David Frum deserves credit for significantly transforming his position about what I call the global right of return to the USA; mass immigration. Ever the realist, Mr. Frum has abandoned the flippant, immigration free-for-all fetish to which neoconservatives subscribe. Frum now galvanizes the research of economist George Borjas (could VDARE.COM be next?) in his work, and is no longer delinquent about reporting the “small net benefit” mass migration yields in the age of “high and prolonged unemployment” (among other problems).
“What’s the value of immigration?” asks Mr. Frum in his latest CNN column. Here are some excerpts:
“What is immigration for? What are we trying to accomplish?
A century ago, the answer seemed obvious. Factories and mines clamored for workers as an underpopulated continent beckoned settlers.
America in the 21st century, however, does not suffer from a generalized labor shortage. If labor were scarce, you’d expect wages to rise. Instead, wages were stagnating even before the recession hit in 2008. …
… So why import almost a million people a year legally, plus nearly the same illegally? That’s a question that usually goes not only unanswered but unasked.
… the question we need to ask now at this time of high and prolonged unemployment is: Why mass migration at all?
You often hear it said that the U.S. needs to create 150,000 jobs a month just to keep pace with population growth. What’s seldom mentioned is that almost all of America’s net population growth is driven by immigration.” …
…Back in the 1950s and 1960s, immigrants arrived with higher skills and soon gained higher incomes than the native born. That’s how immigration still works in Canada and Australia. Their immigration systems are race-neutral and favor prospective immigrants who arrive with language skills, advanced degrees or capital to invest.”
David is yet to confront the transformation of America via immigration, where the “the historic American nation —its culture and Christian faith—is… eventually … confined to an ethnic enclave among many. This is the ‘End of Days’ scenario that immigration patriots must contemplate, once they’ve exited the hypobaric chamber that is the current ‘conversation” about immigration.”
UPDATE I (Dec. 31): It is probably advisable to refrain from using the “intellectual” appellation in naming one’s website if one has a problem arguing one’s case logically. To the comment below: From the fact that Christian factions have squabbled—fights within the family—how does it follow that changing the original cultural and religious composition of this country is inconsequential, or not worth contemplating? From the fact that your average Mexican might be more devout than his American counterpart, and that some founding fathers were less religious than the average illegal Mexican alien (no doubt, most Mexicans have a better grasp of Western civilization and its Christian muse than Thomas Jefferson)—it does not follow that a mass influx of said population is inconsequential, not worth slowing down, or should not be debated.
As for the call to think about the US as a propositional nation; an idea rather than real flesh-and-blood communities animated by shared language, history and heroes. Why, that is the call of statism at its purist. For the rootless deracinated people are the most pliable, most miserable, and, thus, easier to control.
UPDATE II (Jan. 1): Larry Auster is less charitable about David Frum’s about-face:
“It’s not true that he’s been consistently opposed to unrestricted immigration. From time to time, he’s made wimpy, ambivalent criticisms of illegal immigration. That’s it. To my knowledge, he has never seriously criticized the overall level and content of U.S. immigration or suggested an alternative policy.
I sum up his pathetic record on the issue in this 2007 entry, where I respond to his bizarre, self-serving claim–made right in the middle of the life-and-death battle over the 2007 Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill–that he has been a leader and pioneer on immigration reform.
Nota bene: the fact that a person claims to have taken a certain position on an issue, doesn’t mean that he has actually taken it. We are not obligated to accept self-seeking parties’ views of their own great contributions.”
UPDATE III: The Center for Immigration Studies, via Steve Sailer:
“2010 Census: Population Up 27 Million in Just 10 Years
Immigration Drives Huge Increase; Since 1980, Population Up 82 million, Equal to Calif., Texas & N.Y.
WASHINGTON (December 21, 2010) – Most of the media coverage of the 2010 Census will likely focus on the country’s changing racial composition and the redistribution of seats in Congress. But neither of these is the most important finding. Rather, it is the dramatic increase in the size of the U.S. population itself that has profound implications for our nation’s quality of life and environment. Most of the increase has been, and will continue to be, a result of one federal policy: immigration. Projections into the future from the Census Bureau show we are on track to add 130 million more people to the U.S. population in the just the next 40 years, primarily due to future immigration.
So much for attempting to hold national carbon emissions stable.
* Immigration accounted for three-quarters of population growth during the decade. Census Bureau data found 13.1 million new immigrants (legal and illegal) who arrived in the last 10 years; there were also about 8.2 million births to immigrant women during the decade.1
* The numerical increase of 27.3 million this decade is exceeded by only two other decades in American history.
* Without a change in immigration policy, the nation is projected to add roughly 30 million new residents each decade for the foreseeable future.
* Assuming the current ratio of population to infrastructure, adding roughly 30 each decade will mean:
building and paying for 8,000 new schools every 10 years;
developing land to accommodate 11.5 million new housing units every 10 years;
constructing enough roads to handle 23.6 million more vehicles every 10 years.
* While our country obviously can ‘fit’ more people, and technology and planning can help manage the situation, forcing such high population growth through immigration policy has profound implications for the environment, traffic, congestion, sprawl, water quality, and the loss of open spaces. …”
UPDATE IV (Jan. 2): “Did the Founding Fathers Support Immigration?” Not really. Hamilton understood intuitively what Harvard scholar Robert Putnam took five years to discover scientifically. Hamilton called it “heterogeneity,” Putnam calls it “diversity.” Either way, it makes people miserable. The difference between Putnam and the founders is that the fathers of the nation loved the American people; they did not delegitimize their ancestry and history by calling them eternal immigrants. John Jay conceived of Americans as “a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and custom.” The very opposite of what their descendants are taught.
[Is] rapid population [growth] by as great importations of foreigners as possible … founded in good policy? … They will bring with them the principles of the governments they leave, imbibed in their early youth; or, if able to throw them off, it will be in exchange for an unbounded licentiousness, passing, as is usual, from one extreme to another. It would be a miracle were they to stop precisely at the point of temperate liberty.
These principles, with their language, they will transmit to their children. In proportion to their number, they will share with us the legislation. They will infuse into it their spirit, warp and bias its direction, and render it a heterogeneous, incoherent, distracted mass … If they come of themselves, they are entitled to all the rights of citizenship: but I doubt the expediency of inviting them by extraordinary encouragements …
Writing of immigration to George Flower in 1817, Jefferson worried about “consecrat[ing] a sanctuary for those whom the misrule of Europe [my emphasis] may compel to seek happiness in other climes.” And to J. Lithgow in 1805, “A first question is, whether it is desirable for us to receive at present the dissolute and demoralized handicraftsmen of the old cities of Europe [my emphasis].” Jefferson feared that immigrants under “the maxims of absolute monarchies” – again, he was not talking about the monarchies of Buganda or Ethiopia – may not acclimatize to “the freest principles of the English constitution.”
What would he say about arrivals from Wahhabi-worshiping wastelands whose customs not only preclude “natural right and natural reason,” but include killing their hosts? That would have appalled Jefferson, and again, not because of his limitations, but because of ours; because of how low we have sunk.
UPDATE VI: “Whether they are armed with bombs or bacteria, stopping weaponized individuals from harming others ? intentionally or unintentionally ? falls perfectly within the purview of the ‘night-watchman state of classical-liberal theory,’ in the words of the philosopher Robert Nozick.
But thumping majorities within rarified libertarian, Objectivist, and loony left circles disagree.
When Objectivists eulogized the dazzling Randian Madeleine Pelner Cosman, Ph.D., Esq., most downplayed her trenchant opposition to the unfettered flow of migrants across the 1,940-mile-long border with Mexico. To that end, the late Dr. Cosman ‘never hesitated to put her own time, money, and neck on the line for her beliefs,’ even volunteering as a patrolwoman with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
The quintessential ‘Renaissance woman,’ Dr. Cosman was an expert aviator, health-care policy analyst, marksman, and musician. …” And immigration patriot.