Patrick J. Buchanan
September 10 2003
Gray Davis is a desperate man. Facing recall, he has just put the safety of
California motorists at risk in a naked bid to buy Hispanic votes. Davis signed
into law a bill he had twice rejected, to allow illegal aliens to get driver's
One million illegals, many of them young, single males, will soon be on the roads of California. Inevitably, the toll of traffic dead will soar and California families will pay in the lives of loved ones so Davis can collect enough Hispanic votes to serve out his term.
The day Davis signed the bill, eight Democratic presidential candidates promised blanket amnesty to an estimated 10 million illegal aliens. Sen. John Kerry says he wants instant U.S. citizenship for illegals who have been here five years.
Politicians used to buy our votes with our tax dollars. Kerry & Co. are now trolling U.S. citizenship before an entire class of lawbreakers, to purchase wholesale the votes of the ethnic groups to which they belong. The Democratic answer to the invasion of America is: surrender. We are inviting what Arthur Schlesinger calls, "The Disuniting of America."
U.S. citizenship used to mean something. Now, all you need do is sneak in and lie about it, and in five years – if the Democratic Party prevails – you, too, can be an American citizen.
This is how countries cease to be – how they become little more than a geographical place where one happens to live or work.
What would be the effect of an amnesty for all illegal aliens?
It would send a message to all the good people in foreign lands who filled out all the forms and waited patiently for years to come to America to become citizens. That message: You were fools to obey the law. The lawbreakers who crashed the gates were the clever ones. For you are still there, and they are on a fast track to citizenship.
After amnesty, anyone who wants to live here would be stupid not to sneak in. If breaking into the United States is rewarded with permanent residency and citizenship – and access to all the social welfare benefits of the richest nation on earth – the 5 billion people now living in the Third World will say to one another: "What are we waiting for? Let's go!"
Illegals who become citizens can bring in wives and children. Amnesty will thus mean that legal – as well as illegal – immigration will soar. As new immigrants are mostly poor, the tax costs of Medicaid, welfare, schools, food stamps, earned income tax credits will soar. If you think California and the U.S. government have big deficits today, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Some businesses will benefit from the endless supply of low-wage labor. But U.S. workers – 3 million of whom have lost jobs in the private sector since Bush took office – will have to compete with millions of immigrants for the jobs that remain.
For high-school dropouts – black, white, Asian, Hispanic – who are citizens, amnesty means their road to the American dream will be as clogged and congested as a California highway at rush hour.
There are 33 million foreign born now in the United States. Half the people in L.A. County do not speak English at home. With the birth rate among native-born Americans below replacement level, our population growth is almost entirely among immigrants and foreign-born. Almost 90 percent of these are from Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Islamic world.
Not only have these folks never been fully assimilated in any First World country, they are coming to an America where the idea of assimilation is being rejected in favor of identity politics and ethnic entitlements. Naked appeals are now made to people based on race, ethnicity and national origin. Few object.
Indeed, Gray Davis and the "Amnesty Eight" Democrats are a perfect example. Americans know this. A majority wants immigration halted. A huge majority wants illegals sent back. In California, 60 percent voted to deny taxpayer-funded social-welfare benefits to illegals. Yet the pandering goes on. Indeed, President Bush may have incited it with his earlier talk of amnesty for Mexican illegals to President Fox.
But if Bush yields now to the temptation to ape the Democrats and pander to win the Hispanic vote, the price will be the alienation and demoralization of his political base.
What amnesty is ultimately about is whether America is still a country, whether we Americans are any longer a unique people. Or is America nothing more than the biggest 24-hour-a-day mall in the Global Economy, where anybody walks in and nobody cares?
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