During the heyday of multiculturalism and political correctness in the 1980s, the response of us, the hosts, to this novel challenge was not to insist upon the traditional assimilation of the newcomer but rather to accommodate the illegal alien with official Spanish-language documents, bilingual education, and ethnic boosterism in our media, politics, and education. These responses only encouraged more illegals to come, on the guarantee that their material life could be better and yet their culture unchanged in the United States. We now see the results. Los Angeles is today the second-largest Mexican city in the world; one out of every ten Mexican nationals resides in the United States, the vast majority illegally.
In contrast, this spring Americans witnessed millions of illegal aliens who not only were unapologetic about their illegal status but were demanding that their hosts accommodate their own political grievances, from providing driver’s licenses to full amnesty. The largest demonstrations—held on May Day, with thousands of protesters waving Mexican flags and bearing placards depicting the communist insurrectionist Che Guevara—only confirmed to most Americans that illegal immigration was out of control and beginning to become politicized along the lines of Latin American radicalism. I chronicled in Mexifornia the anomaly of angry protesters waving the flag of the country they vehemently did not wish to return to, but now the evening news beamed these images to millions. In short, the radical socialism of Latin America, seething in the angry millions who flocked to support Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, and Mexico’s Andrés López Obrador, had now seemingly been imported into our own largest cities.
22 March 2007
Victor Davis Hanson lays it out as thoroughly as ever.