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Re: Charles Murray on Immigration


Some readers have taken exception to Charles Murray’s point (which I declared my agreement with) that:

“I am not impressed by worries about losing America’s Anglo-European identity. Some of the most American people I know are immigrants from other parts of the world. And I’d a hell of a lot rather live in a Little Vietnam or a Little Guatemala neighborhood, even if I couldn’t read the store signs, than in many white-bread communities I can think of.”

I’m afraid I’m going to say what I have said a hundred times before when discussing immigration:  NUMBERS ARE OF THE ESSENCE.  It all comes down to numbers.  The present immigration fight–restrictionists vs. open-borders folk–is a fight about numbers, numbers, numbers.  How many immigrants do we want to take in?  If the answer is greater than zero (which it may not necessarily be–let the American people decide), from where should we take immigrants?  How should we select them?  That’s what immigration policy, discussions about immigration policy, should be about.  Yet somehow we have got ourselves into a frame of mind where it is considered impolite even to ask these reasonable and important questions.

Look at Charles’s other points.  If our immigration policy operated under Murray’s prescriptions, would there be any reason to worry about our country losing its identity? 

The existence of a Little Guatemala here, or a Little Vietnam there, is no threat to American identity, any more than the existence of a Chinatown in San Francisco this past 150 years has been.  Unrestrained, uncontrolled, eight-digit immigration from a single source **is** such a threat.  That’s what the present fight is about.  If we followed Murray’s prescriptions, the fight would be won.

It is possible to be indifferent to, or even enthusiastic about, the immigration of ten thousand Guatemalans, Vietnamese, Indonesians, or Mexicans, while being horrified at the prospect of ten million.  Why is this hard to understand?  Numbers are of the essence.

Meanwhile, over in the humor-free zone, Larry and his boys have figured out why Charles & I are on the same page:  It’s that durn yellow fever.


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