Samuel Huntington's 'The Hispanic Challenge' describes how current Hispanic immigration presents a unique challenge to America. In the L.A. Times, former Mexican foreign minister and current Mexican presidential candidate Jorge Castaneda tries to counter his argument ('Addition to the Melting Pot Requires a New Recipe Book'):
And they lead, in [Huntington's] view, to one fundamental trend: Mexican immigrants are not assimilating into the American melting pot the way other ethnic groups have in the past. If this is even partly true, then Huntington's concern for the future is warranted...
Former Melrose Place actress Daphne Zuniga
deals with her Oppression yesterday.
But despite Huntington's pessimism, the reality is that such an outcome is not inevitable for Mexicans in the U.S.
U.S. history includes several examples - including the Irish - in which broad assimilation occurred without immigrants' losing their traditions or links with their native country.
Irish traditions? Irish links? Few Irish-Americans know anyone in Ireland. Most Irish would have trouble discerning Irish traditions among Irish-Americans. For most Irish-Americans, their celebration of Irish traditions consists of getting drunk every March 17th.
Why can't it be the same for Mexicans? It is true that many previous groups of immigrants didn't face a language barrier, and that they probably didn't face racism as acute as Mexicans today face. But that does not mean it cannot happen.
The most relevant criticism of Huntington's argument is that it describes a situation he characterizes as undesirable but makes no effort to offer a solution. That, in part, is why his argument has been so controversial and why he's faced charges of racism - unfairly in my opinion. Huntington is a conservative, but he is not a racist.
Mexican immigration does have distinctive traits that do make difficult, if not impossible, the automatic assimilation that characterized previous waves of immigration. This is not a question of lack of will; it is a matter of history.
That is why the United States must make a major effort to construct a new type of assimilation that is both voluntary and effective...
Ah, here we finally get to the point where Castaneda proves Huntington's point. According to Castaneda, we need to change our way of assimilation to accomodate these new immigrants. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. And, these changes that Castaneda suggests run counter to America principles.
As Castaneda himself says, "Huntington's concern for the future is warranted" if we have to radically change our system to meet the needs of these new immigrants. No other immigrant groups have required such changes, and that includes the Irish. All of these proposals are bad for America.
Proposal #2 above is disingenuous at the least. While anti-Hispanic or anti-Mexican discrimination does exist, the fact remains that once a Mexican makes it over our southern border he automatically becomes a member of a Protected Class, sometimes having more rights than U.S. citizens. Those new Protected Minorities are automatically enrolled into the forces of the Victimization and Race Industry. Perhaps Castaneda is referring to the extremist position that any form of border control is a form of discrimination.
However, the worst idea of all is that of dual citizenship, which automatically leads to divided loyalties. From the Revolutionary War on, this country has not looked at all favorably on those who have such divided loyalties.
If Castaneda's proposals aren't acted on, what is he going to do? Perhaps he could propagate militant activities in the U.S. Oh wait, he's already done that, and with some success.
Immigration2003 · Fri, 04/02/2004 - 12:16 · Importance: 1