It's died down a bit in recent months, what with the bad economy, Olympic lobbying, taxpayer-funded brothels, and other pressing matters to occupy our attention, but the ongoing issue of illegal immigration still simmers just below the surface. True, some illegal immigrants have been self-deporting because they can't find jobs, but there are still many millions here "in the shadows," as the saying goes, and presumably this recession won't go on forever.
The American people are overwhelmingly sick and tired of official tolerance of illegal immigrants; poll after poll has shown that they want them gone. At the same time, vote after vote and speech after speech has demonstrated that our elites of both parties will only stop welcoming illegals when an electoral gun is put to their head, and often not even then.
Forgotten in all this has been the opinions of the illegal immigrants themselves - and more particularly, potential illegal immigrants who have not yet sneaked across our borders but might. Zogby polls decided to investigate this fascinating subject, and the results are nothing short of astounding.
The first issue is the obvious one: Zogby asked Mexicans if they'd like to immigrate to the United States. This number gives us the potential total of Mexican immigration. Of course, the people who were asked this question are still in Mexico; they have not come here by means legal or otherwise.
Interest in going to the United States remains strong even in the current recession, with 36 percent of Mexicans (39 million people) saying they would move to the United States if they could. [emphasis added]
Sit down and consider this for a moment. We already have a great many Mexicans in the United States - anywhere between 15 to 30 million. Hispanics, who are mostly but not entirely Mexicans, are projected shortly to outnumber blacks, who've held steady at around 12% of the population for many years. The number of Hispanics in our country is held down only by our border.
If it became known that we no longer even attempted to defend our border or enforce our immigration laws, America's population would immediately increase by somewhere around 12%. Look at it this way: for every black American, there would be one more Mexican added, in addition to those already here.
The point is not that there is something particularly unique or bad about Mexicans or Hispanics as people. The point is, surely somewhere there is a limit to how many people we'd like to jam into this country. Surely somewhere there is a limit to how many ill-educated, mostly illiterate, unskilled laborers we'd like to add to our underclass.
Yet, the Mexicans still in Mexico who want to come here are human beings just like anyone else. Open-borders advocates love to appeal to the humanity of our existing illegal-immigrant population as a reason why they should be allowed to pursue their dreams and live their lives in ongoing violation of our laws.
What's special about them? Only the fact that they've managed to get here illegally. Wouldn't the same argument apply just as much to those who haven't made it here, but want to?
It boils down to this: if our immigrations laws are immoral and ought not be enforced, they ought not be enforced or exist at all. In which case, we'll be immediately overrun by a mass migration of gargantuan proportions.
Is that what morality demands? Is that what our elites want? Is that what the American people want? Is that what the American voter should want? If so, why? And if not, why not?
Either it is moral to control who comes across our borders, or it is not. If we're going to do it, we ought to darn well do it. If not, then not - and brace yourself for the result.
Quickly comes the response, "But we had millions of Irish immigrants come a hundred years ago, and there were a few bumps along the way, but today they've assimilated just fine." Indeed they have: most Irish-Americans are Irish on St. Patrick's Day, and American the other 364.
There is a history of how they got that way: they were ridiculed and often abused for their differences, forcing them over time into the mold of every other American. Diversity then was not an ideal, but a fearsome threat to be wiped out as rapidly as possible. Yes, the early Irish immigrants suffered abuse, but the result was our Founding Father's dream of "E pluribus, unum" - Out of many, one people.
Today, in contrast, we "celebrate diversity." You can come to this country and not change one single thing about your way of life: you can use your own language even in the voting booth, wear your own clothes, eat your own food, preach your own culture, even beat your own wife according to your religious customs. Because it's part of your culture and no culture is any better than any other culture, we dare say nothing against it.
Rather than be more American than their parents, today's children of immigrants tend to be even more loyal to their homeland than their parents were. It's easy to understand why: the actual immigrants had a good reason for leaving home, but their American-born children have only ever heard the pleasant stories and occasional wistful homesickness. They hear the good, they don't experience the bad.
What does Zogby have to say about this?
An overwhelming majority (69 percent) of people in Mexico thought that the primary loyalty of Mexican-Americans (Mexico- and U.S.-born) should be to Mexico. Just 20 percent said it should be to the United States. The rest were unsure. [emphasis added]
Again, stop and think this through. When the Irish came over, they knew they were leaving home forever: there was no way they could go back, and the only available communication was via unreliable and extremely slow letter. Today's immigrants can pick up the phone and call home anytime they please, fly home for a visit for a few hundred bucks, and in the case of Mexico even see their relatives through the border fence.
It is perfectly feasible for them to stay just as connected to their Mexican village and the people in it as most Americans do to their own parents in another state. Mexico even encourages its emigrants to vote in Mexican elections via absentee ballot or by visiting their local Mexican consulate in an American city.
Become Americans? No - for all too many Mexican immigrants, they live here, they work here, but they aren't "from" here because they have no wish to be.
Is it any wonder that major companies appeal to a Mexican desire to repossess large chunks of the United States?
Again, there's nothing wrong with familial or national loyalty, it's perfectly natural. Is it, however, wise to invite tens of millions of people into one's country, who are loyal to a different, neighboring country?
Throughout the entire sweep of human history, without exception, this has always proven to be a Very Bad Idea. What unprecedented change about the world and the human condition has taken place in the past fifty years to make this safe now, where it never was before?
The advocates of open borders have a lot of explaining to do. They cannot say that relatively few Mexicans still want to come; clearly, vast numbers of them do. They cannot say that immigrants want to assimilate and become Americans; clearly, they overwhelmingly wish to retain their traditional loyalty to their homeland even as they live here and take advantage of the ways in which American is not Mexico.
Oh, and concerning an amnesty to solve the problem once and for all? Not a prayer:
Of Mexicans with a member of their immediate household in the United States, 65 percent said a legalization program would make people they know more likely to go to America illegally.
The debate is over. The people - American and Mexican alike - have spoken. We know what the Mexicans want.
The only remaining question is, will we simply give it to them?