The Tancredo Moratorium Bill
For all the chest-thumping about "Homeland
Security," the blunt truth is that the United States
no safer today than it was the day before the 9/11
attacks two years ago and indeed, now that full-scale
war has started, considerably less safe.
The reason is that the government still refuses to
halt immigration and take control of its own borders,
allowing hordes of immigrants to enter the country,
stay as long as they please, and do more or less
whatever they can get away with—including, very
possibly, acts of
Only one public official has made any effort to
correct that situation. Last month Colorado`s
Rep. Tom Tancredo introduced what he calls the
Mass Immigration Reduction Act of 2003, a bill that
is essentially what is usually called a "moratorium"
on legal immigration into this country.
"Between 1800 and 1965," Mr. Tancredo writes
statement on the bill, "the annual number of
people admitted as immigrants averaged about 200,000.
Since 1990, that number has been over one million—and
that doesn`t count illegal immigrants."
With more than a million legal immigrants entering
every year, there is no way the federal bureaucracies
that deal with immigrants and national security threats
could handle the problem.
It would take an army larger than any in the world
simply to keep track of the aliens who are already here.
But national security, an obvious and immediate
threat, is only part of the problem with mass
immigration. The larger problem is the impact the
immigration numbers have—on the
social institutions generally. And even larger than
that is the number problem by itself.
Mr. Tancredo in his statement remarked "The Census
Bureau projects that U.S. population will hit
400 million by 2050 and 571 million by 2100"—up
from 280 million in the 2000 Census.
But the congressman`s numbers were outdated only
weeks after he cited them. This month the Census Bureau
announced that by 2050, the national population will
stand at 420 million,
17 million more than the previous estimate.
If you like
sitting in traffic, standing in line, paying
skyrocketing rents and home prices, and watching
natural resources vanish to sustain this level of
human numbers, you`ll think the America of the future is
Mr. Tancredo`s moratorium could help avert that
prospect. It limits legal immigration to about 300,000
per year—the number of people who leave the country
every year and a little more than the historic average
for annual legal immigration.
The brute fact is that, short of a nuclear war or a
mass epidemic, the United States
doesn`t need any more people. The 300,000 limit in
the moratorium bill would let us bring in the
Enrico Fermis that would not otherwise be in this
country (how many we`ll find in places like Mexico is
another question; a lot fewer than 300,000, I`d guess).
The only problem with Mr. Tancredo`s proposal is that
the moratorium would last for only five years. It should
be longer—at least 25 years, a
full generation, or more.
For nearly the last 40 years or so, Americans have
tolerated mass immigration on the mistaken assumption
that immigration is the normal and natural way for a
country`s population to grow. The fact is that few if
any other nations in history have willingly tolerated
levels of mass immigration we`ve accepted. The
normal way for them to grow is through expansion of
their own native populations, and the same ought to be
true for the United States.
In so far as we need more people, they should be our
own descendants, not someone else`s.
Mr. Tancredo`s bill may or may not pass. The
Bush administration, eager to court
Mexican voters, won`t push it, and few other
congressmen seem to understand the immigration crisis as
well as the Colorado representative. It`s likely the
administration`s cronies in Congress will try to
smother the moratorium in its cradle by simply never
holding hearings on it, allowing a committee vote on it,
or reporting it to the House floor for a vote.
But whatever actually happens to the bill, the vast
majority of Americans who want immigration reduced need
to beat the drum for it to build
popular support for immigration control.
A campaign to pass the moratorium would by itself
generate debate, disseminate information, provoke new
ideas and put pressure on Congress and the
administration to deal with the issue one way or
Even if the immigration "time-out" Mr. Tancredo is
calling for doesn`t happen now, a mass grassroots
movement centered on his measure could put serious
immigration control back on the political menu and build
a mass following the
Open Borders lobby couldn`t ignore.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
[Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,
America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The
Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available
Americans For Immigration Control.]