Two Years After 9/11, Time For An Immigration Reform Litmus Test
Two years later, it
can be said of the dead of 9/11, in the words
quoted at every family gathering when I was a child
in the 1950s, with the ghosts of two World Wars silently
They shall not grow
old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
two years that have elapsed since the event that was
supposed to have
Changed Everything, change has indeed been dramatic
in some areas. But it is virtually non-existent in
dramatically, the U.S. has, in effect, acquired two
colonies in the Middle East, along with what
increasingly appear to be two colonial wars. But,
whatever the wisdom of this policy – VDARE.COM is
neutral, our syndicated columnists are divided
con – it is quite obvious that the Bush Administration
has refused to respond to the point that we made
immediately after the terrorist attack:
“IT`S THE IMMIGRATION, STUPID!”
sweeping immigration reform, any War on Terrorism can be
at best an
F-14 with only one wing.
Bush Administration seems determined not merely to
ignore, but actually to insult, immigration
reformers. Thus the Miami Herald`s Frank Davies
has just (September 9)
reported that “the new top U.S. diplomat for
Latin America, Roger Noriega” says that, in
U.S.-Mexico relations, “we need to focus more on
immigration,” Bush-speak for amnestying illegals.
And – wait for it – Noriega is himself “the grandson
of undocumented Mexican immigrants.”
least six months after 9/11, well into the spring of
2002, immigration enthusiasts like
Tamar Jacoby were congratulating themselves that
they had dodged the immigration reform bullet. The
instant popular demand for it appeared once again to
have been frustrated. One ever-politic bellwether:
National Review, which had all but nominally
abandoned immigration reform after 1997 when
Bill Buckley secretly fired John O`Sullivan,
continued to publish vitriolic
attacks on those of us (me) who had
crafted its original line and to curry Beltway favor
featuring open-borders loonies like the
least in the little world of “conservative” journalism,
this has finally changed.
is one of those curious things. It happened too late to
be directly related to 9/11. Maybe it was
Michelle Malkin`s book
Invasion, with its tight, hard-to-smear focus on
the flawed U.S. admissions process, a best-seller
despite being reviewed by no major newspapers when it
was released last fall. Or maybe it occurred to someone
World War IV on the Muslim world might also require
restricting Muslim immigration.
Institute`s John Fonte has now
discerned what he calls a “second thoughts”
group of “conservative intellectuals and activists,”
newly interested in immigration reform, inspired
especially by Victor David Hanson`s recent book on
Mexifornia. (Commercial message: I will be
commenting on this book soon in
The American Conservative.)
As befits a
regular National Review contributor a.k.a.
Buckley courtier, Fonte says tactfully that what he
calls “the first-wave debate” just somehow
“faded in the late `90s.”
veterans who were “faded” from our respective
publications – I`d include here
Scott McConnell and
Sam Francis – would have to be made of stone not to
view this Second Thoughts group with a certain, well,
although I`ve never discussed it with him, I`ve always
felt that even the saintly Sam, first in the field of
immigration reform along with his
Chronicles Magazine colleagues, yielded a little
to this temptation when he
Alien Nation in—those were the days!—National
Christians, jealousy is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. So
I want here to put on record that I thought
Rich Lowry`s recent columns on the
impact of immigration on the poor and on
why California gubernatorial candidate Arnold
Schwarzenegger should run on Proposition 187 were very
even have considered publishing them in VDARE.COM, if we
hadn`t covered the ground before.
cares about that? For an idea to become policy, it must
spread from radicals to moderates, from the fringe to
the center, from the original to the orthodox. Whatever.
Only when the idea is thoroughly ventilated will
professional politicians even begin to consider it.
We all need
each other, I like to think in my collegial way.
one thing, however. Uncritical acceptance is another.
Because the motives of the late-comers are significantly
different, there is a constant danger that so too may be
the outcome of any policies they promote.
what happened to poor Mark Krikorian of the
Center For Immigration Studies this year when he
awarded his Eugene Katz journalism prize for
“excellence in the coverage of immigration” to
Joel Mowbray because of his coverage of the
Saudi visa scandal.
At the May
ceremony, Mowbray was said to have been
“unexpectedly sent on assignment in Israel.” So the
award was accepted on his behalf by the
notorious NR immigration enthusiast
John J. Miller. And Miller read out an email from
Mowbray explicitly disassociating himself from the cause
of immigration reform. (“It`s ironic that I`m getting
an award from a group who has a principal focus on
reducing immigration levels. Though I think very highly
of CIS, I do not agree on the key question of
regularly tease Mark Krikorian because of his amiable
triangulate his way into respectability at the
expense of VDARE.COM and other immigration reformers.
But he did not deserve this public humiliation.
Nor did the
immigration reform movement deserve to lose one of its
few public platforms.
to Mark: next year, give the Katz Award to Sam Francis.
count on Sam! [email
your vote to the Center For Immigration Studies.]
rate, at this (relatively) happy juncture in immigration
reform history, it`s time to consider what litmus tests
to apply to immigration-reformers-come-lately.
suggest a few in my next article.