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|Subject: Steyn||Date: 11/16/2012 6:50 PM|
|Author: 2828||Number: 655593 of 837752|
The short history of the Western Hemisphere is as follows: North America was colonized by Anglo-Celts, Central and South America by "Hispanics." Up north, two centuries of constitutional evolution and economic growth; down south, coups, corruption, generalissimos and presidents-for-life. None of us can know the future. It may be that Charles Krauthammer is correct that Hispanics are natural Republicans merely pining for amnesty, a Hallmark Cinco de Mayo card and a mariachi band at the inaugural ball. Or it may be that, in defiance of Dr. Krauthammer, Grover Norquist and Little Mary Sunshine, demographics is destiny and, absent assimilationist incentives this country no longer imposes, a Latin-American population will wind up living in a Latin-American society. Don't take it from a right-wing bigot like me, take it from The New York Times. In 2009, Jason DeParle filed a story about suburban Maryland, in which he helpfully explained the municipality of Langley Park to Times readers:
"Now nearly two-thirds Latino and foreign-born, it has the aesthetics of suburban sprawl and the aura of Central America. Laundromats double as money-transfer stores. Jobless men drink and sleep in the sun. There is no city government, few community leaders and little community."
Golly. You'd almost get the impression that Mr. DeParle thinks that laundromats doubling as money-transfer stores, jobless men drinking and sleeping in the sun, and dysfunctional government are somehow characteristic of Central America. That sounds awfully judgmental for a Times man, no?
Republicans think they're importing hardworking immigrants who want a shot at the American Dream; the Democrats think they're importing clients for Big Government. The Left is right: Just under 60 percent of immigrants receive some form of welfare. I see the recent Republican proposals for some form of amnesty contain all sorts of supposed safeguards against gaming the system, including a $525 application fee for each stage of the legalization process. On my own recent visit to a U.S. Immigration office, I was interested to be told that, as a matter of policy, the Obama administration is now rubber-stamping all "fee waiver" requests for "exceptional hardship" filed by members of approved identity groups. And so it will go for all those GOP safeguards. While Canada and Australia compete for high-skilled immigrants, America fast-tracks an unskilled welfare class of such economic benefit to their new homeland they can't even afford a couple of hundred bucks for the necessary paperwork.
It's hardly their fault. If you were told you could walk into a First World nation and access free education, free health care, free services in your own language, and have someone else pay your entrance fee, why wouldn't you? So, yes, Republicans should "moderate" their tone toward immigrants, and de-moderate their attitude to the Dems who suckered the GOP all too predictably. Decades of faintheartedness toward some of the most destabilizing features of any society, including bilingualism (take it from a semi-Belgian Canadian), have brought the party to its date with destiny. Or as Peggy Lee sang long ago in a lost land, "Mañana is soon enough for me."
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