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Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Refugees and the Right to Immigrate
There is no right to immigrate to America, and there is no duty America owes the world to accept refugees. The pathos of leftism on this phony moral obligation invariably reverts back to the tragic efforts of German Jews to leave a Nazi world in which they were horribly mistreated. The connection to the Holocaust, however, is utterly phony. The overwhelming majority of German Jews did successfully leave Germany and find new homes in other lands.
Almost all the victims of the Holocaust were East European Jews – Polish, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, and Lithuanian – and the most open borders imaginable to these wretched victims would hardly have made a dent in the six million murdered by the Nazis and their allies. The only help for these people was to conquer and occupy the lands they lived in as quickly as possible and then to impose relentlessly the superior values of America and Britain in these conquered lands.
That is, of course, always the only true answer to problems of refugees. The first mass immigration to America was from persecuted German Catholics and Jews. The "No Knowing Party" was formed to stop this influx, but what actually did the trick was the unification of Germany into a confederation (misnamed an "empire") that granted completed social policy to the individual states. Those German Catholics and Jews whose fathers thought about fleeing instead became patriotic and loyal Germans.
Irish immigration stopped when Ireland gained independence, and Italian immigration stopped when Italy was finally united. Indeed, in both cases, as their homelands became safe, free, and relatively prosperous, there was a reverse migration of the children and grandchildren of immigrants who wanted to go home. During the Cold War, America accepted political refugees from Eastern Europe, but since the defeat of Communism and the liberation of those nations, that influx has stopped.
America has no duty to protect people in other nations from the failures of their own regimes. Indeed, providing a sort of steam release valve means that bad actors running these lands know that their unhappiest subjects leave and come to America, creating problems within America and also limiting the dangers of popular revolution against them.
Worse, of course, these enemies of America can insinuate among masses of refugees those who would do us grave harm. In this regard, the sappy argument of refugees from Nazi Germany reaches its most absurd contradiction. Some of the refugees were Jews, but some were political opponents of the Nazi regime. Would anybody now object if our government insisted on making sure that no secret Nazi agents were allowed into America? Would not "extreme vetting" have been the most appropriate attitude if suddenly several hundred thousand refugees from Nazi Germany demanded entry into America?
In fact, during the Cold War, America and the free nations of the West did recognize the duty and the right to make sure that those who wanted to come here from evil communist regimes were not clandestine agents. Refugees from these lands, by the way, accepted this as necessary and understood the danger to America if we allowed in anyone who claimed to have been persecuted.
That is a fundamental problem with Moslem refugees from Islamic nations seeking to come to America. Islam is portrayed as a religion, but it is actually a political system: separation of mosque and state is anathema to Islam. If we can agree that America had no obligation to admit Nazi Party members to America in the 1930s or Communist Party members from Eastern Europe during the Cold War, then we ought to be able to see that refugees from Islamic countries ought to be welcomed in America only if they are also refugees from Islam itself.
Likewise, if leftists in America profess not to see the difference between admitting persecuted Christians from lands overrun with violent Islamists from other refugees, then let these folks not talk about our failure to admit Jews from Nazi Germany, because that is precisely what Christians in these lands are today.
Someone who eighty years ago said that if we were going to let Jews in from Germany, then we ought to let everyone who wants to come to America, or someone who seventy years ago said that if we thought Britain should allow Jews into Palestine, then Britain ought to allow everyone into Palestine, would be called a fool or a fraud or worse.