[See also: Why I Am A Democrat (And An Immigration Reformer), by Donald A. Collins]
As a Democrat, I am stunned, after years of argument, to find so many in my party simply can't or won't face the reality of America's immigration disaster. They continue to mouth the mindless platitudes—"We are all immigrants" or "They do jobs Americans won't do" or "They need to come here to escape the poverty of their own countries".
What are their motivations?
Seeking social companionship and comfort is a basic driver of human behavior. Thus, in our associations, we tend to consort with people whose views we agree with. When an issue as complex and troubling as immigration reform arises, slowly, then ominously, then viciously politically, it becomes a matter of real courage to analyze in a rational manner what to believe—particularly if it involves clashing with the herd mentality of your group.
It seems to me this condition afflicts many Americans—but very often people who are liberal Democrats.
Bundling issues into herds of belief, and hence believers, is a very human trait. Take the example of most English professors in the US and the UK. They have dismissed the question of who really wrote the works of Shakespeare with arguments like "it doesn't matter" or by strained references about the Bard of Avon's astounding perspicacity in imagining Italy or the inner working of a Royal court when he never got even close to either. They literally can't leave the herd to think independently.
In our present situation, where for 45 years Americans have watched the growth of our population from about 200 million to 320 million, there have been many who simply can't see the bad effects of such unneeded growth—even some still arguing that endless growth is good.
Just seems to me, alas, that most of these Open Border voices are Democrats. Of course, many Democrats, I am sure, join me in advocating real immigration reform. But my party's leaders in Congress and the White House continue to try to force amnesty down our throats, most recently during the lame duck session of Congress this past year. Incredible, even after popular revolt has defeated amnesty attempts over and over, and after the disastrous 1986 amnesty for 3 million illegal aliens resulted in over 12 million illegal aliens here now, uncounted and unsought except when they murder someone or commit serious crimes.
Of course this is not solely idealism and the milk of human kindness. The push comes from business campaign financing money, plus lobbying from religious and ethnic blocs. Antipathy to any exclusion of immigrants among many in the Jewish community arises from history, when Jews fleeing Nazism could not all get to America—their descendants recalling the Jewish refugee ship which was turned away by Roosevelt.
There are many examples of issue bundling/herd voting. If you are OK on family planning and support a woman's right to choose abortion, you are likely concerned about global warming and have memberships in The Nature Conservancy and The Wilderness Society. Your social circle generally agrees with you. And that very palpable peer pressure makes you hesitant to voice your real views over the immigration issue, lest people in your circle feel you are a racist, nativist, or xenophobe.
Could it be that people who achieve great political power comes a deep-seated sense of guilt, which drives them to recoil from rational discussion of the growing numbers that are changing America for the worse forever?
Could it also be that those who have great affluence share that guilt, and atone by embracing Open Borders for those they see as poor and needy? After all, what does it cost someone like that, in terms of personal deprivation?
Could it be that those in charge of some of our great charitable foundations have this same sense of guilt—that they wish to change things, again with no personal consequences, by opening our doors to all who wish to come here?
That guilt, and the omnipresent fear of "racism", are now being exploited to the maximum by thugs like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The $PLC is funded by large money, some of which can't be traced, but a large chunk is known to be coming from such sources as the Carnegie Corporation of NY. Some of Carnegie's grant recipients have made extensive charges of racism against reputable NGOs and individuals, rather than debate the issue.
Any reasoned arguments put forth from reputable advocates such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and others including VDARE.com attracts from these Ad Hominem mavens the label of racist.
Since liberal views on well known social issues are frequently populated with Democrats, their unwillingness to address the real immigration reform issue politically has proved utterly and happily compliant with the goals of business and other self interested allies.
Important Open Borders advocates include political leaders such as Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) or Harry Reid (D-NV) or former House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the latter in a state with huge Hispanic numbers, both legal and illegal. Californian US Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, both Jewish, Democrat feminists and faced with the same demography as Pelosi, can't seem to wait for their next chance to vote for an amnesty, despite huge numbers of Americans out of work or underemployed in their own state. They all apparently agree that bringing in over 1 million legal workers on various types of work visas is just the right thing to do.
So, while for decades, the majority of American citizens (now likely well north of 65%) have been telling their government whenever they are polled that they want fewer immigrants, the numbers have kept rising. When I first arrived in California in the mid-1970s, the population was under 20 million. It's now nearing 40. It used to cost $1.25 to take the Airporter bus from SFO to downtown SF, now like the population that has exploded by a multiple. But the quality of life is not better.
So since 1965, the numbers of illegal aliens and legal aliens have exploded. These newcomers have more children than American citizens who have been here longer. Thus, the likelihood of their growing political power looms—making the future American scenario one with an increasingly less educated population. To what advantage, in an age when there is a growing need for more educated folks?
This last paragraph likely will cause the hate-mongers to label me a "racist". Ad hominem is their game. But let me suggest that unless we stop looking at "anti-racism" as the benchmark for righteousness, we are heading in the same dismal direction as the countries of origin from whence many of these newcomers came.
What is the lure of so called multiculturalism? It has become like a religion for many Democrats. In the latest hearings on E verify, long-time Congressman, John Conyers (D-MI), an African American, talked about "these are jobs Americans won't do"—when Detroit is languishing in a long-term downturn. Conyers grew up in Detroit and was present for the famous Civil Rights march in Selma, Alabama on October 7, 1963 for the voter registration drive known at Freedom Day. Since May 2005, he's been a contributing blogger at Huffington Post and his own blog. Apparently for this man to espouse limits on any minority group apparently would be like the Pope leaving Christianity. Again, a mindlessly bundling of liberal issues!
On the other side of fanaticism, we have some Republicans arguing for cutting off family planning funding, both here and overseas. As a February 17, 2011 Population Connection email noted:
"We told you on Monday that the Republican majority in the House was poised to pass major restrictions on international family planning—including a cut of more than $200 million from current levels…The far right must not be allowed use the rhetoric of fiscal discipline to pass their reactionary, irresponsible ideology."
Hey, I vigorously agree with that PC statement. But I can't help notice that I am as inflexible about my position on reproductive rights for women as many true believers about Open Borders.
With me, I am certain it is not deep seated guilt, since I can't get pregnant and have long experienced the joy of fatherhood. Responsible choice is a gift, obscene ignoring of the rights of other fellow citizens is not.
We advocates of real immigration reform must not fail now to get more Democrats and Independents and American citizens to "unbundle" their issue packages, to really think about whether they want their children and grandchildren to have to fit another 100 million immigrants into an already overcrowded, overtaxed, over stressed country. Unless we act now, that number is surely going to be added to our present population of 320 million by the middle of this century this century.
So continue to call me a "racist", despite my being a Democrat, $PLC! But I do believe many more in my party and of every political persuasion are coming to realize the urgent necessity of securing our borders.
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.