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About That Fat Lady

Mark Krikorian is optimistic that we are not approaching a point of no return with respect to amnesty and mass immigration.  I think he is probably too optimistic.  He cites as a supporting example Muslim support for the National Front of Jean-Marie Le Pen.  As Mr. Krikorian writes:

Jeez — if Arabs can vote for a guy like Le Pen, then a Republican Party that is optimistic and welcoming toward immigrants, but firm in its support of muscular enforcement and lower numbers, shouldn’t have any problem holding its own among Hispanics, especially if we reduce new inflows and let our still-strong (compared to Europe) assimilative forces do their work. 

Certainly there is a kind of irony of the old paratrooper who fought in Algeria making a deal with the children and grandchildren of some of the people he fought against, but as The New York Sun reported two months ago Le Pen had started moving towards an alliance with French Muslims.  As a cynical move to latch on to the fastest-growing population in the country, it is very clever.  As a massive sell-out to the entire platform to which the National Front was supposedly dedicated, it is hardly a very encouraging example for restrictionists in America.

The Sun article also said:

The National Front is surprisingly popular among Muslim immigrants or second-generation Muslim citizens. For all its campaigning about immigration, Mr. Le Pen’s party has always extended support to Arab and Islamic causes abroad, from Saddam’s Iraq to Arafat’s or Hamas Palestine, and from Al Qaeda to Iran. And it is as firmly anti-American and anti-Jewish as the Muslim community itself tends to be.

Even taking this with the grain of salt that any reporting about Le Pen in the Sun requires, it makes sense that there are other, non-immigration positions that draw Muslim voters to support the FN.  Le Pen making a deal with the Muslims in France is the equivalent of surrender and collaboration in the hopes of creating favourable conditions for yourself in the new order.  It is rather less encouraging news and feeds into pessimism that Europe really is finished if some of the most vehement opponents of mass immigration from the south are effectively throwing in the towel.  

Being critical of Israel is hardly unusual on either left or right in Europe, and opposition to the Iraq war is also hardly unique, but Le Pen has always been consistently much more, er, vehement in his denunciations of both.  By comparison, I know of very little in the Republican Party platform that would actually trump the many natural advantages the Democrats have with a growing Hispanic immigrant population.  Enforcement and reduced numbers probably are somewhat popular with second or third-generation, more assimilated Hispanic voters, but there is too little working in the GOP’s favour with these voters otherwise. 

None of this is to say that we shouldn’t have enforcement and reduced numbers (we certainly should), but it is to say that it will not be possible for the GOP to have its cake and eat it, too.  Le Pen’s example can only encourage the “pro-amnesty Republicans” who hope to make a deal with Hispanic voters.  If the French example is any indication of what will happen here, it also means that there will eventually be a tipping point when restrictionists will find themselves so badly outnumbered that they may feel compelled for other reasons to de-prioritise immigration restriction and try to join forces with the people they have been working to keep out of the country.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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