This Season`s Immigration Books: Brimelow Speaks!

[A version of this
essay appeared in the December 4, 2006 issue of the 
American Conservative.]

It`s a horrible thing to say, but
America`s immigration disaster is looking increasingly
like the other big Bush Administration production, the
war in Iraq. Immigration enthusiasts still occupy all
the major power centers: the

mainstream media

(although careful examination reveals that

labor economist
police battalion has been

completely subverted
by skepticism about
immigration`s value to the native-born), the


both political parties
. They can still launch
offensives and win, at some cost, any pitched
battle—exemplified this summer by the U.S. Senate`s
passage of S.2611, which combined amnesty for illegal
aliens with an astonishing special interest wish-list
that would have doubled or even tripled legal
immigration, already at record levels.

But at the same time, and despite

constant propaganda to the contrary
, an
extraordinary grass-roots backlash has undeniably
developed. This, and only this, is what has

stalled the Senate`s amnesty/ wish-list legislation
which never even made it to conference with the House.

Of course, it`s not over:
experience teaches that the special interests benefiting
from mass immigration have ways of making legislators
talk—and vote. The setback, however, was stunning.

Immigration reform institutions are
developing too, independent of the political
establishment, in a process very reminiscent of the
1950s-1960s institutional ferment that became the late,
great American conservative movement and culminated in
the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan. Examples would be
the internet-based lobbying group

, my own webzine

, even, among its other specialties,


But what really impresses me, as a
long-time observer of the immigration reform movement,
is how often ordinary Americans are now reported
spontaneously organizing in their neighborhoods against
the transformation of their country. For example, across
the country illegal alien demonstrations are now

regularly picketed by anonymous citizens,
that requires real physical courage. As in Iraq, the
very diffuse nature of this phenomenon makes it
difficult to monitor—or, for the immigration
enthusiasts, to suppress.

Four years ago, reviewing Michelle
Malkin`s book 
Invasion: How America Still Welcomes terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores

in the
first issue of The American Conservative (
7 2002
), I paraphrased

to the effect that all pro-immigration books
resemble each other (triumphalist,
rhapsodic about the author`s forbears from

, fatally data-free) whereas books critical of
immigration policy, are more diverse, usually
specializing in quite different areas of this huge new
debate, often earnestly technical.

Typical of an emerging paradigm,
this remains very much true of this season`s
anti-immigration books. As for the pro-immigration
books…well, there don`t seem to be many pro-immigration
books at the moment. Commercial publishers, at least the
less New York-oriented smaller ones, seem to have little
doubt where the country`s preferences lie.

Several of these books provide
little-known detail on recent grass-roots firefights. In 
Whatever It Takes,

Congressman J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) reports that when the
California city of Baldwin Park

erected a monument

Mexican revanchist slogans
, a local group called
Save Our State demonstrated against it. In 
Minutemen: The Battle To Secure America`s Borders
Gilchrist and Jerome R. Corsi report that, when the
tourist towns of Laguna Beach and San Juan Capistrano
held parades that included illegal alien groups and
Mexican themes, the

Minutemen Project
, famous for their

volunteer patrols on the border
, applied to march in

Revolutionary War

All were met with threatened and
actual violence as well as intense hostility from local
political elites, telling evidence of the extent to
which American government has become the enemy of the
American nation.  The Minutemen were

actually blocked,
to the great discredit of Laguna
Beach and San Juan Capistrano. (Baldwin Park is now
overwhelmingly Mexican and was just doing what comes
naturally, albeit contrary to assimilationist

But the result seems only to be the
further radicalization of the American patriotic
resistance movement. For that is what this is.

Similarly, after years of being
kept out of politics by a bipartisan Beltway consensus,
in the 2006 election cycle the issue of immigration has
spontaneously appeared in too many federal, state and
local races to mention. Minutemen founder (and
co-author) Jim Gilchrist even got a
remarkable quarter of the vote on a third party line in
a House special election in December, support for those
of us who

with the

late Lynn Nofziger,
the celebrated Reagan operative,
that immigration is one of those rare epochal issues
with the potential to break the two-party system.

The conclusion is unavoidable: like
the U.S. Army in Iraq, the U.S. political elite appears
dangerously close to losing control.

Daniel Sheehy`s 
Fighting Immigration Anarchy: American Patriots Battle to Save the Nation

is a
symbol and a symptom of this grass-roots backlash.
Sheehy is a former corporate writer who

self-published this collection of profiles of key
immigration reformers in 2005
. He achieved so much
success that it was reissued in revised form by a
commercial house in mid-2006.

The profiles probably aren`t of
anyone you`ve heard about, with the exception of
Colorado Republican Congressman

Tom Tancredo
.  But they explain a lot of what is
happening at immigration Ground Zero.

For example, back in 1993

Barbara Coe
of the

California Coalition for Immigration Reform
fired by the

Anaheim Police Department,
where she managed the
Crime Analysis Unit, because she persisted in drawing to
the attention of her superiors the dramatic increase in
immigrant crime. Coe is a veteran of many subsequent
demonstrations and the object of violence and death
threats, which law enforcement officials never seem to
be able do anything about. Her group has repeatedly put

criticizing illegal immigration, which
are invariably taken down by cowardly landlords after
threats of violence.

Instrumental in the victory of
California`s Proposition 187, which would have cut off
taxpayer subsidies to illegal immigrants and which

was sabotaged by Democratic Governor Gray Davis`

refusal to

defend it in court,
she has been involved in several
subsequent efforts to get anti-immigration measures on
the ballot, all falling short of the required signature
total partly because of the opposition, also cowardly,
of California`s Republican organizations. (Although

Proposition 187
was what got the last Republican

Peter Wilson
, re-elected in 1994.) Coe did, however,
play a role in the

recall of Gray Davis.

Coe was 70 when Sheehy interviewed
her, and at work on another ballot initiative. (She`s
been in the headlines more recently because a Republican
campaign staffer apparently

used forged CCIR letterhead
in a mailing warning
Hispanic immigrants

not to vote illegally
. Typical of current debate,
this drew

more outrage
than the fact that Hispanic immigrants

do in fact

vote illegally

Her life of obscure sacrifice is
not one that appeals to many professional politicians,
and even less to their media groupies. Nevertheless, it
is the cumulative effect of many such lives that
ultimately creates an irresistible political movement.

Saint Petersburg,
notoriously, is built on the bones
of the thousands of serfs who labored to reclaim the
land from swamp.

Coe told Sheehy that her own
radicalization dates partly from watching a destitute
friend enter a low-cost nursing home, where she believes
poor care from the

non-English speaking
staff hastened his death.
Documenting the devastating impact of radical
demographic change on those unable to afford

gated communities

private schools
is a valuable contribution of
Sheehy`s book.

Sheehy himself opens with a lyrical
account of the paradise that

southern California
appeared to him as a 12-year old
moving there in

—one year before Congress opened the floodgates
with the disastrous

1965 Immigration Act
—and his horror on returning a
generation later to find it becoming Mexifornian urban


Terry Anderson,
the anti-immigration

black radio show
host (KRLA-870 AM and nationwide on
the RBN network), shows Sheehy his

once-black neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles

and says:

“Thirty illegal Hispanics live in that three-bedroom
house across the street…That house behind my house had
lots of rabbits in the yard. They`re

raised for food.
The other house behind mine had

…They have their parties and

play their music loud
…The black family next door
can`t take it so they move. Well, who`s going to buy the
house next to these loud people? It`s another Mexican
family…And that`s how they take over a
neighborhood—house by-house, block-by-block….nobody
wants to live next to them, and it`s not for racial
reasons, it`s for cultural reasons.”

Anderson rightly points out that
city officials could stop this by enforcing zoning
regulations. But they don`t, apparently for political

All of which is very depressing.
But it should actually be more depressing for the
immigration enthusiasts. What it means is that, when and
if the some version of their wish-list legislation is
passed, their political problems will be not ending but
just beginning. The more immigration, the more backlash.

As Patrick J. Buchanan writes in 
State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America:

great cities will

all look like Los Angeles today
. Los Angeles and the
cities of the Southwest will look like


. Though we were never consulted about this

, never voted for it, and have
protested against it in every


, this is the future the elites have
prepared for our children.”

Which, of course, is a recipe for
revolution. But my conclusion, from careful if not
loving study of immigration enthusiasts, is that they
quite genuinely have never thought about this inevitable
outcome. Either they really believe their own

claptrap or (as is frequently the case with
die-hard adherents of putrefying orthodoxies) they

just aren`t very bright
. Or both.

And it`s fatally easy for
immigration enthusiasts to stay in their state of
denial. Buchanan`s State of Emergency is the most
intellectually ambitious synthesis of immigration
arguments since (he said modestly) my own 1995 Alien Nation: Common Sense About America`s Immigration Disaster,
Buchanan acknowledges with his characteristic generosity
and which he in effect has updated and replaced. (Well,
except maybe for some boring economic stuff.) State
of Emergency
has been a huge success: on the New
York Times

list for 7 weeks with some 175,000
copies in print. Yet it has received virtually no print
reviews—no New York Times, no Wall Street
, not even National Review, which has
decayed into a mixture of neoconservative orthodoxy and
Republican boosterism since Bill Buckley fired editor
John O`Sullivan for publishing

like me.

My paranoid sense (sometimes
justified—see previous sentence) is that what Buchanan
calls “the elites” are now shaken by Americans`
immigration insurrection. Their instinctive reaction: to
suppress debate. Hence no reviews at all—in marked
contrast to Buchanan`s

other recent books.
(Similarly, at VDARE.COM, we`ve
noticed a sudden jump in

webfilters denying our readers access
at work and in
public places on the grounds that we are a “hate”

Needless to say, I don`t think that
some cabal met somewhere and sent out the word that
Buchanan`s arguments were not to be engaged. I think
it`s more a matter of collective psychology—what

Joe Sobran,
looking at liberal intellectual
lockstep, has called the

At least, I think I think that.

This suppression would have been
very effective 15 years ago. But to a significant
extent, the combination of the electronic media, the
internet and has allowed Buchanan to bypass
the would-be gatekeepers, as other conservative authors
have been able to do.

So in this way too, the immigration
issue is slipping out of the American political elite`s

This instinct to suppress debate
goes to the heart of the Bush Administration.
Incredibly, J.D. Hayworth reports that when he raised
with Bush consigliere

Karl Rove
some doubts he had about the Social
Security totalization agreement with Mexico, which
allegedly co-coordinates both countries` social
insurance systems, Rove “became somewhat exasperated
and spluttered”
—in a private meeting, to an
elected official of his own party
just don`t want to help brown people, do you?`”

The real question, of course, is
whether the Bush Administration wants to help Americans.

And the answer, according to Jerome
Corsi, is no. His collaboration with The Minuteman
Project`s Gilchrist is not the definitive account of
this remarkable civilian border-watch phenomenon and its
unexpected public relations success. (Corsi and
Gilchrist are reportedly working on another Minuteman
book.) Instead, it consists of various loosely-woven but
interesting strands—some Minuteman details, interviews
with Gilchrist about his admirable

combat service in Vietnam
, and case studies,
presumably by Corsi, of various aspects of illegal
immigration`s impact and the authorities` response.

One of these is Corsi`s

discovery of documents apparently
showing that President Bush has already

the U.S. to a Security
and Prosperity Partnership
with Mexico and
Canada—essentially extending the North American Free
Trade Agreement into a “North American Union,” a
full-blown common market along the lines of the

European Union
with free movement of capital, labor
and, ultimately, pooled sovereignty.

Ironically, this agreement was

reached at the very same March 2005 meeting
in Waco,
Texas, at which Bush

dismissed the Minutemen as

  And you can see how enforcing
American law at the border must seem like a boring
irrelevance if you`ve decided that the American and
Mexican labor forces will shortly be merged anyway.

Of course, any such merger will be
devastating to American workers and taxpayers—and to
American democracy—but it is the sort of thing that
appeals to the short-sighted corporate interests with
whom Bush appears to identify. And, after all, European
governments did manage to hornswoggle their very
reluctant historic nations into institutional merger.
It`s as good an explanation as any for Bush`s
extraordinary systematic refusal to uphold immigration

There is, however, the inconvenient
detail that Bush did take an oath to uphold that law. If
merger is actually his hidden agenda, it is impossible
to avoid the conclusion that he consciously forswore
himself. And this, much more than any perjury about sex,
calls out for impeachment.

Like the insurgents in Iraq,
America`s immigration reform patriots still cannot mount
main force actions. No Establishment-endorsed
presidential candidate has dared to address the issue.
But this leaves an intriguing vacuum for Congressman Tom
Tancredo. He has become a national figure by talking
about immigration and has self-deprecatingly positioned
himself for a

Gene McCarthy
-style symbolic candidacy that could
cause party managers a great deal of trouble.

Like his colleague, Congressman
Hayworth, Tancredo has written an excellent book,
In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America`s Border and Security.

the Tolstoyan rule I outlined above, Tancredo breaks real
news. He provides, for example, a

classic microcosmic account
of the decision by
bureaucrats at the Denver Public Library to convert
several branches to a “bilingual” i.e.
Spanish-language format, complete with

mandatory Spanish
for all new staff, and the
relentless determination with which this revolution was
carried through in the teeth of

public opposition
(and, be it noted,

immigrant indifference
—at one “focus group”
designed to foster support, only the two translators
showed up).

Similarly, Tancredo notes

March 2006 FBI testimony
that the

terrorist group Hezbollah
has been

in alien smuggling from Mexico —striking,
as he says, because the FBI buried the testimony in an
annual report and also because the mainstream media,
committed to the official line that

only busboys
cross the southern border, ignored it.
This underlines Tancredo`s public vow that, if a

terrorist attack occurs in the U.S.
because the
perpetrators were able to cross the border illegally, he
will move to impeach his own President.

Extreme problems call forth extreme
remedies. One of the constant themes of all these books
is Hispanic activists` arrogant attitude of entitlement.
Thus J.D. Hayworth reports that in 2004 Lizabeth Ramon
de Harvey was
for smuggling recently deported illegal
aliens back into the U.S. at a time when she was the
live-in girl friend of Phoenix assistant police chief
Silverio Ontiveros and a member of the Phoenix Police

Department`s Hispanic Advisory Board
from which
she refused to resign
. (The Bush Justice Department
allowed her to plea-bargain a one-year probation.) This
arrogance will backfire, as it already has in the case
of the mass alien demonstrations earlier this year.

Hayworth laments in one chapter the
immigration enthusiasts` ability to pervert the
language, so that Congressman Luis Gutierrez of
Illinois can seriously object to the term “amnesty”

“there`s an implication that somehow you did something
and the Wall Street Journal can
regularly describe

critics of illegal immigration
But Hayworth does not mention the
obvious linguistic corollary: immigration enthusiasts
have no loyalty to the historic American nation. What
they are doing, in fact, can fairly be described as
And there is a single word to
summarize this, which needs to be reintroduced into
contemporary debate. That word is: treason.

Peter Brimelow is editor of

and author of the much-denounced

Alien Nation: Common Sense About America`s Immigration
(Random House –
1995) and

The Worm in the Apple
(HarperCollins – 2003)