Trump’s Jarring Remarks Shroud Broader Immigration Questions
President Trump “said things which were hate-filled, vile, and racist. …I cannot believe…any president has ever spoken the words that I…heard our president speak yesterday.”
So wailed Senator Dick Durbin after departing the White House.
And what caused the minority leader to almost faint dead away?
Trump called Haiti a “s—hole country,” said Durbin, and then asked why we don’t have more immigrants from neat places “like Norway.”
With that, there erupted one of the great media firestorms of the Trump era.
Trump concedes he may have disparaged Haiti. Yet he also insists he did not demean the Haitian people.
Still, by contrasting Norway as a desirable source of immigrants with Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa, Trump raised a question that is roiling the West.
Trump is saying with words, as he has with policies, that in taking in a million people a year, race, religion, and national origin matter if we are to preserve our American unity and character.
Moreover, on deciding who comes and who does not, Americans have the sovereign right to discriminate in favor of some continents, countries, and cultures, and against others.
Moreover, in stating his own preferences, Trump is in a tradition as old as the republic.
The original 13 colonies did not want Catholics here. Ben Franklin feared Pennsylvania was being overrun by stupid Germans: “Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion.”
Just as anti-immigrant parties have arisen in Europe to stem the flood of refugees from the Mideast and Africa, so was an American party (“Know-Nothings”) formed to halt the surge of immigrants during the Irish Potato Famine of 1845 to 1849.
Lincoln wanted slaves repatriated to Africa. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Chinese and Japanese exclusion acts were passed.
“Californians have properly objected” to Japanese migrants, said vice presidential nominee Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “on the sound basic ground that…the mingling of Asiatic blood with European or American blood produces, in nine cases out of ten, the most unfortunate results.”
After the Great Migration of Italians, Poles, Jews, and East Europeans from 1890 to 1920, the Immigration Act of 1925 established quotas based on the national origins of the American people in 1890, thus favoring Brits, Scots-Irish, Irish, and Germans.
Civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph, a major figure in Dr. King’s March on Washington, said of the Harding-Coolidge restrictive quotas: “We favor reducing immigration to nothing…shutting out the Germans…Italians…Hindus…Chinese and even the Negroes from the West Indies. The country is suffering from immigration indigestion.”
The Senate floor leader of the 1965 Immigration Act addressed what were then regarded as valid concerns about the future racial and ethnic composition of the country. Senator Edward Kennedy pledged: “Our cities win not be flooded with a million immigrants annually…the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset. …S. 500 will not inundate America with immigrants from…the most populated and economically deprived nations of Africa and Asia.”
What Kennedy assured America would not happen did happen.
Today, the issue of immigration is tearing countries and continents apart. There are anti-immigrant parties in every European nation. Turkey is being bribed to keep Syrian refugees out of Europe.
Boatloads of Africans from Libya are being turned back in the Med. After building a wall to keep them out, Bibi Netanyahu has told “illegal aliens” from Africa: get out of Israel by March or go to jail.
Angela Merkel may have suffered irreparable political damage when she let in a million Mideast refugees. The larger concentrations of Arabs, Africans, and Turks in Britain, France, and Germany are not assimilating. Central European nations are sealing borders.
Europe fears a future in which, with shrinking numbers of native-born, it’s swamped by peoples from the third world.
Yet the future Europeans are resisting is the same one American elites have embraced. Among the reasons, endless mass migration here means the demographic death of the GOP.
In U.S. presidential elections, persons of color whose roots are in Asia, Africa, and Latin America vote four-to-one Democratic, and against the candidates favored by America’s vanishing white majority. Not for the first time, liberal ideology comports precisely with liberal political interests.
Mass immigration means an America in 2050 with no core majority, made up of minorities of every race, color, religion, and culture on earth, a continent-wide replica of the wonderful diversity we see today in the U.N. General Assembly.
Such a country has never existed before. Are we on the Yellow Brick Road to the new Utopia—or the path to national suicide?
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.