T h e P a t h
t o N a t i o n a l S u i c i d e

 An Essay on Immigration and Multiculturalism

  by Lawrence Auster

The 1965 Law:
Its Intent, Its Consequences

This is the central problem of immigration today; that the law . . . has not recognized that individuals have rights irrespective of their citizenship. It has not recognized that the relevant community is not merely the nation but all men of good will.
  Robert F. Kennedy in 1965
The outstanding trait of the men of our period may seem in retrospect to have been the facility with which they put forth untried conceits as “ideals.”
  Irving Babbitt,
Democracy and Leadership (1924)

The first requirement for an informed debate on immigration is an understanding of the existing law. Such knowledge, more than any other factor, can help dispel the strange mental passivity that seems to grip Americans whenever they are confronted with this issue: even when people realize the unimaginable scope of the changes taking place in our country, there is a feeling that those changes are inevitable. It is as though the “browning of America,” as Time has dubbed it, were a kind of vast natural phenomenon, as far outside of human control as continental drift. There seems to be almost no awareness of the fact that this alteration of our society is the result, not of an act of God, but of an act of Congress; not of some inviolable provision in the Constitution, but of a law passed in 1965. An examination of the 1965 Act, and of the profound misconceptions entertained by its framers, will show us that they never intended the sea change in American life that is occurring as a result of that law. This understanding is essential if we are to disenthrall ourselves from the disabling belief in the “inevitability” of present trends.

Background of the 1965 Act

On October 3, 1965, in a ceremony at the foot of the Statue of Liberty, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law one of the most far-reaching legislative enactments in our nation’s history, the Immigration Reform Act of 1965. The Act eliminated restrictive national origins quota that had governed immigration policy since the 1920s and extended to the people of every country on earth the equal right to immigrate to the United States.

First passed in 1921, the national origins quota had reduced the great tide of immigration that had been coming in since the late nineteenth century, mainly from southern and eastern Europe. The “new” immigrants, so different in appearance and habits from the earlier Americans, had aroused profound fears of a changed America—fears that were rationalized, though never officially sanctioned, in the form of a racial ideology that viewed the Nordic, or northern European, groups as superior to other Caucasian peoples. By limiting the percentage of immigrants from any country to that nationality’s existing proportion of the U.S. population, the national origins quota was intended to preserve America’s ethnic composition. Renewed under the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952, the immigration quota limited annual entries from countries outside the Western Hemisphere to 158,361, 70 percent of which were earmarked for Britain, Ireland and Germany. Asian countries were limited to a token quota of 100 immigrants per year (although thousands more had been admitted as refugees). By the mid-1960s, when Congress was banning discriminatory practices against U.S. citizens on the basis of color, race or national origin, there was a growing consensus that it was unacceptable to go on excluding foreigners from U.S. citizenship on the same basis. The Immigration Act of 1965 can be best understood as a civil rights bill applied to the world at large.

A similar bill proposed by President Kennedy had failed to get through the previous Congress, but now Lyndon Johnson was firmly in control. The chairman of the Senate subcommittee hearings on the bill, as well as its floor manager, was Edward Kennedy; appearing as a witness before the subcommittee was Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who as Attorney General had been the Kennedy Administration’s principal champion of immigration reform. There was little opposition except among southern Democrats and scattered conservative groups with no influence on national opinion. As we shall see, the lack of a strong opposition resulted in a lack of serious debate. Buoyed by a cloud of rhetoric about equal rights, individual worth and family reunification, the bill’s sponsors gave little thought to the bill’s actual provisions and likely results, while warnings by opponents about long-term effects were ignored amidst the general euphoria.

In his opening remarks, chairman Edward Kennedy dismissed the critics:

What the bill will not do: First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same. . . . Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset. . . . Contrary to the charges in some quarters, S. 500 will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and economically deprived nations of Africa and Asia. . . . In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think.

Kennedy did not merely say the critics were mistaken; he went on to discredit them as bigots—thereby establishing a pattern that the immigration debate has followed ever since. “The charges I have mentioned,” he said, “are highly emotional, irrational, and with little foundation in fact. They are out of line with the obligations of responsible citizenship. They breed hate of our heritage. . . .”(4)

Senator Kennedy thus defended the immigration reform bill on the ground that it would not do the things that its “emotional, irrational, hate-breeding” opponents said it would. Who was right? A perusal of the subcommittee transcripts today—a quarter-century after Kennedy spoke those confident words—uncovers an appalling pattern of self-deception, of reassuring claims grossly contradicted by the bill itself and by subsequent immigration history. In the following discussion, we will need to touch on the sometimes devilish complexities of immigration law. I ask the reader’s careful attention. It is only by taking in these details (including numbers) that we can grasp the full scope of the 1965 lawmakers’ misconceptions.

The Accidental Revolution

Mostly it was a matter of numbers. The purpose of the bill, Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach told the subcommittee, was to eliminate the national origins quota system, not to increase immigration. The overall quota would be raised only slightly, from 158,000 to 166,000, and the maximum for any one country would be 10 percent of that total, or 16,600.(5)

Here we need to clarify a distinction that the senators and administration witnesses tended to ignore. In addition to the limited, quota immigration, there was, and is, unlimited, non-quota immigration which includes immediate relatives (spouses children, parents) of recent immigrants as well as, prior to 1965, immigrants from the entire Western Hemisphere.* The numbers used by the bill’s sponsors only referred to that portion of immigration that came under the quota, and did not include the numerically unrestricted, non-quota immigration, which could be a far higher number. By glossing over this distinction and not mentioning the non-quota immigrants, the senators made current and projected immigration figures appear far smaller than they really were. For example, at one point Senator Sam Ervin asked Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania: “[D]o you not think there is a certain limit to the capacity of the U.S. to assimilate immigrants into our industrial and into our cultural patterns?” Scott answered: “I think, sir, that this bill has that consideration in mind.” The bill, he said, would only add 8,000 immigrants per year.(6) What Scott did not say was that the 8,000 figure was only the increase in the quota for the non-Western Hemisphere immigrants, which was being increased from 158,000 to 166,000. Since the old quota, mainly from Northern Europe, had not been filled for several years prior to 1965, and since the new quota was expected to be 100 percent filled, the expected increase of quota immigrants was substantially higher than the increase of the quota itself. Estimates of this expected increase varied slightly. Robert Kennedy declared that “the net increase in immigration attributable to this bill would be at most 50,000 a year.”(7) Edward Kennedy mentioned a figure of 62,000; Philip Hart of Michigan said 66,000. Hart to Katzenbach: “[T]he notion was created that 190 million [the 1965 U.S. population] is going to be swallowed up. None of us would want that, the bill does not seek to do it and the bill could not do it.” Katzenbach agreed.(8) Thus the bill’s own supporters affirmed that they did not want or expect the law to result in a huge increase in immigration or in a fundamental change in the U.S. population. But this is exactly what has happened, because they did not take into consideration the vast increase in non-quota, numerically unrestricted immigration that has actually occurred under the 1965 law.

This problem was clarified by an opposition witness, Myra C. Hacker of the New Jersey Coalition. Ms. Hacker pointed out that the bill would not only increase the number of immigrants under the quota by taking places away from countries that were not using their quota and giving them to others, but that further increases in non-quota immigration would lead to an actual increase of 125,000 over the then-current total of 275,000, making a total of 400,000. “However,” she added “the bill offers such broad discretionary powers to the Attorney General that the overall yearly number could well rise to a half million or more. . . . At the very least, the hidden mathematics of the bill should be made clear to the public.(9)

These warnings went unheeded. The bill’s advocates continued using the misleadingly low figures. During both the hearings and the floor debates, they did not speak of the actual increase of hundreds of thousands, but of increases of “8,000” or “60,000.” It was on the basis of these numbers that the bill was approved. But Myra Hacker’s prediction of an increase to “half million or more” immigrants per year has already come true.

Reversing the Preferences

Another kind of hidden mathematics concerned the types of persons admitted under the preference categories designed to emphasize the values of family reunification and individual worth. Once again we must place the rhetoric against the reality. Attorney General Katzenbach stated: “The United States would declare to those who seek admission . . . ‘We don’t care about the place or circumstances of your birth—what we care about is what you can contribute.’”(10) The same sentiment was voiced literally dozens of times during the hearings and floor debates. Surely no belief could come closer to the heart of liberalism—as it was once understood—than this recognition of individual worth as distinct from the group one happens to belong to. But the fact is that the 1965 law actually made it harder for people of recognized individual worth (in the form of valuable skills) to gain entry compared with another category of persons, i.e., relatives of recent immigrants. Prior to 1965, the first 50 percent within the quota for each country was earmarked for persons with specialized skills “urgently needed in the U.S.,” the next 30 percent for parents and unmarried adult children of U.S. citizens, and the last 20 percent for spouses or unmarried children of permanent U.S. residents. The 1965 law reversed this priority and favored relatives over skilled individuals. First priority would now go to unmarried adult children of citizens, second priority to spouses of resident aliens, and third priority to exceptional and talented immigrants, with additional categories for more distant relatives and people with “needed” skills.

To get an idea of how this emphasis on relatives has worked out in practice, let’s look at the figures for two recent years. In 1985, out of a total of 570,000 legally admitted immigrants (270,000 quota and 300,000 non-quota), only 54,000 were admitted because of their skills, while 420,000 (73 percent of the total) were relatives. Of the 270,000 quota immigrants, 80 percent were relatives. In 1986, less than four percent of the 601,708 legal immigrants were granted entry on the basis of occupational skills, while kinship entrants amounted to 443,700, or 74 percent of the total. Relatives dominate both the quota and non-quota rolls, making it very hard for unrelated individuals to be admitted. As Scott McConnell wrote in the May 9, 1988 issue of Fortune:

What no legislator voting on the 1965 act envisioned was how quickly family reunification would produce chain immigration. Imagine one immigrant, say an engineering student, who was studying in the U.S. during the 1960s. If he found a job after graduation, he could then bring over his wife [as the spouse of a resident alien], and six years later, after being naturalized, his brothers and sisters [as siblings of a citizen]. They, in turn, could bring their wives, husbands, and children. Within a dozen years, one immigrant entering as a skilled worker could easily generate 25 visas for in-laws, nieces, and nephews.(11)

This unintended result—virtually unlimited admittance of hundreds of thousands of relatives every year—was even more remarkable when we consider the scope of the actual problem that the family preference categories were meant to solve, that is, the separation of U.S. citizens and residents from their families. Critics of the bill made the point that there was a total of only five or six thousand cases of family separation; the number of Asian spouses of American citizens who were not able to get into the U.S. was only 507. Sam Ervin suggested that this limited number of cases could be handled by special measures short of changing the whole law: “[W]e could cure any such injustice without changing the status of all the countries of the earth.”(12) This suggestion was not followed. Instead, family preference categories were so emphasized that they not only came to dominate the immigration rolls, but continue to expand year after year, with no legal ceiling.

Beyond the obvious inequity, in a law advertised for its fairness, of favoring relatives to the virtual exclusion of all other applicants, the rhetoric of “individual worth” as applied to our immigration law is deceptive on a deeper level. “Worth,” understood as the value that an immigrant is adding to the U.S., has little or nothing to do with a person’s qualification for citizenship. People apply, and if they have the right relatives, or if they fit in the quota and have applied early enough, and if they have no diseases or other disqualifying factors, they are admitted. Where is “worth” in all this? “Worth,” in the Madisonian sense of an immigrant’s contribution to the wealth and strength of the United States, is simply beside the point in our immigration policy, or is at best left to chance, since there is no positive value for our country being sought in our choice of immigrants (except for the tiny number admitted with “urgently needed skills”), but only the avoidance of a negative value, i.e., discrimination. We prove our moral worth to ourselves and the world by demonstrating compassion and eschewing any trace of national or racial discrimination. That is our immigration policy, and the idea of what is good for the people of the United States plays a very small part in it.

A Voice in the Wilderness

But did the 1965 Act actually put an end to discrimination? Sam Ervin of North Carolina, co-chairman of the immigration subcommittee, thought not. In sharp distinction from his colleagues, who seemed ready to launch America into the unknown on the basis of idealistic dreams and falsified numbers, Ervin practiced the Confucian standard of leadership; he used words that corresponded with facts.

Senator Ervin argued that the bill did not eliminate discrimination, as its sponsors claimed, but only exchanged some types of discrimination for others. No matter how you arrange things, he said, you are still going to be discriminating against someone. For example, even under the new law the U.S. would still be discriminating against the hundreds of millions of people who wanted to come but couldn’t. Further, said Ervin, “Instead of taking those we talk about when we get oratorical, the tired and the poor and the despised, we take the brilliant.”(13) Of course, this turned out not to be the case, since the law gave higher priority to relatives than to skilled persons. So Ervin should have said: “Instead of taking the tired and the poor, we take those with the right family connections.” In any case, all kinds of unexpected forms of discrimination have developed under the 1965 law, yet even a token reform of these practices has become almost impossible because of pressure from groups which are benefiting the most—as the fate of the 1989 Kennedy-Simpson bill makes clear.

Specifically, Ervin contended that the bill did not eliminate national and racial discrimination from our immigration law, but only instituted a new form of discrimination against our traditional immigrant groups. This was a prophetic insight, considering the plight of today’s Irish would-be immigrants, who have been effectively barred from the U.S. by countries like the Philippines and Korea monopolizing the quotas through use of the family preference system. In effect, we were replacing a sensible—though admittedly too restrictive—type of discrimination favoring our historic source nations and skilled persons, by a senseless type of discrimination favoring extended families from Third-World countries. Ervin defended the idea of positive discrimination in favor of certain groups, namely the European peoples who had built America and created its civilization. We do not need to agree with that idea, nor with the restrictive national origins quota that the 1965 bill overturned, to appreciate the underlying principle of Ervin’s argument: that our nation has the right to determine its own destiny, and therefore a right to select among prospective immigrants on that basis.

Ervin: That racial and national origin discrimination, I think, is a very important thing for us to pursue. . . . The fact that the McCarran-Walter Act gives a preference . . . to those ethnic groups I have mentioned [northern Europeans], is the objection to it, isn’t it?

Secretary of State Rusk: Yes; as opposed to the others all over the world.

Ervin: Mr. Secretary . . . do you know of any people in the world that have contributed more to making America than those particular groups? . . . In other words, you take the English-speaking people, they gave us our language, they gave us our common law, they gave us a large part of our political philosophy. . . . The reason I say this bill is discriminatory against those people is because it puts them on exactly the same plane as the people of Ethiopia are put, where the people of Ethiopia have the same right to come to the United States under this bill as the people from England, the people of France, the people of Germany, the people of Holland, and I don’t think . . . I don’t know of any contributions that Ethiopia has made to the making of America.

The point I am making is, we discriminate every day in every phase of life, we make discriminations in law, we make them in our personal actions, we discriminate in our opinions . . . we discriminate by the girls we marry, choose one and object to the choice of another, or they object to us.

The only possible charge of discrimination in the McCarran-Walter Act is that it discriminates in favor of the people who made the greatest contribution to America, and this bill puts them on the same plane as everybody else on earth.


I do not think you could draft an immigration bill in which you do not discriminate. I think discrimination is ordinarily the exercise of intelligence to make conscious choices. . . . we always discriminate, only the basis of it is different, each of us think[s] our own way is wise and right. . . . I think there is a rational basis and a reasonable basis to give a preference to Holland over Afghanistan, and I hope I am not entertaining a very iniquitous thought when I entertain that honest opinion.(14)

No Intention to Transform U.S. Culturally

It is clear that Sam Ervin’s preference was to preserve, or at least not depart precipitously from, the existing cultural and ethnic character of the United States. But before we automatically dismiss Ervin as a southern reactionary, we ought to realize that the liberal supporters of the 1965 Act had much the same concerns. Senators and Administration officials repeatedly affirmed that they had no intention to transform the American people but only to bring procedural equity to our immigration law. How modest their expectations were can be seen by an illustration that Robert F. Kennedy gave during his testimony. Supposing, said Kennedy, that all the immigrants under the new law were Italians. That figure, about 166,000, would be less than one tenth of one percent of the 1965 U.S. population. (Note once again the use of the small quota number, 166,000, as though it represented the total number of immigrants.) Italians, said Kennedy, now comprise four percent of the population; by the year 2000 they would comprise six percent. “Of course,” Kennedy went on to say, “S.500 would make no such radical changes. . . . But the extreme case should set to rest any fears that this bill will change the ethnic, political, or economic make-up of the United States.” Here we see the intentions of the lawmakers writ large in the words of one of the law’s principal sponsors. In Robert Kennedy’s mind, an increase in the size of a single European group from four percent of the population to six percent over a period of 35 years—a 50 percent increase—would be a “radical” change, and he told the committee that no such thing would happen.(15)

A similar divorce from reality can be seen in the lawmakers’ approach to the question of Asian immigration. Starting in the late 19th century, Asians had been kept out of the U.S. by a series of Asian exclusion acts. The exclusion acts were replaced in 1943 by tiny quotas of about 100 per country. The McCarran-Walter Act of 1952 placed a ceiling of 2,000 on the entire Asia-Pacific area. Despite various exemptions such as refugee status, under which 119,677 immigrants had been admitted from China, Japan and the Philippines from 1953 to 1963, Asians were still virtually barred from the U.S. In addition, Asians were excluded by race, rather than by country of origin. For example, an ethnic Chinese residing in Latin America could not immigrate to the U.S. despite the lack of quota restrictions for the Western Hemisphere.

Secretary of State Dean Rusk told the subcommittee that the exclusion of Asians was damaging America’s relations with Asian countries. The Asians, Rusk said, “were not complaining about numbers but about the principle [of total exclusion] which they considered discriminatory.” Rusk assured the committee that the bill would not result in a massive Asian immigration. In the first five years under the new law, he expected only 5,000 Japanese to enter the U.S.; of the 166,000 worldwide annual total (once again, that misleading quota number), only 10%—16,000 immigrants—would come from the Asian-Pacific Triangle.(16) Robert Kennedy’s estimate was even more conservative: he said that 5,000 Asian immigrants might come the first year (mainly family reunification cases), “after which immigration from that source would virtually disappear.”(17) These low estimates made it easy for the senators to conclude that Asian immigration under the bill would not, in the words of Sen. Hyram Fong of Hawaii, “change the whole cultural pattern of the U.S.” Fong told Labor Secretary Willard Wirtz that under the bill the Asian population would never surpass one percent of the U.S. population. “I just want to make this point because the argument that the cultural pattern of the U.S. will change needs to be answered. Our cultural pattern will never be changed as far as America is concerned.”

Secretary Wirtz said, “Right.” Then he added, “It will become more cosmopolitan.” Senator Fong rejoined, “It will become more cosmopolitan but still there is that fundamental adherence to European culture.” To this, Secretary Wirtz agreed.(18)

It was on the basis of these calming assurances—that the number of Asian immigrants would be too small to change America’s cultural pattern or to remove its “fundamental adherence” to its European roots—that the Immigration Reform Act was passed. But what have been the actual results? Dean Rusk said there would be 16,000 Asian immigrants per year; by the mid-1980s, there were about 250,000 per year—one million Asians every four years. In 1960, the U.S. population of 190 million included 900,000 persons of Asian descent, less than one half of one percent. By 1980, there were 3.3 million Asians, or 1.5 percent of the total, an increase of over 200 percent in 20 years. Hyram Fong had said that the Asian population would never be more than one percent of the total; yet within 15 years of Fong’s prediction, that percentage had already been exceeded. According to one study,(19) if legal immigration continues at mid-1980s rates (600,000 per year), then by 2000, the Asian population will reach 9.85 million, triple the 1980 figure and more than double the 1980 Asian percentage of the population (from 1.5 percent in 1980 to 3.5 percent in 2000); this adds up to a 600 percent increase in 35 years, an amazing figure in light of RFK’s pronouncement that a 50 percent increase in the size of one European group over 35 years would be “radical.” Of course, the concentration of Asians in a handful of states as well as their success in higher education and the professions have already made them a far more visible component in society than the current national figures would indicate. For example, Asians made up eight percent of California’s 1988 high school graduating class, yet because of a combination of academic achievement and racial quotas they filled 26 percent of the 1988 freshman class at the University of California at Berkeley; whites comprised 62 percent of the same state-wide high school class but only 39 percent of Berkeley’s freshman class.(20) In the New York region between 1980 and 2000 the Chinese population is expected to increase from 160,000 to 450,000; Filipinos from 55,000 to 170,000, Koreans from 40,000 to 162,000, and Indochinese from 7,700 to 43,000—in all, an increase from 262,700 to 825,000 in a mere twenty years.(21) Thus, instead of the handful of family reunification cases foreseen by the 1965 legislators, we are witnessing the rapid Asianization of the cultural and intellectual centers of America.

A small irony is that with respect to the secretary of state’s concerns about removing discrimination against Asians, such huge numbers were entirely unnecessary. Rusk himself said it was not numbers that mattered to the Asians, but eliminating the principle of racial exclusion, and he felt his projected figure of 16,000 Asian immigrants per year would fulfill that purpose. Yet we are now, in 1990, admitting over fifteen times that number. Let us suppose that Dean Rusk had told the Congress in 1965 that in order to improve our relations with the emerging peoples of Asia, the U.S. had to admit, in perpetuity, 250,000 Asians per year. Whether Congress would have passed such a bill is a question I leave to the reader’s imagination.

America’s Destiny Revealed

To grasp the full demographic impact of the post-1965 immi- gration, we need to look several decades into the future. Demographer Leon Bouvier, formerly of the U.S. Congress Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy, has made detailed projections, based on several possible rates of immigration and fertility, of the changes in U.S. ethnic make-up between the years 1990 and 2050.(22) If the U.S. receives 750,000 immigrants per year including illegals (a very conservative estimate), with fertility rates of all ethnic groups converging at a rate of 1.8 in the year 2050 (also a conservative assumption), then Bouvier projects the ethnic distribution of the American population for the years 2020 and 2050 as shown in the first table.

  1990 2020 2050
White non-Hispanic 75.9 % 64.8% 53.8%
Black 12.2 13.2 13.5
Hispanic 8.7 15.4 22.8
Asian and Other 3.1 6.7 9.6
Total U.S.
population (millions)
253 318 355

Hispanics, having increased from 15 million in 1980 to 22 million in 1990, will increase to 81 million in 2050; Asians and others having increased from 4.5 million in 1980 to 8 million in 1990 will grow to 34 million in 2050. Whites will be just over half of the total U.S. population.

At a higher (and more likely) annual immigration rate of one and a half million, with fertility rates converging in the year 2050 at a rate of 2.2, Bouvier’s projections are as follows:

  1990 2020 2050
White non-Hispanic 75.9 % 61.1% 48.9%
Black 12.2 12.4 11.8
Hispanic 8.7 17.5 25.6
Asian and Other 3.1 9.0 13.6
Total U.S.
population (millions)
253 355 464

In numbers, Hispanics will increase to 119 million in 2050; Asians will increase to 63 million in 2050. Whites will have become an absolute minority. Meanwhile, the total U.S. population will reach 464 million persons—a figure that implies horrendous overcrowding and drastic deterioration in the quality of life in many parts of the country, not to mention the effects on the environment.

As already indicated, the regional impact of immigration is not evenly distributed; two-thirds of all legal new arrivals are concentrating in only five states: California, New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois. This means that America’s most powerful and culturally influential regions will have substantial non-white majorities early in the coming century. According to an earlier study by Bouvier,(23) assuming one million new arrivals per year, of whom 23 percent settle in California, non-Hispanic whites in California will become a minority shortly after the year 2000. By the year 2080, the change in the proportions of the four main groups in California will be as follows:

  1980 2080
White non-Hispanic 66.4% 28.8%
Black 7.7 4.9
Hispanic 19.2 41.4
Asian and Other 6.6 25.0

The total population of California, a state already beginning to choke in its own congestion, will have grown from 24 million to 56 million, an increase largely driven by immigration and the higher birthrates of the immigrant groups. New York State, receiving the second greatest number of immigrants, will change as follows:

  1980 2080
White non-Hispanic 74.4% 39.5%
Black 13.7 31.8
Hispanic 9.4 15.4
Asian and Other 2.4 13.3

Another way to understand how America will change, says Bouvier, is to look at immigrants and their descendants as a proportion of the population. In 1980, 27 percent of the U.S. population consisted of post-1880 immigrants and their descendants. Based on the conservative, one-million per year projections for the next century, 36.8 percent of the 2080 population will be post-1980 immigrants and their descendants. The pre-1880 population from northern Europe—the original racial and cultural base of the U.S.—will have become a vanishing minority. In the next section we will consider some of the effects this demographic revolution is likely to have on America’s cultural identity.


* Prior to 1965, Western Hemisphere countries were not included under the quota, since immigration from the Americas was still relatively low. Non-quota immigration from the Western Hemisphere in 1964 was 150,000, a far higher number than was coming in under the incompletely filled quota for the Eastern Hemisphere at that time. Following the 1965 Act, a new worldwide quota of 270,000 was established.

Canada and Australia, like the U.S., admit immigrants without regard to national origin, but, unlike the U.S., demonstrate some reasonable care for their national interest by favoring applicants on the basis of skills, education, investment capital and knowledge of English. It would seem that America, in placing compassion and equity above all other values, is incapable of even this modest degree of prudence.

Includes Pacific Islanders and American Indians.

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Chapter II:  The Meaning of Multiculturalism