I have great respect for Tom Simon, possibly more than anybody else I read except for Dr. Feser (with apologies to all you guys). In his best moments, which he manages to hit much more often than not, he has a depth of insight equal to that of the great G.K. Chesterton, and his fiction is almost as brilliant. I don’t try to go out of my way to antagonize him; quite the contrary. I push his writing wherever I can.
With that said, I’m just not buying his stance on immigration at all. He made a case to me not long ago in my comments section that sounded fairly sensible at the time, but the more I’ve thought about it the more I realized how dangerous it really was. His quote:
[My comment] To make this clear, you would be okay if the French only allowed ethnic Frenchmen to emigrate and settle in France?
No, I would not; because the French have made it very clear in their laws and constitution that the criterion for French citizenship is not French ancestry, but the choice and capacity to fully participate in French culture. There are millions of Frenchmen whose ancestors were Irish, German, Italian, Polish, or for that matter, Algerian or sub-Saharan African; and according to the criteria they have established, they are full Frenchmen. If the French suddenly decided that only those of pure French blood should be allowed citizenship, they would have two choices:
1. Revoke the citizenship of those French citizens who are not ethnically French. This would be a grave injustice to those who lost their citizenship, for they would become men without a country.
2. Not revoke the citizenship of such citizens. This would be clear hypocrisy, for it would retain millions of persons on the roll of citizens that were not entitled to such a status. If the basic principles of French law allow Monsieur So-and-So to be a citizen on Tuesday, it is a violation of those principles to deny that citizenship to his twin brother (like him in every respect, including culturally) on Thursday.
Now think about this for a moment. Really think about it. Think through the implications. Because a group of Frenchmen decided around the time of the French Revolution or thereabouts to change the criteria for French citizenship from something else it had been for, oh, roughly the entire history of Europe, to something different, France is now required – literally required – to allow anybody in, and provide citizenship to, anyone who decides they want to participate in French culture.
Are you worried about losing the French national identity? Do you see what’s happening in France and think “Gee, maybe we should stop letting anybody who claims they want to be French, be French”? Too bad.
I’m sorry, but I’m missing the problem in saying “Hey, people here who are ALREADY citizens, you’re grandfathered in. Now we’re changing the criteria for citizenship. Where on earth is the grave injustice there?
But let’s grant the point. Seeing what we see in essentially *every country that has attempted to be a proposition nation*…maybe the whole melting pot thing actually was a pretty bad idea?
I mean, is it so wrong to consider that possibility? Maybe? Because it doesn’t seem so crazy to me.