Round Table Discussion

After the Flood

In the nearly 11 years since Chronicles took up the issue of virtually uncontrolled immigration to the United States, a great deal of political and social ground—much of it unrecoverable—has been lost. Immigrationists don't claim to have won the debate on immigration reform, because they haven't. Aside from writing op-ed pieces, nasty and dishonest reviews of their opponents' books, and just two full-length works that I can recall in behalf of their own crusade, they haven't even participated in it. Instead, they have chosen to watch cozily from their deck chairs on the beachheads as the foreign tides rolled in while congratulating one another privately on their easy victory. By the time they come to the belated realization that it is a piranhic one, it will be too late for all of us (if it isn't already), and even then they will never acknowledge, not even privately, their catastrophic error.

While there is no cause on which the practically monolithic American establishment is as firmly united as it is in its commitment to immigration yesterday, immigration today, and immigration forever, a large number of the crises that currently agitate it—terrorist attacks on American soil, the development of open spaces, air pollution, suburban sprawl, population growth, school crowding, racial tension, illiteracy, the cost of health care, and so on—are substantially the result of its liberal...

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