Why Henry Kissinger’s Epiphany on Border Security Matters


October 19, 2023

By Brian Lonergan

For decades, the gulf between the views of Americans and their ruling class has been widening, particularly on the issues of immigration and border security. It seems the more Americans object to the escalating social and financial burdens of reckless immigration policies, the more our social betters see fit to lecture us about our alleged obligation to take on ever more foreign indigents. So when a member of the ruling class goes off-script and expresses an opinion in-line with the American majority, it’s newsworthy. That’s exactly what happened in a recent appearance on Germany’s Welt TV by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

In the interview, the  foreign-policy guru spoke about the impact runaway immigration has had on the nation of his birth, but he may as just as well have been speaking of his adopted home in America.

“It was a grave mistake to let in so many people of totally different culture and religion and concepts, because it creates a pressure group inside each country that does that,” Kissinger explained, in a reference to the anti-Israel protests in Germany resulting from the recent Hamas attacks. 

For millennials and members of Gen Z, a refresher about who exactly Kissinger is: Now 100 years old but still mentally sharp, Kissinger was arguably the most influential foreign policy voice of the late 20th century in the United States. As secretary of state under Richard Nixon, he helped Nixon open China to international trade and won a Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the Paris Peace Accords.

He is also an icon of the Ivy League-New York-Washington axis of power in American politics. In short, Kissinger is as close as it gets to an insider within America’s power structure. In 2015, he co-signed a letter along with other foreign policy establishment grandees urging Congress not to enact legislation that would deter the flow of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the United States. No one would confuse Henry Kissinger with a MAGA border hawk. 

Yet here he was, lamenting the damage done by the globalist, one-world immigration policies that we are endlessly told constitute the righteous path. What is to account for this epiphany?

Despite his insider credentials, Kissinger is also a practitioner of realpolitik, considering practical rather than moral or ideological considerations in foreign policy. By that score, it is clear to all sentient observers that our current trajectory on immigration is a road to oblivion. A nation with unregulated borders may sound like a nice humanitarian concept, but in practice it is opening the doors to the bad actors of the world.

A nation with unregulated borders may sound like a nice humanitarian concept, but in practice it is opening the doors to the bad actors of the world.

These policies, currently pushed to the limit by the Biden administration, also energize the pressure groups Kissinger mentioned. Not only are we adding numbers to the anti-Israel, pro-Hamas protests we saw on college campuses and in large U.S. cities recently, we now have like-minded activists at the highest levels of our government.

Can anyone honestly say that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), a Somali immigrant, and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, truly love America and have its best interests at heart? Or are they thinly veiled radical activists using their positions of power to weaken America and push an agenda that emboldens those who wish it harm?

In addition to the danger of admitting radical anti-American zealots or outright terrorists, there are the colossal costs in terms of money, resources, and additional law enforcement that come from the kind of foolhardy mass migration currently practiced by the U.S. government.

Illegal immigration now costs American taxpayers at least $151 billion annually. Just look at New York City today to see the consequences of idealistic sanctuary policies: facilities from homeless shelters to luxury hotels overrun with migrants, higher crime rates, drained city treasuries, and a community in a general state of decay.

What is the end goal of all this generosity we can no longer afford? Is there any limit to how many noncitizens we will allow to enter? Such legitimate questions elicit no serious answers from our elected leaders, but a rebuke to the people for harboring allegedly xenophobic views that makes them worthy of cancellation from polite society.

While illegal immigration advocates will dismiss Kissinger’s recent interview as the words of a centenarian in the sunset of his life, he is absolutely correct that unchecked mass migration is a grave mistake. America desperately needs a halt to activist-inspired utopian thinking on immigration, and a healthy dose of Kissinger-style realpolitik

Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) in Washington, D.C, and co-host of IRLI’s “No Border, No Country” podcast.

Also published at Chronicles, October 19, 2023.

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