Immigration and Americanization
0 comment Thursday, July 31, 2014 |
In this article, which also appeared a couple of months ago at the SANE website in a slightly different form, the writer, David Romero, takes on a couple of the ubiquitous myths about Hispanic immigration and the position of American-born Hispanics in the debate.
He also states, straightforwardly at the beginning, the theme that I keep returning to on this blog: the basically Anglo-Saxon roots of our American culture and heritage.
'Will America remain American � with roots, culture, and language reaching back to Anglo Saxon Europe -- when millions of legal Mexican Americans and illegal Mexican immigrants want to be and remain Mexican? With midterm elections now over, this question will more than likely continue to escape America's attention as the nation's ruling elite simply pick up where they left off on illegal immigration. In other words, the sterile debates will continue unabated on border enforcement, amnesty, guest worker proposals, and so on.
But the question or its variant will be scrupulously avoided, since the raising of it would entail breaking a taboo of the new politics of silence as touching race and culture and thereby risk arousing the indignation of the public arbiters of what is acceptable political speech. Yet, race and culture has everything to do with the unity and character of a nation. America is great in many things, but its continued greatness depends on its citizens being Americans undivided in their allegiance to America. ''
In writing this piece, he is challenging a couple of the pervasive myths, which keep cropping up in the discussion on immigration: one, the idea that 'America is a nation of immigrants' and that, by implication, America does not have a distinct culture, but is just a patched-together crazyquilt of multiculturalism. And secondly, the Politically Correct piety that American-born Hispanics and legal Hispanic immigrants 'are just as against illegal immigration and amnesty as everybody else.' Evidently he perceives what I perceive: the divided or ambiguous allegiances of many Latinos in this country.
As far as I'm concerned, the persistent myth that they monolithically oppose illegal immigration is not supported by any concrete evidence, and Romero, in this piece, cites some evidence favoring his assertion.
Shortly after 9/11, when America�s moral clarity and patriotism were visibly high, the Pew Hispanic Center reported that only 21% of Mexican American citizens considered themselves first and foremost as American; 54% considered themselves first and foremost as Mexican, while 24% indicated they were Hispanic or Latino. That only one out of five Mexican American citizens think of themselves first and foremost as American is shocking enough to be the final argument closing off any further debate about rewarding illegal aliens with amnesty or pathways to citizenship.''
The story of their supposed opposition to amnesty and illegal immigration is motivated, probably, by the same impulse that impels otherwise sensible people to say 'but of course, most Muslims are moderates, and they are peace-loving people.' It's just the need to be fair and nice; the desire to give everybody the benefit of the doubt, in hopes that your niceness will buy their goodwill, and make your assertion come true thereby.
But just as most Moslems are not necessarily moderates (how can we know? Their religion encourages deception of the infidel, and how do we know they are not deceiving us by feigning friendliness?), the fact that you know a nice Mexican-American who opposes illegal immigration does not mean that the majority feel the same.
There have been other polls, besides the ones cited by Romero, that showed considerable sympathy among American-born Hispanics towards illegals. I think that as the Hispanic presence in America grows (and grow it will) there will be stronger ethnic identification among many of the younger Latinos who were born in America, and there will be a tendency to identify more emphatically with the more militant illegals and recent arrivals. This phenomenon has been seen in Europe, with the second and even third-generation Moslem immigrant generations becoming more ethnically identified and religiously/politically militant.
And if the conflict grows in America between old-stock Americans or 'Anglos' as the Hispanics term all of us, we will see some choosing up of sides among American-born Latinos. I'm a believer that blood is thicker than water, and that when push comes to shove, the country will become polarized even more along ethnic lines. That's just human nature.
There will be some American-born Latinos who may choose the American side, but I think there will be a strong pull towards identifying with their kin. Look at American-born Hispanics like Linda Chavez, (only half-Hispanic, by the way), Bill Richardson (another half-Hispanic) and countless others, many of whom take a pro-illegal stance and identify with their 'gente', or who front various pro-illegal organizations. Yet people still insist that the majority of Hispanic-Americans (the hyphenated name says something) are more American than Hispanic.
The article is very much worth reading; Romero concludes with this warning
For a race and culture which carved out a nation unequaled in Western civilization, the choice is clear. The United States remains either a distinct nation or it becomes what it never was or what it was never meant to be: a universal nation, an open society. In effect, a non-nation.''

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