Immigration

Hyphenated Americans Don't Undermine America

Their hyphen makes them appreciate America in a way that natives can't

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Diversity
Elim.RSz.Elim.Phtography.FoterCreativeCommons

The assimilability of immigrants has been a perennial concern in this land of immigrants. Ben Franklin famously worried that admitting too many "Palatine boors"—his fond term for Germans—would mean that they'd Germanize "us" rather than "us Anglifying them," because Germans were incapable of "adopting our language and customs." Thomas Jefferson likewise worried whether Europeans from monarchies would ever acquire the habits of republican self-governance. And then there was the hysteria about the "divided loyalties" of Catholics who regarded the Vatican as a higher authority than Uncle Sam.

Today, a new twist on this old worry has emerged. It concerns so-called transnational immigrants like me who like to maintain what Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, whose parents are Indian émigrés, last week derisively called "hyphenated identities." If you want to be Indian, stay in India, advised Jindal, who himself gave up Hinduism, the religion of his birth, and embraced Christianity.

The rap against us is that in this age of instant communication, we maintain ties with our motherland that prevent us from fully "emotionally assimilating." The fact that we can fly back home in a jiffy when our aunt dies or niece gets married (as I just did last month) means that our assimilation is superficial. Therefore, allowing more of us in, especially when the American educational system's commitment to (forced) integration has been replaced by forced multiculturalism, would undercut the shared civic beliefs that hold America together.

There is a surface plausibility to this worry. But at its heart, it is divorced from the complex psycho-sociology of modern immigrants who, by and large, are overwhelmingly positive for America.

What, after all, is the evidence for this new concern? At a recent conference, Hudson Institute's John Fonte reiterated findings from a survey that Hudson had commissioned showing that fewer naturalized Americans than native-born Americans said that America was "better" than other countries (44 percent to 65 percent); considered themselves American citizens rather than "citizens of the world" (54 percent to 85 percent); and regarded the Constitution a higher legal authority for America than international law (37 percent to 67 percent).

But such snapshot comparisons between the attitudes of naturalized and native-born citizens tell us nothing about the assimilability of modern immigrants compared to past immigrants—a good third of whom returned home because they didn't like America. What's more, assimilation is a multi-generational process that by all available metrics seems to be proceeding just fine. For example, restrictionists consider Latinos the most resistant to assimilation because of their tenacious fondness for Spanish and their relative proximity to their homeland. Still, 91 percent of the children and 97 percent of the grandchildren of Mexican immigrants to America speak English as their dominant language.

And when it comes to patriotic assimilation, qualified Latinos—meaning those who are legal and have a high-school degree—are represented in the military just as much as they are in the civilian workforce. By contrast, whites and Asians are underrepresented and blacks over-represented. Most interestingly, however, according to a 2012 Pew survey, Latinos and Asians have a far higher rate of intermarriage compared to blacks and whites, a crucial metric of cultural assimilation.

Still, critics say that immigrants these days have a deficit of "emotional assimilation." Since they don't "experience the physical or psychological amputation from the mother country"—as Hoover Institute's Victor Davis Hanson first put it, and others subsequently echoed—they never relegate their homeland to the "romance of memory" as old-world immigrants separated by "thousands of miles of seawater" were forced to do.

Perhaps. But as with actual romances these days, "it's complicated."

For starters, the chief barriers to assimilation often stem not from immigrants themselves, but the native born. Just like a new kid trying to break into long-established cliques in school, immigrants find it exceedingly difficult to become fully accepted in American society for the simple reason that the native born prefer to hang out with those more familiar to them. Americans are the most open-minded people on the planet—but connections born out of curiosity are never as deep as those that stem from a shared history and cultural background. It is therefore difficult for immigrants to fully replace old friendships and relationships in their new country. And if they couldn't salve their "psychological amputation"—by instant messaging cousins, or viewing family albums across oceans on Facebook—they wouldn't become more "emotionally assimilated," they'd just be lonelier and more atomized. In other words, their personal downside wouldn't translate into any social upside for America.

But what about Hanson's contention that frequent contact means that the homeland never gets relegated to the "romance of memory"? That's actually a good thing—it means that instead of viewing their native land with rose-tinted glasses, they are constantly reminded of all the reasons why they took the painful step of leaving in the first place.

For example, when I go back home to India, the bureaucratic corruption that used to irk me when I lived there now seems absolutely intolerable. It's not some charming, quirky, idiosyncratic way of conducting business; it's a downright travesty now that I can contrast it with America's legendary efficiency.

More fundamentally, however, the vast majority of Indian-Americans are appalled—not impressed—when folks back home tell them that India offers a better lifestyle because even middle-class Indians can access servants, in contrast to America where even the rich have to "clean their own toilets." Or that strict rules governing caste and class interactions are necessary for social harmony. Or that expecting women to submit to their husbands and in-laws makes India a more virtuous culture.

Experiencing American egalitarianism fundamentally transforms Indian émigrés, forcing them to rethink and reject the basic tenets of the culture they grew up in, making it very difficult for them to go back home despite their alienation in American society.

Nor are they in any way unique. This value shift—or what sociologists call "homeland dissimilation"—is pretty well established for other contemporary immigrants, including Mexican American women whose notions of "gender empowerment" diverge sharply from those of their more traditional Mexican sisters.

What are the socio-political implications of all this?

French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville observed that Americans are such thoroughbred egalitarians that they've become oblivious to the vast inequalities they've overcome and obsess about the few that remain. This is the source of the utopian strain in American politics.

But immigrants have a cultural reference point to offer a reality check to progressives eager to assert a false moral equivalence between America and other cultures. An Afghan woman who has escaped the Taliban wouldn't ever maintain that both countries in their own way are equally oppressive of women.

It is true that immigrants tend not to be as reflexively patriotic as natives. By and large, for example, they are mindful of how other countries view the controversial conduct of American foreign policy. So they can't cheerfully accept that America has been an unmitigated force for good overseas, as some conservative critics of immigration would want them to.

Despite this, they are powerful agents of "Americanization" abroad. Their egalitarian ways boosts forces back home struggling to overthrow stultifying traditional hierarchies in ways both tangible and intangible—making America "the shining city on the hill" that Ronald Reagan alluded to.

The full political logic of transnational immigrants will unfold across continents over decades in ways that simplistic theories—backed by crude attitude surveys—simply can't predict. But if past is prelude, there is every reason to believe that they'll boost—not undermine—America's confidence in its institutions here and abroad, just like their predecessors.

 This column originally ran in The Week. You can find the rest of Ms. Dalmia's Week archive here.

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  1. So where is your hyphen at the end of your name up top?
    If you really mean it doesn’t matter, do it proudly at ALL TIMES and demand that everyone must state their hyphen.

    I am of Polish ancestry by grandparents on both sides who became US citizens.
    They were Polish-Americans.
    I am an AMERICAN. PERIOD.

    Whenever I am told they are “____-American”, I ask them where in “_____” did they live. Almost all say they never were there.

    You fragment this society by adding the hyphen, not joining it together.

    1. Cool story bro.

      1. Get over your fucking adjectives.

    2. What about dual citizens? Or do we use a “slash”?

      1. STOP FRAGMENTING MERICA

        1. STOP FRAGMENTING MERICA

          It can’t be helped.

          That’s why I recommend, Diskeeper.

          1. You think homogeneous segments should live in the same place? Redliner.

          2. I used to know a guy who thought most problems with a computer could be solved by defragmenting the drive.

            Hell, I knew an entire help desk that thought same.

            1. If you keep all the viruses in the same place they tend to cancel each other out. You need a good defragmenter to do this, though.

      2. That was a joke, by the way.

      3. What a horrible attempt at concern trolling. Dual citizens, especially naturalized ones, have made it abundantly clear that while they will suck up the benefits of citizenship they have no interest in the responsibilities of citizenship–you know like renouncing prior allegiances.

        1. First of all, I like how a full five minutes after I stated it was a joke, you still sought it fit to froth at the mouth.

          1. Be nice. He doesn’t type too fast.

        2. “Dual citizens, especially naturalized ones, have made it abundantly clear that while they will suck up the benefits of citizenship they have no interest in the responsibilities of citizenship–you know like renouncing prior allegiances.”

          How have they made this ‘abundantly clear?’ Unless dual citizens don’t pay taxes and can’t be called for jury duty, I’m not sure how holding a second citizenship proves you have no interest in the responsibilities of an American citizen.

          1. Commies of the non-trotskyite variety, ie guys like Sam Hayson, can’t stand it when someone doesn’t owe sole allegiance to the state.

        3. In order to become a naturalized American citizen one HAS to pronoun one’s allegiance to the United States above all other nations. It is part of the process. I am a dual citizen and could hold two passports if I chose (I only have an American one) that, I thought, was the definition of a dual citizen. I have never referred to myself as a Canadian-American and as a racially caucasian person Americans sometimes don’t understand why I don’t understand everything. I call myself part of the invisible minority. My allegiance is to the United States, I country that has been very good to me, but that does not mean that I feel 100% American. My issue is, I don’t care if you’re hyphenated or not, just speak the language. Or do libertarians believe there is no need for a nation of citizens to have the ability to talk to each other?

          1. a racially caucasian person

            I’m fucking dying here. Holy shit, this is incredible.

            1. I’m fucking dying here.

              Of course, you’ll fuck anything, Warty.

        4. Lolz, renouncing prior allegiances, as if I actually pledged allegiance to anyone? Thanks, but this anarchist will enjoy whatever benefits each passport gives as long as we need of such things.

          1. Oh ho, we’re on to you!

            “I, Nicole, pledge allegiance to being the worst….”

        5. Dual citizens, especially naturalized ones, have made it abundantly clear that while they will suck up the benefits of citizenship they have no interest in the responsibilities of citizenship–you know like renouncing prior allegiances.

          My wife’s a dual citizen. She doesn’t owe either government shit besides some yearly extortion payments. ‘Citizenship’ is a legal status, not a moral category. I owe no allegiance to any government anywhere.

          1. FEISAL
            You are an Englishman. Are you not loyal to England?

            LAWRENCE
            To England and to other things.

            FEISAL
            To England and Arabia, both? And is that possible? I think you are another of
            these desert-loving English.

            1. Mmm…Cadbury candies…oh wait, he said *desert.* Never mind.

      4. do we use a “slash”?

        I vote for an asterick* and a footnote.

          1. +1 magic potion

            1. To drink or to fall in?

        1. End notes, in Chicago style, specifically referring birth records and genealogy charts.

          I am John Titor of Canada Pride, out of Metis by the Netherlands.

  2. “they don’t “experience the physical or psychological amputation from the mother country””

    Nativists are down to fuzzy, unverifiable sociology/psychology numb-jumbo to try and drum up angst over TEH FURRINERS. Why won’t they just lay and die already?

    1. Why won’t they just lay and die already?

      Like this?

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Hebdo_shooting

      1. Were they nativists?

        1. Nah, they were just puddin’ sticks.

        2. Support for Hebdo is most strongly correlated to nativism. Those against nativism are most sympathetic to Islamic murderers and those who are nativists are the most likely to oppose the killings.

          It’s not correlated to professions of belief in free speech.

          1. Is this a joke?

      2. What does a shooting by French-born crazies have to do with this?

        1. Perhaps, how lack of assimilation can lead to people (who may or may not be nativists, like the Hebdo killers would care) laying down and dying?

    2. What but fuzzy sociopsychomumble could they possibly have behind the idea of nativism anyway?

      1. Property rights and inheritance?

        My ancestors have been contributing to the building of this nation for generations. My uncle died in WWII.

        What fuzzy sociopsychomumble denies them the right to leave something which they built and awards it to strangers who have contributed nothing?

        I am not opposed to immigration. It is not a right but a gift.

        1. That is a great way of putting it Marshall.

          1. No it isn’t. It’s more collectivist bullshit.

            My ancestors have been contributing to the building of this nation for generations. My uncle died in WWII.

            No one cares. No one *smart* cares. And immigration is a right.

            1. And immigration is a right.

              Immigration can’t be a right unless you A) have a right to traverse and encamp the property of others or B) have a right to use the public property that you haven’t paid anything towards and that was by definition stolen private property to begin with.

              1. Immigration is a right as long as you have the right to buy or rent property from whoever wants to sell or lease it to you.

                1. Immigration is a right as long as you have the right to buy or rent property from whoever wants to sell or lease it to you.

                  What you just described could not be accurately described as a right. It’s a two-way voluntary contract.

                  I don’t have a right to buy your car, otherwise I could stuff a wad of cash down your throat and drive away with no transgression having been committed. A contract is not a right because you don’t have a right to the consent of the other party.

            2. Those are shaky grounds upon which to predicate a natural right. That’s called ‘positive liberty’ and it’s not a species of liberty.

            3. “Immigration is a right”

              I doubt you mean that you have the right to immigrate as recognized by the host country, because that would mean your rights are defined by what the host country allows/recognizes.

              So I suspect you mean that immigration is a fundamental human right? A subset of the right to travel, perhaps?

              If its a fundamental human right, then I suppose it is only limited to the extent it impinges on the rights of others? OK so far?

              1. @RC

                I know you’re not talking to me but I could see how reasonably the ‘right to emigrate’ could be a natural right, but of course that says nothing about territory you would immigrate to.

        2. It is not a right but a gift.

          Unlike community college and healthcare.

        3. “It is not a right but a gift.”

          Classic slaver line applied to most things.

          “Property rights and inheritance?

          My ancestors have been contributing to the building of this nation for generations.”

          Some massive equivocation of ‘built’ and ‘property’ there.

          1. This is such a laughable comment. Spergy libertarian trying to score points with the slaver line without making sure that it is at all relevant to the topic. When on earth did any supporter of slavery use that line to defend slavery. You simply can’t find an example.

            1. “It is not a right but a gift.”

              “Nigger Jim, your freedom is not a right. It’s a gift” Not too far fetched is it? Or do you think no slaveholder ever freed his slaves in his will? Obviously by that action, freedom was viewed as a gift.

              1. No true slaveholder?

        4. Um, what “gift” is being “award[ed]…to strangers”? Because I have literally no fucking clue what you’re talking about.

  3. French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville observed that Americans are such thoroughbred egalitarians

    You employed the term “thoroughbred” incorrectly. A thoroughbred is a specific breed of horse that is also purebred. It would only be correct to use “thoroughbred” if you were implying that Americans had qualities of the thoroughbred breed.

    Jus’ sayin’

    1. LINGUISTICATED!

      1. “Gal-darnit, Mr. Mulatto, you use your tongue purttier than a twenty-dollar whore”!

        1. To tell a family secret, my grandmother was a Dutch.

          1. I’m so sorry.

          2. My wife is a Dutch. Maybe she’s your grandmother?

    2. You forgot to capitalize “Thoroughbred”.

  4. “Still, critics say that immigrants these days have a deficit of “emotional assimilation.” Since they don’t “experience the physical or psychological amputation from the mother country”?as Hoover Institute’s Victor Davis Hanson first put it, and others subsequently echoed?they never relegate their homeland to the “romance of memory” as old-world immigrants separated by “thousands of miles of seawater” were forced to do.”

    Hahahahaha. Yeah, okay Hanson. Irish immigrants in 1890 had been ‘amputated’ from the mother country, which is why they virtually all voted for the same candidates, lived in ghettos comprised entirely of Irish people, and continued to celebrate how goddamn Irish they were.

    There are rational arguments to be made regarding both sides of the immigration issue, but this is not one of them.

    1. I tend to agree. I’m not supportive of forcing people to distance themselves from their former home.

      I do think that the multi-culti virus actually works in exactly the opposite direction, distancing people from their new home. And that’s remarkably stupid, IMO.

    2. and continued to celebrate how goddamn Irish they were

      And the Irish that I have met wish the fooking Americans would just give it up already.

    3. Not around here. My whole family on both sides is of solid Irish descent. None even acknowledge that. They all think of themselves as Americans.

    4. Where my family on both sides came from has changed hands a few times. I guess I am Bohemian- Austro- Hungarian- Czechoslovakian- GermanNazi- Czechoslovakian- CzechRepublican- American. I prefer Buckeye.

      1. I prefer Buckeye.

        Thata boy.

  5. Hyphenated Americans Don’t Undermine America

    As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

    Proverbs 26:11

  6. As long as they don’t use more than one hyphen. Nobody needs more than one hyphen.

    1. As an Irish-Welsh-British-French-Czech-German-Polish -American, you should bite your purebred tongue.

      1. We’re all African-American if you go back far enough…

        1. I keep trying to tell them that, but that get all huffy…

    2. I think the rules require use of an acronym. Or perhaps like what Tiger Wood did – Cablinasian.

  7. No one is a real American until it requires a bare minimum of at least seven hyphens to classify them into their primary ethnic group. People who simply require one hyphen, or no hyphen, either have not been in country long, or far, far worse, have been here for generations, however have been too hardcore racist to interbreed with races other than their own.

    1. That’s Irish-German-Dutch-Dane-Scottish-Canadian-American to you sir.

      1. Actually that’s Luxembourg-Dutch. My grandmother was very specific about that.

      2. I’m jealous now, I only have four hyphens or maybe I’m being discriminated against. I’m not sure yet. I need someone to stand up for the 4 hyphened.

        1. Come on, everybody! Get out there and mix it up. For those who are hyphen poor the obvious choice is hooking up with one of our many hyphen rich citizens. In one simple generation you too can be producing real minimum seven hyphen Americans! Don’t be racist and stick to “your own” is what matters most.

  8. Don’t forget that the great^n grandchildren of Irish immigrants still march on March 17, and until recently still sent money to the IRA[1].
    And it was popular opinion that JFK shouldn’t be president, because his real loyalty was to the Pope.
    It goes back to Ben Franklin’s allergy to German Americans and is just as baseless now as it was then.

    [1] Stan Rogers has a great folk song attacking his fellow Irish-Canadians for doing exactly that:

    The House of Orange
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Tsak6tocNc

    1. It goes back to Ben Franklin’s allergy to German Americans and is just as baseless now as it was then.

      Really? What about the German immigrants and their goddammed Christmas trees?

      1. AND THEIR SCHLITZ BEER! OH, AND THOSE MISERABLE WIENER DOGS!!!!!

      2. I notice that German-Americans generally don’t speak German any more. And the number of German-language papers in the U.S. has gone down a lot – and this even before newspapers in general started going down.

        1. It bece unAmerican to maintain German culture after the US entered WW1. A lot of street names in places with populations of folks descedent from Germany like Baltimore were changed. For a more contemporary example, see Freedom Fries.

    2. Wasn’t Franklin the guy advocating that the official language of the U.S. be German? In any case, many of my Palatinate ancestors came to Penna. before Franklin ever decided (correctly) to get out of Boston.

      1. I think he was being facetious to prove a point if I recall.

      2. Actually we speak English because the German language lost by one vote the time a vote was taken, besides English is not the official language but simply accepted as it.

    3. Some do. In places where there are a lot of other Irish.

      But my great-grandfather was Irish and I didn’t even know until a couple years ago, when a cousin did the family tree on Ancestry dot com.

      Apparently came over during the famine.

      OTOH, rather than going to Boston, somehow he went to Kentucky, then his offspring went over to Missouri

  9. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did
    ?????? http://www.jobs700.com

  10. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did
    ?????? http://www.jobs700.com

  11. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did
    ?????? http://www.jobs700.com

  12. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did
    ?????? http://www.jobs700.com

    1. Spam-Americans go home!

  13. Aren’t we all African-Americans?

      1. +Lucy in the woodpile?

      2. DON’T TALK ABOUT LUCY!

  14. “The fact that we can fly back home in a jiffy when our aunt dies or niece gets married (as I just did last month) means that our assimilation is superficial. ”

    Intentional strawman. She just said it’s because of hyphenation, which is a cognitive frame offered by individual stating their identity.

    If you pick how you frame your identity and that is the problem, and you want to argue in bad faith, just claim issue is cultural like flying home in “jiffy”. Nobody gives a fuck about that. You see yourselves as “apart”. Stop being a liar.

  15. First generation immigrants often retain the culture of their homeland. It is who they are, after all. Their kids, not so much. By the second generation they are all wearing blue jeans, eating at McDonalds and listening to rock music regardless of how much the first generation discourages it.

    The American way isn’t popular for no reason. I don’t care what they call themselves, their children and grandchildren will be Americans.

    1. I don’t care what they call themselves, their children and grandchildren will be Americans.

      My wife and her friends grew up more urban than I did. When they asked me where I was from, I said ‘Indiana’ and they all chuckled. They corrected themselves and asked where my family was from and I said, ‘Kentucky as far as anyone knows.’ I didn’t get what was so funny until they started exemplifying themselves. Italian-American, Canadian-American, Fillipino-American…

      The funniest part was that *they* didn’t know their own genealogy *or history*. The Italian-American was nth generation and 3/4 WASP, the Canadian-American had as much family history in Europe (Austria-Hungary) as Canada. Only the Fillipino was second-generation and decidedly Fillipino.

      I agree they will eventually become Americans, but there are plenty of ideologies in American culture that convinces people that being and American is bad and I do think those need to die.

    2. This discussion is about ensuring that happens.

      That is not an inevitability, and the SJWs are actively working to make it not happen. (You are generally right for most ethnicities but least of all black, generations ain’t helping it’s making it worse)

      1. This discussion is about ensuring that happens.

        Since assimilation is working just fine, this ‘discussion’ is at least on your end wholly unnecessary.

  16. I think this misses the fact that there is a clear benefit to having immigrants fitting in to the larger society. In the long run, multiple cultures within one society leads to greater hostility and lowered social trust.

    That doesn’t mean you have to do a whole lot to encourage assimilation. By and large, relatively rapid assimilation seems to be more of the norm that you get without active subsidy to preserve cultural identity.

    1. By and large, relatively rapid assimilation seems to be more of the norm that you get without active subsidy to preserve cultural identity.

      Which welfare statism, non-discrimination laws and other forms of multiculturalism by policy, preserve the worst elements of the worst cultures.

      1. Yes. Why the hell would any Latino want to assimilate? Assimilation means giving up your victim creed and your ability to sue anyone who doesn’t hire you.

        Assimilation works just fine, unless the government does something to fuck it up. And like everything else, the government has totally fucked up assimilation.

        1. Assimilation is, normally, a wholly natural process. The only role government is capable of playing in the dynamics of societal change, is that of Great Destroyer.

          1. It is like most things something Progs have fucked up. They turned immigration from one of the primary strengths of the country into a machine to breed hate and divide the country. Leftists destroy everything they touch.

            1. The state itself destroys all that it touches insofar as they can get away with, progressives are just the consummate useful idiots to those ends. They prefer to use things like immigration policy as just another mechanism in their toolkit for expanding government power ad infinitum. I know I’m preaching to the choir…

              1. The statists are pushing statism by keeping the state from forcibly turning people back/expelling them from our borders?

                1. They’re currently quite amenable to it because the people coming here view statism favorably, and will vote to continue its expansion. If the vast majority of immigrants were white, rural Albertans that eagerly vote Republican, the progs would change their tune pretty quickly.

                  1. As is usually the case for progs, or grand planners in general, they’re foolishly short sited. Culture is dynamic: the Irish Americans of yesterday voted for Reagan when he ran.

                    1. I agree. I don’t view Hispanics any differently than earlier Catholic mass-immigrations, but I do think conservatives have a point in that our current political culture may be stunting the rate of their assimilation.

                      Of course, the solution to that is to simply stop treating them differently, but I don’t think that’s a realistic option anymore.

                    2. The example of the Irish is not as instructive as you seem to think. Most of the country voted for Reagan; you might remember that in Reagan’s re-election only one state went for Mondale. Irish Americans tend to have a roughly 55-60% support for Dems; sure, that’s better than the 95% support they had earlier in the century but it is not comforting to suggest that the Irish voting patterns are some source of hope for small government types. Hell, given that the only real example that we have of open borders interacting with the welfare state in the US (Puerto Rico) has a native demographic that votes for Ds at a 70-80% rate, it only seems to confirm those predictions.

                2. That’s not what I or anyone else said, Bo.

                  Statism destroys the normal, healthy, assimilation process. The absence of that assimilation both creates tensions that statists “address” with state solutions and preserves the statist inclinations of many immigrant groups.

        2. “Why the hell would any Latino want to assimilate?”

          Why in the hell should any Latino (or anyone else) want to assimilate (and what does that even mean? take on ‘American’ culture, which is what exactly?)?

          1. Why in the hell should any Latino (or anyone else) want to assimilate (and what does that even mean? take on ‘American’ culture, which is what exactly?)?

            Yes and American values. That means stop being a Mexican and start being an American. Mostly that is just a state of mind. Where do your loyalties lie, here or where you came from?

            And as far as why they should want to do that, they should because they choose to come here. If you want to move somewhere, it is on you to change to fit in. It is not their responsibility to change to suit you.

            1. “If you want to move somewhere, it is on you to change to fit in.”

              Are you Borg?

              1. Are you stupid? Seriously, you are dense, but not being able to grasp that statement is a new low even for you. If you want to immigrate to a country, you assume the responsibility of taking on the culture of that country and fitting in. You have no right to go there and demand that the people already living there change to suit your tastes.

                1. John, that’s a classic false dilemma. You can not ‘take on the culture of that country and fit in’ and still not ‘demand that the people already there change to suit your tastes.’

                  1. Only if you have a hell of a lot of resources to afford to preserve your cultural identity in a foreign culture.

                    Try living in France without speaking French.

                    Try keeping an American diet in India.

                    Try exercising cultural liberalism in Saudi Arabia.

                    Unless you have the resources to set up your own little enclave of America in that country, you’re not going to get by. And that’s where many of us believe the welfare state and multi-culturalism might not fundamentally compatible with open immigration.

                    The answer is simple – stop pushing welfare statism and multi-culturalism.

                2. I don’t care for the cultural assimilation crap. What I do care about is whether or not they assume the respect for individual rights that should be the cornerstone of American life but has been largely forgotten. That’s what matters and until we begin respecting it ourselves, no immigrant is going to.

                  1. Well obviously we’re not talking about the peculiar habits of German immigrants eating more sauerkraut than the rest of us. The issues surrounding assimilation is more about the peculiarities like you mentioned, where these holders of foreign culture have no respect for the rights of others. I don’t think anyone is weighing the pros and cons of immigrants that wear funny hats or listen to weird music on that basis alone.

                    1. Then we should frame the discussion as such. I know Bo gets smacked for railing about appearances, but sometimes it matters.

                      When you say “cultural assimilation”, that carries a hell of a lot of baggage.

                    2. I just assumed that discussing the importance of “cultural assimilation” sort of presumes we’re not talking about whether or not your favorite food should be called ‘Wieners’ or ‘Hot Dogs’.

      2. “Which welfare statism, non-discrimination laws and other forms of multiculturalism by policy”

        Nearly all of this in the American context springs from issues involving not immigration but enforced slavery. We didn’t set up most of that for newly arrived immigrants so much as we did for those we forced to come here. This is not the fault of immigrants.

        1. It doesn’t matter why they are there. The fact is they are there and they greatly complicate immigration. If you want open borders, get rid of those things. If you like those things more than open borders, then keep them and shut up about open borders.

          1. I think everybody here would like to get rid of the welfare state. But our approach is not to first want the state to violate basic, fundamental freedoms of individuals.

          2. At the very least, enforce property in full before you open borders. That means ending all sorts of forced association practices. Otherwise there can be no doubt that the state will use multiculturalist policy to disintegrate regional loyalties and social institutions that stand in the way of growing government power.

            1. Why would regional loyalties and identification be good but ethnic ones bad? People identifying as ‘Southerners’ is OK, but ‘Irish-American’ is bad why?

              1. I mean, if the argument is ‘people must assimilate into a more unified culture’, why is one so good? Aren’t you worried about the balkinization that follows intense regional loyalties? In fact that has a history of literally tearing this nation apart!

                Also, ethnic associations can also be potential associations of the kind all totalitarian government loathe.

                1. Aren’t you worried about the balkinization that follows intense regional loyalties?

                  No.

                  In fact that has a history of literally tearing this nation apart!

                  Are you talking about the War of Northern Aggression?

              2. Why would regional loyalties and identification be good but ethnic ones bad?

                People identifying as ‘Southerners’ is OK, but ‘Irish-American’ is bad why?

                See you added an addendum to my statement and want me to address it and I’m not playing that game with you again, Bo.

                I didn’t mention ethnic identities at all because I’m talking about the centralization of power versus the decentralization of power.

  17. And when it comes to patriotic assimilation, qualified Latinos?meaning those who are legal and have a high-school degree?are represented in the military just as much as they are in the civilian workforce. By contrast, whites and Asians are underrepresented and blacks over-represented.

    Whites are underrepresented in the military? That’s total unadulterated bullcrap.

    Not only is Dalmia a worthless dipshit, she’s also a fucking liar.

    1. According to those stats, it’s the half-breeds, mulattos, and mutts who are under-represented.

      1. Not only are whites (slightly) overrepresented amongst enlisted military personnel, but they’re significantly overrepresented in the officer class.

        When Dipshit starts talking about our military, she’s WAY out of her league. She knows nothing whatsoever about our military, and should just keep her ignorant little yap shut.

        1. There are problems with your statistics as well Mike, though you are completely correct on the ‘white overrepresentation’.

          I know for a fact that the Army does not collect data on ‘half-breeds’. You get reported as a single primary self-reported race when you come in. The only other data collected is ethnicity. The ethnicity code is how people are identified as hispanic.
          DMDC will provide incomplete answers to these types of questions, because the different services have different standards for some of these things, and it’s difficult to fix the differences.

      2. And the American Indians seem to be disproportionately fighting the white man’s wars.

        1. Maybe they like that. You can’t beat the white man, you can always get a job fighting his wars.

          1. Kind of like the Scots who ended up fighting England’s wars.

          2. Pushmataha seemed to think so. Tecumseh not so much.

    2. She is the worst. Worse than Episiarch.

        1. Nicole, stop fishing.

          He’ll call you the worst if he feels like it. You can’t coax these things.

    3. Not only is Dalmia a worthless dipshit, she’s also a fucking liar.

      While totally true, this isn’t exactly “news”.

    4. Uh, Mike, doesn’t that graph count Hispanics with Whites?

      1. No, it doesn’t, because hispanic is not a race, it is an ethnicity. Hispanics are scattered throughout the various races.

        Thus Zimmerman being a ‘white-hispanic’.

    5. That list breaks out neither Hispanics nor their legality, so it’s not really an effective counterpoint. The data is also seven years old.

  18. So female immigrants should keep their hyphen intact ?

    1. So female immigrants should keep their hyphen hymen intact ?

      ftfy

      tiwtanllw

      1. Let me explain how juvenile word play works. See if you use the actual word, instead of the similar sounding word, then it’s a single entendre, which isn’t amusing.

        1. Sorry. I guess I’m just not juvenile enough.

          1. Yeah well your rubber and I’m glue..er..wait a minute.

  19. America’s legendary efficiency.

    Sort of like the legend of family farms – long gone.

  20. “It is completely reasonable and even necessary for a sovereign nation to discriminate between people who want to join them and people who want to divide them. And immigration policy should have nothing at all to do with the colour of anyone’s skin. I find people who care about skin pigmentation to be the most dim-witted lot around. I want nothing to do with that,”

    I agree with him. I know, I’m a racist nativist, blah blah.

    1. You’re anti-freedom.

      1. So being pro freedom necessarily requires one to be suicidal if necessary? To be pro freedom means to welcome someone even if they come there to do you harm?

        Yeah, I guess we are anti-freedom, in the same way that thinking it is a good idea to lock murderers up makes us so.

        If people, regardless of color, come here for the specific purpose of taking over or changing the country to their liking, they can go fuck themselves and should not be let in.

        1. The NAP is not a suicide pact!

          1. Depends on who the immigrants are. Cytoxic thinks we have no right to deny any immigrant entry into this country no matter what their intentions. And that clearly is a suicide pact.

            1. I was joking about the attitude, common to slavers of all stripes, of ‘we can’t exert this freedom because it could destroy all freedom!’

              As to your specific point, most supporters of open borders would allow for restrictions on acknowledged bad actors.

              1. I was joking about the attitude, common to slavers of all stripes, of ‘we can’t exert this freedom because it could destroy all freedom!’

                Fine. Then let’s repeal the assault laws and see how you fare in a room full of annoyed Hit & Runners. You might get a real world example of why some freedoms need to be restricted to preserve others, which isn’t really a difficult concept to grasp to anyone capable of grasping concepts more complex than a bumper sticker.

    2. They should just let the people who want not to be Americans leave, instead of charging them exit payments and taxing them all over the world.

  21. Am I the only person who couldn’t give a flying fuck? If you want to be seen as a _____-American, the only way I give a shit is if you’re trying to step on my liberty. Even then, it’s not about your hyphen, it’s about you being a controlling jackass statist.

    1. No. You are right in that the hyphen really doesn’t mean anything. The problem is not the hyphen. The problem is that the people who insist on it often want special treatment and expect everyone to change to suit their demands. That is the problem, not they hyphen.

      I don’t care what you call yourself. I do however care if you insist on the US changing from what it is to become more like whatever shit hole you came from.

  22. You know, I’m perfectly happy to accept the niggers and the chinks.
    BUT NOT THE IRISH !

    1. Or the Guineas.

    2. WOP’s up? How’s your dago?

  23. What about us hill-folk? Melungeons and the like?

    1. What about the wolf children? Do they have to assimilate and give up their lupine culture?

    2. Wasn’t Elvis a Melungeon?

  24. My mother wasn’t even an American, where my hyphen at?

    1. And why are those who pride themselves on things besides their ethnic heritage othered from this whole hyphenated American thing?

      Why can’t you be a “Libertarian-American” or a “Packer Nation-American” or a “Veteran American” or a “Big Pink Gay Monster-American”?

      1. I think Epi’s got that last one covered.

        1. He is a species of one, but a proud species.

  25. How Government Workers are Great for the Economy

    An article by Mayor John Smith

  26. I’m sick to death of being refered to as an immigrant. This country is NOT a country of immigrants. There are plenty of immigrants, but most people are not.

    My family has been here for atleast 4 generations.

    So when does one become a native and stop being an immigrant?

    Stop regurgitating bullshit.

    1. There is that. My favorite is the retards who point to Indians as if their example means no one can object to immigration. Open borders didn’t work out so well for them. I look at Indians and see them as a cautionary tale of what happens when you are overwhelmed and dominated by immigrants. What do those morons want us to think? That because of the Indians we should feel guilty and pine for the same fate?

      1. Indians were immigrants too, they just beat Europeans by a few millenia.

        This is what I usually argue with people about on Columbus Day, etc: This entire world has been shaped by conquest and mass migrations. Arguing about who’s pure or native, or who is to blame is a pretty pointless exercise. …BUT admittedly that’s cold comfort to Armenians, Indians, Palestinians, etc, etc.

      2. The proper term isn’t Indians, it’s Siberian-Americans. They were migrants too, after all.

    2. Actually there are plenty of people here who’s families were never immigrants. Since when is moving from one British territory to another considered immigration? Nation of immigrants, my ass.

  27. There are three categories of differences between native-born and immigration populations:

    First, the non-consequential. Outside of morons, no one really gives a damn whether the rate of salsa dancing or accordion playing increases as a result of immigration.

    Second, the morally wrong. Obvious categories would be the attitudes held by Muslim immigrants in Europe wrt apostasy and so forth. There is nothing redeemable about holding such attitudes in any society and they simply need to change. This is the most obviously important aspect of assimilation.

    Third, the consequential but morally neutral. John the Brit drives on the left side of the road. He emigrates to the US, where this is not the custom. Obviously not a moral flaw in John’s makeup. That said, regardless of how sentimental John is about driving on the left side of the road, how many left-side drivers were in his family, etc., it is something he needs to abandon in the interest of avoiding the resultant negative consequences. While one should avoid moral condemnation for these differences, they are also an important target for assimilation.

    The problem with not being sufficiently aggressive at assimilation is that many of the incentives in play encourage Type 2 and Type 3 behaviors to persist (or even to be desired by second-generation immigrants).

    1. “no one really gives a damn whether the rate of salsa dancing or accordion playing increases as a result of immigration.”

      There’s a lot of morons out there, upset that ‘their’ Lowes has signs in Spanish or that their bank customer service says ‘Press 2 for Spanish’.

      I’d agree on your type 2. The only kind of assimilation I care about involves people losing any parts of their culture that demand they infringe on my rights.

  28. “What, after all, is the evidence for this new concern? At a recent conference, Hudson Institute’s John Fonte reiterated findings from a survey that Hudson had commissioned showing that fewer naturalized Americans than native-born Americans said that America was “better” than other countries (44 percent to 65 percent); considered themselves American citizens rather than “citizens of the world” (54 percent to 85 percent); and regarded the Constitution a higher legal authority for America than international law (37 percent to 67 percent).”

    OK, this is bothersome, especially that last part. I would like to see how the question was phrased, though. Did the question simply assume that the Constitution *conflicted* in some way with international law? This is the same Constitution which empowers Congress to define and punish violations of the law of nations.

  29. I would distinguish between immigration and naturalization. Immigrants don’t have to become American, they can keep their former nationality as long as they obey the laws and contribute to the economy. (and sometimes even if they don’t).

    Immigrants should all have basic civil rights, but if they want *political* rights – voting, holding policymaking offices, and the like – they should apply for naturalization and give assurances of their loyalty to the U.S. Constitution.

  30. My Pomerian demands respect for her Canine-American heritage.

  31. It’s not easy to “reach out” to a group of foreigners who often come from insular, racially homogeneous societies. In describing Americans who would “rather hang out among themselves”, Shikha is actually describing many old school immigrants.

    Immigrants don’t typically see themselves as Americans. A 43 year Filipino living in LA will identify himself as “Filipino”, not “Asian American”. The latter comes into play during certain political discussions.

    And social media and internet absolutely keeps many immigrants tethered to their own culture. Asians download boatload of their shows from their country and watch them until the sun goes down. Kaokao talk and faux European breads with red bean filling consume the lives of many Koreans.

    Needless to say, many of them couldn’t exist in some place like Minnesota. I think Latinos are exceptions among immigrants. Their language uses English alphabets and Spanish Culture derives from the West. They’re more integrated than other immigrants.

  32. Really, I think it’s the children of immigrants that have the most problem adapting. At least a small percentage of them.

    They keep on insisting that their parent’s home country is so much better (not actually having lived there, but they’ve perhaps visited it a few times), and that the US is so terrible and everyone is racist and blah blah blah, so they play up their heritage because it makes them feel better/superior to just regular Americans

  33. No, what happens is people immediately put on rose colored glasses and remember back to days in their home country where everything was awesome. That’s how ppl in the former soviet republics have actually convinced themselves that things were great when Stalin was around.

    Salma may be highly intelligent in her political analysis but she’s completely off base when it comes to human nature.

  34. Didn’t CNN refer to one of the black Charlie Hedbo suspects as “African-American”?

  35. You’re living in a world devoid from reality if you believe what Indians are SAYING instead of finding out what they’re really DOING.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..countries/

  36. As soon as I saw the headline, I knew who wrote it and, without reading it, I knew it would be a load of crap.
    Can anyone say I was wrong?

  37. “But if past is prelude, there is every reason to believe that they’ll boost?not undermine?America’s confidence in its institutions here and abroad, just like their predecessors.”

    It is interesting to speculate how previous immigrants’ assimilation could have been equivocally hindered or delayed by modern technology.
    As you point out, America could very well have benefited from different perspectives and a broader view from the “world citizen” and their geographical place of origin. Historically, and in modern times, immigrants everywhere are escaping poverty, religious persecution, or government repression. Only the rich (who can actually escape their government) have the luxury to migrate to countries of their temperate preference. I would be more inclined to find interest in data on the latter. I would even speculate to say they would be more inclined to dual citizenship and embrace dual patriotic concepts.

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    ?????? http://www.paygazette.com

  40. Can’t stand the liberal arts intellectual style of arguing policy. Like it even less as I get older. Keep savoring the smell of your own farts, scribblers. Ten years from now, only the finest pundits will give a crap what you wrote.

  41. Would anyone here trust Sikha Dalmia with any national defense secrets?

    There are advantages to the cold turkey method of assimilation (mainly for the kids…for the adults its hard.)

    And Sikha’s way of being an American is okay, too and with modern technology is going to be more and more the case.

    My reservations are as follows:

    I would be a bit worried to allow someone like Sikha who calls India their “home” and speak of visiting India as “going home” to be in any position in government handling state secrets or defense technology.

  42. While Mr. Dalmia makes some great points as to the assimilation of immigrants to the USA, it does not negate Gov Jindal’s point, in that hyphenating your identity from being an American to XXXX-American, communicates that you are separate from the rest of us and leads to other separations and starts down the road to victimization and demands for compensation.

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