Gangs of the New America: Heather MacDonald vs. Open Borders
The most recent contribution of the
Open Borders Lobby to the decomposition of American
civilization is the immigrant gang, which has now spread
itself from the
inner precincts of San Diego to such places as the
Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Of course it`s bad news only if you
think crime, violence, poverty, and individual and
social crack-up are bad. If you`re part of the Open
Borders crowd, you probably don`t think so, as long as
the borders are porous and the wages are low. In the
event you prefer the truth, Miss MacDonald has plenty to
tell about the impact of mass immigration on American
cities and those unfortunate enough to have to live in
"Hispanic youths, whether recent arrivals or birthright
American citizens," she reports "are developing
an underclass culture…. Hispanic
school dropout rates and
teen birthrates are now the highest in the nation.
Gang crime is exploding
nationally — rising 50 percent from 1999 to
2002—driven by the march of Hispanic immigration
north across the country. Most worrisome, underclass
crime and single parenthood do not improve over
successive generations of Hispanics—they worsen."
Ah, well, the Open Borders nuts
respond. Of course, there are temporary problems with
mass immigration, but the immigrants eventually
assimilate and move
up the economic ladder into the middle class. Wrong
As Miss MacDonald also writes,
there is (often) upward mobility, but "Upward
mobility to the suburbs doesn`t necessarily break the
allure of gang culture. An immigration agent reports
that in the middle-class suburbs of southwest Miami,
second- and third-generation Hispanic youths are
perpetrating home invasions, robberies, battery, drug
sales, and rape."
The agent knows of
college students who are gang members. As for
cultural assimilation, what there is seems to be
assimilation into the worst of American society.
Recruitment into gangs now starts
earlier than ever, and the violence the gangs practice
is increasingly lethal. Miss MacDonald cites one
16-year-old who shot a California Highway Patrol Officer
picked at random "in the hope of gaining entry to
Pomona`s 12th Street Gang." Previous codes among the
gangs that tried to limit violence are now obsolete.
"When I grew up," one gang investigator, himself
Mexican, says, "there were rules of engagement: no
shooting at churches or at home. Now, no one is immune."
One supposed reason for the
escalation of the gangs is the "disintegration of the
Hispanic family." You`ve probably heard the
Open Borders lie about "strong
Hispanic family values." Miss MacDonald offers
trends are worsening, especially for U.S.-born
Hispanics. In California, 67 percent of children of
U.S.-born Hispanic parents lived in an intact family in
1990; by 1999, that number had dropped to 56 percent.
The percentage of Hispanic children living with a single
mother in California rose from 18 percent in 1990 to 29
percent in 1999. Nationally, single-parent households
constituted 25 percent of all Hispanic households with
minor children in 1980; by 2000, the proportion had
jumped to 34 percent."
Teen parenthood—"the marker of
underclass behavior"—is now larger among Hispanics
than among blacks. Among Hispanic teenagers, the stigma
of out-of-wedlock births has vanished. Not surprisingly,
use actually rises between the second and third
generation—to 31 percent of all third-generation
Mexican-American households. Illegal Hispanics make
liberal use of welfare, too, by putting their
American-born children on public assistance: in
Orange County, California, nearly twice as many Hispanic
welfare cases are for children of illegal aliens as for
You may recall back in 1994 when
neo-conservative Open Borders boosters Jack Kemp and
Bill Bennett went around
attacking California`s Prop 187, which would have
cut off welfare to illegal aliens.
Miss MacDonald doesn`t spend a lot
of time sparring with the
pro-immigration nuts, but she does talk a bit about
what Open Borders ideologue Michael Barone
tries to claim in a recent book. [The
New Americans] Hispanic immigrants today, he
argues, are analogous to
Italian immigrants of
generations past. Just as the Italians assimilated,
so will the Mexicans and other Hispanics.
But the size of Mexican immigration
today (30 percent of the foreign-born population) is far
larger than that of Italians previously (17 percent of
all immigrants). Moreover,
immigration stopped for the most part after World War I.
both major parties babbling about
amnesty, there`s no prospect whatsoever of it
For that you can thank the
Open Borders crowd that has simply fabricated lies
about the nature of mass immigration or ignored the
demonized anyone who tried to tell it. Thanks to
Miss MacDonald, it`s getting harder and harder to get
away with that.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,
America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The
Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available
Americans For Immigration Control.
for Sam Francis` website. Click
here to order his monograph,
Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American
His review essay on Who Are We
appears in the
current issue of