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Anton in 2018: America is not the Common Property of all Mankind


No Russian ever called me deplorable
DP Veteran
Jan 20, 2014
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Political Leaning
Very Conservative
Since immigration is about to become a hot topic again, I’m posting this flashback to 2018. This column was written by Michael Anton (of Flight 93 Election fame) as a response to a column by Brett Stephens, some of it is clearly written in response to that, but broadly it forms the basis for a nationalist manifesto on immigration policy which Trump effectively utilized and which the GOP needs to fully embrace to deliver for their voters. Contrary to popular belief, mass immigration is a fringe issue to benefit the upper class, and broadly speaking whites, blacks, and Hispanics largely agree with large majorities that immigration needs to be reduced, and greatly.

Anton responds to several common pro-mass immigration arguments. Such as

“But Immigrants commit less crime then native citizens”

Anton shows that the crime and social pathologies of black Americans, stemming from a unique history of mistreatment are what causes this imbalance.

“but we need more immigrants to pay for social welfare programs”

Anton demonstrates no amount of immigration can make social security solvent and there’s a problem where members of immigrant ethnicities will resent older whites for taking money out of their checks to fund retirement.

“the moral imperative”

Anton demonstrates there is no moral need to admit immigrants.

Anton writes

Which points to the second sense. Like all free nations, America is a social compact made up of citizens who consent to form a political community. The formation of that compact is far clearer in the case of the United States than it was in, say, France. But in terms of the way the compact operates, there is no difference. The people consent to live together under a common government. That government governs only its citizens, not their neighbors or the rest of the world. The members of the compact may, by mutual consent, choose to admit others to it. Or they may not. The fact that some members of the compact—either originally or later—may have joined after exiting another compact (i.e., after emigrating from another country) does not confer any special status on later would-be immigrants. For the compact to have any meaning—for the government to have any legitimacy or coherence—it cannot be subject to the wishes of anyone who wants to join no matter the wishes of the compact’s existing members.

The wisest thing Donald Trump ever said—and he has said many wise things—is “We don’t have a country without a border.” To which I would add: America is not the common property of all mankind. It belongs to the Americans, and we alone get to determine who may—and who may not—become one of us.

This is not to belittle other groups of people who want to become Americans, many do, this is not a judgment of value of citizens of other nations, but to claim that America has an obligation to accept many other people from faraway lands is crazy.

America needs to institute an immigration pause like in 1924, then work on assimilating and creating opportunities for the people, including present legal immigrants, already here. And not adding more people.
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