Immigration is increasingly becoming a major subject for concern among Americans. In a recent report released by FAIR, 51 percent of 800 Californians surveyed thought the US was accepting “too many” legal immigrants, while only 35 percent replied “too few” or “about right.” Sixty-nine percent thought there ought to be a limit, as opposed to only 26 percent who favored the “education/skill” criteria advocated in the March Chronicles, almost twice the number who wanted “family connections” to be the primary emphasis.

When the questions got around to illegal immigration, an even clearer picture emerges: 63 percent considered it a very serious problem, 21 percent somewhat serious, and only 13 percent no problem. Only 9 percent thought the government was doing a good or excellent job of controlling the situation. If Richard Marin of the Washington Post had seen the survey, he might have included it in his defamatory story on “The Emerging Signs of the New Xenophobia.” Xenophobia, in the Post’s vocabulary, turns out to mean any concern for the national interest as opposed to the salvation of the world or the global economy.

If the globalist frenzy were restricted to that leftist fringe that considers illegal immigration “no problem,” and the nation state an outworn bit of 19th-century political theory, one might have grounds for hope. But recently political liberals have tended to take more sober positions on questions of national interest. It is “conservatives” who now favor policies of missionary democratism, pander to multinational corporations, and oppose any restrictions on foreign ownership in the US, as Walter Mossberg wrote in a perceptive piece in The Wall Street Journal (April 3). Pointing out that the one-world concept has fallen into disrepute even in the Soviet Union, he describes the new conservative one-worlders as “economists and academics who believe that in a global economy . . . the economic fortunes of individual countries aren’t important any more.” Rejecting extremist calls for vindictive, protectionist legislation, Mossberg concludes that it is simply “dreamy” to imagine “that the genuine and legitimate political interests among nations can be wished away with visions of an all-encompassing, mutually beneficial world economy.”

The same prudence applied to immigration would dictate a rational plan based primarily on considerations of national interest and a frank recognition that we are culturally a European country. Family ties and political considerations would have to place a distant second and third. The worst immigration policy proposed in several years comes from the Bush administration, which has asked Congress to allow up to 150,000 additional immigrants over the next five years under a new classification of “foreign policy interest.” While other political refugees would be included, Soviet citizens would be the primary beneficiaries of the program. What ever happened to perestroika? Mr. Bush’s call for expanded immigration goes hand in hand with his secretary of state’s aggressive democratic globalism. As one American elder statesman remarked to me recently, we shouldn’t judge these global democrats too harshly. It may turn out they are just cynics out to manipulate public opinion. On the other hand, maybe these ex-liberal Texans are simply trying to prove their conservative credentials. (TF)