Mexifornia: Immigration Reform for Beginners
The man to see about immigration in California these
days is not the oafish
Arnold Schwarzenegger but
military historian and classical scholar Victor
Davis Hanson, author of a new book called "
Mexifornia " that
details—once again—what mass immigration (or some of
it) is doing to his state.
Mr. Hanson certainly has his virtues, but to judge
from what he`s been saying publicly since his book
appeared, there are some immigration issues he
just doesn`t get.
Last week Mr. Hanson, author of several scholarly
studies of ancient Greece and European military and
cultural history, was in Washington to boom his book and
his ideas. The book makes it perfectly clear that, for
California and any other state that follows its path,
Open Borders lobby has long applauded as "diversity"
largely a disaster.
Mr. Hanson understands that the
Mexican ruling class encourages mass emigration to
the north because it
rids their country of unwanted and unusable human
surplus. The illegals who come here don`t assimilate and
not only increase public costs but threaten to
balkanize the state and destroy the underlying
common culture. They increase crime, use and import
drugs and incite
racial antagonism. Mr. Hanson documents all these
effects, and he does it pretty well.
He also understands why the immigrants are allowed to
"You have the power of the employers that have a
lot of money – meat-packing, restaurant business,
agribusiness, hotels, construction. They like to have a
perennial supply of cheap labor, all the better if it`s
illegal and it won`t be able to organize or advocate for
higher wages," Mr. Hanson told the Washington
Times last week. And "They`re in alliance with
the race industry on the left, [who] want a
nonassimilated constituency. You put the two together
and the people in the middle get drowned out." [Immigration
limitation, By Robert Stacy McCain, Washington
Times, August 19, 2003]
Mr. Hanson is talking about the Open Borders boys, or
at least those who fund it. And while he does mention
the "race industry on the left," he says nothing
about the immigration industry on the right at the
Wall Street Journal and similar
Moreover, what Mr. Hanson really doesn`t seem to get
is that it`s not just illegal immigration—although
that`s the only kind he ever seems to criticize or talk
Legal immigration, considerably larger than the
illegal kind, is what really drives the cultural
disintegration that immigration causes. There are more
than 33 million immigrants living in the United States
but the highest estimate of illegals here puts them at
only 13 million.
Many illegals go home sooner or later, and until
recently their impact on American cultural unity was
secondary. It`s the legals, who are supposed to be here
learn English and start
becoming Americans, who are driving the cultural
withering Mr. Hanson rightly condemns.
Because Mr. Hanson doesn`t quite get this, he also
doesn`t quite get what to do about the immigration
problem. If only illegals were the problem, then what he
reported to have suggested on a California radio
show last month—amnesty—might be arguable. More
recently, he seems to have backed away from that.
"What should we do?" he asked at a
press conference last week. "I think most people
support immigration, we want immigration, and it always
enriches the culture. But we want it in California under
legal auspices." What is needed is "legal,
measured immigration" while doing "something"
to protect the borders.
It`s doubtful "most people" do support
immigration. It`s also doubtful most Americans have had
much of a chance to think about the issue at all, since
all they get from political leaders is
goo-goo talk or ranting about
"racism." (For all his denunciations and denials of
"racism," Mr. Hanson has already been accused of it
himself for suggesting even the moderate changes he
It`s also untrue that immigration "always enriches
the culture." Maybe immigrants who share the basic
cultural assumptions and institutions can, when the
receiving country has room for them. But when you have
tens of millions of
non-Western aliens invading, "enrichment" is not
quite the proper word.
Mr. Hanson often seems to be more worried what
critics will say about him than with thinking
through the immigration issue.
His new book is certainly worth reading, but it`s at
best a beginning, just as its author seems only to
have just discovered the problems he`s writing about.
He and other Americans just now awakening to the
immigration crisis may eventually come to a tighter
grasp of the problem, but the rest of us don`t have time
to wait for them.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
[Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,