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Immigration is probably the single broadest, deepest, most intellectually challenging topic in all of public policy. There’s no knottier or more significant question you can ask than: When the government elects a new people, how many and whom should it elect?
Not surprisingly, the sheer cognitive challenge involved in having an informed and intelligent opinion on immigration is one reason why immigration is the least favorite major issue among mainstream public intellectuals. ...
To conceal how far in over their heads they are, Main Stream Media (MSM) staffers often vilify anyone well-versed on immigration as “ignorant” and motivated by “hate”. No matter how thoughtful and judicious your insights on immigration, no matter how respectable your curriculum vitae, you’ll just be smeared directly or by association by the hucksters at the $outhern Poverty Law Center, whose word will then be taken on faith by the press.
The endless ramifications of immigration are closely analyzed in historian Otis L. Graham’s just-published big book, Immigration Reform and America’s Unchosen Future It’s a combination of memoir, insider history, and analysis by a scholar who was “present at the creation” of much of the organized resistance to immigration expansion....
One evening at a 1983 Witan in San Diego, attendees watched several hundred illegal aliens swarm across the border in a mass rush intended to overwhelm the Border Patrol: “During our weekend there, BP officers arrested people from ninety-six foreign countries …”
One attendee at that particular Witan was Theodore H. White, the world famous author of The Making of the President bestsellers. White, who had been Time’s star reporter in China during WWII—where he had become a close friend of Chou En-lai, the dazzling Communist diplomat)—was not a fan of overpopulation. Graham writes:“White had spoken passionately in our meetings about the negative consequences of losing control of the border between a population-stabilizing developed country and a population-exploding Third World country sharing a 2,000 mile frontier.”
But when John Tanton asked him to publish his views,“White recoiled, almost frightened.
“‘My New York friends would never forgive me. No, you guys are right, but I can’t go public on this.’ ”
At that point, the 68-year-old Teddy White was probably the single most respected print journalist in America in 1983. White’s fear shows you how severe are the penalties in the media business for questioning immigration. ...
But, as Graham recalls,“Hearing White’s agitated response, I had my first glimpse of the especially intense emotional Jewish version of that taboo [against immigration skepticism]. His whole heritage, and his standing with all his Jewish friends, was imperiled (he was certain) if he went public with his worries about the state of immigration.”
To show how buried away from public discourse this crucial aspect of modern America is kept, note that Graham, at that point a 47-year-old tenured professor of American history, was only then becoming aware of it!
Graham continues:“I did not suspect it then, but this would become an important subtheme of our experience as immigration reformers. American Jews were exceptionally irrational about immigration for well-known reasons. They were also formidable opponents, or allies, in any issue of public policy in America.”
Indeed, on 2009’s Atlantic 50 list of most influential columnists, bloggers, and broadcast pundits, almost exactly half are Jewish, even though only about 2 percent of the population is Jewish. In particular, white Jewish males are represented at rates more than 50 times higher than the average American.
What Graham calls the “filiopietistic” urge (“of or relating to an often excessive veneration of ancestors …”) is particularly strong among Jewish media figures. (Italian-Americans, in contrast, tend to approach the immigration policy question by thinking about the future rather than by obsessing over the past.) This anti-rational emotional reflex about immigration contributes to the kitschy quality of MSM discourse on the topic.
The best solution? Raising awareness.
Why shouldn’t citizens know the facts?