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A Hidden Motive for Heavy Immigration?

Posted on 10-Sep-2013
Topics: Immigration Reform Lobby  

An excert from "Race and Crime in America":

Consider also the highly contentious issue of immigration. Obviously, much of the underlying conflict is purely economic in character, with workers aware that restricting the supply of available labor will protect their bargaining power over wages, while businesses seek to maximize their profits by expanding the pool of potential employees, whether low-skilled or high-tech.

But all involved participants quickly discover that despite endless protestations to the contrary there is also a clear racial subtext, usually accounting for the emotionality of the debate. For the last half-century, the overwhelming majority of immigrants, especially illegal ones, have been non-white, and the resulting racial fears have been a central motivating force driving many of the most zealous restrictionists, who fear being swamped by a tidal wave of “the Other.” However, I believe that racial considerations, whether fully conscious or not, might also be found on the other side of the issue, helping to explain why our national leadership today so uniformly endorses very heavy foreign immigration.

America’s ruling financial, media, and political elites are largely concentrated in three major urban centers—New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.—and all three have contained large black populations, including a violent underclass. During the early 1990s, many observers feared New York City was headed for urban collapse due to its enormously high crime rates, Los Angeles experienced the massive and deadly Rodney King Riots, and Washington often vied for the title of American homicide capital. In each city, the violence and crime were overwhelmingly committed by black males, and although white elites were rarely the victims, their fears were quite palpable.

One obvious reaction to these concerns was strong political support for a massive national crackdown on crime, and the prison incarceration of black men increased by almost 500% during the two decades after 1980. But even after such enormous rates of imprisonment, official FBI statistics indicate that blacks today are still over 600% as likely to commit homicide than non-blacks and their robbery rate is over 700% larger; these disparities seem just as high with respect to Hispanic or Asian immigrants as they are for whites. Thus, replacing a city’s blacks with immigrants would tend to lower local crime rates by as much as 90%, and during the 1990s American elites may have become increasingly aware of this important fact, together with the obvious implications for their quality of urban life and housing values.

According to Census data, between 1990 and 2010 the number of Hispanics and Asians increased by one-third in Los Angeles, by nearly 50% in New York City, and by over 70% in Washington, D.C. The inevitable result was to squeeze out much of the local black population, which declined, often substantially, in each location. And all three cities experienced enormous drops in local crime, with homicide rates falling by 73%, 79%, and 72% respectively, perhaps partly as a result of these underlying demographic changes. Meanwhile, the white population increasingly shifted toward the affluent, who were best able to afford the sharp rise in housing prices. It is an undeniable fact that American elites, conservative and liberal alike, are today almost universally in favor of very high levels of immigration, and their possible recognition of the direct demographic impact upon their own urban circumstances may be an important but unspoken factor in shaping their views.

As an anecdotal example, consider the case of Matthew Yglesias, a prominent young liberal blogger living in Washington, DC. A couple of years ago he recounted on his blogsite how he was suddenly attacked from behind and seriously beaten by two young men while walking home one evening from a dinner party. At first he was quite cagey about identifying his attackers, but he eventually admitted they were blacks, possibly engaged in the growing racial practice of urban “polar bear hunting” so widely publicized by the Drudge Report and other rightwing websites.

Few matters are more likely to trouble the minds of our Harvard-educated intellectual elite than fear of suffering random violent assaults while they walk the streets of their own city. Yet no respectable progressive would possibly focus on the racial character of such an attack, let alone advocate the removal of local blacks as a precautionary measure. Instead Yglesias suggested that housing-density issues might have been responsible and that better urban planning would reduce crime.

But consider that support for very high levels of foreign immigration is an impeccably liberal cause, and such policies inevitably displace and remove huge numbers of urban blacks; it is easy to imagine that Yglesias quietly redoubled his pro-immigration zeal in the wake of the incident. Multiply this personal example a thousand-fold, and perhaps an important strand of the tremendous pro-immigration ideological framework of American elites becomes apparent. The more conspiratorially-minded racialists, bitterly hostile to immigration, sometimes speculate that there is a diabolical plot by our ruling power structure to “race-replace” America’s traditional white population. Perhaps a hidden motive along these lines does indeed help explain some support for heavy immigration, but I suspect that the race being targeted for replacement is not the white one.

Such factors may also play a role outside the major urban centers discussed above and even where least suspected. Among all American businessmen, Silicon Valley executives are probably strongest in their pro-immigration advocacy, as indicated by the major political advertising campaign recently launched by top technology CEOs, organized together as “” Obviously, their own cosmopolitan background and desire for an unlimited supply of inexpensive, high-quality engineers is their primary motive. However, widespread sentiments in favor of lesser-educated immigrant groups such as undocumented Latin Americans also seem quite strong, and we find Steve Jobs’ wealthy widow Laurene Powell Jobs focusing her efforts almost exclusively on that particular aspect of the legislation, with her sentiments hardly being discordant with those of her wealthy peer group. Could hidden racial factors be part of the explanation? That might seem quite unlikely since Silicon Valley’s black population has been very low for decades, running in the 3 or 4 percent range.

However, a closer examination reveals a very different situation. The small city of Palo Alto is one of the most desirable local residential areas, home to the late Steve Jobs, as well as the current CEOs of Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and a host of other companies; by some estimates, it may contain the world’s highest per capita concentration of billionaires. On three sides, Palo Alto abuts communities of a similar character: Mountain View, containing Google; the Stanford University campus; and Menlo Park, the center of America’s venture capital industry. But on the fourth side, mostly separated by Highway 101, lies East Palo Alto, which for decades was a dangerous ghetto, overwhelmingly black.

I moved back to Palo Alto from New York City in 1992, and that year East Palo Alto recorded America’s highest per capita murder rate; although relatively few of the homicides, robberies, and rapes spilled across the border, enough did to leave many people uneasy. Gated communities and even street fences are quite uncommon in the region, and for years anyone who wished could go to the home of Steve Jobs and walk around his yard or even peer into his windows. Meanwhile, the sort of harsh racial profiling widely practiced in some large cities was completely abhorrent to the socially liberal citizenry. One may easily imagine a scenario in which escalating street crime from the ghetto next door might have produced a collapse in high housing prices and sparked a massive flight of the wealthy.

One reason this did not occur was the vast influx of impoverished immigrants from south of the border that swept into the less affluent communities of the region during those same years and rapidly transformed the local demographics. Between 1980 and 2010 the combined Hispanic population of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties nearly tripled. A city offering cheap housing such as East Palo Alto saw far greater relative increases, reversing its demographics during that period from 60% black and 14% Hispanic to 16% black and 65% Hispanic. Over the last twenty years, the homicide rate in that small city dropped by 85%, with similar huge declines in other crime categories as well, thereby transforming a miserable ghetto into a pleasant working-class community, now featuring new office complexes, luxury hotels, and large regional shopping centers. Multi-billionaire Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife recently purchased a large $9 million home just a few hundred feet from the East Palo Alto border, a decision that would have been unthinkable during the early 1990s. Technology executives are highly quantitative individuals, skilled in pattern recognition, and I find it difficult to believe that they have all remained completely oblivious to these local racial factors.

However the powerful role of immigration in transforming the crime rates of important urban centers probably had a much smaller impact on the national totals. The combined black populations of New York City, Washington, and Los Angeles may have dropped by half a million over the last two decades, but the individuals pushed out did not disappear from the world; they merely moved to Atlanta or Baltimore or Riverside. But from the personal perspective of America’s ruling elite, they did indeed disappear.

For over thirty years, local black activists in Washington, D.C. have accused the ruling white power structure of promoting “The Plan,” a deliberate strategy of removing most of the black population from our national capital and replacing them with whites; and this “conspiracy theory” has been endlessly ridiculed as absurdly paranoid nonsense by our elite Washington media. Meanwhile, during this same thirty year period, Washington’s black population dropped from over 70% to less than half and will probably fall below the white total within the next few years.

Indeed, the strong support of our political elites for Section 8 housing vouchers may be less connected with any alleged social benefits these provide than with their important role in moving large numbers of impoverished urban residents away from the near vicinity of wealthy neighborhoods out into the remote suburbs of the middle class. Several years ago the Atlantic published a major article by Hanna Rosin on the rapid changes in the geographical pattern of crime induced by these demographic shifts, and the piece provoked much discussion even though the author avoided unduly emphasizing the troubling racial aspects. Elite selfishness is hardly surprising and a policy of exporting those populations with a strong link to crime into other localities seems a natural strategy, especially if this can be accomplished under the altruistic guise of socially-uplifting anti-poverty programs.

Finally, it is important to emphasize that this clear political interplay between heavy levels of immigration and black urban displacement is a relatively recent development and certainly was not anticipated by the original promoters of the 1965 Immigration Act. Indeed, although restrictionists routinely denounce that legislation for having flooded America with Hispanic immigrants, the facts are precisely the opposite. While the 1924 Immigration Act had drastically curtailed immigration from Europe (and Asia), the entire Western Hemisphere was totally exempted, and the U.S. retained its previous “open borders” policy for Mexico and the rest of Latin America until strict quotas were finally introduced as part of the 1965 law. Although these 1965 changes were expected to enable renewed European immigration, no one anticipated the vast inflow of Hispanic and Asian immigrants in the decades that followed, nor the resulting impact upon the racial composition of our major cities. But today these continuing urban demographic changes may have now become a significant motive in the minds of the elites advocating increased immigration under the legislation being considered by Congress.

During the 1960s black author James Baldwin coined the widely-quoted phrase “Urban renewal means Negro removal.” I suspect that a somewhat similar semi-intentional national policy is today transforming America’s leading urban centers, although it remains almost entirely unreported by our mainstream media.

On rare occasions, the mask slips and the underlying mental workings of our national elites are momentarily revealed. Consider New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of our most vocal pro-immigration voices on the national stage and a man whose vast wealth and influence often allow him to be far more candid on controversial topics than most other public figures. In May 2011 Bloomberg was interviewed on Meet the Press, and explained that if he had full authority, he could easily fix the seemingly insoluble problems of a city like Detroit at no cost to the taxpayer. He proposed opening wide the floodgates to unlimited foreign immigration on the condition that all the additional immigrants moved to Detroit and lived there for a decade or so, thereby transforming the city. I suspect this provides an important insight into how he and his friends discuss certain racial issues in private.


[1] "Race and Crime in America", Ron Unz, 20-Jul-2013

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