Why don’t they love America?

I haven't blogged about the immigration protests because, well, because I didn't feel like blogging about them. During a lunchtime conversation, Don Quixote and I decided we were in agreement: We believe the vitality of immigrants is good for the nation's health, and we strongly disapprove of those who break the laws as they currently exist — and who get a free pass for doing so. I'm with the Captain, who objects to those who have

the temerity to demand that we allow them to live here without following our laws governing entry into the US as well as continue to provide government services to them. In the meantime, people who come here legally and wish to stay wind up having to go home and reapply for permanent residency. Joe Gandelman has a guest poster from Britain who cannot avoid leaving the US after coming here legally and showing nothing but loyalty to his new home.

As more information comes out from the demonstrations, though, I'm getting the urge to blog. What really disturbs me about the demonstrations, as I gain more information about them, is the intense hostility they express to the United States. In the "picture is worth a thousand words" category, Michelle Malkin has this image of flags hoisted by students in Southern California:


03/28 : Student protest

Whittier area students from Pioneer, California and Whittier high schools walked out of classes to protest the proposed federal immigration bill March 27, 2006. The protestors put up the Mexican flag over the American flag flying upside down at Montebello High. (Leo Jarzomb/Staff photo)

Going back to the Captain, he points out that this hostility is part of the growth of a fringe movement, present since the late 1960s (a decade one wishes one could wipe out politically), that envisions a return to 18th Century borders:

The rallies in Southern California only ripped the lid off of a well-known dynamic in the culture that mixes native guilt with radical illegal-immigrant activism to fuel the La Raza dream of Aztlan, the reconquest of the the Southwest and its return to Mexico or existence as a separate nation. This radical notion has been around since 1969 and plays a part in the fringe politics of the Southwest. However, the increasing sense of entitlement for illegals in the area has led this impulse out of the shadows and into the forefront of the amnesty movement by enabling people to argue that the illegals are returning to their own land and that the US lacks the sovereignty to declare otherwise.

I know Aztlan is out there, but I doubt that many of these students are thinking in those specific separatist terms. They're just working off the multiculturalist template, which says that America is a debased culture and that any other culture is better. Under that rubric, there's no doubt that the American flag deserves to be treated with disrespect, especially when that disrespect is explicitly contasted with a heightened respect shown to the Mexican flag.

This kind of thinking, which is less sophisticated than the political goal Aztlan advances, still strikes me as crazy. These kids left Mexico — or their families left Mexico before their births — because America was better. Or at least they perceived it to be so. Had that not been the case, they would have stayed in Mexico. America has a better economy, America has better opportunities, America has a better lifestyle even for the poor (if by better you mean more access to modern technology such as cars, TVs, radios, computers, etc). Given the reality of their lives — leaving worse for better — why are they so bound and determined to bring about changes in America that will make it duplicate the Mexico they left behind? One word: Multiculturalism.

Thus, the irrational thinking these kids display really highlights the poison that is multiculturalism. Previous groups of immigrants sought desperately to embrace what American had to offer. The group with which I'm most familiar — and about which I can speak with most authority — is the Jewish group that flooded into America from the 1880s through the early 1910s or so. They knew what they were escaping: the economic dead-end of the shtetls, a dead-end enlivened periodically by murderous pogroms. When they got to America, they knew what they wanted: they wanted their children to leave the tenements and become true Americans, with myriad economic opportunities. They knew how to achieve it: through education and hard work. Another group that has followed this same escape and success story is, of course, the Asian immigrant group, a group that the multiculturalist poison has pretty much bypassed.

And then there are the Latin American immigrants. Many — most? — are incredibly hardworking people, grateful for the opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their family. However, a disproportionately large minority came here to escape the bad times in Latin America, only to be embraced by a multiculturalism that says you can have it all: American prosperity, without American hard work, without American English, and without abiding by American laws. And the fruit of that terrible mindset has been on display in the streets of L.A.

Truth be told, while I was pretty passive about the whole immigration reform thing before, seeing these demonstrations has very much hardened my view. I want (a) much harsher enforcement of immigration laws and (b) a federal edit requiring schools to teach old-fashioned civics — a civics that was about the benefits of being in American, and the concurrent burdens and responsibilities — if they don't wish to lose federal funds.

UPDATE: For more information about the mechanics behind the rallies, check out this Ben Johnson article.

UPDATE II:  Please, please read Peggy Noonan's lyrically beautifully Wall Street Journal column about teaching immigrants to love our country. 

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  • Terry

    AMEN!!! If they don’t like it here, they can go back to whatever dirt shack they came from….and they don’t have to pay someone to smuggle them back.

  • Kevin

    While I am ambivalent on this particular debate, one thing is certain—I haven’t forgotten the bait-and-switch congress used in the 80’s where amnesty was granted in return for increased immigration law enforcement; well, I notice they got the first part done. I think a viable solution now should start with enforcement. As illegals are identified, they should be immediately deported (no matter what their circumstances—they are illegal) and then, on a one-for-one basis, someone at the top of the list of people trying to legally immigrate would be allowed in to take their place. The deported individual should then have to wait for a period (maybe 5 years?) to apply for legal immigration. This way, there wouldn’t be a sudden loss of 11 million workers, legal immigrants would be allowed in, charges of racism would be moot, and lawbreakers would not be rewarded. This would also create the additional incentive for illegals to return to their country of origin and apply legally since, according to my plan, they wouldn’t be penalized for their previous illegal status if they choose to voluntarily return and then apply legally. Also, the sooner they return and apply from their respective countries, the sooner their name will eventually be at the top of the list to replace a deported illegal. There’s a path to amnesty/legality that I could support.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Bush was talking about a 4-5 part plan. Increase enforcement of borders through eliminating Catch and Release. Have a legal solution to Mexican workers who want to work here, paving the way for them to get inline for citizenship, while also legalizing the great majority of Mexican immigrant traffic. This allows the limited border guard to focus solely on the criminals, the rapists, the murderers, the drug dealers, and gang lords who are crossing our border and are the primary threat.

    I liked how the Democrats voted down an attempt by the Republicans to get the fine from felony to misdemeanor. As I said before, the Democrats are ruthless, and not in a loyal way. Protests, protesting against the felony charge, but it was the Democrats in favor of it… hehe. Chomsky tactic, fabricate the evidence, then fabricate the story that uses the fabricated evidence. It’s a common propaganda technique, and it works so well cause you can use it all day long and not get caught if your opponent is clueless.

    This reminds me of their propaganda project to create a belief that Bush wanted to bring back the draft. Quite ruthless. Republians might want to learn something from their compatriots.

    Because of multiculturalism, greater America has a responsibility to fight back and force American values on these people. Whether that is through benefits such as being allowed to work here or the threat of deportation of arrests, doesn’t matter. Way back in the 1900s, a bunch of KKK were talking about all these immigrants were taking over the country. Their fears were rather exaggerated. However, Europe has given us a very good warning in that this time, unlimited immigration really is a threat. Because there is a clique of very powerful and rich people in the world, that seek to incite class warfare between Euros and Muslims, between blacks and whites, and between Hispanics and Americans.

    If we had the War Time Powers of Roosevelt, we could charge these inciters with sedition. Unfortunately, Bush was a mite too compassionate after 9/11, and didn’t take that opportunity to gain War Time Powers by having Congress declare war against a specific nation and people.

    Bush could have gotten almost anything after 9/11. The fact that he didn’t ask for it, says much for Bush’s lack of dictatorial ambitions, but that means Bush is at a disadvantage against the rather ruthless Democrats.

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  • http://stevehouchin.blogspot.com Steve

    I was under the impression that the Republicans were trying to increase the puenalty for providing humanitarian assistance to illegal immigrants to felony and make the immigration itself a misdemeanor, vice the current civil offense in its current state… If that’s the case, then I can appreciate opposing that; I can’t imagine being sentenced to five years in prison for offering assistance to anyone. (http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/news/nation/14193287.htm?source=rss&channel=krwashington_nation)

    I also was under the impression that President Bush supports a three-element program for immigration reform – including a guest-worker program which, though not an amnesty program is one that I approach with caution.

    I like the idea of immigration reform, and I generally like the President’s proposal, save the guest visa provisions, but I could be swayed.

    I saw videos of the thousands of students here in Houston who were protesting the proposed immigration reform yesterday – a march on city hall – and while no doubt there were several truly concerned, protesting individuals, I found that most of the kids appeared to be more excited about being out of school than dedicated to protesting a perceived wrong. Among those interviewed there was a healthy mix of concerned, informed protestors and concerned, uninformed protestors, and people who just wanted to get out of school… That’s a non-sequitur, but there it is.

  • http://stevehouchin.blogspot.com Steve

    I forgot the link for the President’s program: http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/immigration/

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  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    (b) a federal edit requiring schools to teach old-fashioned civics — a civics that was about the benefits of being in American, and the concurrent burdens and responsibilities

    Well, good luck with this one…..I agree with you Bookworm, that this would help with the problem we have, but it’s not going to happen because our public school teachers are saturated with the multicultural acid that is causing the problem. I cannot imagine that there are significant numbers of public school teachers who would teach a civics course such as you describe. I am PLEADING to be proved wrong on this, because my hopes and expectations for the next 20 years would be brightened considerably if I were to find out that I’m wrong.

    And Steve….do NOT be swayed on any guest-worker program that applies to those already here illegally. It will turn out to be nothing more than a (poorly disguised) amnesty program. We must insist on enforcement FIRST…..when that is in place, we can discuss our next steps.

    I’m actually in FAVOR of immigration and assimilation, and Kevin’s idea is one that needs to be discussed and considered. I like the sound of it….many advantages. There may be unintended consequences we haven’t thought of, but it’s definitely worth taking some time over. Might be a terrific plan.

  • http://www.floppingaces.net Curt

    Everything begins and ends with securing our borders. If we cannot secure them completely then the rest of it is just silly political games.

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    As always, such interesting comments. One interested my especially (in part because the person who leaves it always leaves interesting, broad-minded comments).

    Steve, while I understand your point about offering humantarian aid to people — and your feeling of repugnance that the government would legislate against the good Samaritan, I also think that the laws either operate or they don’t. Our country functions only because people follow the laws. If they don’t like them, they’re supposed to change them at the ballot box (either directly, through initiatives, or indirectly, by electing politicians who agree with their points of view). Backhanding the laws by extending all sorts of benefits to illegal aliens is, at a scofflaw level, precisely the same as running a red light or robbing a store. Incidentally, I’m pretty darn sure that these laws don’t extend to the person who finds a dying man abandoned in the desert, but are really meant to cover formalized programs that operate as covert clearinghouses for massive numbers of illegal aliens.

    I also believe that immigration reform has to start with showing that we’re serious about our immigration laws, whatever they are. I’m not saying that our laws shouldn’t change. As the child of immigrants, I’m all for immigration, and I believe as a general principle that America’s strength derives, in significant part, from the constant influx of new blood into the country. However, it’s pointless to change them if we’ve already established a principle that immigration laws shouldn’t be obeyed in any event, as long as some people disagree with them.

    Aside from my lawyerly dismay at a situation where “scofflaw-dom” is celebrated as a virtue, which to me threatens to destroy America’s underpinnings entirely, I am profoundly troubled, as I noted in my post, by the crazy multiculturalism that has people make desperate efforts to escape their homes and come to America, only to buy into a paradigm that America is evil and should be made to look and feel like their erstwhile homes. To me, that’s illogical thinking and the product of warped ideology.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    So long as multiculturalism doesn’t open the gates to the barbarians as they did in Europe, it can be tolerated if not liked. The moment they step into traitorous territory, then we might have to do something more pro-active.

    I don’t know what they would actually teach in this civics course. Because the most effective manner in which I learned about America, was military history, not Constitutional history. Reading the Constitution itself is a bit misleading, because most humans want to protect their families and feed them. The Constitution actually doesn’t tell you how that is going to happen, it just says the government shall so and so only.

    Multiculturalism is powerful because their “let’s give everyone pre-paid universal healthcare” takes care of their family and appeals to human selfishness. You can see the benefits to family and friends immediately. Reading the Constitution, it is not apparent how people get fed in this country. And that’s a liability, that can be cured through an education on military values of loyalty and what not. There are a lot of Hispanics in the military, and I tend to think that is because the military set of values appeals to the human soul in a way that purely civilian ones do not.

  • Publius


    I know you caught a little grief the other day posting a link to an NPR story, but I heard yet another one this a.m. by Steven Camorata of the Center for Immigration Studies talking about what a bad deal it is for Americans and the lie that “they do jobs that Americans won’t do.”

    So, I’m attaching this link.


    I think it says something when even NPR is willing to have stories like this.

    In local news we had our own immigration “rights” march here in town yesterday. Saw plenty of people walking downtown with Mexican flags and even a few gang bangers driving nicer cars than mine wearing “wife beaters.” I’m sure those gentlemen are deeply concerned about the plight of other immigrants.

    Interestingly, a local reporter for the conservative talk radio show was told he had to leave by the police. He was in the media section, but the police told him that as a caucasian (and I guess as a conservative) they could not guarantee his safety – actually that it was unsafe for him to be there, and that he had to leave. Guess they missed that refresher course on the 1st Amendment, but what the heck is our country coming to when we have irrendentist “no go” areas, and we complain about Iraq?

  • jg

    Thanks, Bookworm. We needed this essay.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    THe police has never guaranteed our safety. Not anyone can become a killing machine, of course, but most thugs are quite incompetent at fighting. Sorta like terroists trying to learn marksmanship.

    Terror tactics work, they just do. Intimidation, fear, deterence, all those things work. The primary reason why they work is because they are subtle, and they are subtle because they have demonstrated that they are quite capable of violent unsubtleness if you push them. The trans-Mexican-American gangs are proof of that.

    I am forever amused by the Democrats that keep thinking Bush is endangering their civil liberties with the Patriot Act. They need to spend a couple of days deep thinking about what the actual methods would be, rather than worrying about the problem. Figuring out solutions, is much better than getting stuck on stupid problems.

    When the President says that immigrants are coming here to do jobs American are unwilling to do, I am quite suspicious. Because Bush almost never explains his beliefs, especially new beliefs. This feels like another “stay the course” rhetoric, that has a hidden story behind it.

    When Bush and the Democrats agree, then I know something is wrong. Because what ends up happening is that the President idealistically provides the support, while Democrats provide the bureacracy and the people who actually do the plan in detail. What ends up happening is like No Child Left Behind. A bureacratic nightmare fueling Kennedy’s destructive spree.

  • Publius

    I agree with Yamarsakar – when the GOP does stuff that it thinks will help it win votes – I guess here with Hispanic voters they do not. You cannot out Dem the Dems. The Medicare prescription drug bill, the steel tarriffs, etc. should demonstrate that.

    How much credit did Reagan get in the Hispanic “community” for our last mass amnesty? None.

    As for the police and security. Obviously they cannot guarantee security to 100%, but when the press is operating in an area marked off for the press at a rally that the police have already sent officers too, it is not too much to expect that they can keep those members of the press safe there. Short of an armed assault by hundreds of protestors I don’t think that’s too much to ask of a major metropolitan police force.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    That is what the police is expected to do, yes, but there are ways around that. I like to be prepared, and judging from is happening in Europe with the French riots, the gang rapings, and the Cartoon wars, I would most likely expect the police not to be able to guarantee safety. My way of viewing it is, plan for the worst, expect the best. That way it’s all good.

    The “freedom of speech” partisans might not understand that what guarantees the right to free speech isn’t the 1st Ammendment, rather it is the 2nd. But I do.

    Because the War in Iraq actually reaches here in the US, I don’t think it is surprising personally. It is sub-optimal that the police can’t protect people so they cover their arse and get them away. But, I tend to think that they just need more firepower. And if the police won’t bring the firepower, you’re going to have to come prepared yourself. I’m not talking about guns, I’m talking about a prepared mentality for violence.

    These police aren’t used to intimidation tactics, so I wouldn’t depend upon them. The National Guard, having served in Iraq, are quite familiar with “check points” and “hostage taking” and any number of hardcore criminal techniques. The organizer for these Mexican protests, said that the NG was only good for national disasters and that they would foul up the border. But I tend to think somebody’s anti-military bias is showing here.

    The NG would provide security, as they do in Iraq against a far more lethal foe. But. The reason why intimidation tactics are so effective, is because you can hide the use of it for a very very long time.

    I don’t know what the exact specific problem about the conservative reporter is about so I can’t comment on the solution, but I recommend to anyone who joins these protests to assume that the police ain’t going to be too effective.

  • jg

    Christopher G. Adamo, writing at The American Thinker, has a succinct grasp of the whole picture (and even brings our Iraqi actions as an comparison):

    Despite constant assertions from the White House and some in Congress, a common “desire for freedom and prosperity” is no unifying force that might automatically generate good Americans out of the invaders. And while many immigrants have historically aspired to the highest American ideals, those who trample its laws to seize its fruits, by definition, do not.

    Nor should they be expected to yearn for assimilation into a culture that is increasingly treated with contempt by America’s own academic elites, is only selectively invoked as a tool by manipulative politicians, and is ultimately dismissed as a matter of complete irrelevance by economic pragmatists, and now the President.

    ..businesses profiting by paying substandard wages are perfectly willing to increase their margins while letting taxpayers make up the difference in benefits and services. So, the present situation (endorsed by Bush) will result in ever-escalating numbers with growing political clout, but no intention or incentive to ever assimilate into America’s vanishing “melting pot.”

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