Letter From ACLU's Ira Glasser Attacking Peter Brimelow
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Republished in VDARE.com - October 01, 2003

When Charge Is Racism in Immigration Reform

The New York Times, June 16, 1995

To the Editor:

In "Native-Born Displaced" (letter, June 7), commenting on immigration policy, Peter Brimelow complains about critics "blindly dismissing any reform effort as 'racist.' " Not true. We don't dismiss any reform effort as racist. But consider Mr. Brimelow's particular approach to this problem, as set forth in his new book, "Alien Nation."

He says, at page 10, that "the American nation has always had a specific ethnic core. And that core has been white." And Mr. Brimelow wants to keep it that way. In 1965, he says, America was "nearly 90 percent white." Then came the 1965 Immigration Act.

"The effect of the 1965 Act," Mr. Brimelow says at page 61, "was not merely the absolute size of the influx it triggered. Even more important, it dramatically skewed the sources of that influx." Now, he says at page 19, "immigrants are overwhelmingly visible minorities from the Third World."

He goes on. Current immigration policy, he says at page 129, "is turning the U.S. into a multiracial society. . . . There is no precedent for a sovereign country undergoing such a rapid and radical transformation of its ethnic character." And then, at page 264, "Race is destiny in American politics. . . . Americans have a legitimate interest in their country's racial balance. . . . Indeed, it seems to me that they have a right to insist it be shifted back."

The interesting thing is that Mr. Brimelow himself is an immigrant, but from England. He complains about Britain's "disastrous post-imperial immigration policy" and says in 1967 he "decided all was lost in England." Now he has become a U.S. citizen. But America is changing.

To enter an Immigration and Naturalization Service waiting room, he says at page 28, is like descending into the New York City subway, where "you find yourself in an underworld that is not just teeming but is also almost entirely colored."

And he worries frequently about what it will be like for his little son, Alexander, a "white male with blue eyes and blond hair," to grow up in this multiracial world. If current immigration policy continues, he speculates, more than half the population will be people of color "within the lifetime of my little son." He talks wistfully about the way America was circa 1965, and says, at page 221, "If only for my son Alexander's sake, I'd like it to stay that way." A "racial transformation," he says, is being inflicted on America.

I would not dream of "blindly dismissing" Mr. Brimelow's reform efforts as "racist." No, I think his own words, pervasive throughout his book, speak quite clearly for themselves.

Executive Director
American Civil Liberties Union
New York, June 9, 1995.

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