Steinlight on Agriprocessors


In the early years of this decade, the Immigration debate was much enriched the valiant efforts of Stephen Steinlight, who undertook what can only be termed a crusade to convert fellow members of the Jewish community to the view that mass immigration was bad for them, and incidentally also for America.

Guided by Mark Krikorian’s CIS, Steinlight amusingly made heavy use of that outfit’s policy of triangulation against VDARE.com’s Peter Brimelow and the more serious element of the immigration reform movement. Quite reasonably, he centered his case on the unwisdom from the Jewish point of view of allowing high levels of Muslim immigration – although, as befitted a descendent of the old Jewish Socialist tradition, he always displayed a full understanding of the damage mass immigration does to working people.

This truly courageous and enterprising effort seemed in recent years to have sunk without trace – although we did get a good joke from him early last year.

Now the Agriprocessors scandal has allowed him an Op-Ed chance at the JTA news service: Ignoring problems of illegal immigration leads to exploitation August 24 2008 which couches his appeal almost exclusively in terms of the damage to poorer Americans:

…ignoring the problem of illegal immigration virtually guarantees that Agriprocessors’ despicable practices will be repeated elsewhere….Rendered myopic by political correctness and uninformed sentimentality about immigration, many in the Jewish community have failed to recognize that the AgriProcessors nightmare is an inevitable consequence of massive immigration by the unskilled and uneducated poor — legal and illegal – into a knowledge-based, post-industrial society…

Massive immigration has disastrous consequences for America’s most vulnerable: the unemployed, partially employed, working poor, recent legal immigrants, African Americans and elderly working populations. Legalization will sanction and perpetuate this assault on struggling Americans by flooding the workforce with more cheap labor.

By supporting legalization of illegal immigrants, the Jewish establishment endorses the Bush administration’s immigration policy, which seeks to create a huge, permanent legal underclass of impoverished immigrants that will drive down wages and worsen working conditions for all Americans.

Of course it is significant that Steinlight finds it expedient facing this particular audience to almost ignore the cultural component:

We can’t mend the whole world here, but massive illegal immigration can devastate America. It endangers national security, the social safety net, our most vulnerable citizens and the dignity of American labor. It challenges national cohesion and sovereignty, and it’s producing a population explosion with incalculably ruinous consequences to our environment and quality of life. (VDARE.com emphasis).

But it is not necessary to be a Marxist to comprehend that floods of vulnerable, exploitable labor will indeed produce – exploitation.

Some feel that the rigid dogmatism of the great bulk of Jewish opinion in favor of open borders is a function of their hostility to their host society. But it is also a simple fact that given the actual economic and social status this group now has, it is also very much in their class interest.

Stephen Steinlight deserves praise for seeing through this and persevering in his lonely struggle.