Here at VDARE.com, we've been battling immigration propaganda since the waning weeks of the last millennium. At times over the last half a decade, it has seemed as if the struggle naught availeth, but this summer the tide of opinion is clearly flowing in the right direction.
We've long had the public on our side, but the media elite have blocked free discussion of immigration. The ice, though, is finally starting to crack.
For example, Republican pollster Matthew Dowd's recent New York Times op-ed [The Mexican Evolution August 1 2005] claiming that the illegal immigration problem would fix itself within a mere 20 years because the world was going to run out of Mexicans was a resounding flop in the punditry marketplace. Ironically, its sophistries were so absurd that it seems to have finally alerted mainstream media editors that America faces a demographic time bomb.
Thus, the press was primed when the liberal but honest Pew Hispanic Center released the results of its recent surveys of Mexicans and of Hispanics in America.
The media response was gratifying. For example, the Chicago Tribune splashed it as their lead story on the front page on August 17th:
Poll: Over 40% in Mexico would live in U.S.
Pew study also finds many Hispanics born here support curbs
By Vincent J. Schodolski
"LOS ANGELES—More than 40 percent of Mexicans in a new survey would opt to immigrate [sic] to the United States and more than 20 percent of them would enter this country illegally given the opportunity, a study released Tuesday disclosed."
There are about 106 million people in Mexico, so you can do the math. (Of course, doing the math would put you far ahead of 90% of the pundits.)
The Mexican government recently calculated that 20.64 million Mexicans now live in the United States. So, opening the borders, as the Wall Street Journal has long advocated, would more than triple that population.
Pew also asked Mexicans if they would be inclined to go to work legally in the U.S. in a temporary worker program, and 53% of the 2400 surveyed said "Yes." That translates to 56 million people (assuming they bring their underage dependents, which the Bush plan would allow).
Unfortunately, Pew didn't ask how many would stay on illegally in America after their time ran out. But if 21% of all Mexicans are inclined to try to sneak into the U.S. that would seem to suggest a minimum number who would try to stay on illegally after their allotted years were up: about 22 million.
So, a temporary worker program wouldn't eliminate illegal aliens, as its supporters like Tamar Jacoby claim, even in their fraudulent and wholly nominal sense of documenting-the-undocumented.
The mainstream media also seem stunned by the separate Pew survey of American-resident Hispanics, which documented once again what we've been saying for years: that favoring easier immigration is not the royal road to the heart of American-born Hispanics (i.e., Hispanics who vote).
The Tribune also reported:
"Another poll showed sharp differences of opinion between Hispanic residents of the U.S. who were born elsewhere and Hispanics born in the United States. The former group was inclined to view immigrants favorably and to support the issuance of driver's licenses to people in the country illegally. The latter group was supportive of immigrants, but by a far smaller margin. This group also opposed issuing licenses to undocumented residents… 'Just because someone is Hispanic does not mean you are in favor of immigrants,' [Roberto Suro of the Pew Hispanic Center] said."
As we've long explained, white politicians get a distorted picture of what Latino voters actually want because the Hispanics they deal with on a daily basis—the campaign consultants, ethnic activists, Hispanic media mouthpieces, and fellow politicians—all yearn to get more warm brown bodies into the United States. The more Latinos who show up here, the more money and power the Hispanic identity politics elite get.
But if you're an American-born guy fixing cars for a living in East LA, the arrival of another million would-be car mechanics from south of the border just hurts your wages and overwhelms your kids' public schools. (The same probably applies to long established and naturalized immigrants.)
Maybe next, the press can relearn the Law of Supply and Demand.
The funny thing is that the most famous Hispanic-American of the 20th Century, United Farm Worker labor leader Cesar Chavez, a man so revered that his birthday is an official state holiday in California (like Martin Luther King's and Jesus Christ's), understood the Law of Supply and Demand much better than most pundits these days.
And that's why he hated illegal immigration.
He called his first strike forty years ago, the year after the Bracero guest worker program was ended by LBJ. This lowered the supply of farm workers in the U.S., making it easier to win wage increases. The growers would fight back by sneaking busloads of Mexicans across the border to use as strikebreakers. In response, Chavez, who was a third generation American citizen, volunteered his UFW staffers to the INS as unpaid border guards, just like the Minutemen.
As Ruben Navarrette Jr. reported in the Arizona Republic: (August 31, 1997)
"Cesar Chavez, a labor leader intent on protecting union membership, was as effective a surrogate for the INS as ever existed. Indeed, Chavez and the United Farm Workers Union he headed routinely reported, to the INS, for deportation, suspected illegal immigrants who served as strikebreakers or refused to unionize."
At first, Chavez's strikes succeeded, driving up the wages of stoop laborers to decent levels. Then, his achievements were overwhelmed by the endless waves of illegal immigrants.
An article by Marc Cooper in the August 12th LA Weekly called Sour Grapes| California's farm workers' endless struggle 40 years later shows vividly the impact of an unlimited supply of illegal aliens upon California farm workers. Cooper writes:
"There's a prevailing popular assumption that superexploitation of the state's farm workers is a closed chapter in some deep, dark past… But exactly 40 years after Chavez's UFW exploded into the national consciousness by leading the great 1965 Delano grape workers' strike and forced America to recognize the plight of those who put our food on the table, nothing could be further from the truth. The golden years of California farm workers lasted barely a decade and then sharply began to fade… Wages among California's 700,000 farm workers, 96 percent of whom are Mexican or Central American, more than half of whom are undocumented, are at best stagnant, and by most reckonings are in decline.
"With almost all workers stuck at the minimum wage of $6.75 an hour, it's rare to find a farm worker whose annual income breaks $10,000 a year.'Twenty-five years ago, a worker made 12, 13, 14 cents for a bin of oranges,' says economist Rick Mines, until recently research director at the Davis-based California Institute for Rural Studies. 'Today that same bin pays maybe 15 or 16 cents—in spite of 250 percent inflation.' Virtually no workers have health insurance or paid vacations. The cyclical nature of the crops throws most out of work for two or more months per year."
Why do California growers constantly need to recruit more illegal aliens from south of the border? They aren't putting more land under cultivation. In fact, more of the Central Valley is paved over each year to accommodate the booming population.
The answer is twofold. Because wages are so low, there's little need to mechanize farm work in California. And because the state's farm work jobs are so poorly paid for the brutal conditions (three workers died of heat stroke this summer), nobody makes a career out of it if they can. So, the growers constantly suck in to this country more (and ever less educated) illegal aliens. Cooper notes:
"In a pattern that one academic calls "ethnic replacement," succeeding waves of ever poorer, more marginal Mexicans, many of them from indigenous communities where Spanish is a foreign language, increasingly constitute the field labor force. The downward-spiraling Mexican economy feverishly churns those waves to the degree that, at any moment, as many as 20 percent of California's agricultural workers have been in the U.S. for less than a year."
The neocon open border cheerleaders contend that these newcomers will "assimilate" into American culture. Real Soon Now. Yet, these Mixtec-speaking Indians who increasingly make up California's farm workers haven't even assimilated into Hispanic culture in the 484 years since the Spaniards conquered Mexico.
The good news is that the American media are starting to wake up. The bad news is that the immigration crisis just keeps getting worse.
[Steve Sailer [email him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and movie critic for The American Conservative. His website www.iSteve.blogspot.com features his daily blog.]