Gnashing their teeth |

Gnashing their teeth

Oh that terrible Wall Street Journal, and that terrible Vail Daily editor quoting stories and editorials from that “rag.” Along with professors and other researchers just a little more independent than the deport-all-dem- “lawbreakers”-now advocacy groups.

It’s a great case of we’ve got our facts and yours ain’t them. The Sen. Bensen rebuke of Dan Quayle during their hilarious interchange while debating back in 1988.

Of course, I know this whenever the thoroughly wicked temptation to set the nativists to braying starts tickling.

The Journal doesn’t do journalism? All righty then. Pew doesn’t do research. And the University of California doesn’t have professors who make careers looking at immigration. Well, that will be their in to dismiss this entire paragraph. Bring up Ward Churchill, the truly nutty University of Colorado professor who pretends he’s an Indian with no more than a dab in all his bloody English veins.

Granted, I’m a dope. I’m OK with that, actually. Considering the source of these critics.

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Never mind the independent research showing that our Mexican tide of immigrants, though vast, has been assimilating into American culture at about the same pace as other tides.

Apparently, those ghettos of Greeks, Jews, Italians, Chinese, Poles, Eastern Europeans and so on never spoke their native tongue when they came over. Which of couse is pure baloney. The researchers whom the Jounal quoted said that universally, the immigrants themselves didn’t learn their new language and customs in any great droves. Nope, it was their kids and kids’ kids who made the changes.

That’s much like today. Sorry. The golden age of “good ” immigrants is almost complete bunk. But don’t bother explaining that to the nativists of today anymore than than back when. They wailed on about the real and imagined challenges then, and they do now. Hard to listen with your mouth going 90 miles an hour and your fingers stuck firmly in your ears. The best story was the Irish immigrant who went to San Francisco and became a famous advocate against letting the Chinese immigrate.

One comment to my last blog entry had only 15,000 Italians immigrating to the United States. Well, more Samoans have come over, and we can certainly see how populace they are in America.

Even goofy assertion about italian immigration ” while ignoring all the other European groups, not to mention the “Yellow Peril,” those Chinese around the turn of the century before this one ” is silly. More Italians than that immigrated to the Bronx alone in their time.

And yes, the nativists who argue sheer numbers are entirely correct that we have more immigrants coming now. We also have a vastly higher total population than we did then. But around 1900 some 11 percent of the American population was new immigrants. Today it is around 3 percent.

The answer then was to cut off immigration, particularly Chinese immigration, and tighten the laws.

So now immigrants who back then might have been just as legal as any other immigrant now are “law-breakers.” Which technically is true, while rhetorically just a tad overheated.

And measures such as tripling the budget for guarding the border in 16 years count as “doing nothing” in this rhetoric.

I agree the tide is high, we might be too generous with our welfare, too sensitive to the folks at the bottom of the ladder in our society, too willing to tap the market they represent, and too willing to avoid rounding them up for deportation while there are jobs to be done.

Then again, the apparently counter-intuitive approach of a reformed guest worker program and working on poverty at the root of the problem ” in Mexico itself ” seem to be overlooked in our rage at “law-breakers.”

Please. We could triple the budget for the borders again and not stop the tide. Maybe we need to pull those fingers from our ears and quit shouting nonsense. That would be a start. Here’s a blasphemy: George Bush actually makes sense on this one.

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