- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 29, 2001

We read that Hispanics are now the largest minority group in the nation, numbering some 35 million. A recent study in New York City showed that another rapidly growing group, Asians, now make up 10 percent of that city's people.

To sum up, the federal Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) reports that almost 3 out of 4 new immigrants are either from the Americas or Asia. The flood of immigrants from 1991-8 (the last recorded year) numbers 7.6 million, rivaling the 8.8 million who came to the United States during the 10-year peak period from 1901-1910.

To some, the new immigration is positive; others see it as making cultural integration more difficult. But one fact is clear above all:

While in the first decade of the 1900s, some 92 percent of all new Americans came from Europe, today, European immigrants number only 15 percent of the total, about 1 in 7.

Why?

When the INS was questioned, it responded gibly that probably not many Europeans want to live here: Conditions in Europe are much better today than in 1901. Sounds logical, but the reality is quite the opposite. Millions of Europeans want to emigrate to the United States, as we shall show, but their way is blocked by immigration laws that openly discriminate against them.

Until 1965, the quota for new immigrants was based on the ethnic makeup of our country. Since the nation before then was predominately of European background, so were the immigrants. But the 1965 law, the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of Oct. 3, 1965, changed all that. The law, as the INS itself says, "abolished the national quota system."

Instead, it substituted the idea of "family reunification." U.S. citizens could bring in parents, children, spouses, brothers, sisters, while non-citizens could bring in spouses and children, even unmarried adult children, in unlimited number.

The "reunification" system, sometimes called "chain immigration" naturally favored recent immigrants rather than the long-time European ethnic base of the United States. The ancestors of most Americans had come here from Europe a century or so ago and their descendants no longer have relatives with whom they can reunite. The effect on European immigration has been disastrous.

On two separate ocean cruises, I met educated young women, one from France, another from Hungary, who wanted to emigrate to the United States, but found the dream to be hopeless. Instead, they worked on a ship, hoping to meet and marry an American, still a sure-fire way to immigrate. Since there was no quota for their nations, the only other way was to have a skill, like being a Ph.D. scientist.

The result of the 1965 law is shown in the numbers: Last year, 120,000 Mexican immigrants came here. And from France? 2,352.

Again the question. Do Europeans really want to come here? The answer is that they do, desperately do, but are blocked by U.S. law.

How do we know this? To compensate for nationalities who find it hard to immigrate, Congress set up the nicely named "Diversity Visa Lottery," which each year hands out 50,000 green cards for permanent residence to winners. It's a popular lottery, which last year attracted 10 million would-be immigrants from around the world.

Who says Europeans don't want to come here? They applied for the green card lottery in droves. One in 200 won the lottery, so its easy to calculate how many apples. Let's take France. Two hundred and seven won, which means that 41,400 Frenchmen applied for green cards vs. only 2,352 from that nation who were admitted as immigrants in the last recorded year.

Surely the Germans, who live in Europe's most prosperous nation, have no desire to emigrate to the United States. The opposite is true, even more so than in France. Last year, 218,000 Germans applied for the green card lottery, yet only 5472 Germans were admitted as immigrants.

In all, millions of frustrated Europeans including 21,000 usually self-satisfied Swiss applied for the "diversity" lottery. In fact the exact number of Europeans who wanted to become Americans was 4,999,600, just shy of 5 million.

How many of these anxious Europeans actually made it here? A total of 92,911.

The reason is clear. "Reunification" is of no value to would-be immigrants whose people came here generations ago and are no longer alive.

The answer? Repeal the 1965 immigration law and stop the blatant discrimination. Let the 5 million Europeans win without their having to win a high-stakes, slim-chance lottery.

More Europeans would only help America's diversity.

Martin L. Gross is the author of "End of Sanity: Social and Cultural Madness in America."

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