Rising Concern About Immigrants in Greece

By James R. Edwards, Jr. on October 22, 2012

Golden Dawn, a stridently nationalist political movement, has taken off in strife-torn Greece, the Washington Post has reported in a front-page news story. This development should serve as a cautionary tale to the Obama administration, whose actions to deprive Americans of their right to self-government could very well spark similar movements here in the United States.

Once relegated to the fringe, Golden Dawn has emerged as a significant political movement by appealing to Greeks who, amidst the country's economic meltdown, want to take back their nation. As the Post phrased it, the movement promises "a Greece for Greeks alone".

The group now has elected members to the Greek Parliament. It's engaging in practical aid to needy Greeks. It assists Greeks with food, jobs, clothes, and even its own blood bank. The entity limits its assistance to Greek citizens and refuses aid to immigrants. Its supporters also get involved in evicting immigrants, providing security, and placing closer scrutiny on immigrant businesses. Its supporters include some in key positions, including lawyers, health inspectors, and police officials.

In short, "Golden Dawn is establishing itself as an alternative authority in a country crippled by the harsh austerity imposed by its international lenders." Not surprisingly, the open-borders Post is quick to analogize Golden Dawn's rise to that of Hitler's Nazi Party. And its report plays up "a rash of violence" directed at immigrants and assumes Golden Dawn is behind it.

There have indeed been more instances of harassment, vandalism, and even violence toward Greece's immigrants. But notably, "polls have shown that most Greeks who support the Golden Dawn are doing so based solely on its anti-immigrant stance and that they largely dismiss the group's more hard-core attributes."

What has made immigration a rising concern for Greeks? Immigrants' presence has reached critical mass. More than 10 percent of the nation's population is now comprised of immigrants — 1.5 million out of 11 million residents. Greece's immigration problems include illegal immigrants and refugees. And there's the nation's loss of sovereignty to the European Union — some 40 percent of Greece's inmates are immigrant, largely due to an E.U. policy under which nations can send illegal aliens to Greece, the nation where they initially reached the continent.

Greece's bearing the brunt of Europe's economic woes, including stiff job competition, rising taxes, and 25 percent unemployment accounts for part of it. European lenders who've financed Greece's bailouts are demanding fiscal responsibility from a Greek government that dug itself into a mile-deep pit of debt and unrealistic, unsustainable social program promises on taxpayers' backs.

The combination of runaway immigration, economic depression, and powerlessness within the E.U. -- all the result of policies by the mainstream parties -- has led a growing number of Greeks to flock to what they see as the only group addressing their concerns.

This fully predictable reaction to Greece's situation could happen here. Thank the Obama administration for creating the conditions for just such a response.

Obama has deliberately assaulted state and local sovereignty. He has sued Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, and other states and localities that have acted through their own legislative processes to use their own resources to protect their own citizens from the adverse effects of mass immigration.

During a time of sustained unemployment, Obama has done nothing to slow the inflow of more than a million legal immigrants year after year, including hundreds of thousands given visas to compete directly with jobless Americans looking for work.

Obama is moving to demolish the program Congress created in 1996, the 287(g) program. His Homeland Security political appointees have already weakened the program and made it more difficult to enroll. Now the administration has begun to eliminate 287(g) (in direct violation of the law that established the program) and has stripped 287(g) authority from Arizona, North Carolina, and Virginia law enforcement agencies.

Once this situation reaches critical mass, with Americans who have tried to work constructively through the legislative process finding all such official avenues of exercising self-government cut off, Obama's actions could well lead to people turning to groups like Golden Dawn and taking matters into their own hands. It could get a lot more intense than the grandmas armed with cell phones and binoculars who formed the Minuteman movement back when the Bush administration was refusing to enforce the laws and lobbying for mass amnesty.

Greece is experiencing the natural yearning of human nature to defend hearth and home -- a yearning ignored by the mainstream political class. Americans have a much different, more liberal political history (in the best sense of the word, as in the liberal arts), but they share the same human nature. If and when Obama's antidemocratic and unconstrained policies cause push to become shove, we may well see ordinary Americans looking to take back their country, too.