June 8, 2005
Barbarian invasionsBy Timothy Birdnow
The word "barbarian" comes from the ancient Greek, and originally meant a person or peoples who spoke a foreign tongue. The Greeks considered a barbarian to be an alien or outsider, one who was not of their language or culture. This term was later applied to the Germanic invaders of Rome, who would eventually overrun the Empire and usher in the Dark Ages. These invaders did not come as warriors so much as peaceful immigrants — some legally, most not. They did not see themselves as Romans, and they made no effort to adapt themselves to Roman customs and laws. Within a few hundred years they had destroyed the Western Empire.
Here in the United States we are experiencing our own invasion; millions of illegal immigrants are crossing our borders, speakers of another language who do not see themselves as Americans, and who have no intention of adapting themselves to American customs and laws. Our response, much like the Romans, has been timid and irresolute and thus completely ineffectual. Our leaders don`t seem to recognize the seriousness of this situation; some even argue that this invasion is beneficial. Such reasoning is myopic in the extreme; barbarians destroyed the glory that was Rome. Why would our fate be any different?
Under the administration of President George W. Bush, we are seeing a steady increase in illegal immigration. Mexico has been flooding the Southwest with immigrants, slowly Latinizing the culture. According to the Population Reference Bureau:
In fact, the total immigrant population of the United States now stands at 33 million, or 11% of the entire population, which, according to The Center for Immigration Studies, is significantly higher than at any time in history.At this rate, immigration will swell the population of the United States to 400 million in 50 years. (This includes all immigrants, legal and illegal.) Consider that we have 10.3 million illegals here now, with at least 800,000 more entering every year. In twenty years we will have 26.3 million illegals, plus any children they may have. The population of the United States when it was founded was only 3 million. This is over 8 times that number, and these people have all entered this country illegally. In fact, there are over 3 million children born in the United States to families headed by illegals. The Population Reference Bureau, furthermore, shows that the overwhelming number of illegals are men between 18 and 39 (43%) followed by Women between 18 and 39 (29%) with 17% being children. The age breakdown is important; it means that the bulk of the population is at prime childbearing age, or will be in a number of years. We are about to have a baby boom of children of illegal immigrants.
Much like Nero, the Roman Emperor who entertained himself on the violin while his capital burned (according to legend, if not fact), President Bush has made little effort to deal with this problem. His best suggestion is to offer guest—worker status to illegals, thus removing the danger of their being deported and creating an incentive for more to come. This is craven kowtowing to the agricultural employers who pay Dickinsonian wages for stoop labor. (Granted, the Democrats' solution is far worse; they simply want to naturalize the illegals, then sign them up to vote!)
The President has not pushed for greater enforcement of immigration law (he is the chief law enforcement officer), has mocked the Minutemen as dangerous vigilantes (in fact, the Washington Times reported that the border patrol was ordered to stand down while the Minutemen patrolled), and has done little to discourage the tide of illegal aliens, in spite of the dangers of a porous border in the post—911 world. (If illegals without a high school education can get across the border, what is to stop al Qaeda?)
What we are witnessing has the appearance of a Mexican policy aimed toward reannexation. Look at this billboard in Los Angeles . There is a growing sense of Mexican Manifest Destiny. A Zogby poll showed 58 percent of Mexicans agreed that, "The territory of the Southwest U.S. rightfully belongs to Mexico" This is further illustrated by former President Ernesto Zedillo stating in comments to the National Council of La Raza in 1997 in Chicago,
It is fairly obvious that Mexico has the American Southwest in it`s crosshairs.
Many Mexicans believe that the United States stole the Southwest and California from them, and their countrymen now overrun these areas with Mexican citizens. They believe that if they can colonize enough of their citizens in these regions, they can annex them. Mexican claims on the Southwest stem from the secession of Texas, and the Mexican War. They believe that the United States robbed them of these territories militarily, and that they have a rightful, legal claim on them. But do they?
One of the most overlooked Presidents in American history was James Polk. A man of his word, Polk was the only U.S. president to fulfill all of his campaign promises. He limited himself to a four—point platform, and succeeded in fulfilling every pledge. He promised to reestablish the independent treasury system, lower the tariff (which was accomplished by the 1846 Walker Tariff), settle the Oregon boundary dispute with Britain (known by the famous "54�40' or fight!" slogan, though Polk ended up compromising with the border set at the forty—ninth parallel, wisely avoided fighting), and the annexation of California.
This final promise was fulfilled with the ratification of the Guadeloupe—Hidalgo Treaty on March 10, 1848 after American troops defeated Mexican forces and the short—lived Bear Flag Republic was established under John C. Fremont. In addition to California, Polk oversaw the annexation of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and the Republic of Texas. In all, 1.2 million square miles were added to the United States. (Read more on the Mexican War here.)
The Politically Correct view of the Mexican War says that the United States provoked hostilities to steal Texas and California. This disregards the facts; Texas had fought a successful revolution against Santa Ana ten years prior because he dissolved the Mexican Constitution to make himself dictator. His Centralist Party recognized the Republic of Texas, then changed their minds and declared it was still Mexican territory and that U.S. annexation would be an act of war. (As part of the Monroe Doctrine the U.S. government wanted to annex Texas to keep the British away from it.) The Mexican government massed troops along the Rio Grande to threaten the Texans, leading America to mobilize under Zachary Taylor. Had the Mexicans not made the first hostile moves the war would not have happened. California`s secession from Mexico also strongly suggests that the residents were none too happy under Mexican authority.
Later, the United States purchased the southern portions of Arizona and New Mexico to build a southern rail route from California (the Gadsden Purchase).
Nonetheless, Mexico still sees itself as the rightful owner of this vast territory, and they want it back. This can be accomplished through illegal immigration.
The Mexican government under Vincente Fox has consciously encouraged illegal immigration for other reasons as well; acquiring U.S. currency, outsourcing a severe unemployment problem, and getting rid of criminals. He sees this policy as absolutely necessary because of the failure of his domestic program, and is determined to keep the invasion in progress. Fox has massed troops on the border to threaten the Minutemen, and has essentially demanded that we accept their immigrants without limitation. This amounts to a direct assault on our sovereignty; Mr. Fox is coming perilously close to an act of war. (The Fox is definitely in the henhouse.) Unfortunately for the United States, Mr. Bush is no James Polk.
But what can we do? The media and the Bush administration claim we can`t stop the invasion. The old Republic of Texas managed it. The Texas Rangers under Silas Parker succeeded in maintaining border integrity despite having only twenty five original Rangers to send out on patrol. The Republic of Texas kept Mexico at bay despite being out manned, out gunned and nearly bankrupt. They were successful because they WANTED to control their borders; it was as simple as that. The success of the Minutemen project further illustrates that border control does not require an army. We simply need the will to do it. That`s where the problem lies; our leaders just don`t want to deal with this.
The question arises; why have a central government if it fails to secure our national borders? Border control is perhaps the most fundamental reason for the existence of government. Without border control you don`t have a Nation.
But, we are told we need these illegals to do the jobs which Americans cannot or will not do. We enjoy the benefits of cheap food, thanks to the near slave wages paid to Mexican migrants, and our economy will suffer if we cut off this supply of cheap labor.
This argument is rather dubious. Heavy, sustained immigration was critical to the growth and expansion of the United States while we had a frontier economy and vast tracts of agricultural land needing to be developed. Likewise, industrialization required uneducated people ready to work hard and long, and immigrants provided the necessary manpower.
The situation today is different. It is doubtful that a great influx of immigrants into a post—industrial economy has serious net benefits; few of today's illegals will be well—educated or trained for the jobs an information—age economy supports. The less—skilled industrial jobs are in our economy are being outsourced, leaving the lower end service sector as the main source of employment. Mexican laborers take jobs away from Americans on the bottom rung of the economic ladder; the native born working poor become the unemployed because they are being replaced by illegals at lower wages.
According to the Center for Immigration Studies illegal labor lowered consumer prices an estimated .08 to.2% in the 1990`s. Because of abysmal pay, illegals pay very little in taxes, and many of those who do file federal income tax forms qualify for refundable tax credits, in essence a disguised welfare payment. Meanwhile, the demand for social services, disproportionately consumed by low income worlers and their families, is exploding.
Bear in mind, the illegals are here to make money to send to their families in Mexico and elsewhere. They are taking money out of our economy, not putting it back through spending or investment. Also, in a nation which is completely settled and has essentially full employment, illegals are artificially depressing the wages the labor market will ned to pay, while dirt—cheap labor acts as a disincentive to mechanization, which would make goods and services even cheaper in the long run.
Meanwhile, America taxpayers must pay for emergency medical care, higher insurance rates (since many illegals drive and have accidents), police, fire, courts, prisons, and other expensive services consumed disproiportionately by the poor.
That said, the real issue here is not economic but cultural. This is not akin to the groups entering the United States in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries. Those groups came in legally, with the intent of becoming Americans. Many if not most of hese new illegal immigrants, however, are not here to adapt and enculturate to American ways. There is a substantial number among them who make little effort to learn English or adopt American traditions and standards. This is an indigestible populace.
Already we see signs of the Latinization of America; billboards and street signs in Spanish, bilingual product labels, Spanish voice mail menus. While earlier immigrant groups enriched our common vocabulary with expressions derived from Italian or Yiddish, for example, the new Latinization is taking us down the path of a de facto bilingual country, like Canada or Belgium, where political turmoil and bitterness have poisoned the political system. This will become more prominent in years to come.
As Americans, we have the right to maintain our distinct cultural heritage and our island of English in a Spanish—speaking hemisphere. (Consider, there are only three nations on the Continental North America which speak English, and just one in South America. We have a few English speaking islands in the Caribbean as well as the Falklands. All of the rest speak either Spanish, Portuguese, French, or, in the case of Surinam, Dutch.) Thanks to our unique cultural traditions and intellectual heritage, we have produced the most free, prosperous, and powerful nation in history. The things which made America great, our religious freedom, Constitution and laws, optimism, sense of fairness, independent and self—reliant nature, and can—do spirit—are all blessings bestowed by this unique cultural heritage. The illegals come from a very different tradition, and, without the normal process of Americanization, will destroy the very thing that drew them here. There are embedded historical cultural reasons why much of Latin America is poor, repressive, and lawless.
Yet "diversity" is precisely what the Left has told us repeatedly that we should cherish and celebrate. Throughout our history America has welcomed immigrants, provided they dive headlong into the melting pot and become fellow Americans. The price for the benefits of American life has always been assimilation, and most immigrants who came here joined enthusiastically because they believed in the promises of our way of life. Then came the multiculturalists, who told us our way of life is wrong, and that we have no right to force it on others. The idea that we can have different nations and peoples coexisting in the same space while maintaining distinct, separate identities took hold first in the universities, then in the media and in the bureaucracy, and now many of the problems with illegal immigration today stem from this inherently dysfunctional view being put into practice.
What defines a Nation? Common language and cultural practices are at the root of nationhood. A land with multiple languages and cultures generally has little cohesion and has to be held together by force of arms; it is an empire, not a Nation. Consider the Austro—Hungarian empire and the Russian empire: when the rulers lose their determination to maintain control, the empire falls apart. The multiculturalists are trying to turn the United States into an empire.
It is possible for a people to lose their nation. It has happened many times, to many peoples throughout history. In modern times, Lebanon allowed Palestinians to enter as an act of mercy, and the Palestinians began to reproduce prodigiously. Lebanon went from being a predominantly Christian nation to predominantly Palestinian and Muslim, and Lebanon was destroyed by the civil war that followed. Kosovo was the homeland of the Serbs, but Albanian immigration led to a predominantly Muslim population, and the province was ripped away from Serbia, enforced by the might of American air power during the presidency of Bill Clinton.
It is entirely possible for a people to lose their nation through uncontrolled illegal immigration. Are we destined to follow?