Maybe Forever

Is the current wave of immigration to America, mainly from the Third World, an invasion? Wayne Lutton and John Tanton maintain that it is. The authors effectively argue that our unprecedented level of immigration, forced on the country by selfish interests, is remaking America in many negative ways, especially by eroding our national culture. But are Lutton and Tanton justified in using a term suggestive of violent conquest? After all, the arrival of approximately 1.2 million foreigners each year is mainly peaceful, even if about 300,000 of that total come illegally. But even if "invasion" is not the best word, the authors are correct to imply that the term "immigration," by itself, does not do justice to our predicament.

Say "immigration," and the average American will call to mind the image of Emma Lazarus's "huddled masses," or maybe an arriving Old World couple viewing the Statue of Liberty for the first time with admiration in their eyes. Schools and the media have carefully planted and cultivated these mental images—sometimes with honest intent and sometimes on behalf of interests that stand to reap power and profit from streams of newcomers. Yet lest we have any misgivings, "immigration," we are assured, will one day result in assimilation of the immigrants to the American way of life. The image is that of the Melting Pot.

But as Tanton and Lutton show,...

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