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Time for an Immigration Moratorium

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By:Tom Piatak | September 25, 2014

The Center for Immigration Studies reports this morning that the number of immigrants, both legal and illegal, in the United States is now 41.3 million, the highest it has ever been. Even as the American economy continues to sputter and many Americans face unemployment or underemployment, an additional 1.4 million immigrants entered the country between 2010 and 2013. During that same period, the countries seeing the greatest increase in the number of their citizens becoming immigrants to America were India, China, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Jamaica, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iraq. In percentage terms, 13.1% of all those living in the United States were born abroad, the highest percentage since 1921.

1921 was also, not coincidentally, the year Congress first sought to restrict the massive immigration through Ellis Island that was then transforming America. Three years later Congress effectively ended that immigration, with the Immigration Act of 1924, signed into law by President Coolidge who felt that “America must be kept American." The effect of that legislation was to aid the assimilation of the millions who had come through Ellis Island in the preceding decades (including six of my great-grandparents). The Ellis Island immigrants were expected to become Americans, and the children of those immigrants who fought with Patton and MacArthur certainly thought of themselves as Americans. Indeed, many have remarked on the strong sense of American identity present in the decades following the Immigration Act of 1924.

There is even more need for such an assimilation-aiding immigration moratorium today. The current immigrants come from countries far more different from America than the lands of Eastern and Southern Europe that fueled our last immigration boom. And the America of today is far less self-confident and far less willing to impose its traditions on newcomers than was the America of Calvin Coolidge. One sign of the great difference between Coolidge’s America and Obama’s is that none of the likely presidential candidates for 2016 is yet calling for an immigration moratorium. But maybe some enterprising candidate will seize on public unease over immigration to make this an issue. As Ann Coulter notes in today’s column, immigration is cited as the “biggest problem” facing the country by Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in the most recent Gallup poll, and even among Democrats only two other issues take precedence. It is past time for another president like Silent Cal.



Ray Olson
St. Paul
9/25/2014 09:30 PM

  It's past time, alright, but is it The Time, for an immigration moratorium? I'm inclined to believe that the powers that be, starting with George Soros and the Koch brothers, don't want it, and that their hirelings in politics will act accordingly--that is, keep their traps shut about it. That's why no likely presidential candidates for 2016 are making peep one about it. Could it be that there are no political solutions for the immigration crisis?

Clyde Wilson
9/25/2014 10:00 PM

  I think Ray is right, as usual. It is too late. The U.S. is now Brazil, except with a ruling class with nuclear weapons and delusions of omnipotence. There is no American people in any significant political sense.

Alex Sepkus
9/26/2014 12:45 AM

  It can't be done anymore. Any reasonable proposal will be squashed by the prevailing Americanism of the "Right"

Eugene Girin
Forest Hills
9/26/2014 01:58 AM

  The children and grandchildren of those pre-1924 immigrants (along with WASP fellow travelers) were largely responsible for the horrific 1965 Act.

9/26/2014 07:10 AM

  But this is exactly what Obama said he would do, so to destroy our Republic. The public needs to awaken to this, and we need THROWING this worthless chunk of Dung out of the White House and placed in Jail where he belongs.


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