Close on the heels of the Arizona legislation authorizing police departments in that state to detain and check those individuals suspected of being illegal foreign nationals, the State of Arizona signed into law a new measure prohibiting the teaching of "ethnic studies" programs which tell students (Latinos) that they are a people oppressed by white people.
Students in the Tucson Unified School District have been offered courses in African-American, Mexican-American and Native-American studies which focus on the history and literature of specific ethnic groups. The conceptual basis for these programs is that these persecuted minorities require remedial ethical and social support, in order to function normally within the greater society of which they are a part.
What this means in practical terms is that the children of Mexicans--both legal and illegal--get special attention--targeted historical and cultural curricula designed to foster separate ethnic and racial dignity and pride. In the natural course of things, this has led to a de facto ghetto-ization and hardening of the sense of difference and separation among Hispanic school-children. These children are taught Mexican history, Mexican literature, Mexican folkways.
But these children are citizens of America, not Mexico. They aren't going to live in Mexico. As Americans, they're being taught to think of themselves as nationals of another nation, as "spiritual" citizens of Mexico.
What is the purpose of trying to segregate racial/ethnic groups into separate entities, to focus on their difference, and celebrate and define their identity apart from the greater society to which they ostensibly belong? Is it the duty of the state to foster a sense of foreign national, racial and ethnic identity among communities composed largely of foreigners?
Isn't the purpose of assimilation to foster a sense of inclusion, of common purpose and entitlement? If I, for instance, were to decide to emigrate to Scotland, I would certainly expect that I, and my children, would be required to swear allegiance to that nation, to learn about its history, to participate in its political life, and to blend in with the cultural life of that society.
But Mexicans apparently believe that they should not have to assimilate. They believe that they're entitled to all the privileges of American society and law, but have no obligation to integrate themselves into American life. They would prefer to be allowed to continue to speak Spanish, to be allowed to conduct all their business--official and otherwise--in Spanish, to have their children be taught, and to speak, Spanish, in school. They want the media to be available in Spanish. In short, they want to create a Mexican society in which to live, to transport all the characteristics of Mexican society to America, while deriving all the benefits of American life, including the rule of law, and economic prosperity.
This isn't assimilation.
The real issues surrounding the ascendancy of the Mexican-Latino influx currently in progress really have nothing to do with tolerance, equality, racial or ethnic diversity, or any of that nonsense. Ultimately, it's all about political and economic power.
Why? Because in America, as elsewhere in the world, the power to control government and business determines who gets what, how the favors and privileges are doled out. These conflicts used to occur among earlier immigrant American communities, Irish and Italian, German and Polish, Black and White, and rich and poor. But the previous waves of American immigration were legal. The great influx which occurred at the end of the 19th and the early 20th Centuries was a deliberate accommodation. A new continent stood empty, tending westward. Settlement proceeded, and growth took place.
Wherever large numbers of immigrants hemorrhage across borders, there are profound problems, not just for those who move, but for those who are being invaded. This is true even where both populations are closely allied in traditions and life-style. Anyone who pretends this is not so--that the stresses and resentments and rivalries and frictions that occur with uncontrolled and unwelcome invasion--is either dangerously naive, or entirely dishonest.
In America, the history of the political power struggle has always involved competing groups. The current attempt to forge a new political movement around the Latino population in America, is nothing more, or less, than an attempt to manipulate racial resentment and envy, to coordinate and project these racist, separatist sentiments into a dominant regional hegemony.
Fifty years ago, the thought that Latino voting numbers might be a significant factor in domestic political considerations would have been irrelevant. Had Mexican (and Central American) immigration been governed by the statutory limits and guidelines established to control it, it would not be an issue today. But illegal immigration has created a political opportunity for those wishing to exploit it. Catering to the "needs" and "desires" of the newly arrived Latino "communities" throughout the American Southwest, these apologists and modern-day carpet-bagging politicos seek to advocate on behalf of a huge, growing refugee class. They are not interested in the interests and welfare of American citizens; they regard America as a kind of promised land, a paradise from which they were driven by history, and which they are entitled now to seize and occupy, by any means available.
The current "multi-cultural" claim for the new waves of unwelcome immigrants is designed to create a sense of historical precedent, and to incite a sense of guilt and obligation in the resident population. We are told we must "embrace" "difference" by inviting millions of poor, hungry, rapacious foreigners into our midst--that our tradition requires that we acknowledge these new illegal arrivistes as later versions of ourselves. We are being asked to relinquish our sovereignty in favor of a colossal give-away to a whole population of foreign nationals, who have no legal claim upon us.
Ironically, as the political influence of the Latino population in this country grows, so does its influence over our immigration and naturalization policies. Polls show that there's overwhelming resistance in this country to amnesty, open borders, and the continued tolerance of illegals living in disregard for our laws. Yet the media, and most of our politicians, advocate a conciliatory tolerance towards the arrogant new Latino coalition.
Those with liberal pretensions are being seduced into the belief that a grand accommodation, envisioned by the Mexican government, and its people, is an obligation and an act of altruistic charity. Those with a conservative position are being attacked as racist, insular and selfish.
From the apologist's point of view, If you believe in the rule of law, it must only apply to those who petition for your generosity and tolerance; turning it around, to apply the rule of law against those who flaunt your laws, must be inhumane and fascist. Bottom line, immigrants will use the law in whatever way works for them, without regard for boundaries. Once you've jumped the fence, and are living in secrecy and fear of discovery by the authorities, the notion that laws (and authorities) exist to be broken (or avoided) becomes second-nature. Gaming the system becomes a way of life.
The opinion on this blog has always been, and continues to be, that the first priority for any political entity on the planet, is to control its population. That means both moderating increase through reproduction, as well as not allowing excessive immigration. Put simply, America doesn't "need" more population. There are certainly other countries in the world which have worse, or much worse, population problems than America has ever had. Mexico has a population that is completely out of control, given its resources and economy.
America is at a crossroads at present. The prosperity it has enjoyed seems, for the first time in two generations, to be genuinely threatened. There are many causes for this, but illegal immigration is almost certainly not a causal factor. Nevertheless, uncontrolled immigration does have significant real costs, both to society at large, and to our government budgets. It is another additional burden placed upon our country, at a time when our prospects are beginning to turn downward.
But in the larger context of population control, we need to establish a zero population growth policy, and immigration, particularly illegal immigration, needs to be severely reduced, now. This is a perfectly selfish and self-interested initiative. We have no control over what the nation of Mexico may do, or how it addresses its social or economic problems. We can hardly allow ourselves to be blackmailed into adopting Mexico as a diplomatic stepchild. Indeed, the likelihood is that the more we indulge Mexico, or serve as its pressure-valve for its economic refugees, the longer we will prolong the day of reckoning for a Mexican solution.