Steyn shoots down pro immigration arguments, then surrenders to Hispanization of Arizona

In a column I’ve quoted elsewhere, Mark Steyn criticizes the pro immigration ideology:

Almost every claim made for the benefits of mass immigration is false. Europeans were told that they needed immigrants to help prop up their otherwise unaffordable social entitlements: In reality, Turks in Germany have three times the rate of welfare dependency as ethnic Germans, and their average retirement age is 50. Two-thirds of French imams are on the dole.

But wait: What about the broader economic benefits? The World Bank calculated that if rich countries increased their work forces by a mere 3 percent by admitting an extra 14 million people from developing countries, it would benefit the populations of those rich countries by $139 billion. Wow.

In his book “Reflections on the Revolution In Europe,” Christopher Caldwell points out, “The aggregate gross domestic product of the advanced economies for the year 2008 is estimated by the International Monetary Fund at close to $40 trillion.” So an extra $139 billion works out to a spectacular 0.0035 percent. Mr. Caldwell compares the World Bank argument to Austin Powers’ nemesis, Dr. Evil, holding the world hostage for 1 million dollars. “Sacrificing 0.0035 of your economy would be a pittance to pay for starting to get your country back.” A dependence on mass immigration is not a gold mine nor an opportunity to flaunt your multicultural bona fides, but a structural weakness, and it should be addressed as such.

All that is good. I’m glad to see Steyn making effective arguments along these lines. But then, as Steyn invariably does with any immigration-related problem, he rushes to surrender to it, as to an inevitable (and, it seems, desired) fate:

The majority of Arizona’s schoolchildren are already Hispanic. So, even if you sealed the border today, the state’s future is as a Hispanic society—that’s a given.

He’s forgotten that fully one quarter of the state’s Hispanic population are illegal aliens. Add the children of illegals born in the U.S., and a very large percentage of Hispanic schoolchildren in Arizona are either illegals or the children of illegals. So it’s not necessarily the case that a majority of Arizona’s schoolchildren who are here legally are Hispanic. Remove the illegal Hispanic adults or get them to leave on their own via law enforcement, and also get rid of the insane interpretation of the 14th amendment which treats children of illegals born here as U.S. citizens, and their children will go back to Mexico with them, and then it will be the case that a majority of Arizona’s schoolchildren will be non-Hispanic whites. Reassert U.S. sovereignty and identity, and a lot of non-citizen legal Hispanic residents may start to feel less welcome in America and decide to go home too. We can win back our country. But actually fighting for our civilization, instead of making jokes about it as it goes down, is outside the conception of Mark Steyn. I never cease to be amazed at how none of Steyn’s legions of conservative fans ever notice that their fast-talking hero is a defeatist and surrender monkey.

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A. Zarkov writes:

Mark Steyn writes,

“The aggregate gross domestic product of the advanced economies for the year 2008 is estimated by the International Monetary Fund at close to $40 trillion.” So an extra $139 billion works out to a spectacular 0.0035 percent.”

Does Steyn even understand fractions? One hundred thirty nine billion divided by 40 trillion = 0.0035= 0.35 percent. [LA replies: He probably arrived at the correct answer initially, but then incorrectly left in the two zeroes when he translated the figure into a percentage. However, after making the mistake, he then quotes Caldwell’s correct figure, “0.0035 of your economy.” Either he simply missed the discrepancy between Caldwell’s figure and his, which is probably the case, or he doesn’t understand the difference between .0035 of something and .0035 percent of something.]

Of course his major mistake, as you point out, is surrendering Arizona to Mexico as if he believes in Reconquista. This is pure Steyn. He regards adverse political situations as though they were acts of nature beyond our control. I can well imagine Steyn writing something like this in the 1970s.

“The Soviet Union is an evil empire, but there is nothing we can do about it. Western Europe will eventually succumb to Soviet hegemony because it’s the world’s major land power. Western Europe, even with American help, cannot possibly resist the Red Army because it’s too big and too well equipped. A dictatorship can always out spend a democracy on armaments. Moreover, the American nuclear umbrella is a bluff and we all know it. The U.S. will never launch nuclear missiles against Russia in response to an invasion. Why would the U.S. suffer total destruction to save Europe? However horrible the thought of a Soviet Europe is, we must face facts—that’s the future.”

Steyn does not understand that if Arizona makes life uncomfortable for illegal Mexican immigrants, most of them will pull up and go home. Many will take their American-born children with them. Of course some will migrate to other states, but those states will have the Arizona example of what to do.

Finally I asked some lawyers the following question: “Suppose Mexico invaded the U.S. and some Mexican soldiers brought their wives and girlfriends with them. During the protracted war, some of these women gave birth. Would the children be U.S. citizens?” Astonishingly some said “yes.” I thought I had constructed the perfect counter example, but the liberal mind cannot perceive its own insanity. A fish doesn’t know he’s wet.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 04, 2010 12:36 PM | Send

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