Immigration and America’s Failure of Nerve

brThe number of unaccompanied children from Central America into the U.S. has reached 47,000 since October, and may hit 90,000 by the end of this year. The official story is that they are fleeing drug-gang mayhem and political violence in their home countries, and so are refugees and asylum-seekers. But the Guatemalan ambassador has said they are seeking economic opportunity and the “American dream.” It’s hard, however, not to see a connection with Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Arrivals Program, which defers deportation for illegal aliens who are minors. Obama enacted by executive fiat––and just recently extended for 2 years––this open invitation to illegal minors when Congress proved unwilling to pass the Dream Act legislation.

This sudden surge of illegal immigrants couldn’t help but remind me of Jean Raspail’s 1973 dystopian novel The Camp of the Saints. In the story millions of impoverished Third World people, starting in India, highjack ships and begin sailing to the south of France. Once they land they swarm the rich Côte d’Azur while the French flee in panic to the north. Most interesting are Raspail’s descriptions of why this mass invasion happened––as the inevitable suicidal response of a people who no longer believe in their own civilization’s ideals or principles. The French consul in India, for example, chastising the Catholic bishop who approves of the mass immigration and says he is proud to be “bearing witness,” retorts, “Bearing witness to what? To your faith? Your religion? To your Christian civilization? Oh no, none of that! Bearing witness against yourselves, like the anti-Western cynics you’ve become. Do you think the poor devils that flock to your side aren’t any the wiser? Nonsense! They see right through you. For them, white skin means weak convictions. They know how weak yours are, they know you’ve given in.”

For nearly 3 decades we have undergone a slow-motion version of Raspail’s parable. In 1969 there were an estimated half a million illegal immigrants in the U.S.; today the low-end estimate is 11,500,000. There are many explanations for this increase. Perverse incentives such as the 1986 amnesty and Obama’s Deferred Action for Arrivals Program, the need for cheap workers for jobs Americans don’t want to do, and the Democrats’ hunger for political clients all explain this increase. But as always, bad policies are created by bad ideas. The problems of immigration, whether legal or illegal, are in part created, and definitely worsened, by the erosion of national and civilizational identity and pride that Raspail dramatizes in his novel.

As with the Europeans in Raspail’s story, these problems reflect a civilizational failure of nerve. We Americans enjoy the material and cultural capital of our ancestors even as we embrace a fashionable self-loathing and guilt over presumed Western crimes like imperialism, colonialism, and racism. No longer believing that our political, social, and cultural orders are better than the alternatives, we too have “given in,” surrendered to the specious cultural relativism that proclaims all cultures equally valuable even as it demonizes our own as the font of all oppression and injustice. As a result, we have abandoned the principles and habits that made immigration work in the past.

Around the turn of the 20th century America was inundated with millions of immigrants from countries that many Americans believed were alien to our cultural and political order, and yet most successfully assimilated and enriched their new homes. Some 30 million immigrants entered the U.S. between 1870 and 1930, most of them Slavs, Italians, and Jews from Eastern Europe. By 1890 15% of Americans were foreign born, compared to 13% today. This admission of what some Americans considered people alien to the Northern European ethnic foundations of the country led to the Emergency Quota Law of 1921. This bill limited the number of immigrants to 350,000 and set nationality quotas, with immigration from a country capped at 3% of the population of that nationality based on the 1910 census. The effect, given the ethnic origins of the majority of Americans in countries like England and Germany, was to reduce immigration from eastern and southern Europe in favor of immigrants from Northern Europe.

This obsession with race and ethnicity, which reflected the Darwinian and Progressive racist “scientific consensus” of the 1920s that also created the eugenics movement, confused and distorted the issue of immigration. For as the descendants of that great wave of immigration of the late 19th and early 20th centuries show, race or ethnicity was not as important as culture. For just as anybody can learn any language, any human can learn to live by the mores, customs, principles, and laws of any culture. My maternal grandparents were some of those southern Italians that many Americans thought were alien invaders unfit to be Americans. My grandfather came through Ellis Island in 1906, and was officially designated by the U.S. government as an illiterate peasant. Yet all his progeny are unmistakably American, indistinguishable from their compatriots descended from Northern Europe.

The difference between then and now is that we have adopted a variation of 1920s racialist ideology––the multicultural identity politics that demonizes assimilation to American identity while it demands reparations for historical crimes against and public celebrations of immigrant cultures as superior to American. Back in my grandparents’ day things were different. Immigrants were expected to work at becoming Americans, which meant learning English, American political principles and virtues, American history and heroes, and American customs and mores. Whatever their private beliefs and practices, in their role as citizens immigrants had to acknowledge that America was not just different from their homes countries, but in some crucial respects––political freedom and economic opportunity, to name a few–– superior. Otherwise, why did they make the difficult and traumatic journey to America?

To speak this way now, however, is to be called xenophobic, jingoistic, or racist. Being proud of your country is bad form for native-born Americans, so why should immigrants be expected to prefer their new home to their old? As victims of our crimes, they deserve for us to cater to their cultures, instead of them adjusting to America’s. And so we come back to the central pathology underlying not just immigration but much of our foreign policy as well––too many of our elites doubt the goodness of America, sneer at any claims of its superiority, and are guilty over its alleged global crimes and oppression. We have institutionalized in our popular culture, media, and schools a failure of nerve that saps our cultural confidence and leaves us unable to defend our way of life and demand that those who come here legally or otherwise embrace our political ideals and social mores. As a result, we ignore our own immigration laws, and contemplate yet another blanket amnesty that would spur even more illegal immigration.

Any sort of immigration cannot work in these conditions. Indeed, millions of immigrants, including illegal ones, are assimilating and becoming Americans all on their own, without the cultural support our public institutions used to give. The problem is, millions more aren’t, without suffering any consequences, including deportation if they are here illegally. Meanwhile politicians from both parties keep pushing “immigration reform,” i.e. amnesty, without addressing the critical question of how are we going to sort out and help those who have shown they want to become Americans, from those who prefer to keep their old identities no matter how incompatible or with, or even hostile to, America’s political and social order. Until we answer that crucial question, which will require a renewed confidence in what it means to be an American and a restored willingness to enforce that vision, illegal immigration will remain a festering problem.

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  • DopAdministrador
    • The March Hare

      I read the “Edge of Tomorrow” review. The reviewer should take a few classes in remedial English before undertaking the writing of a review. I don’t think I am interested in seeing a movie that is liked by such an uneducated person as this. The movie seems like it was aimed at such a person.

  • DanaCrispovi

    my Aunty
    Allison recently got a nice 6 month old Jaguar by working from a macbook.this website C­a­s­h­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

    • The March Hare


  • friv 7

    90,000 figure is expected and it’s really more a child class, what we can see there is the need to find stability and safety.

    • $21668711

      They will make the US just as violent and corrupt as the third world hell holes they leave behind.

    • Harry_the_Horrible

      It is a Children’s Crusade. But, unlike the one in the Middle Ages, it is working.

  • BMS

    Why isn’t the National Guard being sent to the border to stop all of these ILLEGALS from entering this country? I love these bleeding heart liberals who say these are people that will add to how great this nation is. That is a load of BS. These are uneducated people who don’t speak English who have no skills. Many of them are coming will diseases and will now become a further drain on the taxpayers of America, the 50% of us who are hard-working and already paying for the 50% who don’t want to work. Obama wants to get rid of what he perceives is WHITE America and he will do so at whatever expense it costs this ONCE great Country.

    • Sparta of Phoenix AZ

      They are not sending the National Guard because our elites have surrendered our sovereignty to the loudest and best financed lobby groups…No, I am afraid until American’s finally get off of their couches in sizable numbers and storm Washington nothing will change; and they know it…

    • tagalog

      The excuse is that because of American law (specifically the principle of posse comitatus), we can’t use the military forces, including the National Guard, for what is deemed police work.

      Although when there are race riots in the cities in the early 1960s or a Bonus Army marches on Washington, D.C. in the 1930s, our government is pretty quick to get the armed forces involved in quelling the disturbances.

  • Richard Fontaine

    Consider voting selectively this fall in the General Elections. Vote out every Democrat at every level of government from City Council to the US Senate BUT also help vote out the RINO leadership that has betrayed the American people. Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the Senate has used his backing by the Money Interests of the US Chamber of Commerce to advocate Amnesty and so has John Boehner, Speaker of the House. Both of them work for the corporate fascists who control the US Chamber of Commerce and use the millions of dollars in contributions they are given to subvert the Tea Party and other Conservative groups in the primaries. I say we give them some of their own medicine and remind America that the US Congress is supposed to represent the US people not it’s crony capitalists and special interest groups.

  • Richard Fontaine

    Remember we got Eric Cantor last month and will get some more of the traitor RINOs this summer, but we still need to send a clear message of who the US Congress is supposed to represent.

    If any illegal third world alien can become a US Citizen then all US citizens are simply subjects of those who let the illegals in. Think about it then vote out any political hack who pushes “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”. This is merely a liars way of saying AMNESTY.

    • Erudite Mavin

      It is your Obama who has been opening the doors to illegals especially with his 2012 Executive Order for the Dream Act Amnesty which swe see now in full.
      The Republicans have Nothing to do with the Illegals and what Obama himself has done.

      • CosmotKat

        You are correct, but some Republicans play the spousal role of enabler.

      • Richard Fontaine

        “It is your Obama” What are you talking about? Read my comment again. I am suggesting that the best way to STOP OBAMA’s Amnesty agenda is to stop the REPUBLICAN RINOs who are trying to push it in the lame duck session. Vote them out and send a clear message that the same thing will happen to everyone who betrays our national soverignty.

        • Erudite Mavin

          It doesn’t matter what any Republican says on the subject.
          Amnesty is already in affect and the over 11 million already here are not going anywhere.
          Thank Obama, the liberal MSM and the majority of Americans who are Democrats and products of public education.
          I am sitting 15 miles north from the largest and busiest
          border port of entry in the world, San Diego – Tijuana.
          I know first hand the situation

  • Lanna

    Don’t kid yourselves, some businesses and corporations want cheap labor, they are behind this open borders and diluting of the population of Americans. How would you like to be the governor or mayor of a city and be told that you are going to have to take thousands of illegals and take care of them until they are granted citizenship.. who pays…the taxpayers who are here and work. What a dangerous precedence has been pushed on the American people, especially not knowing who these illegals are, or what kind of diseases they may have. The total lawlessness and disorganization of the government is astounding! No documentation, or method of sanity to the whole issue. The government must bring in more liberal voters, they bought off black minorities and now they must bring in other nationalities to help them stay in office.

    • Charles Martel

      This is true. And it is cheapening labor even more. The liberals cry for a higher minimum wage all the while crying for more immigrants using, among other excuses, the excuse that we need cheap labor. Most are ignorant of economics, some are simply evil lying hypocrites. If they truely wanted a living wage they would help stop all immigration.

  • Tradecraft46

    You really don’t get it.

    The local religions believe that man is created in God’s image. We now see our fellow humans as sacred if not sacrosanct, especially if they can act like victims. We forget that these free riders come from vile cultures which exist because of their beliefs and actions.

    Thus, rather than sacred cows we have sacred humans, and anything they say or do cannot be challenged. We are willing to sacrifice others for their benefit because they are sacred.

    We just seeing a working out of a dying faith, drinking the last bitter dregs of its folly.

  • rogerclegg

    Re assimilation: Here’s my top-ten list of what we should expect
    from those who want to become Americans (and those who are already Americans, for that matter). The list was first published in a National Review Online column a decade ago [link: ], and it is fleshed out in Congressional testimony [link: ]:

    1. Don’t disparage anyone else’s race or ethnicity.

    2. Respect women.

    3. Learn to speak English.

    4. Be polite.

    5. Don’t break the law.

    6. Don’t have children out of wedlock.

    7. Don’t demand anything because of your race or ethnicity.

    8. Don’t view working and studying hard as “acting white.”

    9. Don’t hold historical grudges.

    10. Be proud of being an American.

    • friscobob

      girly boy writes bs ——— feels so fuzzy now

      • CosmotKat

        How so?

  • Clare Spark

    “Adjustment” psychology has done its work. The US is now a pacified dhimmi population, with a residual population of fighters and Constitutionalists. I never expected that the Obama-induced polarization would be so effective. Be careful what you say in public. What is most infuriating? The blatant racism of liberals who avow “multiculturalism.” They view themselves as antiwar, but stir up conflict at every opportunity.

    • Wolfthatknowsall

      This comment is Clare at her best. It’s just the kind of thing that I like reading, from you …

      … from a proud member of the “residual population” …

      • P_Ang

        “They view themselves as antiwar, but stir up conflict at every opportunity.” Accurately describes every liberal I’ve ever known.

    • CosmotKat

      Clare, your observation is keen and your assessment is right on. I always appreciate what you have to say and how clearly you speak the truth.

  • Geoffrey_Britain

    This is an intentional tactic to broaden support for amnesty. We have to do something… ‘for the children’. Democrats want amnesty because 11-33 Million “undocumented” new democrat voters means permanent one-party rule in America. The GOP leadership’s masters, i.e. big business… want cheap labor. That’s it, all the rest is window dressing.

    • UCSPanther

      Lest we forget: Tony Blair did the same thing with England…

      • Geoffrey_Britain

        You missed it. “Democrats want amnesty because 11-33 Million “undocumented” new democrat voters means permanent one-party rule in America.”

        • UCSPanther

          Sorry. I failed to read your comment through.

  • wally

    Another pocket of resistance against the Magic Mulatto. Thank you bathhouse adept Hussein for all You do, and your lovely large-handed moomoo too…

  • Capt Bob

    We are spending all this money on Illegals but nobody cares about the 62,519 Homeless American Veterans. What happen to “We take care of our own”.

    • mohdanga

      “We take care of our own”…..after taking care of everyone else…..

  • Charles Martel

    I am surprised to hear this type article here. It is refreshing. It is the truth. We have become afraid to declare that our European culture created a wonderful civilization and is worthy of survival and should not accept guilt. Why would so many people be fleeing their countries if we were so bad and treated people so horribly. We open up the borders to massive third worl d immigration illegal or legal and we can expect to be transformed inot a third world nation or a nation of separate little enclaves of civilization and ancient barbarism such as those which exists in England and France.

  • Forums4Justice

    Focus on the root cause of the problem … border security is not the real problem, nor are attempts to secure it, the solution … the real problem is the availability of jobs and entitlements, due to the lack of any real enforcement in those areas … if illegal immigrants couldn’t get a job, or collect entitlements, they wouldn’t come .. what we all need to know

    Solving Our Illegal Immigration Problem

    • nomoretraitors

      We need to do both border security as well as interior enforcement

  • Walter Sieruk

    Aside for thts tragic hardship those children which is Obama’s fault with this terrible policies With this information it should be restated that porous borders with Canada and Mexico have enabled al Qaeada, Hamas , Hezbollah and other likeminded jihadist in infilrate into the United States. Furthermore illegal immigration from Mexico is esecially dangerous because of creime for places as El Salvador by gangs of thugs such as the one called MS-13. who come into the US through Mexico and commit crimes such as murder, rape, drug dealing. They are known for a price to smuggle al Qaeda operative’s and other jihadists into America. In addition to all this with illegal immigration brings higher welfare costs, increased changes of the spread of contagious diseases such a TB. Also more environmental degradation and more unban sprawl. Therefore therei s a geeat need for a tall strong wall that’s patrolled by armed American officer who may be allowed to use their guns if they deem in necessary, plus a good filtering system to let in onle the good hard working people to enter with visas into America and not gangsters and jihadists. In conclusion the above may be summed up by Ronald Reagan when he state that “A nation without borders is not a nation.”

    • mohdanga

      I don’t think there is an issue with 100,000 Canadian children showing up at the US border this year expcecting asylum….

      • CosmotKat

        Perhaps we should set up a pass through program where the bulk of these illegals get a paid transport to Canada.

        • mohdanga

          We’ve got enough illegals and fake refugees in Canada already, we don’t need anymore!!
          If Oblama would enforce the borders there wouldn’t be a problem. Why is it the US’s responsibility to manage this? How about Mexico???

          • CosmotKat

            I bet you do. Perhaps we send to Mexico one for one every welfare case for every illegal. At least the illegals usually want to work and maintain a family unit.

  • Erudite Mavin

    The flood of illegals during the Obama Administration
    is his production and his only along with amnesty.
    Obama produced his 2012 Executive Order for the Dream Act amnesty
    which we see in full.

    Republicans have nothing to do with any of this, as they don’t control the White House nor have they passed bills to push this.
    The only person with a bogus Republican after his name, Rand Paul is the one who pushes for Amnesty in major speeches and citizenship.
    His father Ron Paul when in Congress voted every time against bills that would fence the border.

  • GSR

    A) we don’t need more immigration – legal or illegal. We have a weak economy with chronic high unemployment. The level of immigration should be reduced for the next 10-20 years, to re-balance the scales back toward native born Americans. B) we have this problem because the US Government, over the past 10-20 years has decided not to really enforce the border and interior immigration laws. The only way to restore a proper, legal immigration system is to ENFORCE LAWS, and yes boys and girls, that means DEPORTATION for many, many illegals now squatting and working here illegally. Buh-bye.

  • CosmotKat

    Bruce you have nailed the issue. Immigration reform is just a expedient term for accepting an alien culture who gets to reap the benefits of our civilization while maintaining their own. Sort of aliens with benefits. Samuel Huntington saw this and wrote about the problem in his book “Who are We?”

  • kilfincelt

    Move these illegals to the White House and let’s see what happens.

  • Dave Francis


    Stand with the National Tea Party:
    WE ARE THE AMERICAN PEOPLES REPRESENTATIVE; we need new lawmakers in Congress
    who are not going to sell out or bow down to Special Interest lobbyists, to
    corporate cronies, religious groups or the big trade unions, filling their own
    pockets, while America burns. They are playing the same old continuous record
    of the Republican elite or foggy brained Democrats. All you have to do is don’t
    vote Democrat; don’t vote Republican; when you go to the ballot box make your
    decision on who will balance the federal and state budgets, Remove the
    Affordable Care Act.

    The borders still remain open since
    the 1986 Amnesty, and the public have been misled that illegal aliens cannot
    reach American jurisdiction in such large numbers. Obama’s officials have
    trampled on our sovereignty and the rule of law, by a substantiated order not
    to apprehend too many illegal aliens. The invasion has gained voracity as
    thousands of minors, pregnant mothers and inconspicuous gang members have surged
    along the border, pleading to be arrested by the US Border patrol. These
    agents have been overwhelmed and its now known if you read the implication
    information at tea that this Administration” Orchestrated” deliberately, have allowed this new invasion
    of foreigners by completely circumventing Congress. The parents getting the
    word through the grapevine, that nobody would be turned back once reaching America. Then the families can follow on in an unethical form of Chain
    Migration; so they can stay with their progeny.


    amnesty; NO path to citizenship and given none of Obama’s freebies like as
    healthcare (Medicaid), housing, 4 billion dollars in fraudulent child tax
    credits with the compliments of Democrat Senator Harry Reid; schooling that is
    overcrowding our education system, EBT food stamps and other free programs.
    Honestly how can the president keep selling this nation down the river, adding
    daily billions more dollars to the already 17 TRILLION.

    If you want REAL change:
    elimination of illegal aliens; Abolishment of the IRS; introduce a fair or
    consumption tax, decrease the government size; Returning the Department of
    Education, Environmental Protection Agency to State control. Building the
    Keystone pipeline and making America self-sufficient in Energy and not dependent on foreign oil, gas.
    Reduce to a minimum of Regulations for growing businesses. Make corporate
    welfare a thing of the past. Balance the US treasury and end the deficit Use
    the Tea Party agenda of Ron Paul, The One Cent Solution is beautifully simple:
    If the government cuts one cent out of every dollar of its total spending
    (excluding interest payments) each year for five years, and then caps overall
    federal spending at 18 percent of national income from then on, we can: Reduce
    federal spending by $7.5 trillion over 10 years. Balance the budget by 2019.

    Have you had enough? Stop Big
    Brother and this Imperial President from controlling every aspect of our lives.
    No more spying, targeting conservatives, persecuting the innocent or rewarding
    those in the administration who commit criminal acts—like Lerner, Holder and Clinton.
    We can put an end to it once and for all. So join the Nation TEA PARTY in your
    neighborhood, your community, your town or city and reduce the power and
    influence of the Republican Establishment and the Democrats.

    Our mission is to bring awareness
    to any issue which challenges the security, sovereignty or domestic tranquility
    of our beloved nation, The United States of America.


    • dobiemama

      And what kind of sense does it make to import another country’s social problems. This illegal immigration, amnesty, invasion, whatever you want to call it, is a convenient safety valve for Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, etc., to get rid of their discontented poor and to open new markets for their drug gangs. Central and South American countries are high fiving each other over this fast one. We need to have our collective heads examined.

  • Gamal

    The author mentioned the need for workers to do jobs that Americans don’t want to do as a reason for illegal immigration. I hear that a lot. The question is why don’t American want these jobs. The reason is they get paid more to be on welfare. But wait a minute, now illegals can get welfare if I’m not mistaken. So why should they take the jobs?

  • nomoretraitors

    Godd*mn all traitors and collaborators!!

  • physicsnut

    Did you see THIS – seen on TheConservativeWife

    The Govt is hiring escorts for 65,000 illegal brats.

    and thanks to whoever posted that link – wherever it was !
    and NO thanks to Geraldo – who is blabbering about ‘the children’ again.
    and NO thanks to Larry Kudlow and Mark Zuckerberg with their lame
    justifications for this nonsense.