With 5,000 dead Americans not cold in their unmarked graves beneath the rubble of the World Trade Center, the national ruling class has decided it's time to get back to business as usual. Last week, the Bush administration announced it was resuming talks with Mexico about the derailed amnesty for some 4 million illegal aliens who broke our laws to come here, while two top Democrats actually arrived in Mexico to kick off their own negotiations for the same purpose. When, the philosopher Hegel asked, will men learn from history that from history men learn nothing?
What history might teach the administration and its opponents is that massive, uncontrolled immigration played a major role in the ability of foreign terrorists to sneak into this country, train themselves to pilot jet airliners, and carry out the largest act of mass murder in human history. For a brief, shining moment, it looked as though even George W. Bush might have learned something, admitting that he had never realized "that people would take advantage of our generosity to the extent that they have" by using our immigration policy to attack the country. That glimpse of reality, however, seems now to have vanished.
This week, the Washington Post reports, mid-level talks between Mexican and U.S. officials on the so-called "guest worker program" that in effect is an amnesty for Mexican illegals will resume in Washington. There was also supposed to be a meeting between Mexican officials and the office of "Homeland Security" czar Tom Ridge, to work toward what President Bush called a "security perimeter" around North America.
How about a security perimeter around the country Mr. Bush was elected to govern? How about, instead of jabbering with the Mexicans on how to "balance security concerns with the need to keep trade moving freely across the border," as the Post puts it, making sure that none of the 8 million illegal aliens now believed to be in this country are the same kind of killers we got to meet on Sept. 11? How about, just once, putting the "need to keep trade moving freely" on the back burner and doing something for the American nation?
Before the bureaucrats in Washington could clink their glasses, however, two top Democrats were hogging the limelight with their own junket to Mexico City to start their own immigration diplomacy. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, having evaded the anthrax sent to his office, embarked with House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt to meet with Mexican President Vicente Fox over the weekend. The goal was to make sure that "hard-working tax-paying" Mexicans in the United States get to stay here, despite their having broken immigration laws to come here at all. The "free flow of trade," you see, including the cheap labor that illegal immigrants provide certain powerful American business interests, is by no means the only reason the ruling class is insistent on amnesty. The free flow of votes from legalized and eventually naturalized immigrants is also a major consideration, especially for Democrats, who have long specialized in playing off one ethnic or racial minority group against the white majority, but also for Republicans, who have come to imagine that they can counter the Democratic monopoly of the black vote by capturing Hispanics.
Yet, whatever the reasons for resuming the amnesty talks, the ruling class needs to move fast. The aliens who are now here are not quite as committed to this country as a good many in the open borders lobby think, and as recession and unemployment start looming, no small number of illegals are starting to pack their luggage.
The Wall Street Journal reports that last week Mexico's National Migration Institute disclosed that since Sept. 11 more than 350,000 Mexicans have returned from the United States. That's a nine percent increase in the numbers of Mexicans who usually come back in the two-month time period since the attacks. One reason for the massive return is the prospect of unemployment in this country; another is the fear that we might actually start getting serious about controlling immigration. The Republicans and Democrats together will soon disabuse the aliens of that fond notion. The exodus back to Mexico probably won't continue long, especially once greed for cheap labor and cheap voters overcome whatever lessons Sept. 11 should have taught the ruling class about uncontrolled immigration. But if the attacks themselves taught us nothing, the eagerness of hundreds of thousands of Mexicans to go home should: The Mexicans who come here as illegal aliens are not and do not become Americans. Their sole interest in this country is in what they can get out of it, and once they can't get any more, they leave. Before we grant amnesty to anybody, the leaders of both our political parties need to think about that.
COPYRIGHT 2001 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
November 22, 2001