Samuel Francis’s new book America Extinguished and Joe Scotchie’s review of it (“While America Sleeps,” March) deal with the problems resulting from unlimited mass immigration—people from foreign countries bringing a different culture and values to America.  Neither one, however, deals with the fact that the United States has experienced and still faces similar and equally damaging problems resulting from unlimited internal migration.

While California does face a crisis resulting from Mexican immigrants, legal and illegal, it also faces problems that are the result of huge numbers of American-born immigrants—the growing water and electric-power shortages being the most obvious.  And the steady flow of East Coast liberals has increased the voting power of the political left (witness the election of such people as Sen. Barbara Boxer).

Arizona has problems of theft and vandalism caused by Mexican illegals, but most of these immigrants do not stay; they are just passing through on their way to live in other states.  Far worse is that what used to be quiet and pleasant mid-sized Southwestern cities have been flooded with American retirees and are now large, overcrowded cities with the typical urban problems: traffic, smog, sprawl, and crime in the poorer neighborhoods—as well as organized crime run by retired Mafia bosses who cannot resist the temptation to continue their trade.

For years, Florida and North Carolina have also received huge numbers of American-born immigrants—retirees and working families invited to fill jobs in the auto, insurance, and computer industries.  This influx of immigrants has placed heavy burdens on local governments.  Some argue that this has produced economic growth, but locals complain that their way of life has been irrevocably changed, and not for the better.

Vermont is another dramatic example.  What used to be a nostalgic reminder of the America of the Founding Fathers has been completely changed by immigrants from New York City.  A state characterized by small towns, hardworking, churchgoing people, and traditional values has been overrun by artsy-craftsy liberals and yuppie ski bums.  The once sober and industrious Granite State is now blighted by “modern” homes, trendy restaurants, art galleries, and manufacturers’ outlet stores—plus a socialist congressman and even a state law legalizing homosexual marriages.  A recent backlash has reversed that trend slightly, but it won’t last.  The unchecked immigration of New York liberals will see to that.

All over the United States, the form of unlimited migration known as urban sprawl is turning thousands of small towns and quiet countrysides into acre upon acre of “little boxes of ticky tacky” and chain-store shopping malls.  While some view this as progress, others see it as a destruction of the civilized life and family ties that used to bind this country together.

Our nation’s history contains other examples, such as the especially heavy migration of blacks into large Northern cities in the 40’s and 50’s.  And whites were not the only ones who suffered.  Prosperous black neighborhoods that had their own culture were overrun by small-town and rural blacks, producing both an increase in crime and an educational problem still unsolved.  Even large Southern cities such as Atlanta were greatly damaged by this migration.  Such solutions as Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society often produced more harm than the original problem.

It is obvious that unlimited mass foreign immigration and internal migration are both examples of the law of unintended consequences.  There is no way to stop either one without curtailing people’s freedoms.  Thus, our cherished way of life contains the seeds of its own destruction.  Opium, anyone?  Or is hemlock a better choice?

        —Jefferson Chase
Fairfield, CT