By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings
Until the other day I thought I had a clear understanding of how I felt on immigration; that is until reading two articles. The first was Alan Caruba’s, Migration is as old as mankind and the other by Judge Napalitano, Immigration is a Natural Right. I respect both of these individuals for their ability to express reasoned thoughts; life experiences coupled with years of self examination.
One important responsibility of being a member of society is to continually assess long held beliefs and weigh them against any and all challenges to those beliefs. It’s difficult to make adjustments because in so doing there is the risk of admitting long held beliefs may have been in error.
Alan Caruba correctly recorded:
“With or without immigration reform, history demonstrates that people will migrate, so our response to the current population of illegals and some kind of reform is now a priority.”
Judge Napolitano wrote, and I agree:
“The issue the politicians and bureaucrats would rather avoid is the natural law. The natural law is a term used to refer to human rights that all persons possess by virtue of our humanity. These rights encompass areas of human behavior where individuals are sovereign and thus need no permission from the government before making choices in those areas. Truly, in the Judeo-Christian tradition, only God is sovereign—meaning He is the source of His own power.”
These articles triggered an internal assessment mechanism; not saying I have thrown in with the idea that immigration and citizenship are one in the same; only that the factors which I once held as inviolate may have been based on a false premise.
I awoke into conscious thought to find myself going over the basic concepts of civilized society, natural rights and how they apply to a self governed people as opposed to rule by force as so often is the case in nature. In other words I was playing the “what if” game to a level requiring my being alert and willing to open my mind.
If immigration or migration is a natural right as suggested in the aforementioned articles, then does that immigration or migration automatically qualify individual(s) for membership in the society which exists in the area and has already established rules for membership? Now that’s a deep question because it involves so many levels of response.
Before answering that broad sweeping question, my mind immediately recalled a study performed and recorded by Farley Mowats via his autobiography, Never Cry Wolf, which was made into a movie under the same title. Wikipedia has a brief summary:
“A young, naive biologist named Tyler (Smith) is assigned by the government to travel to the isolated Canadian arctic wilderness and study why the area’s caribou population is declining, believed due to indiscriminate wolf-pack attacks. Tyler receives a baptism of fire into bush life with a trip by bush plane piloted by an odd, adventurous bush pilot named Rosie (Dennehy). After landing at the destination, Rosie leaves Tyler and his gear in the middle of a subzero Arctic nowhere. Unsure of where to start, Tyler’s indecision quickly imperils him until he’s rescued by a traveling Inuit named Ootek (Ittimangnaq), who builds a shelter for him.
Alone, Tyler’s days are divided between research and mere personal survival, while nights are fraught with anxiety-born nightmares of wolf attacks upon him. He soon encounters two wolves–which he names George and Angeline, who have pups–and discovers they seem as curious of him as he is of them, slowly dispelling their mutual fears. He and the wolves both begin social exchanges, even urine-marking their territories, producing trust and respect between them.”
That last line introduces the idea of immigration and migration, the extended consideration of societal acceptance along with the higher level of social membership; there is a difference between acceptance or the right to exist and membership which implies other social amenities, to include voting privileges. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are natural rights; but citizenship must be obtained, there is a difference.
Some insist that social acceptance and social membership are one and the same; however, as the movie brought out, the wolves acceptance of the human, permitting him a space to exist within their area of domination, that acceptance did not make the human a wolf with all the rights and privileges of the wolf pack. The human was always a separate cast within a working society, a society which he had only a limited understanding of at best.
Social acceptance and social membership are not one and the same; other factors must also be reconciled. Those entering a society which already exists have limited options.
Individuals can be assimilated into that society; accept the customs and laws and request membership by virtue of becoming indistinguishable, for the most part, from any other member of that society. The voluntary act of assimilation adds strength to society in general and permits the greatest range of movement within that society for its newest members.
“Cultural assimilation is the process by which a subaltern group’s native language and culture are lost under pressure to assimilate to those of a dominant cultural group. The term is used both to refer to colonized peoples when dominant colonial states expand into new territories or alternately, when diasporas of immigrants settle into a dominant state society. Colonized peoples or minority immigrant groups acquire new customs, language, and ideologies through contact and education in the dominant society. Assimilation may involve either a quick or gradual change depending on circumstances. Full assimilation occurs when new members of a society become indistinguishable from older members.”
Another option would be for the newest individual to have the existing society alter its customs and laws in such a way as to include the customs and or laws of its newest member. There is a term for this, cultural diversity; but in reality that diversity eventually destroys a healthy working society by eroding the culture which held it together in the first place.
“Cultural diversity is the quality of diverse or different cultures, as opposed to monoculture, as in the global monoculture, or a homogenization of cultures, akin to cultural decay. For example, before Hawaii was conquered, the culturally diverse Hawaiian culture existed in the world, and contributed to the world’s cultural diversity. Now Hawaii has been westernized; the vast majority of its culture has been replaced with Western or American culture. The phrase cultural diversity can also refer to having different cultures respect each others differences. The phrase cultural diversity is also sometimes used to mean the variety of human societies or cultures in a specific region, or in the world as a whole. The culturally destructive action of globalization is often said to have a negative effect on the world’s cultural diversity.”
Lastly, and is often the case, there is the option to conquer an existing society and implement an entirely new society and set of laws. This can be accomplished by destroying, eliminating members who represented unwanted portions of society or by marginalizing the old guard to such a point as to make them irrelevant.
History is replete with examples of warfare; but I’ll use for example only the Third Reich, or NAZI Germany as it was also called. These folks took on their neighbors and placed them into complete subjugation in its quest for total world control. There was no attempt at diversity, these nations were conquered and at the mercy of Germany. They eliminated unwanted portions within society; the extermination of the Jews as well as those who opposed the Third Reich.
“The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.”
How does this fit in with immigration and citizenship?
We have to look at property rights, yet another natural right. Many have defined property rights; but none better than Frederick Bastiat. Consider the ramifications of these three thoughts as they build toward a natural conclusion, that governments are instituted by men in order to protect the natural rights of those who instituted their government.
“Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”
“Each of us has a natural right – from God – to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but and extension of our faculties?”
“If every person has the right to defend – even by force – his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right -–its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. (The Law, p.6)
With citizenship comes the acceptance of the rule of law as established through our founding documents; our Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Our society has given government the power to defend our lives, liberty and property from all who would attempt to subjugate us; our enemies abroad or from within. In the most simple of terms, sovereignty was established.
With sovereignty comes the ability to define the extent of our geographic borders, a means of identifying where our social order is in force. This isn’t much different than a pack of wolves urinating on stones to mark their territory, a crude analogy, perhaps; but easily understood throughout the world.
Those who wish to enter our borders must adapt to our social and cultural ways, try to become a part of our culture and expand what that social culture represents by convincing us to accept their social differences or conquer us and put us into subjugation; it’s that simple. (I’m not a big fan of the last option.)
Immigration laws were written to protect the social culture shared by those who respect our constitutional republic and serve no other purpose. By extension, our immigration laws are the first step towards gaining citizenship and full assimilation into our culture.
It is not logical to expect our society to accept those who wish to modify, replace or destroy our existing culture with values of an alien culture all in the name of diversity. Those who would have us accept migration as a natural law, must also accept all other natural laws, laws which have been in existence from before the world was created.
We as a nation of individuals have a natural right to protect our social order by establishing geographic boundaries and enforcing criteria for entry; in other words, immigration laws. Those who would become a part of our culture should respect our laws. Those who don’t respect our laws or who have an ulterior motive for gaining entrance into our borders, should be dealt with accordingly, without concern for violating their natural right to migrate.
While it is true, each individual on the planet has the natural right to migrate; in doing so he/she must acknowledge the natural rights of those who inhabit those areas along that path, to include the right to deny entrance or limit freedom of movement within the sovereignty of established borders.
This article has been cross-posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government & The American Constitution.”