Your Ad Here
2004 February 24 Tuesday
Samuel P. Huntington Comes Out Against Immigration From Mexico

Yet another serious thinker and accomplished scholar has come out for a radical change in current US immigration policy. Harvard historian Samuel P. Huntington, author of The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, has come warning of the dangers of the current trend in US immigration in the March/April 2004 issue of Foreign Policy in an important article entitled The Hispanic Challenge.

The impact of Mexican immigration on the United States becomes evident when one imagines what would happen if Mexican immigration abruptly stopped. The annual flow of legal immigrants would drop by about 175,000, closer to the level recommended by the 1990s Commission on Immigration Reform chaired by former U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. Illegal entries would diminish dramatically. The wages of low-income U.S. citizens would improve. Debates over the use of Spanish and whether English should be made the official language of state and national governments would subside. Bilingual education and the controversies it spawns would virtually disappear, as would controversies over welfare and other benefits for immigrants. The debate over whether immigrants pose an economic burden on state and federal governments would be decisively resolved in the negative. The average education and skills of the immigrants continuing to arrive would reach their highest levels in U.S. history. The inflow of immigrants would again become highly diverse, creating increased incentives for all immigrants to learn English and absorb U.S. culture. And most important of all, the possibility of a de facto split between a predominantly Spanish-speaking United States and an English-speaking United States would disappear, and with it, a major potential threat to the country's cultural and political integrity.

Contemporary Mexican and, more broadly, Latin American immigration is without precedent in U.S. history. The experience and lessons of past immigration have little relevance to understanding its dynamics and consequences. Mexican immigration differs from past immigration and most other contemporary immigration due to a combination of six factors: contiguity, scale, illegality, regional concentration, persistence, and historical presence.

...

In the past, immigrants originated overseas and often overcame severe obstacles and hardships to reach the United States. They came from many different countries, spoke different languages, and came legally. Their flow fluctuated over time, with significant reductions occurring as a result of the Civil War, World War I, and the restrictive legislation of 1924. They dispersed into many enclaves in rural areas and major cities throughout the Northeast and Midwest. They had no historical claim to any U.S. territory.

On all these dimensions, Mexican immigration is fundamentally different. These differences combine to make the assimilation of Mexicans into U.S. culture and society much more difficult than it was for previous immigrants. Particularly striking in contrast to previous immigrants is the failure of third- and fourth-generation people of Mexican origin to approximate U.S. norms in education, economic status, and intermarriage rates.

If you are not yet convinced that current immigration trends are deeply harmful for the United States then I encourage you to read the article in full. Huntington focuses on the cultural reasons why current immigration policy is harmful in contrast to many commentators who focus on the economic costs. His cultural arguments are important and deserve more attention than they receive.

However, the economic arguments also bear repeating here because, yes, they matter too. For instance, 100 years ago for someone to come to the United States without a high school level of education - let alone a college degree - was not much of a problem because most jobs didn't require advanced training or a great deal of cognitive ability. Industrialization was producing factory jobs that required the ability to do incredibly monotonous and simple tasks over and over again. A much larger portion of the labor force were manual laborers and many worked outside doing things that required considerable physical brawn. Well, automation has advanced to the point that a continually dwindling portion of the workforce does factory jobs or outside hard manual labor jobs.

The upshot of the continuing changes in the economy is that the relative value of less skilled workers has declined and looks set to continue to do so. At the same time the Western democracies have all built up welfare states that seek to maintain a minimum level of education, medical and other services and goods available to all. A substantial and growing portion of the population gets more in goods and services from the government than it pays in taxes. When considered on top of the economic problem the cultural and political problems outlined by Huntington become even more serious. We can not afford - either economically or culturally - to continue on the current path on immigration policy. We need to deport the illegals, stop Hispanic immigration, and put both the need to maintain the existing culture and the advantage of much higher skilled and talented immigrants as key factors in determining who is eligible to immigrate to the United States.

For more on Huntington on other subjects see my previous posts William H. McNeill On Samuel P. Huntington and Stanley Kurtz on Francis Fukuyama, Samuel Huntington.

Update: One argument made by defenders of massive immigration from Mexico is that the initial immigrants may not be well educated but the successive generations of their children and grandchildren will eventually approach US norms. Well, no. The most stunning table in Huntington's article shows little improvement in education attainment across generations of Mexican immigrants.

Education of Mexican Americans by Generation (1989-90)

First Second Third Fourth All Americans *
No high school degree (%) 69.9 51.5 33.0 41.0 23.5
High school degree (%) 24.7 39.2 58.5 49.4 30.4
Post high school degree (%) 5.4 9.3 8.5 9.6 45.1
* Except Mexican Americans, 1990

Look at the bottom row showing post-high school achievement even into the fourth generation. This is happening in spite of the fact that racial quotas for college admissions used by so many colleges and universities have long applied not just to blacks but to Hispanics as well. This is a stunning result. I honestly expected a higher figure just because enough universities have enough dubious departments with low standards that it is possible to get a bachelor's degree without studying much difficult material.

Update II: Huntington is also the author of a new book on immigration entitled Who Are We : The Challenges to America's National Identity.

Update III: A later issue of Foreign Policy features a large number of mostly vitriolic responses to Huntington's article. Here's part of Huntington's reply to his critics. (free registration required)

Yzaguirre and Roger Daniels allude to Benjamin Franklin’s concerns about German immigrants in Pennsylvania maintaining their language and culture. They do not go on to quote Franklin’s argument that to correct the situation, the government should “distribute them more equally, mix them with the English, establish English schools where they are now too thick settled.” George Washington and Thomas Jefferson endorsed similar policies. One can only hope that Yzaguirre and Daniels now support measures like these which our nation’s founders thought essential to maintain the United States’ identity.

Bruce Wright accuses me of promoting the “lazy Mexican stereotype.” Yet the only sources I quote on Mexican culture are Mexicans and Mexican Americans. Along with Yzaguirre and Jacoby, Wright also attacks me for saying that America’s core culture is “Anglo Protestant.” Historians have, however, repeatedly shown that to be the case, and I document this point at length in my forthcoming book, Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity. As I point out in the article, if America had been settled not by British Protestants but by French, Spanish, or Portuguese Catholics, it would not be America; it would be Quebec, Mexico, or Brazil. The differences between the cultures of the United States and Mexico have also been highlighted by the Mexican philosopher Armando Cíntora, Mexican Foreign Ministry official Andrés Rozental, and Mexico’s premier novelist, Carlos Fuentes, who has commented with Tocquevillian eloquence on the gap between Mexico’s Spanish-Indian heritage, with its “culture of Catholicism,” and America’s Protestant culture descended “from Martin Luther.”

The last refuge of those unable to make reasoned arguments based on facts and logic is to resort to slander and name-calling, as do Daniels, Wright, Jon Lindsay, and Edward Lopez Jr., who variously refer to me—or my argument—as “unsavory nativis[m],” “chauvinism,” “European nativism,” “unabashed racism,” or “xenophobic.” Such charges should have no place in FOREIGN POLICY.

In general, the critical responses demonstrate how difficult it is to have a serious, informed, and reasoned exchange on what is, as Pei accurately writes, “the most fundamental question about the United States’ future as a nation and a culture.”

Also see my later posts Samuel P. Huntington On Cosmopolitans, Imperialists, And Nationalists and Samuel P. Huntington On Nationalism Versus Cosmopolitanism.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2004 February 24 09:22 PM  Immigration Culture Clash


Comments
Dan Van Zile said at February 26, 2004 1:32 PM:

I read the article in Foreign Affairs and really have no arguement with his major points. Although, my objection to unskilled immigration is largely on economic rahter than cultural grounds. I'll comment on a couple of points though, his prediction of a federation with mexico will be clear in 2050 not 2080, although it will not completely implemented yet. Canada will also be imvolved, with the Maritime povinces joining with New England, Alberta and Saskatewan joining the Rocky Mountain states Spanish English and French will be the offical languages, the governing details will probably still be being worked out in 2050 but the framework will be clear.
As far as the spanish english question, it is over, the future is bilingual. Almost all government forms are already published in both laguages. Parents are flocking to get their children enrolled in dual laguage programs, large numbers of English only teachers take spanish emmersion classes in the summer. I live in South Florida, I recently bought a condo (mid Range $s ) At the real estate office almost every one spoke Spanish, including the Israeli who ran the mortgage unit. My realtor was Colombian born here and a graduate of Fla.St. She was totally bilingual. Based on preliminary obseravtion, I think a slight plurality of tenants in my building or close to it are Hispanic.
Re Mr. Huntington's statistics, I expect the % of hispanic males who marry outside to be about 10% higher than female. I myself personally have found very little differnce in middle class hispanics, other than keeping the spanish language alive. Now that weve eliminated bilingual miseducation I would expect things on the assimilation front to improve. I do agree with Mr. Huntington that bilingual speakers will have a advantage in the job market and that this will advsely effect African Americans. As I said on the whole an excellent article. Dan

Jorge Lopez said at March 1, 2004 3:56 PM:

The article focuses on the Mexican immigration using the same old optic of seeing the US separate from the rest of the world. Social evolution happens and it has happened in the US from its conception by the founding fathers and before. A quick look at the newspapers of the late 1800's shows arguments similar to those used against Mexicans (uneducated, poor linguistic skills, etc.) applied to the Germans, Italians and Irish. On this article, I think that Dr. Huntington continued with his tradition of esoteric claims based more on personal opinions than on historic and economic facts. Immigration is omnipresent both in time and in all geographical regions, it was like that in the past, and will continue in the future.

Let us look at some facts not considered by the author.
1. Immigration into Mexico from the south. Factories and other industry in Mexico employ illegal immigrants from Central and South America by the hundreds. Surprised? There is more. The largest gang operating in Mexico is that of the Maras, from El Salvador, it now extends from the border with Guatemala up north reaching Mexico City and Guadalajara.
2. Immigration into Mexico from the North. Mexico is also home to the largest number of US citizens living outside the US in the world. [I bet more people speak English than Spanish in Puerto Peñasco and in Chapala.] Surprised? There is more. Thousands of US citizens living on the US side of the US-Mexico border commute everyday to the Mexican side of the border to work for Forbes 500 corporations such as Delphi, Thomson, Honeywell, etc. [The 4-lane divided highway from the California border to Ensenada has all of the traffic signs in English and in miles instead of Spanish and kilometers.]

Points 1 and 2 suffice to illustrate the fact that the US is not alone in this discussion about immigration. Of course this phenomenon, by bringing fresh blood also brings fresh ideas that impact our status quo. Rather than getting into a long discussion of whether this is good or bad, let me focus on the main point proposed by the article: containment of immigration and propose a tested solution.

Anybody that had the opportunity of visiting Germany in the 1980’s or early 1990’s must have seen the growth of the Spanish and Turkish immigration into that country. Visiting back again now after the formation of the European Community one can see a totally different picture: Spain is now selling Seat cars to the rest of Europe and to all of Latin America, but Turkey isn’t . . . yet. The difference is due to planned investment. By joining countries under a common economic scheme, it was obvious that the reduction in border controls was going to devastate poor countries whose people would follow the smell of better labor conditions. How was this attenuated? By having the rest of the European countries invest in the poorer countries.

The US promoting job production in Mexico? Of course a radical idea, but already in operation with excellent results in Spain and more moderate in Portugal. And there is more to come in Greece, Turkey and other new members of the European Community.

In modern times, when industry has now become a fluid commodity, countries have to rely on their own strengths to survive in economic terms. Just like the US cannot compete with Nicaragua in the production of jeans, no country can compete against the US in the fabrication of microchips, or planes, or movies! A planned migration of industries into Mexico, along with a program of temporary migrant workers would not only slow down the flow from the south, but would help to develop the weak but potentially strong internal market of Mexico for US goods. The United States, more than anybody else –perhaps even more than Mexico itself, would benefit from this trade investment.

We can see the benefits of such migration of factories along the US-Mexico border. For instance, El Paso, Texas, a city with little industry of his own, derives huge economic benefit from the Mexican based US plants. 300 corporations in telecommunications, electronics, clean room manufacturing for medical supplies, appliances, and automotive industries pay a payroll of about $250 million for over 2400 managers, engineers and scientists who live on the U.S. side of the border, and purchases of over $9 billion worth of services in El Paso. Likewise, the Mexican-based industry has generated jobs in El Paso in indirect support industries including retail sales, manufacturing and professional support services, transportation, banking and home building.

One can only dream about the impact that the scaling of this effect would have on a national level. Just like Mexico would benefit from having all of its population in productive employments, the US would rip enormous benefits from expanding operations into a new market of over 100 million people. A secondary payback, of course, would be the slowing down of the illegal immigration of Mexicans into the US territory.

A final word: the flow of industry out of the US is already taking place at a massive scale, a government plan (with small incentives) to re-direct this flow from India to Mexico, for instance, can bring huge economic benefits to the US and be the solution of the Huntington problem, if it ever existed.


Robert Bennett said at March 17, 2004 4:31 AM:

Samuel Huntington forgets, as have many Americans, that American culture is based on ideas and not blood, skin color, religion or any other "old world" cultural foundations. Throughout American history a few simple shared ideas have brought Americans together regardless of our other immutable characteristics. These ideas are individualism, liberty, and the rule of law, and they form the core of America's cultural heritage, which has overcome every social, political, and economic obstacle history has set in its path.

Because America's founders secured the blessings of liberty for themselves and their posterity, America offers its citizens a degree of liberty and prosperity unequaled in all of human history. For this reason, and this reason alone, America receives more immigrants per year than all of the rest of the nations in the world combined. When an immigrant choses America over some other country, he votes with his feet for individualism, liberty, and the rule of law and rejects the cultural, political, and economic circumstances prevailing not only in his own country but all other countries that would have him. The costs and risks an immigrant bears are extreme, but so are the potential benefits. Consequently, we Americans must acknowledge that the immigrant who chooses to start over in our country does so because he has embraced the ideas that form our cultural heritage and yearns to exploit the blessings they have secured just as we have.

Tragically, many native-born Americans, particularly those who have gorged themselves into a stupor on the prosperity created by their ancestors, have rejected core American ideas and values in favor of contrary ones such as welfare-state nationalism, socialism, and collectivism. Such native-born Americans and their imported, old world ideas pose the greatest threat to America's cultural heritage. As a result, immigrants have come to value American culture more highly than many native-born Americans do, and paradoxically, it is primarily through immigration that American culture and prosperity are preserved.

Randall Parker said at March 17, 2004 10:34 AM:

Robert, The idea of America as the neocon "proposition nation" based only on a set of ideas is a very ideological conception of nationhood. I think it is wrong.

As for the idea that immigrants value American culture more than natives: WRONG. Hispanics as a group are far more supportive of increased government social spending than native-born whites. The idea that immigrants are going to save America is easily countered by looking at polling data comparing the two on welfare state questions. I'm in too big a rush to go dig it up at the moment but take my word for it that the polling data makes for very depressing reading.

Also, as another data point: Hispanics have about twice the rate of illegitimacy as whites. So is illegitimacy a classical American value?

When an individual votes with his feet he is usually voting only to make more money. He rarely cares about the ideas that America is based on. He just wants to be paid more per hour.

C. L. Bermudez said at March 19, 2004 2:16 AM:

Dear Randall,

Thank you for your opinion.

>Robert, The idea of America as the neocon "proposition nation" based only on a set of ideas >is a very ideological conception of nationhood. I think it is wrong.

I wouldn't say "only" but "primarily". I remember the case of an American teacher of Korean ancestry who went to Asia to teach English. At the beginning, she wasn't really considered an "American" by her students until she discussed something about X war or a remark in that vein. Suddently, the whole class was shouting, "You really are an American because you think like an American". Obvioulsy, she thinks like an American because she was born and raised in the United States.

>As for the idea that immigrants value American culture more than natives: WRONG.

Well, the immigrants that value American culture (not all of them do), most often than not, defend these values more fiercely than quite some Anglo-Americans born in the United States.

>Hispanics as a group are far more supportive of increased government social spending than >native-born whites.

Don't understand this. As for Hispanics, do you mean Hispanics born in the United States or immigrants? I bet there is a difference when it comes to comparing both sub-groups of Hispanics.

In the case of immigrants, yes, they are far more supportive of increased social spending but not only Hispanics but also some Hatians, Jamaicans, Brazilians, etc., that are obvioulsy not Hispanics.

>The idea that immigrants are going to save America is easily countered by looking at >polling data comparing the two on welfare state questions. I'm in too big a rush to go dig >it up at the moment but take my word for it that the polling data makes for very depressing >reading.

I bet that the data on some other sub-groups of immigrants do not differ highly.

>Also, as another data point: Hispanics have about twice the rate of illegitimacy as whites.

I guess you mean Anglo-Americans because there are some white Hispanics (Argentineans, Cubans, Spaniards, etc.). Anyway, yes, you are certainly right in your remark, and I can tell you that I never understood this. It doesn't make any sense to me at all. Is it because of the Hispanic "macho" attitude in some men? I don't really know.

>So is illegitimacy a classical American value?

No.

>When an individual votes with his feet he is usually voting only to make more money. He >rarely cares about the ideas that America is based on. He just wants to be paid more per >hour.

I agree with you when you say "usually" as this is not always the case. Some Hispanics came to the United States not for economic reasons but strictly for political reasons. I can tell you the case of Cubans in 1959 or the case of Nicaraguans in 1979 (I guess you know what happenned in those two countries in those years). The first wave of immigrants from these two countries that came to the United States were not economically-deprived in their own nations, so there was no reason for them to come to the United Stated had it not been the political unstability.

On the other hand, yes, there are some Hispanics that are only interested in making more money, and when all of their relatives are in the United States, they don't even care about their native countries. But again, that doesn't happen exclusively to Hispanics but to most (or all) groups of immigrants.

If you think that I am wrong in something, please feel free to post. I am not an expert or something. I am just telling what I have been able to gather from my own experience.

Cordially yours,

C.L. Bermudez

Randall Parker said at March 19, 2004 3:02 AM:

C.L., Both Hispanics born here and Hispanic first generation immigrants are more in favor of increased government social spending than what you call Anglo-Americans. Also, yes, other immigrant groups are too. Well, welfare state mentality is not in my view an American value.

I am aware that people genetically Spanish origin differ, on average, in their politics and also in how well they do economically from Amerinds and blacks from Spanish speaking countries. Spaniards from Cuba are greatly different from, say, Amerinds from southern Mexico. But in America today most Hispanics coming in are predominately Amerinds and Mexico is the biggest source.

Unfortunately, most polling data and government data lumps them all together. Similarly, and also unfortunately, all Asians get lumped together even though Asia is a very big place and the various groups there differ enormously from each other culturally and genetically. THe genetic distance from India to China is just as great as the genetic distance from India to Europe when measured with neutral markers in areas of the genome that are not under selective pressure. So there is no Asian race and it makes no sense to aggregate them as a group. At the same time, the cultural differences between such Asian places as Japan, China, India, Afghanistan, and Turkestan are very substantial.

Illegitimacy rates: Before the Spanish conquest the existing cultures might have had a different attitude toward such things and this attitude may have survived all these centuries.

C.L. Bermudez said at March 19, 2004 8:59 PM:

Hello, Randall!

Thanks for your fast response.

>C.L., Both Hispanics born here and Hispanic first generation immigrants are more in favor of >increased government social spending than what you call Anglo-Americans.

Yes, I understand that. However, my point is, isn't a difference (allowing for statistical error) between Hispanic immigrants and U.S. Hispanics? Incidentally, I think U.S. Hispanics is a precise term I learned in Europe when refering to first generation, second generation, etc. Hispanics born in the United States. Believe me, there are important differences between Hispanics and U.S. Hispanics, though I am not sure if one of them is their view on increased government social spending. Do you have any data about it? Would you mind sharing it with us?

>Also, yes, other immigrant groups are too.

Totally agreed.

>Well, welfare state mentality is not in my view an American value.

Absolutely.

>I am aware that people genetically Spanish origin differ, on average, in their politics and >also in how well they do economically from Amerinds and blacks from Spanish speaking >countries.

Most certainly.

>Spaniards from Cuba are greatly different from, say, Amerinds from southern Mexico.

On the average, yes, but there are some Amerind Cubans and some white Mexicans.

>But in America today most Hispanics coming in are predominately Amerinds and Mexico is the >biggest source.

Hmmm...I don't know what to tell you about it. Still, pure European Hispanics and pure Amerind Hispanics are both Hispanics. Though genetically different, both share some common values (emphasis on family, religion, tradition, etc.). Also, please note that I am talking about Hispanics and not U.S. Hispanics. You know, in the case of U.S. Hispanics, some of them don't even know Spanish, and I am not talking about "bad Spanish"; they simply don't know Spanish.

>Unfortunately, most polling data and government data lumps them all together.

I think this will change in the 2010 census if I recall correctly. At least, some type of change will take place.

>Similarly, and also unfortunately, all Asians get lumped together even though Asia is a very >big place and the various groups there differ enormously from each other culturally and >genetically. THe genetic distance from India to China is just as great as the genetic >distance from India to Europe when measured with neutral markers in areas of the genome that >are not under selective pressure. So there is no Asian race and it makes no sense to >aggregate them as a group.

Excellent points! Some of them don't even like being called simply "Asians" and no wonder. In my personal view, I think that South East Asians (Thailand, Vietnam, etc.), Far East Asians (China, Japan), etc., are better terms.

>At the same time, the cultural differences between such Asian places as Japan, China, India, >Afghanistan, and Turkestan are very substantial.

Absolutely.

>Illegitimacy rates: Before the Spanish conquest the existing cultures might have had a >different attitude toward such things and this attitude may have survived all these >centuries

Interesting.

Very best regards,


C.L. Bermudez

Randall Parker said at March 20, 2004 3:30 PM:

C.L., First generation Hispanis are probably more conservative than second generation.

As for data to prove some of my assertions: I ought to have written blog posts on some of the opinion poll results when I read them but in most cases I didn't do that. I'm currently too busy to dig for the relevant surveys. Expect me to post on this some time in the next couple of months when I have more free time.

C.L. Bermudez said at March 20, 2004 10:10 PM:

Hello, Randall!

Of course, there is no hurry at all, Randall.

As for what I think, I bet that there is more in common among first-generation Hispanics when compared to second-generation Hispanics, third-generation Hispanics, etc. as opposed to comparing first-generation Hispanics to Hispanic immigrants. Any Hispanic born and raised in the United States (with brothers and sisters born and raised in the United States) is and ought to be different to any newly-arrived Hispanics. I know that some people think they are the same, but in my view, they are not, and they aren't supposed to be the same, either. For instance, take any U.S. Hispanic to his/her parents' country for the first time....he/she will easily be spotted as a sort of "foreign-minded" Hispanic, even if he/she speaks Spanish fluently. By the same token, any Hispanic born and raised, let's say, in Germany, will be treated the same in his/her parents' country. On a related issue, any Anglo-American born and raised outside the United States or outside any anglo countries is not the same as an Anglo-American born and raised in the United States, why should they be? You know, I have met some of these foreign-born Anglo-Americans (like one born and raised in Peru), and I myself wouldn't exactly equate him to an Anglo-American born and raised in the United States (by the way, he was fully bilingual).

Of course, there is a gray area for this as in most things in life, and that is, a first-generation Hispanic whose brothers and/or sisters are foreign-born, or any first-geneartion Hispanic that travels frequently to his/her parents' country. In these specific scenarios, the situation is different.

Any opinions in regard to my point of view is greatly appreciated, so if you are a reader and have an opionion, please post.

Best to all,

C.L. Bermudez


Randall Parker said at March 20, 2004 11:04 PM:

C.L., I agree with your point that there are differences in the attitudes people bring from the old country versus the sorts of attitudes found among their children and grandchildren who grow up here. But the first, second, and even later generations of Hispanics all share something on average: They do not go as far in school and do not earn as much as Americans of European ethnicities. Therefore their political interests are different in measurable ways. Lower income people on average favor higher taxes on people who make more than they do. They favor more transfer payments and programs for themselves.

Lower income non-whites also favor racial and ethnic preferences if they are members of ethnicities that, on average do poorly in school.

Again, for self-identifying Hispanics as compared to whites I've seen polling data on this that supports my argument but I don't have it handy. If you went googling for it you might find it. That's how I've found it in the past. When I have some time I'll go find it again and write a post linking to it.

So regardless of what generation they are and how Americanized they otherwise become Hispanics are going to be to the left of whites on average. As a group the Cubans are the only exception to this rule but most of them are upper class Spanish whites who fled communism.

Wes Ulm said at March 21, 2004 2:21 PM:

As usual a fascinating debate here. I'm not quite sure yet how I feel about this issue but I wanted to offer an observation: For us up in New England at least, the elimination of bilingual education has done absolutely nothing to "Anglicize" Hispanics and if anything, seems to be having the opposite effect. I know some posters have expressed the hope that getting rid of bilingual ed would facilitate assimilation, and I hate to be a bubble-burster, but this seems to be a classic case of unintended consequences. I encounter a lot of Hispanics in the hospital areas up here (mostly Salvadorans, Hondurans, and Puerto Ricans), and the consensus seems to be that they've if anything come to identify even *more* with their ethnicity and Spanish language since the passage of bilingual ed reform.

Most of them seem to have perceived the laws gutting bilingual ed as a direct affront to them. Whether this is fair or not, it's the perception, and they've become even more determined to ensure that their children retain and actively use Spanish. The kids are in English-immersion programs early and, unsurprisingly, they tend to prefer English with their peers during the 1st-3rd grades for the social factors. But the parents now actively insist on using Spanish at home in part b/c of their concerns about bad influences on and lack of control of their kids' upbringing, and it becomes such an issue for the parents that the kids soon enough are feeling a prevailing counterpressure to retain and identify with their Spanish within a couple years. Not enough time has elapsed to trace the effects long term, but the conscious identification with Spanish in the families is now so strong that this is undeniably molding the children's sense of identity and militating against assimilation (at least in a linguistic sense), and for retention of Spanish. Before the reforms, 95+% of the kids in bilingual ed programs would become dual Spanish/English fluent by high school anyway, and they'd gradually ease themselves into non-Hispanic society and identify more with English. Now, if anything, eliminating bilingual ed seems to have placed a sort of defiant chip on the families' shoulders, and there seems to be even more of an insistence against assimilation.

Nobody can predict the future too accurately, but there seem to be a lot of indications that the Spanish language is here to stay permanently. There were many non-Anglo Germans in the 19th century of course who retained their ethnic identification for several generations, but not in the sheer proportions and with nowhere near the capacity to retain a linguistic and cultural connection (available today in part b/c of better communications and broacast technology) that modern-day Hispanics do. Spanish is retained across four and five generations, and it's so prevalent that it's actually becoming mandatory in medical school curricula; in fact, there are umpteen cities (esp. in the SW but also in Fla. and NYC) where, for practical purposes, you really can't get a medical license unless you're truly bilingual. (I.e. there may not be an outright requirement on the job application, but a bilingual practitioner will almost always get the job over an English-only speaker.) I'm not saying this is fair or not, but it's the reality, and there are some days in New England where I have more conversations in Spanish than English on the subways and in the local joints. Advertising revenues are booming for Univision, Telefutura, and the other Spanish-language stations around here, and even many of the used-car salesmen and insurance vendors in lily-white areas of New Hampshire or Connecticut are taking Spanish night courses and making (often quite hilarious) ads and sales pitches in Spanish on these networks and in the local newspapers.

Samuel P. Huntington has a negative view on this, and for my part, I don't know. Robert Bennett emphasizes that the US was founded on ideas rather than "Old-World markers," and of course ideas like democracy, human rights, tolerance, and civic duty mean the same in both English and Spanish. So if indeed that old Enlightenment-model shoe of an idea-based nation still fits, maybe a multi-ethnic, bilingual, poly-traditional USA will be just fine. For patriotic reasons if nothing else, I certainly hope this'll be the case.

C.L. Bermudez said at March 22, 2004 3:37 AM:

Hello again, Randall!

Thank you for your response.

I agree with most of what you said, except for something: Cubans are not the only exception, at least in South Florida. If you read the statistics from Miami-Dade College, Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University, etc., you can easily see that many graduates are of Hispanic heritage, sometimes more than half of all graduates, and not all of them are Cubans. For instance, at one point Miami-Dade College used to have more Nicaraguan students than any other Hispanic sub-group (and perhaps than any other group). On a related issue, Nova University confers more doctorates to Hispanics than any other university in the whole United States (I am very sure of this, at least this was the data two or three years ago).

Best regards,

C.L. Bermudez

Don Whitehead said at January 28, 2005 8:39 AM:

Has anyone considered a law that imposes a 10 year tax on all workers granted amnesty paid by the workers employer. The tax would be set at a level to make the amnesty worker more competitive with American workers. The tax would start tapering off after 5 years to zero. This would allow us to be humane to the illegals while protectiong US workers. The tax money could be used to pay for combined Mexico/US intense border patrol. All new illegals would be exported. We may want to grant Mexico money to start welfare programs for deportees back in Mexico. This money would only be paid if Mexico could prove it was eliminating illegal immigration by focused public policy. Also, the 14th amendment needs to be re-interperted to NOT define any baby born in the US as a citizen after the amnesty date. The amnesty date could be set back 12 months, so you would have to prove you have been in the US for over a year to get amnesty. The tax money could also pay the Southeastern states for their welfare system costs of the past decade due to illegals. The states ought to sue the US government for failing to protect them from the economic impact of illegals. American workers would have 5 years to train for another job or adjust thier standard of living. The Amnesty Tax would be a win-win solution.

Just my thjoughts on immigration. Keep up the good work !

Peace.

Don Whitehead

Jorge Pelayo said at March 8, 2006 12:31 AM:

Hi all. Many interesting points of view here and several threads already, so I just want to encourage the forum to look at some perspectives that have not been discussed.

First Idea... Imagine the world looking at "American Immigrants" (both legal and/or illegal) residing outside the U.S. How would most of the local citizens describe these "immigrants"? In Europe, Asia and Latin America most locals would tell you that these immigrants neither assimilate nor acculturate (they don't tend to learn the local language), that they take jobs from the locals, that their culture is eroding the local culture, values and integrity, etc. And guess what? It's true... remember US Music, Movies, etc? Further, it also happens with "Caribbeans" or "Africans" migrating to Europe and so forth. Migration is a complex, long-standing worldwide phenomenon that traces back to a search for better life conditions and improved economic and basic human rights opportunities. Latin America is the world's region that endures the widest disparity worldwide between the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated. As long as so strong disparity exists among countries in many regions of the world, in terms of living conditions and opportunities, migration will continue to occurr and will usually arise opposition from the local population.

Second Idea... Most Mexican-origin immigrants working in the U.S. make a significantly higher income than what they would in Mexico, primarily because the Mexican governments (since the rule of Spain to date) have historically been unable to encourage enough investment and foster the general conditions conducive to generating well paid jobs. However, consider this... the average Corporate Executive working in Mexico, a Mexican (obviously), has recently been reported by the World Health Organization as one of the most stressed executives worldwide. This is partly because, in order to perform the same responsibilities as their U.S. counterparts, Mexican executives have far less resources (personnel, budgets, etc.) and yet, in many occasions, the Mexican subsidiaries of US-origin multinationals are THE most profitable subsidiaries worldwide for their parent companies. I have personally worked for at least 3 such subsidiaries in Mexico of US parent companies, and know that they are THE best worldwide subsidiaries, delivering the highest return for investment, operating margins, productivity per employee, etc. My point is that, yes, there is a flow of economic resources from the US to Mexico, as Mexican-origin immigrants perform jobs in the U.S. and then wire-transfer funds to their families in Mexico. However, US parent companies also transfer VERY significant economic resources from Mexico back to the US. They get extremely high returns on their investments in Mexico thanks to the Mexican executives (and blue-collar workers) that efficiently do more with less, and funnel these returns back to the US not only to pay dividends to their stockholders but also to subsidize (more frequently than you would think) inefficient Headquarters in the US.

Third idea... On genetics and grouping or agrupation criteria. Summarizing the main findings of the Global Human Genoma Project, the whole humanity today outside of the African continent descends from only FOUR FEMALES that traveled out of Africa and expanded the species to Asia, Europe and (much later) the American continent. This has been proved beyond any scientific doubt. However, as much as our species shares genetically, CULTURALLY it is vastly different. In fact, Hispanics DO NOT exist as a coherent race, and although they do share core cultural traits they also present enormous differences between different NATIONAL groups (or even between regions of the same country). Some empiric and very current examples: try to market a product to US-residing Salvadorians as you would market it to US-residing Spaniards, or tell a Mexican-origin College student in the US that he or she is "Centroamericano", or establish a cultural and political profile comparison between a 3rd generation Cuban living in the US and a 1st generation Argentinean immigrant: if you tried to do any of these, first-hand experience would supply you evidence of the lack of unicity of the so-called "Hispanic race / ethnic group". I am Hispanic, born and educated in Mexico. However, I have relatively strong language skills and have traveled extensively through the US over the past 20+ years. As a result, never once have I been phisically identified as "Hispanic" in the U.S.; in fact, I have very frequently been taken by U.S. business relations and hotel clerks, for example, to be U.S. born or at the very least U.S. raised. Sample of one, this builds the case in favor of cultural differences and commonalities being much more relevant than genetics.

Fourth idea... Did you know that Mexico, geographically speaking, is NOT part of Central or South America as widely thought in the U.S., but rather part of North America? This is an example of "the eye of the viewer shaping (or mis-shaping) the reality". To some of the comments posted in the discussions I've read here, I want to point out several cases of misconceptions or preconceptions that seem to biass an accurate perception of reality:

- On the retention and use of Spanish among Hispanics, I want to quote a recent article on US Hispanics' "NexGen" (Next Generation): "Hispanic youth are assimilating into mainstream American culturE—and fairly rapidly, researchers say. But that doesn't mean they don't value their heritage. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, which conducts ongoing research of Hispanic Americans, first- and second-generation Hispanic youths tend to thoroughly identify with and embrace their cultural heritage even as they begin blending into American society. But by the third generation, Hispanic youths identify more with American culture and values. More than half of Latinos with U.S.-born parents (the third generation and beyond) identify themselves first and foremost as American, according to the organization's 2002 National Survey of Latinos. 'Generation really matters,' says Sonya Tafoya, a researcher at the Pew Hispanic Center. It's a trend that is a concern to some Latinos and Hispanic organizations alike. 'Everything points to assimilating [into] mainstream America,' says Ernesto Nieto, who founded the National Hispanic Institute in 1979 because he felt that Hispanic youths were becoming disconnected from their ethnicity and not taking leadership roles in the Hispanic community. A June 2004 NHI study entitled 'The Furthering Disconnect of High-Ability Latino Youth: Assumptions and Consequences,' which interviewed 2,600 high school Latinos, found that 80 percent of those sampled no longer spoke Spanish and 95 percent did not belong to any Hispanic organization. 'It's not simply just second- and third-generation Latinos,' Nieto points out. 'One third of those youths sampled were foreign-born. 'Kids are being taught at an early age to define themselves by income-producing careers and professions,' he says. 'The whole process of public education is to get them ready for the [American] workforce and not leadership, and therein lies the problem.'... 'I think that America does have that effect of creating homogeneity,' says 21-year-old Samuel Rodríguez, a Georgia-born Latino. While proud of his Hispanic heritage, he's worried that he may not be able to pass on the Hispanic culture to his children, especially if he marries a non-Hispanic. Another recent study titled 'The Rise of the Second Generation' by Robert Suro of the Pew Hispanic Center and Jeffrey Passel of the Urban Institute may give Rodríguez reason to worry. It found that about 8 percent of first generation Hispanics marry outside their ethnic group, as opposed to 32 percent of second-generation Latinos and 57 percent of the third generation. Consequently, among third-generation Hispanics, virtually none are Spanish-dominant, 22 percent are bilingual and an overwhelming 78 percent are English-dominant." (Article: "The Next Generation - As they assimilate, Latino youth strive to preserve their heritage", by Raquel Rodriguez-Albizu, widely available on the Web).

- On several of the comments, I encourage you all to read "GLOBAL VIEWS 2004 - Comparing Mexican and American Public Opinion and Foreign Policy", a binational study co-edited by Guadalupe González, Susan Minushkin, Robert Y. Shapiro, Catherine Hug, sponsored and edited by CIDE, COMEXI and CCFR and their extensive teams of binational and global experts. This study compares similarities and differences on the perceptions toward certain issues among US citizens living in the US and Mexican citizens living in Mexico. To quote just a few of the findings reported in this study: "Despite the many problems associated with Mexican migration, American and Mexican attitudes toward Mexican immigrants in the United States are generally favorable. Large majorities of Americans (82%) and Mexicans (94%) believe that Mexican immigrants in the United States work hard. Fifty-one percent of Americans and 65% of Mexicans believe they respect the law, despite the fact of their illegal entry. On questions of integration, Mexicans and Americans overall hold opposite impressions. Sixty-three percent of Mexicans believe that Mexican immigrants in the United States learn English, while 55% of Americans believe they do not. Fifty-two percent of Americans say that Mexican immigrants integrate into American life, while 57% of Mexicans believe they do not... While a majority of Americans are not willing to unilaterally increase legal immigration levels, a solid majority is willing to work together with Mexico on a compromise to resolve the problem of the undocumented. Sixty-four percent of Americans and 70% of Mexicans favor an agreement between the United States and Mexico that would provide greater opportunities for Mexicans to work and live legally in the United States in exchange for Mexico making greater efforts to reduce illegal immigration and drug trafficking to the United States... Turning specifically to NAFTA, more people in each country say the agreement is good for the other country than say it is good for their own. Seventy-eight percent of Mexicans say that NAFTA is good for the U.S. economy, while 44% say it is good for the Mexican economy. Sixty-nine percent of Americans say NAFTA is good for the Mexican economy, while 42% say it is good for the U.S. economy. Another 69% of Americans say it is good for creating jobs in Mexico, while only 31% say it is good for creating jobs in the United States. On a separate question asked only in Mexico, 70% of Mexicans think that NAFTA has benefited the United States the most of all three NAFTA partners, with only 8% believing Mexico has benefited the most..." And, in a moving and encouraging passage, the authors say that "The need for Mexicans and Americans to understand one another has never been greater. The future health of both countries depends on joint, constructive efforts to solve common, looming problems. Despite the current atmosphere of disillusionment and the conflicting forces at work in the U.S.-Mexico relationship, our survey finds a remarkable and encouraging convergence of views between Mexicans and Americans on many crucial issues."

- On the higher than average Hispanic dependence on Social Spending, the "Hispanic Consumer Study 2003" by Arbitron found that the average US Hispanic Household has a younger age profile than average in the United States, Larger families, and VERY IMPORTANTLY that it has "More full-time employment than average". I seem to recall several studies that also conclude that, when given the opportunity, a majority of US Hispanics will be fully employed (and will frequently have part-time jobs ON TOP of a full-time job) AND will pay taxes. The real burden that US Hispanics currently represent on the US Social Security systems leans mostly on the Health Care systems, not on the funding unemployment checks that most can't receive nor collect given their illegal migratory status in the US. And guess what? The Hispanic economic burden on US Public Health Care systems is mostly due to the fact that many Hispanics (being illegal aliens) ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PAY TAXES BY THE US AUTHORITIES. Talk about a "catch 22" situation! Anyway, I promise to investigate further specific data on this particular issue and (should you care to read more rambling from me) post a new comment on it ASAP.

Amigos, as much as I'd like to forward a couple of additional ideas as food for thought, I need to go so here goes only one brief thought. As a species, what's best for our survival and quality of life: stressing what we have in common and working together, or emphasizing what our differences are and oppose each other? You tell me.

Regards to all.

-

Thalia J cortez said at March 8, 2006 11:53 AM:

In my opinion mexicans and hispanics are the basis of the economy of the United States. If hispanics all over the u.s stopped working for one day there would be a great economic recession. Caucasians say that hispanics are lazy and don't work but we are the ones that have the hard jobs. Also the u.s is known for its diversity why try to get rid of it.

Gloria Rodriguez said at August 3, 2006 11:42 AM:

Unfortunately, we always fear what we don't understand. And for those who consider themselves intelligent and open minded, these fears are transformed and "dressed up" with fancy data that can be webbed together to form a picture, even if it's not the right one. After all, even Harvard Professors can feel afraid.

I understand that change can be very frightening and that yes, a wave of any immigration (like the influx of people from New Orleans into neighboring states after the hurricane), will often change the social, economic and cultural landscape of the place affected. But what may be negative to some is also positive for others. As is life.

During 9/11, the Fire fighters walked down the streets of New York in traditional garb, in memory of those who had fallen. The procession was lead by a fire fighter playing a bagpipe - a tradition we've come to know and accept as an AMERICAN cultural quirk of this particular community.

No one would point it out as a by-product of the European immigration of the 1800's, because after two centuries, New York fire fighters and their bagpipes are as American as hot dogs and apple pie.

So too it will be with the group of immigrants now present in the US, as it will, for all of those who will come to our shores in the centuries to come. Time is the great equalizer. Just look at how far the African Americans have come! Even after liberation and equality were granted, it still took generations for them to reach Anglo-American education, social and economic levels (and they still have someway to go, just like Hispanics).

As a matter of fact, how many generations separate Anglo-Americans from their European ancestors? See my point?

In two more centuries, this debate will be about another group of immigrants, and just like today, other Americans (whether Irish-American, Hispanic-American or Anglo-American) will be afraid of the changes they represent.

So, my friends, just remember what's engraved on the Statue of Liberty. America will always be the dream of those persecuted, oppressed and less fortunate. And thank God for that! So let's accept the fact that unless the rest of the world cleans up its act (and with the resurgence of oppressive, leftist governments in Central and South America, I doubt that it will be anytime soon) there will ALWAYS be a flux of immigration into the United States.

So let's learn to deal with it constructively. Learn to curve illegal immigration by channeling those who wish to come to the United States into the right flow of the American "pursuit of happiness". Whether that means setting up educational programs that immigrants must pass in order to remain in the United States, or providing more work Visas if they pass educational crash courses set-up in their own countries... I don't know.

What I do know is that Fear is not a good counselor. Now matter how many "facts" you use to "dress it up".

Randall Parker said at August 3, 2006 6:23 PM:

Gloria,

I understand Mexican immigration. My opposition stems from my understanding, not from ignorance.

Time is not the great equalizer. The difference in cognitive abilities of blacks and whites on IQ tests, NAEP tests, and other tests has remained stable for decades with only small fluctuations. The income gap between blacks and whites is not closing.

2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation Mexicans do not improve in academic performance. Their gap with whites isn't closing. Their gap isn't going to close.

I argue for constructive responses: Build a wall. Do interior enforcement of immigration laws. Do mass deportations of illegals. Reduce legal immigration by imposing high skills requirements on immigrants.

Ashley McCarney said at December 9, 2006 11:59 AM:

I would have to say that I feel as though many people who analyze the immigration debate miss the mark. People can throw facts and figures back and forth all day long! However there are good and bad aspects that support both side of the immigration debate in the United States. Therefore, the focus needs to be shifted away from figures and towards the reasons immigrants come in the first place. Now, this is a far more interesting debate.

In order, for people to truly understand immigration they need to be familiar with the historical implications of the Mexican-US relationship. This relationship is dramatically uneven and has made enormous social impacts in Mexico's society. A good starting point to unfold this problem would be with the debt crisis of the 1980's. The inability for Mexico to pay their loan led to a default in the early 1980's. After their default the IMF and WB soon stepped with "beneficial" SAP's (structural adjustment policies). These policies promoted privatization of public resources such as water, infrastructure, communications, and electricity. For those who don't know what privatization can do, imagine a monopoly taking over your electric company and then charging outlandish prices. Say 100$ per phone call, I don't think you would be calling mom or dad anytime soon. These policies also broke down any Mexico trade barriers in order to eliminate the protection they had on their infant industries. The SAP's also promoted export-led production and FDI (Foreign direct investment.) FDI is where the lovely TRANSNATIONAL corporation giants come in to take full advatage of a society that is left defenseless by the SAP's.

Now you think that the government in mexico would be able to put a stop to this process. However, if a country is saturated with debt, they don't have much choice. Now you wonder, well they got themselves into this debt, so it's their own fault. Lets dig a little deeper...

When President Nixon was in office, the U.S. expirenced major problems in the financial sector with inflation. Thus, Nixon took the dollar off the gold-peg which dramatically dropped the value of the dollar. This cause OPEC(oil cartel) to shoot up their prices by 300% (oil is traded in $) to account for their losses. The money made by OPEC was then invested in European banks and it became know as the notorious Euro-dollar. This huge influx of money made bankers desperate to give out loans at very cheap interest rates. Therefore, the bankers aimed to get the attention of developing countries that need large chunks of money to get their development engines running. The leaders of these third world counties eagerly took the loans at low interests rates without expecting a later enormous jump in the interest rates.

Today, these loans are still being paid-off because of the increased interest rates which continues to make the debt skyrocket. Another aspect to be taken into account is that the political leaders who originally took the loans were mostly dictators. Thus, billions of dollars went to private accounts as well as to buying weapons and other goods unassociated with the purpose of the loans, DEVELOPMENT! Thus, countries like Mexico had their opportunity to develope taken from under their feet.

The real issue here is not if immigrants should or shouldn't be allowed. It is the historicl forces that are causing them to come as well as the role the US has played in determining these forces. Imagine switching roles with an immigrant. You are unable to provide for your family, your government is not able to supply public services such as health care and education (because most of this goes to repaying the debt), and the only jobs offered to you offer no protection from exploitative harmful working conditions. I would like to see what a politician or any anti-immigrant supporter would do in this situation. And thinking that you would raise out of poverty with a better education and hardwork, Oops sorry but education is not offered and if you are going to tell me that working from 14-15 hour shifts in a sweat shop isn't hardwork your crazy. Or maybe you will try you chance in the US? Oh, but wait that is not an option, because it's your fault that you were born in a country that has been kept as economically deprived.

One thing people must keep in mind is that the result of immigration are just RESULTS not the cause! It's called cause and effect, you fix what caused the immigration "problem" and you'll get your desired effect.. less immigration.

Randall Parker said at December 9, 2006 12:48 PM:

Ashley McCarney,

The causes of the Mexican immigration are two fold:

1) The US government has made legal and illegal immigration much easier starting with a law passed in 1965 and continuing with amnesties and lax immigration law enforcement.

2) The US economy's per capita GDP growth rate has out-performed the Mexican per capita GDP growth rate. So the economic incentive for immigration from Mexico - both legal and illegal - has steadily grown.

What causes the support for Mexican immigration? Businesses want labor that is cheap to them no matter what it costs the rest of us. Democrats want more lower class people who will vote for the welfare state. Liberals refuse to acknowledge differences between races that make some incapable of rising to white levels of academic and job performance.

What causes the difference in per capita GDP growth rate? One can't pin it on debt crises. The economic growth rate in Mexico has lagged before, during, and long after debt crises. One can't pin it on trade barriers or the lack thereof. The economic growth rate in Mexico has lagged under more and less restrictive rules for international trade. NAFTA didn't help much. But it didn't hurt much either.

The answer for why the US does better is really simple: We have higher average IQs and since we have multiple Bell Curves of IQ for different groups we have many more really smart people than one would expect from a single Bell Curve around our national IQ average of 98.

The world makes a lot more sense when looked at thru the lens of IQ and the Wealth of Nations.

We can't raise Mexico's economic performance without raising its national average IQ. We can't do that without some big advances in biotechnology. So we should build a wall and deport all the illegal aliens.

Vijay Lalchan said at December 11, 2006 9:01 PM:

I think that your arguments are unsubstantiated and without any true statistical facts. The concerns mentioned are very passionate but seemed tu be faulted and misleads the readers to the wrong assumption. Please see actual facts i discovered in an online site. Please see
IMMIGRATION
AND IMMIGRANTS
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
MICHAEL FIX AND JEFFREY S. PASSEL
with
María E. Enchautegui
and
Wendy Zimmermannhe Urban Institute

Dana said at January 31, 2007 9:17 AM:

i think that mexicans can come to america just like the africans did its only fair besides im in love with a mexican we are having a baby in june he works his ass off to suport me and the baby to come hes such a good person my family loves him and hes the love of my life and i want to marry him i dont want immigration to take him away it would break my heart and i cant raise a baby all alone i just cant i need him

RJ Vaupel said at June 12, 2007 5:06 PM:

It is nice to find a forum with such a great level of education and understanding. I personally come from a family of immigrants; my grand Father came from Germany to Peru in the early 1900. I immigrated to the US legally in 1999 and I am thankful for all the opportunities I have received from this great country. Randall, common, do you really think you can solve the immigration problem by building a wall and deporting the millions of undocumented immigrants? Hannity, Boortz and Savage among others called talk show conservatives ( I am not a liberal by the way) are feeding with hate the American people who fear the Apocalypses of the American culture according to Hungtinton. "Hispanics would destroy the culture that was built on protestant values" . Huntington is against the Hispanics not only because they are Hispanics, but also because they are Catholic? Anyway, President Bush and some hardcore Republican senators understand that the only way to solve the immigration problem is through a comprehensive immigration reform that will first secure the borders and then will give the opportunity to millions of undocumented immigrants to get out of the shadows. That is not amnesty, amnesty is what Ronald Reagan (Hannity's favorite president) gave to the then undocumented immigrants. Amnesty is forgiveness without asking anything in exchange. Amnesty would be certainly a mistake, like it was the 1986 amnesty. This bill is not amnesty. This bill, after securing the border in an effective way, will give a temporary visa (Z visa) to all the undocumented immigrants that can demonstrate they have a stable job in the US ("stable job", felons and unemployed undocumented won't be able to stay) and they will have to pay $1500 ($500 of those to the state where they apply). Holders of this called visa Z will receive a biometric card as their only way of identification. They will have to renew and pay for the renewal every 4 years. In the case they will want to apply for permanent residence, they will have to pay a fine of $5000 and the head of the family will have to return to his/her country of origin to receive the green card. This is not an automatic path to citizenship. They will have to pay taxes, not only current or future taxes. They will have to pay, if they haven't, at least 3 years of Past taxes owed to the US for their activities while they were undocumented. With out the biometric card they won't be able to work in the US because fines to employers will be so high that no body will want to hire someone who is not authorized to work in the US. It will be impossible to live for an undocumented person by then. Immigration is needed everywhere. Immigrants have always occupied the bottom section of a ladder and have pushed up the rest of the people of a developed country. Most of new Hispanic immigrants certainly don't speak English, however, their children do. I personally don't see anything wrong in keeping their language while they use English as their primary language. My children Speak English predominantly, but they also speak Spanish and German. They can go almost everywhere in the occidental world and will be able to communicate with almost every one in any country in Europe and South America. What is wrong with that? Here in the US, they Speak English.

Randall Parker said at June 13, 2007 8:27 PM:

RJ Vaupel,

As a practical matter: Yes, we could deport all the illegal aliens. Eisenhower deported tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands responded by leaving before they got rounded up.

As for TV news commentators: I do not watch them.

S.1348 does not secure the border.

S.1348 fits the dictionary definition of amnesty: Law. an act of forgiveness for past offenses, esp. to a class of persons as a whole..

As for the economy needing immigrants: false. Labor markets have prices at which any given amount of supply will meet the demand curve and create a market-clearing price. Immigration increases supply and therefore lowers the price of labor. It also imposes big welfare state costs.

RJ Vaupel said at June 14, 2007 10:00 PM:

Randall,

Those three I mentioned are radio commentators. I forgot to mention Lou Sobb who is a TV commentator. You may not listen to neither of them anyway.

I disagree with you on that S 1348 fits in the definition of amnesty. S 1348 is neither giving forgivenes nor a free pass to permanent residence or citizenship to the undocumented immigrants. As I mentioned before, it imposses penalties and fines not only for themselves, but for each member of their families. Proceeds which will be used to secure the borders. Do the math, first $1500 per each immigrant who will receive the z visa times how many? 14 million, 22 million?, there will be more than enough to cover the 4 billion dollars that President Bush offered to support on an ammendment to secure the border. They will have to pay taxes, if they want to become residents, only after 5 years, they will have to pay another fine of $5,000. They will have to go back to their countries. To become a citizen you need to be in this country as a legal permanet resident for another 5 years. So S 1348 is nothing close to the definition of amnesty. Regarding your economic argument, The Hispanic buying power in the US is projected to be at $992 billion in 2009 at a 8.2 percent grow rate. Is that increasing supply? On the other hand, do you know anything about the US social security system? Do you know that people who work today supports the social security of retirees? And do you know that the rate of people who work per retiree has decresed significatively and if you don't input immigrants into the work flow the system will collapse sooner than expected and there will not be social security for you or for your children? Also, Be realistic. Who will build houses?,Who will cook in restaurants?, who will clean hotels? Who will be the Nannys? The landscapers? The harvesters?. They came to this country to work as the former immigrants who came from Europe in the past. They may be wrong by doing it against the law; however, they did it that way because the immigration system has been broken for so long that there was no other way for them. S 1348 will repair the immigration system, it will secure the borders. What is the other option? The status quo? That would be even worse

RJ Vaupel said at June 15, 2007 7:11 AM:

By the way, Eisenhower's "operation wetback" was not other thing but a soviet style model of mass deportation like the Serbs wanted to do with the Kosovars a few years ago. Legal Mexican Americans citizens were specially targeted and "invited" to leave the country. They were also deported. Also, as you said he deported tens of thousands, 80,000 to be exact and there are claims that 500,000 left voluntary because of fear of been deported. There are more than 20 million now. Joseph Swing, the immigration commissioner at that time, was very proud that he caught 300 "illegals" per day. What you claim is preposterous, you can't deport all the undocumented immigrants, not even a representative number of them. Face it, you can’t, it is the real world.

Randall Parker said at June 15, 2007 11:28 PM:

RJ Vaupel,

The Hispanics have low IQs and low earnings. They use more in welfare state benefits than they pay in taxes. Therefore they are not a solution to the unfunded retirement liabilities. They make the financial situation in the United States worse, not better.

We somehow managed to get the trash collected and other functions performed before the Hispanics arrived. We could do it again if they all decided to leave.

If the jobs they did were so valuable then they'd be worth more in the labor market. But the wages for these jobs are low because the added economic value from these jobs is low. Take away the illegal aliens and wages at the bottom would rise some and people would find more efficient ways to get the work done and find ways to avoid the need for the work to get done.

Randall Parker said at June 16, 2007 8:47 AM:

RJ Vaupel,

Joseph Swing worked with a very small staff to attack a mch smaller problem. We could use 10 times as many agents as he used without using very many agents. We could also instruct relevant federal agencies to let local police round up and hand over illegals. The local police agencies run into large numbers of illegals all the time.

Deporting 90+% of the illegals is a very doable project. We could do it in 2 or 3 years.

RJ Vaupel said at June 16, 2007 10:35 AM:

Hey Randall, thank you for bringing more readers to my comments. I should write a book and hire you as my publisher. Regarding my ethnicity, I never pretend to be indian. I guess in one of my original comments I stated that my Grand father immigrated from Germany to South America and I was born in Peru, so I guess that make me Hispanic and very proud. Now you have the right to attack me for being Hispanic. By the way, I can bet that my IQ is higher than yours. I am sorry I would have to leave you since I just realized your blogs are about supremacies and they are not intillegent debates about immigration and culture, so you would not have the pleasure to hear from me any more. At least not in your blogs. Good bye.

ByePartisans said at November 30, 2007 9:29 AM:

It is obvious that people like Randall are afraid and ignorant. Still, it is encouraging to see someone so racist wear his racism and hatred so proudly. At least he's being honest about how he feels and he's not pretending to be something he is not.

First of all, the term Hispanic refers to a group who are anything but homogenous so any blanket statements about them are disingenuous.

Secondly, all HISPANICS are not going to just leave, even if they deported 90% of the illegal immigrants, since a majority of Hispanics are legal. Your beloved Hispanics are here to stay, regardless.

Thirdly, yes garbage was collected "before Hispanics arrived" (which is exactly when, I'd like to know, since they've been around since at least the 1500s)... it was collected by other immigrants (the Irish, Italians, poles, the russians, African Americans who were involuntary immigrants, etc.) before them, so unless you have an unskilled labor force waiting around to do low-wage labor, you better not get rid of your "Hispanics."

Fourthly, there is no data to substantiate that they use more in the "welfare state" than they pay in taxes. There's never been conclusive evidence about this so don't act like this is a fact. I'm sure you'll dig something up on V-Dare or some other xenophobic site misquoting or misattributing statistics as usual.

Fifthly, the jobs immigrants do are not "valuable" to you maybe, but in an economic sense they are quite valuable... you need unskilled people to do the unskilled jobs so that the skilled people can do what they do best (like innovate, grow the economy, etc.). You really want college graduates picking vegetables, doing manual labor, etc? Why not let your "low IQ" Hispanics do it? Relying on the government to force employers to raise the wages of these jobs will not attract a skilled, educated population like we have in this country. It will only hinder innovation, hinder entrepreneurialism and cause inflation among other economic effects. Use some common sense. You sound like a communist with all the talk about controlling aspects of our economy (wages), police military actions and so forth. Are you even American?

Randall: There will be no mass deportations. There will be no end to immigration. There will never be a day when Hispanics will cease to be in this country (nor Blacks, nor people of other races, cultures and ethnicities who may or may not fit your ideal of supremacy). You are living in a fantasy world Randall. Might be just easier if you left to somewhere where pale skinned people like yourself are more appreciated for their massive IQ's and their high wage potential. Good luck finding that Valhalla, my friend! Or you could continue to tilt at windmills like it appears you are doing and eventually die a bitter man, attended at your deathbed in all likelihood by a Hispanic or Philippine nurse who will care for you despite your hatred for them.

Jorge Pelayo said at May 28, 2009 10:39 PM:

Randall,

I got here just by chance and re-reading the thread I find your point on IQ differences by race completely biased and, let's face it, racist. What's your IQ? Mine is 134, measured in English through a US-devised test. I invite you to measure yours through any of the instruments developed for that purpose in Spain, and in Spanish, and which over the years have been validated beyond any scientific doubt. On the reports you cite correlating IQ to the development of a country, did you also believe in Mein Kampf, or found the conspiracy theory of the Wisemen from Sion to be believable, or (more recently) do you believe that The Da Vinci Code accurately portraits reality? You didn't debate here: you just acted like the mouthpiece of Madison Grant (if you know who that is).

Alex said at March 9, 2012 6:47 AM:

Most immigrants are those families wanting to relocate from their home country to a country that best suits them and their investments = seeing a better life on the place they chose to. mce classes


Advertise here. Contact randall dot parker at ymail dot com
Post a comment
Comments:
Name (not anon or anonymous):
Email Address:
URL:
Remember info?

      
 
Web parapundit.com
Go Read More Posts On ParaPundit
Site Traffic Info
The contents of this site are copyright ©