Four Failed Immigration Approaches And A Disturbing Thought About Those Happy Hispanic Workers


As I noted in

last week`s review
of Tamar Jacoby`s essay
collection


Reinventing The Melting Pot,

neoconservatives proclaim faith in assimilation as an
excuse for not thinking hard about the quantity and
quality of immigrants.

That assumption has allowed many
neocons to endorse enthusiastically the Bush-Rove

Illegal Alien Amnesty and Unlimited Guest Worker plan
,
which has otherwise

proven to be about as popular
as a case of
salmonella.

But look at Europe. Its experience
proves that the different immigrant approaches of the
host countries matters less than what the immigrants
bring with them. In particular, one European country has
already tried out just about the entire neocon bag of
assimilative tricks—with deeply mixed results.

You can still make out these four
traditional Western European approaches to treating
immigrants, although the European Union is

blurring the distinctions
between national policies.
(That`s another story.)

Approach #1: Multiculturalism.

The Northwestern Europeans, such as the

Scandinavians
,

Dutch
, and

British
, have tried multiculturalism. Needless to
say,

this hasn`t worked.
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
reported in the Daily Telegraph last week:


"Holland`s 30-year experiment in trying to create a
tolerant, multicultural society has failed and led to
ethnic ghettos and sink schools, according to an
official parliamentary report. Between 70 and 80 per
cent of Dutch-born members of immigrant families import
their spouse from their `home` country, mostly Turkey or
Morocco, perpetuating a fast-growing Muslim subculture
in large cities."[Dutch
race policy `a 30-year failure,`
January 20, 2004]

Similarly,
Bruce Bawer
noted in the International Herald Tribune that

"from 1996 to 2001, 82 percent of the men marrying
the Norwegian granddaughters of Moroccan immigrants were
themselves Moroccans; another 14 percent were of
Moroccan descent…"

Bawer explained:

"These
marriages – invariably arranged, and often

forced

– have two chief motivations. One is to provide the
foreign spouse with Norwegian residency rights under the
`family reunification` provision of immigration law. The
other is to resist integration by injecting into the
European branch of the family a fresh dose of
`traditional values`—among them hostility to pluralism,
tolerance, democracy, and sexual equality… The trend in
short is toward increased segregation…"
[A
trap for Muslim women in Europe
,
June 27, 2003]

Likewise, the third generation of Britain`s


Pakistani Muslims
,
the tall and surly grandsons of the short and obsequious
peasants brought in to work in the mills of Northern
England, was responsible for the major


race riots

of 2001.

Would more social integration help? Maybe not. Britain`s
English-speaking

Caribbean immigrants
are much more woven into the
mainstream

working class culture
, with a high interracial
cohabitation and marriage rate. But that doesn`t keep
them from committing a

disproportionate share
of the

violent street crime.

Finally, Britain`s

Hindus and Sikh immigrants,
typically the offspring
of the subcontinent`s educated middle class, are rather
standoffish but are law-abiding and productive.

The simplest explanation for these patterns: the
quality of immigrants matters.
In Britain, the
Indians do better than the Pakistanis, just as the
Africans do better than the Jamaicans, because they were
more carefully selected.


Approach # 2: Quarantine
.

Germans aren`t that much more enthused about
assimilating the descendents of the gastarbeiters
of the 1950s than these Turks are interested in becoming

assimilated
. If the German public could, it would
prefer to

ignore
the foreigners in its midst.


Approach #3: Move `Em On!
 
Southern European countries such as

Italy
not only don`t try to assimilate immigrants,
they`d really like to treat them the same way the
sheriff in a

Steinbeck novel
dealt with a freight train full of
hobos. Italy encourages asylum seekers to keep moving
north toward the European Union`s more generous welfare
states. In effect, the Italians are telling the
immigrants that northern Europeans are more apt to
believe strangers` hard luck stories than
seen-it-all-before Mediterraneans. They`re right.

Approach # 4: La Mission Civilitrice.
Finally, the French have traditionally
tried to do with their immigrants almost exactly what
the

neocons recommend
here: cultural assimilation,
education in civics theories, monolingualism,
meritocracy, separation of church and state, and all the
rest.

This may seem ironic, because nobody in Tikrit hates
anybody worse than the

neocons hate the French
. But that`s the way it
usually turns out with ideologues: it`s their nature to
burn at the stake those heretics who deviate the most
minutely.

Officially, France is what the neocons say America is: a


"Proposition Nation"

defined by adherence to ideological
concepts rather than by

descent.
Indeed, the American and French

“propositions” are basically identical. Which
shouldn`t be surprising, since the French were


wildly enthusiastic
about our Founding Fathers, who in
turn greatly admired French thinkers like Montesquieu
and


Voltaire
. Of course, the French Revolution
didn`t work out as nicely as the American Revolution,
precisely because ideological propositions are of
secondary importance.

Still, the French assimilation concepts are by no means
bad. Over the centuries, the French successfully
assimilated large numbers of immigrants from Eastern
Europe, as well as some of the best educated Africans
and Vietnamese.

But they`ve failed miserably with their huge

North African Muslim population
, which now makes up
somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of the population.
(The French are so neocon that they

refuse to count by ethnicity
.)

Indeed, this French neocon philosophy probably

can`t survive
the

impact of the Muslims
. France`s Muslims are now so

poor and hostile
that the most dynamic political
figure, the center-right Interior Minister


Nicolas Sarkozy

(himself the son of aristocratic
Hungarian immigrants), has called for France to junk its
tradition of

equality under the law
and institute affirmative
action for Muslims.

Similarly,


Brazil
,
despite its endless boasting about
having no race problem, recently imposed racial
preferences.

The trend in France, and Brazil, follows Sailer`s Law of
Quotas:


"In the long run, ideology is
irrelevant; instead, there will be affirmative action if
at least one politically significant ethnic group is
well below average in competitive ability."

It`s a sad story. The term "neoconservative" once meant
an outstanding social scientist with a realist
perspective on race and ethnicity, such as

Daniel Patrick Moynihan
, James Q. Wilson,

Nathan Glazer
, or


Father Andrew Greeley.

But, through some intellectual version of Gresham`s Law,
the great neoconservatives of a generation ago have been
jostled aside by lesser figures whose outlook can be
summed up as:

Domestic Policy:


Invite the World
!

Foreign Policy:

Invade the World!

Tragicomically, the French have also tried the second
neocon plan too, a half century ago during the Algerian
War (1954-1962). (Here`s my film review from


The American Conservative


of the re-release of the important
guerilla war film

The Battle of Algiers.)

According to Alistair Horne`s

A Savage War of Peace,
after sending a half-million
able-bodied Frenchmen to Algeria to fight the Arab
insurgency, France realized it needed more laborers at
home. So "she increased the intake of Algerian
immigrant workers so that their numbers actually rose by
over 30 percent in the course of the war."

Not surprisingly, importing the cousins of the rebels
you were

napalming
and

torturing
did not make for a loyal Muslim population
a couple of generations later.

Today, it seems crazy that the French brought the
grandfathers of all those dangerous Muslim
fundamentalists into their countries.

But it`s important to realize that Muslims didn`t appear
frightening at the time. They were viewed as docile
workers and Islam as a spent force, an extinct volcano.
More worrisome at the time was secular Arab nationalism,
but that didn`t seem to pose a domestic threat.

As


Paul Cella
has noted, G.K. Chesterton and

Hilaire Belloc
had

predicted the revival of Islam
as a

rival to the West,
but they were almost alone.

Clearly, the U.S. is currently better off with compliant
Latin Americans instead of resentful Muslims as the main
immigrant group. Still, as


The Clash

pointed out,

"The future is unwritten."

Fifty years ago
white Americans thought of
African-Americans the way they think of Hispanics today:
as

trustworthy servants.

Things change.

Amy

Chua`s recent book


World on Fire
showed that, all across South America
since the year 2000, brown and black people are finally
developing ethnic self-consciousness and solidarity in
the struggle against the whites who have so easily held
them down for so long. This

historic change of attitude
has so far not had much
impact on Mexico north of Chiapas. Hence it has not yet
been noticed within the U.S.

Will Latino attitudes change here, as
did

Muslims in Europe
and

blacks in America?

I don`t know. I don`t think anybody
knows. But why take the risk?

At the very least, when deciding on the
quantity and quality of immigrants, prudence is a
virtue.  Ask the Europeans, now it`s too late for them.


[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.]