The Tide Is Up

By John Rohe
Volume 4, Number 3 (Spring 1994)
Issue theme: "End of the migration epoch?"




Edited by Humphrey Dalton

Scott-Townsend Publishers, 1993

(P.O. Box 34070, NW, Washington, DC 20043)

122 pp, $12.50

Will America Drown? is more than a hydro-logical metaphor. It is a collection of essays addressing the risks of Third World immigration at rates exceeding America's assimilative capacity. Editor Humphrey Dalton contributed the introduction and postscript to fourteen essays by ten other authors. The essays address the risk of exceeding our cultural, as distinguished from biological, carrying capacity.

The threat of America's submersion is graphi-cally illustrated by the world population chart on the opening page which depicts the driving force under-lying immigration exponential growth between 400 B.C. and 2,000 A.D. A stable, generally horizontal line shows the gradual population growth during most of history. Then we arrive at the modern era when the graph shows the dramatic surge upward. But it is in countries which lack enduring democratic traditions where the burgeoning population is producing a prospective wave of immigrants.

The essays note a 1992 Roper Poll finding that 75 percent of Americans oppose immigration increases. The United States Congress has unresponsively adopted a seemingly purposeful dilution of culture under current immigration policies. Could this threaten the foundation of American traditions and democracy? Might democracy just as easily have emerged in Third World civilizations? Perhaps, however, the notion lacks historical support. Democracy, and its attendant liberties, is now asked to survive a voyage into yet uncharted cultural waters. We are conducting an experiment on culture, democracy, constitutional freedoms, criminal justice systems, liberties and the psyche of a nation - quite indifferent to where we came from and where we're headed.

Will America Drown? focuses on the root causes of our cultural crisis and our apparent unwillingness to deal responsibly with the issues.

The essays illuminate our inconsistent thought patterns on immigration. We are of a divided mind. We lament increases in unemployment, yet lack the fortitude to contemplate the inevitable impact of increased immigration on the unemployed. We have become the world's largest debtor nation yet pay little attention to the cause of recent reversals to our economic health. Educational performance dwindles while crime flourishes. A 'welfare magnet' draws immigrants through our porous borders as the needy in this country go unattended. The $30,000 stipend paid to Chinese immigrant smugglers is a worthwhile investment when the smuggled immediately have access to their share of America's infrastructure (estimated to be worth $40,000 per person). The looming threat of the federal debt, which coincidentally increases at much the same exponential rate as world population, remains uncontrollable. Although U.S. border patrols currently apprehend over 3,000 illegal immigrants daily, 70 percent of the births in Los Angeles' county-run hospitals are still to illegal aliens.

'[The book] focuses on the root

causes of our cultural crisis and our

apparent unwillingness to deal

responsibly with the issues.'

The essays in Will America Drown? address these issues and present a compelling case for responsible policies of immigration reform. The issue, as seen by this reviewer, is not whether we should be compassionate, but rather whether our compassion should remain myopic.

This work prompts the reader to ponder the fundamental underpinnings of democratic conventions and the institutions of freedom. As an exponentially increasing number of migrants avail themselves of the institutions of freedom and liberty in America, do we have a responsibility to the institutions themselves? To maintain the foundations of the institutions? To maintain respect for a hard-fought victory? To recognize traditions of education and cultivated respect? To maintain a common bond in our language? To afford immigrants a meaningful opportunity to assimilate and to acquire a stake in democratic traditions? If not, then the prevailing assumption must be that the institutions of freedom, liberty, compassion and democracy can be expected to simply keep churning, much like a perpetual motion machine.

At 122 pages, Will America Drown? makes a good introduction to the immigration topic, and yet contains information and insights that will be of interest to the committed enthusiast for immigration reform. Its size allows it to serve as a worthwhile gift for a friend who may wonder why you're campaigning for immigration reform.

* * *

These facts will present us with some very stark decisions. Is America to remain (at least relatively) a spacious, open landscape, or will our country of 30 years hence be a kind of industrialized Bangladesh? At the rate we are gobbling up farmland for the sake of tract houses and shopping malls, the physical basis for diversified farming will naturally diminish. At the same time, the need to intensely cultivate, chemically fertilize, and spray against insects on the remaining farmland so as to be able to feed ever greater numbers of people may eventually lead to a catastrophe similar to the dustbowl of the 1920s and '30s, which was principally caused by over-cultivation during World War I.... [D]o we really want to pump the Great Plains aquifers dry and let millions of tons of soil wash into the Gulf of Mexico to feed a burgeoning Third World population inside and outside our borders?

- From 'Invasion U.S.A. The Farce of Political Asylum' by George Sunderland, one of the essays in Will America Drown. ; Paradise Lost

A Magazine Essay Reviewed by Wayne Lutton

'The Ordeal of Immigration in Wausau'

By Roy Beck

The Atlantic Monthly, April 1994, pp.84-97.

According to the 1980 Census, Wausau, Wisconsin was the least ethnically diverse city in the United States, with less than one percent of its population being other than of European descent. And the city was enjoying the benefits of a homogeneous, stable population, including little crime and a modest social services burden, with no demands to increase taxes to support the expansion of schools and infrastructure. To many residents, Wausau was something close to 'paradise,' where steady employment was available and one could raise a family in pleasant surroundings.

That Wausau is now history, thanks to a heavy influx of Asian immigrants, mainly Hmong tribes-people from Laos. How immigration has transformed Wausau is related by Roy Beck in the April issue of The Atlantic.

Beck reveals how Lutheran and Catholic refugee agencies brought the first Asians to the community. In time, word circulated among refugees that Wausau was a place where they could congregate with fellow Hmong and enjoy generous welfare benefits provided by the descendants of the areas English and German settlers. And with 'family reunification' being a primary official goal of U.S. immigration policy, the Hmong's large families have turned what began as a trickle into a floodtide of immigration.

Wausau's residents were not consulted about the matter. Local taxes are skyrocketing to accommodate the immigrant-fueled increase in the public school population, criminal gang activity has emerged, and the welfare-use rate for immigrants is sixteen times that of the native population. The Hmong have one of the highest birth-rates of any ethnic group in the world, with pregnancies being reported as early as the sixth grade.

What has happened to Wausau is being repeated in other non-coastal areas that have witnessed a recent influx of immigrants. If, in fact, 'all politics is local,' then a consequence of this unhappy develop-ment may be the emergence of a drive for genuine immigration control. ;