John Derbyshire: Why Does Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) Hate America? Why Do Jewish-American Pundits Hate Mike Anton?
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Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, available exclusively on

Bad news and good news: This week demonstrated once again, as if it needed demonstrating, that there are two major political parties in the U.S.A.:

What, you don't think Open Borders is a good idea? Well, shame on you, you racist; but hey, by all means enjoy having your weird cranky opinion in the privacy of your chambers. Just don't expect to have any political representation in the nation's legislature.

Those thoughts were of course inspired by this Wednesday's vote by the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee. The purpose of the vote: to approve a budget for the Department of Homeland Security to cover DHS operations through the coming fiscal year, which starts October 1st.

Fair enough. DHS operations have to be funded, and the House is the place to authorize the funding. Which they did: $51.4 billion for the coming fiscal year. The problem is with some of the amendments that got tacked on to the budget bill.

You'll recall that a few weeks ago Attorney General Jeff Sessions tightened the rules on granting asylum. Obama had loosened them so that any foreigner showing up with a sob story about an abusive husband or gang violence in the neighborhood back home could go into asylum proceedings … with permission to stay and work in the U.S.A. until the proceedings, which are backed up for years, take place.

No, said Jeff: asylum can be claimed only if you have a well-founded fear of persecution at home because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

That's still too broad in my opinion—what counts as "a particular social group"? Bird-watchers? Skate-boarders? Mixed Martial Artists? Alcoholics? It's way better than what went before, though.

But not to the congressweasels on the Appropriations Committee. One of them, Rep. David Price of North Carolina, may his name live in infamy, proposed an amendment to reset grounds for asylum back to the Obama standard.

Congressrat Price is a Democrat, so while this is deplorable, it's what you'd expect.

What's far worse is that the Price amendment passed the committee on a voice vote, with the approval of the committee chairman, Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, and the chairman of the homeland security subcommittee, Kevin Yoder of Kansas…who are both Republicans!

Yoder actually spoke in favor of the Price amendment.

Since it was a voice vote, we don't (not accidentally) have a precise tally of what committee members thought about the Price amendment—which, or course, basically throws open our borders to anyone who's been coached with a sob story.

We do know, however, that only one of the committee's thirty Republican members spoke out against it: Rep. John Carter of Texas. Blessings on you, Congressman; shame on your GOP colleagues.

Not content with sabotaging the Trump Administration's efforts to tighten up border control, congressreptiles Frelinghuysen and Yoder allowed three other amendments, each one opening our borders wider. All three passed on voice votes. One of them—proposed by Yoder himself!—expanded chain migration and employment-based settlement. The other two, both proposed by Republicans, expanded the H-2 programs for low-skilled workers.

Way to go, Republicans! That's what the country voted for in 2016: more low-skilled workers, more chain migration, and asylum for anyone that got yelled at in the street in Tegucigalpa.

This is not the end of the story, of course. In our hydra-headed system, the Senate has to pass its own bill, and then there’s the reconciliation process. So this betrayal is far from becoming law.

But why?

Speaking of gutless, spineless congressional RINO cuckweasels sabotaging our President, Paul Ryan crawled out of his burrow the other day to denounce what he called "identity politics”:

That is not conservatism. That is racism, that is nationalism, that is not what we believe in, that is not the founding vision, that is not the Founders' creed, that is not natural rights, that is not natural law.

[Paul Ryan: 'White Identity Politics' of Alt-Right Isn't Conservatism, but Racism, by Rachel del Guidice, Daily Signal, July 19th 2018.]

Just one more time, listeners, if you'll please excuse me. I know you've heard this before, but it can never be quoted too often: 

In multiracial societies, you don't vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion.

That was of course the late Lee Kuan Yew, speaking in 2005. [SPIEGEL Interview with Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew: "It's Stupid To Be Afraid", August 8, 2005]

As's own Twittermeister has noted, congressional Republicans aren't much interested in doing politics. They shuffle around for a few years doing the bidding of donors, then quit and go to work as consultants to those donors on fat contracts.

Paul Ryan might of course prove me wrong when he leaves Congress in January, but … that's not the way to bet.

Now the good news: For those of us working the immigration beat, Birthright Citizenship is a familiar old chestnut. Every so often in our commentary we take it out, toss it around a bit, then put it back in the closet.

There are never any political developments on the issue. The political Establishment decreed long ago that Birthright Citizenship for the children of non-citizens, including illegal aliens, is implicit in the Fourteenth Amendment. There are constitutional scholars who say no, it isn't, and Congress could end Birthright Citizenship for children of illegals via legislation—or perhaps even the President could end it by executive order.

We know of course that any legislative or executive efforts of that kind would end up in the Supreme Court. But if the Supremes ruled that yes, Birthright Citizenship for children of illegals is implicit in the Fourteenth, we the people could move for a Twenty-Eighth Amendment to end it.

Hey, it's high time we had a new Amendment. They used to come at a pretty steady clip: twelve of them in the Twentieth Century, average one every eight years. We haven't had one since 1992, though. Come on, citizens, let's give those ratification muscles some exercise!

This is all well-trodden territory among Patriotic Immigration Reformers. We tend to forget, though, how radioactive the topic is among mainstream pundits— especially for some reason Jewish-American Republicans. Whisper the faintest skepticism about Birthright Citizenship to John Podhoretz, he turns purple and starts screaming. I speak from experience.

I spotted a similar case this week, reading the New York Post over my breakfast oatmeal. There was an op-ed by Karol Markowicz, one of the Post's regular columnists.

Markowicz is not a bad sort. She's originally Russian-Jewish, brought here as a small child in the big wave of Lautenberg Amendment refugee migration from the U.S.S.R. after 1975. Politically she's center-right; probably a Never Trumper, though I haven't checked. Most of the things she writes about aren't interesting to me, but that's not her fault. So, jolly good luck to Karol Markowicz, with no animosity from me at all.

But here she was writing about Birthright Citizenship:

Michael Anton, a lecturer and research fellow at Hillsdale College and a former national-security official in the Trump administration, argued in The Washington Post last week that the US should end Birthright Citizenship. His idea is noxious—and unconstitutional, as the 14th Amendment grants Birthright Citizenship.

[How to turn immigrants into full-blooded Americans, by Karol Markowicz; New York Post, July 22 2018.][Links added].

Markowicz is wrong, of course: The Fourteenth Amendment did not grant Birthright Citizenship to every person born in our territories. It didn't, for example, grant it to American Indians. They had to wait until 1924 to get citizenship by act of Congress.

Leaving that aside, though, before the lady said that ending Birthright Citizenship is unconstitutional, she said it was "noxious." My dictionary defines "noxious" as "poisonous, harmful, injurious to health." Pretty strong language, then.

You might therefore assume that ending Birthright Citizenship is an idea way out of the mainstream, with very little currency among civilized people.

So let's run a check on that. Pop quiz:

  • Which of the following ten countries give Birthright Citizenship to the children of illegal aliens? Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom.
  • Answer: None of them.

 Only thirty countries grant automatic Birthright Citizenship, and only two of the thirty are on the International Monetary Fund's 31-country list of advanced economies—us, and Canada.

That does not of course prove anything about the desirability or otherwise of giving Birthright Citizenship to the children of illegal aliens. It may be that the thirty countries that do it are right while the 145 countries that explicitly don't are wrong. I'll certainly allow that possibility.

It does, though, make Karol Markowicz's usage of the word "noxious" look mighty strange. A rule in place in twenty-nine advanced countries but not in the other two is "poisonous, harmful, injurious to health"? And it's not Maxine Waters saying so, or Luis Gutierrez, or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; it's a mild-mannered, smart, generally sensible, center-right opinionator.

This is the weird warped spacetime in which we have to debate immigration policy in the United States.

Until now. Now Mike Anton (the author, under a pseudonym, of “The Flight 93 Election”)has been allowed to raise the issue, in of all places in the Washington Post, and provided an innovative and easy solution.

Over to you, President Trump.


2010-12-24dl[1]John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com:FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge.His writings are archived at

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