Four Immigration Myths And Credulous Media
292 VDARE.com columns over the last six years, I`m
inundated by feelings of both satisfaction and
frustration when reviewing this year`s Congressional and
media debates over illegal immigration.
To their credit, House Republicans and much of the
blogosphere get it. (See, for example, postings
Your Lying Eyes,
Mean Mr. Mustard.)
And yet in the more insulated institutions, the Senate
and the legacy media, ludicrous falsehoods long ago
exploded on VDARE.com and elsewhere are still proffered
as if they were indisputable fact.
The lack of accountability and integrity in the
mainstream press is striking. A pundit, once
established, can apparently propagate
nonsense catastrophic to America for years without
paying any career price for his incompetence or bad
The appalling legislation approved in the Senate
Judiciary Committee with the support of four foolish
Republicans (and of
all the Democrats, of course) is the unsurprising
outcome of the risks I`ve long pointed out in the
Bush victory in 2004 was always going to hinge on
turning out the non-Hispanic white majority in vast
numbers. But that was too politically incorrect to
explain to the media, so the White House concocted a
bamboozling innumerate reporters into believing that
small Hispanic vote would, somehow, be the
key to the GOP victory.
When the Administration finally revealed its
open borders immigration plan in
January 2004, it pointedly excluded previously
illegal aliens and new guest workers from becoming
citizens (i.e., voters), precisely because a majority
were sure to vote Democratic.
Hilariously, Bush announced he was dead-set against
"amnesty." He redefined the word "amnesty"
so it no longer meant
forgiving lawbreakers for their crimes and allowing
them to continue to reap the
benefits of their lawbreaking. Indeed, doing exactly
that was an essential part of the Bush plan. In a
Humpty-Dumptian sense aimed solely at
Republican Congressmen who don`t want
Democratic-leaning illegal immigrants to get the
right to vote, Bush redefined "amnesty" to
mean only "giving citizenship to illegals." (Of
course, their children born in America get citizenship,
so in the long run it doesn`t make much difference—the
Democrats still benefit.)
But as I wrote in February 2004 about the cynicism of
Bush`s plan to institutionalize a new class of
"But Bush`s new
Machiavellianism automatically cedes the
rhetorical high ground to the Democrats, who are
already pushing for `earned
legalization` (i.e., giving illegals the vote). Bush
is left contradictorily sputtering about how
wonderful immigrants are and how we don`t want them
to become our fellow citizens."
One notorious problem with lying is that you start to
believe your own lies. So, for the benefit of GOP
senators, let`s review some of the most common myths
about the political impact of immigration that are
constantly retailed in the prestige press, even though
they were shot down years ago on VDARE.com.
The Hispanic vote
is so super-colossal huge that any attempt to limit
illegal immigration is automatic political suicide.
Dick Morris, whose client list includes the
President of Mexico, went on TV last week, I am told,
and declared that Latinos would make up 20 percent of
all voters by 2012. Slightly less hysterically, the
Wall Street Journal editorialized on Friday:
"Given that the
Hispanic share of the electorate has climbed to 8% in
2004 from 2% 20 years ago, and is likely to climb to 12%
by 2020, Republicans who ignore Hispanic voters are
guaranteeing themselves future political defeats."
In truth, as measured by the gold standard of voting
Census Bureau`s survey of 50,000 households right
after each election, the Hispanic share of the
electorate has climbed to
6.0 percent in 2004 from
3.0 percent 20 years before in 1984. In other words,
it doubled over those six elections, not quadrupled as
the WSJ asserted.
As you may recall, before the 2004 election, in the
tradition of Julian Simon`s wager with Paul Ehrlich,
I offered to bet neocon immigration-booster Michael
Barone $1,000 that the Hispanic share would be closer
to my estimate of 6.1 percent than his
wild proclamation in U.S. News & World Report
that they "could
be 9 percent by 2004." He did not take me up on
the bet, which is too bad because I could the use the
money a lot more than he could.
So, the Hispanic vote has been growing an average of 0.6
points every four years. It`s unlikely to reach 12
percent by 2020, unless Congress does something stupid
this year, such as putting illegal aliens
"on the path to citizenship," which,
unfortunately, is what the Senate Judiciary Committee
Also, note that a sizable minority of the Hispanic vote
consists of Puerto Ricans and Cubans, who aren`t
concerned with illegal immigration legislation because
they have their own deals.
72 percent of Hispanic voters in 2004 were
native-born citizens, so their emotional connection to
illegal immigrants is indirect at most. Indeed,
surveys show that Hispanic voters have sensibly
ambivalent feelings about illegal immigration, since
suffer most directly from it.
Finally, Hispanic voters are concentrated in states and
Congressional districts that are seldom up for grabs.
For example, two states that were completely out of play
Texas and California, were home to 47.5 percent of
all Hispanic voters.
Bush won 44
percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004.
In the Wall Street Journal today, former
Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie, now
lobbyist who "represents
support a temporary guest worker program,"
in an op-ed entitled
"Populists Beware! The GOP must not become an
"Between 2000 and 2004, President Bush increased his
support in the Hispanic community by nine percentage
points. Had he not, John Kerry would be president
we pointed out here in VDARE.com at the time, and is now
widely accepted, Bush`s improvement among Hispanics was
most likely 4 or 5 points, or just a little better than
his improvement among non-Hispanic whites of 3 or 4
Bush owes his
re-election to Hispanics.
Bush drew 11.6 million
more votes in 2004 than in 2000, of which 9.5 million
non-Hispanic whites. Whites provided almost an
order of magnitude as many incremental Bush votes as
the next most important ethnic contributor to his
growth, Hispanics, at 0.97 million extra votes.
Opposing illegal immigration in 1994 cost the GOP
control of California.
That myth is close to
the opposite of the truth.
Republican Presidential candidates carried
California nine out of ten times from 1952 through 1988,
but, beginning in 1992 (two years before
Proposition 187), have lost the state by solid
margins four times in a row.
Across the country,
Republican performance correlates closely with a state`s
level of "affordable
family formation" because the GOP`s family
values orientation appeals most to voters with families.
The huge increase in California`s population, including
Hispanic baby boom triggered by the 1986 illegal
alien amnesty, drove up the cost of buying a home and
devastated the public schools. This drove many
family-oriented voters out of the state, and kept others
from getting married and having children. The Total
Fertility Rate of white women in California
dropped 14% between 1990 and 2000.
William Frey of the Brookings Institution pointed
out to me in 2000:
"Another cause of
the rise of the California Democrats is selective
out-migration of the more rock-ribbed Republicans. The
folks who have been leaving California`s suburbs for
other states have the white, middle-class demographic
profiles of Republican voters. California`s middle class
families are being squeezed out by real estate prices.
And Republicans are
heading for whiter states where they won`t have to
pay taxes for so many
social programs for the poor."
So the GOP is currently in the process of
cutting its own throat—with an imported knife.
[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and