The Protection of Nationhood


Operation Lone Star—one of the most contentious immigration-control mechanisms in modern American history—was launched by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in March 2021. The operation was designed to combat the unprecedented influx of illegal immigrants coming across the southern border into Texas. The goal of this ongoing operation is for Texas law enforcement to enforce border security more stringently than the federal government is currently doing under the direction of the Biden administration, and thereby, to decrease the number of illegal immigrants entering America. 

This operation, which has garnered much public attention, has raised broad questions about both the necessity and ethicality of the very existence of borders. Why should it matter that illegal immigrants are coming into America, you might ask? The answer is that the extraordinary surge of these immigrants into America is putting extreme pressure on this country’s political and civilian infrastructure. It is doing so in two different ways, each destructive in its own right. The first is the obvious physical threat that a mass influx of unvetted immigrants poses, and the second is more subtle, but no less dangerous, and that is the threat to America’s national identity.

The first point to consider when discussing excessive immigration is the following: When immigrants are legally coming into the country, they are vetted by the government. When they enter illegally, nobody, including the government, can confirm that they are safe, harmless individuals. 

President Biden and his predecessor President Trump enacted starkly contrasting border policies. Under the Trump administration’s immigration and border policies, notably the “zero tolerance” policy, an approximate average of 5,484 non-American citizens were arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol per year, according to data from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency. Conversely, under President Biden’s more lenient approach, there has been an average of about 11,281 such arrests per year. These data show a clear correlation between unchecked illegal immigration and an increase in crime, proving that a porous border leads to more dangerous people coming into the United States. 

Second, to decide if a secure border is advantageous to a country, one must consider not only the potential physical danger posed by those illegally entering the country, but also the danger this poses to the country’s national identity. The United States is extremely culturally diverse, but America still has a firm culture of our own. It is the renowned melting pot culture. This phrase refers to a culture that joins together people from many different and complex backgrounds to create a unique way of life. This culture is buttressed by certain core values that become adopted by all. 

This melting pot can only survive when immigrants come to America with their own cultures, but also believe in and adhere to America’s core beliefs of freedom, equal rights to all citizens, and natural rights imbued in every man: granted and insured by God, and protected by the government. 

But, today, there are groups coming into America, legally and illegally, that both do not share these ideals and do not view it as a country that has done a tremendous amount of good in the world with the potential to do more. One example is a shocking video of Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan, on the final night of Ramadan, showing them not shouting “death to Israel,” but rather screaming “death to America.” 

Many Americans never thought they’d see such a sight in their lifetime. So how did this happen? It happened because the United States has, willingly or unwillingly, let a tremendous number of people who don’t share our value system into the country. The people espousing these beliefs won’t assimilate because they both don’t want to and don’t perceive that they need to. Muslim immigration to the United States, en masse, is a trojan horse, not because all Muslims are wielding machetes, but because those who don’t adhere to America’s values—even if this is only a small number of the total Muslim immigration into the United States— are playing a significant role in destroying the cultural fabric of America.

But how can one be sure that a lack of enforced borders brings about the end of a country’s culture? First, it is a fundamental necessity for a country to have a common language. Without one, general communication, shared experiences, and economic growth will be unattainable. Studies show that people pouring into America illegally will often not learn English, sometimes even generations after first arriving in the country. 

This problem is exacerbated during periods of heightened immigration. According to articles from the Pew Research Center and the Migrant Policy Institute, it is 23 percent more likely (as of 2016) for an immigrant to be proficient in English if they entered the country legally. And furthermore, 4.7 million American citizens, born in America, mostly to immigrant parents, self-report speaking English less than very well. This demonstrates that many immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, are not fluent in English, which will thwart the maintenance of a national language—something that is a fundamental necessity for a successful country. 

Second, it is important to understand that not only is illegal immigration detrimental to a country, but legal, unchecked immigration can also have a negative effect on a country’s culture. It is informative to look at the trends of crime and religion in Europe over the last few decades. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, in her book Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights, draws a link between a rise in sexual violence against women in Europe and the continent’s explosive rise in immigration.

Hirsi Ali writes that around three million migrants arrived in Europe from 2009 to 2021. From 2011 to 2021, sixty-seven percent of asylum seekers in Europe were male, and roughly 2.4 million asylum applicants were from Muslim-majority countries. The vast majority of recent immigrants to Europe have been males of the Muslim faith. This coincides with a tremendous increase in sexual violence across the continent. For example, the number of victims of “sexual coercion” in Germany rose by forty-one percent in the year 2017 alone. In France, from 2017 to 2018, there was a twenty percent increase in other forms of sexual assault and a seventeen percent increase in rape. Even Sweden, a relatively stable country when it comes to sexual violence, saw a twelve percent rise in reported sex offences in 2016. 

Hirsi Ali argues that there is a direct causality between the immigration from Muslim countries and the rise in sexual violence in these European countries. Clearly, without a careful review process of incoming immigrants, the culture of a country will inevitably change. The culture of the West has strong roots in unalienable rights, the dignity of the individual, and morality. If the culture of the West is worth preserving (it is), and if that culture has something to contribute to the world (it does), then it is essential to protect it. Not having a collective language or a shared fundamental belief system is causing disruption and turmoil that is contributing to the denigration and disintegration of the venerable culture of the West.

Because of its necessity for the safety of America’s citizens, our strive for progress and excellence, and pride in a shared culture, it is essential for the United States to maintain a strong, protected border that ensures all immigrants are vetted by the government and do not pose a threat to Americans’ safety or our creed. 

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