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Kaus: Reconquista is a little—a little extreme. If you talk to people in Mexico, I’m told, if you get them drunk in a bar, they’ll say we’re taking it back, sorry. That’s not an uncommon sentiment in Mexico, so why can’t we take it seriously here?
reason: Do we worry about Germany taking back America?
Kaus: No, Germany isn’t next door. This is like a Quebec problem if France was next door to Canada.
reason: Question: During the ’90s and most of the 2000s, immigrants went to places that had lower than average unemployment because they go looking for jobs.
reason: They don’t go to places with sick economies. How did, say, San Francisco not benefit from an influx of immigrants, whether it’s legal immigrants from other parts of the U.S. or from Mexico? Crime rates did not go up. Welfare rolls did not go up. Most illegals, in particular, are kept from being on the welfare rolls.
Kaus: I’m not one who stresses that illegals lead to crime and welfare and bankrupt the state, but they definitely had a bad effect on education.
reason: In what way?
Kaus: Because they don’t speak English, a lot of them, and you have to send your kids to class with people who didn’t speak English. And as a result, there was a demand for bilingual programs, which we recently managed to get rid of a bit.
reason: With the help of Latinos.
Kaus: Right. No, but it’s still, if you have a kid, you would rather he goes to school with people who already speak English.
reason: You’re talking to somebody whose mother didn’t speak English until she went to grammar school, and I’m not sure she was speaking English at the end of her life either. I mean, seriously, so immigrants did not cause an unemployment problem. People did not lose wages.
Kaus: People did lose wages.
reason: No, no, at a very, very small level because of the level of unskilled workers. Who was cutting the grass in California before Mexicans?
Kaus: All economists agree overall, whatever happens with immigration, maybe it’s—