How to Think about Immigration

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By Kevin D. Williamson at the National Review
….Don’t tell my friend Mark Krikorian, who recently praised my views on immigration as “patriotic,” but I am something of a liberal on the question. I am generally in favor of relatively high levels of immigration, at least of certain kinds of immigrants. But whether you are a hawk like Krikorian or a squish like me, there are some things we can and should agree upon…

The United States of America is not the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Federal Register. It is not a legal entity, and it is not an abstraction. It is a particular people, with a particular culture and particular institutions. It is an open society — you can become American in a sense that you cannot become Mongolian — but it is not an infinitely plastic one. The English language, and the culture associated with it, are as basic to the American identity as the Japanese language is to the Japanese identity. Pat Buchanan was mocked and derided for noting that the immigration of 1 million Englishmen to Virginia would be less disruptive than the immigration of 1 million Zulus, because mockery and derision are what one turns to when the opposition is clearly and inarguably in the right….

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