A September report released by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) noted that the nation's immigrant population (both legal and illegal) hit a record 42.4 million in July 2014, representing an increase of 2.4 million since July 2010. The figures were compiled from data from the Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey (ACS).
The CIS report collected data from the ACS that listed the sending countries with both the largest numerical increases and the largest percentage increases in the number of immigrants living in the United States since 2010. The first category reflects what The New American reported in an August 31 article: that more Asians than Mexicans are now immigrating to the United States.
The report noted that the sending countries with the largest numerical increases in the number of immigrants living in the United States since 2010 were India (up 426,000) and China (up 353,000), with the Dominican Republic (up 119,000) and several other Latin American countries trailing. Although Mexico had the largest immigrant population in the United States (with 11.7 million legal and illegal immigrants living in the United States in 2014), the number of Mexican immigrants in this country grew by just 130,000 from 2013 to 2014.
It was the second category, however, “the sending countries with the largest percentage increases in the number of immigrants living in the United States since 2010,” that has received considerable attention in the conservative press, especially by Breitbart.
In that section, CIS noted that the sending countries with the largest percentage increases in the number of immigrants living in the United States since 2010 were Saudi Arabia (up 93 percent); Bangladesh (up 37 percent); Iraq (up 36 percent); Egypt (up 25 percent); Pakistan, India, and Ethiopia (all up 24 percent); Nigeria and Ghana (both up 21 percent); Venezuela (up 17 percent); and China (up 16 percent).
The first five of these nations listed have overwhelmingly Muslim populations, with Islam making up about one-half of Nigerians and one-third of Ethiopians, as well. This factor presents a matter of grave concern to those who are worried about the negative impact of a large Muslim migration to the United States.
Concern over the possible ill-effects of an increasing Muslim migration are based on two separate factors: First, the problems associated with absorbing large numbers of any immigrants who may have difficulty in assimilating into the existing American social and political structure, due to having been raised with vastly different socio-political values. In other words, since the U.S. constitutional Republic and the underlying social structure essential to maintaining it were established on a bedrock of English common law and European Judeo-Christian culture, it would naturally be more difficult for those raised outside of that culture to assimilate into it and to understand and appreciate its basic principles. Among these principles is an important one stated the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
Can it be said that someone raised in an Islamic state has a thorough appreciation for the concepts expressed in the above portion of the Declaration? Does a republican government based on the principle that rights come from God and that governments exist to secure those rights even exist in the Islamic world?
A second, perhaps more driving, factor leading many to fear an explosive increase in the number of Muslim migrants is the increase in Islamic terrorism in recent decades, a phenomenon that was brought home to Americans in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. While those fears may be well founded (the 19 alleged hijackers on 9/11 were all Muslims), it is also important to distinguish between radical Islamic terrorists and peaceable Muslims, to avoid tarring with the same brush all members of a religious faith that has 1.5 billion adherents, belonging to several major divisions (e.g., Sunni, Shia).
Westerners have had a large presence in the Middle East since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, when Britain and France governed much of the region by a League of Nations mandate. Unfortunately, the colonial powers drew national boundary lines with little regard for historic cultural and religious (Sunni-Shiite) tradition, producing nations that became disunited and difficult to govern after achieving independence. These governance difficulties have sometimes been exploited by those building radicalized organizations in the region.
However, the Western presence, especially in the petroleum industry, also contributed to a Westernization of Middle Eastern Muslims, as the business world served as a hospitable environment for Westerners and Middle Easterners to develop mutual respect.
This writer has had the experience of staying at a Muslim household (my wife’s American-born niece and her Egyptian-born husband) during Ramadan, and they could not have been more accommodating. They told us where to find food for breakfast, even though they were fasting, and shared a wonderful dinner with us when it was time for them to break their fast at sunset. They were also the only ones in our entire extended family to call us up last spring to wish us a Happy Easter — the Resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Just as not all Italian Catholics are members of the Mafia and not all Irish Catholics are members of the IRA, not all Muslims are members of al-Qaeda or ISIS.
This certainly does not mean that our immigration officials should turn a blind eye and not observe due diligence when screening immigrants to our nation to weed out any potential terrorists. And since terrorism is especially rampant in the Middle East, it only makes sense to pay particular attention to immigrants from Middle Eastern countries. The threat of terrorists crossing our borders amidst legitimate immigrants and refugees is a real one and every precaution must be taken. This point was made in an article just posted by The New American earlier today: “No Vetting of Syrian ‘Refugees’ in Obama’s ‘Resettlement’ Invasion.” In that article, this magazine's senior editor William F. Jasper quoted a statement made by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, who warned that the Obama administration’s Syrian refugee plan poses serious security dangers to the United States:
ISIS and other terrorist groups have made it abundantly clear that they will use the refugee crisis to try to enter the United States. Now, the Obama administration wants to bring in an additional ten thousand Syrians without a concrete and foolproof plan to ensure that terrorists won’t be able to enter the country.
Another important factor to constantly keep in mind is that the Islamic terrorism that has devastated so much of the Middle East has been heavily assisted by agencies originating in Russia and China. As such, they are serving the purposes of that same enemy we guarded ourselves against during the Cold War — international communism. (The old KGB’s agents are still alive and kicking in “formerly communist” Russia.) This point was made by William F. Jasper in an article, “American-made Terrorists,” for The New American in 1998 (in a print edition of the magazine that had Osama bin Laden on the cover, three years before 9/11):
As long as the United States and other Western governments pretend not to see and understand the Russian and Chinese hands behind international terrorism and continue to pretend that Osama bin Laden, Taliban, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah, the PLO, Libya, Iran, Syria, et al., are independent actors, we will see the victim corpses of terrorism pile higher and higher.
In an age of rampant terrorism, our government must be more vigilant than ever in securing our borders. This means using every intelligence resource available to prevent terrorists from entering our nation. While many of these terrorists may be Islamic, they must be intercepted not because they are Muslim, but because they are terrorists. To avoid making this distinction only serves to cloud the issue.
Also, considering that the Chinese are so heavily invested in supporting Middle East terrorists, it only makes sense to also be vigilant in screening immigrants from China. The report from CIS stated that China has the second-largest numerical increase (350,000) in the number of its immigrants living in the United States since 2010.