Is there really anything we can do to solve the illegal immigration problem in the United States?
Asking that question is un-American. We are, after all, a nation that prides itself on its ability to “solve problems” even if many such attempts have met with abject failure. We’ve spent a trillion dollars on public housing in the last forty years and still have almost a million homeless people huddling on park benches and subway grates trying to keep warm during the winter not to mention millions more living in slavish dependence on government to keep a roof over their heads. Ditto for all the monies spent on anti-poverty programs which most objective observers agree has made the problem of poverty worse.
Even conservatives are guilty of trying to solve these problems that may have no solution by fiddling with budget numbers and offering more in the way of free-market alternatives to government intervention.
I find it interesting that all sides in the immigration debate seem to feel that their solutions will somehow “solve” the problem. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, especially to the “open borders” crew who in something of a sanctimonious fashion continue to remind us that we are a “nation of immigrants” and that opposing the entry by millions of people who are more loyal to the government of Mexico than they are to the US government is somehow racist. But the fact is, the only “solution” to the problem of illegal immigration is flinging open our borders and letting everyone who desires to live and work in America to come on in and make themselves at home. Thus would the problem of illegal immigration disappear overnight.
Of course we can’t do that which means that instead of concentrating on fixing the problem – building gigantic walls manned every few feet by border guards and rounding up millions of people – we should be working to improve the situation. This means fewer people crossing the border, more enforcement of the law regarding illegals already here, stiffer penalties for companies that employ illegals, and a decidedly less sanguine outlook toward one of the least reported and most dangerous aspects of the illegal immigrant issue; the agitation by Mexicans living in America to return a sizable portion of the United States to Mexican control.
As Michelle Malkin points out in this post:
These sentiments, as I’ve noted before, are not limited to ethnic fringe groups—but also mainstream Democrat politicians and campus chapters of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, or MEChA.
Most of the members of the open-borders media won’t dare breathe a word about this militant phenomenon, lest they be accused of…racism. Oh, the irony.
Welcome to reconquista.
Where are all the assimilationists now?
Lest anyone think that this is not a serious movement or that it has absolutely no chance of succeeding, I invite you to read this piece from Maria Hsia Chang of the University of Nevada-Reno on the attitudes of many Mexicans who come here and, even more of a shock, the hugely significant demographic changes that are rapidly taking place in the southwestern United States as as result of illegal immigration and what these changes bode for the future. A sample:
Mario Barrera, a faculty member of U.C. Berkeley’s Department of Ethnic Studies, admitted that multiculturalism “would help prepare the ideological climate for an eventual campaign for ethnic regional autonomy.” In January 1995, El Plan de Aztlan Conference at UC Riverside resolved that “We shall overcome…by the vote if possible and violence if necessary.” The rise of Mexican irredentism as a serious political movement “awaits only the demographic transformation of the Southwest.”
That “demographic transformation” is almost here and it is unstoppable. Much higher birthrates among Mexican immigrant women means that by 2050, there will be more than 100 million Hispanics in the US comprising more than a quarter of our population. The current trend has more than 40% of Hispanics in the US living in California alone. That would mean more than 40 million Hispanics in California, the overwhelming number of them from Mexico, who would be a formidable bloc if Mexican irredentism becomes a truly mainstream goal.
This does not take into account a Mexican government who would see the tipping point coming and could possibly engineer a mass migration into the desired states ballooning those numbers even more.
This kind of scenario is being laughed at by some but given the present emphasis on “diversity” and multiculturalism over the out of fashion “melting pot” model of assimilation, I don’t find much humor in the situation. The fact is that immigrants from Mexico have little pressure on them to assimilate into American society. Instead, we have created a situation where two separate cultures exist side-by-side. We have encouraged this by not requiring that English be learned as an entree into American society. The fact that there are now several generations of Hispanics living in America who have had no need to learn English has accentuated the separateness of these immigrants thus keeping them from fully participating in and living the American dream.
In the past, as each successive wave of immigrants hit our shores, they would gravitate toward the communities in our major cities where their countrymen had already established a toehold in America. In those communities were support groups, some of which preyed upon the new arrivals by exploiting them for a variety of purposes, but which nevertheless offered ways for the immigrant to assimilate into society at large through a variety of activities. Local churches were important as were schools, fraternal organizations, and even sports leagues. At bottom, the goal was to become a hyphenated American by adopting English as a second language while learning the customs, mores, and habits of Americans.
The goal of the overwhelming majority of these immigrants was citizenship. Is that the case today? I have not seen any hard evidence that would answer that question one way or another but anecdotal evidence would seem to indicate the answer to be no. Also, according to this immigration attorney, only about 50% of people who receive Green Cards eventually become US citizens. That is a far lower number than in the past where that number exceeded 70%. These numbers do not include the children of those born to immigrants since they are citizens by birthright.
You cannot force someone to assimilate. But the way things are today, the system virtually assures an illegal immigrant that there is no downside to not assimilating. Unless a way can be found to stir the melting pot for these new arrivals, they will drift farther and farther away from the American mainstream thus making the dreams of the separatists more of a reality than any of us would want to admit.
The current reform proposals do not address these issues. But someday, we’re going to have to get serious about confronting the fact that today’s new arrivals are different from those in the past and that failing to integrate them into American society could have consequences down the road that are almost unthinkable.
My friends at Maggies Farm have an excellent round-up of Bush double-speak on immigration including my favorite:
“Comprehensive Approach/Reform:” A phrase often on the lips of Bush and co., this is the current “hip” way to refer to a mass amnesty of illegals, without actually saying so.
Whenever a politician talks about “comprehensive” anything, grab your wallet and be afraid…be very afraid.