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11/14/2012

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jim kirby

Our immigration policy favoring "family reunification" means that once a family member gains citizenship, other members of his family are put on a fast track to permanent residency, including his parents.

I wish we had the policy of allowing a foreigner to trade citizenship with an Amerikan citizen, as I'd like to get out!

JOSHUA KARSH

"If one amnesties the entire existing illegal immigrant population (excepting criminals), one encourages further illegal immigration because there will be an anticipation of future amnesties" -- The last amnesty (IRCA) was in 1986. One every 25 years doesn't seem likely to influence incentives very much. Very few people plan based on projection that far ahead.

Neilehat

"What to do about Illegal Immigration"? Simple. Enforce the Letter of the Law. Our Immigration problem is due to lax enforcement or a lack of enforcement. As I learned in a High School Civics class, "Legislation without teeth is useless".

Or as an American President put it, "When confronted with bad Law the best way I now to handle them is their stringent execution"...

Christopher Graves

Enforcing immigration laws is not that difficult in practice if we would just put our mind to it. The e-verify law, if enforced, would cut off the vast majority of employment opportunities to illegal immigrants, and they would leave the country out of necessity. This process would be accelerated if we would end governmental benefits to illegal aliens. The border has been secured in previous generations by both FDR and Eisenhower. There is no reason to believe that it cannot be secured now.

I am more interested in enforcing the law against non-European illegal immigrants because of the need for maintaining the cultural foundation of the United States. People of non-European descent have developed biologically, linguistically, & culturally in different ways than have Europeans. This is not to say that non-Europeans are morally inferior or any such notion, but they are different and are primed by their heritage for a way of life that is different from ours and from each others'.

Furthermore, when people appear different, we are prone not to cooperate with them. Cooperation and concern for others are rooted in similarity along racial, linguistic, and cultural lines.

Attitudes toward individualism, liberty, self-control, romantic love, sympathy, industriousness, cooperation with others who are not relatives, moral indignation, and other characteristics vary by ethnicity and race. America is a product of the Protestant religion with its emphasis on individual salvation and an Anglo-Saxon heritage--both biologically and culturally (let's keep in mind that our legal system, our political philosophy, our language, our economy, our sensibilities about our liberties all have an English heritage).

We cannot maintain the civil society that our political, legal, and economic system is based in if we are a polyglot collection of social atoms or if we dissolve into groups with ways of life that are at variance with one another and fail to provide the social infra-structure to maintain America as we have known it from its inception in the 17th Century. This means that we must not only enforce laws against non-European illegal immigrants, but must change our immigration laws that allow for legal immigration to once again favor Northern Europeans especially those from the British Isles as was the practice from 1924 until 1965. As conservative leaders in Europe are now realizing and openly admitting, multi-culturalism does not work.

Terry Bennett

Fools we have been, and now too late it is.

The Latinos have done to us exactly what the Jews did to Palestine under Hertzl's Zionist scheme: infiltrate our land in sufficient density to take political power. We have unwittingly handed them the weapon they have used against us, citizenship, and we can't very well take it back even though they have just proven their unworthiness and bad faith by voting their own selfish motives over the interests of the nation. Obama is their puppet. He helped his personal ambitions by kissing their rings, but now he will keep kissing them, and the nation will suffer the costs.

I agree with Christopher, minus the racial element. In my experience, the way you speak overcomes the way your skin looks. I have a friend whose parents came here from Sri Lanka - black as coal, but the minute he opens his mouth his perfect colloquial speech makes it obvious that he belongs here. He "gets" our America. Large numbers of Latinos do not, rather living in their own sub-culture, under the radar and even segregating themselves from the mainstream of the U.S., but sponging off our infrastructure as they re-enact their homelands in enclaves on our soil.

In fact, I have argued elsewhere that of all the peoples of the world, the ones most suited to walk in the door here and function on day one are Filipinos. They are English-speaking, Christian, Democratic, educated, pro-America, and unreliant on welfare since it doesn't exist back home. They are the number one legal donor nation to the U.S., or were until recently, and there is a good reason for that: they do well here. They have families here already, so they also have some support when they arrive. The Brits have been wimped up by their socialist infrastructure, and don't even seem to like it here.

Just thinking out loud, how about this: let's take Mexico, militarily. (It can't be any harder than Afghanistan, and we've done so well there.) We'll install somebody, like MacAurhur in Japan, and whip that country into shape so it's prosperous, and then those people won't need to come here any more, plus the ones who don't fit in here will go home by choice.

Apart from that, Becker's pay-to-play plan has a nice feel to it.

Michael Brophy

In Dallas, you can drive down Northwest Highway and the sign on the bank says,'Acceptamos Matricula,' accepting the Mexican identity paper for opening a bank account. That is consistent with current U.S. law. Well, we accept their money based on carrying the card; how about accepting the bearer of the money. In the EU Frenchmen were moving to Ireland for jobs. That didn't mean they would vote in Irish elections or a referendum. Why not do the same here and have free flow of persons in the NAFTA area? That would instantly legitimize the Mexicans in the U.S.

Christopher Graves

I appreciate your comments, Terry, but I do believe that PC has so skewed the conversation away from race and ethnicity, we have come to believe these differences are only a matter of complexion. That is wrong. Consider the following analysis that I heard recently by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt. He argues that race and ethnicity play a crucial role in the political, economic, and legal system that people live in.

For example, he cites the Chinese who developed rice farming as a means of subsistence centuries ago. Rice farming is dependent on an extensive infrastructure that is incompatible with individual creativity and assertiveness. Over time, those who showed more docile, cooperative tendencies fared better in the Chinese economy and were more likely to attract mates and reproduce. Those who were more defiant and independent were marginalized and were less able to reproduce. Over time, the traits that we see as characteristic of the Orient predominated in this culture. We can even see these tendencies in the religions and philosophies that have been more influential in these parts of Asia.

Haidt contrasts the biology/culture/politics/economy of the Far East with those of parts of the Middle East where herding flocks became the dominant way people subsisted. The traits that furthered protecting the herds involved a more impulsive, less cooperative, even suspicious mindset in conjunction with the physical abilities to protect the herds. So those with a very different set of traits were more likely to prosper, attract mates, and reproduce. Over time, we see the interaction of the economic organization of a region, its culture, and the physical and psychological traits that predominate form a people. And not all people are as readily suited for each climate, geography, and the way of life that exist over the world. In short, contrary to oversimplified economic theory, people are not fungible.

And then there is language. Climate, geography, and the way of life that develop from these and other influences affect people's language. Even if they start off speaking the same language, once people are separated, over time, their language evolves so that it becomes somewhat or very different. Even slight differences in dialect can make a big difference in how people express themselves and their willingness and ability to cooperate. Consider the work of socio-linguist Deborah Tannen on the social and psychological effects of even very subtle differences in accent and pacing in speech. Again, languages are tied to a people.

Even moral and political universals such as liberty or equality take on a different tinge and application according to the traditions, history, and needs of each particular people. As Edmund Burke observed, there is an English liberty that is different from a French liberty.

It is the height of folly to think these differences do not matter or that they can be fudged and we can all get along as we live side-by-side as equals with people who do not share a similar range of temperaments, abilities, sensibilities, and attitudes.

Christopher Graves

One more thing, in response to Terry's reference to Zionism, I am very pro-Israel. I believe that God gave the Jews this land. The existence of Israel tends to encourage a conservative ethos in Jews who have a history of subversion and radicalism. While there are many intractable problems between the Israelis and the Palestinians, one thing is certain. Israel cannot continue to exist if they suffer from a huge influx of Palestinian Arabs. They are also on a similar collective demographic death march to oblivion as are most European nations, Japan, South Korea, and the native population of the United States.

Terry Bennett

Re Joshua's post - most Americans do not think 25 years ahead, but we're not concerned with how Americans think; we need to look at it the way foreigners think, and many cultures think more collectively and more long term. For instance, we cannot understand why the Palestinians are so hard headed in their struggle with the Israelis, when a compromise would so obviously improve their lives. However, the Palestinians see their current war in the context of thousands of years of fighting, and they worry how their grandchildren will judge them if they compromise now. Right now, if a Filipino gets in line at the U.S. embassy to apply for a green card, the wait is over 25 years - and yet they are still lining up, in large numbers, because they want their children to have a future here.

Terry Bennett

Christopher - very interesting, this idea of a homo novus asianus having emerged in relatively modern times, and I fully agree with your "height of folly" sentiment, but I would not go so far as to say that I have seen any race of people who are genetically unfit to come here. Again, working with the loose definition of a race as a group of people who share a set of genetic characteristics and a culture as a group of people who share a set of opinions, I continue to think race is a trivial contributor. The rice eaters in Hong Kong reverse-adapted very quickly in a matter of decades, and are now rocking Vancouver as well, their dismal English skills notwithstanding.

Culturally, there are clear lines. I would recommend we stop accepting applications from Muslims, each of whom is a potential ticking time bomb, literally and figuratively, because the futile act of peering into their minds to divine which ones will and won't go radical on us, and then following them around to make sure, inflicts costs that I am unwilling to bear for their benefit.

As for Israel, my post did not state a position on the moral validity of Hertzl's idea; I merely pointed out the analogy, and the concomitant unhappiness of the former tenants. In point of fact, I do not believe any such thing as you do, I do not recognize the Bible as an authority, I think the Palestinians have a legitimate gripe, I'm still none too pleased about the U.S.S. Vincennes, and I concede that U.S. policy needs to be pro-Israel at this time not because they have the least loyalty or goodwill toward us but only because the alternative is worse. I suppose we must agree to disagree on this point, respectfully of course. I look forward to reading your consistently well-stated ideas, and thank you for the prayers you will no doubt issue on behalf of my decrepit soul.

Neilehat

Given all the racial and cultural over and undertones that seem to have come to the fore regarding Immigration, I have an idea. Why not return to our Nativist roots? The only allowed entry point will be Ellis Island and culturally and racially those allowed in will be those of good Anglosaxon stock and Protestant belief. As for the Germans, Irish, Italians and Scandinavians, reject out of hand.

Remember, too practice, "No Irish need apply" as well as any other group not purely Anglosaxon and Protestant. My, how things seem to stay the same the more they change...

Christopher Graves

Thanks for your reply, Terry. First, I am not a Darwinist, so I am dubious about Haidt's speculation if he was suggesting that is how the races developed in the first place. But I do think he is on to something about how certain characteristics became accentuated over time within the ethnic groupings he was discussing. The basic process holds for many differences in ethnic/linguistic groupings. I think there is a fit between the climate, the geography, the economic system, the political and legal system, the language, and the physical and psychological traits of a people even allowing for a range of individual variation on one hand and a common human nature on the other.

These tendencies that have developed do not necessarily make any grouping of people "unfit." But they can make a large contingent of individuals migrating from one region or continent to another ill-suited for another social and physical climate. Once immigrants reach a certain critical mass and attempt to re-establish their own folkways within another culture, they can unintentionally undermine the social fabric of the host nation. They can do so even as they practice capitalism or argue in the public sphere or participate in democratic processes. As they do, they will come to these activities in a somewhat different way or, perhaps, very different way. Remember Burke's point that each culture has its own unique way of embodying universals.

The conservative take on social practices and institutions is that they are fragile and complex. Infusions of huge numbers of new members into a nation's population can subtly and not so subtly disrupt the flow of social interactions that all aspects of life depend upon. The disruptions of informal, even unconscious social cues, customs, habits, & traditions can destroy a civilization. These disruptions are as deadly for a social system as disruptions of the price system are for the economy. For instance, English historian Peter Heather argues that mass immigration into the Roman Empire led to its demise. See his *The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians,* (New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 2006).

In our discussion above of Israel both when it was first formed in ancient times and in modern times, the Jews displaced an established population and they face being displaced themselves now by demographic changes. Living in Israel was a very different experience than living in a Philistine city or nowadays living in a Muslim Arab nation.

Finally, in response to Neilehat, I think if we returned to the 1924 Immigration Act, it would address the concerns you brought up even though, I take it, your last post was an attempted reductio ad absurdum on nativism. One man's denying the consequent is another's affirming the antecedent. By the way, I like your hat.

Neilehat

Chris, An Absurdity? Hardly. The same issues, concerns and fears motivating the old Nativist Movement motivates today's Movement. Although, today's Movement now includes those descendents of those same Germans, Irish, Italians, Scandinavians, et al. who were once considered "less than worthy".

And today, the cry goes up, "No Mexicans, Asians or Eastern Europeans need apply"...

Christopher Graves

Thanks for your reply, Neilehat. I certainly agree that these are live issues today. I think it would help to repeal anti-discrimination laws on the grounds of freedom of association as well as a means of strengthening prevailing social structures.

As I said above, at least speaking for myself coming from a Burkean conservative perspective, the concerns about mass immigration are not founded on an individual not being "worthy" in some sense but rather a matter of social stability as I discussed above.

Christopher Graves

I am going to have to add a comment here, if anyone is still paying attention to this discussion. I just watched Ken Burn's PBS documentary on the Dust Bowl. As is typical with anything by Ken Burns, it was excellent. What I thought was relevant to our discussion on immigration in the show was the tension created in California when waves of immigrants from Oklahoma hit California in the 1930's. Californians reacted strongly against the mass migration into their state of people, decent as they were, who were culturally so different. California even posted guards at the state border under other legal pretexts to turn away immigrants from another region of the United States.

The race and ethnicity of Oklahomans were not so different from most native Californians. Neither was their language. But the accent, mannerisms, and culture were different. Their moral worth as persons was not an issue nor was their need. Universally, People have reacted this way to a large influx of people who are different along various lines, and I think their visceral reaction reveals an implicit wisdom that any social system cannot readily absorb large numbers of people who do not share a certain range of distinguishing characteristics enabling them to share in a common way of life.

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