I've always argued that candidates need merely mention the issue of patriotic immigration reform to give the highly emotional Treason Lobby enough rope to hang itself. This morning's Washington Post editorial, Michele Bachmann’s misplaced immigration nostalgia (Posted September 15, 2011), proves me right.
Michelle Bachmann began by merely saying this, during the September 7 Reagan Library Debate:
But one thing that we do know, our immigration law worked beautifully back in the 1950s, up until the early 1960s, when people had to demonstrate that they had money in their pocket, they had no contagious diseases, they weren't a felon. They had to agree to learn to speak the English language, they had to learn American history and the Constitution. "And the one thing they had to promise is that they would not become a burden on the American taxpayer. That's what we have to enforce."
[The Republican Debate at the Reagan Library, September 7, 2011, NYTimes Transcript]
(Links added. She said much the same last week at the Tea Party debate).
"Ms. Bachmann’s nostalgia is touching but misplaced, unless she really pines for a return to laws that explicitly favored white immigrants from a handful of Northern European countries while excluding or disadvantaging Jews, Asians, Africans and practically everyone else."
This fatally reveals the Treason Lobby's true agenda. It is not interested in the very real concerns that Bachmann raises, about skill levels, disease, criminality, and assimilation. Nor, of course, is it interested in a concern she did not raise, at least directly: that the post-1965 influx has been vastly larger than anyone expected (or at least admitted to). The Treason Lobby is only interested in race—in swamping the historic American nation, which the 1921-1924 reforms were designed to protect.
Note the curious insinuation about the pre-1965 system "excluding or disadvantaging Jews". In fact, the legislation said nothing about Jews. It was entirely focused on countries. Jews from the source countries that had historically peopled America were free to come (and so was anyone else: West Indians came in under the British category). This knee-jerk hyperbole reveals unmistakeable ethnic obsession.
To some extent, WaPo's problem is stupidity, or at least ignorance of the immigration debate as it has evolved in the last twenty years. Thus it writes of the 1965 Act
"The new system gave preference to family reunification and job skills, broadened what had been a narrow pool of immigrants to include soaring numbers of newcomers from Asia and Latin America."
(Link added). In fact, the hallmark of the new legislation was that it put so-called "Family reunification" (which includes "families" that have never been united but are the result of arranged marriages) so far ahead of "job skills" that it triggered chain migration, resulting in a handful of Third World countries capturing the great bulk of the legal slots.
In the process, the historic source countries of Europe have been almost completely shouldered aside. In effect, the 1965 Act has proved the mirror image of the 1921-1924 legislation, discriminating against the historic source countries. What's so great about that?
Indicative of the bubble in which WaPo's writers live, the editorial continues:
"The shift has contributed to the nation’s diversity, dynamism and rich cultural kaleidoscope even as it challenged society, especially schools, to accommodate waves of new Americans whose looks, language and customs were unfamiliar to their neighbors."
Challenge—exactly what America's schools need!
This, of course, gives Bachmann a perfect comeback, redolent of Reagan's famous question, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?", in the 1980 Presidential debate. She could ask
"Is America better off with this 'diversity, dynamism and rich cultural kaleidoscope'? With these 'waves of new Americans [sic) whose looks, language and customs were unfamiliar to their neighbors'?"
Let's have an election on it!
Footnote: WaPo concluded that
"Patrick Buchanan, for example, has blamed the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech on the immigration overhaul, noting that the gunman 'was among the 864,000 Koreans here as a result of the Immigration Act of 1965, which threw the nation’s doors open to the greatest invasion in history, an invasion opposed by a majority of our people.'”
But its link is to its own reporting, not to Pat's April 30, 2007 The Dark Side of Diversity column, which carefully explained how immigration can result in social anomie (and included a Hat Tip to VDARE.com, where we had just started compiling our Immigrant Mass Murder Syndrome dossier, still the only record of one of the ways in which the post-1965 influx has proved "challenging"). For immigration enthusiasts, ignorance is bliss
We have complained that Michele Bachmann has not yet fulfilled her early promise on the immigration issue. But here, with four sentences, she has provoked the Treason Lobby into defending the indefensible: the 1965 Immigration Act, which triggered America's ongoing immigration disaster. She is to be congratulated.
Peter Brimelow is editor of VDARE.COM and author of the much-denounced Alien Nation: Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster (Random House - 1995) and The Worm in the Apple (HarperCollins - 2003)