Black Scholar`s Immigration Anthology Breaks Academic Taboos

Yale Law School Professor Peter H. Schuck observes:


"In a polity in which
only 17 percent of the public thinks that immigration
levels should be higher and 39 percent thinks they
should be lower, one would expect that at least some
legal scholars who write about immigration issues would
favor restriction. If so, one would be wrong. In over
two decades of immersion in immigration scholarship, I
have not encountered a single academic specialist on

immigration law
who favors reducing the number of
legal immigrants admitted each year."


The
Disconnect Between Public Attitudes and Policy Outcomes
in Immigration

[In Debating Immigration, Chapter 2, p.17, the
link is to an unedited version.]

So, Carol M. Swain, a law and political science
professor at Vanderbilt, has done the academic world a
service (although one it probably won`t appreciate) with
her new book Debating Immigration.
She
brings together 16 chapters from academic and think tank
luminaries such as

Nathan Glazer
,

Amitai Etzioni
,

Douglas S. Massey
, and

Steven A. Camarota
, along with lively essays from
journalists

Peter Brimelow
and Jonathan Tilove.


Swain
is one of the more unusual and admirable
scholars in public policy. Growing up black and poor in

rural Virginia,
one of twelve children, she dropped
out of 9th grade and married at 16. In her mid-20s she

started back to school.
Eventually, she earned
tenure at Princeton as an expert

on how Congress operates.

Her views are difficult to categorize politically. I
would say she`s an

advocate of black enlightened self-interest
, left of
center on economics,

right of center on culture.
For example, her 2002
book The New White Nationalism
sensibly advocated

depriving white nationalists
such as

Jared Taylor
of their

best issues
by restricting immigration and cutting
back on

affirmative action
, especially for immigrants and
affluent blacks. Needless to say, that hasn`t happened.

That whites and blacks have a common interest on
immigration is obvious from a logical standpoint. But
there`s not much of a market for logic. Many black
leaders, such as the Reverends

Jackson and Sharpton
and

Minister Farrakhan,
have no interest in striking a
deal with whites on immigration because they are not in
the business of

enlightened self-interest for blacks
. They are,
instead,

entertainers
, riffing endlessly and lucratively on
that old crowd-pleasing tune Sticking It to the White
Man.
If the

average white person
doesn`t want more immigrants,
well, then, these black leaders will help bring in more
just to spite whitey.

It would be nice if all the blame for this kind of
dead-end political thinking rested on the shoulders of
Jackson, Sharpton, and Farrakhan. Unfortunately,
however, they are merely meeting their audience`s demand
for

demagoguery
.

Swain`s own chapter in Debating Immigration
points out the uselessness of the

Congressional Black Caucus
on immigration bills.

She notes that one reason for this is that quite a few
black Representatives come from districts that are
increasingly Hispanic.

I`d add that the weird math of the "rotten
borough
"
syndrome is encouraging

black politicians
to favor the immigration that will

eventually destroy them.

It works like this: Noncitizens aren`t allowed to vote,
but in most states they are

counted in the redistricting
following each Census.
As Latino illegal immigrants move into

black neighborhoods,
the number of black-dominated
districts can actually increase in the next
redistricting because there will be fewer voters per
district in poor areas. For instance, about

twice as many votes
are cast in each election in the
posh Beverly Hills district of Democratic Congressman
Henry Waxman as in the heavily illegal alien-populated

South Central LA district
still represented by

black radical warhorse Maxine Waters.

Eventually, though, the

illegals` children
will start voting (unless the

current misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment

granting birthright citizenship is changed). Then the
black politicians will be swept from power—après

Maxine
, le deluge
. But in the meantime, life is
good for the Congressional Black Caucus.


Debating Immigration

lives up to its title, with representatives from all
sides, including some perspectives I haven`t seen
before. For example, Swain, who became an evangelical
Christian at the beginning of this decade, has included
an incisive analysis from a scriptural standpoint.

Under the leadership on immigration issues of the now
disgraced

Roger Cardinal Mahony
, the Roman Catholic Church in
America has been a strong voice for more Hispanic
immigration. But what about

conservative Protestants?
Contributor

James R. Edwards
offers "A Biblical Perspective
on Immigration Policy
" that uses quotes from both
Testaments to argue that

liberal Christians
who push for

open borders
from a "brotherhood of man"
stance:


"(1) Fail to
acknowledge the special obligation we all have toward
those closest to us and to the specific communities
wherein we reside; (2) Pay insufficient attention to the
biblical obligation that civil authorities have to
protect the people and the communities entrusted to
their care."

I
would add that many of the

references in the Bible
cited by pro-immigration
Christians, such as

Hebrews 13:2
"Be not forgetful to entertain
strangers"
are not referring to immigrants but to
the ancient West Asian tradition of

hospitality toward guests.
The difference
between guests and immigrants is that guests have their
own obligations—most importantly to (sooner or later)
go home


Jonathan Tilove
of Newhouse News, the finest
mainstream media reporter on race and immigration,
writes:


"In the course of my
years

[since 1991] reporting about race and immigration, I
have come to believe that indifference to the fate of
black America, or in some quarters a passive-aggressive
hostility toward African Americans, has become an
animating feature of support for a liberal immigration
policy and helps to explain the strange bedfellows who
have made that policy unstoppable even in the face of
lukewarm public support at best."

"Passive-aggressive"
is right. As I`ve argued, immigrants are "economically
cleansing
" native-born blacks from the home bases of
the media elite—New
York City
and

Washington D.C.
This reduces crime locally,
especially in this generation before the newcomers have
sons who

grow up
to join street gangs. Many in the national
press

seem to assume
that the African Americans who are
driven out of their cities by immigrants pushing rents
up and wages down are being deported. Of course, they
are just being pushed out to

less fashionable cities
such as

Newark, Philadelphia, and Baltimore
. And there the
murder rates have gone up considerably since 2002 and
are now four to six times as bad as New York City`s.

Peter Brimelow points out in his chapter that
immigration`s benefit to "the economy" is
surprisingly small. A larger population means the
overall Gross Domestic Product is larger, but virtually
all of that goes to the immigrants themselves. The net
benefit to native-born Americans is nugatory—and is in
fact wiped out by

government-mandated transfer payments
, such as

education
and welfare, from American taxpayers to
immigrants.

As Peter notes, the

main effect of immigration
is to shift wealth from

labor
to

capital
. Despite all the chatter in the press about
immigrant entrepreneurialism, unskilled illegal
immigration is unthreatening to employers precisely
because poorly educated Latinos are unlikely to ever
provide effective competition against their bosses.
Corporations thus get both cheap workers and additional
consumers, but not future rivals. From a profit
maximization angle, what`s not to like?

On the other hand, the book also includes an essay with
the curious title "Hispanics and Asians: America`s
Last Hope
" by the famous Israeli-American
sociologist

Amitai Etzioni
of George Washington University in
D.C., where he is the Director of the Institute for
Communitarian Policy Studies. Etzioni was a Senior
Adviser to President Carter and his website lists his
awards and honors at

vast length
.

Etzioni is best known for publicizing the word
"communitarian"
.

Wikipedia
says: "The main idea of Etzioni is that
individual rights and aspirations should be protected
but that they should be inserted into a sense of the
community …
"

Still, as any native Southern Californian (like me) can
tell you, importing millions of poorly educated Mexicans
in recent decades has not improved the local
sense of community.

There have been sizable numbers of

people of Mexican descent
living in the southwestern
United States

since at least the 1840s,
but many East Coast
intellectuals like Etzioni never paid much attention to
them until recently. So, they feel free to make up
fantasies about how future immigrants from Mexico will
turn out with little reference to how the last half
dozen generations have fared.

Like so many academics and pundits, Etzioni`s sees
Mexican immigrants through the lens of

Ellis Island nostalgia
, sentimentally slathered with
ethnocentric self-absorption.

Etzioni`s lack of interest in actual Mexicans leads to
some howlers. The professor`s thesis statement is:


"A large number of
immigrants, many from Mexico and other South American
countries (and to a lesser extent from Asia), are making
the United States more communitarian than it has been in
recent decades by fostering a stronger commitment to
family, community, and nation …"

First, Mexico is not a South American country.
There are no

fewer than seven other countries
between Mexico and

South America
. Mexicans don`t even like to be called
a Central American country. (You can`t blame
them.

Would you?
)

Second, people of Mexican descent in this country are
remarkably lacking in the community orientation that
Etzioni has made such a glittering career out of
endorsing.

Etzioni cluelessly assumes that Mexican clannishness

corresponds to a willingness to help the community at
large,
or even just the Mexican slice. In reality,
as
New York Times

correspondent Alan Riding observed in his 1984
bestseller Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans
Mexicans need few friends, because they have many
relatives
.” That`s why, as columnist

Gregory Rodriguez
once wrote in the
L.A. Times
:
In Los Angeles, home to more Mexicans than any other
city in the U.S., there is not one ethnic Mexican
hospital, college,

cemetery
, or broad-based charity
.”[Mexican
Americans Are Building No Walls,
February 29,
2004]

Harvard political
scientist

Robert D. Putnam
conducted a survey of trust within
40 American communities in 2000 (which VDARE.com
reported on in

2001
). Then he decided to

hunker down
with his findings for five years because
they were so politically incorrect: contra
Etzioni, the more diversity the less "social
trust, community attachment and sociability
,"
with immigrants being

worse
for the communitarian virtues than

African-Americans.

Swain has delivered a fine and fair anthology on a topic
almost criminally neglected by academia. This is no
doubt why it gas received no reviews that I can see and
on Sunday evening the hardcover languished at 1,694,347
on Amazon.com. (The paperback was at 71,126). I urge
VDARE.COM readers to rectify that.

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic
for


The American Conservative
.
His website

www.iSteve.blogspot.com
features his daily
blog.]