National Security & Defense

A Nation of Immigrants — Only if They Assimilate

Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island. (Photo: Library of Congress)
The Left repeats that ‘we are a nation of immigrants’ without citing the other half of that fact — ‘who assimilate into America.’

I am writing this column in Japan, a country whose crime rate is the lowest among countries with large populations. I asked my Japanese translator, a middle-aged woman, what she thought.

“Why is there is so little crime in Japan?” I asked.

Without taking a moment to reflect, she responded, “because we don’t allow immigration.”

Anyone who visits Japan is struck by the ethnic homogeneity of the Japanese nation. If you meet a Caucasian, a black, or a Hispanic in Japan, you can be all but certain that the person is visiting or studying here, but is not a citizen.

Likewise in the United States, there is direct correlation between ethnic homogeneity and low levels of violence. According to the most recent data, the four states with the lowest rates of violence are

1. Vermont — where 95 percent of the population is one race (white).

2. Maine — where 95 percent of the population is one race (white).

3. Wyoming — where 90 percent of the population is one race (white).

4. New Hampshire — where 93 percent of the population is one race (white).

Sweden, which for much of its modern history had among the world’s lowest rates of violent crime, was almost always as homogenous as Japan. Now that it has admitted hundreds of thousands of immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa, it is no longer a homogenous country — and while the Swedish government is not forthcoming on the matter, as its entire commitment to multiculturalism and to taking in high numbers of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa is at stake — it appears that its levels of violence are greatly increasing. For example, The Weekly Standard reports, “The head of the Swedish ambulance drivers’ union confirmed in a recent interview with journalist Paulina Neuding the existence of ‘no-go zones’ where it is too dangerous to enter without police protection.”

All this leads to this rule:

In order to maintain a low crime rate and social stability, a country has only two choices:

a) Do not allow immigrants into the country.

b) Allow immigrants in to the country but be certain to assimilate them into the native population as quickly as possible.

The second choice has been America’s choice throughout most of its history, and it has been uniquely successful in shaping people from all over the world, from every background, into one nation known as Americans. One of America’s three fundamental principles has been “e pluribus unum” — “Out of Many, One” (the other two, as our coinage testifies, are “Liberty,” and “In God We Trust”), and that is precisely what America has done.

But since the 1960s the Left has supplanted “e pluribus unum” and its national American identity with the antithetical doctrines of diversity and multiculturalism.

Diversity and multiculturalism celebrate the national/ethnic identities of the nations from where immigrants to America came instead of celebrating the American identity and traditional American values.

The result is the beginning of the end of the United States as we have known it since its inception.

The Left constantly repeats that “we are a nation of immigrants” without citing the other half of that fact — “who assimilate into America.” The Left mocks the once universally held American belief in the “melting pot.” But the melting pot is the only way to have a country composed of immigrants build a cohesive society.

America was never just “a nation of immigrants.” America was always a nation of immigrants who sought to become — or at least were taught by American public schools and by the general American culture to become — Americans.

If America becomes a nation of non-assimilating immigrants, or becomes a nation consisting of non-assimilating ethnic, racial, and national groups who are already here, America will cease being a glorious idea and become just another nation torn by conflicting interest groups. These various groups will fight one another — first verbally and then, perhaps, violently, and America will see more and more violence — just as France, Sweden, and Germany have since they began taking in millions of immigrants, many of whom have no intention of becoming Frenchmen, Swedes, or Germans.

Contrary to one of the Left’s more mendacious claims, diversity has not been America’s great strength. America’s great strength has been forging an American identity out of diversity.

But the Left, with its identity politics and commitment to multiculturalism — as expressed, for example, by ballots in dozens of languages, the proliferation of ethnic-studies departments at universities, and allowing all-black dorms and graduation ceremonies on campuses — is undoing that.

If you want to understand the immigration crisis, just know that because the Left has undone choice b) it has made choice a) — Japan’s choice — look tenable to many for the first time in American history.

— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code, was published by Regnery. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at © 2017

Dennis Prager — Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His second volume of Bible commentary, The Rational Bible — Genesis: God, Creation, Destruction, is published by Regnery.  He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at

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