The open society of modern America—combining individual rights, a market economy and a modest safety net—is the closest the world has yet come to the good society. Mass illegal entry combined with excessive legal immigration into the U.S., without the appropriate metering and integration of newcomers, is endangering that unique combination of individual liberty and social unity.
It is doing so by changing the face of many towns and cities too rapidly, eroding the belief that existing citizens come first and weakening a sense of mutual obligation expressed through the tax and benefit system. Citizens who are the ethnic brethren of immigrants or illegal aliens often abandon their obligations to their fellow citizens, choosing instead to give precedence to the newcomers without regard to the cost and the tearing of the social fabric that results.
There is nothing mystical about the nation-state. Anyone can join (if invited) so long as they learn the language and respect the traditions of the country. A commitment to a nation-state requires loyalty and support for national sovereignty. After a long and often bloody pre-history the modern nation-state is still the only institution that can currently deliver what citizens, of both right and left, want: democratic legitimacy for the exercise of power; cross-ethnicity, cross-class and cross-generational unity and cohesiveness and even a sense of collective identification that is bigger, better and more tangible than ethnic identities, families and neighborhoods. There is little sign that any other type of organization would be an improvement over the nation-state.
And for the nation-state to work it must entail borders and boundaries and it must "belong" to existing citizens—on important matters they must have special rights over non-citizens. That means immigration must be managed with the interests of existing citizens in mind. The question is what are those interests? First and foremost must be the maintenance of the standard of living and quality of life of the existing citizens. Second, of course, is a feeling of solidarity regarding the national interest. Third and unbending loyalty to the nation-state rather than to any foreigners or foreign interest or potentates.
Immigration does not in itself endanger the nation-state, but when it happens illegally, very quickly and on a very large scale and when many illegal aliens and immigrants choose to live in cultural enclaves it does do so.
That, alas, is what has been happening in America. The intended or unintended consequences of the failure of government to enforce immigration policies combined with multicultural politics convey the message that you can enter and remain here illegally and that the rule of law means nothing. This state of affairs has alienated voters across the U.S and given rise to populist parties that assert that taxes are too high because of the demands of the immigrants, illegal aliens and their progeny and their fellow-travelers among the liberals, progressives and disloyal citizens.
In several European countries the immigrant and ethnic minority population is rising to 15% or 20%. One leading demographer has said that on current trends Britain will be "majority minority" by 2066. Even in America there are now those who chortle about the rising majority-minority. Some large towns are already have a high percentage of minorities. This sudden and largely unplanned demographic shift has damaged trust between citizens and generated segregation, fear and unwarranted accusations of racism or hate.
The sheer size of some minority communities has made it easier to live apart in "little Kabul" or "little Havana", and so on. The rising influence of racist orgainzations like La Raza, MEChA and MALDEF is a harbinger of America's political future. A conservative Islam, insistent on Sharia Law first for their own communities and then for all of America, is yet another indication of a failed immigration policy that has balkanized a once united America. And unlike the America of a few years ago where hard work acted as an integrating force, today's overly-generous welfare system has created too many immigrant dependents and 14th Amendment baby families, triggering resentment among mainstream taxpayers who have to pick up the tab.
There is, of course, good immigration too. Supporters like to overstate the creativity and dynamism of some young migrants, their willingness to do dirty or under-rewarded jobs (like stoop labor) that few natives want, their relative youth in an ageing America. But these benefits would have to be very large, and demonstrable, to compensate for the cost and cultural and social disruption caused by over-rapid immigration and illegal entry. style="font-weight:bold;"> But they are not! Almost all the economic analyses of mass immigration in recent years have found that the positive effects on employment, wages and per head growth in economic activity is, at best, marginal. Similarly, on the question of fiscal benefit, productive immigrants like Poles probably pay in more than they take out, but less productive ones like Somalis (in Britain, only 25% of them work) do the opposite.
Moreover, costs and benefits are unevenly distributed: employers and richer people benefit, as do many consumers and, of course, immigrants themselves. But low-skilled workers (often recent migrants) face lower wages, and while immigrants create as well as take jobs, the creating takes longer than the taking. Because it is concentrated at the top and bottom, mass immigration reinforces inequality and reduces social mobility (one-third of professional jobs in London are taken by people born outside Britain). It adds to urban congestion, increases pressure on public services and housing, and discourages employers from training, especially hard-to-reach youngsters such as those who have been busy looting in recent days in London.
No sensible person wants a complete halt to immigration, but America needs a dramatic slowdown(like the "pause" from 1920 to 1965) to absorb the large inflows of recent decades and a re-focusing of the quotas on skilled or well-educated immigrants who are likely and There will be some economic costs of a slowdown, but if democratic politics fails to deal with this existential issue on which there is such a settled popular will the resulting backlash will threaten the sharp decline in overt racism of the past 30 years. Young people now have a somewhat liberal view of race and gender but they have become much less generous on welfare, poverty and redistribution of wealth. That is not just because of the mishandling of mass immigration—affluence. Individualism has played a role too. But that makes it even more important to rein in mass immigration before America loses its unique balance between individual rights and mutual obligation.
Working for logical immigation reform based on a stable population, a recognition of the finite nature of our natural resources and the adverse impact of continued growth on our quality of life, standard of living, national interest, character, language, sovereignty and the rule of law. Pushing back and countering the disloyal elements in American society and the anti-American rhetoric of the leftwing illegal alien lobbies. In a debate, when your opponents turn to name calling, it's a good sign you've already won.