See earlier: "It Will Come To Blood"—Reflections On The Left's Anti-Trump Inauguration Tantrum, January 22, 2017
“A long farewell to all my greatness!” Cardinal Wolsey’s great but deeply tragic soliloquy in Shakespeare’s Henry VIII comes to my mind when contemplating President Donald J. Trump’s re-election bid. I don’t have the slightest idea if Trump’s bid will succeed—and neither does anyone else. (Patrick McDermott thinks that polls are understating Trump’s white vote by several points.) But I am compelled to respect, exactly as four years ago, the heart-stopping courage of Trump’s come-from-behind closing campaign (although he’s in this mess because he disregarded my explicit instructions to consolidate his white a.k.a. American base). And I certainly do believe that a Biden-Harris victory would result in an immediate Full Merkel—a treasonous drive to Elect A New People by drowning America with mass Third World immigration—which, at the least, won’t happen under Trump. Nevertheless, whether Trump wins or loses, I and all immigration patriots have to face a sad fact: the time has come to move on.
Which is not to say that Trump’s immigration achievements haven’t been significant. Particularly incredible to me, since I’ve been advocating it for nearly three decades, the U.S. now quietly has a de facto immigration moratorium explicitly aimed at protecting American jobs.
No Year Has Seen Legal Immigration Cut Like the 2nd Half of FY 2020, by David J. Bier, Cato.org, October 13, 2020.
Additionally, because of the enforcement of laws against illegal immigration and a very unTrumpian patient campaign of detailed regulatory changes affecting legal immigration, the immigrant workforce population has been falling for an unprecedented 13 months, beginning long before the Covid-19 pandemic. And what VDARE.com has long denounced as the “Refugee Racket” has been practically eliminated, and with it the jobs of Leftist bureaucrats in the many “charities” that were taking taxpayer monies to import refugees and dump them on local welfare systems.
[Trump] can claim that his new trade agreements and economic policies have produced income and wealth gains disproportionately favoring low-wage workers—something administrations of both parties have failed to achieve for a generation.
And he can argue that his immigration policies—and the cooperation he has successfully wrested from Mexico—have prevented the surge of unskilled illegal immigrants which could easily resume the minute the networks call the election for Joe Biden.
Both candidates' risky strategies, by Michael Barone, Northern Virginia Daily, October 24, 2020. (Emphasis added.)
But the problem: none of these achievements are the result of legislation. They are the product of Executive Branch action and they can be reversed, albeit not always quickly, by a future Democrat Administration.
No patriotic immigration reform legislation was passed during the Trump Presidency, not even in 2017-2019 when the GOP controlled both the U.S. House and Senate. Tellingly, none was even brought up for a vote. This applies even to the RAISE Act, which would have reduced legal immigration modestly and which Trump actually endorsed in 2017.
It’s all too clear that there is still intense opposition to legal immigration reduction in the donor-driven GOP Establishment. (Thus, unbelievably, the House GOP’s 2020 “Commitment To America” election platform didn’t mention immigration at all.)
But why did Trump not push Congress harder? Why, for that matter, is he not campaigning on immigration now—for example, pointing out that the Democrats will junk his temporary immigration moratorium as soon as they can?
Michael Barone noted this in his column too—“Astonishingly, Trump has failed to emphasize his two signature 2016 issues: immigration and trade.”
Part of the reason: Trump’s re-election campaign, like his Administration, seems mostly to be run by conventional GOP Beltway apparatchiks, who have never given the immigration issue any thought at all. Hence the Rove/ Bush-type clumsy pandering to minorities and their utter panic when faced with accusations of racism, which of course guarantees that the accusations continue to be made.
(Pathetically, the Trump campaign has released an ad showing 38 times Trump has denounced “white supremacy”—when it should be hitting back at the Democrat refusal to denounce, let alone prosecute, Communist rioters.)
But it also seems to be the case that somebody, perhaps Jared Kushner, has persuaded Trump to change his mind about cutting legal immigration, which before COVID-19 was running at some 652,000 a year. [Immigrant Population Growth Slows ‘Trump Effect’ likely explains slowdown, by Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler, CIS.org, October 22, 2020]
I think the first time I became aware of this was when Trump mentioned it in a speech to CPAC in 2019. But he also told the New York Times’ Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael D. Shear in an interview for their 2019 book Border Wars that he hadn’t been aware the RAISE Act cut legal immigration. And, more recently, in a 2020 WuFlu briefing he actually denied he’d ever wanted to cut it at all [Remarks by President Trump and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing, April 21, 2020]. He even appeared to allude to it when making a rare but important attack on Joe Biden for supporting Amnesty in the second Presidential debate.
(Of course Trump did indeed say he was going to cut legal immigration—in fact, read carefully his great August 15, 2015 Position Paper called for an immigration moratorium—but note we have to link to an archive.org version because the original has been purged from the Trump website). [Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again, The three core principles of Donald J. Trump's immigration plan [PDF]]
And, in fact Jared Kushner’s immigration plan announced last summer, while proposing several sensible tweaks to the current shambles, does not directly reduce legal immigration at all.
The supposed rationale for this: the economy was booming and might have been harmed by labor shortages—although it was precisely those shortages that were causing American wages to be bid up after years of stagnation. Maybe this rationale flattered Trump, who seemed inordinately proud of his boom.
Similarly, the recent flurry of SHOCK! HORROR! MSM reports about interesting things that Trump’s immigration consigliere (and rumored Kushner courtier) Stephen Miller thinks should be done in a Trump second term conspicuously do not include a massive cut in legal immigration.
But one such story did mention ending Birthright Citizenship, as Trump promised in 2015. All by itself, this would dramatically slow, and perhaps defer indefinitely, the transformation of the American electorate.
And this is the point. Ultimately the immigration issue is not about economics, but about politics—the politics of national survival. The GOP/ Generic American Party cannot for long hope to win national elections as its white a.k.a. American base is driven into minority status by post-1965 immigration policy. But it is under absolutely no obligation passively to accept this policy, especially as Democrats are openly gloating about benefitting from the immigration-driven Great Replacement (unless white Americans Notice it, in which case it becomes a “Conspiracy Theory”).
To stop the GOP/ GAP/ Historic American Nation’s drift to demographic disaster, Trump needed to institutionalize his revolution by cutting non-white immigration, preferably by imposing an immigration moratorium. We actually explained this to him 2017 by pointing to the failure of a similar conservative revolution: Canada To Trump: Heed Horrible Harper Warning! But apparently he was distracted.
Where there’s Trump, there’s hope. He has, in the end, imposed a temporary immigration moratorium. Significantly, Stephen Miller has been quoted as saying that lifting the moratorium is "’entirely contingent’ on governmental analysis that factors in the state of the job market.” [Trump adviser Stephen Miller reveals aggressive second-term immigration agenda, by Sahil Kapur, NBC, October 30, 2020]
That could be a long time. And Trump could easily have another S**t Hole moment where his instincts prevail over Washington D.C, conventional wisdom.
But if I had to guess right now, I’d say that Jared Kushner plans to install his wife as a “kinder, gentler” Trump in 2024, which probably involves agitating for an Amnesty and running out the GOP’s demographic clock. Certainly that would explain why he has reportedly encouraged his father-in-law to endorse Establishment Republicans (Paul Ryan! John McCain! Mitt Romney!) against immigration patriot primary challengers—and to allow the destruction of immigration patriots like Jeff Sessions, Kris Kobach and Steve King, all of whom would have been vital in passing legislation cutting legal immigration.
But the American political system is very fertile. Trump has put the immigration issue in play. With or without a Trump second term, other political entrepreneurs will move into the niche—for example Matt Gaetz, Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton, and possibly Tucker Carlson.
Although assailed with impending political dispossession, constant cultural humiliation and relentless Main Stream Media propaganda, we can still say with G.K Chesterton’s donkey:
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.
Peter Brimelow [Email him] is the editor of VDARE.com. His best-selling book, Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster, is now available in Kindle format.