What the pro-amnesty people are really telling us about Hispanics

Clark Coleman writes:

Many conservatives fear that Latin Americans are clannish and lack the individualism that marks our historic Anglo-American culture. As a result of recent liberal trends towards legal recognition of “group rights,” we are reluctant to admit into this country any clannish groups that will always band together and work against whites. Linda Chavez’s reflexive sympathy for illegal immigrants who are Latin American only confirms our worst fears. To all the supporters of open borders with surnames such as Chavez and Martinez, we say: Thanks for strengthening our opposition to Latin American immigration.

LA replies:

I agree with Mr. Coleman’s point, and here is a related—and very obvious—point that for some reason has not been made.

The pro-legalization Republicans keep saying that if the Republican party doesn’t support the legalization of illegals, Hispanics will take that as an insult to Hispanics and never vote Republican again, dooming the GOP. The pro-legalization Republicans don’t realize what they are saying. They are saying that the U.S. Hispanics (meaning legal Hispanic immigrants and their descendants) are people who demand the legalization of Hispanic lawbreakers as a condition of giving a party their political support—they are saying that U.S. Hispanics are people who regard as “anti-Hispanic” any failure by the U.S. political system to support the illegal immigration of Hispanics and the resulting destruction of our laws and sovereignty.

In short, the strongest supporters of large-scale Hispanic immigration, including Hispanics themselves, are saying that Hispanics are a deeply ethnocentric group that is hostile to the laws and sovereignty of the United States. That being the case, why should we admit any more Hispanic immigrants into this country?

I suggested above that I wasn’t sure why this fairly obvious point has not been made. But here I think is the reason. In order to notice and react against a group that is showing hostility to your country, you have to be willing to identity the hostile group as a hostile group, which in turn requires that you believe in your country and are ready to stand by it. But since the belief in America as a nation is so greatly attenuated today, Americans fail to notice or react against such obvious hostility.

Indeed this attenuation of the belief in nationhood and national identity is the key to understanding the immigration debate today and over the last 20 years. Because Americans have by and large lost their previous national consciousness, and particularly because that consciousness is not allowed to be expressed in public debate, the debate has taken place in a weird vacuum, allowing deeply anti-national arguments (e.g. “We are a nation of immigrants,” “Family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande,” “Illegal aliens are just coming here to help the economy”) to be freely stated, and with hardly any awareness of how each of those arguments implicitly downgrades and dismisses America as a country.

It is only the unbelievable extremism of the Bush-Kennedy bill that has brought something resembling patriotism back into the immigration debate. People are recognizing that immigration is not just about helping or hurting the economy, not just about helping or hurting the rights and welfare of certain groups, not just or about strengthening or weakening the “rule of law” (a concept that can easily become quite abstract); they are realizing that America itself is threatened by this bill, and that is what has brought out the unprecedentedly wide and passionate opposition to it.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 14, 2007 08:20 AM | Send

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