Illegal immigration isn’t the issue

While I have seen several people on FB freaking out over “Democrats want open borders” (which is no more true than “the Squad are Communists” or “the squad are fascists!”), and warning against the threat of illegal immigration, I don’t believe illegal immigration isn’t the real issue. It’s having “too many” Latinos or Muslims.

It’s not just people on FB.  Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, for example, lists legal immigration as one of the reasons that “the America we know and love doesn’t exist any more.” That’s not about open borders, that’s about having too many people who don’t look like her. Law professor Amy Wax argues for white priority in immigration because “our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites” (she pretends this is about “culture,” not race, but polices like that are always about race). Or conservative Latino Marco Gutierrez warning that if we allow more Latinos in we’ll have “taco trucks on every corner.

I’m all in favor of managing our borders better, but if we had roughly the same number of immigrants we do now, and the same racial makeup, but they were all legal, I’d be cool with it. Too many Republicans wouldn’t be. So I part company with them.

And of course it’s nothing new, even though they think it is. In the 19th century it was about keeping out the damn Irish (subhuman, barely better than black!) and the damn Catholics (America is Protestant! Catholics are sheeple whose first loyalty will be to the Pope, not America!). By the end of the century it was the damn Asians (forcing demographic change on the west coast! Outbreeding us! Taking over parts of the country! Always loyal to their emperor, not to America!)

In the 20th century it was also the damn Poles, the damn Italians, the damn Germans, the damn everyone-who-wasn’t-a-WASP. Speaking foreign languages! Not learning English fast enough! Inferior culture and genes! And in every era it was the Jews. Never really American. (rootless cosmopolitans with no loyalty to anything but each other).

Astonishingly enough, they all adapted just fine. They all became American. Our “culture” didn’t collapse. It won’t collapse from the presence of Muslims, Middle Easterners, Latin Americans.

The people who oppose immigration are on the wrong side of history. And given so many of them think “more Latinos” is worse than “immigrant children kept in cages” they’re on the wrong side of justice too.

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