If San Diego columnist and talk show host Raoul Lowery Contreras (click here or here to email) did not exist, we would have to invent him. The cause of immigration reform is immeasurably aided by his thuggery (comparing Cuban-born Harvard economist and immigration critic George Borjas to the Jewish Kapos in Nazi concentration camps) and general boneheadedness (he appears genuinely unable to grasp that a 50 percent increase in the GOP's Hispanic vote is still terrible if the base is small).
Recently, the Arizona Tribune took the almost unprecedented step of asking me to reply to Contreras' latest attack on us. (Not available online, alas.) My response, infinitesimally edited, appeared on June 25 under the heading "Racist" slam clouds real immigration issue.
I'll post some reader emails and my answers over the weekend.
Raoul Lowery Contreras claims (Tribune, June 8) that my colleague Steve Sailer and I, and our webzine www.vdare.com, are "racist" because we dare to criticize current immigration policy.
Ho hum. Yawn. Big deal. It's simply a fact of American political life today that anyone who criticizes immigration policy is going to be called a racist. The people who benefit from the current mess, such as professional ethnics like Contreras, have too much at stake to allow a rational debate. They have in effect redefined the term "racist"–it now just means "anyone who is winning an argument with an immigration enthusiast." Or a liberal. Or, all too often, a complacent country-club Republican. (Hello, John McCain?)
And we are winning the argument. The plain truth is that current immigration policy is indefensible. It can only survive through intimidation–and lies.
The combination of the1965 Immigration Act, which accidentally unleashed mass immigration after a four-decade pause, and Washington's abject failure to defend the borders against illegal immigration, has resulted in an extraordinary situation. Basically, because of the perverse selection process built into the current system, the U.S. population is going to be vastly larger, much more non-white and much less skilled than would otherwise be the case. By 2050, there will be 400 million people living in the U.S. instead of maybe 280-290 million. And whites, 90 per cent of the population in 1960, will be on the verge of becoming a minority.
This is an ethnic transformation without precedent in the history of the world. It is happening for one reason only: the federal government is making it happen. Those who favor this policy, like Contreras, ought to say plainly what they have against America as it exists right now.
Because the transformation is wholly without economic justification. When I was researching my book Alien Nation: Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster, I was amazed to discover that the consensus among labor economists was that native-born Americans did not benefit at all, in aggregate, from the immigrant presence in their midst. Indeed, since increased wage competition was shifting two-three percent of GDP from labor to capital, one group of Americans was really being hurt–the poor, including African-Americans and native-born Hispanics.
Since then, this finding has been confirmed by the National Research Council's 1997 report "The New Americans". Indeed, NRC studies showed that taxpayers in immigration-impacted states were actually subsidizing the immigrant presence–at an annual net rate of over a thousand dollars per native-born family in California. (This suggests that in Arizona, you're probably paying several hundred dollars at least.)
Needless to say, Contreras hasn't shared that finding with his San Diego radio audience.
But, hey, he's not unusual. The NRC findings have never been reported in The Wall Street Journal either. Political correctness on immigration goes right across the spectrum–the worst I've seen in thirty years in mainstream journalism.
Which is why patriotic Americans who want the facts out helped us start VDARE. Every cloud has a silver lining!
Naturally, Contreras hates Alien Nation. (Didn't stop him bumming a free copy off me, though.) He says "proof" of our "racism" is that "Alien Nation was nationally scorned as a racist tract by almost every major newspaper in the country."
But in fact Richard Bernstein of The New York Times said this: "Those who think the system needs no fixing cannot responsibly hold to that position unless they take Mr. Brimelow's urgent appeal to change into account."
Contreras, quite obviously, does not feel responsible for mere details like how many immigrants should there be, how diverse, how skilled — and how subsidized. His sole and only concern is a blind and reflexive defense of Mexico and Mexican immigrants, currently shaping up to be a second underclass.
Thus he is particularly angry that Steve Sailer has pointed out that Mexico consists of a white elite ruling a mestizo and Indian majority. "Only a racist would do such a thing," he says.
Are facts racist? An understanding of Mexico's precarious racial dynamic makes it all too appallingly clear why Mexican leaders are so frantic to dump their poor on the U.S.
Of course, this contradicts Mexico's national myth. But so what?
So everything, probably. The real issue here is not whether those opposing current mass immigration are guilty of "racism." It is whether those supporting it, and the consequent destruction of America as it now exists, are guilty of treason.
Peter Brimelow is the author of Alien Nation (Harper Collins) and an editor of vdare.com
June 29, 2001