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Importing values from the Middle East

Conservative Review

Ask any American if they think the Middle East is a place that reflects our political, cultural, and societal values. You will find unanimity of opinion that the Middle East is a raunchy place to live and that they are thankful to live far away from that bad neighborhood. Violence, sharia law, subjugation of women, and hatred for Jews are just a few things that come to mind when conjuring up an image of that region.

Which begs the obvious question, why then should we import the Middle East to our shores?

Just today, all LA schools are closed due to a widespread terror threat. A young Muslim was arrested in Harford County, MD yesterday on charges of giving material support to ISIS, which itself comes on the heels of a slew of similar arrests over the past week. Although the government and media, once again refuse to divulge the immigration status of this and almost every other radical jihadist arrested by the FBI, it is clear that there are an endless number of jihadists among us, even in rural areas such as Harford County, MD.

There is a lot of discussion about the lack of vetting that Tafsheen Malik underwent when applying for an immigrant visa from Pakistan. DHS prohibited their agents from searching her social media records. But the broader problem is even if we did “vet” their views, what do you think we would find? A love for America, Jewish people, and democratic values? Undoubtedly, there are some individuals yearning to escape the Middle East mentality. But take a look at the percentage of those from selected Muslim countries who dislike Jews and/or Support Sharia law.

Now take a look at some of those numbers from selected countries juxtaposed with the number of immigrants we’ve admitted since 2001.

It doesn’t take a genius to understand that when such large numbers of immigrants are invited from countries with such anti-democratic, anti-enlightened, and anti-Jewish sentiments, on average we will be importing their culture, too. At that point, it becomes a cumulative effect and a numbers game. It’s not just about the tedious task of vetting each one individually.

As a nation, over the past few decades, our political leadership has violated a principle of immigration policy that was shared by all our Founders and early leaders. They all understood that America was a better place than any other country in the world and that many regions of the world were downright repugnant to the values we champion. As such, they never encouraged immigration as a mass institution because they liked the America they had conceived and didn’t want to import the undesirable characteristics of other countries. With that said, they welcomed individuals of merit who would assimilate into our values system and benefit the country.

During the debate over the Naturalization Act of 1790, Rep. Theodore Sedgwick (Federalist-MA), who served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and later as Speaker of the House, warned that mass migration would import the values of the countries of origin. “The citizens of America preferred this country, because it is to be preferred,” said Sedgwick. Speaking of European immigrants who actually shared similar ancestry, Sedgwick feared “their sensations, impregnated with prejudices of education, acquired under monarchical and aristocratical Governments, may deprive them of that zest for pure republicanism.” [1]

Was Sedgwick anti-immigrant? No. And this is why he desired to admit “reputable and worthy characters; such only were fit for the society into which they were blended.” But it was a no brainer to him that carte blanche importation even of Europeans would result in bringing anti-republicanism to our shores. One could only imagine what he’d say of today’s mass migration from the Middle East.

This is why numbers, time and origin matter in immigration. It matters how many individuals are admitted over a short period of time and from which regions of the world. That equation will determine whether we are importing the values of other countries or selectively inviting meritorious immigrants to share in our values.

Any politician who suggests that barring the values of the Middle East (not necessarily all immigrants) is against our values and traditions lacks a basic understanding of our values and traditions.

As it relates to the Middle East, it should not be controversial or divisive to say that this region represents an anathema to American values. With the successful growth of cyber-jihad, those values are more widespread and dangerous than ever. Liberals should certainly feel that way, given the views of these countries towards women and homosexuals. That is why, following the dictates of our Founders, we should be more judicious about immigration from that part of the world than anywhere else. Yet, without the consent of the citizenry, it has become the fastest growing source of immigration.

Any politician who suggests that barring the values of the Middle East (not necessarily all immigrants) is against our values and traditions lacks a basic understanding of our values and traditions.

[1] Annals of Congress. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States. "History of Congress." 42 vols. Washington, D.C.: Gales & Seaton, 1834--56. Feb 3, 1790