Donald Trump

Today's Anti-Immigration Script Was Written 100 Years Ago by America's Elite

Historian Daniel Okrent's new book, The Guarded Gate, recounts the history of bigotry, eugenics, and the "intellectual justification" of anti-immigration policies.

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When Donald Trump claimed in 2015 that Mexican immigrants will ravage our women, destroy our neighborhoods, and taint our ethnic and cultural purity, he entered into a long-standing, well-cultivated American tradition of xenophobia and fear-mongering.  

In the late 19th century, poet Emma Lazarus celebrated the "huddled masses yearning to breathe free" and "the wretched refuse" who came to America for a better life. But Prescott F. Hall, the co-founder of the powerful Immigration Restriction League, offered a rebuttal verse:

Enough! Enough! We want no more

Of ye immigrant from a foreign shore

Already is our land o'er run

With toiler, beggar, thief and scum.

After over a century of mostly open borders, in which tens of millions of European immigrants became Americans, members of the WASP establishment decided in the 1920s that the United States could no longer accept what they denounced as "beaten men from beaten races." In terms that will sound familiar today, they claimed Jews, Italians, and others were incapable of assimilating into a country based on private property, limited government, and hard work.

In 1924, the restrictionists won a massive and long-lasting legislative battle with passage of The Johnson-Reed Act, which completely prohibited immigration from Asia and sharply limited immigration from Europe based on the country of origin. Under the new law, for instance, just 4,000 Italians were allowed to enter the country each year, down from an average well over 200,000 in each year of the preceding decade. National origins would remain the basis of U.S. immigration law until 1965.

The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics, and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants Out of America, a new book by Daniel Okrent, looks at the ways in which xenophobia and pseudo-science combined to fundamentally alter immigration policy at the start of what became known as "the American Century." Okrent was the first public editor of The New York Times and is the author of Last Call, a history of Prohibition. He sat down with Reason to talk about how old debates over immigration and America's national character are newly relevant to contemporary politics.

Edited by Ian Keyser. Intro by Todd Krainin. Cameras by Jim Epstein and Kevin Alexander.

'Modum' by Kai Engel is licensed under CC By 4.0

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  1. More reductio ad absurdum fallacies from Reason. To reason, any position short of completely open borders is the same as supporting Eugenics. Solid, convincing argument there Nick

    1. Sine we are All or Nothing now, the 1924-1964 immigration moratorium saw become more socially cohesive than we have ever been, a drop in crime and poverty, and us develop into the world’s foremost Superpower, capable of withstanding global fascism and communism.

      So the Black and White analytics dictate we should shut the borders completely

      1. As Milton Friedman used to say: “Let them all come in, but no freebies!”

        1. The problem is, there’s no way that’s going to happen. If we let them in, we’re going to try feed, house, and care for them, because that’s how Americans are. Open borders could almost work if we were willing to be absolutely ruthless with unneeded immigrants, forcing them to leave or starve. That just won’t happen because we’re not like that.

          1. No one is stopping charities from caring for others. The problem is mandated charity via our government. There is nothing moral about using other people’s money to be charitable. You can either have open borders or a welfare state but not both. Our country was founded and built by immigrants but the only promise at that time was opportunity, not hand outs. Read the Ellis Island Guide given to immigrants. The paragraph starting with, “Hold fast” sums up how Americans were: https://books.google.com/books?id=FbATLP10dXAC&pg=PA75&lpg=PA75&dq=Forget+your+customs+and+ideals&source=bl&ots=uy0I4FEyDf&sig=NlWlKrw-xPxDWmfYpMSRq37Nhzc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiGrqbF4ZXeAhXmtlkKHTtlC_gQ6AEwA3oECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

            1. I disagree. The charitableness of Americans would make open borders unfeasible even in the absence of government social welfare programs. We’re simply too nice to have open borders.

      2. Sine we are All or Nothing now, the 1924-1964 immigration moratorium saw become more socially cohesive than we have ever been, a drop in crime and poverty, and us develop into the world’s foremost Superpower, capable of withstanding global fascism and communism.

        So the Black and White analytics dictate we should shut the borders completely”

        THIS. I don’t see how people don’t get this! Just because X level of immigration doesn’t mean we’ll immediately implode DOES NOT mean it if beneficial.

    2. More straw men fallacies from John.

      1. I agree that we need to argue from better positions, sans fallacy, but I have become convinced that limiting immigration, in particular, due to ideological differences is an absolute necessity. Prior to the world wars, the USA was not a superpower, there was no safety net and those who didn’t work didn’t prosper. Today we are literally the land of milk and honey and nuclear deterrence.

        Refugees fleeing religious or political persecution? If they didn’t believe in freedom, they would have bowed when told and wouldn’t have needed to flee. Let them in.

        Humanitarian refugees? Many of these have never stood up to the dictators, the warlords, the cartels, the communists, or the Islamic theocracy. Some are wives just fleeing husbands they willingly married. Their actions demonstrate that they are willing to give up everything for safety; to flee the consequences that the tolerance of evil men has brought upon them. How committed can they be to freedom when they have never fought for it? These fearful ones will water down our democracy and empower those who promise safety if only at the cost of a little freedom. And then a little more, and then a little more.

        We cannot accept those that have tolerated totalitarianism to any degree. It is cruel, and it is easy to say for those already here. But it is also necessary to preserve a place for those willing to fight for freedom.

        1. Christ, what an asshole. I would like to see you stand up to a dictator. Or even your local police officer. Do you know how much effort it takes to uproot your life and go try to make a life in another country? That takes INITIATIVE. You’ve probably never even been out of the U.S. I’ll take someone like that over your ignorant ass.

          1. +1,000,000

            His argument is ludicrous!

          2. Christ what a lethargic child. We get it nothing in life motivates you. As soon as something is hard, you give up. We get it you’re a loser.

            1. Eunuch gonna eunuch

          3. Oh yeah, it’s REAL daring to up and move to a place where you know you’ll have 10-50 times the standard of living you did in your home country! Soooooo brave.

            Look, I don’t begrudge any of these people for wanting to come here, because THEY will be better off… The thing is, if it makes my life shittier… I don’t care. I’d rather have their life be shittier than mine. Forced altruism is bullshit. Let them make their own countries not suck.

            1. But oh, the BRAVERY and INITIATIVE of leaving your mud hut to enjoy subsidized housing, food stamps and free healthcare in the warm and welcoming but naive United States!!

              So brave!!

              1. Yup. Just like I’m so brave that I would, with much hesitation, be willing to uproot myself from where I live now, hop on a plane, and move into a 15,000 square foot mansion in Beverly Hills. It would be a real culture shock for me, being surrounded by all those rich, pretentious, prog dicks… But I’d be willing to suffer through it to show how brave I am!

          4. So why didn’t the take up the opportunity to stay in mexico?

  2. “xenophobia” and “fearmongering” pretty much explains it all.

    1. Being against illegals is a product of ‘logic’ and ‘facts’.

  3. Look on the bright side. Once mass immigration renders the US indistinguishable from the third world, there will no longer be a need for any border wall.

    1. There is always that silver lining! And since the entire western world seems dead set on self destruction… Japan here I come!

  4. It’s good to see that the commentariat already has this matter well in hand.

    *tilts chair back and puts feet on desk*

  5. today’s Dallas serial killer is an illegal from Kenya wtf am i supposed to make of that?

    1. White people’s ancestors owned slaves, therefore we must allow in Kenyan serial killers. Any other response would be demonizing immigrants.

    2. I would say, that there are crummy people everywhere. No one seriously argues that immigrants are saints.

      1. Ah, chemjeff, you sweet simpleton.

        Screening immigrants is the only opportunity we get to weed the crummy people out. You are so lucky you were already here.

        1. He should change his handle to ‘Pedo Jeffy, Child Rape Enthusiast’.

        2. In this thread Jeff argues for birders and screening of immigrants. Hilarious.

      2. Indeed Pedo Jeffy. Like the illegals who rape children that you wish to bring here.

      3. Funny thing Jeff: If you only let in wealthy, highly educated immigrants… They almost never commit any crimes. Including murder. But especially not shit like theft, robbery, etc.

        So we have this MAGICAL system where we can easily keep out most of the problematic people: Don’t let in blow it cases, only educated people who are likely to make a lot of money. Yet somehow you and all the leftists don’t seem to like that idea.

        1. It doesn’t give them power. They want to destroy America in the hopes that whatever is left they will absolutely rule.

          Progressives just go. Period.

          1. Well, one of my biggest problems with high skilled immigration is that it DOES still give them power.

            Even highly educated immigrants tend to vote far to the left of your average American. So the Dems will still be winning politically. But at least I won’t have to subsidize them, and being intelligent people, they may be easier to educate about why freedom is awesome.

    3. Probably related to Block Yomomma I’ll bet.

  6. Poor reason staff.

    They cannot convince anyone of their hairbrained open borders position.

    MAGA!

    1. “They cannot convince anyone of their hairbrained open borders position.”

      Speak for yourself.

  7. A century ago, America’s elite consisted of bigoted, hateful people who acted purely out of selfishness. So clearly the elite view was wrong.

    Today, in contrast, our elite acts out of genuine concern for the welfare of others. Take the Koch Brothers, for instance. Critics will suggest their enthusiasm for immigration is nothing more than a desire to import cheap labor, drive down wages, and make themselves even richer. Don’t believe these lies.

    In fact, the Kochs know that unlimited, unrestricted immigration benefits everybody. That’s why they support it. And that’s why the modern elite view is correct.

    #OpenBorders
    #BillionairesKnowBest

    1. Of course, the Kochs also want to eliminate the welfare state, too. So those go hand-in-hand.

      At least some of those who oppose unfettered immigration into the US do so because we know that importing poverty under a welfare state will simply result in more being extracted at the point of the government gun to support the ever-growing welfare state. We opposed the unfettered immigration on that basis alone. Stop importing poverty-bound people into the welfare state.

      Eliminate the social welfare system that would support the impoverished immigrants (and citizens!) at the point of a gun, let them make it or not on their own and we don’t care where they’re from or what color they are. Kicking out the safety hammock for citizens would exhort at least some of them to start doing those “jobs Americans won’t do”, too.

      1. The problem with that though is that it ignores that TRUE open borders would destroy the standard of living anyway.

        Letting in tons of poor, uneducated people WILL drag down the average income, and the standards of a civilized society. Period. Welfare makes it 10x worse, but I would rather have the mess we have now than turn America into a welfare free 3rd world nation. I like being able to go to the grocery store without having to worry about being kidnapped and ransomed like in South America or Africa.

      2. “Of course, the Kochs also want to eliminate the welfare state, too. So those go hand-in-hand.”

        They know full well that one is going to happen and the other is not. So they don’t go hand in hand.

        People who advocate linked policies like that, one of which is likely to happen the other one of which is not, are either naive or dishonest.

  8. Elites have always stoked division in order to rule but they don’t create that division/distrust.

    One of my ancestors joined the Confederacy for what are pretty much Know-Nothing reasons. He was a steamboat pilot who needed to renew his license (yes that occupation was licensed then). When the war broke out and he came to renew it, it had something new – a loyalty oath. The bureaucrat administering that loyalty oath was a recent German immigrant. He described his offense at that in colorful terms – but I can understand where he was coming from.

    Immigrants generally want to assimilate and become American – but in doing so, they also want to claim a place at the table where ‘American’ is defined. And often the way they do that is to pooh-pooh the ‘inferior’ definition of American as asserted by those who’ve been American for many generations and who built the definition that pulled the immigrant to America in the first place.

    It is ludicrous to just pretend that conflict away with a chorus of Kumbaya.

    1. Immigrants generally want to assimilate and become American – but in doing so, they also want to claim a place at the table where ‘American’ is defined.

      Well, yes. But it is not an equitable struggle. Nor should it be, really.
      The immigrant accommodates a lot to the new surroundings of the host country, and the host country accommodates a little bit to the presence of the new immigrant.

      1. Well – in the example I cited, the immigrant decided whether an American who had been here for (I think) six generations by then would be deemed loyal enough to keep his job. And at almost the same time and same city, a regiment of mostly immigrants fired on a crowd of American civilians

        These are serious issues of assimilation. Obviously more so than the usual issues that can take a generation or two. Those who simply dismiss them out of ideology also dismiss the unique (and positive long-term) experience of the US re immigration. It ain’t easy and assimilation can’t be ‘forced’ (a la French hijab bans) and it takes TIME. And since it takes time that also means there are times/places when the influx will be too much and times when it can/should be higher. RESPECT that process.

        Those who don’t respect that process – by ignoring real problems or proposing proven failures like permanent guest workers or using immigrants as a domestic political weapon – just make things worse. And yes – I fully expect that the elite class will ALWAYS try to make things worse cuz what’s the point of having econ/political/social power without abusing it for personal gain – divide et impera and all.

        1. Jesus christ man. Do you expect Jeff to know more about a topic than what he can glean from headlines at vox and other reputable websites?!? That takes work. And if there is one thing Jeff refuses to do is work. Back off.

          1. Jesse: LOL look at Jeff just parroting Vox!

            Also Jesse: You wouldn’t believe what I learned today from Fox, Breitbart, and Daily Caller!

            1. Pedo Jeffy, that doesn’t track. Jesse disco,Amy’s a sharp mind, independent thinking, and analytical ability. You do not.

              No Oedo Jeffy, you have demonstrated a weak mind, receptive, sophist arguments, and an ability to grow despite every argument you’ve ever made being discredited dozens of times over.

              He also does t want to bring foreign child rapists her, like you do.

        2. JFree, when qualifying for a seat at the table where “American” is defined, I really can’t see how 6, or even 8 or 10 generations, is adequately qualifying, when 15 generations are now easily possible.

          On the other hand, we could take the generations out of it. On that basis, your story makes it sound like the recent German immigrant demonstrated a good deal more regard for what America means than did your secessionist ancestor. And maybe more than you right now today, if I’m reading you right. Is it really a forthright presentation of American values to characterize a rioting pro-slavery mob of would-be secessionists as a (victimized) “crowd of American civilians?”

          1. if I’m reading you right

            You’re not. And you know it. Which makes you either too stupid or too deceitful to engage with. Have fun with your strawmen.

          2. Fuck off.

            America WAS NOT founded to be some bullshit country that just accepted in any dick wad who wanted to move here, and that demanded those already here bend over for the asshole just stepping off the boat. America was founded for the people of America AND THEIR PROGENY. They said so themselves. They let in immigrants of good character as it was pragmatic at times, and to be nice guys. Choosing to be nice for a time doesn’t obligate one to do it for eternity or in all situations.

            The myth of America being founded to be a destination for poor immigrants is a bullshit modern creation, and one that MANY people have disagreed with at ALL TIMES in American history.

      2. The immigrant accommodates a lot to the new surroundings of the host country, and the host country accommodates a little bit to the presence of the new immigrant.

        Sorry, but I don’t want to “accommodate a little bit” to the presence of people whose political agenda is to take my money and kill me.

  9. Imagine what this country would be like today had we continued to import Catholics by the hundreds of thousands per year in the 20th century, and give thanks for the Johnson-Reed Act.

    1. Imagine what this country would be like today had we continued to import Catholics by the hundreds of thousands per year in the 20th century

      Okay, and?

      Am I supposed to be frightened?

      1. No, your stupidity and lack of reasoning ability and imagination make it impossible for you to be concerned about the future. You can only perceive what’s in front of you right now. We have established that well in previous attempts at conversation.

        1. So why should I be concerned about a potential future with more Catholic immigrants?

          Please, tell us more about what you think about the evil Papists.

          1. Well, if they had allowed them to keep coming in the 20s and beyond, you can bet your ass abortion would probably still be illegal! Or it might have only been legalized in the 90s or something.

            People have cultures and beliefs… Those beliefs have repercussions. This is something morons like you seem to not be able to grasp.

          2. Actually Pedo Jeffy, it isn’t the evil Papists, it’s the evil rapists we’re concerned about. Child rapists, that you seek to bring here to brutally violate our children to feed your unholy desires.

            You sick piece of shit.

  10. This place will look like brazil in 50 years and be every bit as dysfunctional. America will become a second world shithole.

    1. Some of it, anyway. Parts of America could still be saved.

  11. Cant we just hate being overpopulated and not wanting any more humans around crapping things up?

    And “eugenics” is a perfectly fine idea. Humans are pretty crap, and controlled breeding would show marked improvement in the race over a few generations.

    1. You know else favored controlled breeding?

      1. American Kennel Club?

      2. Sanger, planned parenthood, the democratic party, coastal elites…

      3. The royal houses of Europe?

      4. progressive hero woodrow wilson

      5. The Celestials?

    2. And “eugenics” is a perfectly fine idea.

      Uh-huh. Sure.
      And why again are you at a libertarian website?

      1. True. Hed get more agreement at a democratic website.

      2. I don’t believe in forced eugenics… But it IS NOT pseudo science. It is a fact. Humans are animals, and just as malleable. Almost all traits are genetic, and it would be easily possible to breed better people in the span of just a few generations.

        Genetic engineering will probably make it a moot point anyway though, so there’s that.

    3. The current push for more 3rd world/lower class-skill immigration is also eugenic in motive.
      A century ago, people thought eugenics a worthy and, more importantly, possible goal.
      But then Hitler came along and had to ruin via bad optics.
      The progressives weren’t defeated, not by a long shot. Communism and social democracy (or, perhaps more accurately, democratic socialism) vanquished national socialism. Why? The aforementioned bad optics, for one, but also because national socialism was too limited in scope.
      A master race is necessarily too small and too blunt for complete takeover. Advances in technology expanded the necessary territory to control.
      But Hitler, and HIS Nazis, simply misunderstood Marx. A master class, not race, was the key; global, not national, socialism was the solution.
      Eliminating all “undesirables” was never realistic.
      In fact, the progressives learned that what is needed for their master class to achieve global socialism are the very “undesirables” they had foolishly tried to eliminate. More of them, especially in 1st world/western democracies. Because they were never the real threat; it was and is always the pesky middle class who stand in the way of their totalitarianism.
      Thanks to technological advances, elimination of “lesser” genes isn’t necessary. Elimination of competition is.
      The progressive ideal is a divergence of man into 2 species: the laboring underclass (who cannot hope to compete) and the techno-eugenic master class.

      1. The leaders of revolutions are never from the working class… They’re always middle class or elites that don’t like the current system. They are very much using immigrants as useful idiots in their games.

    4. Breeding is so antiquated.
      What’s important is that only the select few have access to the medical technology which solves all of nature’s “errors”

    5. Eugenics isn’t “controlled breeding”; women practice that every time they select a partner.

      Eugenics is “controlled breeding by the state”. It’s state involvement that makes it wrong.

  12. of course the immigration back then did wrap the political system by creating giant Democratic machines in big cities…was that one of the benefits?

  13. There are three main arguments in opposition to immigration:
    1. Immigrants are just inferior people and we don’t want ‘their kind’ here – i.e., the bigoted argument.
    2. Immigrants make America a worse place and we don’t want that.
    3. Immigrants will vote for Democrats and we can’t have that.

    There is nothing to be done, really, for argument #1. Neither logic nor reason will change the bigot’s mind.

    Argument #2 flies in the face of the entire history of this country. So unless the argument’s proponents can point to something specifically horrible about these specific immigrants who are coming here, that is totally different than all of the other periods of immigration in this country, then this argument fails as well.

    With regards to Argument #3, perhaps the main reason why immigrants tend to vote for Democrats is because Republicans have totally ceded the field? *All else equal*, why should any immigrant vote for Republicans who talk trash about them, look down on them, and generally treat them as, *at best*, a problem to be managed, rather than an asset to this country? Republicans complaining about immigrants voting for Democrats have only themselves to blame. And now they want to use immigration policy as a substitute for an electoral strategy to try to win the votes of gettable immigrants who might agree with them on the issues that they care about. Sorry if I’m not persuaded by this line of reasoning.

    1. racebaiterjeff race baiting as always. Yawnaroonie.

      “Argument #2 flies in the face of the entire history of this country. So unless the argument’s proponents can point to something specifically horrible about these specific immigrants who are coming here, that is totally different than all of the other periods of immigration in this country, then this argument fails as well.”

      We’ve pointed this all out many a times, but racebaiters gonna race bait.

      During the previous large waves of immigration:
      We didn’t have a welfare state.
      We called immigrants who declined to assimilate traitors who should get the hell out of the country.
      The immigrants came from populations that created societies more like the US than the populations arriving now.

      We changed. They changed.

      Latin America was here before the US. Why aren’t they the free, prosperous, and secure ones? Why didn’t they save the world from totalitarianism in the 20th century?

      If only Mexico had our magic dirt, Mexico would be exactly like America.

      Uh huh.

      Countries are People.
      Import Not Americans, Become Not America.

      1. “Import Not Americans, Become Not America.”

        Technically, people who come from central AMERICA and South AMERICA are AMERICANS, dipshit.

        1. Live in your fantasy world when Brazilians are Americans.

          In the world, the America means the United States of America.
          #MAGA

      2. We didn’t have a welfare state.

        Who cares? Immigrants don’t come here for the purpose of going on welfare.

        We called immigrants who declined to assimilate traitors who should get the hell out of the country.

        Some demagogues did, sure. But once again, what’s the point? Immigrants assimilate now just fine.

        The immigrants came from populations that created societies more like the US than the populations arriving now.

        You mean, like Russian peasants living under the thumb of an authoritarian dictator? Or how about peasants fleeing a barely functioning and corrupt kleptocracy, such as southern Italy in the 19th century? Gee that sounds nothing at all like Central America today, does it?

        Guess what, America is going to become “Not America” one way or another. It’s going to change, even if the borders are completely sealed. The only question is whether the change will be one towards openness, or one towards insular xenophobia. I much prefer openness over paranoia.

        1. “Who cares? … But once again, what’s the point?”

          You can lead a racebaiterjeff to ideas, but you can’t make him think.

          “Immigrants don’t come here for the purpose of going on welfare.”

          More denial of reality.

          “You mean, like Russian peasants living under the thumb of an authoritarian dictator? Or how about peasants fleeing a barely functioning and corrupt kleptocracy, such as southern Italy in the 19th century? ”

          I was thinking German and Irish, the largest white ethnicities in the country.

          “Immigrants assimilate now just fine.”

          They don’t. Their voting patterns tilt substantially left compared to Americans, as documented by Pew, and posted here by me many a times.

          “Guess what, America is going to become “Not America” one way or another. It’s going to change, even if the borders are completely sealed. The only question is whether the change will be one towards openness, or one towards insular xenophobia. I much prefer openness over paranoia.”

          You hate America and Americans. You prefer Not America and Not Americans. Your hatred of Americans is well established here at Reason.

          1. “Immigrants don’t come here for the purpose of going on welfare.”

            More denial of reality.

            Okay, so prove that they do. Hint: You can’t, all you can do is point to statistics which demonstrate that new immigrants tend to use welfare more than native-born Americans. That is true. But those statistics do not reveal the REASON for their migration, plus, when compared to native-born Americans of similar family size and income level, immigrants use welfare at about the same rates as native-born citizens do. So immigrants are not inherently predisposed to use welfare.

            But hey if you can prove that the REASON why they come here is for some shitty Section 8 vouchers, then be my guest.

            I was thinking German and Irish, the largest white ethnicities in the country.

            Oh, the Irish in the 19th century. You mean, an oppressed minority suffering under the thumb of a ruling elite who didn’t give a shit about them? Kinda like this?
            http://theconversation.com/guatemalas-history-of-genocide-hurts-mayan-communities-to-this-day-97796

            They don’t. Their voting patterns tilt substantially left compared to Americans, as documented by Pew, and posted here by me many a times.

            Assimilation is about learning the language and local customs. It’s not about who they vote for. But I am not surprised that you define “assimilated” as equivalent to “voting for Team Red”. I guess there’s about 100 million Hillary voters who “haven’t assimilated” then, right? I don’t agree with their choice in voting for Hillary, but I don’t think they are “un-American” for voting for Hillary. Evidently you do.

            You hate America and Americans.

            No I don’t. This is silly. Why would I hate America and Americans? This is what you resort to when you cannot rebut my arguments. “He doesn’t agree with me, that means he must be EEEEVULL”.

            Not everyone who disagrees with you “hates America”.

            You don’t have the monopoly on reasonable views on what America ought to be.

            You want America to be some type of paranoid xenophobic autarky, with giant walls with big KEEP OUT signs. I don’t.

            1. I could almost forgive an immigrant for voting Democrat in the 60s or even the 90s… But anybody voting Democrat today is against everything the country was founded on, and can fuck right off.

              The Republicans are pretty shit too, but at least barely fall within the range of acceptability on several issues. In a perfect world my political spectrum would consist of conservatives who actually practice what they preach, to strict libertarian. If that was the acceptable range of debate, as it basically was in the 1800s, we’d be a hell of a lot better country.

    2. Jesus fucking christ Jeff. How about read your opponents arguments instead of creating strawman arguments you fucking dumbass. In each of the threads you get told the problem, it is the welfare state. This is why nobody believes you are intellectually honest dipshit.

      1. So….you can’t refute him, nor can you form a coherent counter-point. Better stick to calling him a pedo….that seems to be your intellectual limit.

      2. Really, there’s two main problems that Jeffy refuses to recognize. The first is, yes, the welfare state, and the generous character of Americans generally that will not allow us to just tell immigrants “swim or sink”. If they come here, we will make sure they eat and are clothed and sheltered, even if that ruins us. That is why “letting the market decide” won’t work. The state of much of the world is such that being a social dependent here is a much better life than “freedom” in one of the many impoverished, violent shitholes of a country. The other problem is the numbers. There are billions of potential immigrants in those shitholes. Taking in huge numbers of immigrants causes problems in itself, even if most of them are good, worthwhile people. Much more so if they are low-skilled people from very different cultures. Jeffy either can’t imagine or isn’t smart enough to care about the size of the immigrant tsunami we would face if we simply threw open the gates and accepted everyone.

        1. It’s not that I don’t care about those potential problems.

          It’s that they don’t really matter.

          First of all I do not believe for one minute that you or the rest of the anti-immigrant crowd around here hold “the welfare state” as the primary reason behind your anti-immigrant views. Because the outrage generated over immigrants consuming welfare is far disproportionate to the actual magnitude of the problem. To be blunt, you only seem to give a *real* damn about the welfare state when it’s the foreigners who are using it. Gee I wonder why.

          Second, you are simply scaremongering when you try to frame migration as an “immigrant tsunami”. We have free migration right now across all 50 states. Migration can put strain on infrastructure, sure. This strain is represented by price signals such as rents, tolls, utility rates, property values, etc., etc. So people either pay the higher rates, which funds more infrastructure investment, or they move to more affordable places. This is how the market works in all other aspects of life. Why would it not work here?

          1. Racebaiter gonna race bait.

            Racebaiterjeff don’t care bout no steenkin problems that will destroy America, because he knows Americans are all the worst racity racist Nazi Klansmen there ever were, and deserve to have their home destroyed.

            1. You know what would actually destroy America?

              Creating a paranoid police state.

          2. Like rain off a duck…

          3. Oh dear God, did you really just equate moving from Indiana to Illinois with emigrating from Somalia to Minnesota? Are there no depths your stupidity has not plumbed?

            1. Are you going to address the issue, or just feign indignation all day?

              People move freely between states all the time, without any sort of central planner dictating who should live where and organizing the construction of infrastructure to accommodate people.

              Via various price signals, the market handles migration of people just fine. Why would things work any different in an international scale?

              1. Are you ever actually going to engage with what anyone says to you, or just keep repeating yourself as if nothing has been said?

                1. What am I supposed to engage with? You just keep calling me names and respond with faux indignation.

                  You said that migration will put a strain on infrastructure. You’re right. But that’s not reason enough to limit migration, because we already have free migration between states, which can also place strains on infrastructure, and the solution isn’t to start restricting migration between states, but instead to price the strain on the infrastructure into the market so that individuals get price signals on whether migration makes economic sense or not.

                  Same deal here.

                  So let me know when you have a substantive response.

                2. Let me just repeat this one more time, because you seem to need a sense of validation.

                  You are TOTALLY RIGHT when you say that migration can place a strain on infrastructure at the migrants’ destination. You’re RIGHT. You’re totally completely 100% RIGHT. I AGREE WITH YOU. You’re correct. You get an A+ for that statement. You are bigly right.

                  But the conclusion that you draw – “therefore, migration must be limited by force, by government goons, by central planners, in order to minimize this strain on infrastructure” – does not necessarily follow from your premise. And I pointed out a way in which the strain on infrastructure can be mitigated via market mechanisms, using the free migration between people among states as an example.

                  Now it’s your job to point out how this won’t work in the context of migration across international borders. But I don’t think you will, you’ll just call me names, point out trivial differences, and then stomp off while claiming victory.

                  1. It’s not just infrastructure dumb ass!

                    The people moving here are literally only qualified to sweep floors or wash dishes, and most of them will never rise above that in their whole life. People moving from state to state are approximately equally educated, as the gaps are small nationally.

                    If we had true open borders we’d be flooded with too many people who are literally incapable of doing jobs productive enough to sustain a 1st world country! I guess we could abolish all wage laws, labor laws, etc (which I am in favor of anyway) and bring back sweatshops and child labor to the USA… But that is the type of action we would HAVE to take in order to have open borders. The standard of living and quality of life would have to come down dramatically.

  14. It’s easy enough to do the original post better. The most accurate historical analogy for this current mess was the Know Nothing Party in the decade before the Civil War. It’s impossible to imagine an analogy more exact :

    1. Start with sleazy politicians looking for a cheap way to power.
    2. Add an unsettled electorate, looking for anyone to blame
    3. Pick an Other : In this case, Catholics, Irish and Italians
    4. Demonize them as brutes and thugs.
    5. Describe them as threats to “true” American & their womenfolk
    6. Stir everyone to frenzied hysteria.
    7. Ride that, as long as the con holds.

    The good news? This crap eventually peters-out and everyone is left wondering how the scam lasted so long. Demagogues have played this tune repeatedly during US history, and in many an other country as well.

    1. “2. Add an unsettled electorate, looking for anyone to blame”

      Yes, scapegoats! Hitler had the Jews (and others).

      Orange Hitler has illegal sub-humans. And so it goes…

    2. “Everyone who disagrees with me is a big ole racity racist!”

      1. That’s “wacity wacist”.

      2. Well, this is really getting confusing. In my analogy above, I note that the clearest historical match to Trump’s demagogic theater is the Know Nothings (such an apt name), when sleazy politicians convinced chumps and dupes all their problems were caused by immigrants like the Irish.

        We look back today and see those politicians as charlatans and beyond contempt. We see the chumps and dupes as fools, and wonder how they could have been so stupid. Giving the obligatory Spoiler Alert, let me introduce you to your future place in history, BBDD & VD, but back to the point:

        Where’s the racism in that scam? We have hack politician con-men and people so weak-minded they want to blame someone else for their problems, however absurd the logic. Was there racism in American politicians convincing idiots the Irish were sub-human animals? I don’t know; you tell me. Here’s what I think : You’d prefer to do your snowflake whining bit about “wacism” rather than face the fact you’re being used – and used cheaply at that.

        You know, Trump went years as president not giving a damn about his imbecilic wall and agreed to a budget which refused to fund it. Then he got some gruff from Ann Coulter-types and did a 180 overnight – then suddenly shutting the government down and issuing fraudulent emergency declarations. New flash, dupes : Trump doesn’t care about this crap either – not one bit as long as his sheep stay in line.

        So baaaaaaa some more snowflake whining bullshit to us. For entertainment value, ya know……..

  15. “It’s soooooooo waycist to resist the destruction of America”

  16. Trump’s merit based immigration plan will make us as racist as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The horrors!

    1. All white majority countries are racist, because White Supremacy.

  17. “After over a century of mostly open borders, in which tens of millions of European immigrants became Americans, members of the WASP establishment decided in the 1920s that the United States could no longer accept what they denounced as ‘beaten men from beaten races.’ In terms that will sound familiar today, they claimed Jews, Italians, and others were incapable of assimilating into a country based on private property, limited government, and hard work.”

    And think…only a few decades later, those Jews, Italians and other members of “beaten races” magically became White People with White Privilege who bear personal responsibility for slavery, Jim Crow and the KKK!

  18. America has experienced periodic, successive waves of ignorance and intolerance, customarily associated with skin color, language, religion, and/or perceived economic pressure, throughout our history.

    Those targeted for demonization, discrimination, and violence have included Italians, Jews, blacks, Asians, Catholics, gays, the Irish, agnostics, women, Hispanics, scientists, eastern Europeans, other Asians, other Hispanics, and others.

    Insularity and bigotry have hurt people and our nation during those periods, but America’s greatness has ensured and derived from the fact that the lesser elements of our society have not prevailed over time.

    This latest batch of bigots seems nothing special, its reliance on the charms, insights, and integrity of Donald J. Trump notwithstanding.

    When I was a child, the bigotry was open, common, and casual. A white man would tell a black child to find another route home from school because he didn’t want her on the sidewalk in front of his home, and she would change her path. Gays hid and were mocked everywhere when they didn’t, and were beaten in alleys — by the police. Men dragged women into homes by the sleeve or by the hair; eyes were averted when a black eye or broken nose was seen at the grocery store. Children were beaten on porches and in the streets, sometimes with a belt or switch.

    The bigots and abusers wanted everyone to know how they thought, and that their preferences were to be respected and enforced.

    Over time, however, America improves. Today’s bigots no longer wish to be known as bigots, at least not publicly. They hide behind terms such as “traditional values” and “color-blind,” exposing their genuine feelings solely in contexts they believe to be safe. They deny bigotry is a problem and that they were ever the problem. Try to find someone who will admit to having been a vicious bigot or violent racist, even from the 1950s or ’60s, even in Mississippi or Alabama. Those blacks must have been beating themselves at Selma, and those Freedom Riders not only committee suicide but then jumped into holes and buried themselves — if you credit the current alibis among southerners.

    I expect that today’s bigots and xenophobes not only are destined to continue to lose the culture war in America but also will come to resemble their predecessors in hatred and ignorance, and that 20 years from today it will be difficult to find anyone who acknowledges advocating a spiked wall, anyone willing to admit having favored a Muslim ban, or anyone who admits having voted for Donald Trump.

    1. Which political party ran the town where gays, women and people of the “wrong” race were beaten up and threatened?

      Which political party runs the communities where that continues to happen today?

      1. Which group migrated from the Democratic Party (which deserves opprobrium for its conduct and membership before the migration occurred) to the Republican Party (which appeases, when not embracing, bigotry and backwardness today)?

        (Ask Max Boot to explain this, if you genuine are unfamiliar with the context.)

        Carry on, clingers . . . until you are replaced by better Americans, that is.

        1. It’s amazing how neocons like Max Boot have won Strange New Respect from people like Kirkland.

          And he didn’t bother to defend Democratic cities against the accusation that women, gays and people of the “wrong” race continue to be threatened and attacked there. Becuase I suppose he knows it’s true.

          1. I’ll take the Democratic cities, the successful and modern communities. You stick with the desolate rural and southern stretches, the can’t-keep-up jurisdictions emptied by generations of bright flight, the depleted human residue that remains after the departure of the smart and ambitious young people.

            I’ll take the strong liberal-libertarian schools, too. You stick with the conservative-controlled campuses, the homeschooling, the backwater religious schooling favored by conservatives.

            I will continue to prefer reason, tolerance, education, progress, science, modernity, and inclusivity, while others are free to stick with backwardness, superstition, insularity, bigotry, ignorance, and pining for good old days that never existed.

            I welcome the market verdict on our preferences, Eddy. I also have enjoyed the most recent half-century or so of American progress effected against the wishes and work of people like you. Your crankiness makes me content.

            1. Then why don’t you share your contentment – or rather don’t share it, because by the Paradox of Kirkland, the less you share your contentment, the more content your audience is.

              1. Right-wing bigots won’t admit their intolerance (much as right-wing censors at this site claim to be champions for free expression), so I figure it’s worthwhile to note their bigotry so that the marketplace of ideas has a clear view of Republicans, movement conservatives, faux libertarians, and their opinions and conduct.

                1. Whatever gets you off, dude.

                  1. What Kirkland says here is only a fraction of what he would actually say if he weren’t being censored!

                    1. I have so far observed no reason to ascribe the Volokh Conspiracy’s censorship to the broader reason.com site.

                      Do you contend that reason.com also censors?

                    2. So that’s why you migrated over to H&R (or whatever the current equivalent is) and introduced yourself to the fine people here.

                      Is volokh not allowing you to post there? They have no obligation to, of course, but it has certainly been somewhat entertaining to those who post there (and who avoid the main reason site for some reason).

        2. Which group migrated from the Democratic Party (which deserves opprobrium for its conduct and membership before the migration occurred) to the Republican Party (which appeases, when not embracing, bigotry and backwardness today)?

          You mean “The Corrosion of Conservatism”? Max Boot fails to make his case, he just repeats standard progressive talking points. He is an intellectual in the Sowell sense.

          The fact is that there was no large migration of racists from the Democrats to the Republicans. The racists in the Democratic party stayed there until they died largely died out. Blacks started voting Democratic long before the racists were gone (mostly over government handouts). The reason the South became more Republican was that racism has decreased greatly across the entire nation (including the South) while wealth in the South has increased greatly.

          Republicans believe in a race-blind society. Democrats continue to divide the country by race. That’s the sad reality in 2019.

  19. “…but we don’t want the Irish…”

  20. Here I thought, simpleton I am, this is about unlawful entry into a country and not about immigration per se. Yet conflating the issue with immigration it continues. Bah. I’m in Bryant Park tanking a couple of The Crisp beers.

    1. Immigration law so racist.
      But only when Whitey does it.

    2. Exactly. When the f€ck have federal crimes been so widely tolerated? Does the actual law mean nothing to these open border cretins, or is it ‘those poor brown people’ don’t need to be held to the same standards as other immigrants?
      Or as A Kirkland has written multiple times is it about swamping the vote of us citizens.. the grossest form of ‘election interference’ which Democrats actively and shamelessly encourage?

  21. Okrent is a serious guy, and well worth paying attention to, but it’s a mistake to call him a historian. He’s a writer, in this instance a writer on a historical subject. Leave it at that.

    The reason for the objection is that distinctions of method and purpose lie between academic history on the one hand, and casual, present-minded history—of the type generally practiced by lawyers, and especially by wood-be originalists like Scalia, on the other. Few people will ever fully grasp what’s wrong with originalism until they understand at least something about the rules for historical practice used by academics.

    A lot of it is so easy to understand that it is flabbergasting how often it gets ignored by folks who don’t practice the professional historian’s habitual discipline. One example, to illustrate: in a historical argument, you should generally ignore in any discussion about cause and effect, or about historical meaning, any purported evidence which came later than the thing you are trying to explain. What happened afterwards can’t be part of what made folks do the thing that happened before, because they had no notion what would happen afterward, just like we don’t today. To see that rule violated more than once, take a look at Heller. For the same reason, if you set out to study history with an eye to justifying, explaining, or criticizing, present events and practices, you are doing it wrong. Think about it. What about events which happen today will prove explanatory of something which folks will experience 100 years hence. Nobody knows.

    It is following rules like that those, or at least mostly following them, that assures academic history is worth paying attention to as a real discipline with real authority—the authority to tell true stories about what happened in the past. And of course if you don’t know the rules, you can’t follow them, and risk ending up like Scalia in Heller, writing demonstrable historical nonsense and calling it history—while gaining a loyal following among millions whom you have confused instead of enlightened.

    All that said, I haven’t read Okrent’s book. Maybe he is one of the good popular historians who come along from time to time, and who seem to have a natural feel for the rules, and mostly follow them. Might be worth reading.

    1. “What happened afterwards can’t be part of what made folks do the thing that happened before, because they had no notion what would happen afterward, just like we don’t today. To see that rule violated more than once, take a look at Heller….demonstrable historical nonsense…”

      Go on, I’m listening….

      1. …another time, then.

        1. Eddy, can you say more about what you want to see? If it’s about the specifics of Heller, I gave you the roadmap. You should be able to see it yourself. Look for citations to sources dated after the drafting of the 2A. You will find plenty. None of them could possibly be historically relevant to the meaning of the 2A, unless they were the post-hoc recollections of people involved in drafting the 2A. Which none of them are.

          Then look for citations that have to do with other events, other times, and other places than Philadelphia in 1789. The opinion is loaded with them. Those are similarly irrelevant, for several other applicable practice-of-history objections.

          Academic historians tend to insist that to discover what was intended at a particular time, at a particular place, involving particular people, you need to find records those very people created describing their intentions then and there. Showing that this, that, or the other thing was a commonplace of founding-era society is useless. There are millions of such things that did not make it into the constitution. There are multitude of imaginable reasons to account for why each of them was left out.

          Indeed, if armed personal self-defense was broadly customary, that by itself could have been a good reason for the founders to decide they had no need to decree it in the 2A. If the founders could not arrive at terms they could all agree on for armed personal self-defense, they might leave it out for that reason, to let states decide those terms for themselves, according to each state’s particular preferences.

          In Heller, Scalia’s originalist challenge was to try to answer what the founders intended in 1789, when they drafted the 2A. For his opinion that the founders intended personal self-defense, I don’t think he cites even a single source a leading academic historian would find dispositive. And every historian would search in vain for the one reference which Scalia never produces—the one where some founder says during the deliberations that a purpose of the 2A is to decree a personal right of self-defense. Find it yourself and you will be famous. The record has been ransacked in the search, and it doesn’t seem to be there. From the point of view of academic history, in a case this well studied, where another meaning is unusually well documented, that means it is far more likely than not that Scalia’s interpretation is wrong.

          1. Hmm, it looks that the “only” sources Scalia cited included contemporaneous dictionaries (including legal dictionaries), Blackstone, state constitutions of the era, James Wilson (Constitutional Convention delegate), the English Bill of Rights of 1689, and similar “irrelevant” sources which I suppose shed no light at all on the original understanding – allegedly because academic historians would not use them.

            “Showing that this, that, or the other thing was a commonplace of founding-era society is useless.”

            Useless for what purpose?

            “let states decide those terms for themselves, according to each state’s particular preferences….”

            Wasn’t the 2nd Amendment originally a limit on the *federal* government?

            1. Useless for what purpose?

              Useless for any historical purpose at all, unless it is a purpose titled, “Commonplaces of founding era society.” A heap of irrelevancies does not gain legitimacy for a particular purpose just by being made taller and more encompassing.

              Historically, almost every commonplace of the founding era is an irrelevancy with regard to the meaning of the 2A—including commonplaces about arms. What matters historically is chiefly what happened when the founders drafted the 2A.

              Respectable sources for that information include the founders themselves, and little else. Certainly not English law books, nor dictionaries published afterward, not any dictionaries at all, unless the historical record shows they were relied upon during the 2A drafting process.

              State constitutions, having zero necessary correspondence with a yet-to-be-implemented, first-of-its-kind federal constitution, can’t logically be read as imparting any particular meaning to it. Supposing otherwise is baseless assumption. Unless you can find evidence in the historical record to say so, you can’t know that the founders hadn’t decided that the federal constitution ought to be unlike those of the states. So it’s foolish to assume without evidence that you know anything about that relationship, one way or the other.

              Apparently, you read the third paragraph of my 11:17 post, and ignored it. Why? Is it because you think every occurrence that happened in the past is equally relevant to every historical topic, because it is all history? That is apparently what Scalia thought.

              Folks who liked the outcome Scalia announced, gave his confused historical analysis a loyal following—especially so, among followers Scalia had confused himself.

              You seem to be one of those, but you don’t have to be. Just reflect that being a historian is an activity, defined by certain kinds of experience and rules of procedure, all developed over time with an eye to facilitating reliable accounts of what happened in the past— while avoiding the urge to fill in blank spots with unprovable assumptions.

              Learning how to do that generally takes practice and guidance. But it is easier to learn how to recognize what you don’t really know, and how to be cautious about assuming knowledge you don’t have. That mostly comes down to the practical task of staying mindful of two questions:

              1. How do I know that?

              2. Is there some way that what I think I know could be otherwise?

              Academic history is written to put those two questions to rest—a task more ambitious than consumers of history need aspire to. They need to learn only how to keep those questions open, and in mind, while letting the would-be historian fill in the answers.

              Scalia’s history, again and again, leaves the first question unanswered, except by adding conjectures and assumptions. That, in turn, results in answering the second question with a “yes,” in almost every instance. If what you want from originalism is a serious method useful for serious purposes, Scalia’s example in Heller is not the one you want to follow.

              1. Lots of question-begging, and lots of unsupported generalizations, but nothing to suggest that Blackstone, James Wilson, contemporary legal dictionaries, etc. are irrelevant to the meaning of a legal document describing the right to “keep and bear arms.”

                1. …and plenty of appeals to authority without citing the authorities to which you’re appealing.

                  It’s like a fundamentalist saying “the Bible clearly states” blah blah, without citing to the Bible passages you have in mind.

                  Yes, I’m saying a fundamentalist does a better job citing his sources than you do.

  22. Which political party runs the communities where that continues to happen today?

  23. Now do the history of bigotry, eugenics and “intellectual justification” for abortion…

    1. i have a practical justification for some abortion.

      Black Markets.

  24. It’s correct that progressives a century ago wanted to restrict immigration because they were racists and eugenicists: they believed that certain races were intrinsically inferior.

    But that’s not the justification for today’s restrictionism. Today, US tax payers just don’t want to pay the massive costs of bringing in third world populations, and people don’t want to live in a multicultural society. Unlike racism and eugenics, those are valid reasons.

    What is the same between a century ago and today is that statists, progressives, and intellectuals are attempting to impose their will on the American people.

  25. Maybe if we sent some JSOC guys to Guatemala and Honduras to take out these gangs, these people would rather stay home? But that would be military intervention, which is bad. It’s so much better to let millions of impoverished people into the country and onto the welfare roles and into the pockets of the Democratic Party?

  26. “Let us say to the immigrant not that we hope he will learn English, but that he has got to learn it. Let the immigrant who does not learn it go back. He has got to consider the interest of the United States or he should not stay here. He must be made to see that his opportunities in this country depend upon his knowing English and observing American standards. The employer cannot be permitted to regard him only as an industrial asset.

    “We must in every way possible encourage the immigrant to rise, help him up, give him a chance to help himself. If we try to carry him he may well prove not well worth carrying. We must in turn insist upon his showing the same standard of fealty to this country and to join with us in raising the level of our common American citizenship.

  27. “In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American … There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

  28. When I learned in 1950 that the population of this country was about 150 million my first thought was – enough. Today we have over twice that many, and people are defecating in the streets . . . yet Progressive Globalists (some masquerading as libertarians) think open borders, i.e., unlimited immigration is a good idea.

    Will those who favor open borders offer free public use of their indoor toilets?

  29. Since MAGA-trolls can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, let me suggest this for those who don’t require a dear leader to worship and tell us how to think:

    It’s entirely possible to support immigration and a rollback of the welfare state at the same time.

    1. Order of operations my friend.

      Sometimes step one has to come before step two.

      The problem is that even with zero welfare, with the sheer number of impoverished people in the world, and the ease of international travel nowadays, we would almost certainly be flooded by so many people that we would see a significant reduction in our standard of living.

      Imagine 2 buckets. One is overflowing brimming full… The other is only a few drops in the bottom. If you put a line between them that flows freely, they will equalize out. This is open borders. I see no reason to destroy the standard of living in this country for the benefit of others.

      We built this nation up on our own, let them do it too. Foreign countries are mostly all growing steadily economically, faster than developed economies too! So their lives are getting better AT HOME already… Why should I ruin my life so they can skip 30 years of economic development?

    2. It is entirely possible to support legal immigration and oppose illegal migration.

      But progressive trolls like you like to lie, conflate, and insult people in order to achieve your destructive, statist, and totalitarian ends.

  30. One of the interesting things nobody every bothers to consider is this:

    Has anybody ever thought about what America would have been like if we HADN’T taken in as many new immigrants? I’m talking even the Italians, Poles, Germans, etc that came in droves in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

    The truth is 1st generation poor, desperate, uneducated immigrants DID create a shit ton of the problems in the USA. They did form crime gangs the likes of which the USA had never seen. They did suppress wages. They did create social friction. They ALSO voted in FDR, who would have LOST his first election if not for immigrants and the children of immigrants according to a long article I read some years back. In short they were a PAIN IN THE ASS for the people already here, just as many low skill immigrants are today.

    The fact is the USA hit its stride, was the most egalitarian, most prosperous, and most harmonious AFTER they slowed down immigration, and after all the last wave of immigrants had been here decades and assimilated. It was a shit show during the peaks, and somehow everything chilled out and got awesome when we were at record lows… Funny that.

    Imagine if the USA only had saaay 250 million people today. We’d have a lower GDP… But I’d bet my ass we’d have a higher GDP per capita. With that many fewer people land in ultra desirable places would be far cheaper still too. Somebody I know bought a nice house in the Pacific Palisades on their teachers salary in the 60s… People might STILL be able to do that. There probably would have been a lot less crime too.

    How much is that sort of stability and quality of life worth?

    The mere fact that America didn’t completely collapse IS NOT proof positive that the levels of immigration we had back then, or now, are good for the people already here.

    Does anybody really think America will be a nicer place to live when we have 500 million people crammed into the same space? Hell no! It will simply be more crowded, nice areas will be still more expensive, and so on.

    FYI, if they had limited immigration sooner than they did even a few of my great grandparents might not have made it in… But oh well. I wouldn’t begrudge the other sides of my family that had been here since before the Revolutionary War for telling some krauts to piss off and stay in Germany so their kids could have a better life.

    America does not OWE any foreigners, from any nation, the right to come here if it does not serve the interest of the people here. Americans have shed a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to build this place up… And if some useless fuck from abroad is going to make it worse for the people here now, there is no reason to let them in.

    My family fought in the Revolutionary War, helped settle the wild west, build the Bay Bridge, crank out the steel that won World War II, usher in the computer age… We’ve paid our dues and made our contributions. The new guys can fuck right off if they’re not bringing something to the table day one that benefits us.

    1. You don’t seem to sufficiently appreciate the enriching benefits of diversity.

      Illegal Alien Convicted of Raping Dog to Death Released by Sanctuary State – An illegal alien convicted of raping a dog to death was released by the sanctuary state of Oregon after being sentenced to just 60 days in prison.

      1. Jesus. WTF is wrong with people.

        I’m kind of a hard nosed guy. I have compassion and empathy for people… But I’m not a sucker. I will feel a twinge for some poor bastard suffering, and then say “Well, do X Y and Z things and you’ll be better off!” not cut off my own dick to help them or whatever.

        But I seriously can’t understand how these bleeding hearts can be THIS out of touch with reality. It’s beyond my comprehension.

  31. More lying, dishonest accusations of racism and open borders propaganda schlock.

    “In terms that will sound familiar today, they claimed Jews, Italians, and others were incapable of assimilating into a country based on private property, limited government, and hard work.”

    Nobody is saying that foreigners of any flavor are incapable of assimilating. What’s undeniable, though, is that assimilation takes time and is a slow process with limited bandwidth.

    Furthermore, our extremely high and historically unusual level of immigration destroys potential for broad based wage growth for Americans, adds only $50B to the economy but with an offsetting $50B in taxpayer burden (privatized gains, socialized losses), and amounts to a $500B redistribution of wealth from working Americans to richer Americans.

    1. Honestly, I don’t think all people are capable of assimilating fully.

      See black Americans.

      People self segregate along racial/ethnic lines… It is hard wired into our brains. IMO the only reason European peoples were able to melt into the pot is because we were all similar enough that within a single generation of mixing you couldn’t really tell anybody apart. The same cannot be said of some newer immigrant groups.

      I think a lot of the newer groups are going to end up becoming more self segregating sub-cultures in the USA, like blacks, vs melting in like Italians. This isn’t true for ALL immigrant groups, but certainly some.

  32. I’m not sure you guys intended to do this, but by claiming that we treated Italians and Jews the same (we didn’t, but that’s irrelevant) as we treat illegal immigrants today, you’re sort of proving why we need restrictive immigration. Restrictive policies towards the former resulted in assimilation. Open borders policies towards the latter has resulted in the culture war we’re waging this very moment.

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