F.H. Buckley: Canada Is a More Successful Melting Pot than the U.S.

By Jerry Kammer on May 17, 2016

Yesterday's post reported on the appearance last week of George Mason law professor F.H. Buckley on MSNBC's Morning Joe program. Today we have more thoughts from the professor, who holds both U.S. and Canadian citizenship and says Canada has a better system of legal immigration than the United States because Canada, he notes, prioritizes the selection of immigrants who have skills and educational achievement that will allow them to integrate into the country's cultural and economic life. The U.S. system for awarding green cards, meanwhile, is heavily weighted toward family unification, i.e., allowing migrants who are already here to bring over their relatives, without regard to skill.

First, three excerpts from The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America, published this year by Encounter Books:

  1. "Canadian immigrants are more skilled than their American counterparts, and assimilate more quickly into the national economy. Canada is a more successful melting pot than the U.S. in social as well as economic terms."
  2. "America's immigration system harms low-skilled natives while benefiting high-skilled natives who are members of the New Class. That's a wonderful example of social justice, said no one ever. As compared to the Canadian system, America's immigration laws increase economic inequalities and impose a substantial burden on the American economy."
  3. "The faith in American Exceptionalism and the country's special promise has also diminished, and the superiority of the country's republican principles ... is little taught in classrooms today if current textbooks are any guide. Classes that expose students to some of the more shameful moments in the country's past, without celebrating what is good in America, pitilessly tear asunder the mystic chords of memory to which Lincoln appealed in his First Inaugural. In doing so, they diminish what Ernest Renan thought defined a nation, the sense that fellow citizens not only share a glorious history but also that they have forgotten many unpleasant things."

Next, two excerpts from a Buckley essay in a book he edited, The American Illness: Essays on the Rule of Law, published in 2013 by Yale University Press:

  1. "'Everything begins in mysticism,' said Charles Peguy, and ends in politics. For Americans, the mysticism of immigration, the idea that we are a country of immigrants, has a powerful hold over the imagination. It reinforces the idea of American Exceptionalism, since a country must be exceptionally attractive if immigrants want to come here. … High immigration levels are thus a badge of public virtue."
  2. "We [in the United States] admit about 150,000 economic immigrants a year, but the queue of applicants is over 500,000. For more immigrant-friendly countries, America's policies are a pure gift."