Monday, July 24, 2006

The GOP's "Inconvenient Truth"

President Bush and the "Open Borders" lobby on the right have argued that massive Latino immigration to the US, legal or otherwise, would be good for the US because it would be good for the GOP. The argument ran like this: Latinos have a more "family-centered" culture than most Americans and would thus be more amenable to the conservative message, and more willing to vote for GOP candidates. As an added advantage, most Latinos are Roman Catholic and thus, presumably, pro-life, another supposed boon to the GOP. But as Randall Parker and Steve Sailer have been pointing out for years, Latinos in the US aren't adopting the Anglo-like, bourgeois lifestyle that their "family-centered" culture had led certain conservatives to expect. In fact, Latinos have adopted the worst part of the ghetto culture epitomized by gangs, drugs, violence, and teen pregnancy (a near absolute guarantee of multigenerational poverty). Heather McDonald points out the inconvenient facts at the National Review:

The truth is now supplanting the fiction. Last Friday, the New York Times ran an editorial, “Young Latinas and a Cry for Help,” that laid out the real state of the Hispanic family. A quarter of all Latinas are mothers by the age of 20, few of them married, reported the Times. This out-of-wedlock teen-birth rate is three times that of white teens, and significantly more than that of blacks as well. The Hispanic dropout rate is also the highest in the country — the Manhattan Institute’s Jay Greene puts it at 47 percent.

There is simply no way to square the facts about Hispanic family breakdown with the myth of the redemptive Hispanic. Talk to any social worker and she will tell you that illegitimacy has become completely normalized among her Hispanic clients. And the usual explanation for this epidemic of illegitimacy — an unresolved culture clash between young people and their traditional parents — is equally bogus. The mothers of teen mothers are themselves completely on board with single parenting, say the social workers, having often been single parents themselves. And they have no qualms about hooking their daughter and grandchildren into the public-benefits apparatus: “It’s now culturally OK for that population to be served by the welfare system,” says a case manager in a Santa Ana, Calif., home for teen mothers.

Worse for conservatives, not only are Latinos more prone to the pitfalls of the ghetto culture they are emulating, but their declining fortunes will force even more government intervention in a desperate and futile effort to turn the tide:

Far from exercising a brake on the erosion of traditional values, as conservative immigration advocates claim, the growing Hispanic population will provide the impetus for more government alternatives to personal responsibility. Advocates for young unwed mommies in the South Bronx are agitating for more day-care centers in high schools to accommodate the students’ children, reports El Diario/LA PRENSA. Demand for the 18 day-care slots at Bronx Regional High School, for example, far outstrips the supply, an 18-year-old Hispanic mother who attends the school told the paper. A bill has been introduced in Congress, the Latina Adolescent Suicide Prevention Act, to channel $10 million in federal funds to “culturally competent” social agencies to improve the self-esteem of Latina girls and to provide “support services” to their families and friends if they contemplate suicide.

Of course, President Bush and the current GOP leadership have already killed any notion of Republican fiscal responsibility or commitment to reducing the size of government. So massive Latino poverty fueling massive government expansion is probably not objectionable to the current GOP. Perhaps it's been the plan all along. Though one wonders how it will help Republicans, since no one hands out social welfare like Democrats.

The neo-conservative view of immigration is as divorced from reality as its vision of democracy curing terrorism in the Middle East. But at least that disaster is thousands of miles away. The immigration debacle is occuring within the US itself, destroying the country from within. Osama bin Laden doesn't need to buy nuclear weapons to destroy American Civilization, the US government is merrily doing the job for him.


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