Mexican Immigration, Part 3: Huntington Examined
by Tom Shuford
“We are a nation of immigrants.”
“We are a welcoming nation.”
“Family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande.”
“Immigrants do jobs Americans won’t do.”
With such platitudes President Bush and open borders advocates dismiss fears of rapid change due to uncontrolled, lawless immigration. The slogans are meant to smooth acceptance of a huge inflow of humanity determined not by American citizens via legislation enacted by their representatives, but by the choices of illegal aliens, human smugglers, visa overstayers and assorted businessmen who hire them.
Many Americans are not serene about this. Samuel P. Huntington, a renowned Harvard political scientist, is in their camp. Today’s heavily Mexican immigration in particular, he believes, is different from past waves of immigration, in six respects: contiguity of the sending and receiving countries, numbers, illegality, regional concentration, persistence and historical presence.
Americans have thought of immigration as symbolized by the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and more recently perhaps Kennedy Airport. Immigrants arrived in the United States after crossing several thousand miles of ocean. American attitudes towards immigrants and American immigration policies have been and, in considerable measure, still are shaped by this image. (WHO ARE WE? p222)
Mexican immigration is, in contrast, “a massive influx of people from a poor, contiguous country”:
No other First World country has a land frontier with a Third World country . . . The consequences of migrants crossing two thousand miles of relatively open border rather than two thousand miles of open ocean are immense . . . for the society, people, culture, and economy of the American Southwest. (pp222-223)
COMMENT: We all understand the main “pull” factor in this Third World — First World immigration: jobs. American businesses want cheap labor. American...