Nikki Haley: Immigration ‘Makes Us Great’

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Immigrants — not the 280 million native-born Americans — make America great, says Nikki Haley, the former ambassador to the U.N.

“Immigrants are the fabric of America,” the former governor of South Carolina said on the May 5 Ben Shapiro podcast, effectively dismissing Americans and their children. She continued:

It’s what makes us great. We need as many immigrants as we can. We need the skills, we need the talent, we need the culture. We need all of that.

Haley did not try to explain why roughly 215 million adult Americans and their 65 million children need legal immigrants or temporary migrants, including the roughly 500,000 Indian visa workers who have taken white-collar jobs from Americans, often after getting workplace training from the Americans they replaced.

The claim is an extension of her support for enforced civic disunity — or “diversity” — in the United States. In 2018, she told an Indian audience that:

The one thing about America and what I have always loved is America is a country of immigrants. It’s the fabric of America to have multiple cultures. Multiple populations. Multiple heritages that do come into America that make it what it is.

In contrast, President Donald Trump emphasizes Americans’ ability to advance their own nation and culture. In January 2017, he declared in the opening section of his inauguration speech:

We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people.

Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for years to come.

We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.

A growing number of Americans are rejecting the “Nation of Immigrants” narrative.

Matthew Schmitz, editor of First Things, said the idea is based on a form of snobbery “whereby everyone else is expected to cling to [their homeland] ways while cultural gourmands (the true Americans, it turns out) relish the resulting diversity.” He continued:

When assimilation becomes suspect, a nation of immigrants becomes a nation of competing colonies … I will always deny that America is a nation of immigrants. We are a nation of Americans.

Haley is the U.S.-born daughter of two immigrants from India, whose ancient culture enforces a stratification of people into castes inescapably assigned at birth.

But her Americans-are-helpless-without-immigrants claim is a cliche among establishment figures in the business sector, in the Democratic party, and in the establishment wing of the GOP.

In February 2018, House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi gave a long speech in the House in which she praised illegal migrants as better than Americans:

We recognize that they are a blessing to America … the dreamers are all over our country, Mr. Speaker, they are a blessing so across the board …

These are the best of the best. They are so fabulous …

The second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, Sen. Dick Durbin declared in February 2018 that “rejecting the notion that we are a nation of immigrants [is] to deny our birthright as a nation … to really defy who we are, what we are and what we will be.” Also, he declared, “we have a diverse nation, and that is our strength as far as I’m concerned.”

“‘My fellow Americans’… We can never say it often or loudly enough: Immigrants and refugees revitalize and renew America,” then President Barack Obama claimed at December 2015 naturalization ceremony, while standing under a giant mural of the nation’s Founding Fathers.

Progressives also insist that Americans must not favor their people, children ideas and traditions. In November 2014, for example, Obama told cheering supporters:

Sometimes we get attached to our particular tribe, our particular race, our particular religion, and then we start treating other folks differently. And that, sometimes, has been a bottleneck to how we think about immigration.  If you look at the history of immigration in this country, each successive wave, there have been periods where the folks who were already here suddenly say, ‘Well, I don’t want those folks’ — even though the only people who have the right to say that are some Native Americans.

In March 2019, a video by former President George W. Bush’s Bush Center declared that “America’s story is an immigrant story.” The video refers to 280 million Americans — including many who voted for George W. Bush in 2000 — merely as an unnamed blob of “population,” “labor force,” “workers,” and even “natives.” and says “immigrants make America strong.”

In his 2013 book, “Immigration Wars,” Gov. Jeb Bush wrote, “Thanks to my [Mexican-born] wife, I became bicultural and bilingual, and my life is better because of it.”

The Washington Post’s op-ed editor, Fred Hiatt, wrote in January 2018 that America will stagnate and decline without immigrants::

Here’s the bottom line: I think we should remain open to immigrants because it’s part of who we are as a nation, because every generation of newcomers — even, or maybe especially, the ones who come with nothing but moxie and a tolerance for risk — has enriched and improved us …

A vote to choke off immigration is a vote for stagnation and decline.

A progressive columnist at the New York Times, Bret Stephens, declared in June 2017:

So-called real Americans are screwing up America. Maybe they should leave, so that we can replace them with new and better ones: newcomers who are more appreciative of what the United States has to offer, more ambitious for themselves and their children, and more willing to sacrifice for the future. In other words, just the kind of people we used to be — when “we” had just come off the boat…

In January 2019, New York Times columnist Farha Manjoo insisted that immigrants “actually make [America] better, and that is the basis of much of what we enjoy in the country.” In fact, he argues that Americans need immigrants:

Economically and strategically, open borders isn’t just a good plan — it’s the only chance we’ve got. America is an aging nation with a stagnant population. We have ample land to house lots more people, but we are increasingly short of workers. And on the global stage, we face two colossi — India and China — which, with their billions, are projected to outstrip American economic hegemony within two decade

In March 2019, Hal Brands, a professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies declared:

If the U.S. is to keep its demographic edge, it will have to find ways of reconciling two competing imperatives: refreshing the population through immigration while preserving social and political stability.

The elite’s shared “nation of immigrants” narrative justifies their inflow of myriad cheap migrants — and the resulting cheap-labor bubble on Wall Street, and the increasing marginalization of Americans in their own cities, workplaces, and polling booths.

In an October 2018 article for Time magazine, Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy explained the government-boosting Cold War origin of the “Nation of Immigrants” claim:

Few felt it as deeply as President John F. Kennedy. In his 1964 book A Nation of Immigrants, recently re-released, my great-uncle outlines the compelling case for immigration, in economic, moral, and global terms. “The abundant resources of this land provided the foundation for a great nation,” he writes. “But only people could make the opportunity a reality. Immigration provided the human resources.”

The book was published one year before Congress junked the low-immigration rules which the public had won in the 1920s. In place of those rules, which helped to boost wages and salaries until the early 1970s, Congress in 1965 opened up the immigration gates. That 1965 legislation has given 280 million Americans a diverse population of roughly 45 million immigrants by 2019.

Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.

But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including roughly one million H-1B workers — and approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers.

The government also prints out more than one million work permits for foreigners, tolerates about eight million illegal workers, and does not punish companies for employing the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants who sneak across the border or overstay their legal visas.

This policy of inflating the labor supply boosts economic growth for investors because it ensures that employers do not have to compete for American workers by offering higher wages and better working conditions.

This policy of flooding the market with cheap foreign white-collar graduates and blue-collar labor shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors even as it also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, and hurts children’s schools and college educations. It also pushes Americans away from high-tech careers and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions. The labor policy also moves business investment from the heartland to the coasts, explodes rents, shrivels real estate values in the Midwest and rewards investors for creating low tech, labor-intensive workplaces.

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