Immigration

California Overrun By Americans

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The San Jose Mercury News punctures another immigration myth: That Mexicans living in California are overwhelmingly illegal. According to the Mercury News, 70 percent of those in California with "Mexican heritage" are American citizens (compared with 40 percent in North Carolina, the state with the fastest growing Mexican population during the 1990s), largely through birthright citizenship:

For the first time in the most current wave of immigration, U.S. Census Bureau figures show that 70 percent of California's Mexican population are U.S. citizens, blunting widespread belief the state is overrun by illegal immigrants.

[…]

"California has reached a steady state with regard to immigration," said Dowell Myers, a demographer at the University of Southern California. "The number of new foreign-born arrivals is being offset by the number of babies who are being born here and the number of parents who are naturalizing."

[…]

In Santa Clara County, the increase in citizens of Mexican ancestry due to birth and naturalization exceeds the growth in non-citizen immigrants by a 3-1 ratio this decade, census data shows. Juan Loerca is a prime example. He came to Santa Clara County three years ago from the Mexican province of Sinaloa. He was married at the time, but he and his young bride didn't have any children. Just five months ago, he and his wife, Lucilla, had their first son in this country. "He's American," the 28-year-old said, smiling as he called his son's birth in the country his first "gift" to him.

Loerca and his wife, who would someday like to become naturalized citizens, could be forced to leave through deportation if their illegal status draws government attention.

But he noted that his son would still be able to come back to this country one day because he's a citizen.

"I want to have kids here, to give them opportunity," he said. "To be a citizen is to have opportunity.

Ron Paul, you might have noticed, is not a huge fan of birthright citizenship.

Discuss.

NEXT: Innocent in Mississippi

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  1. Unfortunately “birthright” citizenship is quickly losing its value: on KFI and other rant radio outlets Mexican-American children born in the US to illegal aliens are constantly referred to as “anchor babies” – who should be sent back to Mexico with their parents.

    I think their thinking is along the lines of “a filthy Mexican is a filthy Mexican.”

  2. Lonewacko’s head to explode in 3… 2… 1…

  3. Getting ready to party in
    4…3…2… (one period time lag until we see the smoke from TLB’s “boom”)

  4. Ron Paul is also not a fan of invading foreign countries and killing the locals en masse, which is Moynihan’s real beef with him.

  5. This analysis seems to contradict other analysis by Katherine M-W and others about how “white” states overreact to immigration. As it turns out, North Carolina is a pretty “white” state; perhaps states such as Oklahoma and Missourri, which have I-35 running north through them, are not crazy for wanting to do what they can to discourage illegal immigration.

    Unfortunately, they often become fascist with their efforts, but that’s another story….

  6. Ron Paul (at the linked editorial) says:

    Of course many American citizens also use or abuse the welfare system. But we cannot afford to open our pocketbooks to the rest of the world. We must end the perverse incentives that encourage immigrants to come here illegally, including the anchor baby incentive.

    Seems to me like the problem is the welfare state, not free people crossing borders freely. Look after the welfare state and the anchor baby “problem” (if it even is one) will look after itself.

    Again, this is a big reason I can’t endorse Ron Paul. Why a libertarian worthy of the name would jump on the anti-immigrant bandwagon completely escapes me.

  7. This is why our prohibitionist immigration laws are unenforceable, absent a racist police state.

    You’ve got 200,000 Latinos living in a metropolitian area. 10,000 of them are “illegals.” Go get ’em!

    Now, what do you think that’s going to look like? I picture a lot of id checking based on skin tone, a lot of cops going into the wrong houses, and a lot of American citizens seeing their peaceful, hard-working neighbors dragged away.

    Whatever their legal status, we’re talking about people who are members of communities. Do we want to live in a “Papers, please.” nation, or not?

  8. I think their thinking is along the lines of “a filthy Mexican is a filthy Mexican.”

    This whole immigration thing is so fucking tiring. The filthy Irish we appalled by the filthy Germans and Italians and Jews who are now appalled by the filthy Mexicans (and Indians?) who will be appalled by the filthy…somebody.

    It’s all a BigConspiracy by the AmericanTradition to give FreedomAndOpportunity to people OfAllEthnicities. OH NOES

  9. The term “anchor babies” is just another euphemism used by supposedly patriotic right wingers to say that the provisions of the Constitution suck.

    Yes, this includes the otherwise Constitution loving Ron Paul.

  10. I’d like to see a poll done on what percentage of American citizens of Mexican descent view themselves more as Mexicans and what percentage view themselves as Americans. From casual experience it seems higher than other ethnic groups which for me is a concern.

    Immigration isn’t a problem, but immigration without assimilation (or integration for those that attached undue stigma to the a-word) can certainly be.

    –Joey

  11. From the linked article by Ron Paul:

    No other wealthy, western nations grant automatic citizenship to those who simply happen to be born within their borders to non-citizens.

    France does. Unless they’ve changed the laws since my mother’s cousin was born there in the 1930s. He is also an American citizen thanks to his parents’ and the citizenship laws of the US.

    Dual nationality can be cool but it can also have problems. There was always a question of whether he would be drafted into the French military if he ever went there for a visit.

    I knew a dual English/Swiss national who faced the same type of problem. If I remember rightly he paid a special “draft dodger” tax to maintain his Swiss passport even though he had never lived there.

  12. “From casual experience it seems higher than other ethnic groups which for me is a concern.”

    Head to New Jersey – especially with your name, and you’ll find casual experience of the same among Aye-talians.

  13. Episiarch,

    It could be argued that the “American tradition” is to haze the newbies for a generation or three. In which case, treating the Mexicans like we formally treated the Irish/Germans/etc is following the American tradition.

  14. Seems to me like the problem is the welfare state, not free people crossing borders freely.

    Agreed. Illegal immigration is a sympton. The welfare state and the lack of sane immigration policy are the problems. I’m not an open border supporter because reality must be faced. Until the welfare state is dismantled, or at least reduced to central american equivalence, open borders are not, IMHO, feasible.

  15. “formerly” not “formally”. When is reason going to add a damn preview button?

  16. 30% of a large number is a large number. With a population of about 32 million, and assuming that half are hispanic (Mexican, Nicaraguan, etc), then 30% is about 4.8 million illegals. That meets my common-sense definitin of “over run”.

  17. Agreed. Illegal immigration is a sympton. The welfare state and the lack of sane immigration policy are the problems. I’m not an open border supporter because reality must be faced. Until the welfare state is dismantled, or at least reduced to central american equivalence, open borders are not, IMHO, feasible.

    Wow, I agree. I will have to put J sub D on the list of commenters that I sometimes agree with.

  18. Ron Paul, you might have noticed, is not a huge fan of birthright citizenship.

    I understand that even the biggest cheerleaders for the Constitution have a blind spot or two, but I wish it wasn’t this obvious in this case with Dr. Paul.

    “I’m for the Constitution!*”

    * Some restrictions apply: Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment, others TBD

  19. Oh, and I think if anyone checks they will find that ICE routinely deports people with “anchor babies”.

    Not much of an anchor at all really.

    This is why our prohibitionist immigration laws are unenforceable, absent a racist police state.

    BINGO!

  20. robc, that’s my point. You’d think people could look back and go “duh, we’ve done this before” and chill a little. This country has never had any problem assimilating a lot of immigrants, and I don’t know why we’d suddenly have a problem now.

    However, the positive point is that we will probably make a lot of noise, haze the Mexicans, and then they’ll get their turn down the line to haze the next wave.

  21. Lonewacko’s head to explode in 3… 2… 1…

    Nah…he’ll just write us all off as idiots, and explain why we should listen to reliable sources on the subject, like World Nut Daily…

  22. Birthright citizenship made sense when travel was a bit more onerous than hopping in a Honda.

    I think Paul’s solution to this is two-fold: one, end the birthright clause; two, end direct federal welfare and indirect federal welfare through edicts to States. These two things are easy solutions that shrink the size of government. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure that Paul is open to worker visas and the like. I don’t see where the problem lies with libertarian philosophy.

  23. de stijl:
    * Some restrictions apply: Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment, others TBD

    Paul advocates changing that via Amendment. Which is Constitutional.

  24. Birthright citizenship made sense when travel was a bit more onerous than hopping in a Honda.

    Little known fact: In 1789 Canada and Mexico were separate from the US by moats patrolled with sharks with laser beams on their foreheads.

  25. Uh, the problem with worker visas is that people shouldn’t need visas to work.

  26. Actually, we do an ever better job assimilating immigrants now than at any time in the past.

    It used to be common for an immigrant to live in a neighborhood full of families that didn’t speak English at home, do all of their shopping at local markets that catered to that culture, socialize entirely with people like them, expose themselves only to cultural productions from within their own community, and work in places where everyone they interacted with spoke in a non-English language.

    Now, they’re out there like everyone else, and their kids no all the words to 50 Cent’s album.

  27. (And yes, I’m aware that our borders were a bit different in 1789, but we were still bumping up against foreign territory. So the part about Mexico was a bit facetious.)

  28. rho,

    Paul advocates changing that via Amendment. Which is Constitutional.

    I did RTFA, but my eyes started glossing over at the middle and I thought I knew where he was going. Mea culpa.

  29. Another thing you have to bear in mind is the nature of our government. In earlier immigration waves, the Federal Government diddn’t do a whole lot. As such, immigration was a local issue. Today, the Federal Government is huge, and since we live in a Democracy, citizenship = the ablility to make it huger. Let’s look at a hypothetical. What if “brown people” from our South were far more likely to vote for statist govermnet policies? Would we be justified limiting their access to citizenship? From a libertarian perspective, I’d say yes. Hell, I think we need to place a lot more restrictions on the right of Californians moving to Nevada to vote in our state elections. Migration patterns have consequences in a Democracy. Those who favor liberty have an absolute right to restrain those who don’t from taking the reigns of power. If there is a racial or ethnic component to this, so be it.

  30. I think the reality behind Ron Paul’s stance on immigration is that he represents a district in South Texas, and expects to not win the Republican primary for President, and thus will have to run again in a district where advocating open immigration would cost him a lot of votes.

    That, and as an obstetrician, I would imagine it irked him to deliver a lot of babies of non-citizens for free. That is, the consequences of an expansive welfare state, in particular the law forcing doctors to deliver uncompensated care, must have grated on his libertarian POV. If treating such indigent patients was on a voluntary basis, he probably would have still treated all but the most ungrateful of them, but felt much better about it because it would then have been charity on his part and not government compulsion. People tend to be a lot more polite to you when you are working without pay, if you have the freedom to turn them away — when your helping them becomes their “right”, they become surly and ungrateful, as Ayn Rand pointed out at length in “Atlas Shrugged”.

  31. Little known fact: In 1789 Canada and Mexico were separate from the US by moats patrolled with sharks with laser beams on their foreheads.

    Unfortunately, Thoreau, we were unable to procure the sharks, due to some regulations, mainly dealing with the endangered species list.

    We were, however, able to get Sea Bass…

  32. I’m not an open border supporter because reality must be faced. Until the welfare state is dismantled, or at least reduced to central american equivalence, open borders are not, IMHO, feasible.

    I wonder why people keep talking as if immigrants welfare is a major drain on the economy. The middle class in this country is subsidized far more than the poor. What do you think that the mortgage deduction, subsidized college loans and flood insurance on beach houses are but subsidies for the middle and upper classes? Somebody’s sucking at the teat, alright. But it’s not a bunch of poor Mexicans.

  33. Ill-tempered sea bass?

  34. Unfortunately “birthright” citizenship is quickly losing its value…

    Well, it does illustrate the BS inherent in the knownothings’ mantra: “We’re not against all immigrants, just illegal ones…”

  35. Birthright citizenship made sense when travel was a bit more onerous than hopping in a Honda.

    Yeah, back when Mexico was in Europe.

  36. No, Sea Bass from Dumb and Dumber…

  37. Little known fact: In 1789 Canada and Mexico were separate from the US by moats patrolled with sharks with laser beams on their foreheads.

    I agree that people wandered across the border in 1789 and became de facto American citizens. But the two eras are different. For one, the numbers were smaller back then. For two, along with the laser shark-infested moats, federal welfare was quite different.

    Maintaining control of citizenship rules is a valid function of the federal government. That does not mean I oppose freer citizenship rules, nor that I hate brown people. It means I don’t think that merely having the baby in Laredo is sufficient to grant the baby citizenship. Especially when the labor and delivery is paid for by citizens and not the foreign-born parents, but even if it were, I don’t find that compelling proof to grant citizenship.

  38. Fun fact:

    The Canada-US border divides the Canadian village of Rock Island, Quebec (aka Derby Line, Vermont) right down the middle.

    Interstate 91 begins at Derby Line. Today Quebec Autoroute 55 ends at Rock Island; but before the 55 was completed and people in Rock Island could quickly drive to Sherbrooke (the nearest Canadian city), most women had to be driven down I-91 to give birth in a Vermont hospital. So there’s a generation of Quebecers in that town that, fate determined, would all be US citizens.

    The Accidental Americans would make a good band name, don’t you think?

  39. Yeah, back when Mexico was in Europe.

    Lots of Hondas crossing the Atlantic where you live? That’s pretty cool.

  40. “Birthright citizenship made sense when travel was a bit more onerous than hopping in a Honda.”

    We could parse the Constitution and come up with hundreds of things that made more sense in the 1700s. I’m rather sure any strict constructionist doesn’t want to go down that road.

  41. It could be argued that the “American tradition” is to haze the newbies for a generation or three.

    I think it works this way: your ethnic group is “it” until a new ethnic group starts showing up. The filthy Mexicans are already one rung up on the ladder above the traitorous Muslims.

  42. Your first warning sign is this quote from the article:

    70 percent of California’s Mexican population are U.S. citizens

    Under our system (you know, those laws and customs), they can’t be both at the same time. However, many want to have it both ways, and that’s something that the MexicanGovernment encourages through various means: DualCitizenship, taking a census of Mexicans and MexAms – of all types – in the USMilitary, distributing MexicanPropagandaTextbooks in US PublicSchools, etc.

    And, a ZogbyPoll done in Mexico showed that 58% think the USSouthwest rightfully belongs to Mexico.

    If we assume a high number like 20 million who believe that, even the “libertarians” (i.e., corporatists) at Reason should be able to see the danger. Even if we divide that by a huge amount – say 25% – that’s still five million people who are not just Mexican but who think our land rightfully belongs to Mexico. Not only do they vote now or they will later, but they’ll also form a power base for RacialDemagogues and become PublicOfficials and in effect represent MexicanInterests.

    Obviously, those “libertarians” who support MassiveImmigration are violating their supposed tenet of defending the U.S. by allowing such a FifthColumn to form.

    That contradiction might be confusing, until you realize that Reason and their fellow travelers aren’t libertarians at all.

  43. What if “brown people” from our South were far more likely to vote for statist govermnet policies? Would we be justified limiting their access to citizenship? From a libertarian perspective, I’d say yes. Hell, I think we need to place a lot more restrictions on the right of Californians moving to Nevada to vote in our state elections. Migration patterns have consequences in a Democracy. Those who favor liberty have an absolute right to restrain those who don’t from taking the reigns of power. If there is a racial or ethnic component to this, so be it.

    Talk about becoming the monster you fight. The idea that the government should take an active role in shaping the voter is an anathema, and a reversal of its proper role in a democracy.

  44. When are people going to figure out that this is yet another red herring issue like gay marriage and the Drug War? Anyone ever wonder how is it that the most powerless are always the ones responsible for all our problems? How many times are we gonna fall for this scam – while the slick white guy in the expensive suit is working us into hysterics over the poor wetback/fag/druggie, he’s picking our pockets, emptying our bank accounts, and selling our children into slavery…

  45. “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

    Are people here illegally subject to the jurisdiction thereof? I’m not a lawyer, does that just mean that they could be tried by US courts (as I assume any “visitor” could while on our soil)?

  46. I’d like to see a poll done on what percentage of American citizens of Mexican descent view themselves more as Mexicans and what percentage view themselves as Americans.

    At least they’ve learned the PR lesson. They used to carry Mexican flags at their “More Immigration Now!” rallies. Now they carry American flags.

    The concern with anchor babies isn’t so much with the Constitutional provision saying if you’re born here you’re a citizen, its a gripe about the administrative policy that opens the door for all their relatives.

    Anyone who believes illegal immigrants aren’t a tremendous burden in localities where they are heavily representend is unacquainted with those localities. I’m not saying that there aren’t lots of good people from Mexico making very real contributions to America without benefit of legality, but if you think that’s the sum total of the Mexican immigration picture, you aren’t facing up to at least some of its consequences.

  47. It used to be common for an immigrant to live in a neighborhood full of families that didn’t speak English at home, do all of their shopping at local markets that catered to that culture, socialize entirely with people like them, expose themselves only to cultural productions from within their own community, and work in places where everyone they interacted with spoke in a non-English language.

    Now, they’re out there like everyone else, and their kids no all the words to 50 Cent’s album.

    joe, you seem like a decent enough guy, so try not to take this the wrong way, but that is one of the dumbest fucking things I have read recently. The current generation of immigrants does exactly what you say they don’t. Come to Houston and I can show it to you.

  48. “This country has never had any problem assimilating a lot of immigrants, and I don’t know why we’d suddenly have a problem now.”

    I think you can look at past immigration to help guide our current path but to say that current immigration is the same as immigration in the last century is disingenuous- the numbers of people coming in currently is huge compared to past influxes. In other words just saying “no problem before” isn’t a good (or complete) argument.

    “Now, they’re out there like everyone else, and their kids no all the words to 50 Cent’s album.”

    Come visit Chicago then tell me how well groups are assimilating. If you aren’t brown you won’t be welcome in many parts of the city. I guess there’s the huge influx of Eastern Europeans- not as easy for them to tell you’re not part of the group but once they do you immediately become a stupid American.

  49. Tacos,

    While I receive the Mortgage Interest Deduction subsidy, it is much less than my total tax burden, so I dont feel like Im doing any teat sucking.

    Actually, since it is only a deduction, and not refundable, no one who gets it is teat sucking.

  50. “The concern with anchor babies isn’t so much with the Constitutional provision saying if you’re born here you’re a citizen, its a gripe about the administrative policy that opens the door for all their relatives.”

    I agree with this, and find it repugnant that Ron Paul would rewrite the Constitution because Washington can’t get its act together.

    You call ’em anchor babies, I call ’em Constitution babies.

  51. T,

    Your personal perceptions about assimilation are actually a consequence of the greater mainstreaming of immigrants.

    You see them now, out there struggling with English and shopping at the same stores, whereas middle class white people in earlier times didn’t, because the immigrants were keeping to their own.

    Of course there is still some degree of ghettoization going on, but the point is, it is much, much less than it was in the past. If you look at figures about the % of immigrants, and immigrants’ children, who are fluent in English, you’ll see that it is at an all-time high.

  52. Lamar:
    We could parse the Constitution and come up with hundreds of things that made more sense in the 1700s. I’m rather sure any strict constructionist doesn’t want to go down that road.

    Which is why Paul is suggesting an Amendment. If it’s a wildly popular idea, it will overcome the high barrier of amending the Constitution. If not, it won’t.

    I think your argument is silly. There aren’t hundreds of things that made more sense in the 1700s. There are a few. Birthright citizenship is one of them, IMO. Restricting suffrage to men was another. Times changed, and the Constitution allows for such things.

    I really don’t see how Paul’s proposal is so controversial. My opinion would be different if he were ramming it down our throats via executive order. But he’s not, so it isn’t.

  53. Those who favor liberty have an absolute right to restrain those who don’t from taking the reigns of power.

    That’s pretty much textbook totalitarianism.

  54. That contradiction might be confusing, until you realize that Reason and their fellow travelers aren’t libertarians at all.

    No, they’re not. We went over this before. Reason’s a propaganda outfit of the Learned Elders of Zion, who are using the brown people as their pawns in their ultimate goal of destroying Christendom. Safe in their refuge in Israel, the only nation that had the sense to build an Anti-Untermensch Protection Line, they will watch as blond, blue-eyed American virgins are sacrificed daily to the Atzec sun god, until all the fapping makes them go blind.

    Go away, LoneWacko.

  55. The middle class in this country is subsidized far more than the poor.

    True, and poor native-born Americans consume much more welfare than poor immigrants.

  56. the numbers of people coming in currently is huge compared to past influxes. In other words just saying “no problem before” isn’t a good (or complete) argument.

    As a percentage of population…

  57. New Mexico has survived the flood of anglo immigrants that has occurred largely since WWII. It has changed the political landscape a bit, but the diversity has helped improve things.

    California survived its much early anglo immigration problem, but has done quite well for itself, despite the change in the political landscape that occurred.

    For the region closest to Mexico, the immigration trends are simply regressing demographics back towards their historical means. This is expected.

    People have a very short memory.

    All the arguments currently being made on this issue were made at the time that the New Mexico territory was denied statehood. New Mexicans were viewed as backwards Spanish speaking outsiders that would threaten the cultural cohesion of the US.

    I guess, in a way, that was true. Salsa usurped ketchup (catsup).

    What will be the next cultural icon to fall? Can the vanilla wafer stand up against the marauding Churro?

    The horror.
    The horror.

  58. Little known fact: In 1789 Canada and Mexico were separate from the US by moats patrolled with sharks with laser beams on their foreheads.

    Yeah, but the 18th century laser technology meant that the shark’s lasers could only be used for targetting, not as a kill weapon.

  59. Those who favor liberty have an absolute right to restrain those who don’t from taking the reigns of power.

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a while. Has a little “Freedom is Slavery” ring to it.

    The current generation of immigrants does exactly what you say they don’t.

    Some do; most don’t. Probably more don’t than ever before–given today’s much more interconnected culture.

  60. While I receive the Mortgage Interest Deduction subsidy, it is much less than my total tax burden, so I dont feel like Im doing any teat sucking.

    Actually, since it is only a deduction, and not refundable, no one who gets it is teat sucking.

    It’s not teatsucking? It results in less income to the federal treasury, that has to be made up elsewhere. Why is it that you should get a tax deduction for owning, and a renter should not?

  61. On Assimilation: Tune your TV to Telemundo or Univision. Within minutes you’ll hear a few English words in the dialogue , see a commercial for Ingles Sin Barerras (a program for learning English), or, better yet, a whole commercial in nothing but English! To say that they don’t want to assimilate is very misleading.

  62. It used to be common for an immigrant to live in a neighborhood full of families that didn’t speak English at home, do all of their shopping at local markets that catered to that culture, socialize entirely with people like them, expose themselves only to cultural productions from within their own community, and work in places where everyone they interacted with spoke in a non-English language.

    And go to Mass celebrated in their native tongue.

  63. In the early 1900s, Fitchburg, Massachusetts – a city that never had a population over 80,000 people, and which never had a Finnish majority – had 4 competing Finnish-language newspapers.

    The difference now is that white, Anglo people will occasionally flip past Univision, while they never went into the stores that sold the Finnish newspapers.

  64. J sub D,

    And go to Mass celebrated in their native tongue.

    Not if they were Catholic. πŸ˜‰

  65. Tune your TV to Telemundo or Univision.

    Or just tune into Telemundo or Univision, and wonder why anybody would want to discourage Latino women from immigrating to the U.S.

  66. Those who favor liberty have an absolute right to restrain those who don’t from taking the reigns of power.

    I believe this is the argument used by the architects of the USSR, Cuba, North Korea, China. We need to keep those that “know” in charge until the rest of the population comes around. It is a charge made against liberals around here all the time…”if we only put the right people in charge…”

    The common intellectual roots shared by libertarianism and communism grow plants that contain the same hazardous fruits. Nutritious as part of a diet, but leaving your brain malnourished if not supplemented with other fare.

  67. Those who purport to favor liberty but who are actually authoritarians would like to have an absolute right to restrain those who don’t from taking take and permanently hold the reigns of power.

    Fixed.

  68. Why is it that you should get a tax deduction for owning, and a renter should not?

    Im not saying I should. Im saying that if the “milk” is flowing from me to the feds, then what Im doing is not “sucking”.

    Thats a metaphor thats getting gross. I dont want to think about it.

    Im just saying that when you oppose income taxes (as I do) anything that reduces it, even if its a stupid mortgage subsidy, is a good thing.

  69. Just to be clear, the anchor-baby amendment is pretty far down my list of things I’m passionate about. Immigration in general is pretty far down my list. But Paul’s proposals aren’t daft or tinged with race-hatred, and to suggest such reeks of poor critical thinking.

  70. And go to Mass celebrated in their native tongue.

    Latin? I didnt know we had that many roman immigrants. πŸ™‚ Not being catholic, when did latin masses end? Wasnt it relatively recently, like mid-2oth century?

  71. Dang it joe, you beat me in on the mass thing. You are en fuego today.

  72. Not if they were Catholic. πŸ˜‰

    Uh, uh. Every Xmas and Easter, buddy! Not an empty seat in the house! πŸ˜‰

  73. Sure, the absolute numbers are bigger than at anytime in the past. But foreign born people–legal or illegal–as a percentage of the population is around the same as it was in 1900.

  74. The gospel readings and sermons were always (in my lifetime) in the language of the parishoners. I don’t remember the exact date when (some) Masses dropped Latin. IIRC, the late ’60s. You can still go to a Latin Mass here in Detroit. The Jesuits hold them.

  75. robc,

    Dang it joe, you beat me in on the mass thing. You are en fuego today.

    On what?

    Either learn our language, robc, or go back to Osamastan with the other Mexicans!

  76. I think Paul’s proposal is based on rank politics, a calculus of votes. Since I support 85% of his other stances, I’ll look the other way. Suggesting to amend the Constitution shows everybody how serious he is without any realistic chance of succeeding.

  77. On cue, TLB’s head exploded:

    Even if we divide that by a huge amount – say 25% – that’s still five million people who are not just Mexican but who think our land rightfully belongs to Mexico.

    This, of course, is absurd. Obviously, all of “our” land belongs to the American Indians, who suffered an invasion of illegal immigrants starting in 1492.

  78. Ron Paul, you might have noticed, is not a huge fan of birthright citizenship.

    And yet he seems like the rest of the constitution odd that he singles out this part.

  79. Franklin Harris,

    The Indians didnt have a flag. You cant claim land without a flag.

  80. That contradiction might be confusing, until you realize that Reason and their fellow travelers aren’t libertarians at all.

    YA cuz libertarians are against ppl living and working where they want to.

    Your claiming to be a libertarian is almost as bad as joe doing it.

  81. Im just saying that when you oppose income taxes (as I do) anything that reduces it, even if its a stupid mortgage subsidy, is a good thing.

    Not necessarily. The returns from the federal government are unevenly distributed. I’m merely pointing out that this largesse favors the middle and upper classes in many areas, who then criticize the lower classes for the pittance they do get from the feds. For most Americans, criticizing people on welfare is a log-in-your-own-eye scenario.

  82. I’ve never claimed to be a libertarian, joshua. Not once.

    I. AM. A. LIBERAL.

    Then again, if this the worst misstatement of what I write that you engage in this week, it will be a banner week.

  83. This is why our prohibitionist immigration laws are unenforceable, absent a racist police state.

    Damn, I am agreeing with Joe. I must rethink my position. πŸ™‚

  84. joe,

    Contrary to your opinion, I don’t see them because they’re in my nice middle class suburb infiltrating the lily white environs and stealing our women. I see them because I’m a plant engineer and work in industrial neighborhoods with very low property values. Care to guess who lives in the rental properties in these neighborhoods? I go into stores that have no english signage. They may be assimilating quickly, and the assimilation rate may be greater than previous generations of immigrants. To assert, as you did, that there are no enclaves of Spanish speaking immigrants flies in the face of reality.

    Oh, and almost all the Catholic churches here offer Mass in Spanish. I understand that at one point, when most of the immigrants were from Latin America, the masses were conducted in Latin. One of the churches still does that, for the immigrants from further south than Mexico.

  85. My great-grandfather emigrated from Germany.
    My grandfather was born in the sticks of Wisconsin and spoke German as his first language.
    My father can read German, but cannot converse in German.
    I can count to ten in German.

    I have no doubt that the grandchildren of the most recent immigrants will be indistinguishable with my grandchildren.

    Disclaimer, one of my two sons was born overseas and their mother is a damn furner.

  86. RCDean:

    Anyone who believes illegal immigrants aren’t a tremendous burden in localities where they are heavily representend is unacquainted with those localities. I’m not saying that there aren’t lots of good people from Mexico making very real contributions to America without benefit of legality, but if you think that’s the sum total of the Mexican immigration picture, you aren’t facing up to at least some of its consequences.

    I live in Los Angeles, and I can say that any burden caused by immigrants seems to be far outweighed by the benefits. Crime is lower than it was when I was a kid, the job market is strong, I’m quite satisfied with the schools my kids go to, and the biggest threat to the local economy is a writer’s strike.

    If you think the consequences are overwhelmingly negative, provide the evidence.

  87. My great-grandfather emigrated from Germany.
    My grandfather was born in the sticks of Wisconsin and spoke German as his first language.
    My father can read German, but cannot converse in German.
    I can count to ten in German.

    MayorOmalleySuxs,

    Apropos of upthread: have you ever been to a Polka Mass?

  88. Take it from someone who knows. The biggest motivating factor in wanting to speak English as a child is wanting to know what your favorite cartoons are saying. La Raza or Mecha or whatever other race pimping organization is no match for the assimilating power of Walt Disney and Nickelodeon.

  89. I. AM. A. LIBERAL.

    Actually, joe, you’re an authoritarian statist, but let’s not get lost in semantics.

  90. [i]That’s pretty much textbook totalitarianism.[/i]

    Well, not always.

    Take Germany for example. Unchecked freedom allowed the Nazis to come to power. Not allowing parties that promote Nazi ideals (something they do today) helps prevent that from happening again.

    Its not so much of an issue in the US, but in general, when developing a free and democratic society you have to decide whether or not you will allow those who would try to undermine it to have power.

  91. MayorOmalleySuxs

    what part of Wisconsin? My mom’s first language in the sticks of Wisconsin was German.

    T: what part of chicago are you talking about?

  92. T,

    If you’re going to reply to me, could you make an effort to read what I wrote, rather than making up silly shit from your head and assignint it to me?

    The entirety of your “stealing our women” shtick was pulled directly from your ass. The statement “there are no Spanish enclaves” is a straw-man version of the point I made.

    And one more thing – you can climb down off that high horse, Tex. I don’t need to go to Texas to see an ethnic neighborhood – I’ve got one five blocks from my house, as tens of thousands of Cambodian refugees were settled in my city during the early 1980s. I’ve yet to meet one below the age of 70 who didn’t speak English.

  93. Episiarch,

    Stick your newspeak where the sun doesn’t shine. The word liberal has an actual meaning, regardless of your wishes to control language to further your politics.

  94. DT:

    huh?????? “Unchecked Freedom”??????

    um. not. You have been nominated for the URKOBOLD Taintification Award of the Day for that.

    Sorry my comment above should have been directed at Stupendous Man. My answer to him is, “live there. Noticed assimilation all the time. Very cool stuff. ” Nothing like a little confirmation bias to pass the Stupendous Opinion as fact…
    Wheee! Wheeee! Wheeeee!

  95. As others have noted, the problem with anchor babies is not that they are born citizens: It is the welfare net that revolves around them as citizens.

    Congress can address this issue by simply changing the welfare statutes to put children born of immigrants on the same welfare eligibility schedule as their parents.

    Problem solved. No constitutional amendment required.

  96. sorry, I chose the wrong word. I meant Democracy.

    Concept: The Weimar Republic was a flawed system that allowed the Nazi party to come to power in Germany. If that is an issue in your society, you should do something to prevent things like that from happening.

  97. Cesar,

    Along with the cartoons, it is well documented that the primary force in determining what language is primary for children living in a bilingual environment is the preferred language among their peers. Parents are important, but peers are more important in the long run.

    A less well established finding, but one that is emerging is that children who maintain their native tongue and learn the language of the majority have consistently better long-term outcomes than those who switch from monolingual in the home language to monolingual in the community language.

  98. The assimilation thing is really remarkable when actually viewed. Both my kids went to a Spanish language academy, where all the kids are taught in Spanish almost exclusively in the first few years, and transition to 50-50 English/Spanish. To aid in this, the school recruits kids from Spanish only households. It’s amazing to see these kids in K-1st grade speaking only Spanish to become fluent English speakers well before 5th grade, even when much of what they are taught in school is in Spanish. And literate Spanish speakers, too. As Cesar notes, they all know Hanna Montana as well as reggaeton. The parents, not surprisingly, have a harder time and may never learn much English. But I have no doubt many of their grandkids will never speak much Spanish, if they learn it at all.

  99. Stick your newspeak where the sun doesn’t shine. The word liberal has an actual meaning, regardless of your wishes to control language to further your politics.

    Yes, joe, it does–it used to refer to libertarians, or “classical liberals”. The fact that authoritarian statists such as yourself have co-opted the word is more of an indictment of your wishes to steal the positive connotations of the word that it is my “controlling language”.

    Seeing as your particular political persuation is the home of “newspeak” (political correctness), you might want to avoid slinging mud that ends up sticking to yourself.

  100. Also, that doesn’t mean I think that’s an issue here.

    Just, in general, if you want a democracy to survive and there are people there that would dismantle it if they got the power to do so, it might be a good idea to prevent that somehow.

  101. I’ve never claimed to be a libertarian, joshua. Not once.

    I. AM. A. LIBERAL.

    You haven’t rebranded yourself as a “progressive”? Unapologetic, Refreshing.

  102. The fact that authoritarian statists such as yourself have co-opted the word is more of an indictment of your wishes to steal the positive connotations of the word that it is my “controlling language”.

    I’ve done nothing of the sort – maybe you should be less collectivist in your thinking.

    I use words as they are commonly understood in order to communicate, and you throw a hissy fit when the common meaning of words doesn’t further your politics. That makes you language nazi here.

    The meaning of words change. Deal with it.

  103. Aren’t we stretching the definition of authoritarian a bit? If Joe supports the Democratic party, and that party has control of Congress, would election of a Democrat to the presidency make the United States an authoritarian regime?

    No, it wouldn’t.

  104. J sub D,

    I think of “progressive” as refering to people on my left. Center-center left-liberal-progressive.

    Unless we’re simply dividing up into left and right halves of the spectrum, in which case I sometimes use “liberal,” “progressive,” and “left” interchangeably.

  105. Come visit Chicago then tell me how well groups are assimilating. If you aren’t brown you won’t be welcome in many parts of the city. I guess there’s the huge influx of Eastern Europeans- not as easy for them to tell you’re not part of the group but once they do you immediately become a stupid American.

    This is just not true. In fact, white people are found all around the “mexican” neighborhoods. Shopping at their ethnic grocery stores and eating in their restaurants. Some of the best Mexican food I have ever eaten has been in the Pilsen area and in parts of Cicero. And none of use gringos ever felt the least bit unwelcome.

    The “ethnic” neighborhoods are getting smaller and smaller and the areas are becoming more and more diverse, at least commercially. Even the traditional Eastern European neighborhoods have become much more diverse and have ethic stores of many different flavors.

    Granted, there is a lot of residential segregation in the neighborhoods (and the nearby suburbs) of Chicago, but thats usually because the white folks move out of the city and out to the burbs when the dark folk start moving in (for perfect examples see Cicero and Berwyn)

  106. I thought progressive was just a word used by liberals recently to avoid some of the uglier connotations conservatives attach to the word “liberal”. Someone to the left of a liberal/progressive, to me any way, would be a socialist.

  107. Democrats are many (bad) things, but they aren’t authoritarian. They’re not even European Social Democrats.

  108. I use words as they are commonly understood in order to communicate, and you throw a hissy fit when the common meaning of words doesn’t further your politics. That makes you language nazi here.

    Godwin’s Law aside, you using the word liberal neither furthers or hinders my “politics”.

    I was merely pointing out that people who assume the label of “liberal” are often authoritarian statists, and use the term liberal to avoid terms like “statist” and “authoritarian”.

    You also like to use “progressive”. Don’t you see how funny it is to call someone like you “liberal” or “progressive” when considering the actual meaning of the words?

  109. Democrats are many (bad) things, but they aren’t authoritarian. They’re not even European Social Democrats.

    I didn’t say Democrats were authoritarian. I said joe was authoritarian.

  110. Does anyone know if these stats are aggregated anywhere on teh interwebs by state? I’d like to take a look at these stats for Texas, to back up my contention that places like Farmer’s Branch with their fines-for-landlords-with-illegal-tenants laws are going to hurt more citizens than illegals, by making landlords choose whites and blacks over hispanics just to avoid the liability.

    But my google fu is weak today.

  111. I didn’t say Democrats were authoritarian. I said joe was authoritarian.

    Ok, misunderstood.

  112. The middle class in this country is subsidized far more than the poor.

    Two points of order here:

    Tax deductions are reductions in the tax you pay. They are not payments by the government to you, and are not subsidies, so subtract them from your equation.

    The middle class is, as a whole, a net contributor to the public fisc by orders of magnitude. The poor, by any reasonable definition, are not. I have a hard time saying someone who sends more than they receive is a greater drain on the public purse than someone who takes more than they give.

    So lets just can the class warfare rhetoric, shall we?

    I live in Los Angeles, and I can say that any burden caused by immigrants seems to be far outweighed by the benefits.

    I see no reason to disagree. Of course, I was talking about illegal immigrants, not all immigrants, so we have an apples and oranges problem here.

    If you think the consequences are overwhelmingly negative, provide the evidence.

    I work in the non-profit hospital sector, where illegal immigrants are a crushing burden on hospital finances and operations. I also talk to other people in various social support organizations, who devote the majority of their resources to illegals as well.

    Anecdotal, I know, but who am I going to believe? Some advocacy group’s statistics, or my own eyes?

  113. If Joe supports the Democratic party, and that party has control of Congress, would election of a Democrat to the presidency make the United States an authoritarian regime?

    Too late for that. The US stopped being a Constitutional Republic over 70 years ago.

  114. The word “statist” has no meaning, Episiarch, beyond identifying the speaker as being unable to discuss politics using objective terminoloy instead of spin. You might as well describe someone’s politics as “assholeist.”

    I don’t “avoid” using the terms “statist” and “authoritarian” to describe my politics, and more than I “avoid” using the term “fascist.” They simply are not accurate descriptions of the political ground I occupy – no matter how awesome it makes you feel to throw them around.

  115. Don’t you see how funny it is to call someone like you “liberal” or “progressive” when considering the actual meaning of the words?

    No, not even remotely. Neither does anyone else, outside of a tiny clique of people who deliberately strive to use confusing language to make themselves feel better.

  116. Tax deductions are reductions in the tax you pay. They are not payments by the government to you, and are not subsidies, so subtract them from your equation.

    I propose we abolish all taxes for political organizations affiliated with the Democratic Party, while keeping them in place for all other organizations, and see if anyone is confused about whether that is a subsidy.

    The middle class is, as a whole, a net contributor to the public fisc by orders of magnitude. As are illegal immigrants, according to all the studies done of the issue. They fake Social Security numbers to pay taxes, and receive very little in the way of services.

    Which is not to deny that what RC Dean says about Paperwork-Deprived America-Joiners causing fiscal harships in specific areas. The fiscal burden falls much harder on certain areas than others, even if the aggregate numbers for the country as a whole are positive.

    Yet another reason why aggregate numbers should not be considered the only significant data when looking at economic issues.

  117. The word liberal has an actual meaning

    The meaning of words change.

    I guess joe isnt a believer in punctuated language evolution.

  118. stat?ism
    n. The practice or doctrine of giving a centralized government control over economic planning and policy.

    stat?ist
    -noun 1. an advocate of statism.

    Sorry to confuse you, joe, but to most people statist does have a meaning.

    No, not even remotely. Neither does anyone else, outside of a tiny clique of people who deliberately strive to use confusing language to make themselves feel better.

    Really? You don’t find it funny when people co-opt words to describe themselves, and the original meanings of those words are the opposite of what they are now describing?

    I find that funny.

  119. Latin? I didnt know we had that many roman immigrants. πŸ™‚ Not being catholic, when did latin masses end? Wasnt it relatively recently, like mid-2oth century?

    Not sure when they got rid of the Latin mass, but recently, like last week sometime, Pope Sideous, err… Benedict reinstated the optional Latin mass…

  120. Yes, I do find it funny. Like when libertarians throw themselves into fits of pouting because the meaning of the word liberal has changed since the industrial revolution.

    You, for example, are absolutely hilarious, with this shtick you’re putting on. You remind me of the people in what is now Acquinnah, Massachusetts, who didn’t want to change the name of their town, insisting that Gay Head just meant “happy spit of land,” and it was everyone else who was wrong.

    Oh yeah, people like you are always good for a belly-laugh. You get so earnest about it – it’s cute.

  121. “Sorry to confuse you, joe, but to most people statist does have a meaning.”

    So were dropping the “authoritarian” part?


  122. I see no reason to disagree. Of course, I was talking about illegal immigrants, not all immigrants, so we have an apples and oranges problem here.

    As if Los Angeles has no illegal immigrants?

    I haven’t been able to find much info recently about the relationship of health care with immigration, both legal and illegal. Last I remember, H&R linked to some info indicating that immigrants in general were not taxing health services out of proportion with their numbers, and illegal immigrants would certainly be a subset of that group. Your experience may in fact be valid, but does it extend beyond your circle? Of course, your industry could simply get out of the business. That’s happened across the country in many places even without the burden of illegal immigrants.

  123. You, for example, are absolutely hilarious, with this shtick you’re putting on. You remind me of the people in what is now Acquinnah, Massachusetts, who didn’t want to change the name of their town, insisting that Gay Head just meant “happy spit of land,” and it was everyone else who was wrong.

    You know, joe, I underestimated you. You’re not just an authoritarian statist, you’re an authoritarian majoritarian statist!

    You’re sort of a fist-shaking, smug gift that keeps on giving.

  124. ChicagoTom,

    “This is just not true. In fact, white people are found all around the “mexican” neighborhoods.”

    Well I guess we’ve had different experiences. I live in a 95% (guesstimate) immigrant neighborhood. Name calling, “go home”, “you don’t belong” graffiti on my sidewalk/garage, car shot up, it’s quite pleasant. Unfortunately it’s the only place I could afford to buy.

    People are people- they like what’s familiar.

  125. StupendousMan,

    That sounds like a problem between you and a few people in your community. I seriously doubt that many people are really that interested in your being there.

  126. Oh, and almost all the Catholic churches here offer Mass in Spanish. I understand that at one point, when most of the immigrants were from Latin America, the masses were conducted in Latin. One of the churches still does that, for the immigrants from further south than Mexico.

    My buddy went to Mass in Hoboken and didn’t realize until it was too late that he went to the Mass that was in Italian. They have it every week.

    You do know that despite the name, most “Latin” Americans speak Spanish. Spanish isn’t solely for Mexicans and Spaniards.

  127. I go to school at Northeastern Illinois. Its funny but the Hispanics are much more assimilated there than the Yugoslavs and other Eastern Europeans. Its funny when White people are the worst at English.

  128. Sorry about the shaking, Episiarch, but it happens when I’m laughing this much.

    Damn statist, authoritarian people who use words to communicate instead of control thought!

    Personally, I don’t like ferrets, so now I’m going to throw a fit whenever people refuse to call them “typhoid-birds.”

  129. You can really look at it two ways. I used to be upset that the left had coopted the terms ‘progressive’ and ‘liberal’ to refer to their particular government-loving policy preferences.

    Then it occurred to me that people outside the clique weren’t fooled. No one except for liberals actually equates progress with big regulatory bodies and liberty with high marginal rates on rich people. People just absorb that progressive and liberal now refer to a certain set of big social spending policies and sneer or cheer at those policies as they see fit.

  130. And Stupendous: you framed it as being in “Chicago”.

    Look at the experiences in other neighborhoods. Compare with your experiences. Lincoln Square/Ravenswood was certainly a really cool melting pot with new Americans at different stages of acclamation to their new country. You could see it happening, and you could imagine our grandparents, great grand parents doing the same thing 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 years ago.

    That is one of the beauties of the American Culture. And it enriches all of us.

    Yes, there are gonna be scumbags and assholes, but we agree it’s people being people. So it’s not a problem of immigration, rather a basic “people problem”.

    I’d guess that the immigration and the broadening and thickening of American culture will dilute the “people are people”, as acting out may have a cultural component.

    Mo – which is exactly why “Joey” (above) should check out NJ and the pining for the “home country” you hear all over the place.

  131. Damn statist, authoritarian people who use words to communicate instead of control thought!

    I know I’ve said this before, joe, but you should really look up the psychological definition of “projection”. You really, really should.

  132. Episiarch, I’m going to make this really simple.

    You – YOU, not ME, YOU – wrote a post complaining that the common, dictionary-definition use of the term “liberal” didn’t adequately further your political view of the world. I, on the other hand, am just using the term the way everyone except some language police with a political agenda use the word.

    You’re doing the projecting here. There’s only one of us trying to control the language people use, and there is one of us using the word as it is commonly used.

  133. joe,

    Yes, the stealing our women was pulled directly out of my ass. It’s a joke, based on the bizarre attitudes a lot of people have towards immigrants. It’s as pulled out of my ass as your belief that I was watching them interact in a larger societal space. They aren’t coming into the stores in my neighborhood where the white middle class people can see them struggling to interact. They’re living and shopping in shitholes next to factories. I work in the neighborhoods lots of immigrants live in, so I see them. A certain percentage of them aren’t assimilating.

    It used to be common for an immigrant to live in a neighborhood full of families that didn’t speak English at home, do all of their shopping at local markets that catered to that culture, socialize entirely with people like them, expose themselves only to cultural productions from within their own community, and work in places where everyone they interacted with spoke in a non-English language.

    And my point is the situation still exists for a certain non-negligible proportion of immigrants. I defy you to prove otherwise. It’s great the Cambodians all learned English in 20 years, joe. The South Americans that got here last week didn’t learn it, and they don’t need English to function. You can function quite effectively in South Texas speaking only Spanish.

  134. You’re doing the projecting here. There’s only one of us trying to control the language people use, and there is one of us using the word as it is commonly used.

    Right, because by pointing out the co-option of words for your political agenda that have no bearing on, you know, the actual meaning of the words, I am attempting to control language. Whereas you and your ilk, who are commandeering words that have positive connotations that were never associated with your goals, are just “using words”.

    Again, look up projection.

  135. You can function quite effectively in South Texas speaking only Spanish.

    And its pretty much been that way since the Mexican-American War. Your point?

  136. You can also function quite effectively in South Texas speaking only English. However, if you speak only Swahili then you might be in trouble.

  137. T,

    Once again, I never claimed that there were no unassimilated immigrants, just that immigrants who live here become assimilated better and faster than at any time in history.

    I don’t doubt that there are immigrants who are determined to remain as Mexican as possible. Nonetheless, the % of immigrants’ children who primarily speak English when they grow up is about 99%, and it has never been that high before.

  138. Episiarch,

    Right, because by pointing out the co-option of words for your political agenda is something that YOU are attempting to do, and that I have not done.

    Once again, and again, and again, and again, and again, until it penetrates your think skull – YOU are insisting on changing the definitions of words. YOU are trying to impose a political agenda on the words people use. I am just using the definitions everyone understands.

    Which makes it such an amusing spectacle to see you projecting your language-nazi hysterics onto other people.

    The word liberal has meant what I have been using it to mean since before I was a glimmer in my momma’s eye. It is not a political act for me to use it this way. It is a political act for you to insist that I’m wrong to do so, because you want to coopt the language.

  139. You do know that despite the name, most “Latin” Americans speak Spanish. Spanish isn’t solely for Mexicans and Spaniards.

    Hmm. No wonder the Guatemalans look at me funny when I start hollering “celeriter, celeriter”. Does this mean I can go back to only having Spanish, English, and Vietnamese on the safety posters?

  140. I never claimed that there were no unassimilated immigrants

    Actually, that’s exactly what you claimed.

    Now, they’re out there like everyone else, and their kids no all the words to 50 Cent’s album.

    Not so much as you might like to think.

    Nonetheless, the % of immigrants’ children who primarily speak English when they grow up is about 99%, and it has never been that high before.

    Got a source for that? I’d love to see the research.

  141. Once again, and again, and again, and again, and again, until it penetrates your think skull

    Sigh. More projection.

  142. T.

    Joe’s ballpark figure is inaccurate in detail, but correct in spirit.

    To whit:

    From Population and Development Review

    Linguistic Life Expectancies: Immigrant Language Retention in Southern California

    Volume 32 Issue 3 Page 447-460, September 2006

    The most liberal definition of linguistic life-retaining the ability to speak a language as opposed to a preference for its daily use-yields a life expectancy of 3.1 generations for Mexican Spanish, 2.8 generations for the Spanish spoken by Guatemalans and Salvadorans, and 2.6 for that spoken by other Latin Americans. Under current conditions, therefore, the ability to speak Spanish very well can be expected to disappear sometime between the second and third generation for all Latin American groups in Southern California. Life expectancies are even lower when life is defined by a preference for its use at home. In terms of daily use, Spanish can be expected to
    die out after 2.0 generations among Mexicans, 2.1 generations among Guatemalans and Salvadorans, and 1.7 generations for other Latin Americans….Our findings directly contradict Huntington’s assertions. The United States has aptly been described as a “graveyard” for languages because of its historical ability to absorb immigrants by the millions and extinguish their mother tongues within a few generations (Portes and Rumbaut 2006)

  143. On dictionary based semantics:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=liberal

    joe refers to himself as “liberal”

    Liberal = -noun, a city in SW Kansas.

    Epi & joe can see how their particular definition ranks on the list of commonly used meanings of the word.

  144. The meaning of words changes:

    iberal (adj.)
    c.1375, from O.Fr. liberal “befitting free men, noble, generous,” from L. liberalis “noble, generous,” lit. “pertaining to a free man,” from liber “free,” from PIE base *leudheros (cf. Gk. eleutheros “free”), probably originally “belonging to the people” (though the precise semantic development is obscure), from *leudho- “people” (cf. O.C.S. ljudu, Lith. liaudis, O.E. leod, Ger. Leute “nation, people”). Earliest reference in Eng. is to the liberal arts (L. artes liberales; see art (n.)), the seven attainments directed to intellectual enlargement, not immediate practical purpose, and thus deemed worthy of a free man (the word in this sense was opposed to servile or mechanical). Sense of “free in bestowing” is from 1387. With a meaning “free from restraint in speech or action” (1490) liberal was used 16c.-17c. as a term of reproach. It revived in a positive sense in the Enlightenment, with a meaning “free from prejudice, tolerant,” which emerged 1776-88. Purely in ref. to political opinion, “tending in favor of freedom and democracy” it dates from c.1801, from Fr. lib?ral, originally applied in Eng. by its opponents (often in Fr. form and with suggestions of foreign lawlessness) to the party favorable to individual political freedoms. But also (especially in U.S. politics) tending to mean “favorable to government action to effect social change,” which seems at times to draw more from the religious sense of “free from prejudice in favor of traditional opinions and established institutions” (and thus open to new ideas and plans of reform), which dates from 1823.

  145. A wise man:

    “Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.” [Ambrose Bierce, “Devil’s Dictionary,” 1911]

  146. Maybe libertarians need to start using the Icelandic version: “flokki”

    Reason, a magazine of Flokkian thought.

  147. JTG

    “That sounds like a problem between you and a few people in your community. I seriously doubt that many people are really that interested in your being there.”

    I certainly don’t have a problem. I’ve lived in Chicago for 12 years and worked there for longer, I know how to get along. I may be wrong but I blame the self-esteem and cultural identity movements for most of the attitudes I see in my neighborhood. It’s the 25 and under crowd that seems to have the problem.

  148. Damned Flokkian ectomorphs!

    Viva Las Gordas!

    Endomorphs Unite!

  149. New Mejican,

    You pulled the wrong figures. It isn’t the ability to speak Spanish that demonstrates a lack of assimiliation, but the inability to speak English.

    T,

    Actually, that’s exactly what you claimed. Then I guess you’d have no problem finding the offending quote, that expresses such an absolutist position.

    Episiarch,

    When you’re so beat you can’t even put together a point, it’s best to just stop writing comments.

  150. VM,

    “Yes, there are gonna be scumbags and assholes, but we agree it’s people being people. So it’s not a problem of immigration, rather a basic “people problem”.”

    Yes, my basic premise is that people suck. I think immigration exacerbates the natural tension.

  151. joe,

    Not the wrong numbers really (although it is certainly a point that can be debated).

    A preference for home use of the majority language over the minority language is a pretty good proxy for degree of assimilation.

  152. joe,

    In other words – assimilation is more about preference and identity than ability.

    Choosing to speak English at home even when you could choose to speak Spanish is a better sign of assimilation than choosing to speak English in the community because it is more useful.

  153. joe,

    Just a heads up regarding this topic.

    I have a handful of graduate degrees in areas related to this topic, so I know way more about it than you do. Way more.

  154. When you’re so beat you can’t even put together a point, it’s best to just stop writing comments.

    Very wise, joe, but not something that you ever seem to adhere to. Maybe you should try it.

  155. New Mejican,

    That’s a whole ‘nother bag of ferrets.

    The way I learned it, there’s structural/economic assimilation (the ability to function in a society), and there’s cultural assimilation (the adoption of the host-country’s cultural values and practices as one’s own.)

    I can see how a lack of structural assimilation can be a problem – if there are all of these people who can’t function in society, they and the communities they live in are going to be poor and marignalized.

    But if a guy who holds a job and keeps his family housed and sends his kids to school wants to eat smelly food and speak another language with his buddies, I can’t see how that effects anybody.

  156. So, in other words, the ability to speak Spanish is in no way indicative of a problem with assimilation, while the inability to speak English is.

  157. Episiarch,

    I once lost an argument with whatever Jean Bart was calling himself, when I completely misstated the facts and holding of the Penn Coal case. And when I did, I stopped commenting.

    If it ever happens again, don’t worry, that’s just what I’ll do. But just to refresh my memory, now that you’ve been pounded into dust over your dumbass argument that my accurate use of a word’s most common meaning is an overtly political act, why you don’t demonstrate how such bowing-out works?

  158. SM,

    I don’t mean that you “have a problem” in terms of a dispute or differences with others, but a “problem” with a handful (if that) of people in your neighborhood. You may have done nothing to these people, but they obviously don’t want you there. Absent the few people that have a problem with you, I’d be willing to bet the rest of the community would give you no problems. As VM said, it’s a basic “people problem”.

  159. I see – I fall on the opposite side – immigration, mixing, learning –> mitigation of the asshole-factor.
    (however, if it means that a whole bunch of people who are fans of the wrong sports team come to town, woah, nellie!)

    What neighborhood do you live in? Cuz Ravenswood (at Lincoln/Lawrence/Western Avs) is a tremendous melting pot, and it was cool as hell…

    I like what joe @ 4:23 is saying.

  160. Yes joe,

    But the main point of the study quoted was related to the “preference” for Spanish speaking, not the “ability.”

    Don’t confuse the two issues.

  161. And to be clear joe,

    Fluency with English is not as a good proxy for assimilation as preference for English. Someone who is fluent with English can be poorly assimilated, while someone who is very well assimilated might still be struggling to master the language.

  162. That last point refers to “structural assimilation.”

    Language is only one of the parameters along which assimilation occurs. It may be the most important. I may not be. That will depend upon a host of contextual factors that occur at a much smaller level than “the nation.”

  163. “It may not be.”

    me: Typing, not mastered, but fully assimilated.

  164. But just to refresh my memory, now that you’ve been pounded into dust over your dumbass argument that my accurate use of a word’s most common meaning is an overtly political act, why you don’t demonstrate how such bowing-out works?

    Because nothing is more entertaining to me than your absolutely perfect record of claiming victory when no such victory exists.

    Plus, watching Neu Mejican eat your lunch, while at the same time you are claiming that I should bow out after a supposed dust-pounding, and you just keep going, is even more entertaining.

    joe, you should think about the whole projection thing. I’m serious, not being snarky. You are textbook.

  165. NM,

    I’m not confusing the two issues. I realize what the point of the article was. My point was that that point is rather off-point. To the extent that assimiliation really is something worth worrying about, it is entirely in the realm of structural assimilation. The linguistic preference of people who can function just fine in American society didn’t seem to be terribly relevant – in fact, bringing that into the discussion itself seemed to confuse the issue.

  166. Whatever, Episiarch. You’ve been bested, now bow out gracefully.

    I don’t think your own mother would stand up for your argument here. Declaring that I’m pushing an agenda by accurately using words, while you’re not, despite writing an overtly political comment about what language people are allowed to use, is self-refuting, and you’re just making a spectacle of yourself at this point.

  167. NM,

    Fluency with English is not as a good proxy for assimilation as preference for English. Not as a good a proxy for cultural assimilation, sure, but if the issue is structural assimilation, clearly, being able to speak the local language effectively demonstrates greater assimiliation than being unable to.

    Someone who is fluent with English can be poorly assimilated, while someone who is very well assimilated might still be struggling to master the language. Sure, one can be better-assimilated by one measure and worse by others, but that doesn’t change the fact that, all else being equal, the ability to speak the local language demonstrates a higher level of assimilation than the inability to do so.

  168. and you’re just making a spectacle of yourself at this point

    You are truly priceless. Do you have any self-awareness at all?

  169. Aw, look, now you’re reduced to repeating back comments I already made.

    In an attempt to make is appear like I’M the one projecting.

    Whatever. You’ve totally dropped any semblance of trying to make an argument. That’s a good idea – the one you were trying to make was a real stinker.

  170. Guys, there is no disgrace in disengaging when things reach the “pointless” stage.

  171. Take it from someone who knows. The biggest motivating factor in wanting to speak English as a child is wanting to know what your favorite cartoons are saying.

    I’ve noticed that Spanish-language channels are now showing American movies dubbed into Spanish. Not sure if they do that with cartoons too, but this “motivating factor” is probably weaker now than it was when you were growing up.

  172. joe,

    To the extent that assimiliation really is something worth worrying about, it is entirely in the realm of structural assimilation.

    Your confusion is assuming that structural assimilation is tied to linguistic ability.

    to whit:

    clearly, being able to speak the local language effectively demonstrates greater assimiliation than being unable to.

    That is not clear (and we are talking “structural/economic assimilation” here, not “cultural”).

    Your definition of “structural/economic assimilation” was “the ability to function in a society.”

    In many many parts of the country, a minority language speaker will not face structural/economic barriers due to limited proficiency with the majority language. The factors that will determine successful functioning will be more closely aligned with factors you would probably think are lumped in the “cultural assimilation” bin. Those will be more accurately tracked by looking at language preference than language ability.

  173. “all else being equal,” of course, is a way to say that you think you have identified the important factor to discuss. I am saying that the factors you assume to hold constant are the more important ones.

    All else being equal, the individual’s greater knowledge of 1950’s etiquette for how to dress at a bridge party demonstrates greater assimilation.

    You see how that ain’t so meaningful, of course.

  174. Juan Loerca is a prime example. He came to Santa Clara County three years ago from the Mexican province of Sinaloa. He was married at the time, but he and his young bride didn’t have any children. Just five months ago, he and his wife, Lucilla, had their first son in this country. “He’s American,” the 28-year-old said, smiling as he called his son’s birth in the country his first “gift” to him.

    I wonder if Mr. Loerca paid all of the medical bills associated with his son’s birth? More than likely his son’s birth was OUR first gift to him; probably only the first of many more gifts in the next 18 years.

    Maybe we should all send him a nice Hallmark card with a five dollar bill tucked inside.

  175. Neu Mejican,

    I disagree with your statement “In many many parts of the country, a minority language speaker will not face structural/economic barriers due to limited proficiency with the majority language.”

    There will always be a ceiling over the heads of people who can’t speak English effectively. Their choices of employment, for example, will always be much more limited. Or their commercial options – sure, they may be able to function just fine within a bounded ethnic community, but efforts to travel, shop, or engage in political action beyond their community are going to be much more difficult.

    “all else being equal,” of course, is a way to say that you think you have identified the important factor to discuss. Actually, it wasn’t. I was just isolating the variable that we were talking about.

    My confusion came from your apparent statement that linguistic ability is not a part of assimilation – that even if we look just at that factor in isolation, we cannot say that the ability to speak English well is part of assimilating to American society.

    I’d say a well-dressed applicant who answers “Que?” to every question at a job interview is less likely to get a professional job than a poorly dressed applicant who speaks English well.

  176. joe,

    “There will always be a ceiling over the heads of people who can’t speak English effectively.”

    Maybe, if the community is strongly monolingual. In communities with a large bilingual population, not so much. But now we have moved too far from the point of the research article for the discussion to be meaningful.

    As a measure of how well a group is assimilating, the speed at which a preference for the majority language in the home replaces a preference for the minority language in the average home is a better indicator of how well the minority group is assimilating into the society, both structurally and culturally, than the average linguistic ability of the group in the majority language. This is true as the preferred language in the home indicates which group they are identifying with more strongly.

    Linguistic ability is driven by pragmatic (i.e., structural/economic) factors independent of assimilation. Linguistic preference is a function of (and therefore a sign of) degree of assimilation.

  177. in other words joe,

    The study I cited supported your position more strongly than your off the cuff estimate that 99% of immigrants from Mexico would have functional English language ability. The xenophobia that drives anti-immigration sentiments are more about in-group/out-group factors than functional/structural factors.

    In other words, by your definition, the issue is more about cultural assimilation than structural/economic assimilation.

    And on that metric, language preference data indicate that this wave of immigration is not different than any of the earlier waves of immigration.

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