Unless border security issues are resolved, Senate passage could prove the permanent plateau for immigration reform efforts in the 113th Congress. More importantly, if border security is not substantially improved from a current state in which even immigration reform advocates believe at least 11 million undocumented workers are inside U.S. borders and many believe the number is much higher, America faces a largely unconsidered threat to its existence in today’s shape and form. (This challenge serves as the premise to my novels.)
With border security so critical to a much-needed immigration reform process, I spent last night listening to Dennis Michael Lynch, a filmmaker who has invested his own time and money investigating border security and immigration issues far more deeply than 60-second puff pieces typically spewed as investigative reporting on border security. A link to the web site for “They Come to America” and “They Come to America II” is below. I recommend these films for anyone interested in immigration and border security issues. If you haven’t considered why the U.S. government has signs posted in Mandarin Chinese along human trafficking routes from Mexico, you’ll be certain to consider new questions after watching the movies.
I was hopeful at the start of the year that real immigration reform could move forward, even though such reform might temporarily and partially negate the premise for my books. The principles by the Senate Gang of Eight included a path to citizenship for those here illegally that would be “contingent upon our success in securing our borders and addressing visa overstays.”
When recently resigned Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said repeatedly in recent months that the border is already secure, she uttered an absurdity that made clear this Administration could not be trusted to use fact to assess or pursue border security. If you watch Lynch’s films, you’ll have no doubt the notion that we have secure borders is beyond reasonable belief.
Recently, congressional debate has centered around who can be trusted to accurately assess whether our borders are secure before triggering the path to citizenship for those who entered or overstayed illegally in the past. Without secure borders, passage of an immigration reform bill now would just be another “rinse” in a series of “rinse and repeat” processes on immigration that date back to President Reagan. Continue reading →
Several counties in northeast Colorado are launching an effort to secede from the rest of that state, citing large policy gaps. This effort comes 150 years ago after West Virginia, originally admitted as the State of Kanawha, seceded from Virginia during the Civil War. While I don’t predict that this secession movement will succeed, secession movements at the national and state/provincial levels have occurred globally at a rapid pace over the last century. Not all secession movements are built around grand human rights issues such as the slavery issue that drove West Virginia’s divorce from Virginia.
In my home state of Illinois, a 14-county region in the western part of the state carried on a largely PR-based secession movement to create a new state called Forgottonia. Ironically, most have forgotten this movement, which was initiated to draw attention to the lack of infrastructure investment in the region. I recently stopped in Fandon, Illinois, the presumed capital of Forgottonia. These photos show much of the town, and the only evidence I was actually in Fandon.
In Melting Point 2040, 18-year-old Mexican immigrant Juan Gonzalez is spurred into aggressive political protest by an English fluency requirement at a massive retailer in a heavily Spanish speaking part of Arizona. War gamer/survivalist and English-only speaker Pete Roote is angered by a Spanish-only hiring requirement at a Colorado meatpacking firm established because it is easier to train in one language by hiring only Spanish-speaking applicants. In my novel, those events take place in 2040.
Last weekend, a dispute began drawing national attention to issues of language requirements. Two employees at a Whole Foods store in New Mexico claim they were suspended for complaining about what they characterized as an English-only requirement. Whole Foods disputes the characterization of their policy, saying they require English to be spoken on the clock, except when speaking to customers who prefer another language. The company says the policy is to spur “inclusion” and to improve employee safety, noting also that employees can speak any language at lunch, on breaks, or if all participants in a discussion agree to speak in another language. The company also says that the two suspended employees were suspended for “rude and disrespectful behavior,” not a language policy violation.
At a news conference outside the Albuquerque store, the director of the New Mexico League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) threatened to launch a nationwide boycott of Whole Foods if the company does not change its policy. MoveOn.org, often seen as a branch of the Democratic Party, has jumped into the fray nationally, starting a petition drive to force Whole Foods to allows employees to speak with each other in any language. Continue reading →
The extensive series of ongoing scandals (IRS, DOJ, AP, Rosen, NSA, Sebelius, etc…) are important events, but are only symptomatic of or in some cases mask the very real threats we face to our national survival.
In his “Life-Spans of Empires” study, Harvard’s Samuel Arbesman found that the average empire lasted 220 years over the 3,600-year period he reviewed. The United States is already 237 years old. While perhaps the nation is not technically an empire, U.S. development on the North American continent followed imperialist expansion patterns, beginning with a pioneering stage that was followed with a series of conquests that led toward long periods of commercial expansion and affluence. For today, at least, America remains the leading superpower with economic, military and cultural influence, which attracts opposition when that influence is seen as pervasive.
As the Senate begins debate on immigration reform today, it takes up a topic important to national unity and longevity, far more so than any of the issues that dominate the headlines. Continue reading →
In the past two weeks, a soldier in London was beheaded by Islamic terrorists, a soldier near Paris was stabbed in the neck by an angry immigrant and immigrants rioted in Stockholm. As these events built, social media platforms lit up with exchanges on whether multiculturalism is starting to fail — or has already failed. At question are policies that bring in immigrants from Islamic nations to stave off population decline and associated economic calamities.
The issue, from what I have seen, is not that diverse peoples cannot live together in harmony. It is that diversity requires integration for long-term success. Many advocates of multiculturalism suggest that is is culturally insensitive or racist to require immigrants to learn a common language, adapt new societal norms in the new country and otherwise take part in the broader society. I believe the opposite is the case.
One of America’s current failings is that we are stepping backward in implementing Brown v. Board of Education. Continue reading →
In recent weeks, issues of race, language, immigration and the potential for broader conflict have elevated considerably following a national report showing that racial segregation is expanding at a dramatic pace. That this study took place and subsequent consternation is taking place in the United Kingdom should offer no relief to those of us worried about the long term impacts of segregation in the United States.
A recent column in Express laments Britain’s move toward looking like America: “In such places as Detroit and Baltimore a white person is as rare as a truthful politician. There are entire school districts that are white, black or Hispanic. It is important to stress this is wrong for everyone involved, from black to white and every colour in between. Segregation is not the way forward; integration is, yet we are further away from that in this country than ever before.”
The Express columnist noted former Equality and Human Rights Commission Chairman Trevor Phillips saw accelerated segregation coming eight years earlier when he warned Britain was “sleepwalking into segregation” and allowing “ghettoes” of different races and faiths to flourish. “Predictably he was shouted down and bizarrely even branded a racist,” the columnist wrote. (Segregation is Madness.)
Long-term segregation, along racial, language or religious lines, has led to violent confrontation in nearly every country through human history where it has been allowed to flourish. Those who suggest it won’t happen here believe the conditions for conflict won’t exist in their lifetime. I believe we are merely awaiting the final demographic shifts and ascension of exploitative, self-serving politicians to turn growing divisions into conflict if we don’t begin acting to create more integrated experiences.
There is no greater gift that we can give to mothers on this day than to ensure their children do not end up fighting in senseless conflicts driven by divisions we saw coming, but then allowed to happen.
A controversy erupted recently when a Towson University student suggested that black Republicans should be segregated from white Republicans during a recent gathering of political conservatives. “We self-segregate as it is,” the student was quoted as saying during a Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) session. “I really don’t think we have any other choice, it’s just human nature.”
Recent U.S. demographic trends and other historical studies suggest his first statement is accurate. But the idea that we have no other choice but to segregate is wrong, ignores evidence of the value of integration, and weakens our society by separating each of us from others whose philosophies, cultures and ideas can enrich America’s melting pot and us as individuals.
While this article, and many others about the exchange, rightly call out those in the conservative movement who advocate racial intolerance, there is equal evidence that many liberals think race should be a determining factor in establishing a wide range of government policies. Both directions call for the population to be segregated. Segregation does not bode well for America’s future, and should be rejected in whatever forum the idea arises. Building a common language and common elements of culture are necessary pre-conditions to the nation’s long-term survival.
There is a great deal to like in the proposed bipartisan immigration compromise put together by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and others.
I’ve often worried that principles are generally the last consideration in the political process. With this agreement, the eight senators started with principles. That alone is commendable.
Our political system flaws – where party leaders seek divisions to exploit instead of problems to solve – means that these principles are unlikely to be fully followed in the coming decades even if enacted. Still, even with my skepticism, I’m heartened that the agreement matches five critical principles I think are important to national longevity:
1) All men and women are created equal in our rights to pursue success.
2) People who follow the law should have a better chance of succeeding than those who break it.
3) An integrating society speaking a common language is more likely to survive over the centuries than a segregating society speaking separate languages.
4) We need to attract bright, hard-working, tax-paying immigrants to grow our economy and meet our social program promises.
5) While it would be nice to have principle #1 applied to all seven billion people on the planet, our national survival and prosperity means we can only model this behavior with our citizens and legal immigrants.
The professor recounts the racist behavior of a playground monitor and quotes an unnamed individual that “no true patriot could support or tolerate this hateful law” as evidence of the accuracy of his message against “cultural genocide.”
I think the Professor is missing the point.
America needs to be multi-cultural and multi-lingual; on that he is correct. However, we benefit as a nation by sharing a common language that allows us to communicate effectively with each other. A common language also minimizes the risk of being torn apart. (See other posts on this blog for comments about ongoing secession efforts around the world.) Continue reading →
Tomorrow, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As we do, it’s worthwhile to also celebrate the man whose teachings guided Dr. King. Benjamin Elijah Mays was a minister, college president and Dr. King’s spiritual adviser. His life story and views are worth remembering. A quote on the importance of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, from the attached article, stands out as one of his many crucial insights: “Make no mistake—as this country could not exist half slave and half free, it cannot exist half segregated and half desegregated.”
Unfortunately, America is again being divided by politicians more intent on securing the advance of the Democratic or Republican parties than on finding common cause and uniting the nation behind it. America is resegregating – in the communities in which we live and the viewpoints to which we expose ourselves. For decades now, we have created racially segregated political districts, yet appear surprised that politicians act on the personal gain they accrue from fostering divisions. With today’s second-term presidential inauguration, it’s clear we’ve come a long way from the nation in which a young Benny Mays watched his father be forced at gunpoint to remove his hat, salute and bow to a mob of white men simply because they were white. But we still have a very long way to go to eliminate racism perpetuated by some people of every race.