The Immigration Act of 1965
Not long ago, I had lunch with a couple of guys I know well enough to say with confidence that they’re both politically conservative and active outdoorsmen: my brother and brother-in-law. But when I brought up immigration, we parted company. At least in part.
“Did you see the article,” I began, “about our national parks being overrun and ruined by visitors? Immigrants, and their children, make the US the world’s only advanced industrial country whose population is growing. And,” I continued, “population growth can’t be doing anything but make the situation worse. How is adding between 100 and 150 million new residents by 2050 going to help the environment.”
But isn’t legal immigration fine?
“But,” my brother in law responded, “you don’t have a problem with legal immigration do you?”
“Actually,” I said, “I do. In fact, I have a big problem with legal immigration.”
“In 1965, Ted Kennedy pushed an immigration reform bill that continues to dramatically change the demographic makeup of our nation. We went from a country that was overwhelmingly northern European, to one, where, in your kids’ lifetimes, they’ll be strangers in a strange land. They’ll be part of a shrinking minority by as soon as 2045.”
Playing fast and loose
Kennedy denied that it was his intention to change America’s demographics:
“During debate on the Senate floor, Senator Kennedy, speaking of the effects of the act, said, “our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. … Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset”.
How wrong Kennedy was. Although native population growth has tapered off at the replacement level, explosive immigration levels, combined with chain immigration, illegal immigration, and the high rate of births to immigrants, have caused the US population to soar.
“Not be flooded with a million immigrants” a year? How about more like two to three million.
The stupid party
The 1965 bill was sponsored in the Senate and House by leading Democrats. When it came up for a vote in Congress, only 74% of Democrats supported the bill while 85%, of Republicans voted for it. What’s up with this?
Two things. First, southern Democrats still exercised a disproportionate share of legislative influence by sticking together under the skilled leadership of Richard Russell of Georgia and his crafty use of the Senate filibuster. Russell understood the long term impact of the bill. And couldn’t care less that opponents branded southerns as “racist” for refusing to support the legislation. Russell foresaw that the Act was going to make ours a nation with a large component of virtually pre-industrial, Third World people that would be bitterly divided between the haves and the have nots. So, southerners voted “No”.
And, second, most of the Republicans who supported the bill probably didn’t understand the complex and longterm ramifications of the legislation. And what is equally likely, even those Republican who did understand what was being done, were unwilling to be associated with those benighted, racist southerners.
Is immigration a suicide pact?
And now, with so much of the nation, including a preponderance of the Democratic party, in the fevered grip of identity politics, what is the likely fate of white people who, in only 20 short years, be a minority in the nation their forefathers founded?
Will whites be afforded the minority protections that an overwhelmingly white, male political class granted to minorities when whites were in the majority? Things like affirmative action? And the Voting Rights Act? Surely you jest.
Or is it more likely that minorities will double down and, using their new found majority status, pass reparations legislation that would force whites to compensate them for injuries and grievances that, in some cases, are centuries old? And, on top of this, continue to demand preferential treatment under existing civil rights legislation.
In which case, when does the dwindling white beast of burden simply collapse?
When the ’65 Immigration Act was signed by President Johnson, America was still in its post World War II, imperial glory days. But no empire is eternal. Including the American empire. And the truism that “the bigger they are, the harder they fall,” remains true.
Because as an empire metastasizes, it assimilates increasingly dissimilar, indigestible, and resentful populations. Think of the Romans and restless barbarians that eventually sacked the Eternal City. The British Empire, on which the never set, but to whom the American colonies gave the boot. And, yet more troubling, the polyglot, dysfunctional, and even dangerous city that London has become with uncontrolled immigration.
Now, the American empire, with a tip’o the hat to Teddy Kennedy, has replaced its formerly homogeneous populace with a Tower of Babel of fractious races and tongues.
Barbarians at the gate
Thus, the illegal immigrant caravans storm our southern border. While President Trump jawbones the wall rather than actually building the wall. Speeches that are probably meaningless now that a divided Congress can’t even agree on keeping the government open. Much less fund the wall. Speeches that are more like fiddling rather than the “big, beautiful wall” we were promised. And which wall may very well go up in smoke.