Monday, November 20, 2017

 November 20, 2017

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

DACA, Immigration and the Basic Issues at Stake


The current debate about immigration involves not just the DACA [Deferred Arrivals for Childhood Arrivals] illegals (many of whom are assuredly NOT children), but how to treat the continuing influx of across-the-border immigrants who are in so many ways altering both the economics and the culture of our society.

There are, so it seems to me, several major points we should remember in this, what seems, endless discussion and debate:

1) Illegals will continue to come to the United States by any means they can, looking for jobs—and for our nation’s generous social welfare programs and social safety net—as long as we let them, as long as we don’t truly secure the borders of the country, and as long as political leaders conveniently turn a blind eye to what has been and is occurring.

2) Illegals, who may not pay the same taxes or live at the same standards as American citizens, in many cases undercut the ability of citizens to work and find work, taking jobs that ordinarily would be done by citizens.

3) Despite the claimed “contributions” (in sales tax revenues, purchasing, etc.) that illegals make to the American economy, their overall net economic effect (e.g., welfare, free medical care, educational benefits, etc.) has been negative, in the many billions of dollars.

4) For Democrats the influx of illegals, especially from Mexico and Central America, is seen as an advantage, a political boon that is enabling them to replace voters in the South and West who have deserted the Democratic Party due to its movement to the far Left, and in some cases—such as California, New Mexico, and a few other states—has permitted them to gain a solid lock on voting in those states: continued immigration is seen by Democratic strategists as major means of gaining eventual and full control politically over the nation.

5) Republicans and conservatives are split over the issue of immigration. While all mouth the slogan, “Make our borders secure,” a considerable portion of so-called “conservatives” and of GOP legislators continue to push for what essentially comes down to an “open borders” approach to the issue. Some, such as Senators Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, motivated by large agri-business and Chamber of Commerce support, advocate what they term “compromise,” which would essentially allow in millions of additional “workers” and allow them to stay, with an eventual “path to citizenship.” Others, including Senator Jeff Flake and some at the libertarian CATO Institute, for instance, also make the argument that immigration—and its supposed economic benefits—should be seen as part of the general advocacy for “free trade” and (open) “free markets.” In other words, for them the perceived economic advantages of cheap (illegal) labor and the nebulous idea of “freedom” trump concerns about territorial integrity or cultural homogeneity—which arguments they see as “nativist” or “xenophobic.” In this Flake (for all his vaunted and false claims that he is a “conservative”) and those like him are joined at the hip with the far Left open borders zealots.

6) The undeniable fact is that mass immigration, and specifically illegal immigration—the kind of immigration we have seen during the past half century, certainly since the disastrous immigration bill of 1986—is radically altering the fabric of our historic culture, and this, to some degree, is by design: the desire of the motivating and dominant political forces in our society to transform the country through ethnic and population replacement. New Latino immigrants are out-populating native citizens in birth rates in many cases by more than a two-to-one ratio.

I think here of numerous examples. And one that always sticks out in my mind is Siler City, North Carolina. For years as a boy my family would travel through that town, which is about half-way between Raleigh and Charlotte, as we motored west to visit my father’s relatives. Oftentimes we would stop to get gas or a bite to eat. Siler City was a typical small North Carolina town, populated by hardy, hard-working folks, some of whom once worked in nearby textile mills (most of which have now gone to Mexico or China). Made famous by “The Andy Griffith Show,” it was also the final residence of Aunt Bee actress, Frances Bavier.  Siler City counts around 8,000 inhabitants---and 50% [49.8%] of them by the last census data are Latinos. Thus, in the schools, in business, and—on the various welfare rolls—the very nature of this once-archetypal Southern town has changed. And its culture and outlook have changed, as well.

For three years I studied for my doctorate in Pamplona, Spain; later (1980-1981) I taught on the collegiate level in Argentina. I am fluent in Spanish, and I love and appreciate Hispanic culture, history, and the beauty of the language. But just as I did not wish to impose my North American—“Estadounidense”—culture, my politics, and my language on Spain or Argentina, so I would not have or desire to have that culture, language and politics imposed here. 

Every nation, every society, I believe, has a God-given right to its history, its cultural integrity, and the richness of its own past. Certainly, over the centuries our nation, like most others in the world, has received and will continue to receive immigrants—new arrivals. Sometimes those immigrants will come in waves, as for example the influx of Irish prior to the War Between the States, or the Scandinavians late in the 19th century. The key has always been the ability to assimilate—especially given the backgrounds and ethnicity of the new arrivals—and the willingness of the newcomers to integrate into what has been called “the melting pot,” to share our historic beliefs and values, that is, to want be “Americans.”

The most recent mass influx largely from below the border has placed this template in serious jeopardy. Entire communities and neighborhoods in California, for example, are now unrecognizable, and resemble and could well be any town in Morelos or Jalisco states in Mexico, except that they retain the older infrastructures (e.g., roads and transportation, government support systems, etc.) that were built and put in place by earlier non-Latino leaders (and are now under severe duress with the new immigrants). 

But the culture has changed and is changing, and, as never before there is a marked resistance to actual assimilation from a large proportion of the newcomers.  And this resistance and unwillingness to assimilate is abetted and encouraged by many American political leaders and by those in academia and the media, who partake in various ways in the cultural Marxist narrative that posits that historic white peoples and the civilization they created are, by definition, oppressive and evil, and thus, must be brought down and destroyed. Many—certainly not all—Latino immigrants have, thus, become pawns, if not willing participants, in this effort.

Every people, every nation, has a natural right to its historic culture, its history and a usable past, to its language and richness of a national (and regional) literature. Every people, every historic country, has a right to its land and to protect its borders from unwanted incursions from “outsiders.” Unlike the insane “open borders” theology that now runs rampant through much of current Christian “teaching” on this topic, nations are like families in macrocosm. Just as the family, father-mother-and-children, has the right in natural law to reject entry of any unwanted outsider and to preserve its integrity and safety, so analogously the nation—a collection of families united in their history and traditions, beliefs, customs, language—has a natural right to prevent entry of those it deems a threat, unmalleable or incapable of integration, economically, socially, and, yes, culturally.

This is how the broader debate over immigration should be focused. It is not “racist” or “xenophobic” to believe in and to defend your own historic culture and your traditions. It is not “hateful” to believe that those citizens who have lived here and contributed historically through their labor and multiple contributions to the well-being of the country (including through taxes and participation in the public life of the community) should have—must have—first crack, the first opportunity, to fill positions and jobs when they become available. It is not a sign of “white supremacy” when our citizens insist on using our historic English language in business and commerce, and in our schools and education. And protecting our borders—really protecting them, unlike the palpable hypocrisy of a Thom Tillis—with a wall and with stepped up enforcement and sending back illegals, who by the very definition “illegal” have broken our laws, is not an example of “bigotry” or “nativism.”

It continues to be up to us—to you and me—to let our elected political leaders know what we think, and to give our support to such excellent immigration control organizations as FAIR [Foundation for American Immigration Reform], NumberUSA, American for Legal Immigration PAC [ALIPAC], NC LISTENS, and the American Immigration Control Foundation [AIC Foundation]. These organizations have produced impressive studies and reports, and lobby our politicians. But too often their voices are drowned out by the filthy lucre of international corporate business and the babbling bile of social justice warriors who, in effect, would destroy this nation as we have known it.

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