Jonah Goldberg Lies A-Moldering In The Grave, But…
November 21, 2002, 04:00 AM
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Daniel Griswold is Associate Director at the Cato Institute's Center for Trade Policy Studies. His web page describes him as a "widely quoted expert on current trade and immigration issues." That means he's a professional immigration enthusiast, "widely quoted" (needless to say) in the Wall Street Journal. Griswold [send him mail] has just (November 20) published a post-election damage-control column in the Goldberg Review. (They may have dropped their Jonah but his Beltway-benighted soul goes marching on!)  

Griswold advances three absurd arguments:

1] Hispanic immigration isn't dangerous to the Republican Party, contrary to what VDARE.COM has repeatedly suggested - see Electing a New People - because Mexicans are likely to return home without ever becoming citizens:

"Mexican immigrants have the lowest naturalization rate of any major immigrant group. With home so close, many of them plan to return eventually, and traditionally many of them have done just that."

Hmm, let me get this straight. Mexicans don't vote, and are thus not a political danger to Republicans? Because - Griswold claims - Texas went Republican again, in spite of being a "Hispanic immigrant state, with a higher percentage of Hispanic voters than even California"?

Funny thing, the Goldberg Review's own John J. Miller (a fervent immigration enthusiast) has finally (November 7) admitted the direct opposite – that Texas is becoming too Hispanic for Republicans to survive much longer.

I'm not going to take Griswold's word on this.

But Griswold also argues that

2] Hispanics are up for grabs:

"Despite their Democratic leanings, they are not monolithic the way black voters unfortunately are. At the presidential level, for example, the share of Hispanics voting Republican swelled from 21 percent for Bob Dole in 1996 to 35 percent for George Bush in 2000."

Hmmm again. So even if Mexicans do vote, they might vote Republican.

Wow - 35 percent! Salvador Allende got more than that in Chile.

In fact, as VDARE.COM repeatedly has shown (sigh), 35 per cent is squarely within the traditional range of GOP performances with Hispanics, which run the gamut from awful to catastrophic.

Finally, Griswold insists that

3] Mexican-Americans are dangerous to those Republican politicians who favor enforcing the law.  He claims:

"If Republican party leaders were to launch an all-out political campaign against Mexican immigration — as advocated by Pat Buchanan, Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado, and the authors at the Center for Immigration Studies — Hispanic support for the GOP would shrivel, and the immigrants would probably come anyway. Meanwhile, because of higher birthrates, Hispanics already living legally in the United States would continue to grow as a proportion of the population. Thus the political question facing conservatives may be no more complicated than this: Will promoting free markets and limited government be easier if Republicans are winning 40 percent of the growing Hispanic vote, or 20 percent?"

Hmm for a third time.  Logically, that depends how big the Hispanic vote is. The sooner the U.S. cuts off immigration, the less the Hispanic vote will matter.

But note that Griswold is talking about measures directed at illegal immigration - not how many green cards are given out or what number of Mexican are granted citizenship.

Implicit in his position is the idea that enforcement of the immigration laws is impossible, because it has been tried, and has failed.

Wrong. It hasn't been tried, and where it has, it has succeeded.

A recent Griswold pamphlet said:

"Today an estimated eight million or more people live in the United States without legal documents, and each year the number grows by an estimated 250,000 as more immigrants enter illegally or overstay their visas. More than half of those entering and already here come from Mexico."

His solution: Legalize them.

Let me try again to understand this:

  1. Mexican-Americans won't form a voting bloc because they'll go home.
  1. Mexican-Americans will form a voting bloc, but it may vote Republican.
  1. If Republicans enforce the immigration laws, the Mexican vote, which then won't exist, or which goes to the Democrats anyhow, will…

Will what? I still don't get it.

Sam Francis wrote a column last year titled So Who Really Needs the Hispanic Vote Anyway?  That goes double for the illegal vote.

Republicans should ignore this wishful thinking about political reprisals, whose appearance in the Goldberg Review is all too typical of its retreat on immigration reform, and tell the American people that they're willing to defend the border.

November 21, 2002