Thoreau’s observation is especially true of Kevin Lamb’s The Open Borders Network. Pressed between two covers is all one needs to know about being an activist in the fight against illegal immigration. Indeed, if good public policy books educate and motivate, The Open Borders Network should transform readers into armed (with the documentation) and dangerous (to the governing elite) advocates for safe and sane immigration policies.
The author exposes the underlying philosophy of the diverse and powerful interests who are working overtime for a borderless society. He notes that:
Ethnic-immigrant lobbies serve as the radical Left’s cultural beachhead. Multiculturalists—working via ethnic-immigrant advocacy groups—actively undermine America’s national sovereignty and thwart the process of assimilation by breaking down traditional cultural barriers. An open-borders agenda advances the goals and objectives of ethnic-immigrant and indigenous cultures to “diversify” America’s European-based heritage.
One of Lamb’s observations should hit home for even the casual reader: “Our future will either resemble the national character of European-American traditions, firmly established by the founding settlers and their descendants, or mirror the Third World turmoil of multi-ethnic stratification comparable to contemporary Brazil. ” From that astute vantage point The Open Borders Network delves into what Joe Friday would say in the TV series Dragnet: “Just the facts ma’am—all we know are the facts.” The author methodically investigates the reach and effectiveness of the open borders lobby and lays bare all facts about who they are—and the startling revelations of how they operate.
Politically, as Lamb shows, a bipartisan majority of Congress—and a string of presidential administrations (representing both parties)—have waffled, given in, and taken contradictory stands on restricting and regulating immigration. This has ultimately strengthened the hand of those advocating increased levels of immigration. In recent years however, grassroots political action has empowered local jurisdictions from the state of Arizona to the small city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania to enact prohibitive legislation and statutes designed to lessen the impact of illegal immigration. But, as The Open Borders Network warns, “From the White House and the Capitol to all too many state houses and city halls, our elected executives and lawmakers have ignored the desire of the great majority of the electorate that they secure the nation’s borders, enforce the laws against illegal entrants, and bring immigration under control.” That is good news and bad news: while the will of the majority is being thwarted by political elites, a majority of Americans are anxiously awaiting a comprehensive action plan to reduce the size and scope of immigration: legal and illegal.
In this writer’s opinion, one of the most effective weapons in the arsenal of the pro-immigration army (and they have many, as Lamb documents) is their legal defense organizations. Every two steps forward by state legislatures or local governments—designed to protect citizens from a variety of immigration issues ranging from crime to voter fraud—are often met with a step backward in court. Many times it’s three steps back. An array of organizations, ranging from the usual suspects such as the American Civil Liberties Union to the innocuous-sounding National Immigration Forum (NIF), represent illegal aliens on this fighting front. Lamb writes:
Liberal judges, in rendering legal decisions to reverse voter-approved initiatives or local ordinances, whether issuing driver’s licenses or providing taxpayer-funded financial assistance for out-of-state tuition costs to illegal aliens, have imposed their own interpretations in case after case that make it increasingly difficult for state and local governments to stem the tide of illegal immigration and seal off America’s southern border.
The financial support for the legal work on behalf of the immigration lobby—from establishment operatives and their tax-free foundations—is simply extraordinary. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, for example, has funded the National Immigration Forum with over $8.6 million in grants and donations. That kind of underwriting can only come from integrating political and business elites with leftist ideologues. Case in point: the National Immigration Forum’s chairman is John Gay of the National Restaurant Association—obviously this special interest is in the market for cheap labor. Board members include: Craig Regelbrugge, representing the American Nursery & Landscape Association (illegal immigration is a high stakes game for this lobby as well); Gideon Aronoff of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society; Randel Johnson of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and Kevin Appleby of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (more on the supporters of immigration from the religious community later).
The National Immigration Forum is only one of the open borders octopus’s legal tentacles. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is working hard to loosen America’s immigration laws by providing information, professional services, and educational counseling to litigators. In The Open Borders Network, Lamb says AILA “consists of some 8,000 lawyers and law professors [and] listed $9,868,162 in total revenue for its 2005 budget.”
Groups such as NIF and AILA have become the ruling establishment. They not only represent the interests of illegal aliens but also a way for political elites to further impose their power and perspective on America. The little guy in the fight is traditional Middle Americans who find themselves in the role of counter-revolutionaries, not conservatives. The late commentator Sam Francis once put it this way: “The problem today is not to conserve [the status quo], let alone to persuade Americans that it ought to be conserved. The problem today is how to persuade Americans that it ought to be—and can be—changed.”
One entire (and important) chapter in The Open Borders Network is devoted to the radical Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Lamb notes that SPLC’s “quest to label as ‘racist’ and ‘hate’ any discussion of population or demographic trends as well as critiques of multiculturalism and current problems with U.S. immigration policies, is an effective tactic...to thwart any measure that would place annual limits on immigration.” He makes this critical assessment as well:
The SPLC maintains an aggressive ideological agenda to transform the culture and traditions of American society—from a legal heritage that seeks a balance between the rights of individuals and the interests of society, as grounded in Constitutionally protected rights of free speech...to a futuristic society that represents the Marxian, totalitarian influence on America’s political, legal and civic institutions in the quest to eradicate any group-based distinctions.
Although The Open Borders Network carefully connects ruling elites and their left-wing allies together to constitute what one would normally recognize as the pro-immigration lobby, he also shows how this network is a diverse coalition that includes some unexpected and unusual elements—including radical leaders and assemblies of establishment churches. Lamb notes that some key Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish leaders support a “crusade to end the plight of the poverty-stricken Third World.” Of course, in and of itself that is a basic calling of religious institutions. However, as the author observes, “This outreach also encourages First World nations to increase their levels of assistance to the Third World and adopt higher levels of Third World immigrants and refugee resettlements. Although this transnational policy is described as ‘humane’ and ‘compassionate,’ it often remains out of step with faithful and charitable Christians who champion aggressive enforcement of immigration laws, value national sovereignty, and prefer a policy that preserves their national heritage rather than transforms it.” [Emphasis in the original.] Lamb concludes that, as in politics, this counter-revolutionary agenda has left a vacuum by blocking discussion of this important subject:
Given the historically prominent place of religion in American society, Christians seem energized over the problems of illegal immigration and willing to voice their concerns, but also seem complacent in challenging the authority of church leaders and religious figures.As managing editor of this journal, Lamb has to know his stuff when addressing the immigration issue. In The Open Borders Network, he has pulled together a detailed blueprint of the immigration lobby, broken down into sections on the distinct but coordinated roles played by powerful operatives. If Henry David Thoreau is right when he says “what I began by reading, I must finish by acting,” the subtitle of Lamb’s book— How a Web of Ethnic Activists, Journalists, Corporations, Politicians, Lawyers, and Clergy Undermine U.S. Border Security and National Sovereignty—is a call to action for counter-revolutionaries.