Immigration occurs, it seems to us, for either of two reasons. Either the destination is a magnet or the source is repulsive. Or of course, both. The world is presently seeing a lot of the second sort; masses of people fleeing awful conditions. And at some point, this becomes a problem. Overdone, it becomes a war to deter invaders.
Human history is full of folk displaced by invading other folk, often people escaping invaders into their own lands that have displaced them. Possession has always been nine tenths of ownership in human affairs. Celtic peoples were overrun by later Huns and Goths; Germanic Britons were conquered by Norman French, themselves an amalgam of Frankish and Scandinavian. We tend to think of these events as ancient history.
But if you consider for a moment, America is a result of Europeans displacing Amerinds in tried and true historical fashion. The United States has taken a great deal from England, eschewing only its King. The main illusion respecting this process is that it has stopped, somehow. It has not.
Today, life in much of the Middle East is desperate at best. Most of Africa is as bad or worse and Central Asia is only better by comparison. All those places are pouring refugees into the nearest decent place to live, which is Europe or America. The U.S. and Canada lure powerfully those with the energy and ambition needed to travel to them. So France is full of Algerians, Germany of Turks and others of all sorts. Often, they are Moslem. In North America, it’s Spanish speakers mostly. One can hardly blame them, considering what they are leaving.
But the generally accepted “melting pot” idea has been tossed by the political elite, replaced by “diversity.” Unfortunately, this forgets that the root word , “diverse” may designate immiscible populations. If one amplifies increasing economic competition between groups, the stress on civil order grows. Both Europe and the U.S. are seeing living standards declining in deficit-financed welfare states. That puts many of the immigrants out of work and their presence competing for employment lowers wages. They are perceived as a threat to the locals, too many dogs fighting fro too few bones. And that in turn, multiplies the friction arising from cultural differences.
But so long as the disparate economics and security persist, the immigrants still come; what they are leaving remains worse than what they come to. So the locals are pinched between the descending economy and the arrivals, caught in an economic vise. That applies both economic and cultural pressure on both jaws of that vise. And that can become destabilizing. The U.S. has in the past, rounded up and shipped out illegal immigrants in carload lots to relieve such pressures.
Sweden and Germany are finding Turks hard to digest; in France, it’s Algerians. Islam exacerbates the divisions. In English-speaking North America, it’s Spanish and cultural differences that add annoyance to economic competition. And all is multiplied by the welfare states involved insistence upon subsidizing the arrivals at the expense of the locals.
In the United States, Democrats want immigrants as new Democrats. Republicans want them as cheap labor. Voters are increasingly opposing them as economic competition and a tax a burden. Stress is building between voters and politicians over this, the same appears true in Europe, where new political parties are rising upon this issue.
In the U.S. at the moment, President Obama has promised to promote immigration by decree (“Executive Order”) against the wishes of the majority of polled voters. The President’s authority to accomplish this is under debate. In Europe, Italians are, not for the first time, watching Africans island-hopping to Europe for sanctuary. And the unstoppable flood seems about to meet an increasingly immovable dam, if things proceed as at present.
If conditions in the ‘third world’ continue to deteriorate, immigration will worsen. The economic decline in the ‘rich’ world will add to increasing instability. There is in the United States, a strong belief that, if only the politicians will ‘close the border’ then the immigration problem will go away. A lot of Americans also buy lottery tickets, hoping to win big bucks. They don’t wish to face the reality that, so long as things elsewhere is worse, America will attract people. No government has been able to exclude drugs, nor will any exclude illegal immigrant; the same forces are in play.
U.S. history is one of immigration; growing wealth tamed it as declining wealth presently worsens it. The only apparent solution is returning to policies that support wealth production but the governing elite is composed of new Malthusians with opposite views, folk who wish America’s wealth diluted and dispersed among the poor to improve their lot. Excepting of course, any personal wealth of their own. If you are American, ojala que se habla Espanol …