An informative article by Jason Richwine, at right, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, concerns our current immigration mess. The article appears in the August 24, 2009 issue of National Review, and is entitled "The Congealing Pot."  As Richwine notes, three-quarters of Hispanics living in the United States today are immigrants or children of immigrants.  They represent 15 percent of the American population. Without a change in immigration policy, they will comprise 30 percent of the population by 2050.  America is rapidly browning.

Here is the problem with this stark new reality: the socioeconomic assimilation of Hispanic immigrants stalls after the second generation.  Richwine asserts, based upon figures from the Current Population Survey (CPS), "We see little . . . ladder-climbing from the grandchildren of Hispanic immigrants. They do not rise out of the lower class."  There is little improvement in high school dropout and college-completion rates, not to say in earnings, from the second to the third generation and thereafter.  Even with preferential treatment programs ("affirmative action"), well funded inner-city schools, easier access to college and to the national job market, Hispanic immigrants have not closed the socioeconomic gap with white natives.

The failure of Hispanics to assimilate has some interesting effects. When American-born Hispanics were asked in 2002 to describe themselves, only 46 percent responded "American." The majority described themselves as "Hispanic" or "Latino" or identified primarily with their ancestral country. This sense of alienation, call it "separateness" if you like, from American culture is being encouraged by organizations like the National Council of La Raza, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the Hispanic Lobbyists Association, to name but a few of them. The point is that a large subculture is being manufactured on American soil.

Although Richwine does not mention it, the third generation Hispanic has tended to cling doggedly to his native language.  European immigrants, by the third generation, have relinguished theirs, which fact has undoubtedly benefited them in the assimilation process.  Yet thanks to organizations catering to Hispanics, bilingualism has entered our schools, restaurant menus, the labeling of grocery products, and the job market.  Even opportunistic politicians who want to court the Hispanic vote have helped out.  President George W. Bush began broadcasting his radio addresses in Spanish as well as English. Mr. Obama has suggested in the same vein that we teach our children Spanish. All of these developments simply exacerbate the problem of assimilation. As Richwine reflects, "It is difficult to see how a unifying national culture can be preserved and extended in that environment."

It is a popular pastime in this country for a group to blame others for its lack of progress. The left never tires of playing this game. Frame it however you wish, its scapegoat is white people. The problem is all about a virulent legacy of racism, supposedly manifested in job market discrimination, housing segregation, inferior educational opportunities, and countless other ways. The right responds to the Hispanic challenge by condemning institutionalized multiculturalism, large ghetto-like ethnic enclaves, and an unrelenting welfare mentality, helped along by racist interest groups like those previously named.

No matter how one desires to explain the problem, the point is that it exists and will not go away. Richwine is correct – the problem threatens the national unity of the country.  Mass immigration from Latin America must stop.  Hispanics who come here must make legal application, and their applications must be graded in terms of the expectation of assimilation.

The individual applicant's education level, his fluency in English, his employment possibilities, and his understanding of and appreciation for American history and culture should all be factored into the immigration decision. This country should stop importing poverty from the Third World.

Poverty does not contribute to strength, but to weakness.  It is an avenue to national suicide that most of our "leaders" have been welcoming with open arms.  Enough is enough.

August 22, 2009