VDARE.com Note: Perhaps it is obvious why Jason Riley appears to care little for the historic American nation. But it is sad that his sympathies do not extend to American Blacks, the community most directly damaged of all by the ongoing flood of immigrant unskilled workers.
VDARE.COM is a coalition, in which members have a range of opinions. The interpolator of these comments, one of VDARE.COM's firmest friends, is a dedicated environmentalist. Not all VDARE.COM readers will agree with all his remarks, but all will applaud the immediacy of his response to March 15th's vapid and squalid WSJ effort to trash immigration reformers.
Annotations by VDARE.COM ENVIRONMENTALIST
[original WSJ author: Jason L. Riley]
Wall Street Journal
March 15, 2004
Just what is it about immigration that makes so many conservatives lose their bearings? [Just what is it about the environment that makes the Wall Street Journal lose its bearings?]
Broach the subject, as President Bush did in January with his guest-worker initiative for illegal aliens, and free-market advocates start forgetting principles. [Bush called for mass amnesty for illegal aliens and unrestrained importation of new, competitive suppliers of labor, not a restricted "guest-worker initiative."] (Flexible labor markets? What use are those?) Self-styled realists start fantasizing. (Let's just deport all 10 million of 'em, Elian-style! [On a per capita basis, that is inconsequential in comparison to the number of aliens expelled from countries in Asia and Africa in recent years.]) And colorblind sensibilities are suspended. (White hegemony, where have you gone?) Suggest that immigration, legal or otherwise, not only is in the American tradition but a net benefit to our economy besides, and watch the editors at National Review and the pseudo-populists at Fox News come unhinged. [Where have you been for the past 10 years, Mr. Riley? William F. Buckley long ago purged every National Review editor who failed to knuckle under to his extreme GOP- leadership sycophancy, accepting their immigration-at-any-cost ideology—look at the fate of Peter Brimelow and John O'Sullivan. Similarly, Fox News broadcasts nonstop Neocon propaganda. Consequently, the hosts are stridently pro-immigration, e.g. Alan Colmes, Fred Barnes, Morton Kondracke, and William Kristol.]
Border restrictionism has had a storied past two decades on the political right, even though many of the stories end badly. Alan Simpson's 1986 employee sanctions bill made it a crime to "knowingly" hire an undocumented worker. This unenforceable law hasn't stopped illegal immigration, but it has created a thriving black market for false identification papers. [The law was not unenforceable. A succession of treasonous regimes have refused to enforce it in consideration of campaign contributions from the pro-immigration lobby. Furthermore, Simpson was duped into allowing his bill be to turned into an amnesty.]
The 1992 presidential bid of Pat Buchanan, who wanted to freeze all immigration for five years while he constructed a Maginot Line along the Mexico border, was something of a dud. [Buchanan's failures can hardly be blamed on his immigration policies, which were and are wildly popular. His dogmatic support for the Religious Right's distasteful social agenda and slighting of environmental issues alienated much possible green support. Had the Buchanan moratorium been implemented, the 9/11 and the D.C. snipings perpetrators would not have been here!] And California Republicans learned the hard way in the mid-1990s, courtesy of the anti-immigrant Proposition 187, that denying education and health benefits to eight-year-old aliens is a political loser in the long run. [Proposition 187 won in a landslide but was killed when the sleazy Democrat governor (who was later recalled and replaced by "The Terminator" running, as it happens, a relatively illegal-unfriendly campaign) dodged appealing an obviously erroneous ruling by a Democrat federal judge, who had stalled a decision until after the election.]
Actually, some Golden State pols still haven't learned their lesson. Earlier this month, State Senator Rico Oller took immigrant bashing to new depths in a GOP primary race for Congress. He distributed loathsome mailers with a picture of Mexicans crossing the border superimposed on an image of a masked, gun-toting terrorist. Alas, Mr. Oller lost the election to Dan Lungren, the pro-immigration candidate he targeted in the mailers. [Lungren outspent Oller by how many millions? Oller was supported by how many newspapers and TV stations? Zero, I'll bet.]
Mr. Bush, who's trying to prevent his party from being overtaken by its Rico Ollers, has his work cut out. [Bush has his work cut out reading a sentence from the teleprompter without stumbling.] So determined is conservatism's nativist wing that it's even made common cause with radical environmentalists and zero-population-growth fanatics on the leftist fringe. [Make up your mind! Is it right-wing or left-wing to impose some restrictions on mass immigration and population growth? How about mainstream American: Despite a media blackout of their views, the majority of Americans support tough restrictions on immigration. Furthermore, by their own conduct, it is clear that Americans support zero population growth. There would be no population increase without immigration.] The Federation for American Immigration Reform and the Center for Immigration Studies may strike right-wing poses in the press, but both groups support big government, mock federalism, deride free markets and push a cultural agenda abhorrent to any self-respecting social conservative. [I'm no social conservative, but it is obvious that "electing a new people" to quote Peter Brimelow, i.e changing the country from predominantly white European English-speaking community to a multi-lingual/cultural/ethnic porridge, is in no way conservative.]
FAIR's founder and former president is John Tanton, an eye doctor who opened the first Planned Parenthood chapter in northern Michigan. [I suppose Mr. Riley mentioned Planned Parenthood, a highly regarded organization, to incite fanatics of the Religious Right who believe that women have no right to control their own bodies.] By Dr. Tanton's own reckoning, FAIR has received more than $1.5 million from the Pioneer Fund, a white-supremacist outfit devoted to racial purity through eugenics. [And the Wall Street Journal has received how many millions in advertising from corporations that swindled their customers and shareholders and are destroying American livelihoods by pressing for profligate swamping of labor markets and reckless outsourcing?]
Board members of FAIR actively promote the [voluntary] sterilization of Third World women for the purposes of reducing U.S. immigration prospects. [Essential when Third World governments and missionaries restrict birth control and abortion eagerly sought by the oppressed women.] And if anything disturbs the good doctor more than those Latin American hordes crossing the Rio Grande, it's the likelihood that most of them are Catholic, or so he once told a Reuters reporter. [Birth rates confirm that Third-World peasants are much more likely to follow the Church's medieval dogma than Catholics from North America and western Europe, whose reproductive rates are similar to Protestants'.]
CIS, an equally repugnant FAIR offshoot, is a big fan of China's one-child policy and publishes books advocating looser limits on abortion and wider use of RU-486. [China's one-child policy, though admirable, is too little too late. The Chinese population is still growing, and rare endemic species such as the Sichuan Partridge are being lost through wholesale destruction of the last patches of habitat. RU-486 allows women to take control of their own bodies away from repressive governments and religions.] CIS considers the Sierra Club, which cites "stabilizing world population" fourth on its 21st century to-do list, as too moderate. [Once a real environmental group, the Sierra Club has degenerated into an ineffectual fifth column of the Democratic Party establishment.] And like FAIR, CIS has called for a target U.S. population of 150 million, about half of what it is today. [Which is millions more than the population when I was born, but nevertheless preferable to the current mess.]
Unlike their counterparts on the restrictionist right, these organizations don't distinguish between legal and illegal immigration. They want the border sealed as a means to a fanciful, neo-Malthusian end. [The actual Malthusian end has already arrived in Haiti and Rwanda. That apparently is what the Wall Street Journal desires for the U.S.] Both sides, however, do share the same intellectual framework — an overriding pessimism and lack of understanding about markets, which is why both also tend to oppose free trade. [The Wall Street Journal's textbook rhetoric about "free trade" does not comport with reality. "Free trade" is rapidly turning the U.S. into a banana republic, where only politicians, journalists, financiers and celebrities are not outsourced.]
This errant strand of conservatism is dumb economics, dumber politics and decidedly un-Reaganesque. ["The Gipper" never knowingly supported mass immigration. It isn't even clear that he knew it was happening.] In his farewell address, President Reagan — who used to receive a third of the Latino vote that Tom Tancredo, Lamar Smith and other myopic Republican lawmakers are so eager to concede to Democrats [The Republican percentage of the Hispanic vote has remained remarkably constant for the past 40 years. Most white, middle-class Cubans vote Republican. Most other Hispanics do not.] — spoke about a Shining City that's "teeming with people of all kinds" and has "doors open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here." [Poor old Ronnie was suffering from Alzheimer's by the time he read that immigrationist farewell script (by Peggy Noonan?).] These pages, for more than three decades under the tutelage of our late editor, Bob Bartley, have promoted a similarly optimistic take on immigration and how it serves the country's interests. [The Wall Street Journal has tirelessly promoted global environmental destruction, including resumed use of DDT, which nearly exterminated our national bird, the Bald Eagle, while suppressing and ridiculing alternative points of view.] Our history as a nation of immigrants informs this view, but so do certain demographic realities on the horizon.
Seventy-seven million Baby Boomers will start dipping into our pay-as-you-go Social Security system by the end of this decade, a phenomenon that will double the current number of retirees by 2030 and reduce the worker-retiree ratio from three to two workers per retiree. That's an enormous burden for a labor force expected to increase by less than 8% over the same time period. To cover the shortfall, payroll taxes would need to rise by at least a third to more than 18%. [Hordes of illiterate Mexicans are not going to bail out Social Security. What they don't spend from their meager wages goes to Mexico, not to the IRS. If they do file returns, they are likely to get back a tax credit funded by Americans. Furthermore, immigrants are draining Social Security by claiming disability and by bringing in aged members of the extended family through "family reunification," besides crippling health insurance schemes by abuse of Emergency Rooms. When Social Security goes under, watch for the government to start seizing IRAs and 401(k)'s to keep up the transfer payments to aliens.]
In addition to raising immigration quotas, President Bush wants to normalize the status of millions of hard-working illegals already here and making a contribution. [How difficult it is for the Journal to use the "A" word!] The law-and-order tub-thumpers on the right denounce any such talk as amounting to an "amnesty" that ultimately rewards lawbreakers. [Thank you for admitting that the Journal is opposed to law and order.] That's a fair point, and their only legitimate one, but it doesn't suffice as an argument that advances the debate. [The law doesn't matter to radical immigrationists. That was already established in the treacherous deal that prevented Proposition 187 from taking effect and by the Bush Administration's continuing refusal to secure the borders even after 9/11 and 3/11.]
Our current illegal immigration problems result from a policy at war with the law of supply and demand, a war that pro-growth conservatives understand is as unwise as it is unnecessary. Short of mass alien deportations at gunpoint, which would damage the economy [wrong] and aren't likely to fly well with the public [wrong again—but they won't fly well with the mainstream press and the powerful pro-immigration lobbies], any transition to a more sensible system will involve some sort of decriminalization. [Ahem, you mean "Amnesty."]
And the president [actually, the President's Neocon puppetmasters are] is attempting to do just that — bring some sense to the system. Post-9/11, a guest-worker [amnesty] program that invites illegals to join the above-ground economy only makes us safer. [Does the Journal contend that it hurts less to be mugged or blown up by a legal alien than by an illegal alien?] It means less time chasing workers essential to our economic well-being and more time sorting through genuine terror risks. [As Juan Mann has repeatedly pointed out, nobody is "chasing" illegal aliens. When citizens turn them in, the government releases them.]
Foreigners have always served to enrich our culture [with voodoo and drive-by shootings], replenish our work force [by reducing wages to unlivable levels for poor Americans], keep us competitive globally [with Bangladesh] and save us from heading where stagnant, immigrant-averse Europeans and Asians have already arrived. [Japan and Bhutan, which severely restrict immigration, are virtually crime-free, like the U.S. and Britain used to be. Europe is overrun with aliens from Africa and Asia.] In the coming decades, a proper immigration policy will be needed more than ever. The sooner Republicans settle this intraparty spat and start listening to their inner-Reagan, the better off they'll be. [There is no intraparty spat. The dispute is between the professional politicians in both parties, who have sold out for personal gain, and rank and file Americans, whose lives have been made much worse by mass immigration and the sky-high birth rates of Third-World aliens.]
Mr. Riley is a senior editorial page writer at the Journal.