With a majority of Republicans opposing President Bush's amnesty plan for illegal immigrants and even Republican lawmakers in revolt over it, the Open Borders Lobby has closed ranks and rallied behind it.
Last week the Wall Street Journal editorial page, long the Pravda of Open Borders propaganda, published what purports to be a "Conservative Statement of Principles on Immigration." Conspicuous by their absence from the names of those who signed it were any conservatives. Conspicuous also was the absence of very much principle.
The fourteen signers included Open Borders pusher Stephen Moore, whose claim even to be a conservative at all is open to doubt, since he worked for some years at the libertarian Cato Institute. Other signers included neo-conservatives Linda Chavez, Newt Gingrich and Jack Kemp, long known for their support for virtually unlimited immigration, and Republican activist Grover Norquist, Microsoft king Bill Gates' hired man for pushing for cheap labor—though Mr. Norquist, reportedly paid $100,000 by Mr. Gates some years ago to lobby conservatives for more immigration, doesn't come cheap himself.
All of the above of course are entitled to their opinions, but their opinions don't represent either grassroots conservatives, the views of mainstream conservative leaders, or the preferences of most Americans.
Where was the Rockford Institute, which pioneered conservative awareness of the immigration issue from the 1980s?
Where are the leaders of conservative immigration control activism like Americans for Immigration Control?
The "Statement of Principles" conveniently forgot those major voices of the movement they purport to speak for.
As for the "Principles" themselves, let's see.
"America is a nation of immigrants," the statement begins. "Except for Native American Indians, everyone in this country came to America or is here due to the good fortune that a parent, grandparent, or other relation came before them."
Of course that's true of every country on Earth, unless you count the Garden of Eden. But of course also it's simply untrue that America is "a nation of immigrants." The vast majority of Americans in every generation of our national history consists of Americans who were born in this country. We are not and were not immigrants.
Then we have the assertion, "Conservatives believe in legal immigration." Well, not really. What conservatives—real conservatives, not libertarians and not shills for Big Business—believe in is their own country and its culture and the people who created it.
If immigration helps sustain that, OK, conservatives would support some of it, but the population of a healthy country and culture normally sustains itself.
A country for which immigration is "crucial," as this statement claims it is for this country, is a sick puppy. This country has problems, but we aren't so bad off as that.
"Conservatives oppose illegal immigration." You bet, so why have we heard virtually nothing from our principled authors about it for the last 30 years of the mass invasion by illegal immigrants? Why has not a one of them done anything at all in his entire career to stop illegal immigration or demand the federal government do more to control it?
As for Mr. Bush's amnesty plan, they're all for it—"We applaud the president and believe his approach holds great promise to reduce illegal immigration and establish a humane, orderly, and economically sensible approach to migration that will aid homeland security and free up border-security assets to focus on genuine threats."
The only problem is, we just don't have enough immigration in this country. Congress should shut up about rejecting the Bush plan and increase immigration: "Congress can fulfill its role by establishing sufficient increases in legal immigration and paths to permanent residence to enable more workers to stay, assimilate, and become part of America."
Finally, our principled conservatives get to the unpleasant subject of assimilation, which should be a real conservative's first principle. "We believe strongly in assimilation and oppose efforts to weaken the historical process that has led to e pluribus unum."
And, yet again, when have these stalwarts ever demanded that immigrants assimilate and what have they done to make sure it happens?
The "Statement of Principles" is a transparent effort by 14 phony conservatives to hijack the conservative label and use it to push the Open Borders clichés they've been selling for years.
As the bitter and angry reaction to the Bush amnesty shows, it won't sell today any better than it has for the last 30 years.
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[Sam Francis [email him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection of his columns, America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available from Americans For Immigration Control. Click here for Sam Francis' website. Click here to order his monograph, Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American Political Future and here for Glynn Custred's review.]