Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Immigration Has Political Consequences

“The safety of the Republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment…The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to…corrupt the national spirit…”

Alexander Hamilton


I read recently that during the 1990’s more immigrants flooded into the United States than presently live in all of Central America. Presumably, this trend has not altered under the presidency of Senor Bush.

The demographic tsunami unleashed by mass immigration has economic impacts, as I have discussed on several prior occasions, but there are some obvious political consequences to be wrought as well. After all, as the old saying goes, in politics demography is destiny. Consider this comment from the Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups:

In obtaining land grants in Texas, Anglo immigrants agreed to become Mexican citizens, obey Mexican laws, accept the official Catholic faith, learn Spanish, and take other steps to become fully assimilated as law-abiding citizens. However, over the years, it became clear that these settlers, now Anglo-Mexicans, were not becoming integrated into the nation and that Anglo immigration had become a problem…The strains and disagreements led to the Texas Revolution of 1835.


Might the growing Mexican influx and surging influence reverse this process in the American Southwest? In 1997, then President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo told the National Council of La Raza in Chicago: "I have proudly affirmed that the Mexican nation extends beyond the territory enclosed by its borders and that Mexican migrants are an important - a very important - part of it."

Running to secure the GOP nomination in 2000, El Presidente Bush also welcomed the coming demise of European influence in the United States. Mr. Bush said:

America has one national creed, but many accents. We are now one of the largest Spanish-speaking nations in the world. We're a major source of Latin music, journalism, and culture. Just go to Miami, or San Antonio, Los Angeles, Chicago, or West New York, New Jersey... and close your eyes and listen. You could just as easily be in Santo Domingo or Santiago, or San Miguel de Allende. For years our nation has debated this change - some have praised it and others have resented it. By nominating me, my party has made a choice to welcome the new America.


Bush's predecessor likewise embraced the coming demographic revolution. Bubba said, "We want to become a multiracial, multiethnic society. This will arguably be the third great revolution .... to prove that we literally can live without ... having a dominant European culture."

Shortly after these comments, Clinton headed west to exult in the fact that California's white folks were soon to lose their majority status: "Within the next three years here in California, no single race or ethnic group will make up a majority of the state's population. ... A half century from now, there will be no majority race in America."

Who exactly gave these hombres the right to welcome a "new America," and what might it look like from a political standpoint? Elite opinion often dismisses arguments against mass immigration by pointing to earlier waves of immigration from Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. However, they fail to reckon with the fact that today's stream of immigrants is significantly different from its predecessors.

Political scientist Samuel Huntington has done yeoman work pointing out the worrying features of current immigration policy. He writes, "Mexican immigration differs from past immigration and most other contemporary immigration due to a combination of six factors: contiguity, scale, illegality, regional concentration [in the American Southwest], persistence, and historical presence... Demographically, socially, and culturally, the reconquista (re-conquest) of the Southwest United States by Mexican immigrants is well underway."

There are at least five ways that immigration will influence American politics in coming years. First, traditional political institutions, and especially parties and their campaign tactics, will compete for this new bloc of voters. In doing so, they will adapt to the demands, interests, and values of immigrants by abandoning issues and constituencies they have supported in the past.

So, to take just a handful of examples, we have seen both parties putting forward legislation to legalize millions of illegal immigrants. Discussing the Bush amnesty plan, Phil Kent writes that, "Bush's proposed amnesty, illegal immigrants will be eligible to apply for temporary worker status for up to six years, getting all the benefits of a citizen ranging from drivers' licenses to Social Security checks. To facilitate the amnesty, the president is asking Congress to raise the number of legal "green cards" handed out to immigrants each year, but he has so far not specified how many millions will be needed." Bush's amnesty bill has garnered the support of "conservatives" like Bill Frist and right-wing media such as The Weekly Standard, and the notorious Wall Street Journal.

Likewise, there is the sad spectacle of Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) teaming up with Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) to introduce an agricultural guestworker-amnesty bill. Another bill, the DREAM ACT introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), would grant in-state tuition rights and amnesty to all illegal aliens under the age of 21 who have been physically present in the United States for five years.

These and other examples demonstrate that the GOP, allegedly the party of law-and-order and fiscal sanity, will provide carte blanche legal amnesty to law-breakers, and cut them a Social Security check at the same time, as long as their pandering will be rewarded at the ballot box.

A second long-term possibility is that immigrants may import new demands and interests that cannot be met by existing political institutions and may thus create new vehicles to pursue their goals. According to a Zogby poll, some 58% of Mexicans think that the American southwest belongs to Mexico. One might assume that Republican and Democrat politicians will resist such claims. In such an event, it would not be terribly surprising to see new parties form that are more amenable to Mexican irredentism.

Third, mass immigration is likely to create a backlash, creating further racial and ethnic polarization in the country. Our political elites actually welcome such an outcome as it provides justification for further meddling in the lives of citizens. The management of racial and ethnic strife is bread and butter for the State.

Sam Francis coined the term "Anarcho-Tyranny" which he defined as, "both anarchy (the failure of the state to enforce the laws) and, at the same time, tyranny—the enforcement of laws by the state for oppressive purposes; the criminalization of the law-abiding and innocent through exorbitant taxation, bureaucratic regulation, the invasion of privacy, and the engineering of social institutions, such as the family and local schools; the imposition of thought control through 'sensitivity training' and multiculturalist curricula, 'hate crime' laws, gun-control laws that punish or disarm otherwise law-abiding citizens but have no impact on violent criminals who get guns illegally, and a vast labyrinth of other measures. In a word, anarcho-tyranny."

Francis further elaborates on immigration as part-and-parcel of this strategy,

The most obvious sign of what would normally be called anarchy is the immigration invasion. By some serious estimates, no fewer than 11-to-13-million illegal aliens now live in the United States, most of them from Mexico or Central America. The Mexican government actively encourages this invasion and, as the press recently reported, even provides to its own citizens a guidebook on how to carry it out. Our government does nothing serious to stop the invasion, to apprehend the invaders, or to deter the aggression that the Mexican state is perpetrating. The invaders—as residents of Arizona, where some 40 percent of illegal aliens enter the country, constantly complain—threaten the lives, safety, and property of law-abiding American citizens; depress wages; gobble welfare; and constitute a new underclass that is an object of demagogic political manipulation by both American and Mexican politicians. (The illegals in this country cannot legally vote, though that does not necessarily stop them, but they remain voters in Mexico, and Mexican politicians now routinely campaign for their votes inside the United States.) The federal government invaded Iraq, although Iraq never harmed or threatened us, but it does virtually nothing to resist the massive invasion (and eventually the conquest) of its own country and the deliberate violation of its own laws by Mexico.



Fourth, the GOP is DOA. Peter Brimelow and Ed Rubestein have been arguing since at least 1997 that mass immigration would leave the GOP as a minority party as early as 2008, in spite of their best efforts to "reach out" to Hispanic voters.

Finally, mass immigration will shift political power from the heartland to the coasts. Some seventy-five percent of immigrants settle in just six states. Between 1990 and 2000, California lost nearly a million white residents, yet the population of the state increased dramatically due to immigration. California picked up five House seats as a result of reapportionment. Texas, New York, and Florida also picked up seats while Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin each lost one seat and Colorado and Kentucky both failed to gain a seat that they otherwise would have had there been no immigration after 1990. Does anyone else find it interesting that the industrial states most harmed by free-trade policies are the same ones losing representation in the House?

10 Comments:

Blogger Lawrence said...

I have to say the folks at Harvard seemed to have made up their mind about the Texas Revolution and then set about to re-interpret history. The revolt centered around Santa Anna tossing out the 1824 Mexican Constitution and making himself dictator of Mexico. The original colonists were heppy living under the 1824 and well they should have been it was a good document. Santa Anna did not respect previous agreements or arrangements and was ruthless. This is a man who after gaining power invited his cohorts over for dinner with cigars and a firing squad for dessert. Had he been content to be president and the 1824 stayed in effect Texas probably would have stayed in Mexico. That said I do think Texas would have joined her sister Northern Mexican states in offering to secede from Mexico and join the Confederacy. One can only guess if the admonition of Jefferson Davis to remain part of Mexico would have been as effective as it was on the others.

Lawrence
www.wildernessvoices.org

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Darrell, Hello Lawrence,

Although we were a long way from being a just and morally decent society then - one can never forget the truly hideous injustices heaped so liberally upon blacks, particularly blacks, and Jews in this country at the time - one knew, nevertheless, that at some point there would be a redress of these persistent wrongs no matter how long it took. This country was the home of the brave and the land of the free and there were the parades and all of the soldiers and sailors at the railroad stations and nearby camps to prove it. I despised racism as a boy and do no less so as a man today. Yet the sheer weight of today's new injustices leaves me with a sense of utter hopelessness and, more than many others, illegal immigration is one such.

It is quite literally of no spiritual benefit to a man to know that his achievements are the result of a kind of theft. How helpful can it be to one's sense of themself to consider a fraud as the basis of a new start? As it was over againt the poison of slavery and Jim Crowe for so long in the American South, a certain sense of powerlessness justifiably takes hold. But this time there is not likely to be a making right.

John Lowell

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also undiscussed is the nice interlock between afirmative action and immigration. With the expansion of affirmative action from a program designed to address specific historic wrongs (slaver and Jim Crow) to one who's justification is 'diversity' we now see the multiplier effect in action. Each Latino immigrant, legal or illegal, adds to the percentage they make up in the population, and increases the quotas for the less quailified in schools, government contracts and increasingly management positions in big companies that mimic other elite institutions.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Good point connecting immigration and affirmative action. I also failed to note that there would arise constituencies that favored immigration--big business, agribusiness, diversity mongers, etc.

Lawrence, isn't it inevitable that the wholesale movement of peoples has revolutionary possibilities? Surely most Texans were ethnically and religiously different. Wasn't it invetiable that they would eventually split from Mexico? I see the same dynamic at work in the Southwest.

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lawrence has it right; first hollywood, now harvard and various others have tried to sell a rewritten, more politically correct I guess, version of Texas' history.

The differing accounts of the Mexican War , 1848, derive from the civil uprising, or revolt of the Texas colonists and Tejanos which began Oct 1935. Most the colonists immigrated under authority of the Mexican Constitution of 1824, a Federalist system wherein most governmental power resided at state and local level. But in 1835 Santa Anna revoked that constitution and declared himself dictator. The Texians and many Federalistas, tejanos, responded with revolt, fighting for self rule republican government against Santa Anna's Centralist dictatorship.
Article IV, sec 4 U.S. provides enforcement vs invasion of states. That enforcement has yet to happen since 1848. Only now are they making a weak stab at enforcement of that little item of our constitution. An astounding omission for leaders sworn to uphold it. There are those who say the invaders cannot be stopped; of course they can. Who are they kidding.? Also it is said, smugly as if fait accompli,( this is for Tamar Jacoby especially ) that the illegals resident in the U.S.are not going anywhere, that they cannot be deported. Also horse manure - Eisenhower did it in 1954, simply, efficiently, & not very costly requiring something like 700 personnel.
anonymous.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lawrence has it right; first hollywood, now harvard and various others have tried to sell a rewritten, more politically correct I guess, version of Texas' history.

The differing accounts of the Mexican War , 1848, derive from the civil uprising, or revolt of the Texas colonists and Tejanos which began Oct 1935. Most the colonists immigrated under authority of the Mexican Constitution of 1824, a Federalist system wherein most governmental power resided at state and local level. But in 1835 Santa Anna revoked that constitution and declared himself dictator. The Texians and many Federalistas, tejanos, responded with revolt, fighting for self rule republican government against Santa Anna's Centralist dictatorship.
Article IV, sec 4 U.S. provides enforcement vs invasion of states. That enforcement has yet to happen since 1848. Only now are they making a weak stab at enforcement of that little item of our constitution. An astounding omission for leaders sworn to uphold it. There are those who say the invaders cannot be stopped; of course they can. Who are they kidding.? Also it is said, smugly as if fait accompli,( this is for Tamar Jacoby especially ) that the illegals resident in the U.S.are not going anywhere, that they cannot be deported. Also horse manure - Eisenhower did it in 1954, simply, efficiently, not very costly requiring something like 700 personnel.
anonymous.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice Post take a look at

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www.saveourstate.org

Grassroots orginization in California and now in 5 other states fighting illegal immigration on the Streets of Southern California and America.

Join us !

10:42 PM  
Anonymous DML said...

A very smart analysis of the problem. Zedillo's and Bush's comments have to be taken at face value though. They're targeted at specific audiences used to win their approval, and may be more representative of that than long-term shared interests. Check out www.thescreamingpen.com though, I've got a few related immigration pieces.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

two interesting articles on immigration from a uk based indian workers paper

http://www.lalkar.org/issues/contents/mar2006/immigration.php



http://www.lalkar.org/issues/contents/may2006/immigration.php

enjoy!

7:28 AM  
Blogger Princeton said...

This was a wonderfull read. A lot of it was true, but in all honesty, immigrants, that come into the US, be it from central america or other continents, some immigrants come over and do 'add' to our growing econmy. Some are doctors, others lawyers, true as it is that the majority do give us a substantial blow, but for the most part, its not all bad.

Later reply to a decent blog. *bows head down in shame*

But great job.

Tanya Gregory
urdegree.com

9:55 AM  

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