pportunity to offset the effect on elections of the black vote by gaining the Latin or Hispanic vote for Republicans. From this standpoint, amnesty for Latin illegals and permission for Mexican trucking companies to deliver goods in the U.S. make political sense.
However, the combination of amnesty and quotas spells the end of the American constitutional order and implies the marginalization of native-born white citizens. Republican plans to gain the Latin vote will cost native-born whites their rights.
The U.S. Constitution prohibits differential group rights that confer higher or lower legal standing on the basis of class, race, religion or any other basis. The combination of U.S. immigration and civil rights policies is destroying the equality in law that is the basis of our constitutional order.
Ever since Senator Ted Kennedy (D,Mass.) restructured U.S. immigration law in 1965, practically every legal immigrant has been a “person of color.” The 1964 Civil Rights Act was rewritten by federal bureaucrats and federal courts to favor people of color, thereby creating an illegal and unconstitutional policy of legal preferences.
The perversion of the Civil Rights Act means that practically every immigrant who arrives on our shores has privileged legal standing in discrimination lawsuits, federal contracting, university admissions, employment and promotion.
Legal and illegal immigrants constitute a new class of citizens with privileges based on skin color. Good intentions and crass politics have produced two classes of citizens separated by a new color line: non-preferred whites and “preferred minorities.”
Even with minorities comprising a relatively small percentage of the population, it has proved to be impossible for native-born whites to regain the equal protection of the law that is guaranteed by the Constitution. Among others, Professor Frederick R. Lynch at Claremont McKenna College in California has shown that racial quotas persist even in California and Washington, two states with anti-quota laws on the books.
As the voter ranks of preferred minorities continue to swell with high rates of legal immigration and amnesties for illegals, there is little prospect for color-blind law.
People who advocate open borders have studiously avoided the implication for equality in law. Although never put formally to a vote, the decision has been made to sacrifice the Constitution in favor of immigration from the Third World. Even if immigration advocates were correct about its economic benefits, are these benefits worth the demise of equality in law, an achievement of centuries of struggle?
Once group rights are in place, they tend to expand. Why should a preferred group’s privileges be limited to employment, government contracts, college admissions and discrimination lawsuits? Why not all lawsuits? Why should a legally privileged group be subject to the same income tax and criminal law that applies to second class citizens?
Unlike the old color line, the new color line is based in federal regulations and executive branch policies. Instead of combating these unconstitutional policies, the Bush administration is gearing up to defend before the Supreme Court a Department of Transportation set-aside program for the new class of preferred citizens, who have acquired the right to a percentage of federal contracts even if they are the high bidders.
If Republicans will not combat unconstitutional privilege because they want to expand their voter base to include Latins, how can they possibly object to preferences once preferred minorities are part of their voter base? The end result will be Republicans and Democrats trying to out-bid each other with offers of new privileges for preferred minorities. At some point even white liberals will see the writing on the wall.
Legal privileges for people of color are buttressed by classroom teachings that portray Western civilization not as the triumph of liberty and democracy but as the oppressor of women and minorities. The white male is portrayed as evil incarnate. Why should he have equal rights? The new color line is his just deserts. The Bush administration is going to etch the new color line more deeply in law.
Paul Craig Roberts is the author, with Lawrence M. Stratton, of The New Color Line: How Quotas and Privilege Destroy Democracy. His latest book with Stratton, The Tyranny of Good Intentions: How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice, was the subject of a recent Forbes article by VDARE’s Peter Brimelow