Global Winds Changing on Immigration
FAIR Take | December 2023
Last week, a bill to provide more funding to Ukraine failed to pass following a 49-51 vote in the Senate. The main reason for failure was some lawmakers’ conviction that not enough was being done in Congress to protect the American people from the crisis on our own border. As illegal immigration surges to record numbers, with over 12,000 migrants encountered in a single day according to recent reports, public sentiment is rationally turning against America’s open borders and the disaster they’ve become. The American people have always welcomed newcomers, but reasonably expect them to come legally and in a way that benefits Americans first. Elected officials of both parties can sense the growing frustration.
It is not just America where popular frustration at mass immigration is showing. France has been burdened by illegal immigration for decades. An October 2023 report by the French Institute for Demographic Studies shows that over half of migrants in France arrived illegally. This uncontrolled migration has had serious security impacts. Since 2012, over 230 French people have been killed and over 700 have been wounded by terrorism. In 2020, France was rocked by the beheading of a teacher by an asylum seeker from Chechnya. This week, the French National Assembly narrowly rejected a bill in a 270-265 vote that would have made it easier to deport foreign-born criminals and restrict access to welfare for migrants. The reason for its rejection was that many felt the bill did not go far enough.
Britain is also undergoing massive immigration frustration. The U.K. government has been plunging in opinion polls, and immigration (or rather the government’s failure to address it robustly) remains a major concern for many voters. Britain’s plan to deport migrants to Rwanda was struck down by Britain’s Supreme Court, and Suella Braverman, who had bravely called for robust action to stop illegal immigration, was fired after clashing with Prime Minister Sunak. Sunak also planned to reform skilled worker visas by raising the minimum wage required to qualify for a work visa and restrict the importation of family members. The plan, however, failed to garner broad public support as the British currently appear to be more concerned with the boats that have brought over 113,000 illegal migrants to the U.K. in the last five years. In February, four illegal aliens from Afghanistan who arrived in boats were arrested after the gang-rape of a 15 year-old British girl.
The popular mood on immigration in nearly all Western countries is now reaching a tipping point. The sheer scale and speed of change created by mass migration is impossible to sweep under the rug. Previous waves were relatively small and geographically concentrated in border communities and large cities. Now, thanks to the relentless influx of illegal aliens into the West and “equitable” resettlement efforts, every community is a border community. Whether it is migrant resettlement in Maine, or the 46 U.S. states that will receive Afghan migrants, Americans cannot avoid mass migration no matter where they live. The surge in migrants with terror connections, migrant-driven homelessness and collapsing services and safety in migrant destinations have made immigration the unavoidable issue of the day.
The open borders lobby continues to tell Western populations that mass immigration is inevitable and that the sole duty of the population is to sit back and take it (while also paying for it). However, across the world and including in the U.S., ordinary people are waking up. Those of us who make the case for intelligent, compassionate and managed migration that puts America’s well-being first can take heart from the trends that are now sweeping the globe.