Mexifornia: The flood of illegal immigrants into California has made things worse than Victor Davis Hanson foresaw
Victor Davis Hanson:
At the same time, focus has turned more to the U.S.-born children of Mexican illegal immigrants, in whom illegitimacy, school dropout rates, and criminal activity have risen to such levels that no longer can we simply dismiss Mexican immigration as resembling the more problematic but eventually successful Italian model of a century ago. Then, large numbers of southern European Catholics, most without capital and education, arrived en masse from Italy and Sicily, lived in ethnic enclaves, and for decades lagged behind the majority population in educational achievement, income, and avoidance of crime—before achieving financial parity as well as full assimilation and intermarriage. Since 1990, the number of poor Mexican-Americans has climbed 52 percent, a figure that skewed U.S. poverty rates. Billions of dollars spent on our own poor will not improve our poverty statistics when 1 million of the world’s poorest cross our border each year. The number of impoverished black children has dropped 17 percent in the last 16 years, but the number of Hispanic poor has gone up 43 percent. We don’t like to talk of illegitimacy, but here again the ripples of illegal immigration reach the U.S.-born generation. Half of births to Hispanic-Americans were illegitimate, 42 percent higher than the general rate of the American population. Illegitimacy is higher in general in Mexico than in the United States, but the force multiplier of illegal status, lack of English, and an absence of higher education means that the children of Mexican immigrants have illegitimacy rates even higher than those found in either Mexico or the United States.
Education levels reveal the same dismal pattern—nearly half of all Hispanics are not graduating from high school in four years. And the more Hispanic a school district becomes, the greater level of failure for Hispanic students. In the Los Angeles district, 73 percent Hispanic, 60 percent of the students are not graduating. But the real tragedy is that, of those Hispanics who do graduate, only about one in five will have completed a high school curriculum that qualifies for college enrollment. That partly helps to explain why at many campuses of the California State University system, almost half of the incoming class must first take remedial education. Less than 10 percent of those who identify themselves as Hispanic have graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree. I found that teaching Latin to first-generation Mexican-Americans and illegal aliens was valuable not so much as an introduction to the ancient world but as their first experience with remedial English grammar.
Meanwhile, almost one in three Mexican-American males between the ages of 18 and 24 recently reported being arrested, one in five has been jailed, and 15,000 illegal aliens are currently in the California penal system.
Do We Want Mexifornia?
We can't even spell our own gangs right
THE DEBATE ON LATINO EDUCATION