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‘Keep the Immigrants, Deport the Multiculturalists’

…is the very funny title of a very good Wall Street Journal opinion piece by Jason Riley, courtesy of Jonathan Adler at the Volokh Conspiracy.

The basic premise of the piece is that the problem with immigration is not the immigrants themselves. These folks come to America and make good faith (and successful) efforts to scale educational, economic, and social ladders. And Americans understand this. The problem, Riley argues, is elitist multiculturalism that rejects the concept of assimilation. Riley writes,

If American culture is under assault today, it’s not from immigrants who aren’t assimilating but from liberal elites who reject the concept of assimilation. For multiculturalists, and particularly those in the academy, assimilation is a dirty word. A values-neutral belief system is embraced by some to avoid having to judge one culture as superior or inferior to another. Others reject the assimilationist paradigm outright on the grounds that the U.S. hasn’t always lived up to its ideals. America slaughtered Indians and enslaved blacks, goes the argument, and this wicked history means we have no right to impose a value system on others.

But social conservatives who want to seal the border in response to these left-wing elites are directing their wrath at the wrong people. The problem isn’t the immigrants. The problem is the militant multiculturalists who want to turn America into some loose federation of ethnic and racial groups. The political right should continue to push back against bilingual education advocates, anti-American Chicano Studies professors, Spanish-language ballots, ethnically gerrymandered voting districts, La Raza’s big-government agenda and all the rest. But these problems weren’t created by the women burping our babies and changing linen at our hotels, or by the men picking lettuce in Yuma and building homes in Iowa City.

Keep the immigrants. Deport the Columbia faculty.

The full column is certainly worth a read.


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