It is generally true that the past is the best guide to the future that we have but that is not to say that it is always a good guide. Does anybody seriously think that (say) America of 100 years ago is the same as the America of today?

Yet by far the commonest argument coming from the Left about immigration in general and about Muslim immigrants in particular is precisely that America of today IS just like the America of 100 years ago. You can read the latest such article in the NYT (by Kristof). It is an argument so hackneyed by now that he could almost have written it in his sleep. Maybe he did.

The argument is that the Irish, Italians and others who came to America in the 19th century were viewed with grave suspicion by many and suffered from discrimination but in the end blended in seamlessly with Americans of other ancestries: The melting pot.

From that Kristoff and others conclude that Muslims will eventually “melt” into a homogeneous American population also. And perhaps many will. But there are two crucial difference that will at least greatly hinder full integration:

1). In the 19th and most of the 20th century, immigrants were EXPECTED to assimilate whereas these days multiculturalism reigns and the very word “assimilate” is almost an obscenity to the Left.

2). The Italians, Irish and Poles came from CHRISTIAN backgrounds so had a considerable degree of common culture with Americans originating from earlier waves of immigration. More to the point they did not come from a culture that DESPISES Christian and post-Christian civilization, whereas Muslims do.

It is a basic imperative of Islam to attack and if possible conquer other civilizations — and they have been doing it more or less continuously ever since the conquests led by Mohammed himself. They were even attacking Christian targets at the time of America’s War of Independence and President Jefferson sent warships to combat them.

So the wave of Muslim immigrants is a wave of people whose basic teachings are hostile to America. That has never happened before and therefore makes comparisons with previous immigrant waves invalid.

The controversy over the “Ground Zero” mosque in NYC has of course brought to the fore the question of how Americans should react to Muslims in their midst. I myself, as an Australian living in the happy obscurity of a small Australian city most people have never even heard of, have no dog in that fight. I think the response to the mosque proposal is for New Yorkers and New Yorkers alone to judge. But I don’t think it is unreasonable for New Yorkers to be hostile to anything Muslim given the hostility of Islam to the West.

But Muslims are still a very small immigrant group in America and the long-standing argument about immigration to America is about Latino illegals, not Muslims. And here we see the same argument from the Left: People who arrived legally from Europe a century or so ago eventually assimilated so people who arrive illegally from Mexico (etc.) will also eventually assimilate. And no doubt many will and in fact many have already done so.

But arriving legally and arriving illegally are two very different things and Europe is also very different from Latin America. Europe is the fountainhead of modern civilization whereas Latin America is a civilizational backwater (to put it kindly). So once again there are large differences between earlier arrivals and recent ones that create considerable potential for outcomes different from what we have seen in the past.

And the omens for Hispanic illegals assimilating are not good. The children of Irish, Polish, Italian (etc.) legal immigrants became indistinguishable from other Americans but that is not so with the Hispanics. That Hispanics have a notably higher crime-rate than non-Hispanic whites is concern enough but their children are even worse, even more prone to criminality. As well as black gang-bangers America now has a proliferation of Hispanic gang bangers. Far from assimilating into the mainstream, the children of the illegals have moved even further away from it.

So once again the complexities of reality upset the simplistic theories of the Left. Neither in the case of Muslims nor in the case of Hispanic illegals can we expect the universal assimilation of the past. Permanently hostile subgroups are instead to be expected. Americans are right to be concerned about that.

We read:

One of the gun dealers of Austin’s Gun Show is sentenced to 6-months at a federal work camp for selling a weapon to an undocumented immigrant. Independent firearms dealer-Paul Copeland says for years he has commonly sold handguns and antique weapons with no problems and prior to his arrest the illegal immigrant showed him what appeared to be a valid Texas driver’s license.

In January 2009, the ATF along with the Austin police department set up a sting operation targeting independent firearms dealers that were selling weapons to illegal immigrants, both inside the show and outside the Austin’s Gun Show’s parking lot.

Got that? The illegal had valid ID, yet, Copeland was the one arrested and sentenced. If Copeland had asked for more, he would have been in violation of federal “supremacy” laws, ya know. Perhaps the ATF could have arrested the illegals?

Investigators with the Austin police department believed many of the guns sold to the undocumented immigrants at the show were headed back across the Texas-Mexico border. “I guess you need ask them for their documentation too; if the police aren’t going to profile why should the common citizen have to” says Copeland. He says none of the undocumented immigrants that were asked to testify against him were arrested by federal agents.

The police are probably afraid to ask for ID and arrest the illegals, otherwise, the Obama administration will sue them.

Austin’s Federal Judge Sam Sparks sentenced Copeland to spend the next 6-months at a federal work camp followed by 2-years of probation.

And what of the illegal who purchased the gun with valid ID? No one seems to know.

SOURCE

The problem is low-skilled immigrants from central Europe and illegals from everywhere but the government has no control over arrivals of the former (unless it leaves the EU) and a proven inability to do much about the latter. So the only way they can effectively cut immigration is to bar skilled migrants from the rest of the world — which will at least do no good and probably will do harm

There is one very effective step they could take but they are probably too centrist to do it: Deny welfare benefits to immigrants until they have made ten years of National Insurance contributions

The Government has got its policy on immigration caps wrong and should drop it in favour of a points-based system, according to the head of the business group, London First, and leading international companies.

With just days left until submissions to the Government consultation on immigration controls are due, businesses are warning caps on skilled labour could threaten the recovery and drive business abroad.

London First claims that the coalition’s plans to cap non-EU immigration will affect only 55,000 of the 567,000 migrants who came to the UK, based on last year’s figures. Those migrants are what is known as Tier 1 and Tier 2 migrants – highly skilled and skilled workers who are in many cases key employees.

“I do not think the public had these people in mind when they voted for this Government’s plan to cap immigration,” Baroness Valentine, chief executive of London First, said.

The deadline for submissions to the Migration Advisory Committee is Tuesday. London First and its members are calling for the cap on Tier 2 migrants, skilled workers, to be lifted. The group is particularly keen on inter-company immigration – where workers move between different national offices – to be uncapped.

The temporary cap on immigration, introduced earlier this summer, is due to end in April next year when permanent limits could be put in place.

The Government says it plans to reduce net immigration from the current 500,000 per year to “tens of thousands”. But London First questions how this is possible by targeting the 50,000 Tier 1 and 2 migrants that arrive each year.

SOURCE

Because it might cause him “hardship”! Isn’t that exactly what he has earned?

A DECISION to kick a convicted sexual predator out of Australia has been overturned because the pervert loves footy and his hero is Peter Brock.

As thousands of innocent would-be migrants are sent packing each year, the rapist and paedophile is now free to walk the streets of Melbourne despite Immigration Minister Chris Evans’ decision to deport him.

The man has just been released from prison and is on the registered sex offenders’ list for the rest of his life. He served a 7 1/2-year sentence for the rape of his partner and attempted incest on his step-daughter, then 12, which a judge described as “revolting”.

But a tribunal decided the man was “virtually an Australian person”, though he was not a citizen, and that it would be unfair to deport him to his homeland of Malta.

The decision has sparked outrage and the minister is considering his options, including an appeal to the Federal Court.

The registered sex offender, who cannot be named for legal reasons and is known as DNCW, fought the decision to deport him in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, which reviews ministerial decisions.

The tribunal’s senior member, John Handley, said even though the offences committed by the man were “repulsive” it would cause him “hardship” if he was deported.

He said the man had lived in Australia since he was four, with the exception of a few years when his family returned to Malta, and he had no memory of his homeland. “(He) is virtually an Australian person. He supports an Australian Rules football team. He also enjoys tennis, volleyball, badminton and soccer. He enjoys motorbike and motor car racing and his hero was Peter Brock,” Mr Handley said.

Even though DNCW described the man’s relationship with his partner in 2003 as “pretty good”, he raped her.

He then twice tried to have incestuous sex with his 12-year-old step-daughter. Mr Handley said: “The attempted incest offences, by their description alone, are revolting. “The man described himself as a father figure (to the girl). Despite her protests, he violated her on two occasions.

“(The partner who was raped) was devastated and inconsolable whilst giving evidence. I do not know of any more disgraceful or depraved conduct by a man upon a woman.”

The man also had a string of prior convictions including theft, unlawful assault, breach of an intervention order, burglary and cultivating a narcotic plant, he said.

The man had no close relatives in Malta, barely spoke the language, was not eligible for social security in Malta and would “suffer considerable hardship”, he said.

An Australian resident of 14 years who was deported to Sri Lanka forcing his elderly mother, who is a citizen, to return with him, is outraged. Edward Joseph, who was caring for his 93-year-old mother, Irene, in Box Hill until his deportation in July, was refused a protection visa even though he claimed persecution as a Tamil.

“Australia is allowing a convicted rapist to remain in the country,” he said. “If justice is what the Australian Government has given this rapist, please give my mother and I the same justice. “We are not rapists but, rather, ordinary people who have been made to suffer as a result of poor administrative decision-making of the Department of Immigration.”

The tribunal has reviewed 270 of these cases of which it has overturned more than a third of the minister’s refusals.

Justice advocate Steve Medcraft said the tribunal should “stick to backyard disputes” because, despite its senior members earning about $200,000 a year, they had no background in criminal law.

SOURCE

The Justice Department says Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio failed to turn over documents in its investigation into whether his department discriminated against Latinos while pursuing illegal immigrants.

The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday sued a controversial and popular Arizona sheriff, alleging that his department was refusing to cooperate with an investigation into whether it discriminated against Latinos while trying to catch illegal immigrants.

The Justice Department said that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was the first local law enforcement official in 30 years to refuse to provide documents in a federal civil rights inquiry. The federal government could withhold $113 million in funding from Maricopa County if Arpaio can’t produce records demonstrating that he avoids racial discrimination.

“The actions of the sheriff’s office are unprecedented. It is unfortunate that the department was forced to resort to litigation to gain access to public documents and facilities,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the department’s Civil Rights Division.

Arpaio contended that the lawsuit was a political move by the Obama administration, which filed another high-profile lawsuit against Arizona this summer to stop a tough new immigration law from taking effect.

“These actions make it abundantly clear that Arizona, including this sheriff, is Washington’s new whipping boy,” Arpaio said in a statement. “Washington isn’t playing fair and it’s time Americans everywhere wake up and see this administration for what it really is — calculating, underhanded at times and certainly not looking out for the best interests of the legal citizens residing in this country.”

Arpaio, who calls himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” has drawn praise and criticism for his aggressive attempts to enforce immigration laws. Most prominent are operations in which his deputies fan out across immigrant neighborhoods, stopping people for sometimes minor violations, such as jaywalking, and asking their immigration status.

Critics contend that the operations amount to racial profiling. Arpaio says his deputies only look for people breaking the law, an assertion he reiterated at a televised news conference Thursday in Phoenix. “I’m very confident that my deputies don’t racially profile,” he said.

The Obama administration last year revoked Arpaio’s authority to enforce federal immigration laws on the streets, a move that had little practical effect because the sheriff said state law allows him to continue his operations. But his battle with the federal government predates the Obama presidency.

In the summer of 2008, under President George W. Bush, the Justice Department launched a preliminary investigation into the allegations of racial profiling. In March 2009, after President Obama had assumed office, the department expanded the inquiry into a full-fledged probe.

The investigation started with what federal officials contended was a routine document request — 51 categories of material. According to the lawsuit filed Thursday, the department received only 11 pages.

The last time the Justice Department had to sue to obtain documents in a civil rights probe was during a 1978 investigation of employment practices of a sheriff’s department in Virginia.

For the last 18 months, Arpaio has publicly said he would not give federal investigators access to his jails or other facilities and dismissed the inquiry as politically motivated. His lawyer met with Justice Department lawyers in Washington last week and contended that the material the federal government requested was outside its scope of investigation.

This is not Arpaio’s first battle over documents related to possible civil rights abuses. His department faces a lawsuit from an array of civil rights groups for allegedly racially profiling. A federal judge this year found that Arpaio’s department improperly destroyed immigration-related paperwork that was evidence in that case, and approved sanctions against the agency.

Arpaio’s stance has made him popular in Arizona, the main point of entry for migrants illegally crossing the Mexican border. He was one of the most prominent backers of SB 1070, the aggressive state law mandating that police verify the status of people they stop and suspect are illegal immigrants. The main parts of the law were placed on hold in late July by a federal judge in response to the Obama administration’s suit, and the matter is expected to end up in the Supreme Court.

Legal experts said that, despite the combustible backdrop of racial politics, a brash sheriff and local defiance of Washington, Thursday’s lawsuit will turn on narrow legal matters such as what the federal government can request under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Arpaio’s stance is “more your standard, hardball litigation than it is a challenge to the authority of the federal government,” said G. “Jack” Chin, a law professor at the University of Arizona.

Both sides in the contentious immigration debate were quick to seize on Thursday’s lawsuit.

“Unless a judge can put some serious sanctions [on him], Arpaio will continue to thumb his nose at the entire justice system,” said Lydia Guzman, president of the immigrant rights group Somos America, or We Are America, which is a plaintiff in the racial profiling case against the sheriff’s office.

Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce, appearing next to the sheriff at his news conference, said the lawsuit shows that federal civil rights investigators have not been able to turn up any evidence of misconduct by Arpaio’s department. “It’s simply a witch hunt,” he said.

As he usually does when challenged, Arpaio promised to forge ahead with his operations. “I’m going to continue, maybe tomorrow, to enforce all the illegal immigration laws,” he said. “I’m not going to be intimidated by the Justice Department.”

SOURCE

Which European politician said in July that his country was “suffering from 50 years of lax immigration rules that have led to a failure of integration”? Was it Geert Wilders, the Dutch anti-Islamic populist? Was it Umberto Bossi, leader of Italy’s Northern League? Perhaps it was Thilo Sarrazin, the Social Democrat who appears likely to be dismissed from the board of Germany’s Bundesbank for making provocative remarks about immigrants?

Actually, the speaker in question was Nicolas Sarkozy. But the fact that the French president’s comments could just as easily have come from the lips of prominent public figures in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands illustrates how a culturally defensive approach to immigration is shared across a significant part of the western European political spectrum, not to mention society at large.

It is a mood that, over the past 12 months, has caused Swiss citizens to vote for a ban on the construction of minarets. It has prompted the governments of France and Belgium to take steps to prohibit the wearing of face-covering veils. It has encouraged the French state to launch a crackdown on Roma migrants, following on the heels of a similar initiative in Italy.

Largely because of fears that millions of Muslim Turks might seek homes, jobs and welfare benefits in western European cities, it has caused public support to drain away for Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union. Finally, it has driven Mr Sarrazin’s newly published book, Deutschland schafft sich ab (“Germany does away with itself”), an anti-immigrant diatribe, to the top of the bestseller list on the German-language site of Amazon, the online retailer.

After two tumultuous years in which first Europe’s banking system and then its monetary union came close to collapse, one might think that European politicians face more pressing tasks than the suppression of new minarets, the elimination of veils or the expulsion of a few thousand Roma. But it is no coincidence that, as Europe’s economic performance has gone into relative decline in the era of globalisation, so its sensitivities on questions of identity and culture have grown more acute.

Low birth rates, ageing populations and pressure on the public finances to pay for future pension and healthcare entitlements aggravate these anxieties. Slowly but surely, the perception has arisen that the “native” cultures of France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands are at risk of being swamped by tides of immigrants who breed more than the indigenous majority and who are neither willing nor able to assimilate.

This perception, visible in the UK as well, has obvious racist foundations but does not always represent racism in its purest form. Pim Fortuyn, the populist Dutch politician who was murdered in 2002, criticised his nation’s open immigration policies partly on the grounds that many Moroccan and Turkish immigrants rejected Dutch values of social tolerance and sexual liberalism. Similar concerns about the conservative attitudes of Muslim immigrants, especially in relation to women’s rights, are visible in Sweden. All this is a rather different matter from the explicitly far-right stance of parties such as France’s National Front, with its roots in the collaborationist Vichy regime of the 1940s and its support from the embittered pied-noir colonists who returned to France after the Algerian war of independence.

Even so, Europe cannot have it both ways. On the one hand, Europeans want to protect their high living standards and their social and economic model, blending free enterprise with a generous array of state-supplied public services. On the other hand, they want to ring-fence their national cultures with controls on immigration. But Europe’s feeble demographic outlook makes the first goal incompatible with the second.

No country better exemplifies this contradiction than Germany. “The Turks are taking over Germany exactly as the [ethnic Albanian] Kosovars took over Kosovo – with a higher birth rate,” says Mr Sarrazin. “I don’t want the country of my grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be largely Muslim, or that Turkish or Arabic will be spoken in large areas, that women will wear headscarves and the daily rhythm is set by the call of the muezzin.”

Mr Sarrazin is preoccupied by expert models that predict a fall in Germany’s population, now about 82m, to roughly 70m by 2050 and – assuming unchanged birth rates and no more immigration – a further slump to as low as 24m by 2100. Such assumptions are doubtless open to question, but it remains a fact that Germany’s average annual ratio of eight births per 1,000 women is the lowest in the world. Crucially, however, the memory of Nazi schemes to promote motherhood continues to inhibit governments in Berlin from urging women to have more children.

In spite of these trends, Mr Sarrazin is plainly exaggerating when he forecasts a Germany dominated by mullahs, headscarves and the Turkish language. Turkish emigration to Germany has declined dramatically since the start of this century. In 2008, the latest year for which figures are available, there was actually a small net movement in the other direction.

Moreover, if it is accepted that assimilation has not proved wholly successful, much of the explanation lies in the restrictive citizenship law that Germany applied until 2000. The new law, making it easier for children born in Germany to Turks and other foreigners to acquire citizenship, has proved a promising motor of social integration.

SOURCE

It’s not just Arizona. In states far from the Mexico border — from liberal Massachusetts to moderate Iowa — Democrats and Republicans in gubernatorial races are running on strict anti-illegal-immigration platforms, pledging to sign an array of tough enforcement measures into law come January.

Of the 37 gubernatorial races this year, candidates in more than 20 states have endorsed adopting a strict Arizona-style immigration law or passing legislation that makes it harder for illegal immigrants to live, work and access basic public benefits in their states, according to a POLITICO analysis.

The prevalence of the issue means the Obama administration could find itself battling Arizona-style flare-ups in statehouses across the country, raising pressure on the White House and Congress to break the deadlock in Washington over comprehensive immigration reform.

The Justice Department sued Arizona in hopes of discouraging other states from following its lead and won a ruling blocking provisions of the law that immigrant advocates found most objectionable. But that hasn’t stopped some gubernatorial candidates from trying to one-up each other on the issue.

Georgia Democratic nominee Roy Barnes endorses an Arizona-style law for the state, saying he would sign similar legislation if elected. So does Georgia’s Republican nominee, former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, a staunch critic of comprehensive immigration reform who used the first ad of his primary campaign to endorse the Arizona crackdown. “If President Obama sues us too, we’re going to defend ourselves,” said Brian Robinson, communications director for Deal. “We’ve got to protect Georgia taxpayers if President Obama won’t.”

Alabama Republican Robert Bentley, who holds a double-digit lead over his Democratic challenger, vows to create “an environment that is unwelcoming to illegal immigrants.” He drafted a 10-point plan for what he describes as one of the most pressing problems facing the state, where the Pew Research Center found the immigrant population has at least doubled since 2005.

And in Massachusetts, Republican Charles Baker and independent Timothy Cahill are battling for the toughest-on-immigration title, while Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick takes hits from immigrant advocates for not being “proactive” enough.

The flood of get-tough statements could be just that — campaign talk that fades against the hard realities of governing and legal threats by the Justice Department. The outcome of a U.S. appeals court hearing on the Arizona law set for early November is likely to determine whether the state-level push stalls out or gains momentum.

But polls show voters want the government to stop the flow of illegal immigrants. And with Congress unlikely to act anytime soon, gubernatorial candidates are arguing that, as chief executives, they will try to do the job that they say the federal government has neglected.

The political pull can be fierce. At least three Republicans who initially expressed concern with the Arizona law walked back their opposition after taking heat from their party.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum scrambled to match the hard line of his challenger, Rick Scott, by introducing a proposal late in the primary election campaign that he said would go further than the Arizona law, but McCollum still lost. Wisconsin Republican Scott Walker went from skeptic to supporter of Arizona’s approach, as did Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, who has said he will work with the state attorney general to craft a law similar to Arizona’s for the 2011 legislative session.

“In the absence of federal action, we will see devastating policies at the state and local level, as demagogues rush in to fill the breach,” said Deepak Bhargava, executive director of the Center for Community Change, an immigrant advocacy group. “That is why it is critical that there is a renewed effort on the federal level.”

With state budgets in crisis and the economy struggling, candidates are framing the debate in financial terms, not simply as a law-and-order issue.

Illegal immigrants are already ineligible for all major government benefits, but that hasn’t stopped gubernatorial nominees from pledging to go even further in tightening verification requirements for public aid programs to establish an applicant’s legal status. “This is purely about politics and not substance,” said Jon Blazer, a public benefits attorney for the National Immigration Law Center, adding that the law is already restrictive.

Candidates are embracing E-Verify, a federal database that allows employers to check an employee’s Social Security number against government records. Only federal contractors are required to use the system, which has been criticized as unreliable. And governors in 13 states have signed legislation or executive orders mandating some level of participation from employers.

But if anti-illegal-immigration candidates win in November, more states, including Iowa, Georgia and Alabama, appear likely to jump on board or expand the program. Colorado Republican Dan Maes would require all private employers in his state to use E-Verify — the crux of his vision for legislation that “reduces the incentives to live, work and transfer funds from Colorado.”

Other top targets include scholarships, in-state tuition and driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants — flash points in states across the country.

In Massachusetts, Baker would tell state lawmakers to send him a package of hard-hitting immigration measures identical to a package that passed the Democratic-controlled state Senate this year but was eliminated from the final budget bill because of Gov. Patrick’s opposition, Baker spokesman Rick Gorka said.

It was considered an unusually tough measure for a state long represented by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, the architect of the modern-day immigration system. But a confluence of factors contributed to its near passage, spurred on by Arizona, including a poll of Massachusetts voters showing strong support for the crackdown and the case of Obama’s Kenyan aunt, who was living in public housing while she fought a deportation order.

The package expanded efforts to block illegal immigrants from accessing public benefits, established a telephone line for people to anonymously report people they suspect of being illegal and required companies working with the state to confirm the legal status of their hires. “We would make sure state services are for state residents,” Gorka said. “This is a cost-saving measure; it is a responsible measure.”

Massachusetts had been known as one of the most welcoming to immigrants in the country, Eva Millona, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition said. But lately, she said, “this is the most anti-immigrant climate we have witnessed.”

Even Patrick has turned cautious, doing little to act on a series of pro-immigrant recommendations from a state advisory panel. “Deval hasn’t been as proactive as we would have liked him to be,” said Millona, a co-chairwoman of the panel.

In New Mexico, a border state that has traditionally taken a more lenient approach than adjacent Arizona, Democrat Diane Denish and Republican Susana Martinez would stop issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. But Martinez would go a step further in repealing the 2003 state law and revoking thousands of licenses. Martinez, who won the Republican primary by making her opponent look weak on border security, would also eliminate taxpayer-funded lottery scholarships.

“Not only does this provide further incentive for illegal immigrants to come to New Mexico,” Martinez says on her campaign website, “it is simply wrong to provide free scholarships to illegal immigrants when members of the military stationed in New Mexico are not eligible for the same benefits.”

Taking a position that goes further than other GOP candidates, former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who is trying to unseat the Democratic governor, said a long-standing Supreme Court decision that forced states to educate the children of illegal immigrants should be overturned.

And when people are stopped for a criminal or traffic violation, they should be detained and turned over to the federal government if they can’t prove their legal status, Branstad has said. “Iowans are frustrated,” Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht said. “Either we are going to enforce the laws or we are not going to enforce the laws, and Gov. Branstad is on the side of wanting to enforce those laws.”

Millona said the November elections will be a test: A strong showing by enforcement-only proponents could make it harder for Democrats and Republicans to come together on a comprehensive overhaul next year. “If they don’t win, it will be very clear — as it is clear to most of us — that the enforcement-only measures don’t work,” Millona said.

Source