While the Obama administration has chosen the southern side in the Mexican-Arizonan border war, most Americans stand with their countrymen. They are troubled by the strain illegals place on services, the drugs and thugs moving north, and blue-collar job prospects moving south. Then there is another factor: the political and cultural one.
It's well known that, should amnesty be granted to the 12 to 30 million illegals living among us, Barack Obama and his fellow travelers would capture virtually all their votes. Moreover, given the illegals' allegiance to their homelands and today's multiculturalist message, it's clear that even if they do learn English, "assimilation" won't be high on their vocabulary list. Thus, amnesty not only would radically transform the political landscape, but it would also constitute a cultural tsunami. Even pundit Bill O'Reilly recognizes this, saying a couple of years ago (I'm paraphrasing), "If all the illegal aliens are granted amnesty, America will change culturally almost overnight."
But is the focus on illegal migration excessive?
What do I mean? Well, how about this proposal: What if instead of granting amnesty in one fell swoop, we did so incrementally, say, to 20 percent of illegals a year for the next five years? That would still have the same ill effects, you say? OK, how about one million illegals a year until the job is done? I can hear it now: "Whoa, Duke, all you're proposing is to trade a knife through the heart for a death by a thousand cuts. A bad idea implemented more slowly is still a bad idea. And illegal means illegal." But wait -- if Congress passed an amnesty plan, it wouldn't be illegal.
And neither would the individuals thus made citizens.
Now I can hear some thunder, "Are you nuts?! This simply makes it a death by a thousand legal cuts! A bad idea implemented legally is still a bad idea!" Well, guess what.
I agree with you.
You see, a death by a thousand legal cuts is not actually my position. Rather, if you're the average conservative American, it's yours. And what I put forth wasn't actually a proposal. Rather, it was a reality. It's called legal immigration.
Something often accompanying the disclaimer, "Look, I support legal immigration, but..." is "I realize most of the folks coming here are good, hardworking people..." Now, while I'd point out that it takes only 51 percent to qualify as "most," this statement is correct in the following sense: Most of those arriving legally are, using moderns' typical yardstick, good, hardworking people. And illegals are much the same as those arriving legally. Another way of saying this is that those arriving legally are much the same as illegals. And that is the point. They usually come for economic advancement, not to become American. They often expect to have their cultural peculiarities accommodated, as opposed to doing what the Romans do. Their allegiance often lies elsewhere. And the vast majority vote for leftists.
Let's look at the facts. For most of American history, we admitted an average of approximately 250,000 immigrants a year. After the Immigration Reform Act of 1965 (Ted Kennedy's baby), however, this figure rose fourfold to approximately one million a year. The result: The rate of immigration started to exceed the rate of assimilation.
But it wasn't just the numbers that changed; it was also the nature. Eighty-five percent of our legal immigrants now hail from the third world and Asia, from non-Western cultures. And many immigrants, such as Islamists, cling to and advance beliefs that are incompatible with -- and destructive to -- our culture.
The problem with this is that it isn't geography that makes a nation, but people. Replace Americans with Mexicans or Muslims and you no longer have America -- you have Mexico North or Iran West. Thus, if you believe Western culture is an evil force and aim to destroy it, our current immigration scheme perfectly suits your agenda.
And the proof is in the pudding. Approximately 80 percent of new legal immigrants, once naturalized, vote as our culture-rending leftists do (for leftist Democrats). For a specific example, consider that first-time Hispanic voters cast ballots for Bill Clinton by a ratio of 15 to 1.
Of course, some say this will change when the new arrivals become Americanized, but this is an ostrich pipe dream. For one thing, they aren't being Americanized; America is being balkanized. Second, what does it mean to be Americanized? There are millions of leftists who deliver a message many new immigrants are very sympathetic to: Socialism -- or "statism," if you prefer -- is as American as apple pie.
Also remember that a person's ideology is much like his religion: It involves deep-seated beliefs that the individual lives and breathes. Ideology often gives people's lives meaning; they advocate for it, they sometimes die for it, and, even more frequently, they kill for it.
And our culture is dying because of it. "People get the government they deserve," as Thomas Jefferson said, because one way or another, government tends to reflect the people. This brings us to an important question: Do you want the kind of socialism -- or statism, if you prefer -- that generally prevails from the Rio Grande to Cape Horn? Well, understand that immigrants will vote for the same kind of candidates they supported in their native lands, and this won't magically change because they set foot on American terra firma. Of course, you could try the following appeal: "Ignore the folks offering you handouts and ethnic studies! Embrace our heroes and history, our love of small government and personal responsibility." Good luck with that, amigos.
Then there is another factor, one I treated in May of this year, writing: In a relatively recent phenomenon, approximately 50 percent of legal immigrants have been coming from Mexico. And about 67 percent of American Hispanics have origins in that nation; this amounts to, including illegals, a population of approximately 20 to 30 million -- about 20 percent of Mexico's population. What are the consequences of such an unbalanced immigration policy? University of Edinburgh professor Stephen Tierney explains them very well in his book Multiculturalism and the Canadian Constitution, writing:
In a situation in which immigrants are divided into many different groups originating in distant countries, there is no feasible prospect of any particular immigrant group's challenging the hegemony of the national language [press one for English, folks?] and institutions. These groups may form an alliance among themselves to fight for better treatment and accommodations, but such an alliance can only be developed within the language and institutions of the host society and, hence, is integrative. In situations in which a single dominant immigrant group originates in a neighbouring country, the dynamics may be very different. The Arabs in Spain, and Mexicans in the United States, do not need allies among other immigrant groups. One could imagine claims for Arabic or Spanish to be declared a second official language, at least in regions where they are concentrated, and these immigrants could seek support from their neighbouring home country for such claims -- in effect, establishing a kind of transnational extension of their original homeland in their new neighbouring country of residence.
In other words, we are allowing the transplantation of a foreign nation into the body of our nation. Thus, if, like the Mexican government, La Raza and MEChA, you wish to conquer the American southwest in the name of Mexico, our current immigration scheme perfectly suits your agenda.
If our agenda is the preservation of the republic, however, then we need to honestly consider the immigration question. This means realizing that it includes two seldom-addressed aspects: One is whether we should continue to allow immigration. The second is, what kind of immigration would be beneficial?
As to the latter, remember that a nation has a "cultural ecosystem," which enjoys a state of equilibrium. It is much as with our actual ecosystem: Some non-native elements, such as horses and soybeans, blend in seamlessly. Others, such as Asian carp, zebra mussels, and nutria, can cause severe problems. This is not because they're bad by nature, but because they're incompatible with the system. Of course, a new equilibrium can eventually be established -- you just have to wait for certain native species to be killed off.
All of the aforementioned brings us to an important point: Illegal migration isn't the problem.
It's an exacerbation of the problem.
And if we're going to support our current legal-immigration scheme, why get so worked up over illegal migration? We are already supporting a legal cultural death by a thousand cuts; we are already supporting the importation of nearly a million socialist-leaning voters every year. All amnesty does is expedite the process.
The norm in man's history has been to keep unassimilable foreign elements out of one's land, not invite them in. Of course, another norm of man has been the will to survive. I'm not sure that's an instinct we still possess.