Ever wonder who those people are at Trump rallies that scream, “Mexico!” when Trump asks who is going to pay for his “wall” on the border with Mexico?
Ever wonder why Donald Trump did not mention illegally present Mexicans when he opened his presidential campaign by lamenting that “Mexico is not sending its best” to America but “rapists” and “criminals,” while only “some” were good people? He never said “illegal.”
His supporters responded like they usually do and voted for him in November 2016 because they are ignorant; they are uneducated yahoos from what is left of a rural America plagued by vacant towns, few hospitals, little industry, terrible schools and an agricultural industry being out produced by Mexican and Chinese farmers. So say some people. But not all are uneducated yahoos.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham is an educated lawyer (and former Supreme Court clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas) with an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth. She is not a yahoo of any sort with one tiny exception. Judge her yourself — use her words:
“In some parts of the country, it does seem like the America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. And they’re changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like. From Virginia to California, we see stark examples of how radically in some ways the country has changed. Now much of this is related to both illegal, and in some cases, legal immigration that, of course, progressives love.”
She parrots Fox colleague Tucker Carlson who isn’t anywhere near as educated and erudite as Ingraham is; she mentions — as he does — that Americans didn’t vote for immigration.
But they both ignore certain critical facts: the Constitution clearly was built around immigration and new citizenry. Article 1, Section 8, mandates that only Congress can deal with “naturalization” (citizenship) and that the very first Congress passed a citizenship law in 1790; albeit it directed that only “free and white” people could become citizens.
So, the American people did vote –—through their congressional representatives and senators — on immigration. They have done so many times. Congress restricted immigrants by exclusion if they were Chinese, Indian from India, Japanese, etc. because they were specifically “Asian.” Congress made slave importation — a form of immigration, albeit forced — illegal.
In 1924 an all-but-one white Congress voted to restrict immigrants from Europe in an effort to keep Jews from Eastern Europe and Russia from coming, Italian and Spanish Catholics from coming as well as Greeks and other Mediterranean people. They were very clever, those congress people — they simply imposed quotas by nationality based on a tiny percentage of the nationality that were in the United States in 1890.
As the vast preponderance of immigrants from Italy/Sicily and Eastern Europe didn’t arrive until after 1890, the Congress essential cut off immigration of undesirable Roman Catholics and Jews from Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Belarus. Those quotas held until Congress changed immigration law in 1965.
It should be noted that the very immigrant “plague” Ingraham, Carlson and the president himself are so worried about was not affected by the 1924 restriction on immigration. Mexicans were not assigned a quota by Congress. Paperwork was ordered resulting in Mexicans being the largest legal immigrant group into the United States in recent years. Additionally, illegal border crossers added to the number of Mexicans moving to the United States.
The result is that approximately 37 million Mexican-origin people, most American citizens by birth and a healthy number by naturalization, populate all 50 states of the Union. Additionally, another 20 million people who call themselves Latinos or Hispanics live here and don’t plan on leaving.
Where Ingraham is wrong is that there are dramatic changes in America that can be blamed or credited to immigrants, legal and illegal.
Best estimates of illegally-present in the country are 11 to 12 million people in the United States. Fantasy estimates like the 20-million Tucker Carlson refers to made by “economists” at a failed investment company that disappeared in 2008 are invalid and unprovable by any measure.
Immigration expert Jeffrey Passel estimates that around 55 percent of all illegals in-country are Mexican; thus, about 6 million illegals may be Mexican — 1.8 percent of the country’s 327-million population.
Maybe Laura Ingraham should ponder on that; just how much deleterious change can 1.8 percent of the population dictate in America?
Raoul Lowery-Contreras is the author of The Armenian Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy and “Murder in the Mountains: War Crime in Khojaly.” He also wrote for the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller