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Disentangling the Immigration Hype.

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posted on Apr, 17 2006 @ 08:24 PM
[ I live in Texas, in an hispanic-majority city, and have an opportunity to work with a cross-section of texas society. ]

First of all, it's important to stress that the hispanic community in the US is not monolithic, and varies from one region of the US to another. Different states have a different culture of inclusion that varies greatly. One example of this is Texas, where the "immigrant protests" have been miniscule compared to those in illinois and california. Despite the fact that Texas has a much larger immigrant population than most other states, and will be predominantly hispanic by 2030.

Second, the reason that the vast majority of illegals come to the US is to work. Many of them are sending pay dollars home to mexico, where the dollar's buying power is incredible when compared to the peso. I would say that 9 out of 10 illegals give at least some thought to staying in the US permanently.

Third, most mexicans who intend to stay in the US make plans to bring other family members here. Thus, the average illegal immigrant has a vested interest in creating a safe community, without a lot of racial violence or hate from other groups.

Unless there is radical change, here are several predictions, and why I believe they will come to pass:

1. Despite the media, "immigrant boycotts" this year will be of extremely limited impact.
Think about it; the illegal alien is the prototypical "line-crosser." He is breaking the law to work---so why would he listen to strike organizers, and stay home from work? After all, he can easily be replaced if he doesn't show up for work during a strike. He's got no rights, and more importantly, he's got no desire to go hungry.

How will strike organizers enforce a strike? By threatening scabs? That won't go very far, when the scabs can easily be turned over to the authorities.

As far as boycotting American businesses, on either side of the border goes, just remember that the reason people want American goods is because they are cool. As far as food goes, there are "hispanic groceries" all over texas; it's not like they're shopping much at albertson's anyway.

If you think such a boycott will have a long-term impact, then I urge you to visit border texas towns like McAllen, Loredo, or El Paso. Everywhere you look, you'll see Mexican "day shoppers" who come here to buy US goods not avaiable on the other side. From pick-ups to barbecue grills, mexican nationals who have no intention of moving here will still drive hundreds of miles across mexican desert, and sit in line at the border, for the privilege of "buying American." A boycott may cause a slow weekend, but I doubt many mexicans will avoid buying a ford pickup because of it. And if they do, they'll get a Nissan --- mfg'd at the Kentucky plant, anyway.

2. Most of the "white on brown" violence will occur in the northern USA. In the southwest, Mexican culture has already blended with anglo culture, to the extent that most people can name at least one family member or close friend who has married across racial lines. It is only in the North, where hispanics are segregated and pitted against other minorities that violence will erupt on a really dangerous scale.

3. Despite the media, Congress will do nothing. again.
Most radical "white power" candidates will be shunned, by whites who think it is immoral to "vote racial." The moderate candidates will talk about "opportunity initiatives," and they will hope the whole thing dies down. The real question will begin in 2009, when new candidates, who've been thinking about the issue for their entire campaigns, finally take office.

The only thing that will change these forecasts is, if the Republican party is driven from office in 2006 or 2008. If they are desperate, they might play the "race card" and make elections a referendum on race. While I believe it would fail, it would also groom moderates to deal with immigration in a mature fashion. In other words, it'll be 2010 or 2012 before you see meaningful change. Until then, get ready for a lot of flag waiving, and a lot of pundits preaching to you on what the "moral high ground" looks like for the immigration issue.


posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 08:09 AM
I also live in the Southwest where Mexican immigrants are a part of the culture. I'm not sure we had any protests at all. I didn't hear about them if we did.

I believe you're right when you speak of the Immigration Hype. It's hyped out of proportion to keep us focused on that instead of what's really going on in our country and with the war. How else do we explain that this was never a problem, but all of a sudden, illegal immigrants are taking over the country?

Very good post. I agree with your points 100%.

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