Republished in VDARE.com - October 01, 2003
The New York Times, June 27, 1995
Immigration and Bad Social Policies Don't Mix
To the Editor:
Re "Arianna, Go Home!" (column, June 20):
A. M. Rosenthal distorts my views on immigration as expressed over a two-hour "Firing Line" debate. The most important debate on "Firing Line" was not between the two sides but within the two sides. I vigorously disagreed with Peter Brimelow over his preoccupation with the ethnic origins of those immigrating to our shores. And Mr. Rosenthal knows that.
As I said both on television and in print, "I couldn't care less what Americans will look like in the year 2050; but I care very much what they will be like. My concern, in fact, has less to do with those immigrating here than with the America they are immigrating to."
Instead of being an opportunity society where hard work, enterprise and commitment are rewarded with success, or at least a decent living, America has become an entitlement society, fostering a culture of rights, subsidies and dependence that has infected millions of new immigrants, just as it has trapped millions of native-born Americans in an ever-growing underclass. The problem is not immigration itself but the combustible combination of high levels of immigration and the bankrupt social policies of the last 30 years.
What I have argued for is what the report by the bipartisan Commission on Immigration Reform has recommended. Headed by former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, the commission has proposed a reduction in the annual number of legal immigrants to 550,000. I cannot go home because I already am home. America is no less my home than Mr. Rosenthal's.
Senior Fellow, Progress
and Freedom Foundation
Washington, June 20, 1995