The Treason Lobby Attempts Damage Control
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Within weeks of the bloodiest terrorist atrocity in history, America's Treason Lobby was back in business, warning of the imminent danger of "xenophobia" and "nativism" and inventing even more fallacious arguments why there's absolutely nothing wrong with our 30-year-old policy of encouraging mass immigration from every armpit on the face of the planet. Having just paid the price of this foolish policy, we apparently must keep on paying as long as the Treason Lobby demands.

The First Lady of the Treason Lobby, previously known as the "open borders crowd," is Linda Chavez, who tells us that "'law-abiding aliens' have nothing to fear" from the elementary security measures she is now willing to support. What Miss Chavez would know about abiding by the law isn't very clear since she was bounced from the Bush cabinet earlier this year after disclosure that she had hired an illegal alien as a house servant — a bit much for the person who, as labor secretary, was supposed to watch out for the interests of American workers.

But the Treason Lobby is not blind. It understands that in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, there are now obvious and compelling reasons for drastically reducing, if not halting, immigration and indeed for rounding up immigrants already here and shipping them back. Hence, Miss Chavez and her comrades, in order to save their beloved "nation of immigrants," are willing to endorse, at least on paper, some timid measures to keep better track of foreign visitors.

"In 1996," Miss Chavez tells us in a column of Oct. 2, "Congress passed legislation requiring that all U.S. entries and exits be recorded, but the law was shelved last year. It's time to reactivate it." Of course, the main lawmaker who helped shelve the law was Treason Lobby Sen. Spencer Abraham, and criticisms of him for doing so by immigration control advocates — on the explicit grounds that shelving the law would make terrorist attacks by Osama bin Laden easier — were denounced by the Treason Lobby as "racist."

Much the same approach is taken by Miss Chavez' comrade in treason, John J. Miller of National Review, who also fetches up a few policy-wonk measures to track the immigrants he wants to keep letting in. It's interesting that virtually the same policy these so-called "conservative" voices in the Treason Lobby advocate was also endorsed last week in a lead editorial in the New York Times. Treason, it seems, knows no ideology. [New York Times. October 5, 2001,Terrorism and Immigration, (pay archive)]

"To go further" than "enhancing the screening of visa applicants, border vigilance and the monitoring of foreigners already here," the Times preaches, "and suggest that the attack calls for a drastic reduction in the number of immigrants and foreign visitors would be irrational and counterproductive." Nothing, it seems, can ever justify that reaction because, you see, of "the nation's proud tradition of openness to foreign visitors" and "the American people's commitment to keeping their doors open to the world." Of course, there is no such "tradition" or "commitment." American history from its beginnings has shown some of the most restrictive immigration laws in the world, and as for the American people's commitment, a recent Zogby poll shows that some 80 percent of the public is demanding reduced immigration. It's the Times and the Treason Lobby that are out of step, not the rest of us.

There are clearly good reasons to tighten visa security procedures and adopt the other matters the Times mentions. But the fact is that those measures themselves won't help much, because at current levels of immigration (nearly a million legal immigrants every year) and foreign visas granted (more than 30 million a year), it would take an army to track them and enforce appropriate security policies. Moreover, don't bet your box-cutter that the Treason Lobby is serious about enforcing such measures, any more than Sen. Abraham was. Only now, after decades of warnings about the dangers of mass immigration, are they posturing as concerned about security. It's a bit like Alger Hiss warning the State Department that it needs better burglar alarms.

What is today staring us in the face, as it has never stared before, is the blunt fact that we have allowed too many foreigners, too many aliens and too many immigrants to enter and remain within this country. It makes no sense whatever to allow millions of foreigners from radically different cultures to enter the country in the numbers that we have permitted and even encouraged, especially without any serious effort at adequate tracking and enforcement. The vast majority of immigrants may (or may not) be loyal and law-abiding, but it takes only 19 who aren't to commit the massacres we have already experienced. How many more Americans must die before the Treason Lobby and its lies are rejected as the menace they are?


October 15, 2001

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