Peter Brimelow's Call In ALIEN NATION For An Immigration Moratorium—25 Years Ago!
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Earlier: Trump Has Put An Immigration Moratorium "In Play." Not Enough—But Something and Re-Reading Peter Brimelow's ALIEN NATION—25 Years Later

Recently, editor Peter Brimelow wrote that it had been "25 years to the month since I proposed an immigration moratorium in my book Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster"

Brimelow has actually been calling for a moratorium  since 1992, although his National Review cover story didn't use the word "moratorium," and has continued to do so up until Trump came out publicly in agreement with him and us.

I did a Control-F through Alien Nation (buy it in Kindle here) for the word "moratorium", which in immigration terms means stopping net immigration.

The whole book, of course, is in effect about that: When people objected to the very idea of restricting legal immigration, I had to point out that Editor Peter Brimelow's 1995 bestselling book wasn't called "Illegal Alien Nation."

From the beginning of Chapter 3, The Pincers, Peter wrote:

As a journalist, I adore angry letters from readers. They give you that warm, comforting feeling that somebody, somewhere, cares. The letter below, however, was particularly stimulating. It's one of the responses that National Review ran after my [1992] immigration cover story.

[To the question of who should immigrate] Brimelow . . . provides the same tired answer given by every ethnic group: "More people who look like me." ... He implicitly suggests that the real reason for curbing immigration is to maintain the racial hegemony of white Americans.

Needless to say, on reading this complaint, I was immediately stricken by guilt. You always are. Even though what I had actually suggested was a moratorium—no immigration at all.

Peter was able to overcome this guilt by reflecting that “immigrants who look like him” were also immigrants who looked like, for example, George Washington, whose family once lived in Warton, Lancashire, less than 40 miles from where Peter was born.

Below is the policy proposal from Chapter 14, What Then, Is To Be Done?


America needs another time-out from immigration. It needs another pause for digestion, to match the Great Lulls of 1790-1840 and 1925-65.

This means a drastic cutback of legal immigration. From the current 1 million a year to perhaps 400,000, the target suggested by the Rockefeller Commission on Population Growth and the American Future in 1972. Or 350,000, as proposed by Reverend Theodore Hesburgh's Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy in 1981.[PDF] Or 300,000, as proposed by FAIR in 1992—which the organization describes as a "moratorium" because it would mean zero net immigration, since up to some 300,000 people are estimated to leave the United States each year.

Or, maybe, even less. There is a case for an immediate temporary cutoff of all immigration—say three to five years. Thereafter it might be advisable to adopt the more flexible Australian and Canadian approach. These countries have no specific immigrant total written into law, and can vary the total accepted yearly according to their labor-market conditions (and to public opinion—ultimately the only legitimate arbiter). Returning the INS to the Labor Department from the Justice Department, as proposed by Vernon M. Briggs, Jr., in his Mass Immigration and the National Interest, might reduce the current legalistic-civil rights bias. When you have a hammer, as Justice Department lawyers do, everything looks like a nail.

Whatever the total, however, cutting back immigration certainly means radical reform of the “family-reunification" policy. Currently, the United States is the only industrialized country that allows the automatic immigration of "non-nuclear" extended-family members. Had immigration been restricted just to the "nuclear" family members of American citizens—parents, spouses and dependent children—only about 250,000 immigrants would have entered in 1992. (And even this flow would diminish in time, because many of these sponsoring American citizens are actually themselves recent immigrants.)

But an automatic quarter million immigrants a year, before any skilled immigration at all, is still a lot. In the end, the fact must be faced: even close family reunification is not sacred. The restrictionist legislation in the 1920s, for example, made no provision for it. (And, of course, families can be reunited in two ways—the immigrant can always leave.)

Italics in original; Peter believes in emphasis. The letter was from Patrick Burns, who was involved in the immigration restriction movement himself at one point. He blogs as Terrierman, where he says no doubt sensible and useful things about adorable little dogs, and much less sensible things about politics. He had a little gloat in 2018, when Larry Kudlow was attacked for having known Peter Brimelow well enough that he invite Peter to a Kudlow birthday party.

Perhaps we can all have a little gloat in return.



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