OK, immigration, the ongoing soap opera. Let’s start with the week’s logical disaster: The Dreamers, 800,000 artfully named Latinos who were brought over as children, sometimes as children of thirty-five. Under something called DACA, a sort of almost amnesty, they had work permits. They were working. Yes, doing their part as Americans: paying taxes to buy bombs to kill children in Syria. Now, says Trump, at least to the extent that it is possible to know what Trump says, they are illegal. Breitbart News, VDare and suchlike are orgasmic. No amnesty for these criminals! Now they can be deported. This of course embodies the fascinating notion that a child of two can commit a federal crime, but never mind.
See the brilliance? Now the Dreamers don’t pay taxes. This puts a heavier burden on ordinary patriotic Americans, who wouldn’t pay taxes either if they could figure out how not to, to buy bombs to kill the Syrian children. So 800,000 Dreamers fall into the unemployable underclass. Many have never been to Mexico.
Which brings up an interesting point. An American and an American citizen are not the same thing at all. An American is someone raised in America, who has absorbed our language, ways of thought, our culture. who has lived the streets of Brooklyn or bare feet and BB guns in Alabama or the wackiness of coastal California, who has hitchhiked the big roads and watched Superman jump out the window and been to high school dances and watched the cheerleaders at basketball games twirling and chanting, “Ricky, Ricky, he’s our man, if he can’t do it nobody can!” There are many Americas, but that is what they all are: America.
By contrast, an American citizen is someone who has a certain piece of paper. You can get it by being born in the US but if (improbably) you were adopted by a Mongolian couple and raised in Ulan Bator, you would be an American citizen but not an American. If you are born and raised in Britain, you can become an American citizen, but not an American. It can’t be done. Nor just the accent but the body language, the slight lordliness, the lack of cultural reference, would be an dead giveaway.
I could easily get Mexican citizenship, but would anyone at all think me a Mexican?
This morning (September 21) here in Mexico my wife and I as usual listened to the news (Notisistema) over coffee. It seems the country is gearing up to receive such Dreamers as are deported, specifically to provide scholarships to universities, find jobs for them as English teachers, and provide them with lessons in Spanish–a language many do not speak.
A Dreamer raised in the US is an American, though not a citizen. If I met him in a bar in Bangkok, after two words I would say, “Ah! A Yank!”
OK, we will now think about immigration in general. The level of debate is embarrassingly stupid even by the elevated standards of Washington–not to mention fraudulent, disguisedly self-serving, hypocritical, and nuttier than Aunt Samantha’s prize fruitcake that she used to pour rum on.
We will start with fraud.
From the anti-immigrant sites, as for example Breitbart News, I learn that immigration is a plot of malignant Lefties, foul commie-homo-hippy-prevert-Jews, who hate America, who want to import millions and millions of Mexicans, who are stupid, filthy, shiftless, and criminal, to destroy the United States. Yes. No man can doubt it.
Except…except…why are the Republicans, siege howitzers of patriotism, presumably conservative, tap dancing away from the issue like anthrax while supporting immigration with their left hands? All sorts of anti-immigrant things could be done, but Republicans do none of them. So why is it the hippy-homo-prevert etceteras? Why no Republican action?
Easy. Because the immigration business is a Day-glo con, a galactic-size black hole of hypocrisy so thick you could lube a diesel with it. Everybody is lying, swindling, and pulling rings.
Breitbart thinks–this sentence is already doubtful, but we will forge ahead with it–that de-legalizing Dreamers is great because now thy can be deported. Except they probably won’t be. Most will stay in the US and work off the books until somebody re-legalizes therm. Which seems likely. Anyway, if the 800,000 Dreamers were deported, they would come to 1.4% of America’s 57,000,000 Latinos. Oorah. That will save our precious bodily fluids.
Yeesh. The Right won’t let Dreamers work, and the Left makes sure they don’t get deported. Bipartisan idiocy. Don’t say that Americans can’t work together. Meanwhile Trump, the first President to elevate Brownian motion to a policy position, says he will give Congress six months to come up with legislation that does the same thing DACA did. This is nuts .
Consider conservatives, if any. A cynic–I don’t know any of those–might notice two kinds of conservative, money conservatives, and arm-waving conservatives. The money conservatives want cheap Mexicans, and wars so they can sell bombs, and overseas factories, and price-fixing and no taxes. They are no more patriotic than Rachel Maddow is female.
The arm-waning conservatives hoot and squall about the surging brown tide and its genetic effects on apple pie and the Boy Scouts and we–eeeeek–have to Do Something urgently. But:
They aren’t against immigration either!
Nor is Trump.
Don’t think so? Ponder: There is a current federal freaking law against hiring illegal aliens, which Trump could enforce since he controls DOJ, and it carries heavy penalties.
So why doesn’t the National Cockatoo enforce this law? Think of CEOs led from offices in handcuffs, stuffed into Leavenworth to get in touch with their feminine side. Human-resources mugwumps too. The owner of the corner gas station. They are all hiring illegals, and they know they are. The first arrest would result in a lot of CEOs looking deeply into extradition law. Why doesn’t it happen? Easy.
Because our bottle-blonde Metternich has no intention of doing anything about immigration. You think he’s crazy or something?
See, the Donald knows, anyone enjoying neural parity with possums knows: Threaten major rice bowls–e.g., big businesses–and they will hand you your head on a platter. Don’t even think about shutting down ConAgra. On the other hand, arresting Pedro when he tries to renew his driver’s license is safe.
If the grrr-woofs really wanted to deport illegals, which they apparently do not, they could sweep up loads of them easily. Everyone knows where they are. Try California’s agricultural sector. Check out the construction industry in Washington DC, the heart of all darkness. See if you can find a white guy nailing up siding, or a white construction worker. Or black. If you can, put him in a glass case. The Smithsonian will probably be interested.
Yeah, yeah, I know. The employers with their hundreds of illegals say, “We, poor things that we are, just have no way of knowing who is illegal.” OK, let me get this. You are running a meat-packing plant, and seventy-five men show up looking for work. They are brown, sure, but lots of people are, especially in summer. Nothing suspicious there.
You hire them, because you see no reason to think they might be Mexicans, or illegal, right? No tell-tale signs, no hints. They don’t have papers but, hey, maybe they forgot them somewhere. Anyway you wouldn’t want to stereotype. You can’t just ask them if they are illegal because they speak only Spanish.
Can anyone take this seriously?
Not all is lost, though. The anti-immigration folk holler and jump up and down about something called eVerify. It’s an electronic way to keep from determining whether an applicant is legal. The idea is that the employer, who has a strong incentive not to detect illegals because he wants cheap labor, will check on illegals who have a strong incentive not to be detected because they want to work. I’m sure you sense the practicality in this.
It gets balmier. Nothing in this morass makes sense. Except in terms of money. America builds factories in Mexico, then discovers with horror that these factories are…in Mexico. Characteristically when you put something somewhere, that’s where it is.
In the US, while money conservatives hire Meskins with wild abandon, the arm-waving ones shriek that them Meskins is taking American jobs. How the hell does a Meskin takes an American job? Hold a gun to his head and say, “Geeve me zee shoffel or I blow your brines out”?
The obvious solution: Gun control.
You see the high moral principle in action here. It is safe to blame Paco for trying to destroy America. He can’t fight back. He answered an ad from an American auto factory in Durango, thus displaying malign intent. Paco has a pretty wife, two nice kids, hopes to pay off the mortgage one day, likes barbecue and a couple of beers on the weekend. A venomous enemy.
Ah, but attack Ford or Chevy or whoever put the factory in Mexico? Oh no. These can hire more lawyers than Trump has brain cells–this would be at least three lawyers–and, again, he isn’t crazy.
Here we come to a standout, glowing, gorgeous lunacy in a field groaning under lunacy: the notion that America will, or can, deport huge numbers of people. Glance at the numbers. Call eight years a hundred months for arithmetical convenience. A President would have to deport 8,000 Dreamers a month, and Donald is already way behind. Getting rid of 12,000,000 illegals in two years as promised by Donald would mean 500,000 a month for 24 months, or 125,000 a month for 96 months. Do you seriously think this is going to happen? Can we make a large bet?
If you have fifty million or so Latinos who are not going to go away, might it not be a good idea to think about how to assimilate them, get along with them, get them to pay taxes to blow up Syrian children? Breitbart and related sites never say a word about assimilation but just try to stir up antagonism between white and Latino. They think this is patriotism. I have my doubts.
Why won’t much deportation happen? Because the Democrats are against it, the Republicans are against it when nobody is looking, Chicago, California, and New York are against it, a dozen large businesses are very against it, the media are against it, the Loon Left is against it, academia is against it, the Latinos are not behaving badly enough, and the Millennials don’t give a damn.
Finally, we have The Wall. More accurately, we seem not to have it. This phantasm shows no inclination to spring into being. It is a useful gnaw-toy to keep various fringes out of mischief. Almost everybody seems, surreptitiously or otherwise, to be avoiding building it. Yes, we have Ann Coulter the Manhattan Steam Whistle howling like a lonely train through the mountains. “The Waaalllll…We need the Waaalllll….” Yeah well. But the Republicans just can’t seem to get there somehow, and they control Congress. When they don’t, I guess the Dems will build the rascal. Don’t you?
Conclusion: Latinos in America are a done deal. Good idea, bad idea, disaster, or doesn’t much matter–it’s still done. No epic population shifts impend. Breitbart can bark from under the sofa, but the Latinos are in America to stay. If this isn’t so, tell me why it isn’t so. Get used to it. There is no other choice.