Amnesty Sì, Amnesty No: And Other Irrelevancies

It is as real and natural as the law of gravity. Borders are like the permeable membranes of a plant’s root. Labor always goes to high wage areas and capital always moves to low wage areas. And there is nothing anybody is going to do about it. — jtl, 419

by Fred Reed

Percentage of Hispanic or Latino residents by ...
Percentage of Hispanic or Latino residents by county (2000 Census data)

Once again, I apologize to readers for often failing to respond to email, most of which is thoughtful and interesting. For boring medical reasons, I just can`t do it.

I don’t understand the dispute over amnesty. The fat  lady has sung, Latino-wise. It’s over. Seventeen percent of the United States  is now Latino. The percentage is increasing, and will increase. You can like  it, or hate it, or not care. It doesn’t much matter. You might as well dislike  gravitation.

Supposedly there are eleven million illegals in the  country. Granting them amnesty will not make them go away. Not granting them  amnesty will not make them go away. Amnesty might attract more, if jobs were  available. Withholding amnesty will leave them permanently marginalized. Take  your choice.

Sealing the border might make a slight difference in  the rate of increase, or might not. (Reportedly the net influx now is zero,  what with the lack of jobs in the US.) The Hispanic population will grow  regardless because their birth rate is higher than that of whites. Most of the  Hispanic population is legal. The illegals have children, who instantly become  citizens. The seventeen percent will shortly be twenty which, added to thirteen  percent of blacks, makes a third of the overall population.

You may think that something should be done about  all of this, or you may not. You may think that something should be done about  sunrise. The prospects are better for preventing sunrise.

What, precisely, do folk opposed to immigration want to  do? Set up extermination camps? It has been done, and got terrible reviews.  Will we have the army push fifty-seven million people across the Mexican border  at bayonet point—including huge numbers who are American citizens? A fair  number of them since 1848?

The political will doesn’t exist.  Whether conservatives like it or not, a great  many people favor amnesty, and aren’t much concerned about immigration. These  may, or may not, be deluded, foolish, or culturally suicidal. It doesn’t  matter. They think what they think. Businessmen want the cheap labor, Democrats  want the votes, and the rising generations of whites do not seem greatly  concerned.

It is not now or never. It is thirty years ago or  never. This limits the options.

If one may believe the press—nothing can be more  reliable than the press—the number of Hispanics in California just exceeded the  number of whites. In Republican Texas, the majority of children in school, and growing  toward voting age, are Hispanic. Short of reversing the flow of time, nothing  will keep them from getting older. Conservatives think this a disaster. They  may be right. But it is going to happen.

Now, if the Latinos are in the US, and are not going  to leave, it might be wise to find a modus vivendi, a means of avoiding the  breaking of the country into a third hostile camp. What are the prospects of  doing this?

I’m not sure. But I can foresee the consequences of  not doing it.

Some signs are encouraging, others not. Hispanics  are not inherently hostile to whites. They enter the US to work. As a race, they are not innately incompetent. For  example, they are perfectly capable of building and operating modern cities, as  anyone knows who has walked the streets of Buenos Aires, Lima, or Santiago.

Americans tend to imagine Latin lands as  indistinguishable from Zimbabwe. They are not. Latin American countries run  from the primitive (Bolivia) to virtually first-world (Chile) with Mexico, the  chief source of American Hispanics, being toward the high-end of the list.

On the other hand, those who swim the Rio Bravo are  not doctors and engineers, gangs assuredly exist, and Hispanic children do  poorly in school. Not good, especially the last.

I have my doubts about the  irremediable criminality of the immigrants, and I wonder how much Americans really  know about these people. Headline:  “El Paso: FBI stats deem border city safest in  the country 3 years in a row.”

What, not Detroit?

Anecdotes are just anecdotes, but they add up. Vi  and I were recently in Manhattan to visit Leticia (I’ll call her), a university friend of  Violeta, and her husband Guillermo. She is finishing up a PhD in linguistics at  CUNY, he a Puerto Rican pediatrician. They live in East Harlem, sort of 116th  and Lexington. Once black, the neighborhood is now Mexican. It is also pleasant.  I asked Leticia whether crime was a problem. “No.” she unhesitatingly walked  around at night.

Both speak good English, but Spanish at home, which  I suppose makes it their primary language, and this conservatives find  threatening. I am not sure why.

The neighborhood was one of small stores and restaurants.  I asked Leticia who owned them. “Mexicans.” This was certainly true of the  various small restaurants in which we ate.

In Chicago we stayed in the vacant condo of a friend  living near us in Mexico. Before we left he spoke of Berwyn, a formerly Czech  suburb which he said, Czechs being Czechs, was neat, clean and well-kept up.  Then the Mexicans moved in and now, he said, the neighborhood was…neat, clean,  and well-kept up. While in the city we got my daughter, in grad school, to  drive us through Berwyn. It was as described and, to judge by places called  Pedro’s Lavanderia, Mexican. So much for “there goes the neighborhood,” at  least in Berwyn.

My daughter lives in Pilsen, also a Mexican barrio  and somewhat rougher. You don’t walk around at three a.m. and there are  occasional fights. We breakfasted in a Mexican restaurant, absolutely mobbed,  with good food and good prices (and waitresses who spoke English). My daughter  and I were the only gringos. People were friendly and courteous, which is what  I have found in ten years in Mexico. This matters.

I asked my daughter whether the locals spoke English.  “Not all. The young ones mostly are learning.” I thought of San Antonio, where  Vi had complained that the Hispanics spoke rotten Spanish. As an approximate  rule, the first generation doesn’t learn, the second is bilingual, and the  third forgets Spanish.

Methinks we should not have allowed massive  immigration from Latin America, not because Latinos are bad people but because  diversity, racial or ethnic, is so often a horrible thing. In countless  instances it causes animosity and frequently bloodshed. Think: Tamils and  Sinhalese in Sri Lanka, Catholics and Protestants in Ireland, blacks and whites  in South Africa, Hindus and Moslems in India, Sunnis and Shias in Iraq, on and  on.

But you have to play the cards you have dealt  yourself. If America permits, causes, or cannot prevent the division of the country  into something resembling Shias and Sunnis, with tension already high between  blacks and whites, god knows where things will end. Groups exist which would  like to promote mutual hostility. It does not seem to me inevitable. It better  not be.

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Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
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