Immigration and Assimilation versus Invasion
People have migrated throughout history. Long before prehistoric humans even thought of social groups larger than their extended family groups of hunter-gatherers, they moved wherever they could in search of better food and living conditions. Sometimes one group would force another group to move, occasionally nature forced it upon them; the process was relentless, and as a result, they eventually covered the entire globe with the exception of Antarctica.
With the development of sedentary agriculture, people began to settle down but this did not stop migration. Many groups of people still embraced a nomadic migrant lifestyle. Conflicts, some of them of historic scale, erupted between migrant nomads and sedentary, agriculture-based nations for thousands of years. The fall of the Western Roman Empire was the result of one such struggle, and the last such occurred during the 13th and 14th centuries during the expansion of the Mongol Empire. While it is true that today’s immigration crises are not of the same type or scale as the Mongol imperial expansion, which was as much a military conquest as a migration, they do, however, bear a resemblance to the problems faced by the Romans in the west.
The western Romans faced large groups of nomads who were being forced out of their traditional living space by other, more numerous and fiercer nomadic tribes, as well as the sedentary frontier farmers who were being pushed off their land by the nomads. At the same time, the Romans’ sense of patriotism, civic responsibility, and virtue were crumbling and political and social corruption was rampant. In short, Rome no longer had the spark that in earlier days had allowed it to become Rome. The result was that the Western Roman Empire collapsed.
Today we see uninvited African and Middle Eastern migrants pouring into Europe in the thousands. The come by sea and land and there is little done to check their advance. Some European countries have essentially thrown their doors open to them. Given that the vast majority of these migrants have no job skills and do not speak the language of the countries to which they migrate their employability in these countries is essentially nonexistent. Add to the difficulties the fact that many of them do not practice the dominant religion of the countries to which they migrate and also have hugely different views on women’s rights and the proper role of religion in society and there is guaranteed to be a significant clash of cultures.
In the United States, we see caravans of thousands of migrants from Central America and Mexico arriving at the southern border attempting to force a passage into the United States. The United States Border Patrol round up hundreds of illegal aliens who have violated the sovereignty of the country every day. Yet left-wing politicians try to block the construction of a barrier on the southern border.
The above situations are not immigration. These migrants do not apply for legal permission to enter the countries to which they go, they simply go and the law is to be damned. They evade and resist being turned back by the lawful authorities, sometimes by violent means. In both Europe and the United States, this is tantamount to an invasion. Immigration is when people decide they want to live in a different country and apply to legally enter it for the purpose of becoming citizens of that country and living in it under its laws and adapting their way of life to its culture. Immigration is not merely moving legally to a different country, but moving into a different culture, and it is for the immigrants to adapt to that culture, not for that culture to adapt to them.
Migration is not a right and neither is immigration. Sovereign nations have the authority to decide their own immigration policies, whatever they may be. The people living in sovereign nations that allow immigration has the right to expect immigrants to enter legally, respect the existing cultures and adopt them as their own, and to learn to speak the local languages if they are different from the ones spoken in the immigrants’ home countries; it is not the responsibility of the local people to learn the languages of the immigrants. It is also the immigrants’ responsibility to find gainful employment in their new homes and if they cannot, to return to their homelands. Finally, it is the responsibility of the immigrants to subordinate any religious legal doctrines they may hold to the secular laws of the countries to which they move as there can only be one law of the land, and it must apply to all people of whatever religion.
Do the people of Europe and the United States have the patriotism, civic responsibility, and virtue that the western Romans lacked when they faced their migration crisis? Can they stem the unlawful migrant invasion? That remains to be seen.