The US, UK, EU and Canada Went Far Left on Immigration — and are Paying the Price

“I’m not anti-immigration. It remains the lifeblood of America, and immigration is vital for our future fiscal balance…”

by Andrew Sullivan at The Weekly Dish: Not so long ago, as many of us reeled from the political earthquakes of Brexit and Trump, it seemed sensible for responsible mainstream political parties to adopt tighter immigration control to keep the populist right at bay. Mass migration in Europe had led to a far-right resurgence; in the US and UK, Trump and the Johnson-era Tories seemed to grasp this and moved to co-opt the anti-immigrant fervor. Democracy was working to accommodate a shift in the public mood.

Or so it seemed. Nearly a decade later, something else has happened: an immigration explosion. In response to a volatile public mood, Western elites actually intensified their policy of importing millions of people from the developing world to replace their insufficiently diverse and declining domestic populations.

The recent figures from the US, UK and Canada are mind-blowing. The graphs all look like a hockey stick, with a massive spike in the last three years alone. Under Trump, the average number of illegal crossings a year was around 500,000; under Biden, that has quadrupled to two million a year — from a much more diverse group, from Africa, China and India. To add insult to injury, Biden has also all but shut down immigration enforcement in the interior; and abused his parole power to usher in nearly 1.3 million illegal migrants in 2023 alone. The number of undetained illegal migrants living in the US has thereby ballooned under Biden: from 3.7 million in 2021 to 6.2 million in 2023, according to ICE. If a fraction of those millions turns up for asylum hearings, I’ll be gob-smacked.

Canada has seen something similar. For much of the 21st century, Canada had around 200,000 to 300,000 immigrants a year; but in the last two years, this has nearly doubled. In Britain, the same story. In 2015, the year before Brexit, net migration (the numbers of people immigrating minus the number emigrating) was 329,000; in the last two years, it has more than doubled to over 700,000. And whereas most immigration before Brexit was from the EU, today, immigrants from the developing world outnumber European immigrants by almost 10 to 1. For those Brits who voted for Brexit to lower the number of foreigners in the country, it’s been surreal.

If you want to understand why Biden keeps trailing in the swing states, why the Tories are about to be wiped out in a historic collapse, and why Trudeau is at all-time low in approval at 28 percent, this seems to me to be key. As the public tried to express a desire to slow down the pace of demographic change, elites in London, Ottawa, and Washington chose to massively accelerate it. It’s as if they saw the rise in the popularity of the far right and said to themselves: well now, how can we really get it to take off?

This week, CNN ran a poll on Biden and immigration. Here’s what they found: in May 2020, only one percent of Americans put immigration as their top concern — in 15th place among issues; in May 2024, 18 percent put it first. In 2020, Biden edged Trump by one percent on who was best to tackle the border crisis; four years later, Trump is ahead on the issue by 27 points. As a coup de grace, CNN also found that foreign-born Americans preferred Trump to Biden on immigration by 47 to 44 percent. Turns out that this immigrant’s worries are widely shared by my fellow new Americans.

More here.

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