Victor David Hanson was interviewed recently by Junge Freiheit, a Swiss newspaper.
On Mexico, about which he’s written a book, “Mexifornia”, he said, “1)We are wide open to terrorist infiltration; 2) We privilege illegal immigration from Mexico, while penalizing and delaying legal immigration from Asia, Africa, and Europe; 3) We serve as a safety valve and enabler for Mexico, which therefore will never make needed reforms; 4) We are creating a chauvinistic tribalism, a race industry that tries to convert the presence of 15 million illegal aliens into some sort of political movement; 5) We use cheap illegal labor to ensure our own entry level workers cannot bargain or organize.”
Hanson was asked why the United States was permitting illegal immigration to happen. “The libertarian/corporate Right,” he said, “likes cheap, exploitable labor, while the identity-politics on the Left wants more constituents. And the majority in between was asleep at the wheel for thirty years, afraid to speak out lest they be called ‘protectionists’ and ‘nativists’ by elites who read the Wall Street Journal and ‘racists’ by the academic and political left.”
Hanson's solution to illegal immigration is comprehensive: “Fence the points of easiest transit; beef up security; provide a fool-proof ID; fine employers who hire illegals; do not provide public services in multiple languages; insist that newcomers are legal, and accept our language and protocols. Close the border and fine employers, and then the influx will stop — and the existing cohort of illegals will insidiously begin to assimilate and disappear as a distinct bloc.”
Any reasonable solution proposed by the Bush administration already has been effectively demonized: “The Left agrees with him, but nevertheless wants to see him fail for political purposes in the post-Iraq climate; the Right thinks he is a megaphone for Wall Street and privileges the employers’ concerns over the middle class’s anxieties. So his policies are orphaned and the debate has moved so far to the right that his moderate suggestions seem radically liberal in this new political landscape.”
The interview then turned to Europe, and Hanson, also the author of “A War Like No Other,” an account of the Peloponnesian war, bravely did not let up at all. If anything, the future of Europe, he said, looks more bleak and intractable than here in the United States.
Hanson was asked to dilate on the different approaches taken in Europe and the United States to similar problems.
“We will stop the influx soon and through our powers of assimilation and popular culture absorb those here; you may well not and thus are already seeing a tiny elite on top mouthing utopian leftwing bromides while a radical rightwing movement on bottom will grow, demanding xenophobic solutions.
“I am not confident in an easy solution for Europe, given its 20th-century past — whether confronting the specter of a Muslim Eurabia, or the counter-rightwing backlash that could get very ugly. You in Europe have little facility — socially, culturally, and politically — to absorb immigrants into full-fledged Europeans. We do (as Europe’s historic critiques of America as a mongrel nation attest) — if the numbers of new arrivals are reasonable, of diverse backgrounds, and of legal status.
“Officially Europe sounds more utopian, while in reality Europeans are clannish and reluctant to integrate and embrace; America sounds strident and angry, while Americans in their personal lives integrate, assimilate, and marry Mexican nationals who come here illegally — the tragedy being that if we just cut the numbers of new arrivals of illegals, the existing cohort would soon disappear through assimilation.”
The interview is on the whole not the sort one is likely to read in the too cautious press here in the United States, neither does one expect this level of discussion in the coming US general election.