I was going to write today on the subject of illegal immigration but reading this beyond excellent piece by Victor Davis Hanson over at National Review changed the whole way that I was going to write about this subject.
Let me advise you to read the link first before reading any more that I have to write.
The thrust of what I was going to write is similar to Mr. Hanson. That this is a debate between the elites and the American people.
But he gets it right.
It is not a pretty left-right debate. Nor really Democrat and Republican. But it is about the elites, and there are left-right elites as well as Democrat and Republican elites.
The opening paragraph is epic, but I want to focus on the last part because it is important to what this is all about:
They talk deprecatingly of rubes who do not understand the new global realities, but never of their own parochialism ensconced in New York or Washington or San Francisco. They talk of reactionaries who do not fathom the ins and outs of the debate; never of their own willful ignorance of the realities on the ground in East L.A. or southwest Fresno.
WOW! So true, Mr. Hanson. So true.
Yes, the elites love to talk about the victims of this boondoggle of immigration, legal and rampantly illegal. Yet they do realize that many of the victims are in fact multi-generational Mexican-Americans. They think that they know what is best for the people in East L. A. or Southwest Fresno. Yet they really have no clue about the people that do live there now.
But what Mr. Hanson does, and this is important because this is a conservative making this point, is how the corporate class has no problem with de facto amnesty and a constant stream of cheap labor from not just Mexico but anywhere from Latin America.
The fact is that many of these people, men mostly but also many strong women, come to the United States and pick the crops, construction work, nanny service, maids. They are anywhere between the ages of 18-40. And because of their limited English, if any, and lack of legality and education and well, they will wear themselves out. Especially the farm workers. But don't worry. For the taxpayers of California eventually will subsidize these workers eventually with housing subsidies, health care, food and the children of these illegal aliens will be educated to not fare as the parents who have come to the United States for a better life.
Interestingly, the illegal that is paid less than the American worker still makes five times more an hour than they would doing almost anything in Mexico according to Mr. Hanson. So yes, they are exploited yet are better off when all is said and done in the United States.
What a country!
A little digression here.
The huge elephant in the room is Mexico itself.
Mexico is a plutocratic, socialist mess of a nation. There is not a strong middle class to speak of. The majority of people live in abysmal poverty. And unlike being an illegal alien in the United States, they have almost no hope of ever getting out of their station in life. Bottom line, there is a real reason that these people, and not just Mexicans but most of Latin America, want to come to the United States. For most it is still the land of opportunity. And while a sizable minority are criminal and yes get on government assistance, that is the minority.
Back to the article.
Mr. Hanson makes a valid point about the conservative Republican elite that really believe that fighting for so-called comprehensive immigration is going to be an electoral bonanza.
It will not.
If the 1986 immigration reform, yes it was called amnesty then, is a guide, the sad fact is that it will not help the Republican party make any considerable inroads in the Hispanic community. In fact, with any luck maybe, and it is a maybe, a rip-roaring 35% might vote Republican. And really, that is not going to happen.
What will make inroads is for the Republican party to stop this cheap way to get votes. Because it won't happen.
What will make a difference is to get involved in the Hispanic community. It means showing up! It means getting involved way before the election season, not just a few weeks before. It means that no matter the outcome of an election, to stay and keep being in the fight. It is a form of political guerrilla warfare. It is how the Democrats do it. It is why they have won the Hispanic vote election after election. It is why Republicans need to make this a long term strategy and yes, it will yield results.
And Mr. Hanson points out that the GOP, the party of Black Americans from the Civil War to the beginning of the Great Depression, has so written of the Black vote yet it may be more attainable than the Hispanic vote at this juncture of American history.
But Mr. Hanson continues to get at the heart of this dilemma.
That the elites really do not see the damage of their short-sighted policies.
For instance, now that the illegal alien scourge is getting right to the borders of Silicon Valley, why the elites there are not really sending their children to public schools. Nor public colleges or universities. And they don't care that much about their taxes going up to pay for those that do the work that they do not want to do. Yet they are not the only ones that will have to pay higher taxes and get substandard educations and lower services from the government. After all, even the elites need fire protection and police and hospitals.
And look at what our so-called immigration policies are doing to those that provide more than cheap labor. Again from Mr. Hanson's article:
Almost every aspect of illegal immigration is illiberal to the core. Respect for the law? The elite decides that for a particular political constituency, the law is now fluid. If you are a Bulgarian M.D. and overstay your visa, beware. A Korean engineer wouldn’t dare to fly to Mexico City and cross illegally into Arizona. Without ethnic bosses and millions of compatriots within our borders, all others are lawbreakers subject to deportation.
Yes other lawbreakers are going to get it. But if you are a South of the border illegal, well probably not. Your reward is going to be blanket amnesty. No matter how one looks at it, that is what this so-called "comprehensive" immigration reform leads to.
And here is a gruesome Rogue's Gallery of bad players in this drama:
Indeed, the tragedy of illegal immigration is that it becomes the cornerstone for hundreds of agendas: those of the self-interested Mexican government, exploitative American employers, the new ethnic chauvinists, the upper middle classes who deem themselves lords of the manor, and, yes, the elite whose professions are as noble as their deeds are not.
Sad that America has become a lot like Europe after World War II when most nations instituted a strong welfare state and imported a lot of cheap labor. And mostly from Islamic nations. And they failed to integrate these workers into their national fabrics. And they wonder why now they have these people rioting in the streets.
We all want something better than the so-called immigration system we have now.
But that cannot and should not happen until there is verifiable border security. And it cannot happen until there is a way to root out those that are criminals and taking advantage of American generosity. Then, and only then can we look at legalizing those that have been here a long time. But nothing like that until then.
One thing that all should have learned about a massive federal government overhaul is what happened during the Obamacare debacle. Only now and in the next several years will we learn the disaster that is. We should not want that in regards to solving the illegal alien situation.
Victor Davis Hanson has hit it on the head with this one. We need to face that this fight is between an elite and the rest of us. Until we face that, we will not be able to mobilize to defeat this abomination.