Buchanan warns of flood of il­le­gals, faults gov’t in­ac­tion

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Eric Pfeif­fer

Pat Buchanan says il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion from poor and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries will over­whelm the United States and other West­ern coun­tries in the next 50 years un­less some­thing is done.

“We’ve al­ready won the bat­tle with the pub­lic,” Mr. Buchanan tells The Wash­ing­ton Times. “The ques­tion is, when will the gov­ern­ment re­spond?”

In his new book “State of Emer­gency: The Third World In­va­sion and Con­quest of Amer­ica,” the for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date and White House speech­writer ex­am­ines im­mi­gra­tion-re­lated so­cial prob­lems and doc­u­ments high lev­els of sup­port among His­pan­ics for the so-called “Re­con­quista” of the U.S. South­west.

Sev­eral au­thors have ad­dressed the im­mi­gra­tion is­sue in re­cent years, but Mr. Buchanan’s book — ranked No. 2 at Ama­zon.com on Aug. 21 — pro­poses mea­sures to ad­dress the “emer­gency” that are more far-reach­ing than any leg­is­la­tion ad­vo­cated by con­ser­va­tives in Congress.

His plan in­cludes de­port­ing il­le­gal aliens with crim­i­nal back­grounds, a 10-year limit on le­gal im­mi­gra­tion set be­tween 150,000 and 200,000 per­sons per year, and a $10 bil­lion, 2,000-mile se­cu­rity fence along the border of the United States and Mex­ico.

With an es­ti­mated 12 mil­lion to 20 mil­lion il­le­gal aliens in the United States, which now has about 34 mil­lion for­eign-born res­i­dents, polls in­di­cate most Amer­i­cans share Mr. Buchanan’s con­cerns. A 2003 sur­vey found that 58 per­cent would pre­fer to­tal an­nual im­mi­gra­tion be re­duced to be­low 300,000, a two-thirds re­duc­tion from cur­rent lev­els of 1 mil­lion per year.

Yet crit­ics say a “get tough” approach is im­prac­ti­cal.

“Even if Mr. Buchanan’s pro­pos­als were put into place, we’d still have ris­ing lev­els of im­mi­gra­tion,” says Daniel T. Gris­wold, a scholar at the lib­er­tar­ian Cato In­sti­tute. “Frus­tra­tion with the is­sue is ris­ing. Congress has ut­terly failed to deal with the is­sue. But that doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily point to Pat Buchanan’s pre­scrip­tion.”

Since 2000, more than 400,000 il­le­gal aliens a year have en­tered the United States, the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity re­cently es­ti­mated. Most of the il­le­gals came from Mex­ico, DHS re­ported.

In his book, Mr. Buchanan says high lev­els of im­mi­gra­tion threaten the fu­ture of Amer­i­can cul­ture.

“As Rome passed away, so the West is pass­ing away, from the same causes and in much the same way,” Mr. Buchanan writes. “What the Danube and Rhine were to Rome, the Rio Grande and Mediter­ranean are to Amer­ica and Europe, the fron­tiers of a civ­i­liza­tion no longer de­fended.”

Mr. Buchanan has long been seen as a po­lar­iz­ing fig­ure in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics — he was cas­ti­gated by some in the Repub­li­can Party for his 1992 Repub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion ad­dress, in which he spoke of a “cul­tural war [. . .] for the soul of Amer­ica.” Many of Mr. Buchanan’s crit­ics view his im­mi­gra­tion rhetoric as coun­ter­pro­duc­tive.

“I don’t know what kind of Amer­ica he en­vi­sions, but I think that im­mi­grants are strength­en­ing Amer­ica,” said Mr. Gris­wold, di­rec­tor of Cato’s Cen­ter for Trade Pol­icy Stud­ies.

But Mr. Buchanan says the im­mi­gra­tion de­bate has shifted to­ward his po­si­tion.

“In 1992, I was down in Cal­i­for­nia call­ing for only 70 miles of border fenc­ing,” Mr. Buchanan said. “And I was called a lot of bad things. If I’m in­sen­si­tive, then so are the 70 per­cent of Amer­i­cans who agree with me on this is­sue.”

Po­lit­i­cally, nei­ther Repub­li­cans nor Democrats have been able to gain an up­per hand on the im­mi­gra­tion is­sue, with a re­cent Newsweek poll show­ing 39 per­cent of Amer­i­cans trust Democrats more to han­dle im­mi­gra­tion, while 37 per­cent chose Repub­li­cans.

Mr. Buchanan has harsh words for Repub­li­cans in Congress. He de­nounces as “de facto amnesty” the Se­nate-passed bill spon­sored by Sens. John McCain, Ari­zona Repub­li­can, and Ed­ward M. Kennedy, Mas­sachusetts Demo­crat. How­ever, Mr. Buchanan adds that when he started writ­ing his book, “I didn’t know the House would push for such a strong bill,” speak­ing of the en­force­ment-only mea­sure passed by the House in De­cem­ber.

“Congress is a wholly owned sub­sidiary of cor­po­rate Amer­ica,” Mr. Buchanan says when asked why elected of­fi­cials do not sup­port more strin­gent re­stric­tions on im­mi­gra­tion. “Un­til they get it right, they should be de­feated at the bal­lot box.”

In his book, how­ever, Mr. Buchanan saves his strong­est crit­i­cism for Pres­i­dent Bush, writ­ing: “Con­cerned about his legacy, Ge­orge W. Bush may yet live to see his name en­tered into the his­tory of his coun­try as the pres­i­dent who lost the Amer­i­can South­west that James K. Polk won for the United States.”

Michael Con­nor / The Wash­ing­ton Times

Not go­ing to dance around the is­sue: Pat Buchanan

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