South African blacks. What both groups are saying, innessence, is that they would like the United States to turn intonNicaragua or Haiti. Of course, all humane people sympathizenwith the victims of political oppression; wherevernpossible we would like to do something for them. But wenmust never forget that immigration policy is the mostnsignificant means of determining the future of our nation,nand we owe it to our children not to squander their birthrightnin spasms of imprudent charity.nOne frightening dimension to American charity is thencurious notion that aliens and immigrants have rights. Oncenupon a time, it was clearly understood that no one hadnanything like a “right” to enter the United States, and thatnaliens who were allowed in possessed only such benefits ofnthe legal system as Congress and the various state governmentsnchose to give them. Of course, illegal aliens could benroutinely rounded up and interned pending their deportation,nbut even legal aliens were routinely denied statencharity, government jobs, and even such governmentlicensednactivities as commercial fishing and the operation ofnpool halls. These restrictions were routinely upheld by thenSupreme Court.nAfter World War II, however, the federal courts havenincreasingly recognized — invented would be a better wordn—the rights of aliens. In a 1948 case {Takahashi v. Fish andnGame Commission), the Supreme Court declared thatnCalifornia’s restrictions on off-shore fishing were invalid,nand in 1971 the Court declared that a state could not denynwelfare to aliens, finding that aliens were a discriminatednagainst minority deserving of special protection. In othernwords, they were to be given more rights than citizens.nOne by one all the barriers have fallen, and legal aliensnenjoy all the rights and privileges of citizenship, except fornvoting and holding office. Until recently, the one privilegenthe government did retain was the ability to detain andnintern illegal aliens, but that too has come under fire. In laten1987 Cuban illegals staged a riot in two prisons where theynwere being held. The US Court of Appeals in Atlanta didnfind—regretfully—that unadmitted aliens had no rights,nbut the effect of the riots was to blackmail the governmentninto granting hearings on the rioters’ cases. In the politicalndebate that broke out, politicians and judges alike demandedna recognition of aliens’ rights. Georgia Republican PatnSwindall—and I hope our Georgia readers will take note—nargued that the Cubans actually had (not even ought tonhave) Fifth Amendment rights, Swindall is not entirely offnthe wall, since he has the support of Supreme Court JusticenThurgood Marshall, whose reverence for the Constitution isna matter of public record. In a number of dissentingnopinions, Marshall has insisted that in criminal casesnunadmitted aliens are entitled to all the protections of thenBill of Rights.nOf course, we could go on as we are doing, whittling awaynat our definition of citizenship, letting sovereignty slipnthrough our fingers, but if we refuse to control immigration,nour options are severely limited. The least unattractivensolution would be to implement the federal principle on anstate and regional level, recognizing Hispanics and Orientals,nin states where they form a majority, as the dominantngroup—much as the French are given special status innQuebec. (We must not imitate the disastrous Canadiann10/CHRONICLESnnnpolicy of nationwide bilingualism.) Descendants of the oldnsettlers that fought and won the land from Mexico will benquite rightly indignant with what many Mexicans are alreadyncalling the Reconquest, and we shall probably have far morentrouble than Canada in adjusting to a multicultural situation.nPerhaps after a century or two we can evolve into a safelynneutered society of consumers—like Switzerland. It is justnas likely to be a bloodbath.nA far less attractive scenario than either Switzerland orntribal civil war Nigerian style would be a forced Americanizationnon the grand scale. It didn’t work all that well the lastntime we tried it, when Catholics were hectored and bulliednout of the officially Protestant public schools, and consideringnthe sort of people who run the federal bureaucracyntoday, we will in effect be writing the death sentence onnrepublican self-government. Only an empire, with a vastnmachinery of manipulation (including some form of statenreligion) could succeed in creating order out of such anBabel, and the best we could hope for would be either anmilitary junta or a fascist welfare state — Sweden with anfiihrer.nWhat then, if anything, can be done? There are severalnobvious changes in immigration policy that need tonbe made. First of all, we need to put an end to the massnmigrations to the US. It was the Volkerwanderungen of thenGermans and Huns that brought the Roman Empire down,nand we shall be in even worse straits if we fail to control ournSouthern border and do not adopt a more hard-nosednapproach to refugees fleeing the political turmoil, highnpopulation growth, and economic chaos of the ThirdnWorld.nWe also need to reexamine our priorities. From the 20’snto the 50’s, American immigration law made it very clearnthat we intended to be what we had always been: anEuropean nation. The quota that took effect in 1929 wasnbased on the ethnic background of the existing populationnof the US and allotted 85 percent of the total to northernnand western Europe and 12 percent to the rest of Europe.nThe Immigration Act of 1952 did preserve the nationalnorigins quota (not abolished till 1965), but within the systemna separate set of ordered priorities were established. Preferencenwas given first to immigrants with desirable (i.e.nmarketable) skills, second to relatives of citizens and residentnaliens. Along with the abolition of national quotas in 1965ncame changes in the preference system. Now unmarriednchildren of citizens come first, spouses of resident aliensnsecond, and exceptional and talented immigrants third.nOther relatives of citizens and resident aliens come fourthnand fifth, while workers with needed skills come sixth.nThe result is the all-too-familiar scams by which undesirednaliens contrive to give birth on US soil or arrangenmarriages of convenience. In either event, one unskillednalien can end up bringing “all his sisters and his cousinsn(whom he reckons up by dozens) and his aunts.” Thenfigures tell the story. Despite a total quota of only 270,000,nthe special categories have accelerated the rate of legalnimmigration to almost three times that. Ted Kennedy, bynthe way, is primarily responsible for the difference. In 1965,nhe served as floor manager of the legislation in the Senate,nand in 1980 he sponsored amendments that removed then