Incoherent Immigration Reform

Victor Davis Hansen, National Review Online, February 7, 2013

Nothing about illegal immigration quite adds up.

Conservative corporate employers still support the idea of imported, cheap, non-union labor—in a strange alliance with liberal activists who want the larger blocs of Latino voters that eventually follow massive influxes from Latin America.

Yet how conservative are businesses that in the past flouted federal law—and how liberal are activists who undermined the bargaining power of American minimum-wage, entry-level workers, many of them minorities?

The remedies for illegal immigration under discussion are just as incoherent. If the government now plans to offer some foreign nationals a pathway to citizenship, does it also suddenly have the will to determine who among illegal immigrants does not qualify for citizenship?


There is talk of reforming legal immigration as well. Under the proposed system, from now on we would select most immigrants for citizenship not by their place of origin, or by the fact of their prior illegal residence in the United States, but on the basis of needed skill sets and education and their willingness to wait in line legally.

Yet are loud proponents of “comprehensive immigration reform” really willing to embrace the reforms they boast about? It might spell the end of privileging millions from Latin America to enter the United States without requisite concern about legality, education, English fluency, or particular skill sets.


The politics of immigration are just as weird. Democrats, buoyed by the two election victories of Barack Obama, now welcome large pools of new Latino citizens to vote en bloc for Democratic candidates. But if the border were actually closed and immigration were once again handled through a legal, systematic process, then in time Latinos—in the pattern of Greek, Italian, and Armenian Americans—would follow most other ethnic minorities and decouple their ethnic allegiances from politics.

Republicans seem more confused. After needlessly bombastic talk in the 2012 presidential primaries, they have gone to the other extreme of emphasizing amnesties instead of enforcement—largely in efforts to pander to growing numbers of Latino voters.

Here, too, paradoxes abound. Various polls suggest that immigration was not the primary reason why Latinos voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama.

When the Pew Research Center recently surveyed Latinos and asked whether they preferred high taxes and big government or low taxes and small government, they preferred high taxes and big government by a 75—19 margin. {snip}

Asian Americans, for whom illegal immigration is not really an issue, voted for Democrats by about the same margins as did Latinos—and perhaps because of similar perceptions of minority-friendly big government.

Moreover, the largest concentrations of Latino voters are in southwestern blue states such as California, New Mexico, and Nevada, where Republicans usually lose anyway, and for a variety of reasons other than immigration. Ironically, the best long-term strategy for Republicans would be to close the border and allow the forces of upward mobility, assimilation, and the natural social conservatism of Latinos to work.


The present system of immigration is far too often illegal and immoral. But it is also weirdly rational in the way that it serves so well so many lobbies—and so poorly the shared public interest at large.

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  • Puggg

    Nothing is supposed to add up, VDH. Both “sides” (of the same coin) are only concerned about their short term selfish interests.

  • David Ashton

    How about a majority-friendly government, big or small?

  • SoCal LoCal

    Hispanics will become like most other ethnic minorities? Mr. Davis-Hanson must be insane!
    He hails from California’s central valley (ag is the major industry). Surely he knows the Latino presence here predates our statehood and still they do not think themselves American, generally. Conservatism inc. is still working from an economic model that has not adopted the lessons of World War I. As George Orwell noted, that is when internationalism broke down and tribal awareness rose above all else–even among declared allies.

    • MikeofAges

      Repeat. If and ONLY IF future immigration is cut off.

    • ATBOTL

      That’s a myth that they were there before statehood. Virtually no one who considered themselves “Mexican” or “Chicano” or “Hispanic” lived in CA when it became a state. Just Indians and a few subjects of “New Spain” who were mostly white Spanish people who invited Anglo-Saxons to colonize them.

      Mexicans came to the US in large numbers starting about a hundred years ago.

    • NM156

      Assimilate well means what exactly? Third and fourth generation Mexicans are having 50-60% of their children outside of marriage, are dependent on govt., drop out of high school after we spent trillions attempting to educate them, and comprise a large part of America’s huge gang problem.

      • Joseph

        Sounds like they’ve assimilated perfectly with the dominant culture.

  • When the GOP amnesties thirty million illegal aliens, they win millions and millions of new voters for the democrats, maybe a few hundred thousand for themselves, (if they’re lucky), and lose fifteen million of their disgusted base who walk away and never come back.
    It’s not for nothing that even among conservatives the GOP is called the stupid party.

    • AJ

      The process of electing the new nation is almost complete

  • jay11

    The article presents a good summary of the dumb positions and assumptions of both sides. I believe that if the border were closed, and the illegal latinos expelled, that yes – in time – the LEGAL latino immigrants probably would assimilate in (because there numbers would be lower and they would be the lighter skinned of the latino world. More mestizo or white than indian.

    But does anyone believe this will ever happen, that the borders would be sealed and the illiterate indios and slum dwellers kept out? It’s too late for any and all of that. Over half the country is now swamped with foreigners. Only the heartland, the upper midwest and a few fringe places are still ‘american.’ Don’t believe me? Take a trip to south Florida, coastal virginia, georgia or California. Take a tour of chicago, new york of nashville. We are toast now.
    Conservatives sold us out for cheap slave-like workers, and liberals sold us out for some anti-white dream of ‘the brotherhood of man’. If left and right are both bad, how can the center stand a chance? Sorry to sound so pessimistic, but I just got home from work and all I see are 99% non-whites and almost all of them foreigners from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

    • NeanderthalDNA

      Some will assimilate white, some black, others will always represent a third group. If the numbers were smaller I could see assimilation, but the masses now here bode something worse.

      Whites are the new Jews…

      • MikeofAges

        All eventually will assimilate, but if, and ONLY IF, future immigration is cut of entirely. This much is even true of European groups. People may not realize it, but some fraction of the descendants of the immigrants groups which came here between 1870 and 1914, and even earlier, are not yet fully assimilated. And I’m not railing against continental European immigrants mind you. All of my ancestors are continental Europeans who came here after 1870.

        • George

          The Amish, for instance, go back well before 1870. The Pennsylvania Dutch still refer to those outside their ethnic enclave as ‘The English’.

          • MikeofAges

            There are Jews, Italians, Irish, Germans, Scandinavians, Slavs, Portuguese and others from Europe who are not yet assimilated. The vast majority have assimilated, of course. But the point is, assimilation is a long process. As long as large numbers new immigrants come in from a particular country, the process will be slowed down for those who are here already. There are is message for Europe and the Commonwealth here. If they intend for existing Middle Eastern and North African immigrants to assimilate and for European Islam to become reformed and Westernized, they must do everything possible to restrict additional immigration, starting NOW. Honestly, it’s not that hard to clean a toilet or mop a floor.

    • Greg Thomas

      I just returned from Mexico City. I can almost swear there are fewer mestizos in Mexico City than Los Angeles.

      • Carlos Geary

        Is not bizarre, there are thousands of whites in Mexico, but millons of them in the South Cone of South America (Argentina, Uruguay, Southern Brazil, Eastern Paraguay, Santa Cruz province of Bolivia, and Southern Chile). Some of them, are the so call “transplanted europeans” or “colonies”, during the 17th & 18th centuries, a whole european village will be “transplanted: to South America.

    • AJ

      Take a subway ride in New York City, where I live, it looks like anything but the U.S.

  • The__Bobster

    In time Latinos—in the pattern of Greek, Italian, and Armenian
    Americans—would follow most other ethnic minorities and decouple their
    ethnic allegiances from politics.

    Yeah, just like the bootlips and the jews.

  • ArmenianWN

    Liberal logic:
    African country—-for blacks.
    Asian country—-for Asians.
    Middle Eastern country—-for Muslims.
    Mexico—-for Mexicans.
    South America—-for Latinos.
    White country—-Third world melting pot of diversity and multiculturalism and open borders.
    Anti-racist is a code-word for anti-White.

  • Extropico

    There are several lines in this article that nonplus me with the level of ingenuousness.
    “[T]he natural social conservatism of Latinos” is a foolish nostrum of naivety and apocryphal ethnic animus. The speculation that native Central Americans and Mestizos can be kept in line and will buy what the preachers tell them is now a selling point for open borders from a putative conservative. Any level of social conservatism is vitiated by federal, state and local legislation of racial preferences against “Whites.”

    • MikeofAges

      Also, aren’t Latin American pretty leftist? Once the Mexican immigrant leaves his campesino past behind in favor of a more cosmopolitan cultural outlook, he (his descendants, actually) may become more leftist. And if not more leftist, then a Democratic voter and dupe of the Popular Front-Progressive elements within the Democratic Party.

    • George White

      I’ve worked with latinos for 25 years. They HATE whites and they HATE the GOP. There you have it.

    • Joseph

      “…can be kept in line and will buy what the preachers tell them…”

      This alone is scary enough for what pass as “preachers” these days. They are largely liberal socialist infiltrators leveraging their positions of public and spiritual authority to promote their root “social justice” agenda.

  • bigone4u

    When this country was 90 percent white and 10 percent black, which was not so long ago, there were no “labor shortages.” Immigrants were few. Food was cheap and plentiful. The Interstate highway system was being built. We had defeated the Axis in World War II and held off North Korea and the Chinese after that. Standards of living were rising. The suburbs were being built. New schools and universities were going up everywhere. We had the rocket science that was going to put a man on the moon. We did it ourselves without any new immigrants. Life was good. Optimism abounded.

    Then in 1965 the USA passes a new immigration law that floods the country with legal immigrants, accompanied by a tsunami of illegals. Slowly, optimism faded, standards of living plunged, and we never went back to the moon. Once cheap and plentiful, food and fuel exploded in price. No more wars were won, but many have been fought. America’s children were taught in the schools to hate her, and if they are white, to hate themselves and the religion of their ancestors. Many of us became strangers in what was once our country.
    I hope I live long enough to see justice exacted from those traitors who are responsible.

    • George White

      I share your intense hate for those who have ruined this once great nation.

    • saxonsun

      You have described quite well the America I grew up in–I remember it fondly.

      • josh

        Well according to the kosher thinkers,you are a white male engaging in a whitemale dreamy nostalgia for a whitemale land that never existed where whitemales like you were a king and you’re a deranged fool. To them,there is no value in the past. The past is worthless and the future–where “immigrants” will “contribute” and make America great–will be wonderful,which is whyw e whitemales should shut up and follow the dear koshers,they only have our best interest at heart. You should be grateful you are ALLOWED to stay here,by the generosity of the koshers,after the display of such raycizzumm! Ironic that those who despise and would wipe clean OUR past go to their Frank Lloyd Wright temples to glorify their phoney-baloney past so fanatically!

    • AJ

      If a nation of 300 million cannot do the job, do we need half a billion? Will there be labor shortages at one billion “Americans”?

    • Garrett Brown

      I copied this and printed it out. Amazing post.

      • bigone4u

        Thanks. I used to be a college professor and wrote quite a few books wearing that hat. Not all of us are radical Marxists. Most of them are, though. I’m doing some writing now on anti-white racism on campus, as I experienced it. Hope to push it out on the Internet in a few months, as part of a book.

  • 1776is1984

    We dont want them to ‘assimilate’ we want them to go back home! not to mention the ‘legal’ immigrants. enough is enough!

  • MobyWhite

    Whites must believe that Hispanics will make good George Washington worshipping Americans. Anyone who doesn’t believe it is a KKlux Neo Nazi. Same for Equality. If you don’t believe it, you want a KKlux Neo Nazi tatoo.

  • Unperson

    “Nothing about illegal immigration quite adds up.”

    As much as I admire VDH’s erudition, I’m afraid his assessment of the immigration catastrophe doesn’t quite add up either. When I saw AR’s sub-head for this item on the homepage — “Conservative columnist thinks Hispanics would assimilate just like white ethnics” — I said to myself, “Gotta be another out-of-touch, Omega House-type, Country Club Republican, living in some exclusive, >90% white ZIP Code, who’s never had any experience with hispanics other than the occasional parking valet or cleaning lady. Yet another clueless blue-blood who literally doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” But that’s not true of VDH: he’s a raisin farmer somewhere around Fresno, he wrote the critical non-fiction book Mexifornia, and he’s probably had even more up-close-and-personal contact with Mexicans than I have (and I’ve had a bellyful).

    How can someone whose life has been personally damaged by low-IQ brown-skinned mestizos as much as Hansen’s has, not understand the problem is precisely that they are low-IQ brown-skinned mestizos? The Mexicans will NOT follow “in the pattern of Greek, Italian, and Armenian Americans” because they are NOT Europeans; they are amerinds. Five hundred years ago, while our people were composing operas and building cathedrals, today’s illegals were consumed by endless, pointless tribal warfare, and were eating the hearts of their defeated enemies to absorb their strength. And although in historical terms 500 years may seem a long time, in Evolutionary terms, it’s the blink of an eye. The many and serious things that are wrong with this group will not be fixed anytime soon — and our highly-educated Swedish-American professor is deluded if he thinks otherwise.

    • verity

      Remember too that Hanson has a number of Mexican in-laws. I believe his brothers and children have married Mexicans or American-born Mexicans. So he carries his biases with him though he is still aware enough of the threat posed by massive and ongoing immigration.

  • George

    “When the Pew Research Center recently surveyed Latinos and asked whether they preferred high taxes and big government or low taxes and small government, they preferred high taxes and big government by a 75—19 margin”.

    By that, of course, they assume ‘high taxes (paid by someone else) and big government (with extra benefit for me’.

    If you’re poor, you’re more likely to want government to spend someone else’s money to raise your standard of living. There’s nothing philosophical or political about that, it’s a simple and natural desire to want ‘more’. Mind you, it used to be you *earned* more if you wanted it. It used to be you bought in to the ‘land of opportunity’ myth meaning ‘(my own) personal effort is essential to live the American Dream’. These Mexicants (sic) polled simply want someone else (i.e. us/U.S.) to foot the bill for them.

    • George White

      HAHA!!!! Of COURSE they want high taxes for whitey! In the re-distribution of wealth scam whitey LOSES. Call the Senate and the Congress, write letters and emails, and join groups to PROTEST and form of amnesty.

    • HKwills

      The “someone else” being productive whites. Again the deepest level of analysis is the biological: what we are witnessing is intraspecific parasitism. Races, and ethnic groups correspond to subspecies. A thought experiment: if all the taxes fell upon “hispanics” and the benefits only accrued to whites would “hispanics” still favor high taxes and big government ?

  • aristotle_747


    90% of these 3rd world aliens will always vote for the Democratic party, which is interested in importing poor 3rd world aliens to vote for them and help win elections, and to hell with the country. The Republicans will not be able to win any votes by posing as pseudo-democrats. It will make the Republican party’s “Demographic problem” worse, not better.

    With so much unemployment, trillion dollar deficits, water shortages, urban sprawl and mile long congestions, this 3rd most populous nation on earth should be totally banning immigration, not importing more aliens. Alienism is a crime against humanity.
    The Republicans are digging their own grave by helping Democrats import more Democrats and turn the nation into a 3rd world country with the majority of Democrats, so they Democratic party can have a permanent majority and can thus establish an unopposed police state. Pls. go to numbersusa and send faxes to your Congressmen and wake up these suicidal Republicans before they put the last nail in their own coffin.

  • IKantunderstand

    Hey Victor Davis Hanson! Yo, yo, yo , I’m hoping for open season on rinos. The G.O.P has been characterized as the “stupid party”. Seriously, you all are way beyond that. First, and foremost, NO hispanic of any sort is going to vote for a party that espouses personal responsibilities. Secondly, non -White voters are going to vote against Whites. Where exactly did you read that Non- Whites are ever ever going to vote Republican? Hey, listen people, we need to form a new party. A party based on nothing but historic Americans (White people). The G.O.P. is in fact the “stupid party”. MOLON LABE.


    This is good because someone in the conservative media establishment is now making the case for less LEGAL immigration, but Hanson has tended towards associating and sympathizing with neocons and their ideas. He’s like O’Sullivan, he disagrees with neocons on immigration, but has no problem with them running the show or with supporting their bad ideas.

    If all these disaffected anti-immigration conservatives coalesced tightly, they could be a major force. But instead, they seem to distance themselves from each other. We’re seeing white individualist culture failing in competition against a more collectivist tribal group here.

  • Dave4088

    More wishful thinking by a rabid kosher conservative. What you see is what you get and one only need to look south of the border to Mexico and central America to see what the U.S.A will morph into once the Latino population reaches critical mass in this country.

    It is said that a people cannot suffer its fools and the white race has an abundance of them in high profile positions like VDH, so it makes me wonder if whites have any chance at surviving in the inhospitable living conditions that, thanks to massive third world immigration, will soon be the norm.

  • liberalsuck

    The Hispanics will be just like white conservative Americans. Right. Just like blacks will someday act like white conservative people? Just like we were told affirmative action would be temporary? Just like we were told the Civil Rights Bill would never call for quotas or discriminate against whites, right? Just like we were told government healthcare would be great, right?

  • AlexanderGalt

    Hispanics may be tougher to assimilate than whites, but Muslims are impossible.

    Over here in England we’ve now got an undeclared street war and political prisoners.
    There’s a great take on it in: “Don’t Push It!” at:


    The question is how long can the conflict between the GOP elites and the conservative base last before the party falls apart.

  • JohnEngelman

    Ironically, the best long-term strategy for Republicans would be to close the border and allow the forces of upward mobility, assimilation, and the natural social conservatism of Latinos to work.

    – Victor Davis Hansen, National Review Online, February 7, 2013

    The “social conservatism” of Hispanics does not seem to consist of much more than hostility toward homosexuals.

    “Hispanics commit violent crimes at roughly three times the white rate.”

    “The percentage of out-of-wedlock births for non-Hispanic whites is 21.9 percent, but for non-Hispanic blacks it’s 69.3 percent. For Hispanics it’s 41.6 percent.”

    Hispanic and white rates of church attendance are statistically tied.

    • SmithandSmith

      All you want is for White People to bend to your way and that just ain’t gonna happen no matter how hard you try.

      Leave stats alone for a second and take a look around you. Segregation is Real and Real Intelligence Reigns. The White Peoples gave you everything you have and yet here y’all are trying to squeeze blood from a turnip.

      Tell me Mr. John, what have the asians done for America and Americans to quantify their American Tax Payer Funded Privileges?

      • JohnEngelman

        If you want to see what Orientals are doing for America visit a prestigious high tech company and look at all the well paid Oriental professionals. They did not get there by affirmative action or “American Tax Payer Funded Privileges.” They got there because of well educated, high grade intelligence.

        • SmithandSmith

          Oh hey now, you know better know than this.

          America was Built by White Men and there is nothing to refute about that. Just because individual people are mentioned doesn’t mean we’re saying that ONE person built America. Many White Men Built America and every single last one of them deserves mention and “We” do that whenever “We” get the chance.

          Oh John! Here you go again, pretending asians aren’t privileged here. The fact is, Affirmative Action COVERS EVERYONE EXCEPT, White Men. There is also a never-ending list of asian college scholarships/loans and asian government loans and asian bank loans and asian groups for every industry they’re in and you know it.

          asians cheat and this has been proven time and time again. Look to their Countries and there you will find, their TRUE Intelligence and Abilities.

          As for America being better off, is that why nothing works no more? Cheap asian made crap is what we’re forced to accept. I don’t suppose you remember the good old fashioned Bell Phone do ya? What ever happened to that? Now it’s a light-weight piece of crap that barely works. I could a name a thousand different items that used to work…

          • JohnEngelman

            Affirmative Action COVERS EVERYONE EXCEPT, White Men

            – SmithandSmith

            Asian students have higher average SAT scores than any other group, including whites. A study by Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade examined applicants to top colleges from 1997, when the maximum SAT score was 1600 (today it’s 2400). Espenshade found that Asian-Americans needed a 1550 SAT to have an equal chance of getting into an elite college as white students with a 1410 or black students with an 1100.

            – Jesse Washington, My Way, December 3, 2011

          • SmithandSmith

            John Boy,

            asians cheat and that’s all there is to that. I’ve you asked this before and you’ve never answered but here I go again, why do asians FLOCK to WHITE Countries? Is it to take them over or to blend?

            If it’s to blend, then why all the asian towns in White Towns? Why is everything asianized whenever an asian steps foot?

          • JohnEngelman

            There is not currently a large influx of Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese to the United States. Increasingly white Americans are finding better opportunities in East Asia than the United States.


            The Vietnamese came to the United States because we abandoned them after destroying their country. I knew many Vietnamese when I lived in the San Francisco Bay area. They are good people.

  • SevenStarsofAmerica

    Never is there Ever, Never is a Word to be Found about Americans and our Skills, our Intelligence or our Ability to Create. All they do is worship the false god aka non-whites. No matter the form, jew sufferings, black sufferings, and on and on, they worship anything and everything EXCEPT God.

    This is God’s Country. God, Country and Family and in that exact Order.

  • SevenStarsofAmerica

    That was me. I was trying to find my Politico sign in because they kept my posting name and picture and password but Disqus doesn’t recognize it outside of that website so I tried to create a new one just to see if it was working. They (politico) took off their original debating format which was, By and Large, the BEST I had ever seen. They just had to destroy it but oh well…

    My “Seven States of America” comment, that’s me.

  • Carlos Geary

    Latinos are not a race. People, only recognize as Hispanic, the so call “brown or black Hispanic”, but they may be sitting next to a white Hispanic and they wouldn’t necessarily
    think that person is Hispanic. As a matter of fact, they would be particularly surprised, if told that white person is actually Hispanic. My neighbors are from Argentina, she is of Irish ancestry and her husband is of German ancestry. They eat meat and potatoes, instead of
    rice and beans, and French bread instead of tortilla. There are thousands like them, but are never suspected of being Hispanic. As a matter of fact, they do not like to be called
    Hispanics; they prefer to be called “Latin American”. Some information, about european emigration to South America:
    German Colonies in South America.

    1. [PDF] Migration Statistics of
    Denmark, Norway and Sweden – National …

    You +1’d this publicly. Undo

    Emigration legislation in the three Scandinavian countries thus has the …… While emigration to Central and South America from
    Norway and Sweden has never …