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Joseph Sobran’s
Washington Watch

The Immigrant “Invasion”

(Reprinted from the issue of April 20, 2006)

Capitol Bldg, Washington Watch logo for The Immigrant 'Invasion'The huge demonstrations of mostly Mexican immigrants around the country on April 10 have heated up the already sizzling debate over illegal aliens. As my old mentor James Burnham used to say, “When there’s no solution, there’s no problem.” I think this is a case in point.

There is no question of deporting 10 or 20 million people, legal or not. It’s far bigger than a mere “problem.” And whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing on balance, government “solutions” are sure to make it worse than it would otherwise be.

An analogy: Abraham Lincoln wanted to get rid of slavery, but only if the former slaves could be persuaded to leave the country. He was convinced that “the African” could never live peacefully and in full equality with the white man in America. And most whites — probably the great majority — agreed with him.

So why didn’t the idea of “colonization” catch on? Lincoln fought hard for it, even during the Civil War, and many prominent Americans — Jefferson, Henry Clay, and others — also advocated it.

But most whites probably realized it was futile. The four million blacks in America were reproducing faster than they could be transported, and they had no intention of leaving. Lincoln’s dream was vain, and he finally had to abandon it. It was easier to turn slaves into citizens than to remove them.

Uncontrollable immigration has already changed this country forever, even if it ceases tomorrow. Some people want to talk absurd happy talk about it, as if it could have no unpleasant side effects at all. As Lincoln saw, even abolishing slavery was bound to create other hardships. You may think every human being is a gift from God, but how many do you want in your living room at once?

But in any case this population change is simply irreversible, a historical development that demands new ways of thinking. It is bringing some strains, especially in the Southwest, where many immigrants speak of reconquista and want to throw their weight around, and Mexico’s arrogant president, Vicente Fox, seems to delight in making trouble.

It never seems to occur to him that his own chronically irresponsible government is what drives so many of his countrymen north. Checked the peso lately? Inflation, which impoverishes whole populations, isn’t caused by locusts. Now this odious demagogue professes to speak as the champion of the people he has oppressed. They are caught between two lawless bureaucratic behemoths, alias “democracies.”

In a few years this is bound to bring our welfare state, already overloaded, to a crisis. To me, this is the most disturbing prospect we face.

But I find it hard to see how any Christian can get indignant about poor men who leave home to take tough, low-paying jobs in order to feed their families. I can’t imagine Jesus standing on the border to turn them back. As for angry talk of an “invasion,” it’s a pretty peaceful one, and the complaint comes oddly from Americans who believe their own country has the right to invade countries around the world, and not necessarily in a pacific manner.

Be that as it may, our situation has changed forever. In effect a whole nation has already crossed the border, and it’s here to stay. It can be cursed, insulted, and penalized, but not gotten rid of. That is the great, stark fact that must be faced. It will bring many problems, some that can be solved, some that can at least be adjusted to, some that will just have to be endured — and probably more blessings than we can foresee right now.

Now They Tell Us

It now transpires that a secret Pentagon fact-finding mission reported to the Bush administration on May 27, 2003, that the two small trailers captured early in the Iraq war were not mobile “biological laboratories,” as President Bush claimed. Nevertheless, he insisted, “We have found the weapons of mass destruction.” Yet another pretext for war, punctured.

Tiresome, isn’t it? And Bush expects us to believe him when he says that Seymour Hersh, one of the best and most honorable reporters of our time, is merely giving us “wild speculation” when he says this administration is gearing up for war on Iran. From My Lai to Abu Ghraib, Hersh has been digging out the stories men in power don’t want us to hear.

From time to time readers complain that I am too “negative” about Bush. Well, it appears I am hardly alone: A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds 60% of respondents giving him negative ratings, with only 38% positive.

So if I sound negative, I can only say, Wait until you hear from the voters in November. I suspect the disparity will be even greater. Of course many voters will just stay home, including disappointed conservatives who won’t have the heart to give the Republicans another chance. By nearly Read Joe Sobran's columns the day he writes them!every conservative standard, Bush has failed miserably — often worse than Bill Clinton.

Of course one reason Clinton was no worse than he was is that he faced a Republican Congress after 1994. Bush doesn’t have that excuse. Like Lyndon Johnson, he has had nearly everything his way; and like Johnson, he has been undone by his own power.

Neither party can be trusted; the best we can hope for now is a return to good old “gridlock.”

Easter Tidings

As Holy Week approached, the unbiased liberal media swung into action with a spate of news stories calculated to discredit Christianity.

Big play was given to a scientist’s surmise that Jesus was able to walk on the Sea of Galilee because it was frozen. He was actually walking on ice! I suppose the real marvel was that the apostles were strong enough to row a boat through the ice. And apparently St. Peter fell through a hole in same.

Even bigger play was given to the discovery of the fossil of a fish with fins that could serve as rudimentary legs, enabling it to walk on land (or was it ice?).

This, of course, proves that Darwin was right and Christian creationists are wrong. Science scores again!

Not far behind was the sensational publication of a second-century Gnostic Gospel According to Judas, revealing that Jesus assigned Judas to do what he did, so it wasn’t really a betrayal at all.

Garry Wills has written in a similar vein about “St. Judas,” which I guess means that we can pray for his intercession now. (How should we word our pleas? “O St. Judas, secret buddy of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions ...”?) Two thousand years of really bad press is finally being corrected.

And these were just some of the highlights of what might be called the ABC News — Anything But Christianity.

Happy Easter!

“The more trust our rulers demand of us, the less they deserve to be trusted” — SOBRANS. If you have not seen my monthly newsletter yet, give my office a call at 800-513-5053 and request a free sample, or better yet, subscribe for two years for just $85. New subscribers get two gifts with their subscription. More details can be found at the Subscription page of my website.

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Joseph Sobran

Copyright © 2006 by The Wanderer,
the National Catholic Weekly founded in 1867
Reprinted with permission

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