2006 April 06 Thursday
James Pinkerton On Immigration: There Will Be A Wall

In a video interview with Mickey Kaus former Reagan Administration domestic policy adviser James Pinkerton says "There will be a wall" and Jim is all for it. He says the alternative is multiculturalism ala the Balkans and Lebanon and he says that does not work. The interview is 23 minutes long.

Jim says Tom Tancredo, the Minutemen, and similar folks (that would include myself and quite a few of my readers) are winning on immigration.

"Nations don't survive if they become multicultural... So I'm now, I count myself as a hawk on immigration and I see myself as worried by the elite bipartisan consensus about basically unlimited immigration conducted on the one hand by Democrats who think they're going to bring in more Democrats to vote Democratic and having sort of a multicultural vision of the world and Republicans who want cheap labor and want to bust all unions. And I think they have dominated immigration policy making for the last three or four decades. They completely control the intelligentsia on this issue."

"... and yet because this idea of international cosmopolitanism so goes against the grain of I think the good sense ordinary Americans that a rag tag bunch of Tom Tancredo types and Minutemen are actually winning on this issue. I think that effectively there will be a wall between the United States and Mexico in the next 5 or 10 years and I am all for it."

Jim predicts Japan with a billion robots will beat the United States with 600 million people split into ethnicities.

America did not become great by bringing in lots of cheap low productivity labor. It became great because very smart people developed ways to raise the productivity of its citizens. Labor shortages are a far bigger impetus to the development of technological advances than labor surpluses.

To repeat from a previous post this is not a new idea. As Socrates said in Plato's Republic long before Ben Franklin strode this Earth:

" A State, I said, arises, as I conceive, out of the needs of mankind". . ."let us begin and create in idea a State; and yet the true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention."

Some claim that a wall is an impossibility. The people who make this claim are opposed to a wall and want to deceive you. From another post, a border barrier is quite affordable.

A border barrier similar to the Israeli barrier with the West Bank would cost well under $10 billion dollars or less than 2 months costs of the war in Iraq. Or we could look at highway construction for construction costs for a wall. The materials that are used to build sound barriers along highways in populated areas would cost about $3.2 billion for a 5 meter high wall 2000 miles long (see my comment below the original post where I calculate out the numbers). There'd be additional costs for barbed wire, sensors, and additional fencing layers as well as an access road. But we could easily afford all this. It'd be similar scope to building an interstate highway along the border.

The Open Borders advocates who claim we can not stop and reverse the illegal influx are lying. We can and we still stop the illegal influx. We should also at the same time greatly reduce the legal influx and make our criteria for who gets in far more selective. As Jim Pinkerton says, we should go with the first round draft picks.

Mickey Kaus says Republicans could win the 2006 election by running on immigration restriction.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 April 06 07:12 PM  Immigration Border Barrier

John G. said at April 6, 2006 11:51 PM:

Well it seems as if J. Pinkerton is not related to the old school detectives, Japan will beat us with robots? Robots don't yet have the intelligence to do some of the even most menial tasks. Not to mention that once robot workers come into the market place they will drive down wages even further, imagine no wage labor building cars.

Japan is a dying country their birth rate is so low they won't have enough children to become anything like a superpower, even with robots. Also can't Americans simply buy robot technology and copy it using chinese labor or better yet robotic labor, won't companies dump illegal immigrants for cheaper, cleaner, more stable robot workers. We live in a free market society the incentive for companies to employ robot workers will be immense. Not to mention as robots become more and more intelligent they will one day be able to replace nearly any human in any job, yes including engineers and scientists.

John G.

raj said at April 7, 2006 12:06 AM:

"Robots don't yet have the intelligence to do some of the even most menial tasks...won't companies dump illegal immigrants for cheaper, cleaner, more stable robot workers...Not to mention as robots become more and more intelligent they will one day be able to replace nearly any human in any job, yes including engineers and scientists."

1) Make up your mind. Will robots be the answer or a pipedream. Also, Pinkerton was talking with the understanding that this was a futuristic concept, not about robot capacities in the present.

2) Humans will likely have brain chips and genotype 'upgrades' to better compete with the robots- if they ever get ultra smart. If this still is insufficient, well, I guess robots will ultimately take over.

3) If companies are going to definitively dump illegal immigrants for cheap labor, should we better prepare for this eventuality by limiting future disgruntled illegal immigrants from coming here as much as possible?

John S Bolton said at April 7, 2006 1:36 AM:

If politicians said that they may feel like reducing the crime levels, but only after they've emptied the prisons; it is hard to see who would be fooled.
They pretend that a further influx of illegals is needed to fill jobs; but the fact that last years' new jobs were often filled by illegals, does not mean that we need any more next year.
It doesn't mean that any illegals were actually needed, either.
Low-income workers are almost invariably on net public subsidy, and this means that they are net consumers, too.
To say we need more net consumers, when the US economy is floated on dollar support from foreign central banks, is obvious deception.
Net consumers are not needed for the increase or maintenance of production.
Removing illegals would be like a tax cut, and it would reduce our dependence on foreign borrowing.

Kenelm Digby said at April 7, 2006 4:48 AM:

John G,
My money is firmly on Japan surviving and prospering in this century, and overhauling the USA in *absolute* wealth.As for the USA, with all due kindness and consideration, i can only predict the blackest, direst, darkest future (all puns intended).
On present trends, the USA will bear a horrific resemblance to Brazil and the various nasty little dictatorships of central America, complete with "death squads", gated communities and a general air of violence, hatred and envy.
Not a good place to be a White man,

Randall Parker said at April 7, 2006 7:48 AM:

John G asks the most important question:

won't companies dump illegal immigrants for cheaper, cleaner, more stable robot workers.

Yes, John, they will. But at that time the illegals will have had tens of millions of children and grandchildren and we'll be stuck with these masses of unemployed people.

Look at the labor market participation rates for the people at the bottom. They keep dropping.

Ned said at April 7, 2006 2:02 PM:

Interesting article today on VDare.com by the always insightful Edwin Rubenstein on the economic effects of illegal immigration (read the whole thing: http://vdare.com/index.asp). It seems that, in the last few years, there's been a lot of job creation, while wages have stagnated and corporate profits have surged, with increasing income inequality. Rubenstein attributes these results to massive illegal immigration, and I think he's right. Globalization is leading to the development of an international elite, just like in the Middle Ages. Back then, Western societies consisted of the nobility, a tiny middle class, and a large number of unwashed peasants. A German noble, for example, felt much more kinship with another member of the nobility from France or Italy than with German peasants. This all changed with the emergence of the modern nation-state at the end of the Middle Ages. Eventually national identity became everything. The Marxists thought that workers of different nations would unite but found out the true power of nationalism in World War I, when workers of different nations cheerfully marched off to the trenches to defend their nation-states and slaughtered each other by the millions. We seem to reverting to the earlier pre-national era - our ruling elite wishes to maximize its profits at the expense of its own "peasants," just as in the Middle Ages.

Great Dane said at April 7, 2006 2:36 PM:

Whatever happens with the wall, we absolutely, positively have to implement a sharp reduction in the total numbers of legal immigrants allowed in each year, as some people have been talking about. Even if we establish a 100-foot wall tomorrow and biometrically keep out illegals, the US will still be destroyed and collapse into fractious multiethnic factions, since we stupidly allow in close to 1.5 million legal immigrants each year-- i.e., beneficiaries of chain-to-chain migration (often via previous illegals who were amnestied). W

e have to bring that number way down, maybe to 150,000 or 200,000 or so legals allowed in each year, tops-- probably even lower. If we fail to do this, all our other efforts on the illegal aliens front will be futile, since expanding chain migration links (even with tough border enforcement) will soon, with the current laws, bring up the intake of legals up to 2,000,000, and rapidly cleave the US into multiethnic factions. That's the indispensable aim in this debate.

Great Dane said at April 7, 2006 3:39 PM:


I fear you may be correct-- I don't think there's much of a future for whites or Western culture in general in the USA. Certain regions of the country have become danger zones for anyone born with the curse of white skin, such as most (and probably soon all) of California and New Mexico, where as a White you might as well have a damn bullseye painted on your back. Even before Katrina made it obvious, Louisiana's degeneration into a seething cauldron of anti-White hatred had become evident to almost anyone living there. S. Texas should have a big "Stay away for your own safety" sign around it, it's become an utter hellhole. Chicago and much of the rest of Illinois is among the very worst, for whatever reason that whole state seems to have become a hotbed of Hatred for the Honky, as one of my old college pals called it. Most whites I've met, even the most (formerly) counterculturish liberal types, have been moving out of those states in droves, going to the Great Lakes region of the Midwest (outside of Illinois and Michigan I guess-- Wisconsin and Ohio seem to be very popular destinations for some reason), Pacific Northwest (a big draw), New Hampshire and Vermont, Missouri (esp. St. Louis Metro area), Kentucky, Idaho and Montana.

I used to be a liberal myself, and as a way to earn extra cash during college I did some substitute teaching in the public schools and even one private school in the metro area around my university. (The spring semester usually finished about a month before summer break for the high schools.) I went in there as the naive bushy-tailed liberal college student I was, teaching history and social studies mostly but even math and PE on a couple occasions. What I saw, was absolutely, utterly appalling. Heroes of American history were openly and loudly disparaged in the lesson plans-- Adams, Jefferson, Madison, authors like Melville and Faulkner, inventors like Edison, all were punching bags as "oppressors" and "exploiters" for some contorted reason or another. The heroes were basically folks like Frederick Douglass, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, radical feminists, Black Panthers and the like-- some of them (such as Douglass) accomplished people but not founders of the US nation in any sense, and many of them flat-out scoundrels. Nobody read their writings or knew what they were about anyway-- the kids were too busy fighting, yelling, threatening, and verbally insulting each other to actually learn anything. A majority of the students (in what had actually been a relatively leafy white suburb) were African-American or Latino, but even the white and Asian kids were drawn along in the mischief culture around them, spewing out profanity and dressing like hoodlums. Of all ironies, it seemed like the most well-behaved kids in that whole wretched experience were young black Muslim kids who basically kept quiet, acted respectfully and actually paid attention-- though they made it clear that they were seething in range at Whitey at every moment.

That was just the first cruel gust of reality. Like other naive whites out of college, I also came to know how my white skin would be a curse in searching for employment. Then came the crime and gangs, moving in with all the demographic growth (code word for you know what) in the neighborhood of my sister and brother-in-law, pushing them out. That same growth came to my neck of the woods, until I was spending close to an hour and a half (3 hours total) commuting to and from work. It's all just a damn racket, so that a few ultra-rich whites can live in opulence while say F--- you to the vast majority of other whites who have to work for a living, with the leisure class in their penthouses and limousines, living in their gated communities, relatively untouched by the catastrophe they've unleashed on their white brethren outside the gates. They don't even bother to publish honest unemployment figures anymore-- only people actively seeking employment and getting support are counted in the rolls, everyone else (given up searching, working temp, working slave wages as a waiter on minimum wage despite that master's degree in engineering) isn't counted as unemployed. It's an Enron-style misrepresentation, no other country does that.

It's only gonna get worse, very soon. As someone on another blog pointed out (and as I confirmed in my own public library recently), the estimate for the total White fertility rate in the US is now around 1.6, way below replacement and-- importantly-- way below the levels for the, uh, third world population we know house within our own borders. If we didn't have close to 1.5 million immigrants streaming in every year, we could identify and analyze the problem and take steps to keep ourselves from becoming a minority very, very soon, but that's a nonstarter it seems. A number of smart people have written about this birth rate differential phenomenon, and a general consensus is that heavy immigration has a lot to do with it. Large numbers of immigrants crowd up cities and then suburbs and even many rural zones, putting tremendous pressure on natural resources, strengthening the hand of wealthy employers while driving down wages for workers, increasing commute times, causing environmental damage, and making basic services (such as health care and education) much more expensive. An old pal of mine and his wife, both religious Mormons, had hoped to be having a large family with 4 kids and a dog by now. (They're in their mid-30s.) Instead, they've both postponed their attempts to have kids and now say they'll likely stop at 1 or 2 since both are saddled with educational loans. Also the cost of living and the sheer amount of time they both have to spend at work to make ends meet, makes it virtually impossible to start a family, and then there would be the additional costs, for education in particular, for Junior. (Even the prospect of 1 or 2 is iffy-- their marriage, for obvious reasons, is under strain.) Across virtually all societies, such factors have translated into sharply lower birth rates, and it's whites who are hit particularly hard by this effect in the United States since we tend to demand that certain economic conditions be met before both marriage and childbirth, and heavy immigration makes it that much more difficult to do so across most income strata, aside from the already very-rich and those who inherit their wealth.

The Citizens these days are kept fat and happy on bread and circuses, on American Idol and Survivor, while the country crumbles. The lid will stay on the cauldron until there's a major economic recession, inevitable with our zero savings rate and crushing debt-- that's when the chickens will really come home to roost in a very nasty way. It's probably best for whites in the US to select out a geographic region in the soon-to-be-former USA and consolidate ourselves in it demographically (some possibilities above based on the migration patterns for whites already in evidence), that way we can preserve at least a remnant of Western culture here. Or maybe it's best to emigrate somewhere else. My ancestors came from Denmark, Norway and Germany over a century ago and I've still got family in those countries (we still say a few words of grace in Danish at the table before dinner), so maybe I should start seeking out my long-lost cousins while I have the chance.

JT said at April 7, 2006 4:15 PM:

"Yes, John, they will. But at that time the illegals will have had tens of millions of children and grandchildren and we'll be stuck with these masses of unemployed people."

Randall, what do you think about the racial aspect to all of this? Currently our urban underclass is overwhelmingly black, but Hispanics are forming an increasingly large part of it. I think there's potential for massive racial unrest if we've got millions of underclass blacks and Hispanics sitting around unemployed in our major cities. Already black-Hispanic racial tension is a daily part of life in the LA metropolitan area - at least in the parts Hispanics haven't completely taken over. What's going to happen when all of America starts to look like LA?

noone said at April 7, 2006 5:49 PM:

"What's going to happen when all of America starts to look like LA?"


The Balkans?

At best,Brazil,at worst,Mogadishu.

And remember to vote in November!(bitter laughter)

Derek Copold said at April 7, 2006 8:00 PM:

"S. Texas should have a big "Stay away for your own safety" sign around it, it's become an utter hellhole."

No, it hasn't. I grew up in deep south Texas, and still have family there that I see quite often. It's a nice part of the country, and not despite of its Hispanic population, but because of it. Yes, there are problems with poverty and crime, as can be expected with a region bordering Mexico. But I never felt in fear of my life for being white and got along very well with my neighbors.

scottynx said at April 7, 2006 8:00 PM:

Here is something scary. In the 1994 book, "The Bell Curve", it is stated that in 2080 the US will be 24% hispanic. I assume they were using projections from the 1990 census. Fast forward to the 2000 census, and hispanics are projected to be close to 25% of the population by 2050. In 10 years the projections moved closer by 30 years (absolutely speaking)! What will the 2010 census tell us?

Randall Parker said at April 7, 2006 8:32 PM:


The pattern is that Hispanics moving in force blacks out. That's happening in NYC. It has been happening in LA. Of course Hispanics also force whites out as well. LA is the prime example of that. It used to be a white majority city.

The blacks from LA have been moving back to the Old South. But what will they do as Hispanics become larger fractions of Georgia and the Carolinas? I'm amazed to find Hispanics working in hotels in heavily black cities such as DC and Charleston SC. Where are the blacks going to find work?

Great Dane said at April 8, 2006 3:14 AM:

I also spent time in S. (and N.) Texas and maybe there are some differences from city to city, but the place I visited 1 1/2 years ago was unrecognizable in comparison to the one of 15 years ago. From San Antonio to El Paso there's been a spectacular demographic shift that we never foresaw back in the old days. Yeah I agree, in the late 80's the Hispanic population in the region was friendly and contributed a lot to the culture, but there's something that's definitely changed there, there's a kind of militancy among the younger crowds that's not nearly as bad as the simmering rage in Cali but moving in that direction.

MC said at April 8, 2006 9:10 PM:

Thanks to the Gross Incompetence of our "Leaders" on uncontrolled Legal and Illegal Immigration... LBJ, Ted Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush among the worst perpetrators, this is a sampling of what awaits America in the near future...From "Civil War 2"

The most likely scenario is that America will be split into three new ethnically-based nations - a Hispanic southwest, a black south, and a white North. Life in the border areas will not be boring. After the initial chaotic fighting stabilizes, a sort of World War I situation will take hold. The front line will most likely run all across the former America, East to West, separating white America from the Hispanic southwest and the black South. A North-South front separating the Hispanics from the blacks is also probable. What follows describes one possible variation of the front. Many factors, such as the number of artillery pieces available, ammunition resupply, and a host of other political, military, and economic factors will almost certainly make the actual front less devastating than the hypothetical front described below. Still, bear in mind that in certain places and for limited times the actual front will resemble this worst possible front. In fact, in some instances it will likely be much worse. There are no technical reasons why it cannot be so.

The front will have two main features. The first will be the noman's land, an abandoned area between the forwardmost trench and bunker lines of the opposing sides just as in World War I. The second feature will be an active military zone on both sides of the no man's land extending from the front line back about as far as the enemy's artillery can reach.

Nomans land will vary in width according to circumstances. In flat, deforested land such as deserts it will usually be wider, say 5 miles, about the maximum effective range of light mortars. When the front runs through cities, no man's land is generally at its narrowest, often no more than about 100 yards. During the battle of Stalingrad, no man's land in some cases constricted to the thickness of a wall. In some contested buildings, German and Russian soldiers were separated by nothing more than an interior wall.

I expect automatic cannon to have an impact on the dimension of no man's land similar to that of machine guns during the First World War, and mortars will also have much impact on the dimensions of the future no man's land. The effective combat range of 20mm cannon is just over a mile, and mortars 5 miles. Therefore, we shall assign a width of 1 to 5 miles to the future no man's land. Currently, the heaviest common artillery has a range of about 30 thousand meters or 19 miles, which will determine the width of the military zone on both sides of the front. Therefore, 19 miles for the two military zones times 2 = 38 miles. (I omit the width of noman's land to simplify calculations.)

The total length of this front will be in excess of the aproximately 3,000 miles east to west dimension of the current United States. Actually, it will be longer when you allow for its twists and turns, plus the length of the north-south front separating the black south from the Hispanic southwest, and the fronts surrounding besieged cities and enclaves. However, for our purposes we shall use the conservative 3,000 mile figure. A width of 38 miles times a total distance of 3,000 miles equals a total area of 114,000 square miles. If you multiply this figure by the average population density of the current continental United States, 86 persons per square mile, you get an approximation of how many people will be living, but not for long, on this future artillery range - 9,834,699 people (Actually, there will be more; these are the 1990 census figures).

The point of these computations is to give some idea of the impact of this vast artillery range that will slice up America - the front. All the people living in the front will be displaced - displaced because they will be subject to intertent artillery bombardment. To put a human face on these numbers, consider that this artillery range is about the same size in area and population as the states of Kentucky, Louisiana and West Virginia all combined.

Now consider the economic impact that the appearance of this front will have. It is clear that if the above three states were turned into artillery ranges today, it would plunge America into a severe recession. About 10 million people would be displaced and become refugees, and all the production of the factories and farms of these states would be lost - either destroyed outright or completely idle, as there would be no workers to operate them. Now consider that all railroads, power lines, highways, and various pipelines crossing the front will be cut. Operation and transport costs for all businesses will soar.

The front will be an apocalyptic landscape of smashed buildings, burnt houses, downed bridges, and cut power lines. Weeds will overgrow all. Former pet dogs now abandoned and feral will roam in packs, many of them rabid. Clouds of mosquitoes will breed in numerous shell holes. Bleached human bones covered with shards of cloth will be seen here and there. And at places there will be mass graves, all unmarked, and most quickly forgotten after the soldiers that filled them are likewise killed.

As a prudent mental exercise, every reader of this book should consider his proximity to this future front. If Civil War II started tomorrow, my home in Northwest New Jersey, for example, would be within artillery range of Dover, New Jersey, which might very well be under the control of Hispanic militias. Where would they get this artillery? Well, there are a number of national guard armories and federal military reserve armories in the greater New York area that do have tanks and artillery pieces stored on their premises; that's where they'll get them. In addition, they might succeed in capturing some of the large U.S. Navy vessels that frequently dock in New York's harbors. And they might receive them from foreign governments sympathetic to their cause.

John S Bolton said at April 9, 2006 2:37 AM:

This scenario is rather unreasonable, in that it assumes a spontaneity and loss of control, which would seem to misunderstand the goals of officials in promoting ethnic conflict, as through mass immigration of hostiles.
As in the race riots over the last 40 years, one should expect, not spontaneous happenings, but deliberate signallings by officials, as through delicately calculated withdrawals of police, that the pogrom has the green light.
Power-seekers want power, and they know how best to get it. The problem has been that no conflict of sufficient magnitude and staying power, has been found capable of being agitated.
Officials and their scholars, have long since determined on race as the point on which conflict is to be agitated, in degree sufficient to get national emergency and dictatorship. The facilitation of mass immigration of hostiles is the main thrust today, of official power-greed, leading onto despotism through stage-managed civil war.
It should not to be assumed that, because officials favor such disadvantaged minorities today, that they will not turn altogether against them, once they get dicatorship set up. Evidence of this official attitude is also to be found in the extreme degradation that they allow or encourage among the protected classes.
Officials in pursuit of this power, will not unnecessarily destroy production or productive populations; the maintenance of these is the key to their power, both towards the inside and towards the countries outside. They will have minorities riot and destroy their welfare communities, and form green lines around them, even to the extent of tens of thousands of miles. The shortening of those green lines down to hundreds of miles, would be the partition of the country.
At no point, would officials lose control of the overall process, nor allow foreign intervention. Such a conflict involves war with Mexico too, and that is part of the disposition of the conflicts agitated. Officials have a time tested mix of appeasement, moderate provocation in the context of overall appeasement of hostiles, and some actual provocation; in proportions on the order of 90%, 10%, 1% respectively. A mix like that is the most likely to bring war; now see if this is not what is being done.

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