"The reason we can't use immigration to bring in the best people is because our best people don't want immigrants competing with their kids."
-----Ann Coulter, Adios America
One enjoyable thing about reading "Adios America" is encountering regular references to "elites" and the "Third World." Although Coulter lacks a thoroughgoing class analysis, she at least sees that immigration policy is as much in the interest of the one-percent as any other, a point that tends to be lost on "progressives" and what passes for a left in the United States. She also criticizes the unfairness of publicly subsidizing only a tiny minority of the population, namely the one percent. "Immigration is the only area where the rich are allowed to externalize their costs without anyone complaining." Externalize costs! Where is the chorus of leftist voices rising up in support of this right wing populist hitting the nail on the head? And she goes on to ask, hardly rhetorically: "Why shouldn't employers be on the hook when their labor becomes a public charge or commits a crime?" Why indeed?
On the other hand, precisely because she lacks a class perspective, she cannot see why peoples all over the world have claims to make against the U.S. government, claims that don't necessarily mean they are owed a green card or U.S. citizenship, however. "What do we owe the Third World?," she asks rhetorically. Plenty. Capital flows from the Third World to the First World, with the poor heavily subsidizing the rich both within nations and between nations. This pattern provides the impetus for mass immigration of the poor to the developed world, which should be of interest to those, like Coulter, who want to see it stopped. Unfortunately, she remains completely unaware of this whole dimension of immigration, which is the central one.
Coulter is at her best in fearlessly puncturing empty liberal rhetoric. Building a wall on the border is absurd and impossible? "China built a thirteen-thousand-mile wall several centuries before Christ, and it's still working." Trying to stop the flood of immigration at its source can't possibly work? "The NEW WAY of stopping tubs from overflowing is to use mops and blow-dryers. Sure we can always turn the water off, but that won't work because it could always spring a leak. Let's just keep mopping."* We have to grant amnesty to Central American children flooding the country? "To stop the surge at the border, we need to reward the people surging across it." Tear-jerking stories of the plight of individual immigrants are hardly an answer to this logic.
As a work of debunkery "Adios America" has considerable merit.** For example, the claim that Obama is "deporter in chief" is only owed to the fact that the Obama Administration redefined deportation to include "illegal aliens" turned away at the border. In short, the 400,000 annual deportations Obama is said to be responsible for mostly consists of would-be illegal immigrants prevented from entering the country, not actual ones living illegally in the country. It's kind of like calling your landlord "Evicter in chief" because he continually expels people from your apartment who aren't on the rental agreement. War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, border patrol is deportation, locking the front door at night is attacking the homeless, who might otherwise be able to sleep in the warmth of your home. But, but, but, . . .mass immigration of the poor is good for the economy because the Gross Domestic Product swells in reaction to the population increase. Says Coulter: "So does your household budget if I move into your extra bedroom." Touche´.
Coulter is particularly convincing in her dismissal of the charge of racism. Anyone who says, "we liked America the way it was," she notes, is instantly denounced as a racist. And no, "liking America the way it was," does not include Jim Crow policy, which Coulter does not defend nor yearn for a return of in any way. Her complaint is that being against the swamping of the U.S. with impoverished peoples from the Third World is ipso facto regarded as racist, making it impossible to argue for the undesirability of such practices on grounds of the national interest. What she wants is an immigration policy based on merit, not on being a pity case. Absent an explicitly racist definition of merit, it's difficult to see how this constitutes a racist desire.
Coulter does argue that not all cultures are created equal, and that the U.S. has proven itself better able to create wealth for a broad middle class than the vast majority of societies elsewhere (Rwanda being her pick as the representative average achievement level for humanity at large). She adds that people who feel, as she does, that "we liked America the way it was" are simply expressing a desire that that cultural success not be destroyed by mass importation of impoverished people from the Third World. We are not, after all, a rising industrial economy as in the days of yore, but rather, an outsourcing Empire whose middle class is in visible and steady decline. Is it really racist to argue, "first come, first served?"
Like most right-wing populists, Coulter is incensed about immigrant crime: "Americans are utterly unprepared for the cultures being imposed on them, and the media cover-up can't hide the truth forever. People notice when their little girls are raped and killed by Mexicans, their Arab shopkeepers commit honor killings, their Hmong neighbors are pimping out little girls and clubbing German shepherd puppies to death, their Indian landlord is importing concubines, and their Chinese acquaintances are murdering their wives out of 'humiliation.' They notice when Albanians and Russians move in - and suddenly their communities are hotbeds of human trafficking, Medicare fraud, and 'crash for cash' auto insurance frauds. They can see when their natural parks are closed because Mexicans have dumped trash, set wildfires, planted pot farms, and scrawled graffiti on ancient Indian petroglyphs." The usual liberal response is to say that crime rates are lower in communities with large immigrant populations, which misses the point Coulter and others are making. If an American citizen commits a crime, it is something Americans have no choice but to deal with. If an immigrant without a legitimate right to be in the country commits a crime, it is NOT something Americans are obligated to deal with. So the OVERALL crime rate is irrelevant, not to mention Coulter would disagree that heavily immigrant communities have a lower crime rate than non-immigrant communities, since her main contention is that the line between immigrant and U.S. citizen has been hopelessly blurred by "diversity" politics run amok.***
Ostensibly about helping workers, immigration for its own sake is being promoted by a Democratic Party largely lacking a worker constituency. Coulter points out the Democrats' have shed their worker base in preference for identity politics that exacerbate our immigration plight rather than relieving it. "The Democrats have moved from a party of blue collar workers to one of the urban elite - feminists, vegans, drug legalizers, untaxed hedge fund operators, and transgender rights activists." The party is now nearly bereft of working class members, but it is importing a "working class amenable to left-wing politics and violent political demonstrations" to make up for it. By "left wing," of course, she means Democrat. Unfortunately, so does nearly everyone else.
Coulter's proposed solution to our immigration woes, however, IS racist. She wants us to imitate Israel, which is a Jewish state founded on Arab land, with full rights for Jews only. If your objection is to foreigners coming and and displacing an established culture and way of life, proposing Israel as a solution is like proposing water as a solution to drowning. Nevertheless, Coulter LOVES Israel and its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, because they are pursuing Jewish supremacy with the enthusiasm that characterized WASP "Manifest Destiny" in the 19th Century. This is OK, because settler colonialism by a master race of chosen people inevitably advances the human race:
"Without the white settlers, what is known as 'America' would still be an unnamed continent full of migratory tribes chasing the rear end of a buffalo every time their stomachs growled."
In short, Jews and Anglos have the capacity to rise and evolve; others do not. Racist? You bet. But this is a very bipartisan racism, as can easily be verified by the enthusiasm with which both Democrats and Republicans shout themselves hoarse in support of Israel's ongoing dispossession of the Palestinian people.
As for the U.S., only Donald Trump has won Coulter's approval, largely for statements like these: "The influx of foreign workers holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high, and makes it difficult for poor and working class Americans -- including immigrants themselves and their children -- to earn a middle class wage."
You know you're in trouble when a shrieking neo-fascist hysteric and a billionaire political baboon make more sense than "enlightened" liberals.
*The bathtub analogy, while funny, begs an important question. If human beings differ from water, as they do, then a version of events comparing a flood of people to a flood of water will have to take account of those differences. Coulter fails to do this. Obviously, the flood of humans has largely to do with an economic system that cannot provide decent employment to support them where they are from, whereas water is simply a fact of nature. Coulter offers no insight into how the economic failures of capitalism might be properly dealt with.
**However, Coulter repeats the false claim that "illegal immigrants don't pay taxes," which is only true of those who work exclusively for cash and don't report the income, a tiny minority of the millions of them currently working in the U.S. Anyone listed on a payroll, even those working under a false name, have taxes deducted from their pay.
***[Unfortunately, the particulars of Coulter's crime claims do not
inspire a lot of confidence. She says, for example, that according to
"extremely conservative figures" from the Government Accountability
Office, "Mexicans alone . . . have murdered a minimum of twenty-three
thousand Americans in the last few decades." In a footnote, she reveals
her calculations. There are a "minimum" of 351,000 criminal immigrants
in prison in the U.S., of which between 66 and 68 percent are Mexicans.
If 68% is correct, then there are 238,680 Mexicans in U.S. prisons. One
percent of all criminal aliens have committed murder in the U.S.
Therefore, she says, over 23,000 murders have been committed by Mexicans
against "Americans." Aside from the issue of how many of the murder
victims might not qualify as "Americans" by Coulter's standards, we have
the fact that one percent of 238,680 is 2387, not "over 23,000."]