Although I'm, thus, a walking encyclopedia on this vast subject—yet still a piker compared to luminaries like Peter Brimelow (VDARE.com founding editor), Roy Beck (NumbersUSA), and Mark Krikorian (Center for Immigration Studies), who all know waaaaay more—I've recently come to realize that the most important single fact to understand about immigration is that most of our fellow citizens know next to nothing about it. When it comes to immigration, they're dumb as stumps.
For example, a few days ago the host and callers—including a leading Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate—on local talk-radio here in Bozeman, Montana were confidently exchanging tidbits of ignorance regarding the DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] illegal aliens. One caller harrumphed that the DACA-ites had only themselves to blame, that instead of haranguing the rest of us about their unsettled situation, they should have used their time to submit their N-400 Application for Naturalization forms [PDF]. This caller had missed the basic fact that the DACA-ites aren't lawful permanent residents (i.e "green-card holders") and, thus, have no access to naturalization. Or perhaps the caller was even more confused and doesn't understand what naturalization is.
(Nevertheless, his call was educational for me: I'd never heard of the N-400 form, but now I know about it. Immigration is, indeed, a vast subject!)
Senate Republicans need 60 votes to pass a bill. With only 51 Republican senators, Democrats can block legislation. On Jan. 19, that’s what they did.
In return for Democrat votes, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) demanded that an amnesty for DACA “kids” (average age 24) be added to a must-pass short-term funding bill to keep the government running.
The Democrats’ DACA amnesty did not include Trump immigration priorities such as funding a wall or serious reform of our illogical legal immigration system. GOP senators stood firm, Democrats voted no, and the government shut down. Three days later Schumer blinked. Humiliated Democrats joined Republicans in voting to reopen the government.
I was disappointed the Democrats so quickly caved. Despite the disruption the shutdown was causing, it made immigration policy center stage for a few days. Most voters already know of chaotic illegal immigration. They do not know legal immigration is also a mess.
Each year 1 million new legal immigrants settle permanently in America mainly through extended family “chain migration” and, secondarily, through contrivances such as the “diversity visa lottery” (a 1990 concoction of Senator Schumer).
Because of the shutdown, the public was beginning to learn how “chain migration” and the “diversity lottery” work, how a lack of job-site vetting depresses American wages (E-Verify is optional; it ought to be mandatory), how not having a wall hurts security.
Americans were hearing about quirks such as TPS (“Temporary” Protected Status) granted foreigners after home country disasters who then never return, about “anchor baby” citizenship (a powerful magnet for illegal immigration; there’s even a “birthright tourism” industry servicing pregnant tourists), how millions of visa over-stayers get away with it, how “sanctuary cities” abet lawlessness.
The more Americans learn, the less they like. The less they like, the more they will look to Republicans to fix our disastrous immigration status quo. Most Republican legislators will respond.
With enough pressure even Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican senator beloved by Democrats and news media — Graham gets far more air time than other GOP senators because on immigration he’s essentially a Democrat — might come around.
So thanks, Sen. Schumer. But can you persuade fellow Senate Democrats to do an encore? Your shutdown produced an immigration “teachable moment.” Americans urgently need immigration teachable moments.
Indeed they do.
Even if you don't have anywhere near Tom's level of expertise, if you're a VDARE.com regular, you know far more about our immigration disaster (e.g. that, as Tom wrote above, "legal immigration is also a mess") than most of our fellow citizens. Since educating them is critical, step up and start writing letters yourself, a theme I've urged here before (that time, too, keying on a published Shuford letter).
Yes, it's like pushing a boulder up a hill to get anything across to broad swaths of the public in this easily-distracted nation—for example, back in January 2000, immigration-sanity guerilla Craig Nelsen was challenging presidential candidate George W. Bush over chain migration, yet 18 years later, the reaction of the public and chattering classes to the term "chain migration" remains "Wozzat??"
So yes, it's hard work. But, immigration patriots, it's necessary.