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Jewish World Review Oct. 30, 2001 / 13 Mar-Cheshvan 5762

Linda Bowles

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America in need of a totally new immigration policy -- OUR national borders are the front lines of America's war against terrorism. It should come as no surprise to anyone that our borders are being overrun. They are open doors to the easy entry, legal and illegal, of those who would do us harm.

The facts are beyond refutation. At this moment, there are more than 31 million people living in the United States who were born in a foreign country. This is an increase of 11.3 million, or 57 percent, since 1990.

At this moment, between 9 and 10 million immigrants are illegally living in the United States. The illegal population in America has increased by an average of 500,000 per year for the last 10 years. None of them was checked for criminal records, diseases, ability to support themselves, or connections with terrorist groups.

Surely it must be clear, even to those who consider it an act of bigotry to restrict any kind of immigration, that if a poor Mexican laborer can successfully sneak into the country, so can terrorists whose primary purpose is to kill as many Americans as possible.

Some of those illegally in America came on student visas and never showed up for school. Others came on temporary visas of one sort or another, and stayed after their visas expired. We don't know where they are or what they are doing. There is no tracking system. There is no follow up.

In granting visas, we investigate backgrounds sloppily or not at all. We make no special effort to check out or bar entry to students or visitors from Iraq, Sudan, Iran, Libya, Syria, Cuba and North Korea, all of whom are on the State Department's list of countries that sponsor terrorist groups. They have no trouble entering our country.

Steven A. Camarota is director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies. In testimony prepared for the Senate Judiciary Committee, he said, "The current terrorist threat to the United States comes almost exclusively from individuals who arrive from abroad ... America's borders are a major theater of operations. ... the weapons of our enemies are not aircraft carriers or even commercial airliners, but rather the terrorists themselves."

Dan Stein, executive director of the Federation for Immigration Reform, had this to say in a recent essay: "As we look around the United States, with the proliferation of ethnic communities where people remain culturally and ethnically separated from the American mainstream, it is apparent that the threads that hold this large and diverse country together are being threatened."

Two-thirds of the population growth in the United States since 1990 can be attributed to mass, unskilled immigration. For decades, immigration policies have been tilted toward third-world countries. Over 70 percent of the immigrants arriving in America during the 1990s came from Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and East Asia.

It is projected, to the delight of many, that by 2050, there will be no majority race in America. In effect, the government of the United States is redefining America through its immigration policies. It is doing so without once asking the American people what kind of a country they want America to be, in terms of culture, language, tradition, or even allegiance. In the minds of the ruling elite, diversity trumps unity as "our greatest strength."

Despite all the slogans, diversity can be a fatal weakness. Without unifying values and commitments, history informs us that ethnic diversity and multi-culturalism often generate suspicion and hatred, fragmenting a country into hostile factions, tearing it apart at its ethnic and cultural seams. The truth we need to face is this: America is suffering an immigration glut. Parts of America are like third-world countries. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants have no interest in learning the language or adopting the culture of their new country. They have formed separate communities that function as avant-garde outposts of their countries of origin. They offer a ready-made home base for terrorists.

For decades, liberal elitists and globalists have effectively squelched debate by labeling as "racist" or "uncaring" anyone who wished to talk honestly and realistically about the problem of immigration. For decades, the Democrat Party has nixed any attempt to stem the flow of third-world immigrants into America's slums and ghettos, knowing they would all vote the straight Democrat ticket. For decades, various businesses have welcomed and exploited cheap immigrant labor.

We need a totally new immigration policy, one which reflects the philosophy of Theodore Roosevelt: "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. ... The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities."

Comment on JWR contributor Linda Bowles' column by clicking here.

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© 2001, Creators Syndicate