India

Modi Cheerleaders Are Abusing a Well-Intentioned American Refugee Law for Anti-Muslim Ends

They want to scrap the citizenship rights of Indian Muslims because America helped Soviet Jews and Christians.

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America's harsh anti-immigration policies under the Trump administration are hardly a good example for the rest of the world. But leave it to the supporters of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to distort a well-intentioned American law for nefarious ends. They have dusted off something called the Lautenberg Amendment, an obscure Cold War-era law, to justify Modi's anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Modi's law has sparked massive protests in India and condemnation around the world. But his supporters claim there is no functional difference between America's Lautenberg Amendment and India's CAA.

A recent piece in News18, CNN's Indian news site, dismissed the West's reaction to the CAA as "ill-informed" because it "ignored the similarities to the U.S.'s Lautenberg Amendment." Likewise, the HAF (the Hindu American Foundation), a U.S.-based outfit dedicated to fighting Hinduphobia, advises U.S. critics to read the Lautenberg Amendment before criticizing the CAA. Meanwhile, Modi supporters in the Indian-American community are petitioning the Seattle City Council to reject the "severely misguided, misinformed" anti-CAA resolution floated by one of its members because CAA is India's Lautenberg.

But this is pure posturing meant to confuse the world.

It is true that America passed Lautenberg, named after the Democratic Jewish senator from New Jersey who sponsored it, in 1990 to hand Jews and Christians in the Soviet Union and some Southeast Asian countries—Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos—an expedited pathway to gain refugee status in America. Typically, prospective refugees have to individually prove they are facing persecution to gain admission (and they have to flee to another country and apply through international organizations like the United Nations). But Lautenberg created a presumption of persecution for Jews and Christians because of concerns that the political turmoil generated by the collapse of the Soviet Union might make them even more vulnerable to persecution than usual. So they had to show merely a generalized—not individualized—fear to be considered for admission. (Also sometimes they could apply directly from their home countries without fleeing first.) When Lautenberg was passed, International Refugee Assistance Project's Betsy Fisher told The Week it created additional pathways to expand America's relatively generous refugee program at the time (before the current administration gutted it).

What does the CAA do?

It fast-tracks citizenship for Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, and Parsees from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who arrived in India before December 2014—but leaves out persecuted Muslims such as the Ahmaidyas from Pakistan or the Rohingya from Myanmar. In other words, it imposes a religious test for citizenship.

CAA's supporters argue this is functionally similar to Lautenberg because just like Lautenberg, the CAA creates special channels for some groups without eliminating existing channels for any group. Muslims who are left out of the CAA can still access normal channels for admission, just like refugees not covered by Lautenberg can apply through usual channels.

But this analysis strains the truth at every level.

For starters, unlike the CAA, Lautenberg is a flexible, ongoing program, not a one-time deal. Its underlying purpose is to create a mechanism to rescue the most vulnerable religious groups in the world at any given time. Hence, the law has to be reauthorized every year at which point lawmakers have the option of revising the list of groups needing help. In 2004, Lautenberg was extended to Iran—and not just the Jews and Christians in the country but also the Baha'is, a religious sect that is considered heretical by Iran's mullahs.

In other words, Lautenberg cuts against dominant prejudices while the CAA caters to them. Moreover, Lautenberg, laudably, aimed to admit more refugees into America, not create a discriminatory citizenship standard for those inside the country. When it comes to U.S. citizenship, one uniform standard applies to everyone regardless of race, caste, creed, religion, or nationality.

But the biggest lie that CAA supporters tell is that refugees not fast-tracked by the law can still avail normal channels, just like Lautenberg.

Lautenberg relaxed standards for some refugees to admit more in. The CAA admits not a single extra refugee. Furthermore, once admitted, refugees in America have a pretty straightforward path to citizenship. But India's existing refugee and citizenship channels are a sick joke.

Unlike much of the world, India has studiously refused to sign the United Nations convention on refugees or other similar protocols. So it is under no obligation under international law to extend even minimal care or assistance to those fleeing to its shores. Moreover, note Ipsita Chakravarty and Vijayta Lalwani of Scroll.in, one of the few unafraid and honest publications left in India in the Modi era, India has no dedicated law that guarantees basic due process rights to refugees. It relies, instead, "on a thicket of other laws" and vague operating procedures to determine who has a "well-founded fear" of persecution.

This basically leaves refugees to the tender mercies of bureaucrats. The upshot unsurprisingly is that those groups the CAA targets for favoritism already get better treatment than the others from the Indian system.

Even before the CAA, note Chakravarty and Lalwani, Hindus fleeing Pakistan and Bangladesh were able to obtain driver's licenses, bank accounts, and PAN cards (the equivalent of Social Security cards). They even got access to education and health-care facilities and can buy "small dwelling units for self-occupation and self-employment." This is not a lot but it is a lot more than what the Rohingya or the Ahmadiyas get.

These groups have been herded into filthy camps and can't even obtain SIM cards for cell phones. More shockingly, two years ago, when tens of thousands of Rohingyas were desperately trying to escape Myanmar because of the unspeakable brutality of the security forces, Modi declared the Rohingya refugees in India a "terror threat" and wanted to deport them back to their country to be slaughtered. Indeed, thousands of Rohingyas live in just five Indian cities but only 500 have been granted long-term visas.

In other words, referring these folks to "normal channels" means consigning them to either a sub-human existence in camps or certain death back home.

But the biggest lie that CAA supporters peddle is that the law won't leave these groups any worse off. What the law's proponents conveniently don't acknowledge is that the CAA is only one arm of Modi's pincer to disenfranchise Muslims on India's soil. The other is the National Registry of Citizenship (NRC).

This registry, which Modi's Muslim-baiting home minister has declared will be implemented nationwide by 2024, would require India's 1.3 billion individuals to prove to the government that they are citizens. Every man, woman, and child in India will have to arrange papers showing, for example, that they have ancestors going back to a specified cutoff date, along with other requirements.

This is a near-impossible task for India's poor and illiterate especially given the notoriously bad record-keeping at the municipal level—and the Modi government knows this. Indeed, if the pilot program in the province of Assam is any indication, the upshot of this exercise will be that hundreds of millions of Indians of all faiths will be unable to come up with the proper paperwork to make the cut.

The whole point of the CAA is to hand Hindus and other select groups who don't make it on the NRC a way out while stripping citizenship rights from an untold number of India's 140 million Muslims, not just recent refugees but also those with ties going back generations. The Modi government is reportedly building detention camps all over the country for those excluded from the NRC.

This is the opposite of Lautenberg—both in letter and spirit.

To be sure, Lautenberg has never fully lived up to its promise. Like the rest of the refugee program, it's become hostage to competing special interests and the foreign policy whims of the sitting administration. And, shamefully, phony national security considerations have prevented the law from being extended to groups like the Iraqi Yazidis who were facing genocide by ISIS.

India has invoked bad American immigration laws for its nativist ends in the past. For example, a 2005 Indian Supreme Court ruling actually quoted from the U.S. Supreme Court's notorious and largely discarded 1889 Chinese Exclusion decision to declare that "the highest duty of a nation" is to "give security against foreign aggression and encroachment" including from "vast hordes" of foreigners "crowding in upon us."

But turning a well-intentioned American law on its head to justify the Modi government's sinister designs is obscene. The world should see this insidious comparison by Modi cheerleaders for the disinformation campaign that it is: A new low.

This column originally appeared in The Week.

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  1. As a Koch / Reason libertarian, I want every country on the planet to have 100% open borders — except Israel. Fortunately the US will implement Charles Koch’s immigration agenda next year when Democrats retake the White House. Then, hopefully, other countries will follow our example.

    #ImmigrationAboveAll

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  2. Hinduphobia

    Guess I lead a sheltered life. First I’ve seen that term.

    1. That’s because there’s probably not one single case of that hypothetical in the real world… Mainly because Hindu’s don’t go around blowing people up for no reason very often… Unlike some other groups who are responsible for over 90% of global terrorism, but shall remain nameless.

    2. I think the only evidence I’ve ever seen was some anecdotal examples of Sikhs and Hindus (two vastly different groups) who were reportedly attacked after 9/11 because supposedly their attackers mistook them for Muslims.

      1. Yeah, those are the only cases ANYBODY has ever seen.

        I guess some Muslims in India and Asia are probably anti Hindu, for obvious reasons. But not so much in the West. You have to try REAL HARD to find an American or European who has much issue with Hindus, because they tend to be good people, and good immigrants in most ways.

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  3. Criticizing other countries for doing the same shit we do has been the foundation of our foreign policy for decades now, I dunno why India is surprised.

  4. You know, what India’s government does or doesn’t do really isn’t any of our business.

    1. Yeah, I’m boggled why this is of relevance.

      1. You find it in the very first sentence of the article. Cheers!

  5. Not seeing the issue here.

    India’s passed a law helping those persecuted by Muslims escape them and won’t let Muslims follow their victims into India?

    Where’s the problem?

    What’s that?

    Muslims also persecute each other? Especially when there are no infidels around that everyone can abuse?

    And the people of India are supposed to fix that so some Muslims can get an expedited path into India to more easily attack non-Muslims?

    Are you insane?

    1. Reason’s take seems to be that sovereign nations have no business regulating immigration in any way, shape or form.

      Freedom of association also means freedom FROM association. If a group of people decides “Actually no, you can’t come in” that’s their right. Just like I can decide who can come through my front door and who can’t based on whatever criteria I like, a society can create whatever criteria they like for the front door to their country. If that criteria is “anyone but Muslims” that’s their right even if a bunch of people halfway across the world think its racist or xenophobic.

    2. Yes, she is insane.

      The fact is that many sensible policies are in fact “racist” or anti this or anti that in some ways… But they’re still smart and effective policies.

      If the USA had never allowed Muslim immigration, you could still hop on an airplane without being anally probed, or a ton of other big brother bullshit. Would that have been a worthwhile tradeoff? Perhaps so.

      In India, where they deal with far more Muslim terrorism than we do, it might not be unreasonable for them to tell Muslims to pound sand.

    3. Tragically, even the Rohingya Muslims, among the most persecuted peoples on earth, are waging their own violent persecution against the tiny Rohingya Christian population inside the refugee camps of Bangladesh. India has reason to fear the recently formed Rohingya terrorist group ARSA, which already has several attacks against Burmese Hindu civilians and government officials under its belt.

  6. Did Trump really gut our rather generous refugee program, or did he simply curtail it? Does it remain rather generous compared to much of the rest of the world, including many western European countries? Hyperbole is not a way to win an argument, in fact it shows a demonstrated (subconscious I think on Shikha’s part) that you are actually losing the argument.

  7. Shikha, will you please just go back to your country?

    Clearly you hate India as much or more than the USA, so I really think your home nation could use your “talents” more than the USA.

    Just because all people ARE NOT interchangeable widgets, and some people base decision making around this reality, doesn’t make them literally Hitler.

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  8. It never ceases to amaze me that Shikha is paid to write this shit.

    I am no expert on India. But, even the most casual observer should remember that Pakistan, then later Bangladesh were founded as Muslim countries, so that Hindus would have India, and Muslims would have their own countries. But (just like with Israel haters) people like Shikha feel that Muslims should be able to live anywhere, meanwhile it is somehow racist, or Islamaphobic for India to try to help fellow Hindus escape from Muslim oppression.

    1. It is a good point, “You stay over there and we stay over here” might be the best way to achieve peace.

      This dreamworld where everyone of all races, creeds and religions all get along peacefully side-by-side has never happened in all of human history and there’s no sign it’s about to start now. It’s racist or xenophobic, but maybe drawing some lines and telling people they can’t cross them is really the best approach.

      1. It really is honestly. Multi racial/ethnic/religious nations have ALWAYS been powder kegs. The most peaceful, happy, productive nations have always been those with minimal differences. Stuff isn’t set in stone, as nations/peoples have grown apart and split for various reasons, or slowly merged into one as well. But known, obvious, large differences are basically never a positive historically speaking.

        Historically, national lines almost ALWAYS were drawn along linguistic/religious/ethnic boundaries… Because they work! The obvious exception to that is empires who force themselves on others… The funny thing is when empires break up, nations always form back right along the above lines.

        The western world is destroying itself by denying human nature in this respect. I believe a nation can have a modest 10-15% of people who don’t fit into the general mold of the majority, but must have a super majority who calls all the shots, and the minorities need to accept that rule… Otherwise it’s always just a mess.

        1. B-but Japan must accept more refugees and foreigners! How dare they expect people to conform to their cultural norms!

          1. And I always love how these rules are ONLY imposed on European nations. Nobody is out there freaking out on Japan for being LITERALLY HITLER because they want to remain a nation filled with Japanese people.

            So much retard.

        2. It’s something I’ve seen mentioned in regards to how the “socialist” Nordic countries can be so prosperous despite the politics.

          Basically, it came down to the fact that they were largely homogenous societies and people didn’t have as much of a problem providing a big safety net because it was mostly used for people that were like them.

          To the extent that those policies have been rolled back, it’s lined up awfully conveniently to when immigration from non-Nordic countries started increasing rapidly.

          1. It is actually because if you drink enough akvavit, you don’t care if the government reams your ass and you happily go along with it. If they started drinking mead again, like our ancestors did, I suspect that they would be on the first longboat to raid England.

            1. LOL

              I like aquavit and mead! You can still be down with raiding after drinking aquavit, you just might be a little more sloppy with your sword play.

          2. Basically, it came down to the fact that they were largely homogenous societies

            High IQ + low endogamy + no marxist cults is more important. See Singapore.

          3. Yeah, there is evidence that people are more open to social policies in homogenous societies. They also tend to work better in such societies thought too, so the cost/benefit is different.

            I don’t want to get full bore into it, but the fact is that all legit scientific evidence ever collected shows different ethnicities DO NOT have the same average intelligence. It’s not even the same within “races” either. There are regional clusters.

            Incidentally, all the most successful countries are also those with the highest average IQs. So the reason modest levels of socialism works in far northern Europe is probably more due to the fact that everybody would be successful there anyway, even against the socialist malaise, than anything else. Low IQ nations with socialism, or any nation that goes too far with it, collapse.

            People can choose to believe the gap is purely environmental if that makes them feel good about themselves, but evidence points to it being mostly genetic. Either way, once one is born with a certain IQ, it stays about the same, and indeed effects their children as well… So best case scenario people from low IQ areas will be a drag on everybody else in the high IQ nation they move to for a couple generations. See America for how the welfare state works with low IQ populations!

      2. Except for when the gun-toting imperials kick the locals off the best farmland/olive groves/orange plantations/beachside property and reassign them to tiny Bantustans/townships before saying “you stay over there, we’re keeping the good stuff”. Except for that, sure.

    1. I’m not clicking on that probable malware, introduced by a computer generated catchphrase.

      Nice try, though.

  9. At its peak in 1944, the German NSDAP – Nazis – had 10% of the population signed up as members. Probably about 50% of the German people supported the party and its goals, while maybe 35% just tried to stay out of the way. Perhaps 5% actively opposed the party, but most of them were Communists and were advocating for Stalin.
    These proportions are probably about right for the world’s Muslim population. So, if you admit 100 Muslims, you might be getting 5-10 who believe in the Caliphate and would be willing to do something active to bring it about, 50 or so who like the idea, but beyond seeing and saying nothing about the radicals, will not do much but send money, and most of the rest wishing the radicals would go away.
    How do you know who is who?

    1. That’s a pretty reasonable way to look at it, and probably not far off the mark.

      It’s kind of the “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims” thing. That’s damn near a statement of fact globally speaking… People don’t like to admit it, but facts are facts.

      1. It’s why I harangue every idiot with a COEXIST bumper sticker. It’s just the dang Cs. You never hear about Buddhist on Jew violence

        1. Only due to lack of proximity. Buddhists and Taoists, OTOH, have a long history of not getting along terribly well.

        2. Yup. We can coexist when Muslims stop being batshit crazy.

          One example I like to use is the IRA. When they were still blowing up tons of shit, was it not legit for the UK to give extra scrutiny to Irish people in some situations? Sure it was. Now that the IRA is a thing of the past, it’s no longer warranted. Hopefully the less crazy Muslims will take over at some point and we can get to the point where it doesn’t matter.

    2. It’s very un-woke, but I think you it the nail on the head. Very few Muslims are suicide-bomber level True Believers, but those that are that crazy don’t seem to be getting ostracized for it. The community as a whole doesn’t seem too upset that Muslim terrorists are causing problems globally, or if they are they’re doing very little to nip the problem in the bud. All these angry young men came from somewhere, and that somewhere didn’t do anything about them.

      Christians have zealots as well, they just tend to get put in the cult category and ignored/ostracized by the community at large. Most religions have something like this, the more extreme members go off and do their own thing while the larger community mostly shuns them. Why doesn’t this happen in the Muslim world? From what I can tell, the extremists live very normal lives right up until they blow themselves up.

      1. Why doesn’t this happen in the Muslim world?

        A couple of reasons.

        1) The Arab world specifically is still trying to throw off the yoke of colonialism that came in the wake of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

        2) South Asia is still reorganizing itself around Hindu rule after damned-near 1,000 years of Muslim rule. When the English East India Company showed up, Muslims were in charge, and when the UK left, they pointedly left Hindus in charge, resulting in immediate violent conflict that continues to this day in the political divisions between India/Pakistan/Bangladesh.

      2. I’ll answer my own question with a theory: polygamy is the problem. When there are no women available because some rich dude or a warlord scooped em all up, and you’re 16 with no prospects of getting laid anytime soon, you’re gonna be angry. Angry enough to do some things you wouldn’t normally do.

        Then those same rich dudes/warlords (sorry, “austere religious scholars”) convince you that you’ll get a harem of your own in heaven if you just blow up whitey, and off you go. Problem solved for the rich dudes too, all the competition for their harem is going overseas to commit suicide which is just great from their perspective. Even if the rubes don’t follow through, they’re gone which is the objective.

        Shipping these angry young men out is critical for them to maintain the status quo, if they hang out at home too long they might start rioting. Much better to have them take their anger out elsewhere.

        1. Shipping these angry young men out is critical for them to maintain the status quo, if they hang out at home too long they might start rioting. Much better to have them take their anger out elsewhere.

          There’s something to that, but it’s not caused by polygamy, which isn’t in fact that common in the Islamic world. The Quran authorizes polygamy primarily as a way to support widows. The idea wasn’t for warlords to have huge harems of dozens of wives. Not that they didn’t, but times when you had Sultans and Shahs with dozens or even hundreds of wives, you didn’t have terrorists.

          It really is about political disenfranchisement.

          In the Arab world today you have pretty much a three-way conflict going on – on the one hand you have the UN still trying to mandate governments (this is what’s going on in Libya, for example), while on the other you still have the Islamist movement trying to throw off the UN and other outsiders. On the third hand you have the remnants of the Arab Nationalist governments trying to maintain relative independence from the West while quashing the Islamists.

          Meanwhile, in South Asia, you have a Hindu regime getting back at the native Muslim population for centuries of oppression, and a Muslim regime in Pakistan making life as miserable as possible for Hindus in revenge for what they see as an unprovoked attack and attempt to purge India of Muslims (who have been there for 1,000 years).

          1. My Reason handle’s namesake had something to say on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wA0LjY8P32w

            1. I’m not saying it’s not worth trying . . .

          2. Meanwhile, in South Asia, you have a Hindu regime getting back at the native Muslim population for centuries of oppression,

            Centuries of oppression? Why, whatever do you mean? Are you referring to the Islamic conquest of these lands?

            And, if so, then why—

            and a Muslim regime in Pakistan making life as miserable as possible for Hindus in revenge for what they see as an unprovoked attack and attempt to purge India of Muslims (who have been there for 1,000 years).

            –did you leave off ‘as conquerors’ here?

            Because Islam came to India and South Asia–and everywhere, if we’re being honest, as an oppressive conqueror.

            The people who are now trying to throw them off and protect their people are doing the right thing.

            Those who, like Shikha, suggest that everyone must treat the now failing oppressive conquerors as a minority suffering from discrimination are mad.

            1. Because Islam came to India and South Asia–and everywhere, if we’re being honest, as an oppressive conqueror.

              As did Hinduism.

      3. I agree with this whole thread! Lots of truth in several posts.

        In India Muslims are anything but victims. The Brits gave them their own country to avoid this issue! That later split into 2, giving them options. If they don’t like it they should GTFO, which was the entire point of the Brits doing that.

        The Muslims really need to get to the stage that Christian fundamentalists are at. Many of them gripe about lots of things, but they don’t really blow shit up so much nowadays. If they can just make that jump maybe we can treat them like civilized human beings.

  10. Okay, the entire argument in this piece comes down to:

    This registry, which Modi’s Muslim-baiting home minister has declared will be implemented nationwide by 2024,

    After all, without that, it is true that nobody’s in any worse shape with the CAA than without it.

    But the thing is, Modi has explicitly contradicted his home minister and on December 22nd, 2019, said they’re not going to implement the NRC nationwide.

    The registry was implemented in Assam, yes, but that was to fulfill an accord made back when Rajiv Gandhi of the Congress Party was prime minister, in which the Congress Party sold out mostly-Hindu refugees from Bangladesh in order to satisfy anti-immigrant sentiment in Assam.

    What about the detention centers she mentions? They were set up in Assam, starting under a Congress Party government, on orders from the courts to carry out the Assam accord, to hold the mostly-Hindu refugees.

    And the whole point of the CAA, including the fact that it’s limited to pre-2014 refugees rather than being ongoing, is to allow the refugees in those camps, a result of Congress Party policy, to stay in India.

    If and when Modi actually goes ahead and moves on the NRC thing, there’ll be plenty of time to actually oppose him. Until then, this is all ridiculous conspiracy-mongering over a humanitarian act to help refugees blatantly screwed over by the Congress Party.

  11. Without having read the story or the previous comments, I’m going to assume that Shikha advocates bringing hordes of Indian Muslims to America.

  12. In other words, it imposes a religious test for citizenship.

    The Lautenberg Amendment:

    Lautenberg Amendment was expanded to include persecuted religious minorities in other countries, such as Jews, Christians, and Baha’is from Iran.

    What am I missing here. The Lautenberg Amendment appears to explicitly define a religious test for citizenship.

    1. No, a religious test for refugee status. Each case a different test.

      We desperately needed to do that with Syria, but Obama refused to

    2. It’s actually an ethnic test. Purpose was to evacuate Soviet Jews.

        1. Soviet Jews weren’t very religious.

  13. It relies, instead, “on a thicket of other laws” and vague operating procedures to determine who has a “well-founded fear” of persecution.

    *looks around room*

    I’ll bet it does. Can anyone post me a short, clear explanation, with bright lines that defines the metrics for gaining refugee status into the US under the umbrella of ‘persecuted’?

    1. To be sure, Lautenberg has never fully lived up to its promise. Like the rest of the refugee program, it’s become hostage to competing special interests and the foreign policy whims of the sitting administration.

      Sorry, I should have read the whole article first. So the answer to my question immediately above is “No can do.”

      1. It’s a Shikha article, I don’t think anyone would blame you for not being able to make it through the whole thing.

  14. The real failing in Reason’s open borders ideology is the failure to grapple with the matter of scale. Open borders are great where the numbers of people migrating are relatively small. When it’s a tidal wave, immigration has a huge impact on culture. And to say that a resident population has no right to determine its culture is idiocy.

    Imagine Sitting Bull and other native American chiefs agreeing that resisting the European invasion of North America would be xenophobic. Sure, the forest would be cut down; sure, the buffalo would die; sure the wilderness would be completely transformed and the Indian way of life would vanish; but what right did they have to say restrict the palefaces?

    A civilization that has no investment in culture is a civilization that is embracing its own destruction.

    1. The real failing in Reason’s open borders ideology is the failure to grapple with the matter of scale. Open borders are great where the numbers of people migrating are relatively small. When it’s a tidal wave, immigration has a huge impact on culture.

      It depends. In regards to the American experiment, this country was built on immigration. ANd lots of it. And that lots of immigration under the circumstances in which it was happening contributed to the culture.

      However, American immigration used to mean: Welcome to America, put your X on the line, and then be off with ye to find whatever work ye can find. And if you pack 12 of your family members into a rat-infested one room tenement apartment because that’s all you can afford, don’t bother me with your social problems.

      That’s a major difference from what we have today. And since we’re not going back to that, America is well within reason to have a sane policy which regulates the influx of immigration to ease the impact on local populations’ and welfare systems.

      1. Or you load them up into a wagon and take the risk of a violent death on the frontier, to gain the right to own property you never would have gotten in Europe. But with that property came responsibility and hard work.

      2. Yeah – I remember when I was about 12 I found out about Kuwait. I don’t recall the specifics of what I’d read, but it was something to the effect that if you were a Kuwaiti citizen you got free housing, free healthcare, a free car, and a monthly stipend from the government.

        I announced to my parents that I wanted to move there, because I thought that sounded like a pretty good deal. My mother pointed out, of course, that they didn’t combine that with an open immigration system . . .

      3. There’s welfare, but even sans welfare it can have problems.

        If one honestly looks at US politics, the fact is white Americans have barely budged in decades. The entire shift to the left has been because every immigrant group is far to the left of native born Americans. So even if we had no welfare state at the beginning of this, allowing in those immigrants would have given us one! As it is they’re turning our modest welfare state into potentially outright communism if they get their chance.

        ALSO, people glaze over all the problems those European immigrants caused at the time. They DID suppress wages. They DID create tons of social problems. They DID create lots of religious/ethnic conflict. It only sorted itself out once we cut down on immigration, and gave everybody time to assimilate! Funny that.

        I wouldn’t be here if this had happened, but the truth is if the US had become restrictionist in saaay 1850, instead of the 20th century, those people already here may well have all had far better lives. Imagine if the USA had only 200 or 250 million people today. All the best spots to live would be less crowded and less expensive, we’d probably naturally have higher wages for low/moderate skill work, we’d have more natural resources per capita, etc. We’d also likely be far more right wing/libertarian, because the later waves of European immigration DID move the USA to the left of where all the English/Germanic earlier settlers were at. FDR won because of the recent immigrant vote.

        So in short, most people would probably be better off. Would our overall GDP be as high? Hell no! Would we be a more powerful “empire?” Hell no! But who cares? Basically, we’d be wise to Bogart this awesome country for ourselves and our prosperity BECAUSE WE CAN. And I think the anti immigrant folks even waaaay back in the day were just as right in their arguments as people are today.

    2. Yes, nations have the right to determine their own future. People who are against this are idiots, and can fuck off.

      Can you imagine how fast they would be screaming if some small country in Africa was taken over by a libertarian dictator (LOL), and opened the borders… Only to be swamped with white and Asian men who flooded in, completely taking over the nation in a matter of decades?

      They’d freak. But when it’s the destruction of western civilization, which is only the best civilization in history… Well, who cares? Fuck that shit. ALL nations have the right to not allow people in if they think they’ll be a pain in the ass, for ANY reason.

  15. I went to Guatemala in the early 1970s. There were whole small towns without telephone service and often without electricity. Schools were minimal and few attended all year or for more than about six years, then off to work. People travelled on foot and seldom more than ten miles from where they were born.
    Now, almost everyone in the country has a cell phone with internet access. They have electricity and usually a motorbike or at least a bicycle and have often travelled in their own country.
    They now have the access to the funds and information to travel to the US and the knowledge of how to apply for refugee status – what to say, usually how to lie, to get inside the country.
    The world poverty level is going down rapidly, and the resources to get to the US and the information on how to make that work out is being spread far and wide. The people are no longer so poor that they do not know of any alternatives and lack the resources to grasp those alternatives.
    India alone could easily send over 200 million people, and China another 400 million. Almost all will be economic migrants posing as refugees. Looks at the more long distance pictures of the people in the caravans – almost all are men between 16 and thirty.
    Open borders will be flooded.

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