The Boston bombers, the assimilation vacuum, and immigration reform

John O’Sullivan at NRO has an excellent post called “The Assimilation Vacuum and the Boston Bombers.” He writes:

The first point that strikes me is that these young men should have had every reason to be happy in the United States and grateful to the country for its giving them sanctuary. Their uncle seems to have developed just such a loyalty.

In addition, the young men were apparently well-integrated into American life locally. They had been to good schools, taken part in voluntary activities, and were regarded by Americans who knew them as bright kids and potentially productive citizens.

The easy line on the brothers is that, in spite of all these benefits, they just couldn’t assimilate. But O’Sullivan seems closer to the mark when he says they “assimilated into a nullity.”

This was the case with England’s “7/7 bombers” who killed more than 50 people in the London subway bombings of 2005:

For almost the entire youth of the 7/7 bombers, the British had acted as if they were ashamed of their national identity and history. So young men, with the usual propensity of young men to want to identify with patriotic and idealistic causes, had been told that there was nothing admirable or heroic about being British. It was a sort of swindle, and one, moreover, that had been perpretated especially upon people of their ethnic backgrounds.

They had therefore looked around for a heroic cause they could identify with. The radical Islamists provided them with the cause of radical Islamism — and they embarked on the relatively short road to mass murder.

The British thought this sort of thing wouldn’t happen in the U.S., where the process of “Americanization” seemed to have solved the conundrum of how to turn immigrants into loyal and patriotic citizens. But this is an illusion:

America now [bears] all the marks of a society that had been subjected to sevral decades of relentless indoctrination in the dogmas of multiculturalism and bilingualism.

The Brits, says O’Sullivan of his countrymen, were clinging to an obsolete view of America. And he cites empirical evidence in support of this grim assessment:

Ten days ago the Hudson Institute published an important paper, “America’s Patriotic Immigrations System is Broken,” by John Fonte and Althea Nagai, which drew on a massive new Harris Interactive survey of native-born Americans and immigrants.

This study shows beyond any doubt that, as John Fonte puts it, the patriotic attachment of naturalized citizens is much weaker than that of the native-born. For example, by 30 percentage points (67.3 percent to 37 percent) native-born citizens are more likely to believe that the U.S. Constitution should be a higher legal authority than international law if there is a conflict between the two. But that is only one example — the strength of Fonte-Nagai paper is the cumulative evidence that a relatively weak love of country persists across a large range of issues.

What are the implications for comprehensive immigration reform? According to O’Sullivan:

Getting patriotic assimilation right is as vital — perhaps more vital — than getting border security right. It is an essential part of any comprehensive immigration reform worth the name. To propose opening the country to millions of new immigrants until we have solved this problem is simply to invite more violence from more young men whom we have disoriented and left victim to the worse impulses.

My view is that there will be no “patriotic assimilation.” Given the trend of our current culture, what possible reason is there to think otherwise?

Thus, the 11 million plus illegal immigrants who would become citizens under the Schumer-Rubio (et al.) immigration bill will, as a group, have vastly less patriotic attachment to this country than other U.S. citizens. This will be true no matter how many flags are handed out for illegals to wave at rallies. This will be true no matter how lyrical Marco Rubio and others wax about the illegal alien population.

I can understand why portions of the left, which has led the charge for multiculturalims, see no problem with creating a path to citzenship, notwithstanding its impact on the patriotism of U.S. citizens. But why would any conservative support legislation that almost certainly will dilute American patriotism?

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