Unbelievable: Tamar Jacoby says we need to discuss how immigration is changing our character as a people

Tamar Jacoby, today’s most vociferous and relentless open-borders proponent, takes a position on the issue that none of us ever expected to see coming from her.

Mike Berman writes:

At yesterday’s immigration debate in New York City presented by the Donald and Paula Smith Foundation, Tamar Jacoby represented the side which argued for the benefits of immigration. Her adversary, Jack Martin of FAIR, presented many of the economic and ecological arguments against unrestricted immigration, and Jacoby countered with what one would expect from her side. The only claim she made which was demonstrably false was that immigrants have always experienced adjustment problems, but that today’s immigrants will eventually assimilate just as all others have in the past.

The subject of culture, ethnicity, and race was never mentioned by Martin; he scrupulously avoided it. Amazingly, it was Tamar Jacoby who raised the culture issue by saying that she felt the only valid argument for restricting immigration is Pat Buchanan’s. That is, that part of being a nation is that we are a people. She admitted that the current wave of immigrants was changing the character of the country and that we should be thinking about what exactly this means.

Later, during the Q&A, a gentlemen who attends American Renaissance conferences made the point that America is more than just a piggy bank and that the cultural aspects of immigration are being ignored. He stated that we are now receiving more immigrants from Mexico than from all of Europe, which was the foundation of our population, and that as a consequence whites will become a minority by the middle of the century.

It was Tamar Jacoby who first responded. She said, yes, this is the Pat Buchanan argument again and that we have to think about the implications of this question as a nation.

LA replies:

I’m floored that Jacoby treated the changes in the racial and ethnic composition of America due to immigration, and the changes in American culture and identity resulting from those demographic changes—which for so long has the forbidden topic in the immigration debate—as a legitimate issue that needs to be discussed. It will be most interesting to see what comes from her next. Thanks much to Mr. Berman for sending this report.

Charles G. writes:

“She admitted that the current wave of immigrants was changing the character of the country and that we should be thinking about what exactly this means.”

She means only that we will have to “think” about how we will graciously accede to this change, how we will “think” about becoming a minority. She could care less, I assure you.

LA replies:

You are undoubtedly correct. But the fact that she allows this as an acceptable and valid topic of debate is something profoundly new. It represents a major victory for our side. Jacoby has always been among those who decry any concern about culture and ethnicity—i.e. about peoplehood—as bigoted and racist. Now she’s saying it’s a legitimate subject that we can talk about, and she even seems to want such a discussion to take place.

RB writes:

I’m not sure what Jacoby’s strategy is in legitimizing such an issue; perhaps it is simply a ploy to lull her opponents into believing that at some level she really does share their concerns. However, that expression was belied by some of her comments at the Smith Family Foundation dinner following the debate. There, she and her friend John Fund went after Lou Dobbs and the “loud folks” at talk radio, blaming them for the defeat of their cherished comprehensive immigration reform. It would appear that La Raza and its leftist allies are not the only ones after Dobbs’ scalp. She also referred to some poll showing that the majority of Americans now favor legalization; polls, of course, can be easily manipulated. It appears that Jacoby and her friends are panting for the election of McCain following which they will revive their scheme.

LA replies:

Based on further information I’ve received, I can tell you that she definitely is up to something sneaky, and does not mean what she appears to be meaning. I’ll have more on this later.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 21, 2008 02:53 PM | Send

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