Bush: Immigration Reform No (Not Really), Amnesty Si! (Still)
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It's been like pulling teeth, but the reality of the alien terrorist threat within the United States is finally forcing even the pro-immigration Bush administration to recognize the suicidal folly of tolerating mass immigration from countries and cultures profoundly different from our own. Last week the president himself uttered the first words that indicate he's starting to perceive where the real danger comes from. [Read transcript , listen via RealAudio.]

Acknowledging that "never did we realize that people would take advantage of our generosity to the extent that they have," Mr. Bush ticked off a list of changes in how the country would receive—or not receive—immigrants in the future. Tighter visa security and procedures, the most popular mantra of the hour, were high on the list, but so were new regulations forbidding the entry of suspected and potential terrorists. Later in the week, Attorney General John Ashcroft unveiled a new list of 46 more groups for the list of known terrorist organizations.

This is progress, sort of. Apparently it requires immense concentration of mind and steely girding of loins for the ruling class to see that letting just about anyone who wants to come here enter the country and wander about at will is really not a good idea in itself, let alone the most effective way to deter foreign terrorists. Even with the new announcements, the president had to pause every other sentence to explain that he's really not against immigration per se.

Although we need to "tighten up the visas," Mr. Bush also insisted "that's not to say we're not going to let people come into our country; of course we are." Then again, just because some people we let into our country are evil and need to be "brought to justice," "by far the vast majority of people who have come to America are really good, decent people—people that we're proud to have here." Maybe so, but it ought to be unnecessary for the president to have to keep saying it. No doubt most of the people of Afghanistan are "really good, decent people" as well, but neither the president nor the military leaders planning the bombing campaign feel the necessity to tell us so.

As for the late and unlamented "amnesty for illegal Mexican immigrants," that dominated the news prior to Sept. 11, it turns out that amnesty is not quite as late as some had thought. "It's not dead," says White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, but due to "other duties," drawing up the amnesty plan just "has not moved at the pace the president had hoped it would move."

What all of this means is that the ruling class in general and the Bush administration in particular have not really changed their minds about immigration one iota. It's just that they have at least enough political sense to grasp that most Americans know immigration is a major reason why we have foreign terrorism at all, why we are having to worry about continuing anthrax attacks, why we need to keep worrying about what immigrant terrorists are planning to do to us in the future, and why the FBI and similar agencies keep issuing warnings about imminent terrorist attacks. If there were no Arabic or Muslim immigrants here, if those here who are clearly sympathetic to terrorism or are clearly anti-American in their religious and political views were kicked out, there would not be much of a terrorist threat at all.

Ever since Sept. 11, when the threats that immigration represents became obvious (as though they were not obvious before), both the dominant media and the major political leaders have been trying to keep the lid on the immigration issue. As I have noted on previous occasions, restricting constitutional liberties for Americans, from requiring national ID cards to more burdensome air travel rules to looser wiretapping and surveillance regulations, are all OK and were the first measures to be adopted, but reducing immigration and expelling anti-American immigrant loudmouths are last resorts and can be undertaken only with extended explanations and qualifications. The commitment of the American ruling class to mass immigration thus seems to be engraved in granite.

It's engraved in granite because the American ruling class no longer considers itself to be American or even wants its own nation to survive. As the late historian Christopher Lasch argued, the elites that run the United States have "revolted" against their own country, and through mass immigration, "globalization," the erosion of national sovereignty and free trade are consciously managing the disintegration of their own country even as they enhance their own power and wealth. It has to make you wonder who is really more dangerous to Americans and their nation: the foreign terrorists or the domestic leaders who find it so hard to keep them outside our borders.


November 05, 2001

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