"No Americanized hyphenism." - George W. Bush, 2000.
Immigration dimension of poverty, health insurance problems
OK, it`s a paraphrase. But the Gullible Old Pandaparty is making it very clear that it will accept anything—continued immigration, bilingual education, no assimilation (what does W. think it means to tell a Hispanic rally "venceremos"?)—in return for a (hypothetical, temporary) accession of votes.
There`s a name for this: appeasement. The Progressive Conservatives tried it in Canada in the 1980s. They spurned their Western, Anglo base to buy votes in Quebec. It even worked—for a while. Then, guess what? The base went away.
The problems caused by U.S. immigration policy, however, will not go away.
FORBES magazine (8/21/2000) has just published my charticle on poverty. The message: there`s been some harrumphing in the establishment media about the remarkable persistence of poverty in America, as measured by official statistics, despite this long boom. Needless to say, there`s been absolutely no mention of the immigration dimension. Yet over a quarter (26%) of America`s 35 million poverty population are immigrants and their children born here. And this influx must also have driven some native-born Americans into poverty, through its impact on wages. (Poverty`s Roots- don`t forget to click through to the chart.)
If I`d had the space, I would have made these further points:
Coincidentally, the Center for Immigration Studies has just put out a report on the immigration dimension of another much-hyped policy problem: American residents without health insurance. (Without Coverage by Steven A. Camarota, and James R. Edwards Jr.). Camarota and Edwards estimate that over a quarter (26.1%) of the uninsured population are immigrants.
Absent all uninsured people in immigrant households—basically, immigrants and their native-born minor children—the uninsured proportion of the U.S. population would go back to where it was in 1990. (Or even lower if adult native-born children of immigrants were counted.) We would not have been reading about this problem at all.
Bushes would no doubt still be springing up, in their weed-like way. But they would have their roots in some other, American, weakness.