Opposition to our country being invaded by millions of illegal aliens is labeled “racist” by proponents of the invasion. It is very likely that the proponents do not really believe that we are racist and that they use that word because they know it is the one label no-one wants to have stuck to them. Calling someone a“fascist”might make that person angry, but the word “racist” can ruin careers.
On the other hand, it is possible that some of the supporters of illegal aliens actually believe that we are racist, that we oppose this massive invasion because of the color of the invaders’ skin. The invaders have dark complexions, so you must be a racist. H.L. Mencken mocked that kind of syllogism many years ago with the example “If you are against labor racketeers, then you are against the working man.” An unintentionally-funny example of this thinking was expressed by renowned political scientist Oprah Winfrey, when she said to a BBC interviewer that President Obama does not get respect “because he is African-American.” It is not because he is a leftwing extremist bent on turning the US into a third-world nation; it is because he is African-American.
Because of their assumptions, no one in the mainstream media bothers to ask us why we oppose illegal immigration; they believe they know the answer. If they were to ask, though, they might be surprised to learn that our opposition stems from two basic principles—a belief in the rule of law and a belief that some cultures are superior to others.
Regarding the former, it is understood by all freedom-loving people that no nation can remain free without the rule of law. The basic theory says that no one is above the law, that the state shall prohibit certain results, not behavior, and laws are, as FA Hayek said, “announced beforehand...defined in general terms, without reference to time and place or particular people.” Once we start to make exceptions for this group or that group, we no longer have the rule of law. Once we allow leaders to change laws arbitrarily, to fit a particular circumstance, we no longer have the rule of law. By saying that we have laws to punish people who enter our country illegally, that overstay their visas, that use phony IDs, but we will no longer enforce those laws, if the people come from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, or selected poor countries, we no longer have the rule of law. Such a trend clearly marks the first steps towards tyranny.
Then, there is the issue of culture. Roughly defined as the customs, beliefs, and social habits of a nation, it is what characterizes a people and allows them to identify with each other. Scots drink whiskey, Germans drink beer, and Italians drink wine. In some nations boasting is admired, in others it is frowned upon. Some people esteem book smarts; others esteem street smarts. Looking at the US from Japan, one notices that Americans admire individuality and rush to complain when they see things they don’t like. Japanese, on the other hand, value the low profile and don’t complain even when the situation calls for it.
Cultures can spread. A cursory review of history shows that there have been good empires and bad empires in the past. Good empires seem to spread things that make life better, and promote freedom and prosperity. Bad civilizations spread misery, corruption, and despair. Rome was a good empire. It passed on a legacy of Roman law, an appreciation for art and literature, and advanced technology. The Ottoman Empire was the opposite. It left in its wake arbitrary rule, poverty, ignorance, and the word “baksheesh,” which means bribery or extortion money. The reason the Balkans are still playing catch up with Western Europe is a result of the Ottoman legacy, which held them back while Western Europe moved forward.
More recently, we can contrast the British Empire with the Spanish Empire. Look around the world. Most places where Britannia planted her foot—America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore—greater prosperity and greater liberty than neighboring countries can be found. Where Spain left her mark – Central and South America—poverty, violence, and corruption are the norms.
Where does Mexican culture fit in? Mexico, with 110 million people, rates a lowly 55 on the Heritage.org ranking in terms of economic freedom, right behind Albania and ahead of Jamaica. (Number 1 was Hong Kong. The US was number 12, dropping out of the Top Ten due to recent policies.) Mexico ranks even lower in corruption, number 106 on Transparency International’s list, making it one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Mexico almost made the UNODC Top Ten in the World in murder (number 18), though, slightly ahead of Dominican Republic (number 17), Guatemala (number 5), El Salvador (number 4), and Honduras (number 1).Arbitrary laws, corruption, and violence are substantial elements of daily life in that part of the world.
If you are a leftist, you use those stats to argue that those illegal aliens are escaping the lawlessness and violence of their homelands. And it is true that some of them are. In the olden days, when we enforced immigration laws, we might have let some of them come to the US legally. But when the borders are not secure, anyone and everyone can come across, including the lawless and corrupt.
They bring their culture with them. A few thousand Mexicans, Hondurans, and El Salvadorans spread across the US would surely adapt to American culture and become American in all ways. But thirty million of them coming across the border within a twenty-year period are going to transplant their culture in our country.They will settle with people who share their habits and lifestyle, thereby changing the character of the places they move into. We can see that already in American towns where there is a significant illegal immigrant population.
It is to prevent the US from becoming like Central America or other failed cultures that we have immigration policies. Unfortunately, thirty million illegal aliens in the US do not bespeak an immigration policy, they bespeak an invasion. They represent a threat to our culture and our way of life. That is why we oppose them, and that is why the Left welcomes them. Our opposition stems from culture and the rule of law, not race.