Damn Yanquis


New at Reason: Illegal immigration, the Jason of California politics, is back from the dead and stalking the recall campaign. Matt Welch tells the tale.

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  1. I see the estimable Mr. Welch falls into one of the many traps in the immigration issue in his final sentence, when he asks whether the “pro-immigration” side is up to the challenge, thus implying that those who oppose uncontrolled and/or illegal immigration are opposed to all immigration.

    There is a reasonable middle ground on immigration issues, which rejects both the reconquista ideologues and the national purity nutballs. It could probably coalesce around something like (a) strong enforcement of immigration laws; (b) a worker visa to facilitate the movement of workers across the border when needed to fill genuine gaps in the labor market; and (c) an emphasis on genuine assimilation into American culture, not the creation of a balkanized identity/grievance communities, as the goal of assimilation.

  2. You’re reading an implication that isn’t there. People who are genuinely enthusiastic about legal immigration — regardless of their feeling on the illegal variety — are generally not heard from talking in detail about the virtues of immigration, as far as I can tell. Tom McClintock, incidentally, seems to have a position in the ballpark of yours, should you be a California voter trying to figure out who to pick.

    Also, I would recommend challenging your reasonable-sounding middle-ground position by reading Reason’s voluminous & varied archive on the issue, especially the stuff arguing precisely that a strict enforcement of immigration laws would be A) prohibitively expensive, and B) perversely stimulative of even more immigration. Here’s one example of the latter thought:

  3. In line with R.C. Dean’s comment, here’s a couple quotes from Barbara Jordan:

    “The Commission decries hostility and discrimination against immigrants as antithetical to the traditions and interests of this country. At the same time, we disagree with those who would label efforts to control immigration as being inherently anti-immigrant. Rather, it is both a right and a responsibility of a democratic society to manage immigration so that it serves the national interest…”

    “…[N]othing will take away from the fact that we remain a country of immigration. But at the same time, while we are so hospitable, …our patience grows a little thin when people…try to manipulate our laws and overwhelm the American people by actions that ignore and circumvent the law. The U.S. can reclaim control of our borders without sacrificing our most cherished principles.”

    As for Mecha, how exactly would one describe them then? As a friendly, peace-loving, multicultural organization of love and happiness? The many quotes from their members makes that quite obviously not the case. See the various posts from a Berkeley blogger for some examples. For instance, search for “gochez” here. He’s the chairman of Mecha de SDSU, and his quote includes bonus antisemitism. See also my comments here, as well as the replies in which at least one liberal agrees with me about Mecha.

    And, as this page describes, Mecha’s Constitution says this:

    “General membership shall consist of any student who accepts, believes and works for the goals and objectives of MEChA, including the liberation of AZTLAN, meaning self-determination of our people in this occupied state and the physical liberation of our land.

    None are so blind, etc. etc.

    Recall that the Mecha slogan is/was “Por la Raza todo. Fuera de la Raza nada.” Pending Julian translating that, how about this: “For the race/group everything. Outside the race/group nothing.”

    Seriously now, no white politician would be able to get away with having been a member of such a group. Even black politicians would probably be forced to answer for it.

    There wouldn’t be a need for “obsessive” websites exposing anti-white, anti-American groups like Mecha if the real media were doing its job. There are the occasional exceptions; see this page for one example of a KNX radio reporter trying to call Villaraigosa on his membership in Mecha. You’ll note that he didn’t renounce them or their goals and just played the standard victimization card.

    For more information on Aztlan, see this report, and for more information on the general reconquista movement, spend some time at the sites above or at my immigration category.

  4. And, here’s another article about Aztlan. Note that he’s referring to the kind folks at aztlan.net, but also recall what the “A” in Mecha stands for.

  5. Does Matt Welch think that Prop 187–an anti-welfare bill, fer Chrissakes– was bad? What’s all this weeping about cutting out taxpayer-funded freebies? Did I accidentally log onto The New Republic? This is Reason, right?

  6. I went to high school in San Diego and Mecha was very strong at the school and demanded a seperate (but equal?) graduation for chicanos (they didn;t get it). I call that racists — however — California is defintely too big and need to be broken up — if so cali joins Mexico, so what — our city governments are alreay as corrupt as any in Mexico as anyone familar with san diego politics will tell you — we ned two states!

    Glory Glory,

  7. “Why is refusing welfare to NON citizens who entered the country illegally unconstitutional?”

    Because the Supreme Court said so. I can’t recall their “reasoning”; I have purged it from my brain in case it was infectious.

  8. Matt – As a reason subscriber, I had read that article, and the situation it describes is why I think we need to have an immigration system that recognizes temporary workers better than what we have now.

    I don’t know that we necessarily need fewer Mexican immigrant/workers (probably not), but we damn sure need to move them out of the illegal market by (a) cracking down hard on illegals while simultaneously (b) opening up real channels for legitimate immigration by people with a genuine contribution to make. The current system seems to be set up to push people in the opposite direction – real bureaucratic burdens for those who try to comply, and (increasing) facilitation (drivers licenses, etc.) for those who do not.

  9. Absolutely! Let’s break up California! Three parts, actually. The northern part, ending around Monterey. The middle part, ending just before Santa Barbara. And the third (US) part taking in everything from Santa Barbara, all the way down to the whole of Baja.

    When we’re done with that, let’s break up Nebraska into 6 smaller pieces, with the southern part belonging exclusively to about 22,000 libertarians. Then we’ll do the same to Colorado.

    Next, let’s go to Texas and break it up, too. Three parts, actually. The northern part, ending around Dallas. The middle part …

    (Well, you get the picture.)

  10. re Joe’s list:
    1. So, you want to end affirmative action? And, you want to end bi-lingual Commerce Dep’t websites, or at least provide them in all 200 or so languages spoken in the U.S.?
    2. Call it a cheap shot, but, is someone also a part of our society if they’re patronizing strip clubs, renting apartments in Trenton, Florida, and San Diego, buying plane tickets, and shopping for box cutters at their local store? They paid sales tax on those things, doncha know.
    3. So, let’s discourage illegal immigration, and encourage alternatives. Such as modernization, moving cheap-labor-intensive industries offshore, and the like.
    4. Read up on Matricula Consular cards.

  11. As a counterpoint to the Reason article, perhaps it is better to have residents stay permanently. It’s the temporary residents (or residents who consider themselves temporary) that don’t assimilate.

    While enforcing all the border rules would indeed be expensive, Prop. 187 would not necessarily be. In the long run, it arguably should decrease the illegal immigration rate as well.

  12. I believe policy should be created as the logical and fair application of principles. The relevant principles here are:

    1) The government shouldn’t screw around in people’s business without a damn good reason. The fact that an individual is dangerous or criminal is a good reason to screw with him. His or her language skills, education level, political ideas (except when they advocate violence), professional background, religious/cultural practices, race, nationality, and place of birth are not.

    2) Laws need to conform with the reality of how society functions, and not seek to impose pie in the sky. The movement of large numbers of people into our country is a reality, and nothing’s going to stop it. Also, if someone is living here, working, paying taxes, riding the subway, shooting hoops in the park, buying stuff, etc., he is part of our society.

    3)It is dangerous and offensive to have a cohort living in our society as second class citizens – dangerous to them, and dangerous to society as a whole.

    4) Especially now, it is important to have an effective system to keep terrorists and their equipment from entering our country.

  13. I’m lost.

    Why is refusing welfare to NON citizens who entered the country illegally unconstitutional?

  14. EMAIL: pamela_woodlake@yahoo.com
    URL: http://web-hosting.1st-host.org
    DATE: 01/20/2004 07:43:05
    If I could get my membership fee back, I’d resign from the human race.

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