The recent legislation in Arizona is a good opportunity for American-born and naturalized Hispanics to show if they’re loyal to this country and care about its welfare, or, alternately, if they are what their spokesmen describe: an insular, self-interested, foreign group with the spirit of a colonizer, resentful, angry, contemptuous of, and alienated from the native-born majority.
Ruben Navarette asks, “This law is a reality check for all Latinos. It’s a helpful reminder that — as hard as we work, as much as we accomplish and progress — we are, by virtue of skin color or accent or Spanish surname, still on probation as far as some people are concerned. And we will be for life.”
Well, yes, that might be partly be true. Of course, that’s true of any law enforcement measure where one group is disproportionately offending. There’s another dimension to this issue that’s not true for Chinese or British immigrants: we share a very long border with a Third World nation that has no respect for our sovereignty and that has sent literally millions of poor, illegal, and highly visible Mestizos into our majority-white country for the last 40 years. And, worse, many native-born Hispanics identity with, socialize with, marry, harbor, and protect these illegal aliens that do so much harm to our country. As is typical for our multicultural age, Navarette and other immigrant activists ask for the right of his coethnics to insult us and be disloyal, while complaining about the natural consequences of such behavior for those Hispanics that are loyal and of legal status. By dint merely of living here, they want all the rights of other Americans, even as they show so little willingness to make any sacrifice for the common good. Their ethnic and tribal good always comes first. God forbid they say, as some South Asian Americans have with regard to terrorist profiling, “Search me first and leave grandma alone.”
I also think his chicken-little worries are over-stated. Any Hispanic legally in this country can probably get out of any trouble from this law through a few simple steps that nearly all native-born Hispanics can accomplish: knowing English, having a driver’s license, or having a social security number that matches their name. If these things are not in order, you cannot expect not to be confused with what you appear to be: a non-American. There is a price to living off the radar or not knowing English. Why shouldn’t this be? This minor imposition is a far cry from the “papers please!” melodrama invoking the internal passport regime of the former Soviet Union. There is post-arrest due process in America, and there is already a duty under federal law of legal immigrants to have their immigration papers upon them.
Arizona is bringing an issue to a head that is the albatross of the multicultural Democratic party. It does more to unite diverse American whites than any other issue. And why? Because native people at every level of American society know that the recent influx of a huge number of low skill, unassimilated, and excessively proud Hispanics from a neighboring and unsuccessful nation is a formula for significant internal change, decline, and disempowerment. Good for Arizona for doing the obvious in these circumstances. And good for Arizona for letting the rest of us see how Mexican chauvinism interferes with the ability of these largely recent arrivals to care about the common good.