Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Donald Trump, Immigration, and Extremism (Re-edited)

With respect to immigration, we have swung from one extreme to another. Our betters tell us that extremism is bad, do they not? With all the caterwauling about Donald Trump’s "extremist" rhetoric regarding Muslims, it’s important to understand how we got to the point where Mr. Trump’s proposal sounds like a good start.
Nice dental work!

In the aftermath of the San Bernardino terrorist attack, Trump, not one to bite his tongue or to let a crisis go to waste, says that the USA should stop Muslims from immigrating. The only reason I think that this is a bad idea is because it’s impractical: there is no standard which could be used for such a screening which a well-trained actor could not meet.

A better solution, of course, would be to halt all immigration for a set period of time, but that, too, is unworkable. What would be the point for such a pause if the borders are wide open?

Those who claim that this is Not Who We Are™ are mistaken: it is not who we have become. Prior to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, immigration was great restricted by the Immigration Act of 1924, also known as the National Origins Act.

Philip Ochieng
Readers might remember that my biological father came to America on a student visa and that fact is pertinent. My father, journalist Philip Ochieng, arrived here in 1959 via the now well-known Mboya Airlift (aka Kennedy Airlift, due to the role played in its funding by the Kennedy Foundation). The first sortie of this airlift contained 81 young Africans—my father among them--from Kenya, which was then known as British East Africa. A few students came from a few other countries in the region. (President Obama had claimed that his father, Barack Obama, Sr., arrived in America via this same trip, but that was later discovered to be untrue. Obama Sr. arrived in Hawaii in June 1959; that first sortie happened three months later.)

Anyway, when the existence of the Airlift came to light, I did a little bit of research and discovered that this endeavor happened under that same 1924 immigration quota which virtually excluded black Africans, Arabs (other than Egyptians) and East Asians. (More history here.) The 1965 Act reopened the door for the continuous immigration of all these groups.

But we all know that the 50-year-old law alone isn't what cratered regulation of immigration. What did: the continuous "failure" by Democrat- and Republican-controlled administrations and congresses to secure our borders.

Our betters seemed to have fixed a problem. Hindsight, however, makes it look as if the fix was merely a first step in creating chaos; the combination of the 1965 legislation with the insecure borders have created a flood of any and all who want to come into the United States, for purposes innocuous or sinister—an unconstrained flood. One plus one equals who the hell knows how many--which I contend, is the goal.

So it is, that we have been beset by extremists and extremism for a long time.

And, to be sure, President Obama’s administration has dropped all pretense of regulating immigration--last year’s pre-planned “immigration crisis” was but a model for what we see happening to Europe--but this chaos did not start with him.

We can whine about the loose cannon that is Donald Trump, but he is the least of our worries.

(Thanks to Weasel Zippers)

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