Illegal Hispanic Immigration Is Undermining American Values

Walter Rodgers, Christian Science Monitor, March 30, 2010

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US Census statistics suggest [that a] quarter of all Americans will probably be Latino in 40 years.

This trend has worrisome aspects. Imagine a huge, growing Hispanic underclass in America with a grudge, a burning sense of having been victimized by the “gringos.”

I witnessed this grudge up close a few years ago at Texas A&M International University in Laredo. Hispanic students challenged me, claiming any restriction of illegal immigration across the US southern border with Mexico is a violation of Latinos’ human rights.

Me: “Would you try to reenter Spain without a passport?

Students: “Of course not.”

Me: “What about France, or Britain?”

Students: “No.”

Yet many of these illegal Latino immigrants suffer the illusion they are divinely entitled to colonize the US–and not just the states bordering Mexico, but Chicago and the East Coast as well.

Some Hispanics talk openly of a reconquista, an effort to reclaim the American Southwest that once belonged to Mexico.

Historically, this concept is wide of the mark. Most Hispanic ancestors of immigrants owned no land. Their forebears were serfs of the Roman Catholic Church, once the largest landholder in Latin America and the world. Other ancestors labored as landless peons for Spanish colonial landlords who were later relieved of their lands by 19th-century Anglo-Americans.

Historical entitlement is but one of the myths surrounding illegal Hispanic immigration. {snip}

Professor Lawrence Harrison of Tufts University in Medford, Mass., notes that “In California, fourth- and fifth-generation Mexican immigrants are still speaking only Spanish and resisting assimilation.” He says there are serious cultural barriers to the old melting-pot concept. “Words like compromise and dissent, crucial concepts to American democracy, have radically different meanings in Spanish.” Dissent, for example, translates into “heresy.”

Most alarming, today’s influx of poor Latin American immigrants comes from countries less than congenial to democracy, a law-based society, or public education. Many experts look with alarm on the fact that, unlike earlier European and Asian immigrants, the tsunami from the south too often undervalues educating children because many Hispanic parents resent the idea that their children will have more education than they have. In 2000, only 25 percent of working-age male Mexican immigrants had graduated high school, a sad fact that contributes to an increasingly volatile underclass.

Limited legal Latino immigration greatly enriches the United States. {snip}

But it is morally shameful to expect taxpayers to fund free education and medical care for lawbreakers so that the wealthiest Americans–restaurant owners, ranchers, agribusiness owners, and construction companies–can hire cheap labor regardless of the national consequences.

It is ever the wealthy sticking it to the poor. With so many Americans losing their homes and unable to find jobs, it is outrageous to say Hispanics still take jobs no one else will do.

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Businessmen are bonkers if they think opening US borders to allow the free flow of uneducated labor will make America competitive with a burgeoning Chinese economy.

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Committing national suicide is not without precedent. The Dutch are rapidly losing their country. Before long, its largest cities will belong to Muslim immigrants. What then becomes of the liberal tradition of Erasmus and traditional Dutch tolerance?

Illegal immigration may ultimately be more threatening to the character and values of the US than any threat from radical Islamists. It’s not about tribe; it’s about the law.

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