Have you ever watched Antiques Roadshow? People…bring for appraisal their paintings, jewelry, documents, swords, samplers, toys, key baskets…Americans. Have you ever watched Booknotes? The next time you watch a speaker(s) discuss the Civil War or American presidents, note the absence of non-Americans in the audience.
Victor Davis Hanson commentary: U.S. needs sensible approach to illegal immigration
Friday July 31, 2015 6:16 AM
Can we be honest about illegal immigration?
It is a common challenge to almost every advanced Western country that is adjacent to poorer nations.
American employers and ethnic activists long have colluded to weaken border enforcement and render immigration law meaningless. The former wanted greater profits from cheaper labor, the latter wished more political clout for themselves.
Mexico conspired, too. It received billions of easy dollars in remittances from its expatriates in America. Mexico had few qualms about letting millions of its own citizens illegally cross its northern border into the United States — even though the Mexican government would never tolerate millions of Central Americans illegally crossing the border to become permanent residents of Mexico.
For better or worse, illegal immigration is tied to race and ethnicity. No doubt, ignorant racism drives some to oppose illegal immigration. But by the same token, the advocates of open borders, many of them with strong ties to Mexico, would not be so energized about the issue if hundreds of thousands of Europeans or Africans were entering the U.S. illegally each year.
There is too often a surreal disconnect about the perception of the U.S. in the immigration debate.
Millions, we sometimes forget, are fleeing from the authoritarianism, racism, corruption and class oppression of Mexico. They have voted with their feet to reject that model and to choose a completely different — and often antithetical — economic, social, cultural and political paradigm in the United States. Somehow that bothersome fact is lost in the habitual criticism of a hospitable and magnanimous America.
Then there is the matter of law. America went to war over the Confederate states’ nullification of federal laws. A century and a half later, do we really want hundreds of sanctuary cities, each declaring irrelevant certain federal laws that they find bothersome?
For every left-wing city that declares immigration statutes inoperative, a right-wing counterpart might do the same with the Endangered Species Act, gun-registration laws, affirmative action or gay marriage. The result would be chaos and anarchy, not compassion.
Controversy has arisen over the number of undocumented immigrants who have committed felonies or serious misdemeanors, such as the Mexican national — a repeat felon and deportee — recently charged with the fatal shooting of a young woman in San Francisco. But the furor raises the question: Why would any guest violate the rules of his host? And why is the data on such violations so hard to come by and so prone to controversy?
Either the number of undocumented immigrants who commit crimes is so vast that no one knows the extent of the problem, or there are political hurdles in determining that number — or drawing politically incorrect conclusions from it.
We should not minimize criminality. Creating a false identity, using a fraudulent Social Security number and knowingly filing inaccurate federal forms are serious felonies for most Americans. They are neither minor infractions nor simply the innocuous wages of living in the shadows, but undermine the sinews of a society.
Numbers also count. When millions come to a country illegally, integration breaks down and tribalism takes over. Do we really want permanent, Balkanized ethnic lobbies, frozen in amber — another century of a monolithic Asian, white or Latino vote? Are Americans to fragment even more, as they collectively sigh, “If they vote predictably along ethnic lines, I guess I should, too”?
President Barack Obama talks grandly of “immigration reform.” But he apparently does not mean what most Americans would assume from that faddish catchphrase.
Reform should first include strict enforcement of the border. A new, ethnically blind immigration system would select from among applicants based on skill sets and education, and consider candidates from all over the world — not on the basis of ethnic identity or proximity to the border.
Immediate and lasting deportation would ensue for those who committed crimes or cynically chose to receive public assistance rather than work while here illegally.
Many Americans are in favor of offering a path to legal residence to those undocumented immigrants who have long lived and worked in the U.S. and have crime-free records — after they pay a fine for breaking federal law and then wait patiently in line while the legal process plays out — as long as the border is sealed to prevent future illegal immigration.
If some newly legal residents wished to become full-fledged citizens, then they could pass citizenship and English tests and assimilate into the American body politic.
Somehow I doubt that this fair, reasonable process is what the president really wants.
Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
As the editor of a conservative website, I am in contact with the Republican base every day. I read their voluminous comments on my website, and I exchange emails with them about their concerns.
Many of them right now genuinely, and even passionately, support Trump. They are happy to contradict me when I write that Trump is a self-aggrandizing demagogue who lacks a coherent agenda—conservative or otherwise—unless a scattered list of personal grudges and obsessions can be considered an agenda. In a poll last week on my website he won easily, cornering 25 percent of the vote.
Though I disagree with them, these comments make complete sense to me. Because I share much of the worldview that is animating support for Trump.
Let’s start with immigration. America is, as President Barack Obama and his “immigration reform” allies like to say, a land of immigrants. But it is not a land of endless immigration from one culture that is different than ours and in many ways far less successful. Most immigrants from Mexico, no doubt, are good, hardworking people seeking a chance to better their circumstance in America. But they are not Americans.
And in the numbers they are coming, the serious concern is that they are not easily assimilated.
Other cultures are supposed to augment ours, not replace it.
What’s more, so many of these immigrants have, as their first act in this country, broken the law by coming here illegally. This indisputable fact is so minimized that it has become politically incorrect to call them “illegal immigrants.” They are to be termed “undocumented,” as if their lack of papers were a clerical error. This is a big problem for conservatives, who feel the rule of law is eroding fast under Obama.
On July 16, 2015, Representative Luis Gutierrez, speaking in Spanish referred to the cold-blooded murder of Kathryn Steinle as just a “little thing.” View video. This very public display not only clearly demonstrated Gutierrez’s complete lack of compassion for this grieving American family, but also for the tens of thousands of families whose loved ones have been killed by illegal aliens.
Rush to convert your green cards into votes against Trump and other ‘bullies and bigots’: Puerto Rican congressman tells millions of Hispanics to become citizens
olympia3000, St louis, United States, about 10 hours ago
amanda320, Houston, United States, about 11 hours ago
I spend my weekends helping my fellow Mexican Americans study for their citizenship exam. It’s a piece if cake, but I can bet anything that most white Americans would not pass it. And yes, they can take if in Spanish. And then I help them register to vote, and set up emails with reminders! Booyah!!!
amanda320 , Houston, United States, about 11 hours ago
My parents were illegals. I’m a physician now. Paid with scholarship. My parents along with my husband are about to become citizens next week. Did I mention my husband was an illegal, he now owns a concrete company. We pay more taxes in a year than most pay in an entire lifetime. So I guess things are even now, huh
LoveyKat, Baltimore, United States, about 13 hours ago
This is the same guy who called arresting 25 members of Mexican organized crime in Chicago involved with producing forged documents for illegals “excessive”
whubba, The Heartland, United States, about 14 hours ago
If he spoke English they didn’t understand a word he said. I live it every day.
Firebrand, Lithonia, United States, about 15 hours ago
I’m not Hispanic but I’m voting for anyone but that trump clown
Filmol, NJ, United States, about 16 hours ago
For the ignorants, Puerto Ricans are born US citizens, whether born on US or Puerto Rican soil, have been for over a 100 years, they are not immigrants.
Kortney Dunkle, mechanicsburg, United States , 16 hours ago
Yes…and destroy the two party system. Permanent Democrat rule which will turn totalitarian and will militarize against Conservative, Christian white American within one or two generations.
fit2btied , Boston, United States, 16 hours ago
This is a congressman representing a state in America!?? How much more disgusting can it get?? The enemy among us.
yougottobekidding, Somewhere, United States, 16 hours ago
No other country wants or accepts illegals so why should these illegals think America should? Their home countries treat illegals harsher than we do in America so why all the rage when you know no one accepts illegals?
reddog1, Alexandria, United States, 17 hours ago
Forget Russia, ISIS, Iran, China, North Korea. Liberals and their mindless ideology are the biggest threat to America. Obama, the nightmare that will not go away.
Lil momma, Southern, United States, 17 hours ago
This is America and all these illegal immigrants coming in working for barely nothing to stay undercover and steal real Americans jobs has to stop! Many Americans rely on there jobs to take care of there families and lively hoods! I have first hand seen the damage it’s doing to the economy when my husband,friends and family get underbid on jobs by Mexicans because they will work for litterly pennies on the dollar and live like sardines so they can do it!!
Newsaddict , LocoMoCo, United States, 12 hours ago
Yes, they can work for a lot less because they are not paying 25-45% of what they earn back to the government. So, $10 per hour to them really is $10, not $7.50 or less. Those bleeding heart folks who think America should take in anyone and everyone aren’t losing their jobs to them are they?
JayJayGiveAway, Boogie Down, United States, 18 hours ago
An American politician that doesn’t work for Americans. No wonder this country is going down the tubes.
Common Sense about immigration