If it’s an important presidential speech you want, forget George W. Bush’s swaggering last week in his State of the Union address about the war he plans to wage on the “axis of evil” abroad. Look up what he had to say in Portland, Maine the week before.
It was in Portland, not exactly a major transit point for the illegal immigrant invasion, that Mr. Bush chose to speak about the immigration problem and what he plans to do about it. His plans consist of precisely the kind of eyewash that probably won’t much help protect the country against terrorist immigrants at all and contributes absolutely nothing to solving the far larger and more dangerous threat of immigration in general. That, however, as we shall see, is the whole point of the president’s proposals.
What he proposed consisted of a federal tracking system to follow the arrivals and departures of non-citizens from U.S. ports and border crossings, funding for some 800 more Customs agents and doubling the number of Immigration and Naturalization Service agents, increasing the funding for the Coast Guard, and a new system of gadgets to inspect shipments into the United States. Hooray!
Like generals who fight the last war over again while preparing for the next one, Mr. Bush fails to grasp that his measures might have been helpful before Sept. 11 but today are of limited usefulness. Americans can rest assured that despite the chest-thumping of Mr. Bush’s State of the Union speech a week after his remarks in Portland, all the terrorists are not dead or locked up in Guantanamo. With the Census Bureau disclosing only a week before the Portland speech that there are now more than 100,000 illegal aliens from the Middle East alone living in the United States, you can bet some of them are terrorists or people willing to become terrorists.
For that matter, it’s just as likely that some of the 3 million or more Arabs living in the United States legally are terrorists. Locking the barn door now may keep more terrorists out, but it will do nothing to cleanse the nation of those already here.
“None of us ever dreamt that we’d have a two-front war to fight—one overseas and one at home,” Mr. Bush pronounced. “But we do. That’s reality.” Actually, some of us did dream about that, but no one paid any attention, least of all Mr. Bush, who was too busy wooing the votes of Hispanics to think much about immigration and the security problems it creates. The “reality” Mr. Bush and most of his colleagues in the American ruling class refuse to face is that the second front of the war is created entirely by immigration.
With millions of immigrants from dozens of different nations and cultures arriving here, it’s not surprising that many import their hatreds and their habits of slaking their thirst for blood. Some actually carry out their designs for revenge, others merely help, and many—maybe millions—sympathize and provide a friendly audience. That is exactly the second front the president is talking about whether he knows it or not, and the only way to deal with it is to start deporting those who compose it.
The new tracking systems and more money and more agents are all swell and certainly long overdue. But, again, it does nothing to confront the central problem that Sept. 11 should have made blindingly clear.
That problem is whether a free Western society like the United States or its ancestral European nations can sustain itself under the impact of mass immigration from non-free, non-Western societies, especially when we are engaged in what the president himself vows will be a protracted war. Even in the absence of war, it should have been clear to anyone of common sense that the answer is no. The cultures, the faiths, perhaps even the races of the two kinds of society are too different.
The real purpose of Mr. Bush’s new plans for domestic security is to make Americans think he’s dealing with the threats that mass immigration presents while in fact avoiding the central problem entirely. In the next few months (perhaps the next few weeks) the administration will announce an agreement with Mexico for what will be called a “guest worker program” but in reality will merely amount to an amnesty for millions of illegal Mexican workers.
At that time, he will be criticized—and properly so—by supporters of immigration reform, and he will be able to blunt some of that criticism by pointing to what he proposed in Portland.
Some Americans might even believe it—until the next terrorist attack, perhaps from the very subcultures that mass immigration has already created within the belly of this nation, tells them they have been misled.