Shamnesty's Latest Sellout
Sickly sentimentality is bearing its rotten fruit, and this country may suffer as a consequence.
Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte's support makes amnesty more likely to pass the Senate. Here is a sample of her rationale:
As a nation of immigrants, we must remember that we're all descended from people who came here from somewhere else in search of a better life.
Do we really want to bring a severe social transformation upon ourselves, with such claptrap justifying the decision?
What makes Ayotte's feeble reasoning most disturbing is the fact that she repeatedly claimed to oppose amnesty in 2010.
At that time, Ayotte strongly rejected the idea that our history of immigration somehow justified amnesty. She drew a distinction between legal immigration, which gave us past generations of immigrants, and illegal immigration today:
We are all the sons and daughters and granddaughters and grandsons of immigrants. But when they came here, they came here to play by our rules... For the people who are here illegally, I don't support amnesty; it's wrong. It's wrong to the people who are waiting in line here, who have waited so long. [italics added]
That profound and simple distinction evidently became lost on Ayotte at some point after she moved to D.C.
When asked in 2010 if levels of illegal immigration constitute an "invasion" under the Constitution, Ayotte replied, "Certainly with what they were going through in Arizona, it was an invasion, it remains an invasion, and they had to act."
How things have changed. The bulk of her recent announcement consists of reciting parts of the amnesty bill, and displaying her naïve belief that enforcement will occur. We've been lied to about enforcement over and over again, yet Ayotte is joining the pro-amnesty Republicans in blind faith that somehow, some way, this time will be different.
She is willing to trust the same government that spies on us, harasses us with federal agencies, and at times won't even protect our physical security or that of our fighting forces overseas. Gullible politicians are placing us all at risk.
Ayotte is too frivolous to have considered the consequences. If everyone who wanted "a better life" could illegally enter another country and then become a citizen, there would be no borders, no nations, and arguably no national culture.
Searching for "a better life" doesn't justify illegal behavior, and it doesn't rationalize the destruction of our legal immigration system, which would never be the same after amnesty. If we repeat 1986's disastrous amnesty, the pattern is set. Citizenship will be an entitlement.
The "nation of immigrants" drivel is never meaningful. Ayotte is playing a manipulative game by wrapping illegal aliens in the mantle of those legal immigrants who respected this nation and entered lawfully. It may be impossible to know whether Ayotte erased that distinction in her own mind, or whether she still understands the distinction and is just another dishonest politician.
Either way, the history of immigration has no logical or moral relevance to policy towards illegal immigration.
If anything, a nation descended from legal immigrants should be insulted that certain prominent groups of immigrants feel entitled to break our laws with impunity. Of course, standing up for our nation's interests would require a bit of cultural self-respect and national pride.
Here's more of her thoughtful position: "In generations past, immigration has enriched our nation culturally and economically."
That is the capstone of Ayotte's shallow endorsement of legal status for 11 million illegal aliens, which will grow into millions more when their families join them, and when our border is seen for the mirage that it is.
The problem is that we're not dealing with "generations past." The country is different, and the immigrants are different. The nation is different because of the welfare state, an immovable Leviathan that profoundly affects the immigrant and shiftsmany of the financial burdens of immigrants onto taxpaying citizens.
The immigrants themselves are different because of multiculturalism, which purposefully destroyed the melting pot, making assimilation extremely unlikely. Samuel Huntington in his classic essay "The Hispanic Challenge," laid out six profound reasons why Hispanic immigration is different from past immigration: contiguity, scale, illegality, regional concentration, persistence, and historical presence.
As Huntington wrote, "[n]o other First World country has such an extensive land frontier with a Third World country," and the wealth gap between the U.S. and Mexico is the largest between two contiguous countries in the world. As a matter of scale, Italians were the largest foreign-born population group in 1960, numbering about one million; in 2000, Mexicans were the largest foreign-born population, numbering 8 million. The illegality of modern immigration, according to Huntington, is unprecedented and "is overwhelmingly a post-1965 and Mexican phenomenon." The regional concentration of Hispanic immigration prevents assimilation. After World War I, immigration was restricted, which gave time for assimilation, in contrast with the persistence of Hispanic immigration, which has been ongoing. Worst of all, because of the historical conflicts with Mexico, there is a belief that the American southwest was unjustly taken.
It is frightening to think of the depth of ignorance of our political leaders concerning these matters. Pro-amnesty Republicans seem to believe their own propaganda that Hispanics are an army of Adam Smith devotees who haven't rejected the welfare state yet.
Contrary to what some conservatives assume, an astounding 55% of Hispanics have a negative view of capitalism, according to the Pew Research Center, the highest negative level of any racial group in the Pew survey. Also, Hispanics are actually liberal on some social issues. For instance, 63% of Hispanics favor gay marriage, compared with 32% of blacks and 48% of whites. But the amnesty advocates are not considering the actual views and behavior of Hispanics -- that would be too sobering.
Instead, we get this pitiful cliché from Ayotte: "[T]he status quo isn't working -- it's de facto amnesty," she says, parroting Marco Rubio. If we already have amnesty then why do we need to pass amnesty? The only thing illegal immigrants are missing is legal access to welfare -- which they can often obtain illegally -- and the ability to take jobs from a larger swath of the citizenry.
Ayotte's endorsement deserves to be read, and I urge anyone to find in it a single persuasive justification for the severe cultural, political, and economic changes that would follow the social upheaval of amnesty.
If our country willingly legalizes millions of illegal Third World immigrants, we will become more like California, which is to say more like Mexico. We are at a turning point as a society, and amnesty would have serious, irreversible consequences.
We cannot let hollow sentimentality determine the future of this country.
John T. Bennett, Esq. (MA, University of Chicago, Master of Arts Program in the SocialSciences '07; J.D., Emory University School of Law '12) is a former Army officerwith tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and Djibouti. His writing has appeared in Townhall.com, World Net Daily, and The Chicago Tribune, among others