“A nation scattered and peeled, . . . a nation meted out and trodden down.”

Like Romans in ancient times, Americans are losing their country to immigration, and few seem to know it. One who does know is Peter Brimelow, himself an immigrant and recently naturalized citizen. In his book Alien Nation, he more or less predicts that immigration is undermining social cohesiveness and has the United States on the road to breakup. Four separate regions are emerging: an Asian Pacific coast, an Hispanic southwest, a black and white southeast and northeast, and a white landlocked center. Among the culprits in the smashing of the once-fabled melting pot are the 1965 Immigration Act, uncontrolled illegal immigration, a continuous stream of immigrants without pause for assimilation, politically correct multiculturalism, which has redefined assimilation as “racist,” support systems and race-based legal privileges for “protected minorities” that have made group identity more valuable than assimilation, and the denial of dangers posed by all of the above by experts and intellectuals across the political and ideological spectrum.

The 1965 Immigration Act abolished national origin as the basis for immigration. The national origin basis helped the melting pot to function by admitting people based on cultural ties. These are the very people whom the 1965 act discriminates against, and ever since then Europeans have been crowded out by Hispanics, Asians, and blacks. Proponents of the 1965 act gave firm assurances that it would neither raise the level of immigration nor affect the ethnic mix. For example. Senator Edward Kennedy, the bill’s floor manager, stated categorically that “under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same” and that “the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset.” His brother Robert testified that the total effect of the bill on Asian immigration would be 5,000 more immigrants the first year, “after which immigration from that source would virtually disappear.” The real number, Brimelow notes, has proved to be 1,129.7 times greater. Representative Emmanuel Celler, a Democrat from New York, did not share the Kennedys’ illusions. He said that the 1965 act was designed “to obliterate and nullify and cancel out” the national-origin basis of immigration. Whether or not the act’s architects had a hidden agenda, the mathematics of the legislation was kept hidden from the American people, who had no idea that their leaders were throwing out the melting pot in favor of multicultural diversity.

The nonwhite pattern of immigration established by the 1965 act is now reinforced by extensive illegal immigration. The desperate hordes of people barging into the United States are not Europeans. The border with Mexico is porous, to say the least, but the truly alarming fact is that anyone who manages to get a toe on American soil is protected by American law and due process. That means that they are here to stay. Illegals, Brimelow reports, simply fly into New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, apply for asylum, and, because of lack of detention space, are released into the United States on a promise to present themselves at a future hearing. Few, of course, ever do. Thanks to the motor-voter law, they can acquire driving licenses and voter registration cards simultaneously, and from there easily create an American identity. Any who cannot be bothered can wait for the next amnesty.

Another difference between the new immigration and the old is that the old was intermittent, broken by lulls during which recent immigrants were assimilated. In contrast, the new immigration is continuous. The constant inflow of aliens overwhelms the assimilating power of communities, while preserving the alienness of the immigrants. Indeed, even if communities could assimilate, the Justice Department would probably file suit to halt the process as a threat to diversity, a protected right. In many quarters today, assimilation is regarded as a racist goal designed to maintain white hegemony. Local communities are forced at taxpayers’ expense to teach the children of legal and illegal aliens in their native tongues. Whether legal or illegal, immigrants have access, protected by courts, to the social safety net.

Welfare for aliens has proved to be expensive; hence the success in November 1994 of California’s Proposition 187 banning welfare for illegal aliens. However, the people’s decision has been put on hold by federal judges who apparently believe that illegals have an inalienable right of access to the incomes of the native-born.

Our new breed of immigrant also has other rights that take precedence over those of native-born whites. Eighty-three percent of legal immigrants, and almost all of the illegal immigrants, qualify as “protected minorities.” They have quota rights to go to the head of the line in college and university admissions, employment opportunities, access to training programs, and promotions. These preferences are expanding as the logic of a privileged and protected class unfolds. Every year two or three million culturally diverse immigrants enter the country and are granted legally protected rights of preference over the indigenous white population.

Brimelow has a term for this insanity, borrowed from former senator Eugene McCarthy. The United States has become “a colony of the world.” A guilt-ridden white population is doing penance for the success that made English the world language and the dollar the world currency. To atone for racist cultural hegemony, whites are turning over their country to Third World immigrants. Just after the middle of the next century, whites will be a minority in the United States and can begin to worry about the ethnic genocide that has often been the African and Asian response to multicultural societies.

Brimelow tells his story with facts and charts and logical implications. Despite his confidence in his case, he feels beleaguered and frustrated. He is frustrated because his opponents take refuge in emotional reflexes and deny the obvious, and he is beleaguered because it is morally impermissible to defend anything European or white. So what if a bunch of white people lose their country? It will be a better place after they are gone. And besides, what about our grandfathers? Weren’t they immigrants? Yes, says Brimelow, they were, but for the most part they were white, and for that reason few would be able to immigrate to the United States today.

Immigration has become a civil right that noncitizens enjoy in the United States. Brimelow speculates that the promiscuous altruism that calls for open borders is simply an expression of hatred for the nation-state. Here the emotional context becomes complex. Libertarians hate the state and favor open borders as a way of attacking it. Conservatives want to preserve the state in its unifying role. Liberals want to harness it for the latest progressive social goals—namely multiculturalism. And populists favor immigration as a way of combating the formation of a ruling class.

New blood keeps things stirred, but if the new blood is multicultural, privileged, and nonassimilable, blood will prove stronger than geography. Even European empires have broken apart for ethnic reasons. Separatist movements are threatening some European nationstates today and frustrating the drive toward European unity. A multicultural United States is unlikely to fare any better than the Austro-Hungarian Empire. America, it is sometimes said, is an idea, not a nation. But once this point is made, it remains true that a multicultural community is not a people, and without a people there is no country. The United States is a country that is becoming as diverse as the world. Since 1965, it has acquired more cultural, linguistic, and racial diversity within its borders than has been required to maintain Europe as a collection of diverse and separate nation-states. An immigration policy constructed by Camelot liberals is deconstructing our country, and if we want to remain a country, we will have to address the issues raised by Peter Brimelow.

This is not an easy task. There are organized, vested interests—lawyers, politicians, and purveyors of welfare—that benefit from the influx of aliens. To prevent any rational discussion, they encourage the inclination to dismiss any mention of an immigration problem as racist. Brimelow has already had a taste of the treatment that Enoch Powell received when he first raised the issue in Great Britain in 1968. There, as here, the immigrant population concentrated in specific regions so that the bulk of the country could not see what was to come. Powell was simply disbelieved when he spoke of a constituent whose child was the only white pupil in a school class. Similarly, Brimelow reports that in the United States today, 75 percent of the immigrants locate in six states. Thus, many Americans fall victim to the liberal media’s line that the “immigration scare” is racist hate-mongering.

The topic certainly scares many intellectuals and demographers whose primary concern is to avoid being called “racist.” The epithet stifles discourse, but Brimelow, like Powell, has courage and sticks to his guns. As the facts disseminate, Brimelow will have an impact on immigration policy. A quarter of a century ago Powell was denounced in a hysterical editorial in the London Times and stripped of his ministerial position in the Conservative Party. But today the official policy of Great Britain and Europe prohibits prime immigration. Only residual family reunification is permitted, a process that is expected to be completed soon.

The 1965 Immigration Act warrants a big debate. Prior to this act, the reproductive behavior of the native-born was stabilizing the population at around 260 million. But the federal government deceptively adopted an immigration policy that is pushing the population to 390 million by 2050, 140 million of whom will be post-1970 immigrants and their descendants. This socially engineered change in the racial character of the United States population, together with the race-based quota privileges that have been read into the 1964 Civil Rights Act, have enormous implications for the descendants of native-born whites, who, at best, will be second-class citizens in the 21st century if current policies continue.


[Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster, by Peter Brimelow (New York: Random House) 291 pp., $23.00]