What does a president do if he wins election after losing the popular vote, nearly losing the electoral vote, watching the base of his party begin to vanish, and wins at all only because his own party's appointees to the Supreme Court say that he won?
What George W. Bush is proposing to do is import a new electorate by granting an amnesty to some 3 million illegal aliens from Mexico. Hopefully, the desperate strategists in the White House claim, those of the 3 million who become voters by 2004 will support Mr. Bush somewhat more zealously than the lackluster 31 percent of Hispanic voters he actually won last year.
But what people in Washington like to call the "downside" of the amnesty brainstorm is that actually proposing it might spark a revolt within the GOP, either in Congress or at the grassroots level, where Americans who vote Republican also actually have to live with the consequences of the mass immigration their government is too flaccid to control.
Crime, job displacement, overcrowded schools, racial conflict, poverty, and the prospect of yet one more ill-educated, unskilled underclass swallowing American cities and suburbs cannot be very attractive to many Americans outside the Manhattan-Washington headquarters of the pro-immigration lobby. Only the week before news of the Bush scheme broke, a new study by the Center for Immigration Studies reported a few unappetizing facts about Mexican immigrants.
Nearly two-thirds of adult Mexican immigrants have not finished high school, as opposed to less than 10 percent of native Americans. In the last decade, Mexican immigration has reduced the wages of American workers without a high school education by 5 percent. Mexican immigrants and their American born children (automatically U.S. citizens) account for more than 10 percent of all persons in poverty. An estimated 34 percent of households headed by legal Mexican immigrants have used at least one major welfare program. High school dropout rates for American-born Mexican-Americans remain more than twice as high as those for other native Americans.
There is no good reason whatsoever for the United States to take in more Mexicans, legal or not, let alone to "amnesty" those who have already broken our laws to get here and thereby encourage even more to sneak in with the hope of yet more amnesties in the future. There is only one bad reason to import this new underclass of ne'er-do-wells and human failures: to protect the political future of Mr. Bush and whatever other renegades to the American people are willing to use immigration for their own political gain. Nevertheless, whatever grassroots Americans think, there is little reason to believe that many congressional Republicans will stand up against Mr. Bush's irresponsible plan. Most are probably too beholden to the Big Business interests—agribusiness, meat-packers, the textile industry, hotel and fast-food chains that need docile, unskilled workers en masse—that drive the demand for cheap labor that mass immigration supplies.
Most Republicans are too frightened of the epithets of "racist" or "xenophobe" that are now the only responses ever uttered to any argument against immigration. Most are open to all the cliches and half-truths (and outright lies) of the "nation-of immigrants," "diversity-is-strength," "first-universal-nation" chicken doodle that serves as ideological rationalization of the displacement of one people by another. Most, quite frankly, are not smart enough to see the flaws of such propaganda and not brave enough to resist even if they did see them.
So far, the strongest argument that seems to be voiced inside the Beltway against the Bush plan is that an amnesty for illegals would cheat the immigrants who obeyed the law and came here legally, and an amnesty only for Mexicans would cheat ("discriminate against") the zillions of illegal aliens from other countries. The arguments are valid but beside the point. No one dares argue that the real problem with an amnesty is that it would cheat—discriminate against—the American people themselves.
If the Bush amnesty goes through, where will it stop? Why not offer more amnesties to more illegals in the future? If, as the president said last week, "immigration is not a problem," why not repeal all the laws against immigration and let anyone come here who wants? That is exactly what The Wall Street Journal and similar ideologues demand.
The logical implication of Mr. Bush's cynical exploitation of immigration for his own political advantage is the end of the American nation that unlimited immigration would bring. But what does it matter to a political class that long ago divorced itself from the nation and people it governs? What does it matter to George W. Bush, if only he can get himself one more term in the White House, that the American people will cease to exist?
COPYRIGHT 2001 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
July 19, 2001