Punishment Migration

By James Kirkpatrick
Published in The Social Contract
Volume 29, Number 1 (Fall 2018)
Issue theme: "Sanctuary Nation - The Fraying of America"

It happens in almost every debate about immigration. At first, the Open Borders side claims immigrants will benefit the host nation. This is easily rebutted. The pro-invasion interlocutor then reveals the real argument—the West has it coming. Third World immigration is revenge for Western racism, colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, or whatever other -ism is conjured up. Migration is a form of punishment. 

As Third Worlders colonize the West, an ever-greater number of people are dispensing with the pretense of wanting to help our countries. Instead, Punishment Migration is being defended on its own terms. Those who want Western Civilization to continue must call it out and confront it every time it is displayed. Westerners must learn the truth—it is support for mass immigration that is driven by hate, not opposition to it.

One of the most common examples occurs when Open Borders advocates bring up the fate of the American Indians. On the surface, this would seem to support the restrictionist position—mass immigration from a foreign culture, if it occurs in sufficient numbers, can utterly destroy a people’s way of life. Yet proponents of mass immigration somehow invoke American Indians to support their position. They argue that because the United States was chiefly created by illegitimate European settlement, it should be destroyed by non-European settlement as a way of avenging the indigenous population. President Barack Obama relied on this reasoning when he proclaimed in 2014 that the “only people with the right” to object to immigration were “some Native Americans.”

It follows then that if Hispanic immigrants ally with or classify themselves as Native Americans, the United States rightfully becomes, really, their country. Open Borders advocates are already working to create such an alliance. For example, illegal immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas’s “Define American” project, which seeks to deconstruct American national identity, promoted an alliance between Third World immigrants and “Native Americans” at a 2017 conference. In a cheerleading article entitled “How Native Americans and Immigrants Are Coming Together to Define the Future of Resistance,” author Isha Aran celebrated “First Americans” and “New Americans” “rewriting the story we tell ourselves as a country,” meaning the story of European settlement.

According to the most recent census, an increasing number of Hispanics are also identifying as “Native American,” further strengthening the alliance between the two groups. Mexicans in the Southwest are particularly susceptible to this strategy, embracing the homicidal legacy of the Aztecs. Once Hispanics and American Indians are conflated, the conclusion Open Borders supporters ask us to draw is that because “Native Americans” were here first, any immigration restrictions are automatically illegitimate. “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us” type rhetoric no longer refers to the territorial changes of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Instead it refers to the coming of Europeans in general.

Such thinking is, sadly, well within the American mainstream. As Leo Pacheco (a professor and former county Democratic chairman in Texas) sneered, “We are the sons and daughters of the original people who founded these lands and lived in harmony before the massive invasion of white immigrants from the United States.” Therefore, the good professor states: “[W]e can address the notion that a wall should be built to keep the Mexicans out. In fact, we are Native American and have a birthright to roam these lands.”

Similarly, Yale professor Timothy Snyder argues “The U.S. government should cede territory back to Native Americans” in response to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ removal of the declaration that the country is a “nation of immigrants.” Under the “discovery doctrine,” repeatedly cited by the Supreme Court, sovereignty over American territory was first claimed by various European powers and then the new American Republic. It never lay with the Indian tribes. Snyder interprets this to mean that true sovereignty over America lies solely with immigrants.

He writes:

The American claim to American land is that Native Americans had a homeland but no dominion over it, since sovereignty automatically shifted to immigrants. If the federal government no longer defines the America [sic] as a “nation of immigrants”, it abandons, by its own logic, the claim to sovereignty over the land. If U.S. policy is now, instead, to protect a “homeland”, that would mean restoring the rights of the Native Americans to the entirety of the U.S.

Perhaps he’ll be happy if we start with his house.

Europeans are, of course, the indigenous inhabitants of the European continent. Yet the sacred rights of indigenous peoples are suddenly dismissed when it comes to the Continent. “There is no such thing as an ‘indigenous’ Briton,” sneered James Mackay and David Stirrup in The Guardian. “Indigenous,” they explain, does not actually mean being first in a certain area, but is a subjective definition. “’[I]ndigenous has to be understood as a complex term that is conditional on current circumstance, not as an absolute and unchanging descriptor for a state of being,” they explain. “It specifically recognizes that a people or tribe has become marginalised within the dominant society thanks to a history of conquest, colonisation, and/or absorption into a nation state.” For Europeans to claim indigenous status is “a nonsense,” “offensive,” and “cynical.” Europeans, even when they are being dispossessed in their ancestral homelands, occupy a permanently privileged position, and thus have no right to resist.

It’s a truism but nonetheless striking that mass immigration to Europe only began after the colonial empires were abolished. It is as if Third Worlders, at the very moment they were given independence, fled in order to continue living under European rule. However, in the eyes of many journalists and critics, this migration is not proof of the superiority of Western norms and governance, but evidence that Europe has not sufficiently repented for its imperial past.

“Europe is shaking with intensifying conflict between traditional populations and people whose families emigrated from abroad,” writes Stephen Kinzer in the Boston Globe. He argues that the European powers brought it on themselves with their past actions. “If France, Britain, and other European countries had resisted the imperial temptation — if they had never sent armies to places like Syria, Iraq, India, or North Africa — they would not be facing the terror that afflicts them today. History does not always punish aggressors quickly, but one day, long after the truly guilty have passed from the scene, the punishment may come.” Of course, this does not explain why European nations who have no history of empires in the Third World are also confronting settler migration from non-Europeans.

David Wearing, in a column celebrating Marine Le Pen’s recent defeat in the French presidential election, says one of the best things about the presidency of Emmanuelle Macron is his apologetic tone towards his country’s history in Algeria. If the British and French continue to defend their own histories, Wearing suggests, they will be insufficiently broken to welcome mass immigration from their former empires. “[W]hen your subjects in north Africa and elsewhere overthrow your rule, end your empire, and then in some cases come to your country as economic migrants or refugees, you are ready to see these developments as a humiliation, an insult, and a threat,” he states. Wearing suggests the British, as well as the French, need to internalize guilt about their histories so as to “dismantle the hard boundaries between ‘us’ and ‘them’ if a progressive politics, or just a politics of basic decency, is ever to be revived.” This seems to concede that mass immigration is an actual threat if one doesn’t welcome the prospect of complete deconstruction.

In response to such arguments, Douglas Murray once replied: “How long do we have to have our identity erased for? Is there any end limit to it in your eyes or is it only at the point of complete negation?” Murray pointed out that non-European nations with extensive imperial pasts, such as Turkey, also somehow seem immune from these kinds of moral arguments.

Yet the answer to Murray’s rhetorical question is obvious. The process ends when Europeans are extinct. When even the existence of every Western population is defined as imperialist, and every non-Western population is indigenous, the logical conclusion is that Westerners have no right to a single territory anywhere on Earth. Ultimately, this way of thinking culminates in genocide. Proponents of mass immigration are becoming less cautious about admitting that mass migration is about punishment. Those who want Western Civilization to continue must become more courageous in countering it. Immigration should only be permitted if it will benefit our existing population. Immigration policy should not be a way for those who hate us to fulfill their fantasies of revenge.

About the author

James Kirkpatrick, a regular contributor to VDARE.com, is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.

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