My job as Letters Editor at VDARE.COM occasionally provides me with much needed comic relief from the depressing subject of immigration. Of course, the writers are rarely trying to be funny.
Nonetheless, I have to laugh when I read tirades from incensed Hispanic readers demanding that we get out of their way so that they can take over the country.
We posted one such letter from Gabriel Rocha on May 2nd. He wrote to several VDARE.COM contributors calling us "frightened" and "clowns". He predicted that Hispanics "are not going anywhere" and suggested that we gringos "learn some Spanish."
Rocha gratuitously referred to "hard-working" Hispanics in the U.S. as "enthusiastic" and "savvy."
Peter Brimelow responded to Rocha on the site. Nathaniel Parker, also in the Rocha e-mail loop, and I replied privately. As it happens, both Howard and I already speak Spanish.
A more civil exchange among us followed. What it boils down to is this: Rocha describes himself as a hard-working, law-abiding, tax-paying homeowner from Mexico who has raised bilingual, well-educated children.
Pointing to himself as an example of how wonderful immigration can be, Rocha wants to know what is wrong with legal immigration and why we oppose it.
"VDARE.COM has published articles that oppose ALL immigration into the US. Could you (or someone at VDARE.COM) tell me just exactly what is wrong or flawed about the process, which I have followed, diligently and lawfully, to become a naturalized US citizen?
"Still looking for an intelligent rebuttal…"
Talk about leading with your chin! Rocha has challenged me on a subject about which I could—and perhaps one day will—write a book.
But for now I am limited—more or less—to 1,000 words. So I'll answer Rocha's question about what is wrong with legal immigration by summarizing some its most egregious flaws.
I'll begin with a broad perspective. Since the Immigration Act of 1965, which politicians falsely promised would not change America's demographics, legal and illegal immigration has added, give or take, 50 million people to our population.
That raw number population increase and the children born to those immigrants is the leading cause of overcrowding in our cities, on our roads and in our schools and hospitals. In general over-immigration has led to a diminished quality of life for many Americans.
Another fatal flaw in U.S. immigration policy—again broadly— is that we have no guiding principles. If you were to ask any of the 100 Senators, some of whom are right now negotiating the country's future behind locked doors, to explain what our long-term immigration objectives are, they would reply in gobbledygook.
I'll cite a good example by using one of the worst features of current U.S. immigration policy. Through "chain migration" (more delicately referred to by the politically correct as "family reunification"), senior citizens or disabled individuals can apply for Supplement Security Income (S.S.I.) immediately upon their arrival.
Keep in mind that many who ultimately collect public funds have neither a U.S. work history nor speak English. To rational thinkers like those of us at VDARE.COM., it is insane to immediately lead legal immigrants to the public trough.
Does Rocha want to argue that this is a good thing? End chain migration now, I say!
Another inequity is the non-immigrant visa system and the virtually automatic change of status that follows for anyone who asks for it. "Non-immigrants" often become legal residents once their temporary visas expire. Remember the old immigration policy chestnut that nothing is more permanent than a temporary resident.
Interested parties can learn just how unsound and hurtful the visa system is by reading the Center for Immigration Studies 2002 report titled "How Have Terrorists Entered the U.S?"
The study analyzes through 2002 the immigration status of all 48 foreign-born, radical Muslim terrorists who had been charged with, convicted of or admitted to being terrorists. One-third were on temporary visas, mainly tourists; one third were legal immigrants; a quarter were illegal aliens. Three others had asylum applications pending…another major immigration scam.
The U.S. issues visas for a specific purpose. We fulfill our part of the bargain by letting foreigners into the country. They must keep their end by leaving when their time is up.
No change of status should be allowed.
Most who follow immigration matters know that the U.S. has perhaps the most generous policy in the world. We allow, without any consideration if it benefits us or not, up to one million people annually. Add to that the visa over-stayers and the illegal aliens and the total approaches two million.
Yet so rarely do we hear words of gratitude from those same immigrants. I'm drawing now from my own personal experiences as an English as a Second Language instructor. I can count on one hand the numbers of times that students have expressed a true sense of appreciation of the honor that it is to be in the US, to be given the opportunity to raise and educate their children here and to ultimately become U.S. citizens
They are unaware that the jobs they may hold might be taking away employment from native-born Americans. In fact, many have a sense of entitlement that bemuses me.
Rocha apparently is an exception. But in one of our e-mail exchanges I asked him if he maintained dual citizenship. I didn't receive a reply; perhaps he missed the mail. But no one who deliberately maintains citizenship in another country can claim true allegiance to the U. S.
For Rocha to suggest that America becomes even more liberal in its immigration policy because of his individual success is sheer nonsense.
If he had America's best interests at heart as well as those of his family, he would be on the same page as VDARE.COM in supporting a dramatic reduction in legal immigration.
Many Hispanic immigrants unquestionably do share Rocha's sense of entitlement.
But, over the years at VDARE.COM, we have head from a gratifying number of Hispanic immigrants who do have America's best interests at heart—and who can see that our current immigration policy is a disaster.
Joe Guzzardi [e-mail him] is the Editor of VDARE.COM Letters to the Editor. In addition, he is an English teacher at the Lodi Adult School and has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.