Jewish World Review Oct. 12, 2001 / 25 Tishrei, 5762
Drs. Michael A.Glueck & Robert J. Cihak
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- XENOPHOBIA. No, it's not fear of Xeno. It's fear and hate of foreigners. Other words seem to be getting applied nowadays to our attitude toward the foreigners among us. Paranoia. Anxiety. We don't think it's gone that far. Not yet. But if it does, it will be partly in response to immigration policies that can only be described as schizophrenic and delusional.
It is unnerving, in time of war, not to know who you might be looking at or seated next to. But it's equally important to remember that we must learn to distinguish and differentiate between LEGALLY finding and removing those who are here ILLEGALLY and ILLEGALLY finding and removing those who are here LEGALLY. We say up-front that we're not against immigration. But we do say that, even in this age of "Globalization," that there is no way we can (or should) return to the "sheer freedom of movement" described by historian Paul Johnson in "A History of the American People."
"No authority on either side of the Atlantic was bothered with who was going where or how. . . . An Englishman, without passport, health certificate or documentation of any kind . . . could hand over [British monetary Pound symbol] 10 at a Liverpool shipping counter and go abroad. . . . It was not even necessary to have [British monetary Pound symbol] 10, as the British provided free travel to Canada, whence the immigrants could bum rides on coastal boats to Massachusetts or New York. There was no control and no resentment."
And for a century or so the system this practice represented worked very well. Tens of millions came to America, seeking economic opportunity. The United States provided it, in the form of hard work. Immigrants responded, as individuals, as families and as voluntary associations such as churches until, during the Progressive Era, social welfare and social work made their modern debuts. Today, opportunities remain abundant, despite the increasing dead weight of governmental regulations, mandates, and interference. And maybe it's true even today that more people come for the opportunities than for the entitlements. But since we don't know who's here, it's hard to tell.
Today, however, people come here for a third reason: to harm us. And maybe a little constructive anxiety might not be such a bad thing. Consider:
We have probably allowed over seven million people to cross our borders illegally and stay. Some estimates run as high as ten million.
Another four million on student visas have remained in the United States long after their visas have expired. The INS seems unable and unwilling to maintain a decent tickler file, let alone go after those tickled for the final time.
We allow students from hostile nations to acquire skills and knowledge that may be used to hurt us.
Our political asylum procedures are a joke. A person flies into JFK or some other airport and demands asylum. Since there's usually no immediate way to determine the validity of the claim, such persons are issued a Social Security card and told to come back in a few weeks or months for a hearing. They leave the airport and disappear. No one requesting political asylum should ever be admitted to this country until their claim is judged valid.
Fortunately, one Member of Congress, Rep. Thomas G. Tancredo (R-CO) wants to sound the alarm. Just days before the attacks, he introduced House Concurrent Resolution 220. The resolution declares that Congress is committed to preserving U.S. sovereignty and self-government and the integrity of its border, disapproves of open-border policies and other policies that would undermine such sovereignty, and urges the President to pursue a policy of protecting such sovereignty through enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.
Some final thoughts. For those who are here legally and mean us no harm, it shouldn't matter if they're black, white, or green with pink polka dots. But history shows that the United States, and most other countries, have a limited absorptive capacity. Waves of immigration have usually been followed by periods of assimilation and adjustment. Maybe for the next decade or two, less immigration would be better immigration.
As for those who come here to harm us, they are indeed an enemy within,
and should be feared, up to the day they're eliminated. At least we're
now wide awake to realities we should indeed fear; let's keep our
response rational, productive and protective rather than paranoid and
destructive of our freedom and inalienable
09/28/01: Can legal leopards change their spots: A treat instead of a trick