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Camp of the Saints

Having spent much of the 1990’s writing about immigration, I tend to avoid the subject. I’ve made all my points and it’s tiresome to repeat them. But the New York Times last week published this irritating editorial, irritating but welcome because it so cleanly reveals the immigrationist mentality.

The Times begins by referring to the sad state of illegal aliens camped around Calais, hoping to break into Britain. Throughout Europe, the Times laments, immigrants “are distrusted by the local population and vilified by demagogic politicians.” Europeans don’t realize that “without large infusions of foreign workers, the tourist industries that many European countries depend upon would be understaffed, and the cost of construction would soar.” But the “cynical” anti-immigrant campaign goes on. From Italy’s Northern League to the British Labor Party, politicians find anti-immigrant themes are politically effective. With dripping condescension, The Times acknowledges the “anxieties” of Europeans and Americans who have been disoriented by globalization. But since immigrant labor is needed, immigrant workers must be legalized.

How odd it is to write an editorial about immigration in Europe without mention of the car burnings which now seem to break out annually in the Paris suburbs, or the massive riots in northern England, (riots in part due to high unemployment, for which more immigrant workers does not seem an obvious solution). Or the murder of Theo van Gogh, or the large numbers of immigrants in Holland which approved the murder. Or the long-running battle over head-scarves, or the terrorist attacks in the London metro, or Madrid. For the Times, these are not legitimate concerns, but only “anxieties” of Europeans being too rapidly ushered into globalization, like latter day Poujadists.

And what is the answer for the those immigrant-bashing politicians whose poll numbers are rising in every country? For some reason, the Times steps back from its editorial’s logical conclusion: eliminate that annoying atavism that allows citizens to express their noxious preferences, i.e elections, so that the “lawful” work permits can be handed out without further delay.

about the author

Scott McConnell is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of Ex-Neocon: Dispatches From the Post-9/11 Ideological Wars. Follow him on Twitter at @ScottMcConnell9.

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