Ill-effects of immigration

Lest you doubt my assertion that sufficient amounts of immigration invariably imposes unwelcome change on the native population:

Dennis Jackson said it was over-reaching cultural sensitivity that led to being told his annual Santa appearances must cease at St. Peter Head Start classes for young children. Jackson said he was told “it was against some people’s wishes” for him to make the half-hour appearances for two classes catering to about three dozen children. He said St. Peter Head Start personnel gave him no reason for the action. He’s made Santa appearances there the past four years to dispense candy bought at his own expense….

Chris Marben, who coordinates regional Head Start programs through Mankato-based Minnesota Valley Action Council, said as much. “We have Somali families in the program,” she said. “We’re respecting the wishes of families in the program.”

Marben should be fired and those obnoxious Somali families should be sent back to Somalia. This is why distrust, dislike, and even downright hatred of immigrants is not only quite reasonable on occasion, but can be well-merited. All the people in Mankato want to do is celebrate Christmas the way they have always done, and thanks to a few obnoxious immigrants acting in combination with a petty autocratic bureaucracy, they are not permitted to do so. If the Somalis so dislike Santa, then they should stay in Santa-free Somalia.

Consider the Misean take on the subject, himself an immigrant to the United States: “Immigrants soon find their place in urban life, they soon adopt, externally, town manners and opinions, but for a long time they remain foreign to civic thought. One cannot make a social philosophy one’s own as easily as a new costume.”

DREAM is dead

Illegal immigration isn’t the problem, too much immigration is. Legalizing those here illegally would only have made the problem worse, as the consequences of the 1986 amnesty conclusively demonstrate.

The Senate on Saturday blocked a bill that would have created a path to citizenship for certain young illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children, completed two years of college or military service and met other requirements, including passing a criminal background check.

Cue the sob stories… but if you’re moved by emotional appeals rather than logic, you might at least consider the fate of the many unemployed Americans, most of whom would be able to find work if millions of immigrants did not have those jobs. And spare the ignorant “jobs Americans won’t do” argument, which reveals nothing more than a failure to consider supply and demand. Let’s face it, most businesses that employ immigrants, legal or illegal, would employ even cheaper Chinese prison labor if they could figure out a way to get them over here.

Three weeks in California

I mentioned this VDH column about his journeys through the California backcountry in yesterday’s post about immigration waves, but it’s really worth reading just in case you didn’t notice the link:

During this unscientific experiment, three times a week I rode a bike on a 20-mile trip over various rural roads in southwestern Fresno County. I also drove my car over to the coast to work, on various routes through towns like San Joaquin, Mendota, and Firebaugh. And near my home I have been driving, shopping, and touring by intent the rather segregated and impoverished areas of Caruthers, Fowler, Laton, Orange Cove, Parlier, and Selma. My own farmhouse is now in an area of abject poverty and almost no ethnic diversity; the closest elementary school (my alma mater, two miles away) is 94 percent Hispanic and 1 percent white, and well below federal testing norms in math and English.

Here are some general observations about what I saw (other than that the rural roads of California are fast turning into rubble, poorly maintained and reverting to what I remember seeing long ago in the rural South). First, remember that these areas are the ground zero, so to speak, of 20 years of illegal immigration. There has been a general depression in farming — to such an extent that the 20- to-100-acre tree and vine farmer, the erstwhile backbone of the old rural California, for all practical purposes has ceased to exist.

On the western side of the Central Valley, the effects of arbitrary cutoffs in federal irrigation water have idled tens of thousands of acres of prime agricultural land, leaving thousands unemployed. Manufacturing plants in the towns in these areas — which used to make harvesters, hydraulic lifts, trailers, food-processing equipment — have largely shut down; their production has been shipped off overseas or south of the border. Agriculture itself — from almonds to raisins — has increasingly become corporatized and mechanized, cutting by half the number of farm workers needed. So unemployment runs somewhere between 15 and 20 percent.

Many of the rural trailer-house compounds I saw appear to the naked eye no different from what I have seen in the Third World. There is a Caribbean look to the junked cars, electric wires crisscrossing between various outbuildings, plastic tarps substituting for replacement shingles, lean-tos cobbled together as auxiliary housing, pit bulls unleashed, and geese, goats, and chickens roaming around the yards. The public hears about all sorts of tough California regulations that stymie business — rigid zoning laws, strict building codes, constant inspections — but apparently none of that applies out here.

But remember, immigration is good for America! No matter what the empirical evidence might lead one to conclude, the important thing is that the theoretical case remains solid.

We’ve heard that one before

About the only idea dumber than not sending Mexican immigrants back to Mexico is the idea of returning the favor and invading Mexico right back:

National pride is a good thing – until the water reaches your chin and your nation is still sinking. Mexico is not in that deep yet, but parts of the country are. Seven criminal cartels effectively control most cities and the drug trafficking lanes near the U.S. border, as well as their bases and production centers in the interior.

The Mexican government announced on Wednesday that it will send more troops and federal police to its northeastern corner near the U.S. border.

Yet the Mexican elite class and military remain too proud to do what they immediately should: Call in the Marines.

I say this a bit tendentiously to get Mexicans out of their nationalistic stupor. They, in fact, should call in the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, too. But not in large units. Rather, Mexico is in dire need of American military specialists stationed within its borders to help the country build powerful electronic intelligence systems and train modern military and police forces to replace its suffocatingly hierarchical, outdated ones.

Just a few specialists, right. And then when a number of specialists are taken out by the armed cartels who presumably are capable of understanding why the American specialists are there, the Obama administration will either a) withdraw the specialists in which case they need not ever bothered sending them in the first place, or b) escalate American forces there. Regarding which notion Fred Reed, who lives in Mexico, has a few thoughts.

The ridiculous thing is that the possibility of some kind of violent conflict with Mexico became not only realistic but probable the minute that the immigration spigot was opened. The dangerous thing is that because of the Mexification of California and portions of the American Southwest, all of the fireworks aren’t going to take place south of the border.

America A is no more

Thomas Friedman laments American decline:

Former President José María Figueres of Costa Rica has a saying I like: “There is no Planet B” — so we’d better make Plan A work to preserve a stable environment. I feel the same way about America these days. There is no America B, so we’d better make this one work a lot better than we’ve been doing, and not only for our sake. When Britain went into decline as the globe’s stabilizing power, America was right there, ready to pick up the role. Even with all our imperfections and mistakes, the world has been a better place for it. If America goes weak, though, and cannot project power the way it has, your kids won’t just grow up in a different America. They will grow up in a different world. You will not like who picks up the pieces.

This is extraordinarily ironic, coming as it does from an elite Jewish liberal. He quite clearly doesn’t recognize that it is the very causes he has championed for decades, from diversity, equality, and secularization to free trade, immigration, and globalization, that have so weakened America in the manner that concerns him now. While he is correct in saying that a successful and powerful America committed to its core values could again become a world leader, his definition of those core values almost surely includes those values that have proven so pernicious to American success, power, and world leadership.

The North American landmass isn’t going to disappear. There will still be Americans proper – descendants of the white Anglo-Saxon Protestants who founded the nation on principles derived from the Bible and the Magna Carta – as well as those who call themselves Americans but have no cultural, ethnic, or religious connection to the historical America that is now essentially gone. The results of the great experiment are now sufficiently observable that we can pronounce the failure of the Viral America hypothesis.

It is now clear that one cannot catch Americanism. Just as the Irish, German, Scandinavian, and Italian immigrants never fully grasped the English concepts of liberty and limited government*, thereby transforming what had been a voluntary union of sovereign states into an involuntary empire ruled by a sovereign central government, the subsequent wave of immigration from Mexico and other third-world nations has transformed what had been a rich and powerful empire into an impoverished and corrupt one. Read Victor Davis Hanson’s haunting article on the devolution of central California into third world poverty; it will give you a more clear perspective on what has already happened and what is eventually in store for many communities across the country.

This is not to say that it was ever the intention of the various waves of immigrants to destroy the very haven they sought, it was merely the natural consequence of immigrants bringing their cultures with them, as they always do. And history clearly demonstrates that this is always the consequence when a sufficiently large number of people migrate to new lands. There is a reason that the northern province of Italy is still named Lombardia after the people who settled there after invading in 568 rather than after those they displaced, after all. It does not matter what historical example of mass immigration one examines, the result is invariably the same and it does not matter if the immigration is legal or illegal. The only variable of any significance is the percentage of the population represented by the immigration. Consider, for example, the original English colonists. Did they adapt to the ways of the Indian tribes or did they bring their native English way of life with them and transform the area they inhabited?

This is also not to say that the native population does not undergo its own transformation over time, but the transformations happen much more quickly and to a much greater extent with the arrival of new influences. The adaptation of black ghetto culture by white suburban teenagers following the end of segregation is one of many cases in point. But keep in mind that the point here is not whether the transformation is good or bad, it is only to note that the transformation has taken place and, for better or for worse, the new blended culture is never going to be the same as the one that it replaced.

From the New York Times: “In 1980, the foreign-born population in the United States was about 4.5 million. By 2000, it had reached 11.3 million, bringing the foreign-born population to about 13 percent of the total. In the early 20th century, after the last big wave of immigration to the United States, immigrants had reached 15 percent of the population.”

Therefore, Friedman is wrong as one cannot expect to make America A work when it has been transformed into America A + (M+I2+G+S+J+3). America A no longer exists. This is the B-Ark nation.

*Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, I invite you to compare the number of Irish, Italian, German, and Scandinavian political philosophers who have written on liberty and limited government with the number of English philosophers who published works on the subject.