Posted on June 9, 2011

Sole Loyalty: The Identity Politics of Immigration Reform

Dean Malik, American Thinker, June 9, 2011

The American motto “E Pluribus Unum” reflects the national aspiration that out of many diverse origins, we may become one people, with one culture, and one sole loyalty. Fidelity to the American social compact–informed by the traditions and beliefs of this nation’s founders–as opposed to race, ethnicity, or ancestry, is what binds us as people and what marks the metes and bounds of American culture.

No issue is more consequential to the cultural future of our nation, or more freighted with the potential for racial polarization, than immigration reform. {snip}

The most striking feature of the campaign for amnesty is the blatant plunge into identity politics by the movement’s proponents. This strategy is made possible by the moral shift in this nation over the past half-century in which majoritarian (white) identity politics has been pushed to the fringes of the civil polity, while the political application of racial and ethnic solidarity by non-whites has been encouraged, governmentally subsidized, and incorporated into the American mainstream.


Moreover, prominent watchdog organizations maintain a catalogue of racist groups, many of which preach both racial superiority and separatism in an explicitly non-violent way. Groups such as the Counsel of Conservative Citizens and the American Renaissance are featured alongside more vitriolic groups in the skinhead and Aryan Nations movement in offender registries.

However, racial advocacy in favor of comprehensive immigration reform is treated differently by society.

The driving force behind immigration reform is a collection of groups which are commonly defined by their promotion of racial, ethnic, and otheridentity-based objectives. The overarching “La Raza” movement, an amalgam of groups that purport to speak for Americans of Hispanic descent, has led the charge.


However, unlike white racist organizations, which are properly subject to public contempt and typically appeal only to a small and malcontented segment of American society, MEChA and organizations like it are at the vanguard of progressive American politics.


The racial arguments for and against immigration reform are intellectually lazy, morally repugnant, and destructive to the national discourse. What is truly at stake for our nation is culture, not race.


Because we are bound together by a set of principles that transcend race, ethnicity, and national origin, our national unity requires an absolute fidelity to the covenant of American citizenship. For immigrants, entry into the covenant begins with passage through our borders on terms set by the American people and codified under our immigration laws.


Only by protecting our cultural foundation, embodied by shared traditions, ethics, and language, with neither racial prejudice nor racial passion, can we continually be ready for “the tremendous tasks of both war and peace.”