Monday, February 14, 2011

Enoch was right

Cal Thomas

In a speech to a security conference in Munich, British Prime Minister David Cameron declared state multiculturalism a failure. For good measure, Cameron said Britain also must get tougher on Islamic extremists. Predictably, this has angered Islamic extremists.

A genuinely liberal country, he said, "believes in certain values and actively promotes them. ... Freedom of speech. Freedom of worship. Democracy. The rule of law, equal rights, regardless of race, sex or sexuality."

Britain's policy should be to require -- yes, require -- immigrants to become part of a melting pot and not individual vegetables floating around in a multicultural stew. Otherwise, they should not be admitted.

When critics of multiculturalism and unbridled immigration warned of the inevitability of a loss of nationhood and national identity, they were denounced as alarmists, even racists.

The late British parliamentarian Enoch Powell suffered such attacks (and earned many kudos) when he repeatedly warned about the dangers of open-ended immigration without assimilation. In a controversial speech to a Conservative Party conference in 1968, Powell began his address, known as "Rivers of Blood," with what ought to be an obvious statement: "The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils. In seeking to do so, it encounters obstacles, which are deeply rooted in human nature."

Powell argued that when it comes to multiculturalism and immigration, Britain had failed in that mandate. Looking into the future, Powell accurately predicted what has come to pass from mass and uncontrolled immigration: "Of course, it will not be evenly distributed from Margate to Aberystwyth and from Penzance to Aberdeen. Whole areas, towns and parts of towns across England will be occupied by sections of the immigrant and immigrant-descended population."

Powell wasn't so much railing against immigrants, though his critics read it in those terms, but against Britain's refusal to integrate them into British culture.

And then Powell let the timid class have it with this line: "There could be no grosser misconception of the realities than is entertained by those who vociferously demand legislation as they call it 'against discrimination', whether they be leader-writers of the same kidney and sometimes on the same newspapers which year after year in the 1930s tried to blind this country to the rising peril which confronted it, or archbishops who live in palaces, faring delicately with the bedclothes pulled right up over their heads. They have got it exactly and diametrically wrong."

In 1968, Britain still had time to reverse course, but because its leaders didn't want to be called "racists" and immigrants were doing jobs British citizens were increasingly reluctant to do (sound familiar?) the floodgates were left open. It may be too late for Britain, as it may be too late for France and Germany.

It isn't too late for the United States, though it is getting close. Too many American leaders suffer from the same weak-kneed syndrome that has gripped Britain. Who will tell immigrants to America that the days of multiculturalism are over and if they want to come to America, they must do so legally and expect to become Americans with no hyphens, no allegiance to another country, and no agenda other than the improvement of the United States?

Enoch Powell was right four decades ago. David Cameron is right today. If British leaders had listened to Powell then, Cameron would not have needed to make his Munich speech.


Senator's Bill Picks Up Administration’s Slack on Immigration Enforcement

Senator Orrin Hatch came to The Heritage Foundation on Friday to present his forthcoming immigration bill—“The Strengthening our Commitment to Legal Immigration and America’s Security Act.” His remarks, and the content of his bill, are a step in the right direction on immigration and border security—given that President Obama used his State of the Union address to make another case for amnesty.

The bill was written in collaboration with members of Congress from states along the southwestern border. As Hatch said, it’s important to work with those who, “of all people, know what resources we need to deploy to accomplish the job.” It is founded upon the conviction that federal immigration law needs to be enforced, not ignored. Senator Hatch emphasized the connection between liberty and the rule of law: “Most Americans believe that our laws ought to be enforced…. That’s one of the things that’s kept us so free.”

The bill addresses key areas in which law enforcement has been lacking under the Obama Administration. Enforcement has been weak, of course, because Secretary Napolitano’s model for immigration reform is an inherently unstable, metaphorical three-legged stool—premised largely on an expensive amnesty that would increase, not decrease the illegal immigration problem. Heritage has proposed an alternate “three-legged stool,” absent amnesty—and including internal enforcement, border security, and reforms to the legal immigration system. Senator Hatch’s bill helps to make the border more secure and increase interior enforcement efforts.

Specifically, the bill, among several reforms, would take actions such as remedying systematic abuse of the deferral/parole prerogative in immigration cases and ensuring that jurisdictions that take federal dollars for immigration enforcement aren’t actually acting as sanctuaries for illegal immigration. It would also track welfare payments to illegal immigrants and begin to combat identify theft. One way Hatch’s bill attacks identity theft is requiring the IRS to take a proactive approach to the theft of Social Security Numbers so that no citizen finds himself untangling an identity theft mess built up over fifteen years. Hatch says the IRS is “the federal agency that is best suited to track” identity theft.

Senator Hatch’s bill takes concrete steps to fill up gaps in the enforcement of immigration laws where the current administration will not act. Congress should move to restore the rule of law where it has lapsed.


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