The Debatable Necessity of Immigration


The recent murder of a young woman by Francisco Sanchez, an illegal alien who had been deported, but who’d returned illegally to the US seven times, has caused furor among American citizens angry over the crisis in illegal immigration. Donald Trump has incited the hatred of the Left (how hard it that, really?) over his remarks about illegal immigration. Ann Coulter has written a book entitled Adios America in which she presents unassailable evidence about the problem from a cultural perspective, her thesis being that no one seeks to escape a superior culture for an inferior one, but that it is always the other way around. All the candidates on both sides in the coming 2016 election have or are expected to state positions on the issue of immigration, legal and illegal. The topic is important, beyond mere debate. It is an issue that must be resolved or, as Ms Coulter has rightly described, we may as well say “Adios” to our America.

We are told that we are a nation of immigrants. This mantra is repeated in the name of tolerance for immigrants seeking a better life which America certainly has to offer. But as an argument for open immigration it is deceptive. Immigration should be considered not merely for its benefit to immigrants, but also for the benefit of the country receiving them. First, we are not a nation of immigrants. We are a nation of Americans. Immigration is a temporary condition, suffered until one becomes a US citizen. The greater question is whether this country, already at 340 million people, needs immigration to sustain it.

One argument is that the US was founded by immigrants for the sake of immigrants. Further, pro-immigration argues, European immigrants stole the land from the true natives, therefore, invasion by foreign nationals is just. Long before Europeans arrived here, the land masses of North and South America were not nations or organized into towns, cities or states, with governments. Citizenship as such did not exist.

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immigrationSome will argue that the concept of citizenship in the European tradition did not apply to the tribal inhabitants. In fact, they did not actually inhabit America per se. They were largely nomadic and clustered together in collectives run by tribal elders who set rules for conduct, division of provisions, family structure, and justice. They were not free societies. Individuals were subsidiary parts of the tribal whole. Their primitive life was harsh and organized to accommodate the good of the tribe, who depended on it for survival.

In North America there were few stationary settlements, because survival depended upon moving where they could find water, game and enough other natural resources to sustain them: trees for building temporary shelter, skins and pelts for clothing and tools. Tribes did not possess the wheel, horses, or metal tools. There were exceptions to this in Central and South America, where Aztecs, Maya and Inca founded small empires governed by kings. They lived in dwellings constructed of stone and they raised crops, had sports and leisure activities, and smelted gold, silver, copper, bronze and iron. But even these societies did not occupy what we think of as countries. They were still clusters of civilization, and when they fought each other or invaded enemy lands, it was not to establish nations. It was to take goods and captives.

The arrival of the first settlers in North America did not constitute an invasion. Tribes could not claim legal ownership, which requires established law that proceeds only from formal government. Thus, while it undeniable that many indigenous people were treated cruelly by Europeans who saw them as little above animals, the savage inhabitants benefitted from exposure to European culture and technology: draft animals, the horse, the wheel, refinement of metals, building of permanent dwellings and other features of civilization, including religions based in rational theology rather than mysticism. Indeed, it is empirically proven throughout human history that the superior civilization, with greater knowledge and technological advantages, always dominates the inferior, primitive one.

In the modern era, and especially in the past hundred years, there are no primitive tribes dependent upon hunting and gathering for survival. Modern agriculture, technology, transportation, communication and medicine have put an end to the need for primitive living. But not everyone has the same standard of living. Indeed, in countries run less productively than the United States, people look toward this country as a beacon for a better future. Europeans originally came here to create for themselves a better life and to secure freedoms their home countries lacked.

Nowadays, immigrants come here to benefit from opportunity their home countries may lack. However, while Europeans brought with them the tools of an established civilization to an unexplored and unestablished land, immigrants coming today do not bring with them a superior culture, but instead seek to benefit from the already established civilization that is America.

Immigrants often contribute to aspects of American culture, culturally and intellectually. They labor in fields and start businesses, pay taxes, enter academia, and help the economy. But this is not the primary aim of immigration. Because the freedom and opportunity is established, immigrants benefit from it. They flee poverty, cruel dictatorships and lands dominated by intolerant theocracies for the shelter of America. Their contribution is in exchange for being allowed to share in the gift of American principles.

Immigration for its own sake is of no value. We are not a nation of immigrants. We are a nation of Americans. Thus, immigration must always be for the benefit of settled members of the society, full citizens and resident immigrants who have come legally. Illegal immigration brings with it huge liabilities, such as crime, drugs, gangs and terrorism, as well as offensive cultural practices, such as Sharia law, which has no place in any well-governed, free society. Immigration should be lawful and tightly controlled for the benefit of Americans, and those who come here.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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