America's Immigration Dilemma
What makes an immigrant culturally qualified to enter the United States?
Most people who are presenting themselves at our Southern borders from Mexico, and South and Central America, and others who are seeking asylum mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, are from countries outside the historical process. Many of these countries are not just political rogue states, but also economic rogue states as well. They have failed to put into practice a set of sound economic policies that satisfy the basic needs of a majority of their citizens. Failed states are sinkholes in the world. They actively detract value from the region in much the same way that condemned buildings used by criminals spread mayhem and drag down home values throughout a neighborhood. Since regions are interconnected via a vast causal network of interlocking social, political and fiscal systems, they contaminate the entire liberal order.
It has, therefore, been part of America’s liberal, egalitarian and benevolent policy to admit such persons who stand little chance of making anything substantial of their lives in their own countries entrance into the United States.
This is and remains the greatness of America. People came here and they wanted to love America and become Americans. They came with no sense of entitlements, no sense of aggrievement—only with a burning desire to make something of their lives and, in doing so, to make superlative or small contributions to the moral meaning of America. As they stepped into the future America promised them, they, by their efforts and suffusion of the landscape with an original assemblage of who they were, simultaneously co-created a future template for others to inhabit.
But the immigrant demographics of this great country are changing. We are witnessing individuals who are bringing their illiberal values into the United States and wishing to implement them and re-make the country entirely into their own illiberal image. In the case of many Islamic transplants, they claim to be moderates in their religious faith. Yet they are complicit in the radical factions of a political ideology many take to be a religion of peace. By default, they do not condemn the growing fealty to the idea that Sharia law can and should run parallel to American jurisprudential law. They do not condemn the growing anti-Semitism and Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) campaigns sweeping college campuses which, incidentally, are not generated by even radical Muslims, but by mainstream moderates who view Israel as a genocidal and apartheid state, and America as an evil imperial nation.
The Hispanic populations which include several asylum seekers are from statist countries who have been reared on the idea that their fate is not their responsibility, and that the state must take care of all their needs. These individuals are being courted and entreated by a vast left-wing socialist faction within the liberal party that is no longer considered a fringe element of the party, but rather, a major and crucial identifying marker of it. Politicians like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declare that as Democratic Socialists they are not just going to change the economic policies of our free market system, but also that they intend to fundamentally change the values that underlie it.
We should not, therefore, be surprised that hordes of undocumented residents upon entering the United States are demanding and are receiving free health care, free education and are demanding the right to vote. They often treat America as if she were the dumping ground for all their needs and unmet desires. They are more likely to vote this country into socialism and, therefore, economic ruin—to say nothing of violating the moral foundations on which capitalism rests. This includes the idea that each person is an end in himself who deserves the just rewards of his labor, that his brain and its material applications—his property cannot be nationalized or redistributed by government fiat. Major studies reveal that only 45% of young Americans view capitalism positively, while 51% have a fondness for socialism.
If Americans have reason to believe that a loss to their cultural identities and economic ways of life are going to be challenged by a “new immigrant ethos” that differed from the old ethos, then they have a right to ask a fundamental new question: What makes an immigrant culturally qualified to enter the United States? What sort of sensibilities ought he or she to have? If such immigrants are predisposed to simply transplanting their illiberal values with no desire to assimilate into becoming Americans, should they be let in? If their voting proclivities can be predicted and such proclivities translates into voting into existence a real existential threat facing us today: socialism—then ought we to let in such persons?
This sort of moral vigilance over the republic was perhaps never so needed as it is today as we face a multiplicity of cultural wars. The professoriate has grown more radical in cultivating universities that have become indoctrination centers and, therefore, national security threats. It has waged a war against reason, morality, the values of Americanism, produced a climate of Americaphobia, anti-free speech, massive entitlement programs, and a desire to abolish the second amendment. In the name of a postmodern philosophy it advocates nihilism and cultural relativism.
It is under such open hatred for Western values, the shameless promotion of the Islamification of our country, indiscriminate toleration of all values except conservative ones, and the willful intention to destroy the moral and economic base of capitalism that they seek to re-socialize the sensibilities of immigrants into inhabiting a new Anti-American ethos. It is one whose holders are welfare-dependent, whose agency can be expropriated by a managerial class that can promise them the guarantee of absolute outcomes resulting from their exercised efforts.
Not all persons have ever been allowed into the future. Some, for various reasons, have been left behind. But against the backdrop of all that is written here, we may say that a deliberate policy of moral-rational exclusion from entrance into the future can be the goal of a civilized republic if and when it can rationally and objectively identify those whose admittance could annihilate its moral, cultural and economic development. This may sound like a hard formula to implement. Nevertheless, a social order of the unfit, by the unfit, and for the unfit is no recipe for civilizational continuity—to say nothing of the grandeur, exaltation, majesty and, as always, the unbridled expression of the luminous potential of man.
Today, we are witnessing a systematic attempt by the Left to alter the cultural character of our republic. Many companies, swayed by a logic of cultural relativism, have become sharia compliant in order to attract and manage Muslim wealth. Universities and private institutions of learning and think tanks are the recipients of millions of dollars from state sponsors of terrorism from countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. There is a growing proliferation of Middle Eastern Studies Programs and Palestinian Studies Programs on our university campuses. These political maneuverings, no doubt, are part of a large indoctrination agenda by the left to Islamify our American civilization by re-socializing the sensibilities of our young people into becoming future Jihadists and haters of America. The key players in this campus reform movement, the Students for Justice in Palestine, a Hamas surrogate institution of which 200 chapters exist on USA campuses, are free not only to promote BDS campaigns against Israel. Most importantly, the goals of the Islamicist movements is consistent with the larger goals of their international schemes: to establish an Islamic Caliphate right here in our great republic of the United State of America.
The re-alteration of civic character is also being encouraged by an outright disregard for law when it is broken in the name of creating sanctuary cities. A form of emotionalism that pits undocumented residents against laws that determine legal residency accounts for the demonization of the concept of law itself, and the elevation of illegal actions to the form of cult heroism.
Hence our future will be blocked. The future blockers are unable to deal with the very notion of a future because the future itself is only a promise. It holds no predictable results correlative to efforts. But leftists want a predictable utopia. If we want to keep the future alive, it is freedom and liberty, and the timeless values of America that must be preserved. Those values need inoculation. Not everyone should be allowed into the future because too many are devoted to the destruction of its possibility.
And so, in our conclusion we face the challenge of how to answer the question: how do we keep our future open? We spoke about a policy of moral-rational exclusion to prevent the social ballasts and the destroyers of our Republic from foreclosing the future by suggesting they cannot be allowed into the future of which the United States is both a symbol and a reality. We must now think about a policy of strategic inclusion of those immigrants who are culturally qualified to preserve the civic DNA of our republic. Wherever they come from in the world, those who are admitted into the moral republic of the United States of America, must pass stricter cultural and civic qualifying tests. Their fealty to the republic must be demonstrable in ways determined by our appropriate government agencies. Those exclusive elites admitted must have a pre-disposition to love America. They ought to have a set of meritocratic skills that can enhance the spiritual, economic, moral and political reputation and character of the republic. They ought not be parasitic drainages and suckers with little to offer that can enhance the grandeur and nobility of the republic.
My sense is that Western Europe is culturally over. The Islamicists have won. The crime waves traceable to migrant populations, and the increasing anti-Semitism sweeping European capitals, the Islamic colonization of France, the Netherlands, England, and the Scandinavian countries will have serious consequences. With President Trump’s recent executive order recognizing Judaism not just as a religion, but as a nationality, I submit that there will be a wave of ambitious Europeans eager to flee the cultural hell-holes their countries have become. They are going to be the smartest, and the most talented of individuals. They will speak exemplary English, and they will be multi-lingual. Furthermore, they will contribute most to making the American Republic a superlative world power. We should accept them into our benevolent nation.
A vast number of European populist governments will rise up to control the Islamification of their countries after experiencing such brain drains. Rather than wait for the exodus of such talented immigrants, the United States should actively recruit them. They are the future. Like the Jewish people, they have been the creators of the historical process itself; innovators of the idea that man has a proper end to which he aspires: the fullest development of his capabilities, and the maximization of his highest modes of potentialities. These individuals are not just the promise of a future. They will create the very existential conditions that have, in the past, opened up the future. Moral pioneers and heirs and benefactors of Western civilization, they will play a pivotal role, along with the exceptional people of the United States of America, in opening up an endless new horizon of an indefinite future in which all our lives can be lived out.
Jason D. Hill is professor of philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago, and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His areas of specialization include ethics, social and political philosophy, American foreign policy and American politics. He is the author of several books, including “We Have Overcome: An Immigrant’s Letter to the American People” (Bombardier Books/Post Hill Press). Follow him on Twitter @JasonDhill6.