Miller Watch (1): "Borderline…"
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[Beginning a New VDARE.COM series.]

Therapists I know tell me about a condition known as "borderline." Borderline what? I ask them. Well, you know…borderline: psychotic, hysteric, what have you. Women, mostly, display borderline behavior. And perhaps National Review girly-boys as well (a nod to the redoubtable Ann Coulter here).

John J. Miller, National Review's Commissar for Immigration and Naturalization Propaganda, (send him mail) has finally acknowledged in "Border Lines: What to Do About Immigration After 9/11" (NR, Oct. 15, 2001) that "The whole immigration debate has moved dramatically away from questions of access to those of control." Moreover, "Reformers interested in greater immigrant regulation won't stop there: Congress will also take a closer look at border management. In doing so, it can play a useful role in combating terrorism—and illegal immigration, too."

But, Miller warns,

success will require that conservatives keep a narrow focus on security issues and not overreach. Ramesh Ponnuru has shown [no, he hasn't! Although he did praise Miller, they're quite a mutual admiration society. Peter Brimelow's response to Ponnuru's attack is still being lovingly crafted; here with VDARE.COM's gloss.] on these pages how restrictionists on the right have not realized many of their policy goals because of tactical mistakes involving a desire to achieve too much all at once….The opportunity now is to improve the border as a tool of enforcement. This will be achieved not by tying other agendas to it—such as a reduction in overall admissions quotas, as several members of Congress have suggested—but by enacting a few small steps that may pay big dividends.

And he really means a few SMALL steps…. For example: Relieve the State Department's consular corps of the task of issuing student, tourist, and immigration visas. Institute a high-tech system of monitoring foreigners in the U.S. Improve federal supervision of the half-million people presently at large within the country on student visas. Encourage the FBI to share its information regarding counterterrorism with the INS. Nag the Canadian government to beef up its own foreign admission procedures….Yawn.

It's the visa system, stupid! Panicked by the events of September 11, the immigration enthusiast and multiculturalist communities have been making the point for six weeks now - to the background accompaniment of Martin Luther King, Jr. speeches and sitar music – when they've not been trying, in the unwary words of Catoid Steve Moore, to "lay low and not talk about it a lot."

You have to wonder whether any event short of the demolition of 215 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan by a nuclear suitcase bomb would be evidence enough to convince John Miller of the need for rounding up unwanted foreigners and deporting them to their home countries. Probably not even that, given the neoconservatives' insistence that acceptable national policy ought to be developed from universalist rather than particularist—let alone personal—considerations.

Yes, Commissar Miller concedes, none of these measures will prevent terrorist acts from occurring on American soil. But never mind.

In a way, immigrants and foreign visitors are a secret asset against the likes of suicide bombers. Just as many people send remittances to relatives abroad and thereby enrich foreign economies, they also send back ideas—a kind of political remittance that promotes freedom in places that don't know it well.

Giving credit where credit is due, we have to admit that the ingenious Miller has identified, all on his own, a brand-new excuse for chain migration to the United States.  We export ideas to them. They export terrorists to us. On net, we're ahead! Give or take a few thousand dead Americans.

Leaving us to wonder nonetheless: Is there any argument too borderline for John J. Miller to advance on behalf of his idée fixe: the unquestionable benefits of unlimited immigration for what might laughingly be called his country?

Chilton Williamson Jr. is the author of The Immigration Mystique: America's False Conscience and an editor and columnist for Chronicles Magazine, where he writes the The Hundredth Meridian column about life in the Rocky Mountain West.

November 02, 2001

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