The Wall Street Journal approach to immigration and the National Question is to suppose that man is completely motivated by economics. Therefore, if immigrants to America can prosper materially, they will assimilate into our society and become loyal citizens.
But human beings are not simply economic automatons. They are cultural beings as well. It is entirely possible for immigrants to be successful economically and yet never identify with our country.
In fact, they can be wealthier than most Americans—and still feel alienated from American society.
Consider a few examples from the entertainment industry. Show-biz folks make tons of money. Does that necessarily mean they identify with our national culture?
Salma Hayek emigrated from Mexico to Hollywood in 1991—the same year I moved from the U.S. to Mexico. She is currently the biggest Latin movie star in Hollywood.
Yet Hayek whines about how Mexicans are treated in the U.S.A. Incredibly, she even claims she was treated badly, even though she emigrated to Hollywood as an already-rich Mexican!
Hayek has been quite happy to rake in the bucks from movies and Revlon endorsements. But as late as March of 2003, she didn't see any need to become an American citizen. "Mojoscripts.com reports that:
"When asked if she would consider becoming a U.S. citizen, Hayek said: 'How would that improve my situation? As a Mexican citizen, my situation is improving,' ""
But what changed Hayek's mind was the election, on October 7th, 2003, of Arnold Schwarzenegger (a dual American-Austrian citizen, by the way), as governor of California. [Vdare.com note: In place of our usual email links, since movie stars don't give out their email address, we'll have "Send A Letter" links, since the only way you can contact most celebrities is through US Mail c/o their agent: Send Salma Hayek a Letter]
Now we know that, on the immigration question, Arnold is an unreliable ally who constantly flip-flops. But in the Mexican and Latino media, Schwarzenegger is portrayed as a rabid anti-immigration Mexican hater.
Hayek was not pleased by Arnold Schwarzenegger's election as Governor of California. She said she wanted to "have a voice that supports the Latino community in the United States.". To that end, she said she intended to "maintain both citizenships to help the Latinos." …. she said she "feels sad because .... the Latinos could not win at the polls during the recent election...." (i.e. Schwarzenegger defeated Cruz Bustamante, an ordinary Mexican-American political hack who foolishly chose to run as a Reconquista candidate.)
In 2004, Salma Hayek became an American citizen, just as she planned. In order to be naturalized, she took this solemn oath:
"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God." 8 C.F.R. § 337.1 Oath of allegiance.
But for Salma Hayek, this citizenship oath was a lie. She swore that she was renouncing her Mexican citizenship. But she didn't. Indeed, she'd already boasted beforehand that she wouldn't!
Hayek also lied when she swore that she took her U.S. citizenship "without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion." Hayek didn't become a U.S. citizen because she wanted to become an American. Salma openly saw U.S. citizenship as a means to an end—as a tool to further her Latino political activism.
In a country that really took citizenship seriously, Salma would've been investigated and her application for citizenship rejected. In a country that took citizenship seriously, that is—not in today's U.S. (G.W. Bush, President).
Unsurprisingly, Salma Hayek, the Hollywood Dual Citizen Latino Agitator, was there in mid-2006, when thousands of illegal aliens participated in various and sundry demonstrations demanding amnesty. Hayek signed on for the big May Day 2006 protest. She announced: "Next 1st of May I will not go to work in solidarity with this cause that seems just to me…"[Salma Hayek se unirá al 'dia soin latinos' en EU, Siglo de Torreon, April 13th, 2006]
Do you suppose Mexico would allow this? Would Mexico allow an American to publicly become a dual citizen in order to promote the interests of Americans in Mexico?
To ask the question is to answer it.
Another Mexican star who openly makes a mockery of U.S. citizenship is the pop singer Thalia [Send her a letter—the official Thalia site also has a message board.] (currently Mrs. Tommy Mottola). I wrote about Thalia last year. Like her fellow dual citizen Salma Hayek, Thalia made no attempt to hide where her true loyalties lie:
"This morning I acquired United States citizenship. Nevertheless, under the laws of my country, Mexico, I can also have Mexican citizenship. I have been a resident of the United States for 8 years and I have been married to my husband Tommy Mottola for the last 5 of them. Just like some of my Latino friends such as Salma Hayek, who is just as Mexican as I, and Gloria and Emilio Estefan, among others, I feel that this step will give me the opportunity to contribute to and support even more the Latin community in the United States. I am of Mexican nationality, and I will always be a proud Mexican in heart and soul."
Like Salma Hayek, Thalia doesn't really want to become an American, and doesn't identify with our country. She sees citizenship as a means to an end—"the opportunity to contribute to and support even more the Latino community in the United States." Thalia recently announced that she will be hosting a weekly radio show in Spanish in the U.S.A—one of the ways she is "supporting the community". [Tendrá Thalía programa radiofónico en EU, El Universal, March 1, 2007]
This is not some secret conspiracy. Both Salma and Thalia openly announced their real loyalties and thus their disdain for U.S. citizenship. And in both cases, nothing happened.
As an American resident in Mexico, I can personally testify that Salma and Thalia are far from alone. Many less-famous Mexicans desire U.S. citizenship, not because they want to be Americans, but as a means to an end—more money in their pockets.
And nowadays, who dares stop them? Not our federal government (G.W. Bush, President), that's for sure.
It may be fashionable now for Latino celebrity immigrants to function as Latino activists. But in the old days, they tried to assimilate.
Guitar great Carlos Santana, [Send him a letter.] who emigrated from Mexico decades ago, and became a U.S. citizen, now uses his fame as a platform to call the U.S. racist and bash border control. But he used to play apolitical songs like "Oye como va", whereas he now bashes "La Migra"
Even gentlemanly Ricardo Montalban, by no means a radical, became a U.S. citizen and renounced his Mexican citizenship back in the old days. But after Mexico started promoting dual citizenship , he regained his Mexican citizenship.
This is not just about radical or leftist movie stars. This is about American identity, about identifying with our country. Nowadays, Latino celebrities just don't. And no-one protests.
It's not just about Mexicans either. Consider actor John Leguizamo, who emigrated from Colombia when he was four years old. This guy, despite the fact he's a successful actor with an Anglicized first name, has an enormous chip on his shoulder. Leguizamo bellyaches that
"You grow up Latin in this country and you're a third class citizen from the word go…there were no Latin people on 'Star Trek,' …this was proof that they weren't planning to have us around for the future."["John Leguizamo: 'Freak,' and Proud of it", CNN.com, November 02, 1998]
Interviewed by the Associated Press, Leguizamo had this to say:
AP: Is there a major difference between U.S. Hispanic and Latin American audiences?
Leguizamo: We come from there and we have a lot from there. But what is different is that we face racism in this country, and many live in poor neighborhoods where the education is really bad. People there (in Latin America) are super-educated and super-intellectual. They face obstacles, but not so many. It's a different experience. But that is the only difference."[Leguizamo leaps the language barrier S & S ME July 22nd, 2005 Luis Alonso Lugo (AP)]
If things are so horrible for Latinos in the U.S., why doesn't John Leguizamo—who looks pretty white to me, by the way—go back to Colombia? [Write him a letter.]
Recent years have seen an influx of Mexican movie directors coming to Hollywood, and doing quite well there. In the recent Academy Awards, three Mexican directors (Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu) were nominated for Oscars.
But where among the Mexican directors in Hollywood, is there a new Frank Capra?
Capra was an immigrant from Sicily who became a citizen, loved America and directed "It's a Wonderful Life", "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and other classics. During World War II, despite the fact that his home country of Italy was one of the Axis powers, Capra directed the "Why We Fight" movies to promote the American war effort.
Looking at the Mexican directors in Hollywood, I don't think any will be mistaken for Frank Capra.
In a striking instance of life imitating art, the big May 1st boycott of 2006 was inspired by the 2004 propaganda flick A Day Without A Mexican, directed by another Mexican director, Sergio Arau. Certainly, Arau supported the 2006 boycott, as did Oscar nominees Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Gonzalez Inarritu, who isn't even a U.S. citizen, said "I believe that it is very important to understand the power that we Latinos in the U.S. have if we unite" ("Creo que es muy importante darnos cuenta de la fuerza que tenemos si nos unimos los latinos en Estados Unidos.). [Hollywood se une al boicot Siglo de Torreon April 30th, 2006]
And just a couple of months ago, Gonzalez Iñarritu had to inject the immigration issue into the Golden Globe awards, where he sarcastically remarked to Arnold Schwarzenegger that "I have my [immigration] papers in order " and then boasted about it to the Mexican media as if he'd made some valiant statement .
Well, how about Mexican-American Hollywood stars? Surely they identify with our nation, don't they?
How about Eva Longoria of Desperate Housewives fame? She was born in Texas, and doesn't even speak Spanish. Surely she's not into all this Latino activism, is she?
Well, actually, she is. Eva works with the National Council of La Raza, she doesn't want illegals deported, and she is agitating for more Spanish translators in hospitals.
And consider the case of U.S.-born Edward James Olmos, longtime Hollywood actor and Miami Vice star. [Send him a letter, or email!] Olmos made his triumphalist ethnic chauvinism quite clear in a 2001 interview with Univision (you can listen to it here.
"We [Latinos] are going to dominate this country also, and it's going to take, the way things are going, another 25 years and we are going to be the majority of people, period!"
Of course, that can only happen if we in the U.S. (G.W. Bush, Presidente) allow it to happen.
American citizen Allan Wall (email him) resides in Mexico, with a legal permit issued him by the Mexican government. Allan recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here his "Dispatches from Iraq" are archived here his website is here.