Cardinal Dolan’s attack on immigration restrictionists, of whom Donald Trump is paramount, for “nativism” is a pejorative that ignores that this is the 21st, not 19th century. [Nativism rears its big-haired head: Donald Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric is a sad return to a terrible American tradition, By Timothy Cardinal Dolan, New York Daily News, July 29, 2015]
Dolan is joined in his sentiment by Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich who has made immigration his “number one civic priority”. [New archbishop puts immigration front and center,by Manya Brachear Pashman, Chicago Tribune, October 6, 2015] Both ignore the reality that the frontier closed in 1890 and that the industries which employed large numbers of unskilled laborers are long gone. Their positions on importing illiterate peons begins from a false premise, proceeds through skewed facts, and reaches a false conclusion.
Having been trained as an historian I find allegations of “nativism” lacking in depth and accuracy. Ignored, in what can only be termed “vincible ignorance,” are the disastrous consequences of large-scale 19th Century immigration.
Overcrowded, disease infested, crime ridden slums, pressure on municipal water and sewer systems, corrupt machine politics, exploitation of immigrants by their own kind, were all products of cities overwhelmed by immigration. Are we to tolerate those conditions once again?
The resentments of “nativist” Americans who bore the brunt of untrammeled numbers had a basis in reality. In 1890 for a six-day workweek, the average wage of an unskilled laborer was $8.50. With an overabundance of immigrant labor an American could find his wage halved, and then halved again. What would Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop Cupich, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the alien lobby say about that? What do they say now to Americans who find themselves out of work because illegal aliens will work on the cheap? How is that good for the nation? What about black Americans excluded from even menial labor for not speaking Spanish?
1924’s National Origins Act reined in immigration with quotas favoring northern Europe from whence the majority population had come. It preserved the culture of the country and allowed immigrants to assimilate (before World War One started, many went back to the old country). Rising wages was one if its beneficial components.
Samuel Gompers, founder of the AFL, opposed mass immigration as bad for workers. He was joined in that sentiment by Booker T. Washington who saw unrestricted immigration destroying opportunities for black workers, as later would A. Philip Randolph, head of the Sleeping Car Porters union, and Rep. Barbara Jordan. The historian Thomas A. Bailey, in his text The American Pageant reluctantly admitted restriction promoted assimilation and the journalist Stewart Alsop writing in The Saturday Evening Post in the 1960’s said America worked because immigrants eventually adopted WASP habits of civic virtue.
The National Origins act was repealed in 1965 because Democrats were losing the white vote. Importing from failed third world cultures of the padrone and the peon was a ticket to permanent power: give aliens benefits and get votes. Encouraging illegal immigration is part and parcel of this movement, as President Obama’s present push to give aliens citizenship again proves.
Tolerating illegal aliens, not to mention giving them benefits, violates black letter law—the malefactor may not profit from his malfeasance—an axiom all first-year law students learn. Only now, the administration and the courts say, “Who cares?” Does the Catholic hierarchy advocate law breaking? Apparently, yes. Cardinal Dolan likes to quote the Bible about welcoming the stranger, he ought to remember those passages about stealing and about rendering to Caesar that which is Caesar’s, for surely these “newcomers” have broken the laws to get here and then steal the benefits belonging to citizens.
Churchmen are also guilty of the logical fallacy of argument by assertion to suppress discussion of the current crisis. By insisting we are all “descendants of newcomers” (as if that were relevant). I am not. I am a fourth generation [Catholic] American and the fourth to fight the country’s wars.
I resent those who have invaded my country, who are destroying the customs and habits of long settled villages, towns, and hamlets. The financial and environmental crises now manifesting itself in California is a direct result of immigration. How, to borrow from Cardinal Dolan, is that beneficial “for the economic and cultural future of our country”?
Are not Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Cupich aware of the illegal alien crime rate, of the illegitimacy and abortion rates, of their contempt for American culture? Are they not aware that the “newcomers” attachment to the Catholic faith is not parallel to the Irish (where direct intervention from Rome reformed the church in the1800s) and is infused with paganism? The Latin lobbies are not interested in assimilation but in taking over and pushing out the hated “Anglo” as La Raza (and the Mexican government) has made amply clear.
The country faces a struggle for its survival, for the survival of our constitution and way of life against invaders from south of the border and the third world and from a civic and religious leadership either ignorant, or contemptuous, of what made America great. Mr. Trump is the only one in the political world who has shown the courage to stand up for the country. If refusing cultural suicide is “nativist” so be it.
See previous letters from the same reader.