Multicultural America Does Not Understand the Threat of Immigration



In the heated milieu of the current debate on immigration, and the ever widening chasm between elites and constituents, it is useful to examine the current political and cultural climate in this country into which the immigrant steps. For from this swirling crucible of political correctness and multiculturalism emerges the guilt and self doubt that prevents many of our “leaders” from taking effective action on an urgent matter screaming for remediation.


 America today is a different place culturally than the one immigrants entering our country knew, say, at the turn of the 20th century. Immigration levels then were also high, and there was much debate, pro and con, about its benefits to American society. Many in the open borders crowd today hearken to that period as a kind of backhanded justification for continued unrestrained immigration. In so doing, however, they gloss over crucial changes that have since occurred in American society as well as in the mix of immigrants now entering the nation.


 While America of yesteryear was unquestionably a world of opportunity, it was also a demanding place where immigrants understood fully the responsibilities of American citizenship. Immigrants had to support themselves, learn English, give up prior national affiliations, and become loyal Americans.


 In multicultural America today, pressure for immigrants to assimilate is attenuated at best; many consider it “insensitive” to expect immigrants to embrace American culture and values. An entrenched immigrant lobby now exists replete with advocacy groups, lawyers, and political and media elites that defends their right to remain outside the mainstream. Some of its more radical proponents hold that the US is a racist, xenophobic state with sins to atone for; they see the “reconquista,” or the invasion of our nation by millions of illegal Mexican immigrants, as cosmic justice for alleged past crimes. Such commonplace attitudes do little to foster loyalty and love of country.


 In America today, we also have a pervasive welfare system unknown in preceding epochs that has become an inducement for many immigrants to enter the US. Large numbers of immigrants find their way onto the Medicaid and welfare roles, obtain food stamps, housing and heating assistance, and burden already strapped school, prison, and health care systems. The presence of the welfare state alone argues against open borders for the inevitable abuses it engenders.


 Most immigrants today are Hispanic, with more than fifty percent coming from Mexico alone. Because of the high number of immigrants from a single national/cultural group, there is a stronger propensity for today's immigrants to form large, autonomous enclaves that remain resistant to assimilation. In earlier waves of immigration no single group predominated as Mexicans/Hispanics do today, and while ethnic “neighborhoods” formed, compulsion to assimilate was much greater.


 In previous eras, many Americans were employed as farmers or in factories. Class differences between established Americans and new immigrants were not that vast. Today, with most Americans employed in service and technology sectors, new immigrants employed in poorly paid, low skilled jobs represent a kind of permanent underclass, ripe for radicalization by leftist groups eager to cultivate resentment.


 On the political front, there is one major political party that looks slavishly upon the prospect of unlimited immigration as a treasure trove of potential victim-voters and an opportunity for massive government expansion and federal spending; while influential elements in the other party foolishly view it as a supply of cheap labor for corporate sponsors. Both sides nurse hysterical fears over the Hispanic vote.


 The other side of the equation is Mexico itself. Legal and illegal immigration to the US allows Mexico to export large numbers of its unemployed north for gainful employment, health care, education, and welfare. They in turn send remittances back, enough to make it Mexico's second largest source of revenue. Why would Mexico change this picture? Immigration to the US is a safety valve that allows Mexico to continue mismanaging its economy for the benefit of a select few - and get away with it. But with oil, other resources, and a booming tourist industry, there is no reason that Mexico could not reform itself and provide a higher standard of living for its citizens. Why take Mexico off the hook? Mexico's moribund economy and joblessness is its own fault as is its failure to create a decent society to grow and prosper in - not ours. Ending illegal immigration and curtailing legal immigration from Mexico will force it to tackle its own problems instead of sending them to us.


 It is an odd consortium of Democrats, Bush and other country club Republicans along with separatists, leftists, and business interests that support open borders while paying lip service to enforcement. The majority of Americans however recognizes the danger of an America degraded into a bicultural state; they also recognize that we cannot long endure unlimited numbers of impoverished, low skilled immigrants from Latin America without paying a heavy price.


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