Citizenship, Immigration, and the Great Society

Article subtitle: 
Immigration policies should serve the interests of the nation-state; they should not be acts of charity to the world.
Article author: 
Edward J. Erler
Article publisher: 
American Greatness
Article date: 
19 March 2022
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 

This essay is adapted from The United States in Crisis: Citizenship, Immigration, and the Nation State.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Immigration Act of 1965 formed the core of the Great Society. Together, they became what some have called the “Second Reconstruction.” Professor Gabriel Chin noted that  “[i]n a remarkable fifteen-month span between July 1964 and October 1965 . . . these laws unquestionably marked a turning point in American history and dramatically changed American society.” ...

For many years, this demographic and political transformation was viewed as an “unintended consequence” of the act that no one could have foreseen. But scholars have slowly come to the realization that this may have been the “unspoken” imperative of the administrative state. If so, as long-time chronicler of the American political scene Theodore White lamented some years ago, “the Immigration Act of 1965 changed the future of America. . . . The new act of 1965 was noble, revolutionary—and probably the most thoughtless of the many acts of the Great Society.”...

The demographic impact would be dramatic. As of 2012, non-Hispanic whites made up 63 percent of the population; however, in two of the largest states (California and Texas), they were minorities. By 2043, non-Hispanic whites are projected to be a minority in the United States as well. Can it be plausibly argued that this was part of the unspoken and unacknowledged imperative of the administrative state?...

In fact, by promoting multiculturalism, the administrative state has encouraged immigrants to resist integration into society. Rather than seeking new immigrants’ integration within a common American culture, the administrators—and, eventually, the immigrants themselves—demanded that America should change to accommodate those with different cultures. The old goal of the “melting pot” became mocked as a racist legacy in the new universe of multiculturalism....  the “white Western majority,” however, will soon acquire assimilation responsibilities of its own...

The Constitution commands that the interests of American citizens take precedence over any demands emanating from the “world community.” The advocates of the universal homogeneous state, however, no longer believe that national security or preservation of the nation-state is a rational goal; rather, national security must be subordinate to other, more pressing goals more compatible with political correctness, such as openness and diversity....

In retrospect, it is easy to see what a mistake the Immigration Act of 1965 was. It put an emphasis on immigration from Third World countries, whose people would have the greatest difficulty assimilating....