Attitudes on the American Left toward foreign migrants differ widely from attitudes toward domestic migrants, especially in big cities on the West Coast. Liberal cities are known for locals who are dedicated to preserving liberal city culture. In Portland, Oregon, for example, there’s an effort to “Keep Portland Weird.” Other cities in the Pacific Northwest have similar efforts, and locals joke that residents ought to tell their friends and neighbors that the region is terrible, rainy, cold, and expensive—so that they will be dissuaded from moving there.
Yet they picket in the big cities to institute sanctuary city policy. There’s a disconnect.
Further to this disconnect, many big cities on the West Coast struggle with extremely high rates of homelessness and property crime, not to mention sky-high housing costs. What could possibly be the argument for inviting more people to compete for jobs and housing, especially those without legal status or Social Security Numbers, when citizens in these cities are already struggling and some living in tent cities? The desire to dissuade domestic migrants from moving to the West Coast is logical, until juxtaposed with the desire to create sanctuary cities there.
Nobody is considered a bigot for talking openly about not wanting ignorant Christians from the South moving to the West Coast. While the West Coast is commonly regarded by the locals as a distinct culture (many even support secession), it is not considered prejudicial or illiberal to make general negative conclusions about other parts of the country, also considered to be distinct cultures. West Coast liberals consider nationalistic policies, such as legal immigration, border security, national security, and similar policies, to be bigoted—but this is often not reflected in their attitudes about fellow Americans. They openly express fear that people from around the US will move in and dilute their culture, but wantonly invite anyone from outside the US to seek sanctuary in their cities. There’s no understanding on the left for people seeking to conserve national borders or culture, despite a clear desire on the part of many leftists to conserve their own sub-cultures.
Perhaps the cause of this apparent favoritism is familiarity. Americans are familiar with other Americans (or at least think they are), and strong regional prejudices exist in the US. People in the Midwest think the coasts are backward, and vice versa. Everybody has an opinion about the South, even those who haven’t been there (especially those who haven’t been there). On the other hand, most people don’t actually know much about other cultures outside the US. There’s not as much familiarity with those cultures as with domestic cultures. The strong attitudes and prejudicial assumptions about other cultures end at the national borders, and any that exist are kept at bay by the cultural unacceptability of expressing them, or even sounding like one is expressing them, to the extent that anything less than calling for sanctuary city policy is deemed intolerant by the American Left.
People with this bias don’t actually love their neighbors; they hate their neighbors, and they blindly love strangers.
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