Recently, columnist Charles Krauthammer expressed support for amnesty for illegals, while Newt Gingrich advocated a path to what he called "legality." The two men stipulated that border control must come first, but still, what makes two conservatives such weak sisters on this issue? Perhaps part of the answer was provided by Dick Morris, who said that immigration is a losing issue for Republicans.
Morris is no pillar of principle, but he knows political trends. What's his reasoning? Over the short term, a hard-line immigration stance benefits many politicians; as for the long term, however, there's something called demographic change.
Hispanics are the most rapidly growing group in the nation. In fact, if current immigration and birthrate trends continue, Hispanics will become America's largest ethnic group during the next century. Constituting fifteen percent of the population already, they're poised to become twenty-nine percent by 2050. This is relevant because, while many rationalize away the reality, a majority of Hispanics oppose tighter border control. For example, one survey showed that 81 percent of Latinos in Arizona oppose their state's new immigration law, with 70 percent registering strong disapproval. Because of this, many have warned Republicans against "alienating" this burgeoning voting bloc.For instance, Simon Rosenberg, the head of a group that studies such matters, said, "If the Republicans don't make their peace with Hispanic voters, they're not going to win presidential elections anymore. The math just isn't there."
Unfortunately, the common sense just isn't there, either. That is, while Republicans recognize this electoral reality, they don't seem to ask (honestly) what's necessary to avoid this alienation. Because if they did, they'd realize that the new immigrants' affinity for liberalism goes far beyond a love for porous borders.
Question: If we imported millions of Scandinavians -- who have created the most liberal governments on Earth -- would we expect them to magically change their ideology upon seeing American terra firma? If not, why would we expect otherwise with south-of-the-border socialists? If they choose Hugo Chávez and Evo Morales types below the Rio Grande, why wouldn't they above it? Geography doesn't change ideology.
Despite this, many Republicans claim they can "reach out" to Hispanic voters and woo them. This is fantasy. Today's immigrants, most of whom are Hispanic, vote Democrat approximately 70 to 80 percent of the time (Bush did better, but surprise, surprise, he favored amnesty for illegals), and this won't change. Oh, there is one way woo them: Adopt Democrat policies across the board (you can remain pro-life and against faux marriage) -- favoring socialist measures and big government.
This is, of course, why leftist politicians love unfettered immigration so much: They are importing their voters -- socialist voters.
Now, some claim that since socialism is quintessentially un-American, time, prosperity, and acculturation will purge it from new populations. This is also fantasy. Would you expect this with the Scandinavians? As for prosperity, upper classes were more likely to vote for Barack Obama than lower ones. And acculturation? The pressure today is not to assimilate, but, owing to multiculturalism, to cling to your ethnicity.
The symptoms of this abound. We have seen new arrivals protest in the streets wielding signs stating "Gringo Go Home" and the shocking video of California teacher Ron Gochez calling for a Mexican communist revolt in the U.S. Then there was the recent incident in which a girl was told that her drawing of an American flag was offensive, and another where students were punished for wearing American flag-themed clothing. And both of these travesties were the handiwork of a teacher or administrator who reflects the anti-Americanism now permeating the establishment. It also, sadly, reflects many on the ground. For instance, commenting on the second incident, student Annicia Nunez opined, "I think they [the flag-clothing wearers] should apologize cause it is a Mexican Heritage Day. We don't deserve to be get [sic] disrespected like that. We wouldn't do that on Fourth of July." Like many, this girl draws an equivalence between American and foreign holidays. Don't ask if she considers herself American. The only question is if she views herself as Mexican or shows some deference to hyphenation.
And we have become a hyphened nation, less capable than ever of assimilating immigrants. Yet we now have more than ever to assimilate. While we admitted only around 250,000 immigrants annually during most of our history, that number has ballooned to approximately 1 million (85 percent of whom hail from the third world and Asia). To paraphrase columnist Frosty Wooldridge, the rate of immigration long ago exceeded the rate of assimilation.
Then there is an even more troubling factor: the consequences of taking in so many immigrants from just one country.
In a relatively recent phenomenon, approximately 50 percent of legal immigrants have been coming from Mexico. And about 67 percent of American Hispanics have origins in that nation; this amounts to, including illegals, a population of approximately 20 to 30 million -- about 20 percent of Mexico's population. What are the consequences of such an unbalanced immigration policy? University of Edinburgh professor Stephen Tierney explains them very well in his book Multiculturalism and the Canadian Constitution, writing:
In a situation in which immigrants are divided into many different groups originating in distant countries, there is no feasible prospect of any particular immigrant group's challenging the hegemony of the national language [press one for English, folks?] and institutions. These groups may form an alliance among themselves to fight for better treatment and accommodations, but such an alliance can only be developed within the language and institutions of the host society and, hence, is integrative. In situations in which a single dominant immigrant group originates in a neighbouring country, the dynamics may be very different. The Arabs in Spain, and Mexicans in the United States, do not need allies among other immigrant groups. One could imagine claims for Arabic or Spanish to be declared a second official language, at least in regions where they are concentrated, and these immigrants could seek support from their neighbouring home country for such claims - in effect, establishing a kind of transnational extension of their original homeland in their new neighbouring country of residence.
Note that parts of the U.S. are already so heavily Mexican that their residents perceive no need to assimilate. Also note that these immigrants have in fact received support from Mexico, as its government has interfered in our domestic affairs and demanded that they be accommodated.
Professor Tierney goes on to write, "This fear [of cultural genocide] is often compounded in situations where the immigrant group has historic claims against the receiving country. ... For example, in the Mexican-United States case ..."
In this case ... what? There is just such a claim. Sure, it's specious, but good luck convincing the Reconquistas of this. As pundit Dr. Jack Wheeler points out here, Mexico's rulers engender hatred toward the U.S. by, among other things, placing an enormous map depicting Greater Mexico -- which includes much of our land -- near the entrance of Mexico City's Museum of National History. Wheeler writes, "Every class of students on a field trip from their school to the museum is made to sit down and gaze up at the huge map, while the teacher explains how so much of Los Estados Unidos was stolen from Mexico and really belongs to them." The rationale is that all the land treaties the U.S. made with European powers, such as the Louisiana Purchase, were illegal and that the regions thus obtained rightfully belong to Mexico. States Wheeler, "Every Mexican national legally or illegally in the US is told by the Mexican government his or her allegiance is to Mexico -- not America."
Wheeler also claims that Mexico owes its independence to us, as we helped defeat its French overlords. But belaboring the point is fruitless, as reason plays less of a role in people's decisions and behavior than many of us like to think. You won't reason a person out of ethnic and national patriotism -- and citizenship tests certainly won't purge either from them. Possession is nine-tenths of the law, like it or not. The question is, who will possess the American lands in question -- and what will American culture be possessed of -- a generation or two hence?
So not all immigration is created equal, and Mexican immigration is unique. For it is not just the migration of individuals -- it is the transplantation of a foreign nation into the body of our own.
This is just one reason (recently naturalized Times Square bomber types are another) I've long advocated at least a moratorium on all immigration. The people make the country and government, not the other way around.
Thus, a debate about immigration policy is nothing less than a discussion about what kind of nation we wish to be. Will it be Mexico North? Iran West? Right now we're looking more like the Balkans.
In fact, with a socialist voting bloc that threatens to give us a Hugo Chávez North sometime in the future -- that is, unless current trends can be reversed -- the realizing of Mexican nationalists' Aztlan dream may not be lamentable. A partitioning of the U.S. may offer the only hope of enjoying a land where the American dream lives on.
Don't like the sound of that? Then you'd better start reversing those trends and initiate that immigration discussion fast -- in approximately twenty years ago. Because it's later than you think -- about cinco to midnight for America.