet that sullies the famous statue standing in New York’s harbor.) Before quoting a sample demolishment, a couple of points from the Introduction:
I will make no attempt at “balance.” Since immigration is a vast phenomenon involving millions of human beings, it would be astonishing if there were not many good and wonderful things to be said about it. And these things have, of course, been said for many years, but in such emotional and all-embracing terms that they paralyze critical thought. Since the American mind is already soaked with open-borders clichés, true balance only requires us to show how those clichés are wrong.
Writing in the pro-open borders Wall Street Journal some years ago, author George Gilder denounced proposed cuts in legal immigration because a tiny number of recent immigrants (the ones he mentioned were all from Europe or East Asia) were scientific “geniuses” who had made valuable contributions to U.S.
industry, particularly in the computer field. “A decision to cut back legal
immigration today, as Congress is contemplating, is a decision to wreck the key
element of the American technological miracle,” Gilder wrote. But how did the acquisition of a few talented inventors justify the continued immigration of a million Third-World people per year, most of whom were low-skilled and poorly educated? Gilder didn’t expect his readers to ask that question. He just wanted them to get so excited about all those immigrant “geniuses” that they would reject any immigration restrictions. [emphases in original]
Once you’ve read Huddled Clichés, you’ll likely refer back to it often for ammunition in talking with immigration-cliché-saturated fellow citizens — unless, of course, you have a photographic memory and can keep it all in your head. However, some of Auster’s points are made so vividly that you will probably remember them, anyway, even without being so endowed. Such is the case with the following example, the only one I’ll present. The targeted cliché is “If we didn’t have immigrants doing all kinds of jobs in America today, there would be nobody to do them.” Auster’s rejoinder, in full:
[This] widely believed idea is empirically false. It is also based on a false assumption. The assumption is that the American economy could only have developed in one way, with lots of immigrants coming here and taking lots of jobs. Therefore, the thinking goes, without the immigrants there would have been no one else to do those jobs and the economy would have been crippled. In fact, most of those jobs only exist because of immigrants.
We can illustrate this by means of a thought experiment. Imagine that back in the late nineteenth century there had been no Chinese Exclusion Act, and that large numbers of Chinese had continued to settle in California after 1882. Over the following decades, the Chinese would have filled all kinds of existing jobs in the California economy, and would also have created new types of businesses and employment niches that hadn’t existed before. Let us imagine further that in 1920
Californians began to call for immigration restrictions against the Chinese. The pro-immigration lobby in our fictional 1920 (using the same arguments that
the pro-immigration lobby uses today) would have replied: “Without Chinese
immigrants here, who would have done all these jobs?” The truth, of course, is
that the Chinese in our imaginary 1920 are doing all those jobs only because
they had come to America in the first place.
Had there been no Chinese immigrants between 1882 and 1920, which was the actual case in the actual 1882 – 1920 period, California would have done just fine, as it in fact did.
From this we derive a maxim: Large-scale immigration creates the illusion of its own indispensability. [emphases in original; one paragraph break added for readability]
Finally, we come to Mr. Auster’s seminal 1990 work, The Path to National Suicide: An Essay on Immigration and Multiculturalism30 [henceforth “PNS”]. This provided my own first deep look at immigration when a friend bestowed a paper copy (now out of print) on me in 1996. I read it straight through, the project of a couple hours. (It’s 84 pages, with smaller type than Huddled’s 57 pages.) In Alien Nation, Peter Brimelow called PNS “perhaps the most remarkable literary product of the Restrictionist underground, a work which I think will one day be seen as a political pamphlet to rank with Tom Paine’s Common Sense.”
The only way to do justice to PNS is to read it and then read it again. A few excerpts here may encourage you to jump in. First, from “Introduction: Breaking the Silence”:
[Our] current immigration debate is to be noted mainly for its astonishing triviality. The major news media treat the issue as a simple matter of humane generosity and “progress,” devoid of any larger meaning.
The United States is in a situation without precedent in the history of the world. A free and great people have embarked on a course which must result in their own total and permanent transformation, without ever having had a serious public debate on whether or not they want to be so transformed. The purpose of this essay is to help open up such a debate. There is a need for the information, ideas and arguments that will make it intellectually and morally respectable to question our current policy and the orthodoxy that upholds it. We need to break free from the paralyzing notion that because “we are all descended from immigrants,” we therefore have no right to make such a fateful choice about our nation’s future.
Of course, as Auster acknowledges in his current writings, that “astonishing triviality” persists to this day in the national conversation on immigration. This only means that many more people — and surely all serious Social Contract habitués — need to read PNS.
In doing the research that led to PNS, Auster dug through the New York Public Library’s holdings of Congressional proceedings, including hearings of the Senate Judiciary Committee on what became the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments. Thus he was able to assemble and recount for us the story of how this disastrous legislation was spawned. Parts of the story, such as Sen. Edward Kennedy’s (D-MA) soothing — but 100 percent wrong — predictions of the Act’s consequences, are familiar to those knowledgeable about immigration. What sticks in my mind, though, is some of what Sen. Sam Ervin (D-NC; later of Watergate Committee fame) had to say during the hearings. So here’s Auster quoting Ervin:
Mr. Secretary [Secretary of State Dean Rusk]... do you know of any people in the world that have contributed more to making America than those particular groups?... In other words, you take the English-speaking people, they gave us our language, they gave us our common law, they gave us a large part of our political philosophy.... The reason I say this bill is discriminatory against those people is because it puts them on exactly the same plane as the people of Ethiopia are put, where the people of Ethiopia have the same right to come to the United States under this bill as the people from England, the people of France, the people of Germany, the people of Holland, and I don’t think... I don’t know of any contributions that Ethiopia has made to the making of America.
I do not think you could draft an immigration bill in which you do not discriminate. I think discrimination is ordinarily the exercise of intelligence to make conscious choices.... we always discriminate, only the basis of it is different, each of us think[s] our own way is wise and right... I think there is a rational basis and a reasonable basis to give a preference to Holland over Afghanistan, and I hope I am not entertaining a very iniquitous thought when I entertain that honest opinion.
Here’s another sampling of Auster’s own thinking on a theme that he has continued to emphasize throughout the nearly 20 years since the publication of
This brings us to yet another kind of reductionism we ought to beware of: the tendency to see our society as a mere abstraction of freedom and human rights. Yes, America stands for, and is based on, certain universal principles; but we must insist that America also happens to be a country. Surely the Founding Fathers saw no contradiction between being devoted as philosophers to universal principles of republicanism and the rights of man, and as patriots to a particular nation, a particular people. To ignore our national individuality—in an effort to make America seem instantly accessible to every person and culture on the planet — is to turn our country into the blank slate of which we spoke earlier, on which
the social engineers and all the migrating masses of the world can write whatever they please. In other words, America needs to revive the original name and meaning of the Statue of Liberty (now quite forgotten): “Liberty Enlightening the World” — a shining example for other nations to achieve in their own lands and in their own ways what we have achieved here, not a simply a mindless invitation for the whole world to move here. [emphases in original]
9. A Statement for Our Side
Dr. John Tanton, a
retired ophthalmologist in Petoskey, Michigan, is the founding father of the modern immigration-restriction movement. Tanton grew up on a Michigan farm in the 1940s and 1950s (before the era of “big” agriculture) and, naturally, has an environmentalist’s/conservationist’s view of the world. So, naturally, he was concerned about human population and its sustainability, and that concern lead to thinking about immigration — it was all straightforward intellectual development.
Then why would there be controversy? That’s because many modern “environmentalists” are cases of arrested development, unable (or
unwilling) to grasp the connections among population, immigration, and sustainability. Plus, the environmental movement has increasingly mired itself in the political left, with all it faux-multicultural sensitivities.
So, after a stint as a Sierra Club activist, Tanton left the environmental-powers-that-be behind and focussed his volunteer energies on U.S. immigration policy, being crucially involved in the founding of FAIR (1979) and later, through his own organization U.S. Inc., other mainstay organizations in the immigration-sanity movement, including the Center for Immigration Studies, ProEnglish, and NumbersUSA.
By 2002, Tanton was a primary target of the Southern Poverty Law Center [SPLC], which made him the feature bogeyman of their Summer 2002 Intelligence[sic] Report
Instead, what’s important for us here is Tanton’s rejoinder to the SPLC’s thuggery: His “The Puppeteer Replies” 31 is the greatest polemic essay I’ve ever read (that’s according to my taste, again). It’s about 3,800 words, and you really need to read it. I’ll just quote key parts of the civics lesson that I think are the heart of the essay:
What the vast majority of us who want to limit mass immigration are guilty of is expressing self-interest. In that respect we are no different from the immigrants themselves and those interests in this country that support high levels of immigration.
Immigration, it is worth noting, is always in the self-interest of the immigrant. To my knowledge, no one has ever left his or her homeland to settle in a foreign country in order to be worse off! People immigrate to the United States (or anywhere else) because they believe it serves their economic, political, religious, social, or other interests.
If it is noble and laudable for immigrants to come to American to “make a better life” for themselves and their families, then it must be equally noble and laudable for ordinary Americans to oppose mass immigration that erodes the prospects for a better life for themselves and their families. If it is ignoble of ordinary Americans to deny some prospective immigrants the opportunity to come here in pursuit of something better, then it must be equally ignoble of immigrants to harm the interests of any American by coming here (and even the most fervid advocates of open borders concede that some people are hurt as a result of immigration).
I happen to be one of those Americans who believes that my interests and the interests of my family are ill-served by policies of mass immigration. As noted in “The Puppeteer,” my initial interest in curtailing immigration was motivated by a longstanding concern for the environment — a motivation that even the article concedes is sincere and “passionate.” Over the years, as I have explored the issue, I have come to question the wisdom of mass immigration for many additional reasons.
If immigrants can have advocacy groups to lobby and disseminate information on behalf of their interests, and the businesses that profit by hiring low-wage immigrants can have armies of high-priced lobbyists doing their bidding on Capitol Hill, and the immigration bar can argue for more immigrant clients, why is it illegitimate for there to be organizations that advocate the interests of ordinary Americans with regard to immigration policy? [Dr. Tanton italicizes the “mass” in “mass immigration” throughout his essay.]
Why indeed? Tanton’s plainspoken statement of honorable motives needs to be
internalized by all patriotic immigration reformers
In conclusion, the battles ahead need an army of patriotic citizens whose heads are chock full of the facts, ideas, and arguments in all of the “great books” above.
Patriots, go to it!
1. Robert Locke, “Close the Borders!”
FrontPage Magazine, October 20, 2000.
3. John Vinson, “Mass Immigration and Basic Freedoms,” in Common Sense on Mass Immigration, 2004.
4. John Attarian, “Mass Immigration and Taxes: Social Security Costs,” in Common Sense on Mass Immigration, 2004.
6. John Miano, “Ten Principles of Immigration,” VDARE.com, October 10, 2001.
7. Mark Cromer, “Immigration: When doing the right thing hurts,” San Diego Union-Tribune, March 22, 2007.
8. Video interview of Kirsten Stewart, Californians for Population Stabilization [CAPS].
9. Roy Beck, “The Ordeal of Immigration in Wausau,” The Atlantic Monthly, April, 1994.
10. “Immigration Crisis Tests Federal Courts on Southwest Border,” The Third Branch: Newsletter of the Federal Courts, June, 2006.
11. Kris W. Kobach, “Rx for Breakdown,” New York Post, May 27, 2007.
12. Mark Cromer,
“Documenting Illegals,” The Washington Times, February 26, 2008.
13. Fred Reed, “Scoping Out Pepe: Why We Should Get It Right, But Won’t,” FredOnEverything.net, March 26, 2008.
14. Christopher Manion, “Cultural Suicide,” LewRockwell.com, July 19, 2001.
15. Roger D. McGrath, “South Gate: Mexico Comes to California,” The American Conservative, May 19, 2003.
16. Sam Quinones, “6 + 4 = 1 Tenuous Existence,” Los Angeles Times, July 28, 2006. [Note: Click through to the three following pages.] Also at ...
17. Anna Gorman, “Immigration debate hits home for liver transplant patients,” Los Angeles Times, April 13, 2008. Also at this L.A. Times page
March/rally poster of Hermandad Mexicana and Mexican American Political Association
19. Paul Nachman, “CCIR’s
Greatest Hits: The Reconquista Rant Audio Clips,” VDARE.com, January 14, 2009.
20. John Derbyshire, “The Island Race ... Riots,” National Review Online, May 31, 2001. Also at this page.
21. Kevin Myers, “Risible lies about immigrants no substitute for honest debate,” Independent.ie, August 15, 2008.
22. Thomas Sowell, “’Multicultural’ Education.”
23. Jared Taylor, “The
Myth of Diversity.”
24. Richard D. Lamm, “I Have a Plan to Destroy America: And many parts of it
are underway,” The Social Contract, Spring, 2004, page 180.
26. Peter Brimelow, “Immigration’s Impact on Education, Multiculturalism: Reflections by the author of Alien Nation,” The Social Contract, Fall, 1998, page 27.
27. George F. Kennan, “U.S. Overpopulation Deprives Planet of Helpful Civilization,” The Social Contract, Spring, 1993, page 192.
28. Lawrence Auster, Huddled Clichés: Exposing the Fraudulent Arguments That Have Opened America’s Borders to the World, American Immigration Control Foundation, 1997. (See note 29 to order printed booklet.) Revised version (2008) available online: here
[PDF] and here [HTML]
29. To order printed copies of reference 28, go to this page and scroll down to the third item.
30. Lawrence Auster, The Path to National Suicide: An Essay on Immigration and Multiculturalism, American Immigration Control Foundation, 1990. (Out of print) Available online: here [PDF] and here [HTML]
31. John H. Tanton, “The Puppeteer Replies.”