A series of attacks in Germany in late July 2016 by Islamists—a number having entered the country as refugees—has brought renewed criticism of policies of welcoming refugees. “Anxiety over Germany’s ability to cope with last year’s flood of more than 1 million registered asylum seekers [largely from the ongoing Syrian crisis] first surged following a series of sexual assaults and robberies in Cologne during New Year celebrations.” But the violence has turned deadlier since then (Associated Press, July 25)—in France, Belgium and elsewhere too.
The British vote to leave the European Union was motivated in part by concern over immigration and open border policies. Many have had enough of multiculturalism leading not to a blending of peoples but to a fragmented society of growing foreign enclaves and ghettos hostile to the host nation.
“Let‘s be honest about this: Immigration without assimilation is not immigration; it’s an invasion.”
As a result of popular outcry, Europe’s borders have had some toughening of late, “prompting migrants to switch focus to the United States, but their trek is being thwarted in Central America, where a bottleneck has formed,” with many Africans, Haitians, Afghans and Pakistanis waiting to move north (AFP, July 23).
Of course, the United States has been dealing with immigration problems for years, including calls for open borders. Over past decades the national makeup of those coming in has dramatically changed. And following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, fears have grown about terrorists crossing into the United States among those immigrating.
All of this amounts to a serious threat to Western countries. As former president Ronald Reagan warned, “A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation”—at least in terms of the nation-state. Jan Brewer, former governor of Arizona, which has seen a lot of illegal immigration, echoed, “A nation without borders is like a house without walls—it collapses. And that is going to happen to our wonderful America.”
In the run-up to the current U.S. presidential elections, Louisiana governor and Republican primary presidential candidate Bobby Jindal spoke out against unfettered immigration and multiculturalism, saying: “Let’s be honest about this: Immigration without assimilation is not immigration; it’s an invasion . . . When you look at what’s happening in Europe, you’ve got second and third generation immigrants that don’t consider themselves parts of these societies, those cultures, those values. We mustn’t let that happen here” (Breitbart, Nov. 4, 2015, emphasis added throughout).
Moreover the Republican candidate for the general election, Donald Trump, “has yanked the issue of illegal immigration front and center . . . Trump has tapped into an angry pulsating nerve . . . To the dismay of both Republican and Democratic parties, Trump’s message is resonating” (Monette Maglava, Asian Journal, Nov. 24, 2015). Trump has even called for stopping Muslim immigration until those coming in can be properly vetted.
We certainly need to be paying attention to the political scene in regard to the immigration issue. And most importantly we need to know what the Bible tells us on the matter, both in terms of how to approach it and what the fallout will ultimately be on the national and world stage.
Devastating impact on European society
Conservative social commentator and former presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan points out regarding the mass migration into Europe from Africa and the Middle East:
“With birth rates in this smallest and least populated of continents below replacement levels for decades, Europe is aging, shrinking and dying, as it is being invaded and altered forever. Optimists point to how America absorbed the 15 million that arrived in the Great Wave of immigration from 1890 to 1920. But they ignore the differences. America’s immigrants were Europeans from Christian nations coming to a country with a history of assimilation. And the Great Wave stopped in 1924, for 40 years . . .
“Unlike America, [modern] Europe has never known mass immigration. And those pouring into Europe are Arab, African and Muslim, not European Christians or Jews. They come from other civilizations and cultures. And they are not all assimilating but rather creating enclaves in Europe that replicate the lands whence they came” (“Can Europe Survive This Invasion?” Nov. 9, 2015).
This has led to serious consequences. In Sweden, 40 years after embracing multiculturalism, “violent crime has increased by 300% and rapes by 1,472%. Sweden is now number two on the list of rape countries, surpassed only by Lesotho in Southern Africa” (Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard, “Sweden: Rape Capital of the West,” Gatestone Institute, Feb. 14, 2015). Some attempt to explain this by changed police reporting, but this cannot account for such a mind-numbing increase.
How has this been tolerated? Salim Mansur writes at the American Thinker that open-door immigration and multiculturalism are “based on the spurious idea that all cultures are equal and, therefore, deserving of equal respect and treatment” and “might also be viewed as the response of Western liberal democracies driven by a sense of guilt for past wrongs. This sense of guilt is uniquely a Western phenomenon . . .
“The French political philosopher Jean-François Revel observed, ‘Democratic civilization is the first in history to blame itself because another power is working to destroy it . . . What distinguishes it is its eagerness to believe in its own guilt and . . . [that it] is zealous in devising arguments to prove the justice of its adversary’s case and to lengthen the already overwhelming list of its own inadequacies’” (“Brexit and Multiculturalism,” June 26, 2016).
Western liberal democracy has also facilitated the change in Europe. Mike Gonzalez of the Heritage Foundation quotes former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt in stating: “Multicultural societies have only . . . functioned peacefully in authoritarian states. To that extent it was a mistake for us to bring guest workers from foreign cultures into the country at the beginning of the 1960s” (DailySignal.com, Nov. 25, 2015).
This is affirmed by the late columnist Dr. Samuel Francis in his book, America Extinguished: Mass Immigration and the Disintegration of American Culture. He writes, “Virtually every ‘multicultural’ and ‘multiracial’ society in human history has had either an authoritarian government—the empires of ancient times, as well as those of the Habsburgs and Romanovs of more recent periods that were described as ‘prisonhouses of nations’—or a never-ending cycle of unstable governments” (2002, p. 19). With terror increasing, the tight discipline of such regimes is starting to appeal to more in Europe.
American assimilation abandoned
America was for a long time more successful in assimilating immigrants than Europe. George Washington actually used the word “assimilated” in this context—and this was widely embraced until more recently.
Mike Gonzalez, in another article, pointed out that when large numbers of immigrants came through Ellis Island at the turn of the last century, “they encountered what was then called—quaintly, and without irony or angst—an Americanization program. They were actually taught to love their new country . . . Today, our elites are far too ‘sophisticated’ to promote Americanization” (“America Used to Know How to Assimilate Immigrants,” TheFederalist.com, Jan. 12, 2016).
Of course it helped that previous immigrants were not as markedly different as they are now. A review of Dr. Francis’ book on mass immigration notes that it “points out that ‘the melting pot [of blending culture] has been possible at all only because what was melted in it was never very different in the first place.’ The overwhelming majority of immigrants until recently had a macro-level resemblance to the people already here: white, mostly Christian, with European folkways, institutions and morals.
“‘Since they were largely homogeneous to begin with, it’s not all that surprising they formed one nation that has retained that homogeneity until recently.’ Unfortunately, the homogeneity no longer exists. Most of our recent immigrants are radically different from America’s host population, so assimilation is far more difficult” (John Attarian, “Immigration Without Assimilation: A Formula for Dispossession,” The Social Contract, Spring 2004).
A prime example given of assimilation not happening is many Hispanics and other immigrants not learning English. In some public school districts, students have to be taught in literally dozens of languages—creating an unnecessary and enormously expensive financial burden for schools and taxpayers.
A major shift in immigration policy
The major shift in U.S. immigration came with the late liberal Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy ushering the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act through Congress. As Breitbart News reports: “That legislation resulted in the fundamental transformation of the demographic, economic, social, and political landscape of [the] nation, exactly the opposite of what its supporters promised. The Kennedy immigration law abolished the national origins quota system, which had favored immigrants from nations with a similar heritage to our own, and opened up American immigration visas to the entire world.
“While about nine in ten of the immigrants who came to the United States during the 19th and 20th century hailed from Europe, the 1965 law inverted that figure. Today about 9 out of every 10 new immigrants brought into the country on green cards come from Latin America, Africa, Asia or the Middle East . . . In 1965, according to Pew, the country was 84 percent white, 11 percent black, 4 percent Hispanic and less than 1 percent Asian. In 2015, as a result of Kennedy’s immigration law, the country is now 62 percent white, 12 percent black, 18 percent Hispanic and 6 percent Asian.
“Pew projects that in forty years time, ‘no racial or ethnic group will constitute a majority of the U.S. population,’ as ‘whites are projected to become less than half of the U.S. population by 2055’” (“Ted Kennedy’s America: 50 Years After the Law That Changed Everything,” Oct. 3, 2015).
Part of the motivation for this change was liberal opposition to values rooted in the nation’s white European heritage. But another aim was to bring in impoverished immigrants to increase the numbers of those dependent on government—and politicians who would supposedly see to their needs. “To paraphrase Emma Lazarus, give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, and I will turn them into a redistributionist voting block loyal to one political party” (Charlotte Hays, “Europe Is Committing Suicide—Will the U.S. Follow Suit,” Independent Women’s Forum, Mar. 29, 2016).
The term assimilation has been rejected of late, being replaced by integration. Being integrated means immigrants are made to fit, but by making accommodations for them. For example, providing everything in Spanish, so there’s no expectation for learning English. They don’t even need to become Americans. A survey by the Pew Research Hispanic Center found that more than half of young Hispanics (under age 40) did not identify themselves as Americans. This extended to even second- and third-generation native-born Hispanics.
Of course, the biggest problem for the moment is immigration paths being infiltrated by terrorist enemies seeking to destroy—as is the case in Europe as well. Author and former assistant U.S. attorney Andrew McCarthy points out that it’s not enough for a needed vetting process to just identify terrorists, but those apt to become jihadists after they settle here: “We find two necessary ingredients: (1) a mind that is hospitable to jihadism because it is already steeped in Islamic supremacism, and (2) a sharia-enclave environment that endorses jihadism and relentlessly portrays the West as corrupt and hostile. Our current refugee policies promote both factors” (NationalReview.com, Nov. 28, 2015).
A biblical assessment
Above all, we should consider what Scripture has to say on immigration, borders and assimilating or not. Abraham, the father of the faithful, was a migrant who relocated from Mesopotamia to Canaan and moved for a while to Egypt. His grandson Jacob, renamed Israel, lived for a time back in northern Syria and later moved with His family down to Egypt. His descendants became an oppressed and enslaved people in Egypt before their deliverance in the Exodus, when they left accompanied by a “mixed multitude” (Exodus 12:38).
Westerners are being made to finance their own destruction via taxation, and forced to tolerate an invasion of their territories and the dilution of their cultures.
Clearly God allowed people of other ethnic heritage to dwell among the Israelites—and He later allowed foreigners to settle among them. In fact, God commanded that aliens not be mistreated or deprived of justice, that charity and hospitality be shown them and that the Israelites were to love resident foreigners as themselves—remembering when they themselves were foreigners in Egypt (Exodus 22:21; Leviticus 19:9-10; Leviticus 19:33-34; Leviticus 23:22; Leviticus 24:16; Leviticus 24:22). David and Solomon even employed skilled foreign-born labor in the building of God’s temple and accepted immigrants into Israel’s military.
On the other hand, Scripture does not promote a borderless world, completely unrestricted immigration and multiculturalism with no assimilation. God caused people to spread out and resettle in national groupings when he confused the languages at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). He set the boundaries of peoples (Deuteronomy 32:8), and explicitly defined national and tribal borders.
He even defines such borders for the time when Jesus Christ will rule over all nations in the future (see Ezekiel 47-48). And He warns against removing set landmarks (Deuteronomy 19:14; Proverbs 22:28)—these denoting territorial claims of both private families and broader nations.
Furthermore, immigrants were not immediately reckoned as Israelites—but needed to become rooted over generations. And the set requirement was not the same for all foreigners. Because of their former mistreatment of Israel, Ammonites and Moabites were not to be considered part of Israel until the 10th generation, whereas Edomites and Egyptians could be so reckoned in the third generation (Deuteronomy 23:3-8). (We do have the cases of Rahab of Canaan and Ruth of Moab marrying into Israel—and becoming ancestors of Jesus Christ.)
Nevertheless, those who came in were to have equal protection under the law, and—most relevant to our current situation—they were to be assimilated under the same laws and customs.
God told the Israelites, “One law and one custom shall be for you and for the stranger [or immigrant] who dwells with you” (Numbers 15:16; see Numbers 15:15; Numbers 15:29; Exodus 12:49; Leviticus 24:22. Foreigners were expected to adapt to Israel’s culture, not the other way around. Immigrants were to obey all of God’s laws, including keeping the Sabbath (Exodus 20:10), keeping the Feasts of Pentecost and Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:11; Deuteronomy 16:14), fasting on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:29) and offering sacrifices for sins (Numbers 15:27-29).
In a modern context, local pockets of sharia law would be out of the question! A model such as God gave Israel would prevent many of the problems we see with immigration into the West. No Islamist or others seeking to perpetuate antibiblical cultural elements would want to come to such a society, knowing their efforts would be rejected. (For more on how Christians should view the issue, read “A Christian Perspective on Immigrants”.)
Needed perspective in looking ahead
It’s important to keep a proper perspective in watching these disturbing world events and trends. Part of that perspective involves the true identity of America, Britain and other nations of Northwest European heritage.
We need to realize that the migration of the ancient Israelites did not cease in the Promised Land. For they were later taken captive by the Assyrians and afterward migrated far to the northwest, eventually settling in Northwest Europe. The nations that emerged from here are Israelite—foremost among them being Britain and the United States, descended in large part from Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh. (See our free study guide The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy to learn more.)
Satan wants to see the Israelite nations destroyed—with God’s promises and prophecies brought to naught. Indeed, with so much in these events being self-destructive and utterly irrational, we should recognize that malevolent spirit forces that are beyond normal human comprehension are at work.
Consider that, as one author points out, Westerners are being made to finance their own destruction: “Just imagine that for a second. A people are being forced via taxation and under threat of punitive ‘thought/hate crime laws’ and guilt propaganda to tolerate and pay for an invasion of their territories, the dilution of their cultures and their own displacement and eventual replacement.
“Previously, territory would have to be gained through warfare, with a high price paid in both blood and money. Not any more, because multiculturalism negates the need for invaders to fight for territory. The financial burden of conquest is passed on to the conquered who are being forced by their own governments to surrender” (Christopher Green, “How Monocultural Multiculturalism Is Raping Identity,” LibertyGB.org.uk, July 4, 2016).
As people come to see the failure of open borders and multiculturalism in Europe, there is increasing call for change. But what they’ll end up with is not the change that’s needed. Rather, it will be the totalitarian kind that has taken hold of mixed cultures before.
Already we see Europeans turning more and more to the far right. And in fact the Bible has prophesied that a terrible European dictatorship will arise in Europe—in part as a reaction to threats from the south. Are we seeing the beginnings of a backlash against the multicultural utopianism that has landed Europe in its present predicament?
Pat Buchanan concluded his piece with these words of warning: “Can a civilization survive the replacement of the people who created it by people of other races, religions, and civilizations? Ask the Native Americans. Will Europe remain Europe if she is repopulated by Arabs, Muslims, Asians and Africans. What will hold Europe together? Free trade? . . . One day soon, a voice will arise across the Atlantic calling for an end to this invasion, by force if necessary, and declare: ‘Let Europe be Europe!’”
The growing immigration crisis is but one of many geopolitical trends shaping our world and leading to a time of unparalleled global conflict before Jesus Christ’s return. Continue reading Beyond Today to understand what these events and trends mean. And stay on the alert. Darker times are coming.