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Sunday, February 12, 2006

 

"How did it get this bad?"

Over on The Corner on National Review Online, Ian Murray felt moved to ask "How Did It Get This Bad?", "it" being the explosive situation in Europe.

He links to an article full of detail, but it, he, and everyone else seems to be missing the big picture. I can say this with certainty, because we are on the same path. A few people oppose that path, but all that I have heard do so for relatively petty reasons.

That path, of course, is unassimilated immigration. Both the US and Europe have them, of course - lots of them. The only difference between us - a slim one - is that, here, the unassimilated are largely illegal. This reduces (but, sadly, does not elimate) their access to entitlements, and dampens their willingness to protest. But even with that difference, even if we maintain that difference - an unlikely provision, by the way - we are still sitting on a time bomb.

Some have (of course!) talked about the unassimilated immigrants in this country... but completely misunderstand the problem. People assimilate because 1) they want to, and 2) they succeed within the dominant culture. These essential conditions are under constant attack in this country.

Even President Bush talks about letting people into this country because they want to feed their families. I'm all for people feeding their families, but those we allow in cannot simply want to be in America; they must want to become American.

Similarly, it is not enough to allow people in to work margin jobs and live marginal lives. Even though a few might be content with that, others will not; still others will fail even at that. Discontent and failure are not conducive to assimilation, even among those who most want to assimilate.

Despite that, there is constant talk about establishing a "guest worker" program for those willing to do the jobs "Americans are unwilling to do." In other words, establish another permanent underclass, unassimilated and inevitably discontent. What happens when something trips their trigger? How do you rein in those who are not invested in the system they're fighting, and so feel they have nothing to lose?

The solution is obvious, though no one in power seems willing to say it: end illegal immigration, and limit legal immigration to those with both the desire and ability to become successful Americans.

If that sounds cold to you, express your finer feelings by helping other countries become worthwhile places to live. The alternative (or rather, the mainstream approach) addresses only the shortest of the short term problems (higher wages for poor foreigners) will creating unsolvable long-term problems (large groups of disaffected residents).

End the madness!

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