NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


September 26, 2008

Unless we curb present levels of mass immigration, Americans are likely to live in a more conflict-ridden, less cooperative, less advanced, more unequal, higher-taxed, and more government-heavy society, says author Mark Krikorian, in his new book, "The New Case Against Immigration: Both Legal and Illegal."

Mass immigration, explains Krikorian, has damaging effects on matters as diverse as national security and automation. These three effects, however, are fundamental:


  • It retards the assimilation of immigrants already here, helps our post-national elites to smash a "melting pot" they now regard as atavistic and discriminatory, and undermines both America's national identity (rooted in its common culture) and its sovereignty.
  • All of this, in turn, spreads social distrust both between groups and even within groups, including native-born Americans.
  • It thereby weakens the habits of informal social cooperation that Tocqueville identified as a distinctive virtue of American civilization.


  • It obstructs the introduction of labor-saving technology, since cheap labor is readily available through mass immigration.
  • This, in turn, holds down productivity, slows down per capita income increases, and inhibits the spread of middle-class living standards.
  • The net effect is greater social inequality.


  • Mass immigration -- because it is, in effect, a policy of importing poverty -- overstrains government services from Medicare to education even as it hikes the tax burden.
  • Innumerable studies show, for instance, that immigrants and their children account for most of the rise in those lacking health insurance.
  • Hospitals across America have been closing their accident and emergency departments in order to avoid the bankruptcy caused by having to treat such patients; hence one result of mass immigration will likely be some form of socialized medicine.
  • But the additional taxation paid by immigrant workers will not equal the costs they impose for about 300 years.

Source: John O'Sullivan, "But Shall it Prevail?" National Review, September 29, 2008; based upon: Mark Krikorian, "The New Case Against Immigration: Both Legal and Illegal," Sentinel, July 3, 2008.


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