Immigration, Not Afghanistan, Has Been Our Longest War

Article subtitle: 
And A Complete, Possibly Terminal, Failure Of Democracy
Article author: 
John Derbyshire
Article publisher: 
Article date: 
30 August 2021
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 

You've been hearing a lot recently about how Afghanistan has been America's Longest War. No: Immigration has been our Longest War, ours and Britain's. From the Hart-Celler Immigration Act to today: 56 years. From Enoch Powell's famous speech urging immigration restriction to today: 53 years. There have been some small victories for common sense this month. But also bad news. The whole experience has been a complete, and possibly terminal, failure of Democracy.

First, the bad news.

You probably saw the reports that encounters on our southern border—encounters, that is, between agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and foreigners trying to enter our country illegally—these encounters hit a record number in July: over 210,000.

CBP estimates that over and above the 210,000 aliens encountered, a further 37,000 illegals reportedly evaded Border Patrol entirely. Nobody can tell me how they get that number, and experts, like Todd Bensman at the Center for Immigration Studies, think it is "likely a significant undercount.”...

It used to be that the great majority of encounters led to expulsions: 85 percent for Donald Trump's last full month in office. Eighty-five percent of illegal border crossers were expelled.... For the month of July it was down to 47 percetn...

Most expulsions are done under Title 42, an order out of the Centers for Disease Control [CDC]...

But in the matter of Asylum, there was a positive development this week. The development concerned MPP, the Migrant Protection Protocol.

MPP—informally known as the "Remain in Mexico" policy—was another Trump initiative....

What is much less encouraging, when you think about it, is the failure of democratic processes to make much of a dent in elite enthusiasm for mass immigration....

I was not long out of college when Enoch Powell made his great speech, with those memorable phrases that still resonate:... That was 53 years ago.... In these 53 years Britain has been utterly transformed....

This is a complete, possibly terminal, failure of democracy....


A brief history of US immigration policy and laws

How many illegal aliens reside in the United States?