Recent signs suggest that some immigration enthusiasts, disturbed by the visible effects of four decades of virtually uncontrolled immigration to this country, are beginning to rethink their position. (There are quite a few closet anti-enthusiasts around, some in high places and with large reputations.)
Perhaps it`s beginning to be
OK again to discuss immigration - so long as you don`t
really say much of anything in
See, for instance, The Washington Times` Helle Bering`s recent "Immigration
Paradox": an elliptical but essentially well-intentioned essay
– even if she does misspell Peter Brimelow`s name!
But whether or not George II makes the cut as Education President, he may be shaping up as the Immigration President. Certainly the auspices are not favorable. First there was the inaugural trip to Mexico in which the President didn`t exactly encourage Vicente Fox to believe he was prepared to acquiesce in what American Patrol`s Glenn Spencer has called Mexico`s "demographic warfare" against the United States, but didn`t exactly discourage him, either. Nor did he throw cold water on the guest-worker plan put forward in Mexico by three American senators. Instead, he and Fox agreed on the need to develop an "orderly framework for migration."
Now, the White House has
released its U.S. Budget Proposal whose Section
14 could point to future bad news
for immigration-control - and for the nation.
"The United States is a Nation of immigrants,"
Yet - horrors! - immigrants` first experience
upon arriving on these shores today is often one of "frustration
We can`t have that, can we?
And so, "The Administration believes that legal immigrants should be greeted
with open arms, rather than endless lines." It must be "responsive
those who seek [my
italics] to immigrate to this country by legal means, and to those who have
emigrated and now seek to become U.S. citizens." The Administration proposes a universal six-month standard
(reduced from three years plus) for processing, in a "culture of respect," all immigrant applications, at cost of a mere
Second, of course, to being a
nation of immigrants we are also a nation of laws. So
those immigrants who come here illegally must be
instructed to stick one foot back over the Mexican
border, then try all over again as legal applicants
within that culture of respect. To this end, the
President`s budget requests $75 million to fund 570
new border agents per year in 2002 and 2003.
Finally, in the spirit of "creating
an INS Structure for the Future," the proposal
calls for splitting the agency into two, one entrusted
exclusively with "service" with a smile (goodbye
frustration, anxiety!), the other with "enforcement"
("go back where you came from; come in by the front
door next time; have a good day!").
Read Section Fourteen and ask
this imply anything short of "All legal applicants to
the U.S. of A. will be admitted to the country within no
less than six weeks` time?" (Talk about "endless
lines!") No mention anywhere of quotas, ceilings,
restrictions, qualifications, or any other discouraging
Meanwhile, President Fox`s Foreign
Minister is at it again - in Brussels this time, insisting
that globalization is synonymous with mass migration
(i.e. open borders) and besides, there`s nothing
Western governments can do about it anyway.
Could President Bush actually
be in agreement
him on that?
Now, following the recent
earthquake in El Salvador, the Bush administration is
offering Temporary Protected Status to any Salvadoran to
have arrived here before February 13, 2001.
An estimated four hundred thousand illegal
immigrants from that country may remain legally in the
United States for at least eighteen months and are
eligible to apply for temporary work permits.
Though the INS estimates that "only" 150,000
will apply, numbers are not the sole issue here. (And if
you believe this protected status is really
temporary, I have a horse with wings to sell you for a
What sense does this make
given the breakdown in the returns from last year`s
presidential election that George W. Bush nearly lost,
due in no small measure to this country`s existing
Hispanic citizenry voting
overwhelmingly for Al Gore? Is it a death wish, or what?
Just as certain of the American elite are beginning to see the light in
respect of immigration and its perils, the Republican
Party seems bent on playing the immigrationist and
ethnic cards, thus endangering its own prospects and the
future of the nation as well.
The Bush administration, it seems, is stuck in
the Clintonite mindset that was also very much that of
the 1990s, the difference being that immigrationism
worked for the Democrats, if not for the country.
What next to expect from this
administration when it comes to ethnic pandering? If Vice President Dick Cheney resigns for health reasons (or
dies), look for Colin Powell to be bumped up to the
office of Veep, while Condoleeza Rice succeeds him as
Secretary of State.
To the Republican mind, such a
rearrangement would be regarded as what little boys of a
couple of generations ago would have called a fake-out
on the Democrats. But it won`t help the Republican Party with Jesse Jackson,
or the rest of black America, at all.
Or the rest of any
recognizable America, for that matter.
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.
March 07, 2001