On Krikorian’s New Case Against Immigration

What was wrong with the old case?

Center for Immigration Studies Executive Director Mark http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=754, naturally raises the question: “What’s wrong with the old case against immigration?”

According to Krikorian there wasn’t an “old case against immigration,” but rather many different cases against immigration. Some were based on national security; others on culture or sovereignty; some on the effect on wages; others on population and the environment. Krikorian acknowledges that all these objections are perfectly legitimate, but proposes a “unified field theory of immigration control.”

As ambitious as this sounds, what Krikorian really tries to do is to take a few unobjectionable principles typical of a “modern society”, such as a shared national identity, a large middle class with some upward mobility, basic government infrastructure, environmental stewardship etc., all of which with which 80% of the population regardless of political orientation agree, and explain how mass immigration damage them.

When going through each of these issues, he does a bit of summarizing the work of others, such as Harvard economist http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=2921, but he comes up with many original arguments himself.One of the best parts of the book are his answers to the “Why can’t we have mass immigration if we get rid of ____.”

For example, many libertarians say the problem is not immigration, but welfare. The obvious retort to that is: “We’ll talk when we end the welfare state”—which, Krikorian says, like it or not, is here to stay. Even if the size of government were cut in half, and the immigrants paid the same amount of taxes they do now, they’d still be a significant fiscal burden.

For those who suggest that welfare be cut off specifically for immigrants, but not for the general population, Krikorian notes that this was tried with welfare reform, without success. Furthermore, a huge chunk of the costs of illegal immigrants comes in the form of health care, education and criminal justice. If immigrants are denied these basic services while still living in this country, it will even further exacerbate the problem of the immigrant underclass.

Similar arguments are made by neoconservatives who say the problem is multiculturalism, not immigration. Krikorian retorts that the newer immigrant children are getting their education in schools “more likely to engage in a deliberate  process of de-Americanization”—by which he no doubt means the kind of education typified by the names Manzanar, Sally Hemings, Sacajawea, and the Trail of Tears.

He could have added that immigrants support both welfare and multiculturalism politically—so their increasing numbers will further entrench these programs.

On national security, Krikorian goes through the usual arguments about how flaws in our visa and entry-exit system, as well as our lack of border security makes us vulnerable to terrorism. He then makes the obvious—but often overlooked point—that fixing these problems would be a lot easier if we just had fewer foreigners in the country. He uses Mao’s line that “The people are like water and the army is like fish” to explain how large Muslim enclaves—even if the residents are law abiding—make it easier for terrorists to blend in undetected.

In these areas, Krikorian does do a very good job at synthesizing the “old” arguments, with some of his own to come up with a coherent case against mass immigration.

But there is one “old case against immigration” that Krikorian does not incorporate in his unified field theory: opposition to the massive ethno-demographic change created by post-1965 immigration. Krikorian cites Peter Brimelow’s 1995 Alien Nation and Pat Buchanan’s State of Emergency only to dismiss them as evidence that this concern is misplaced.

Indeed, Krikorian sounds no different than any Open Borders advocate when he claims that various European immigrants who were once considered inassimilable ended up assimilating , and are hence proof that all immigrants can assimilate. According to Krikorian, “today’s raw material for assimilation—the immigrants from Asia and Latin America—is not [quoting Peter Brimelow ‘systematically different from anything that had gone before’ but instead a continuation of the expansion of ‘Us.’”

Krikorian’s book even opens: “It’s not the immigrants—it’s us. What’s different about immigration today as opposed to a century ago is not the characteristics of the newcomers.”

But in fact Krikorian gives us many reasons that suggest the source of today’s immigrants give us problems that the earlier wave did not.

In this sense, his book is http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=5328 of the Brezhnev era in the Soviet Union: intellectuals could deviate from the Party line—so long as they paid lip service to it at the beginning and the end of whatever they wrote.

He notes that when immigration enthusiasts praise the diversity of our newcomers, they mean that they aren’t white. In reality our immigrant population is quite un-diverse: it is overwhelmingly Mexican.

And Mexicans are not the easiest group to assimilate. Krikorian’s chapter “Mass Immigration vs. National Sovereignty” might as well be called “Mexico vs. National Sovereignty.” Although he briefly discusses NAFTA and the North American Union, the bulk of what he reports is Mexican interference in almost every aspect of our laws and culture.

Krikorian calls the Mexican surge of immigration “Drang nach Norden” [“Drive Toward The North”, comparing it to the demographic invasion of German immigrants into Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages. He does not think there will be an actual Reconquista of Aztlan in the sense of an active secessionist movement. But he perceives a “greater threat”—the Mexican government expanding its power beyond its borders and acquiring “authority over the decision making of federal, state, and local governments all over the United States.”