Peter Brimelow suffers no such ambivalence. He is, he frequently reminds his readers, an immigrant from England. Being now safely aboard the American "lifeboat" (his term), he follows in the footsteps of many previous newcomers by calling for the immediate end of immigration. His book, "Alien Nation," is nothing less than an unapologetic attempt to restore the good name of nativism. When was the last time you read a book extolling the Know Nothing Party as a model for contemporary politics?
Brimelow's breezy review of the case against immigration is witty and conversational, full of clever asides and rhetorical victories over absent adversaries and straw men. It is also poorly researched and marred by the assumption that dubious arguments become convincing if they are repeated frequently. Drawn largely from Brimelow's 1992 National Review cover story, the book is used to expand his argument and to respond to the many critics of his earlier piece.
Arguing that the current high levels of immigration threaten to destroy the American way of life, Brimelow notes that the number of immigrants coming to the United States may soon surpass the peak years of the early 20th Century. This is true, although it ignores the fact that immigrants now make up a smaller percentage of a much larger total U.S. population. He further argues that today's largely non-European immigrants are too culturally backward to make good Americans.