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Michael van der Galien

Are Progressives Right On Immigration?

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Posted on January 9 2010 6:00 pm
Michael van der Galien was born in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in 1984. For as long as he can remember, he has been obsessed with the United States. When he was 17 years old, he started blogging - of course about America. His articles have been published at Big Hollywood, Pajamas Media, Hot Air (the GreenRoom) and Right Across The Atlantic. He's also an editor for the Dutch conservative blog, De Dagelijkse Standaard.
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Opposition to immigration reform — often with racist overtones — has unfortunately become a core cause in many conservative circles. Often the objection is cultural, as promoted by the late political scientist Samuel Huntington — the perception that immigration threatens a core American identity and that the current crop of Hispanic immigrants is uniquely resistant to cultural assimilation. Others focus on the issue of legality, arguing that illegal immigrants are lawbreakers and should be treated as such.

Both themes are misguided and contrary to sound conservative principles. The cultural claim is historically unfounded. Previous waves of immigrants — Irish, Chinese, German, Eastern European — were always thought at the time to be resistant to assimilation. Such views were always proved wrong within a couple generations. There is simply no evidence for the Huntingtonian hypothesis, even leaving aside its transparently racist foundations.

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