Immigration reductionist Paul Westrum tells the readers of the Austin Herald today that they're Too complacent to recognize issue.
What is it we don't see? Tsunamis racing to shore? Dead Kinseys? Charle Sheen?
Oh no. Westrum is raising the alarm over demographic shifts in America:
After hammering on the immigration issue for the past 18 years, I am at my wits end on how to alert a complacent American citizenry as to its children’s ominous future. What’s more, I don’t think anyone understands their horrific endowment to future generations, i.e., our kids.
For a fact, I know the U.S. Congress and the past five presidents did not, and our current president does not, understand the final ramifications of unrelenting immigration. They stand blind, deaf, dumb and stupid to the accelerating drama within our civilization.
At the current rate of legal and illegal immigration, plus the immigrants’ children, our country will watch the addition of 72 million immigrants, mostly from third world countries, within 24 years. Have you given thought to how that will affect the environment? Our culture? Our quality of life?
What will "legal and illegal immigration" bring? If you listen to Bill Blazar of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, good things.
I attended two presentations of many that the MN Chamber and its allies put on throughout Greater Minnesota back in January and February and the facts suggest that Westrum's fear-mongering is not just unfounded--but that policy based on his fear of the "horrific endowment" of "third-world" people by the current generation would substantially harm Minnesota's quality of life.
Typical news coverage of the presentation and discussion: an Agrinews article about the Fergus Falls meeting, Farmers say that something has to be done with immigration regulations. Or the article in Willmar's West Central Tribune.
Read more about the business case for immigration reform here. It's not complacency, but understanding that makes me, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and a host of other organizations reject Mr. Westrum's arguments.
And real reform will not simply mean fixing the part of a broken system where there is no line for many to get into, but which also shortens the wait for those who do get in line.
Just as union and nonunion, public and private get played off against each other, New Americans are urged to focus on resentments of each other provoked by that line, rather than commonalities. But in citing both legal and unauthorized immigrants as a "horrific endowment," Westrum lets the cat out of the bag. The problem isn't status--it's difference from Mr. Westrum's background.
In earlier waves of immigration at the turn of the 20th century, old immigrants--the WASPS and their kindred--fretted about "The Rising Tide of Color." Westrum's playing the same game.
And yet, the adaptive power of American culture--itself the churn of many cultures--made this country stronger with the addition of people from Eastern and Southern Europe, from Indochina, from everywhere.
I am not frightened for this country or our culture; I only fear our fear itself.
Photo: Paul Westrum.