* What does “assimilation” mean when applied to non-white immigrants in a white country?
It can mean miscegenation and their gradual blending into the host population.
Or it could mean the immigrants remaining separate, but stopping those practices that make them dangerous or obnoxious to the natives.
If the immigrants are a small fraction of the population, it probably doesn’t matter too much if they have a way of life that would be incompatible with that of the natives (that was probably the situation in most white countries until the last quarter of the twentieth century).
Either way, immigration policy needs to be decided entirely on the needs of the native population. Don’t import millions of aliens and then start wondering how you’ll “assimilate” them.
* Would the Ancient Greeks approve of their descendants? Would the Romans, especially the martial ones of the early Republic, have approved of their imperial descendants and of today’s Italians? My people hold that they are descended from Dacians colonized by Romans, which, for the Dacians, meant utter cultural obliteration (with just a few words and symbols left) and probably mixed marriages between native women and Romans. The usual. And the Dacians weren’t exactly happy about it (of our two ancient national heroes, Trajan and Decebal, one beat the crap out of the other, who then committed suicide by falling on his sword to avoid the humiliation of being paraded through Rome like Vercingetorix). Would they have been happy looking through a crystal ball to see their descendants, with countless admixtures of invaders, speaking a Latin language and keeping foreign gods, with nary a trace of them remaining except in the genes and as a composite identity?
So, my point is, whatever belle or mauvais melange results out of the current and future upheavals in Europe, if things settle down around new identities, it’s very likely that they will think of themselves as being awesome and proudly descended from those haute Euros who had become stagnant and were enriched by new blood bla bla. And, if we had a crystal ball to look into the future, we’d probably disinherit the lot of them. Kind of like how I imagine the Conquistadors that spawned today’s Mestizos would view their descendants and their affectations as the bronze race and la raza cosmica.
* Your point on blending of races is reasonable, thought it is a process that has ebbed and flowed depending on how much contact there has been across continents and oceans in various eras. But I think that actually supports Rob McX’s point- that would actually be an excellent vehicle of assimilation if enough people were on board within an already-mixed society.
From the perspective of the existing Anglo-American population it was probably over the top to consider the Germans all that obnoxious, except politically to the extent they were at first all fleeing revolutionaries. Of course, the revolution they wanted looked a lot like America and they assimilated more thoroughly than any group since. Perhaps they brought a little too much communalism to the Midwest, with deleterious downstream effects on politics right down to today.
But the Irish, Italians, Slavs WERE exceptionally obnoxious to previous American norms for a very long time, and their assimilation was hardly without challenges or long-term changes to American society that the nativists of the 1840s would likely consider to have been deleterious.
And if they had politically won over a majority of their fellows, and excluded these groups from entry, they would have been within their rights. Any nation gets to determine who comes in and why. They’d have sacrificed some future gain for America, but that too would have been within their rights.
The immigration of the 19-20th century was certainly crafted to meet the needs of some Americans, the assimilation process ultimately worked albeit over generations and with some pretty big hurdles, and ultimately probably was a net gain. Doesn’t mean it was a gain America had to pursue, or that it could not legitimately foregone if the politics had gone another way.
Post-1965 immigration was not obviously crafted to meet the needs of the native population, unless of an even narrower employer-sector subset only. It was specifically crafted to alter the demographic balance of the native population, with no argument advanced as to why this would benefit that native population, and it included many elements [family class] that had nothing to do with the needs of the native population.
* Nations generally have a static core that changes very slowly, so long as the nation stays as an extended family, because it reflects shared genetic heritage. The French can look back on a millennium of being French, the Germans even longer. Americans are a younger people, but they had a core rooted in Anglo-Saxon culture that had already been changed by the 1900s. Communities that started out English turned German and then Polish and now as Black ghettos or immigrant ghettos. Things worked out pretty well, overall, for the European migrants, but it must have been a traumatic process at the time, taking place much more quickly than what natural growth and cultural drift would have achieved. Even though it’s dwarfed by what has been happening since 1965. When Zangwill put into his Jewish Moldavian character’s mouth the whole “melting pot” thing, the crucible for Europeans, another character remarked that God had already made the American, and 70 million of him.
* The Anglophone “immigrant” nations were created pretty much entirely by Europeans, English, Irish, French, Dutch, etc. The idea that location confers identity is one of the more pernicious lies the open borders clique spreads.
Immigrants can become American, if they are already part of European culture, or from a culture that is readily shed in favor of the new identity. Englishmen landing in America may have become “Americans”, but only by geography. They absolutely, positively did not become Pequots, Cherokee, or Comanches. Irishmen did not become Australian Aborigines, Scots did not become Maoris, Alsatians did not become Kabyles, Dutch did not become Xhosa, Russians did not become Kazakhs.
Moslems don’t readily become anything other than Moslems. It’s a strongly cohesive world-view that does not yield to much, except maybe Arab nationalism. Yes, there’s a lot of variation in Moslem cultures, but the pervasive wahabbist movement consistently demands conformity to Arab cultural norms, as expressed in the Koran. Wahabbism is pretty much Arab nationalism by other means. Every impulse in Moslem idenity, pushes the Moslem into being more Moslem, and more Arab, if only by imitation. Trying to assimilate Moslems on any scale above the merest handful is futile.