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Saturday, June 12, 2004 News - Latest News - Immigration Whistle-Blower 'Withdrawn from Post' News - Latest News - Immigration Whistle-Blower 'Withdrawn from Post'

A British diplomat who exposed a series of immigration scams is facing investigation over “serious anomalies” in the handling of visa applications, it was disclosed tonight.

The Foreign Office said James Cameron, the British consul in Romania, had been withdrawn from his post in Bucharest and recalled to London while an investigation was carried out.

Mr Cameron was responsible for exposing abuses of the immigration system – including the issuing of a visa to a one-legged Romanian roof tiler – which led to the resignation of the immigration minister Beverley Hughes.

The Sunday Times tonight reported that Mr Cameron had told friends that he was the victim of a “political prosecution” for providing “ammunition” to the Tories to attack the Government.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “I can confirm that James Cameron, a diplomatic service officer in Bucharest doing visa and consular work, has now been withdrawn.

“Information has come to light that points to serious anomalies in the handling of visa applications in Bucharest and he has been asked to return to London while and investigation into these anomalies is conducted.”

Mr Cameron was originally suspended last March after emailing shadow home secretary David Davis about concerns over the fast-tracking of visa applications from Romania and Bulgaria without proper checks.

Ms Hughes originally denied that she had known of the concerns among officials but was forced to quit after it emerged that she had been alerted to the problem by another minister.

Mr Davis said: “Had it not been for James Cameron’s brave actions, much of the failures, misdemeanours and deceit would not have been exposed”.

Friday, June 11, 2004

PUERTO RICO HERALD: Puerto Rico Gloats Over Gutierrez Hispanic Nation



Hispanic Nation

Hispanics are an immigrant group like no other. Their huge numbers are challenging old assumptions about assimilation. Is America ready?

By Brian Grow, with Ronald Grover, Arlene Weintraub, and Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles, Mara Der Hovanesian in New York, Michael Eidam in Atlanta, and bureau reports

June 14, 2004
Copyright ©2004 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved.

Maria Velazquez was born in a dingy hospital on the U.S.-Mexican border and has been straddling the two nations ever since. The 36-year-old daughter of a bracero, a Mexican migrant who tended California strawberry and lettuce fields in the 1960s, she spent her first nine years like a nomad, crossing the border with her family each summer to follow her father to work. Then her parents and their six children settled down in a Chicago barrio, where Maria learned English in the local public school and met Carlos Velazquez, who had immigrated from Mexico as a teenager. The two married in 1984, when Maria was 17, and relocated to nearby Cicero, Ill. Her parents returned to their homeland the next year with five younger kids.

The Velazquezes speak fluent English and cherish their middle-class foothold in America. Maria and Carlos each earn about $20,000 a year as a school administrator and a graveyard foreman, respectively, and they own a simple three-bedroom home. But they remain wedded to their native language and culture. Spanish is the language at home, even for their five boys, ages 6 to 18. The kids speak to each other and their friends in English flecked with "dude" and "man," but in Cicero, where 77% of the 86,000 residents are Hispanic, Spanish dominates.

The older boys snack at local taquerías when they don't eat at home, where Maria's cooking runs to dishes like chicken mole and enchiladas. The family reads and watches TV in Spanish and English. The eldest, Jesse, is a freshman at nearby Morton College and dreams of becoming a state trooper; his girlfriend is also Mexican-American. "It's important that they know where they're from, that they're connected to their roots," says Maria, who bounced between Spanish and English while speaking to BusinessWeek. She tries to take the kids to visit her parents in the tiny Mexican town of Valle de Guadalupe at least once a year. "It gives them a good base to start from."

The Velazquezes, with their mixed cultural loyalties, are at the center of America's new demographic bulge. Baby boomers, move over -- the bebé boomers are coming. They are 39 million strong, including some 8 million illegal immigrants -- bilingual, bicultural, mostly younger Hispanics who will drive growth in the U.S. population and workforce as far out as statisticians can project (charts). Coming from across Latin America, but predominantly Mexico, and with high birth rates, these immigrants are creating what experts are calling a "tamale in the snake," a huge cohort of kindergarten to thirtysomething Hispanics created by the sheer velocity of their population growth -- 3% a year, vs. 0.8% for everyone else.

It's not just that Latinos, as many prefer to be called, officially passed African Americans last year to become the nation's largest minority. Their numbers are so great that, like the postwar baby boomers before them, the Latino Generation is becoming a driving force in the economy, politics, and culture.

Cultural Clout

It amounts to no less than a shift in the nation's center of gravity. Hispanics made up half of all new workers in the past decade, a trend that will lift them from roughly 12% of the workforce today to nearly 25% two generations from now. Despite low family incomes, which at $33,000 a year lag the national average of $42,000, Hispanics' soaring buying power increasingly influences the food Americans eat, the clothes they buy, and the cars they drive. Companies are scrambling to revamp products and marketing to reach the fastest-growing consumer group. Latino flavors are seeping into mainstream culture, too. With Hispanic youth a majority of the under-18 set, or close to it, in cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, and San Antonio, what's hip there is spreading into suburbia, much the way rap exploded out of black neighborhoods in the late 1980s.

Hispanic political clout is growing, too. In a Presidential race that's likely to be as tight as the last one, they could be a must-win swing bloc. Indeed, the increase in voting-age Hispanics since 2000 now outstrips the margin of victory in seven states for either President George W. Bush or former Vice-President Albert Gore, according to a new study by HispanTelligence, a Santa Barbara (Calif.) research group. Bush opened the election year with a guest-worker proposal for immigrants that pundits took as a play for the Latino vote. He will follow up by rekindling his relationship with Mexican President Vicente Fox, who's due to visit Bush at his Crawford, Texas, ranch on Mar. 5. Democrats, traditionally the dominant party among Hispanics, are stepping up their outreach, too. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, a Mexican-American and potential Vice-Presidential candidate, delivered a first-ever Spanish-language version of the Democrat's rebuttal to the State of the Union address.

The U.S. has never faced demographic change quite like this before. Certainly, the Latino boom brings a welcome charge to the economy at a time when others' population growth has slowed to a crawl. Without a steady supply of new workers and consumers, a graying U.S. might see a long-term slowdown along the lines of aging Japan, says former Housing and Urban Development chief Henry Cisneros, who now builds homes in Hispanic-rich markets such as San Antonio. "Here we have this younger, hard-working Latino population whose best working years are still ahead," he says.

Already, Latinos are a key catalyst of economic growth. Their disposable income has jumped 29% since 2001, to $652 billion last year, double the pace of the rest of the population, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia. Similarly, the ranks of Latino entrepreneurs has jumped by 30% since 1998, calculates the Internal Revenue Service. "The impact of Hispanics is huge, especially since they're the fastest-growing demographic," says Merrill Lynch & Co. (MER ) Vice-President Carlos Vaquero, himself a Mexican immigrant based in Houston. Vaquero oversees part of the company's 350-person Hispanic unit, which is hiring 100 mostly bilingual financial advisers this year and which generated $1 billion worth of new business nationwide last year, double its goal.

Yet the rise of a minority group this distinct requires major adjustments, as well.

Already, Hispanics are spurring U.S. institutions to accommodate a second linguistic group. The Labor Dept. and Social Security Administration are hiring more Spanish-language administrators to cope with the surge in Spanish speakers in the workforce. Politicians, too, increasingly reach out to Hispanics in their own language.

What's not yet clear is whether Hispanic social cohesion will be so strong as to actually challenge the idea of the American melting pot. At the extreme, ardent assimilationists worry that the spread of Spanish eventually could prompt Congress to recognize it as an official second language, much as French is in Canada today.

Some even predict a Quebec-style Latino dominance in states such as Texas and California that will encourage separatism, a view expressed in a recent book called Mexifornia: A State of Becoming by Victor Davis Hanson, a history professor at California State University at Fresno. These views have recently been echoed by Harvard University political scientist Samuel P. Huntington in a forthcoming book, Who Are We.

These critics argue that legions of poorly educated non-English speakers undermine the U.S. economy. Although the steady influx of low-skilled workers helps keep America's gardens tended and floors cleaned, those workers also exert downward pressure on wages across the lower end of the pay structure. Already, this is causing friction with African Americans, who see their jobs and pay being hit. "How are we going to compete in a global market when 50% of our fastest-growing group doesn't graduate from high school?" demands former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm, who now co-directs a public policy center at the University of Denver.

Still, many experts think it's more likely that the U.S. will find a new model, more salad bowl than melting pot, that accommodates a Latino subgroup without major upheaval. "America has to learn to live with diversity -- the change in population, in [Spanish-language] media, in immigration," says Andrew Erlich, the founder of Erlich Transcultural Consultants Inc. in North Hollywood, Calif. Hispanics aren't so much assimilating as acculturating -- acquiring a new culture while retaining their original one -- says Felipe Korzenny, a professor of Hispanic marketing at Florida State University.

It boils down to this: How much will Hispanics change America, and how much will America change them? Throughout the country's history, successive waves of immigrants eventually surrendered their native languages and cultures and melted into the middle class. It didn't always happen right away. During the great European migrations of the 1800s, Germans settled in an area stretching from Pennsylvania to Minnesota. They had their own schools, newspapers, and businesses, and spoke German, says Demetrios G. Papademetriou, co-founder of the Migration Policy Institute in Washington. But in a few generations, their kids spoke only English and embraced American aspirations and habits.

Hispanics may be different, and not just because many are nonwhites. True, Maria Velazquez worries that her boys may lose their Spanish and urges them to speak it more. Even so, Hispanics today may have more choice than other immigrant groups to remain within their culture. With national TV networks such as Univision Communications Inc. (UVN ) and hundreds of mostly Spanish-speaking enclaves like Cicero, Hispanics may find it practical to remain bilingual. Today, 78% of U.S. Latinos speak Spanish, even if they also know English, according to the Census Bureau.

Back and Forth

The 21 million Mexicans among them also have something else no other immigrant group has had: They're a car ride away from their home country. Many routinely journey back and forth, allowing them to maintain ties that Europeans never could. The dual identities are reinforced by the constant influx of new Latino immigrants -- roughly 400,000 a year, the highest flow in U.S. history. The steady stream of newcomers will likely keep the foreign-born, who typically speak mostly or only Spanish, at one-third of the U.S. Hispanic population for several decades. Their presence means that "Spanish is constantly refreshed, which is one of the key contrasts with what people think of as the melting pot," says Roberto Suro, director of the Pew Hispanic Center, a Latino research group in Washington.

A slow pace of assimilation is likely to hurt Hispanics themselves the most, especially poor immigrants who show up with no English and few skills. Latinos have long lagged in U.S. schools, in part because many families remain cloistered in Spanish-speaking neighborhoods. Their strong work ethic can compound the problem by propelling many young Latinos into the workforce before they finish high school. So while the Hispanic high-school-graduation rate has climbed 12 percentage points since 1980, to 57%, that's still woefully short of the 88% for non-Hispanic whites and 80% for African Americans.

Meld into the Mainstream

The failure to develop skills leaves many Hispanics trapped in low-wage service jobs that offer few avenues for advancement. Incomes may not catch up anytime soon, either, certainly not for the millions of undocumented Hispanics. Most of these, from Mexican street-corner day laborers in Los Angeles to Guatemalan poultry-plant workers in North Carolina, toil in the underbelly of the U.S. economy. Many low-wage Hispanics would fare better economically if they moved out of the barrios and assimilated into U.S. society. Most probably face less racism than African Americans, since Latinos are a diverse ethnic and linguistic group comprising every nationality from Argentinians, who have a strong European heritage, to Dominicans, with their large black population. Even so, the pull of a common language may keep many in a country apart.

Certainly immigrants often head for a place where they can get support from fellow citizens, or even former neighbors. Some 90% of immigrants from Tonatico, a small town 100 miles south of Mexico City, head for Waukegan, Ill., joining 5,000 Tonaticans already there. In Miami, of course, Cubans dominate. "Miami has Hispanic banks, Hispanic law firms, Hispanic hospitals, so you can more or less conduct your entire life in Spanish here," says Leopoldo E. Guzman, 57. He came to the U.S. from Cuba at 15 and turned a Columbia University degree into a job at Lazard Frères & Co. before founding investment bank Guzman & Co.

Or take the Velazquezes' home of Cicero, a gritty factory town that once claimed fame as Al Capone's headquarters. Originally populated mostly by Czechs, Poles, and Slovaks, the Chicago suburb started decaying in the 1970s as factories closed and residents fled in search of jobs. Then a wave of young Mexican immigrants drove the population to its current Hispanic dominance, up from 1% in 1970. Today, the town president, equivalent to a mayor, is a Mexican immigrant, Ramiro Gonzalez, and Hispanics have replaced whites in the surviving factories and local schools. It's still possible that Cicero's Latino children will follow the path of so many other immigrants and move out into non-Hispanic neighborhoods. If they do, they, or at least their children, will likely all but abandon Spanish, gradually marry non-Hispanics, and meld into the mainstream.

But many researchers and academics say that's not likely for many Hispanics. In fact, a study of assimilation and other factors shows that while the number of Hispanics who prefer to speak mostly Spanish has dipped in recent years as the children of immigrants grow up with English, there has been no increase in those who prefer only English. Instead, the HispanTelligence study found that the group speaking both languages has climbed six percentage points since 1995, to 63%, and is likely to jump to 67% by 2010.

The trend to acculturate rather than assimilate is even more stark among Latino youth. Today, 97% of Mexican kids whose parents are immigrants and 76% of other Hispanic immigrant children know Spanish, even as nearly 90% also speak English very well, according to a decade-long study by University of California at Irvine sociologist Rubén G. Rumbaut. More striking, those Latino kids keep their native language at four times the rate of Filipino, Vietnamese, or Chinese children of immigrants. "Before, immigrants tried to become Americans as soon as possible," says Sergio Bendixen, founder of Bendixen & Associates, a polling firm in Coral Gables, Fla., that specializes in Hispanics. "Now, it's the opposite."

Selling in Spanish

In its eagerness to tap the exploding Hispanic market, Corporate America itself is helping to reinforce Hispanics' bicultural preferences. Last year, Procter & Gamble Co. (PG ) spent $90 million on advertising directed at Latinos for 12 products such as Crest and Tide -- 10% of its ad budget for those brands and a 28% hike in just a year. Sure, P&G has been marketing to Hispanics for decades, but spending took off after 2000, when the company set up a 65-person bilingual team to target Hispanics. Now, P&G tailors everything from detergent to toothpaste to Latino tastes. Last year, it added a third scent to Gain detergent called "white-water fresh" after finding that 57% of Hispanics like to smell their purchases. Now, Gain's sales growth is double-digit in the Hispanic market, outpacing general U.S. sales. "Hispanics are a cornerstone of our growth in North America," says Graciela Eleta, vice-president of P&G's multicultural team in Puerto Rico.

Other companies are making similar assumptions. In 2002, Cypress (Calif.)-based PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. (PHS ) hired Russell A. Bennett, a longtime Mexico City resident, to help target Hispanics. He soon found that they were already 20% of PacifiCare's 3 million policyholders. So Bennett's new unit, Latino Health Solutions, began marketing health insurance in Spanish, directing Hispanics to Spanish-speaking doctors, and translating documents into Spanish for Hispanic workers. "We knew we had to remake the entire company, linguistically and culturally, to deal with this market," says Bennett.

A few companies are even going all-Spanish. After local Hispanic merchants stole much of its business in a Houston neighborhood that became 85% Latino, Kroger Co. (KR ), the nation's No.1 grocery chain, spent $1.8 million last year to convert the 59,000-sq.-ft. store into an all-Hispanic supermercado. Now, Spanish-language signs welcome customers, and catfish and banana leaves line the aisles. Across the country, Kroger has expanded its private-label Buena Comida line from the standard rice and beans to 105 different items.

As the ranks of Spanish speakers swell, Spanish-language media are transforming from a niche market into a stand-alone industry. Ad revenues on Spanish-language TV should climb by 16% this year, more than other media segments, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. The audience of Univision, the No.1 Spanish-language media conglomerate in the U.S., has soared by 44% since 2001, and by 146% in the 18- to 34-year-old group. Many viewers have come from English-language networks, whose audiences have declined in that period.

In fact, Univision tried to reach out to assimilated Hispanics a few years ago by putting English-language programs on its cable channel Galavision. They bombed, says Univision President Ray Rodriguez, so he switched back to Spanish-only in 2002 -- and 18- to 34-year-old viewership shot up by 95% that year. "We do what the networks don't, and that's devote a lot of our show to what interests the Latino community," says Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos.

The Hispanicizing of America raises a number of political flash points. Over the years, periodic backlashes have erupted in areas with fast-growing Latino populations, notably former California Governor Pete Wilson's 1994 effort, known as Proposition 187, to ban social services to undocumented immigrants. English-only laws, which limit or prohibit schools and government agencies from using Spanish, have passed in some 18 states. Most of these efforts have been ineffective, but they're likely to continue as the Latino presence increases.

For more than 200 years, the nation has succeeded in weaving the foreign-born into the fabric of U.S. society, incorporating strands of new cultures along the way. With their huge numbers, Hispanics are adding all kinds of new influences. Cinco de Mayo has joined St. Patrick's Day as a public celebration in some neighborhoods, and burritos are everyday fare. More and more, Americans hablan Español. Will Hispanics be absorbed just as other waves of immigrants were? It's possible, but more likely they will continue to straddle two worlds, figuring out ways to remain Hispanic even as they become Americans.

Guatemalan Illegal Alien Sentenced for Stabbing 18 Month Old Baby

PACKETONLINE News Classifieds Entertainment Business - Princeton and Central New Jersey

After serving three years in prison for stabbing his 18-day-old niece, East Windsor man will be deported to his native Guatemala.

TRENTON — An East Windsor man pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault on Monday for stabbing his 18-day-old niece in the chest and abdomen multiple times with a scissors.
Juan Francisco Lopez, 21 at the time, was arrested on Dec. 4, 2002, after he stabbed his niece, Daisy Andrea Herrarte, with a scissors. The incident took place in the apartment Mr. Lopez shared with his sister, Mirna Lopez, and brother-in-law, Victorio Herrarte, in the K Building of the Windsor Castle Apartments on Devonshire Drive.
The baby survived the trauma.
Mr. Lopez, now 22, was indicted on Aug. 16, 2002, on charges of first-degree attempted murder, two counts of aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child and two weapons offenses, according to Casey DeBlasio, spokeswoman for the Mercer County prosecutor's office.
Based on the plea, Mr. Lopez will be sentenced to three years in prison beginning July 16 for the aggravated assault charge. After he is released he will be deported to his native country, Guatemala, Ms. DeBlasio said. He will be required to serve two and a half years in the United States before he is released to Guatemala where he will serve three more years.
Mr. Lopez is an illegal alien from Guatemala.
"Mr. Lopez's deportation was part of the agreement," she said. "The day he's paroled he immediately gets on a plane to Guatemala where he can no longer be of a threat here."
The plea was made at Mercer County state Superior Court in front of Judge Maryann Bielamowicz.
A federal immigration judge waived Mr. Lopez's right to appeal deportation, Ms. DeBlasio said.
If Mr. Lopez had decided to appeal the deportation, the process could take up to two years, Ms. DeBlasio said.
"By waiving the right for appeal, there is no chance of that and no danger," Ms. DeBlasio said.
In a court statement on Monday, Assistant Prosecutor Jeffrey Rubin said the baby's mother and father were consulted regarding the plea agreement.
The scissors attack began when an argument erupted between Mr. Lopez and his sister, Ms. DeBlasio said.
According to reports from the prosecutor's office, Mr. Lopez forced his sister from the bedroom where the argument began, locked the door and said, "Your daughter has to die."
Mr. Herrarte already had left for work when the attack happened, Ms. DeBlasio said. The East Windsor Township Police Department responded to two 911 calls for an unknown emergency at Mr. Lopez's apartment complex. When they arrived, Mr. Lopez was still in the apartment and was taken into custody, Ms. DeBlasio said. Ms. DeBlasio said the baby was transported to Capital Health System, Fuld Campus, where she was treated and stabilized. She was immediately flown by helicopter to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Public Defender Charles Centinaro said Mr. Lopez will not be allowed back into the United States after he is deported to Guatemala.
"I think it was a fair judgment," Mr. Centinaro said. | Providence, R.I. Illegal Aliens Arrested on I-91 | Providence, R.I. | AP's The Wire

06.11.2004 10:42 A.M.
Illegal aliens arrested on Interstate 91
The Associated Press
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. (AP) - Two illegal aliens were arrested at the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 91 last week, bringing the number arrested since it opened in December to 287.

The 287 aliens were from 45 different countries, said Leslie Lawson, assistant chief patrol agent. The country with the highest number of apprehensions was Mexico with 69, she said, followed by Brazil with 39 and Ecuador with 24.

"The vast majority of those were either entering illegally on the southwest border of the United States, or they came in legally as an immigrant and then didn't depart," she said.

Lawson said an illegal alien might be working for a construction company elsewhere in the country that bids on a job in Vermont, causing the employee to relocate.

Non-citizens are required to carry their immigration documents with them.

"Often some folks do not, and that will obviously slow us up in any inspection we make," she said.

If a person is not an illegal alien but is breaking the law in another way, she said local or state police are called.

The state of Vermont is included in the Swanton border sector, one of 21 sectors that cover the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The sector includes 261 miles of international boundary ending at the Maine/New Hampshire state line on the east. The sector also includes five counties in New York and three counties in New Hampshire.

There are six border checkpoints in the sector, but they are not always active, Lawson said. The Border Patrol also runs temporary checkpoints that last four or six hours or a few days, she said. The I-91 checkpoint has been run every day, she said.

Since the checkpoint was established Dec. 28, no new checkpoints have been established in the Swanton sector, she said.

Enraged Reconquistas Plan Protest Over Border Patrol Finally Doing Their Job | Inland Southern California | Inland News

Arrests spur protest

Border Patrol detains 150 undocumented immigrants in recent Inland sweeps

01:00 AM PDT on Friday, June 11, 2004

By JAZMIN ORTEGA MORALES / La Prensa The Press-Enterprise

Many Inland Latino immigrants are now hiding in fear after last week's detention of 150 undocumented immigrants on the streets of Corona and Ontario, an area congressman and other Latino advocates charged Thursday.

The detentions, some more than 120 miles from the Mexican border, were conducted Friday and Saturday by 12 U.S. Border Patrol agents based in Temecula. Agency officials said the sweeps did not occur in homes, schools, churches or hospitals.

Tomas Jimenez, a spokesman for the Border Patrol's San Diego sector, said about 95 percent of the arrestees were Mexican nationals. The rest were from Guatemala and El Salvador, he said.

Stan Lim / The Press-Enterprise
Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto, speaks in Ontario at a press conference called to protest the Border Patrol sweeps in the Inland area. He accused the Border Patrol of "out-stepping their jurisdiction."

The immigrants were picked up outside homes, in parking lots and at swap meets, and near Latino supermarkets, activists said. The resulting deportations have separated families, making other immigrants afraid to leave their homes.

"You feel like an animal in hunting season, who has to stay hidden because it's being pursued," said Olivia Villanueva, 31, who was warned by a friend this week not to go to the Ontario Mills shopping complex. "It's a very sad situation. I don't think we can all survive like this."

Villanueva has been living in the area for 14 years and has two children, ages 4 and 8. She said she wonders what would happen if she were deported.

Agency reports 300 calls
Hermandad Mexicana Nacional in Ontario, a nonprofit immigrant aid organization, has received more than 300 calls from people who said they saw the Border Patrol. Latinos also have been calling and listening to Spanish-language radio for agent sightings.

Abel Medina, director of Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, said agents are violating the Fourth Amendment when they stop people based on their racial profile. "Unless they're fortunetellers, how can they know who has and hasn't (documents)?" he asked.

Vocal opponents of illegal immigration, such as Robert Bocock of Murrieta, say the sweeps should be expanded.

"Should I get out my violin? They're here illegally. They're breaking the law . . . they should be deported," Bocock said.

Mexico's consul in San Bernardino, Carlos Giralt-Cabrales, plans to meet with Temecula Border Patrol officials today. "We are very concerned about these operations," he said. "We've had a vigilant attitude, in case there are civil-rights violations or bad treatment."

"Even if we don't like it, we know they are doing their job. Morally it worries us and we reject it because of the effect it has on the family, of separating people," he said.

'Interior patrols' defended

Border Patrol officials say they always have had authority to conduct "interior patrols" away from the border.

The patrols were conducted based on intelligence that could have come from local law enforcement, citizens and agents working in the area, Jimenez said. He said agents decided whom to approach based on a number of factors, including the environment, the person's behavior, physical evidence or conversations agents had. He said agents are not engaging in racial profiling.

Gloria Chavez, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, said the arrests were part of "roving patrols" conducted by the Mobile Patrol Group.

"Going to Ontario or Corona was not a new roving patrol location," Chavez said. "They've been conducting roving patrols in these areas." Chavez said many of the people arrested had been deported before or had criminal records.

Mark Reed, a former regional director for the central region of the Immigration Service who now runs his own firm out of Tucson, said doing so-called interior patrols is nothing new. From about 1995 to 2000, agents pulled out of the interiors and started focusing on shoring up the borders because of limited resources. The fact that the agency now has the resources to conduct interior patrols means something, he said.

"It's an indication in that specific area, San Diego, that they have done a really good job of managing that line," he said.

Hector Villagra, regional counsel for the Los Angeles office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said the Border Patrol seems to be expanding the scope of its powers.

Authority questioned

"The Border Patrol has pretty broad discretion to question people within 100 miles of the border. Once they leave that area, their discretion is circumscribed mostly by the Fourth Amendment. They need a particular reason to suspect people of being undocumented before they stop them for questioning."

Villagra said he does not know of a history of the Border Patrol doing such patrols in the past but said he recently has started hearing about similar activities in San Diego, Santa Ana, El Monte and La Puente.

A coalition of local pro-immigrant groups is organizing a protest for Sunday at 4 p.m. at the gazebo on Euclid Avenue and C Street in Ontario.

At an afternoon press conference Thursday, Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto, said the sweeps are illegal. "I believe the Border Patrol are really out-stepping their jurisdiction right now," Baca said. He said border agents were also breaking the law by singling out Latinos, who comprise more than a third of California's population and 40 percent of the Inland area's population.

Baca's response
Baca said he plans to urge the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to send a letter of complaint to the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Border Patrol.

The sweeps led to U.S. citizens and legal residents being detained and questioned, said Emilio Amaya, director of the San Bernardino Community Service Center.

Baca, Amaya and others said undocumented immigrants are too afraid to send their kids to school, go to the grocery store or take the children to health clinics for appointments. Priests from Pomona and Ontario said they were concerned that immigrants would be afraid to come to Mass for fear of being detained by authorities a block or two away.

"Nobody should live in fear . . . We need to make sure we have the same American Dream as everyone else has had," Baca said.

The Border Patrol picked up two parents on their way home from Cardenas Market in Moreno Valley earlier this week, said Luz Maria Ayala, co-founder of immigrant advocacy TODEC Legal Center in Perris. The couple's children ended up stuck at school and were taken in by relatives, Ayala said.

Moreno Valley residents confirmed being stopped and asked for immigration documents near the market around noon Wednesday. A San Diego Border patrol spokesman said the 12-member detention team was in Escondido that day, not Moreno Valley.

'We're still afraid'

Teresa Esquivel of Ontario, has heard the reports. "We're still afraid; there are people like me who aren't going out," she said. "I¹ve been calling people at work and friends. I'm afraid that something could happen to them."

Esquivel, 39, is in the process of legalization, "but that doesn¹t mean anything" if she encounters a Border Patrol agent, she said.

In Home Gardens, an unincorporated area between Riverside and Corona, at least one parent contacted her daughter's school to make sure the Border Patrol would not raid the campus, said Home Gardens Elementary School Principal Linda White. The mother wanted to know if her young daughter could be deported, White said.

"I wanted her to know that immigration isn't allowed to come to school and take children," White said.

Christina Medellin of Colton, a U.S. citizen born in San Bernardino, worries about her Mexican immigrant husband each day he goes to work, fearful he could be deported. His visa is still in the approval process, she said. They have three daughters under the age of 3.

She asked why the Border Patrol isn't targeting Asian and white immigrants as well. "I just don't think its fair," Medellin said.

Staff writer Maria T. Garcia contributed to this report

Immigration Arrests Not Policy Shift-Reconquistas Going Nuts!

Immigration Arrests Not Policy Shift

Immigration Arrests Not Policy Shift
Officials defend the Temecula border agents' use of roving patrols, a tactic that has fallen out of favor in Southern California.
By Janet Wilson, H.G. Reza and Sandra Murillo
Times Staff Writers

June 11, 2004

The arrests of more than 200 suspected illegal immigrants in inland Southern California do not appear to be part of a realignment of the national immigration enforcement strategy, immigration officials said Thursday. Instead, they seem to be a shift in tactics by one U.S. Border Patrol station in Temecula, about an hour north of the Mexican border.

The patrols are being done by a newly trained team of 12 agents called the Mobile Patrol Group, which is based out of the Temecula station in Riverside County.

The team works in uniform and in marked vehicles, said agent Gloria Chavez, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection in Washington.

Border Patrol officials said Thursday that the deportations were routine business and that all arrests were based on "consensual conversations" between agents and passersby, not racial profiling.

Residents in those communities and activists countered that the arrests were clearly discriminatory against Latinos.

Angel Santa Ana, a spokesman with the San Diego sector of the Border Patrol, which oversees the agents that made the arrests, said Corona and Ontario were not part of their usual area of coverage, but that officers were entitled to strike up conversations with anyone anywhere in the U.S.

Chavez also insisted that the enforcement actions by the Temecula-based agents in cities away from the border were not sweeps. Sweeps suggest that agents are stopping people at random, she said.

Roving patrols fell out of favor in Southern California in recent years when immigrant communities protested arrests by Border Patrol agents in public places.

Last year, Border Patrol agents all but withdrew from San Juan Capistrano when Latinos staged demonstrations and held community meetings to protest arrests outside apartments, at bus stops and around the downtown train station.

The top federal official overseeing all Border Patrol sectors ordered the head of the San Diego office to rescind an order banning internal stops and arrests last August.

Roving patrols have been commonplace for years elsewhere throughout the Southwest, particularly in Texas.

"We do that kind of stuff all the time," said Jaime Macias, field operations supervisor for the Border Patrol station in Freer, Texas, which is 60 miles from the Mexican border.

Most police departments in Southern California have a policy of not actively getting involved when Border Patrol agents are making arrests, because they do not want to discourage illegal immigrants from reporting crimes.

Both Corona and Ontario police have said they had nothing to do with the arrests in the last week.

More than 150 suspected illegal Mexican immigrants, one Salvadoran and one Guatemalan citizen were arrested in Corona and Ontario last Friday and Saturday.

They were arrested as they stepped off buses or walked or drove along streets in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Agents said they had arrested an additional 59 people in Escondido on Wednesday, based on consensual conversations.

"A consensual encounter would be something like, 'Good afternoon, ma'am, how are you doing?' That is the sort of encounter we're talking about. Any two people then have a right to engage in a conversation," said Richard Kite, a spokesman with the Border Patrol's San Diego sector.

"If the other person says, 'I'm sorry, sir, I'm a little busy, I don't want to talk,' that's pretty much the end of it right there," Kite said.

He said if an agent, based on conversation, suspected someone was an illegal immigrant, he could then ask for identification. Attorneys, activists and witnesses said there was nothing voluntary about the stops and arrests.

"I don't think that's what ever happens," said attorney Carrye Washington of Ontario, who has represented hundreds of illegal immigrants.

"In reality, that person is told, 'If you don't talk to me, you'll never see your family again.' The first thing they do is stop them. They walk up to them and ask them, 'Where are you from and let me see your documents.' "

Washington said that if the arrests were based on consensual conversation, "we need to get the word out to the community that they do not need to answer questions, and see what happens."

Activists said the operations targeted one ethnic group.

"This is an attack against all Latinos," said Jose Calderon, a professor at Cal Poly Pomona. "They are only stopping people with brown skin. This is clearly a form of racial profiling."

Kite denied that the stops and arrest were based on race and said numerous factors, including accent and dress, contributed to probable cause and arrests.

Witnesses to the arrests described chaotic scenes outside supermarkets and along busy intersections, where street vendors and shoppers were questioned and detained. At least two people described seeing young children separated from their parents

"People were desperate," said Maria Maldonado, an Ontario resident who said she witnessed arrests outside Cardenas Market in that city last Friday.

Two vans and one truck pulled up outside the market on Holt Boulevard, and uniformed agents hopped out and began questioning and arresting people in the parking lot, she said.

"The women who had children were crying out for their kids. People didn't know what to do."

Javier Palos, 29, an illegal immigrant house painter from Ontario, said he ducked in his car seat about half a block away during the same arrests.

"They put the children in patrol cars," he said. "They don't even give them a chance to take their children home. They're Border Patrol. What are they doing here?"

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Aspen Times News for Aspen Colorado - Pros and Cons, Bleeding Hearts and Corruption

Aspen Times News for Aspen Colorado - Aspen Times Weekly

America is no stranger to waves of immigration. It could be argued that mass immigration is the single greatest force to have shaped American history. In a sense, war, persecution and famine abroad are America’s true forefathers — the cause and creation of her large and diverse population. America’s most recognizable landmark, the Statue of Liberty, stands as a symbol to the masses of people who at different times and for different reasons have poured across America’s borders.

In each of these instances, America has struggled to assimilate its newcomers.

Today, America finds herself dealing with another mass immigration. According to census bureau estimates, the foreign-born population of the United States is currently 33.1 million, with an estimated 8 million inside the country without the government’s knowledge or permission. During the 1990s, an average of more than 1.3 million immigrants — legal and illegal — settled in the United States each year. Many believe those estimates to be low; almost all agree they will grow significantly in coming years.
The current wave of immigration is different in part because its location has moved from East to West; the drama is no longer played out on the shores of Ellis Island, but on the banks of the Rio Grande.

According to numbers cited by Newsweek magazine, California must build one new school per day to keep up with the influx of 3,000 immigrants and their kids, most of whom are Mexican, currently entering the state every 24 hours.

In Colorado, due in large part to an explosion in Latino immigration, there are currently 400,000 foreign-born people in the state, including an estimated 200,000 illegal aliens. These numbers represent a 161 percent increase in the state’s immigrant population over the last 10 years.

The most dense pockets of immigrants in the West are in metro areas. But even in the semirural Roaring Fork Valley, the immigrant population has changed the area’s culture and feel.

Literally, the complexion of the valley has darkened. Whereas once a dark face would be an exception, now Latinos are approaching the majority in certain areas.

Sixty percent of Carbondale Elementary School students are Latino, either the students or their parents foreign-born. In Garfield County, the number of Latinos jumped from 1,698 in 1990 to 7,890 in 2000. Even in pricey Pitkin County, the Latino population nearly doubled in the same 10 years, from 576 to 974. And it’s unlikely the census actually captured the true size of the Latino population.

These newcomers are all the more recognizable because economic forces and cultural preferences have huddled them together in many of the valley’s cheapest neighborhoods. Of the 38 trailers in the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park in Basalt, for example, all but two are inhabited by Latinos.

It’s impossible to say for sure how many foreign-born residents are here illegally, but one Eagle-based immigration attorney estimates the number at 40 percent.

The plight of the valley’s immigrant population is wide-ranging. Some are white and English-speaking — Australians, Brits, Kiwis, ski bums or nannies trying to extend their stay. The vast majority, however, are Latinos seeking opportunities unavailable in their home countries. Many illegal immigrants struggle just above the poverty line, working seasonal jobs, overcrowded and under-represented in apartments and trailers throughout the valley. Others are wealthy members of their community, sometimes earning more than $100,000 a year.

The drastic demographic change has caused its share of controversy. Battle lines have been drawn. Some citizens and organizations have dedicated huge amounts of resources to help the valley’s Latino immigrant population. Others are committed to seeing them deported.

Some believe the growing immigrant population to be a sign of an impending environmental crisis, a plague on the resources and societies of the West. Others see the immigrant population as a beneficial segment of society, hardworking men and women who deserve respect and support.

Meanwhile, quietly and deliberately, the Latino influence grows, with more workers, families and businesses appearing in the valley each year.

The enforcers

Perhaps the most important people involved in immigration in the valley are also the most secretive. In 1999, the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — formally the INS — opened a field office in Glenwood Springs. The office’s task is to enforce immigration laws in the area. It is extremely difficult to get information from the office — questions are directed to a spokeswoman in California, who rarely returns calls. The name of the ICE’s mission to round up criminal illegal aliens — “Operation Predator” — reflects its evasive and shadowy nature.

Some basic information is available. The office consists of a “Quick Response Team,” one of six in Colorado. The Quick Response Team targets illegal aliens for deportation, but only so-called “absconders.” According to ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley, absconders are either criminals, deportees who have returned to America or refused to leave, or those smuggling aliens into the area. The Quick Response Team does not currently target businesses in raids, nor does it actively pursue noncriminal illegal aliens.

Local police officers will only report illegal aliens if they are found to be involved in criminal acts. The belief that an illegal alien will likely be deported if pulled over on a routine traffic violation is a myth, according to Aspen Police Chief Loren Ryerson.

“Our job is to address criminal activity,” Ryerson said. “It’s not the duty of Aspen police officers to check ICE status. There are definitely circumstances, such as criminal arrests, where that does become apparent. In those cases we pass the information on to ICE.”

Illegal aliens detained by Glenwood ICE officers for immigration violations are held in one of the facility’s holding rooms for a maximum of 12 hours before going in front of an immigration judge in Denver or volunteering to return to their country of origin. Deported aliens are transported either by federal bus from Denver to the Mexican border or on a federal aircraft from Grand Junction. A spokeswoman for ICE did not reply to repeated requests to learn the number of deportees processed through the Glenwood office since it opened.

The pundits

There are those in the Aspen area who believe the ICE office, and others like it across the West, is not doing nearly enough to rid America of illegal immigrants. Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform (CAIR) is a statewide group that believes all illegal aliens should be deported and that the number of legal immigrants entering the United States each year be reduced from a million to 300,000.

The group has strong local ties. CAIR’s spokesman is Aspenite Mike McGarry. Aspen City Councilman Terry Paulson is a vocal supporter.

McGarry and Paulson believe mass immigration to be a grave threat to the environment. They argue that the current influx will swell America’s population to nearly a half-billion by 2050, far beyond sustainable limits. Allow immigrants to keep coming, Paulson and McGarry believe, and America is headed toward environmental crisis — disease, environmental destruction, depletion of resources, cultural decay, the four horsemen of apocalyptic overcrowding.

“When you run a ranch, there’s a certain number of cattle that is ideal for that ranch. Add one more cow, and suddenly resources are scarce, and the cattle become weak and sick,” Paulson says. “It’s the same with humans. We have a population breaking point. People don’t like to be called cattle, but in a way that’s what we are. Every major problem we have in society can somehow be linked to overpopulation.”

There are other aspects to Paulson and McGarry’s anti-immigration argument. McGarry complains that illegal aliens aren’t accountable for breaking the law; Paulson says immigrants are eroding American democracy by forming self-serving voting blocs. The environmental argument, however, is their best weapon. Recently, a group of anti-immigrationists, including former Colorado Governor and CAIR member Richard Lamm, made a strong bid for the leadership of the Sierra Club. They failed, but immigration and population growth has become a talking point for environmental activists across the nation.

Paulson, who has served on Aspen City Council for 11 years, says his anti-immigration efforts will focus on state and national, rather than local, policy change. McGarry, too, will focus at the federal level, working to increase border enforcement (“We should have the army on the border.”), to cut the number of visas granted each year and to expel illegal immigrants. Both men believe a top-down approach is the surest way to protect the valley from being overrun.

“People in Aspen don’t think this is a problem,” McGarry says. “But that’s because we are different. We’re up here in the hills. The real problems haven’t reached us yet. But they are starting to. Unless we do something on the national and state levels, it’s going to be a huge problem just about everywhere.”

The other side

While Paulson and McGarry are lobbying state and national politicians against mass immigration, a large number of charity organizations work on the ground to support immigrants and their families. Members of these non profit groups are the closest thing to immigrant activists in the valley.
The list of organizations supporting Latino immigrants is long and wide-ranging. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are donated each year to support the valley’s Latino community.

The Mountain Family Health Center offers free health care to uninsured immigrant families. Catholic Charities of the Western Slope provides advice and resources for illegal immigrants to help them on a path to citizenship. Grassroots Aspen funds a Latino Youth camp in Moab. The Stepstone Center in Carbondale works to organize and empower Latinos. And the Aspen Valley Community Foundation, the largest grant-giver in the area, recently set up an initiative to provide money and support for poor Latinos. None of these groups distinguishes between legal and illegal residents in the provision of service or financial support.

Although he runs a for-profit business, Marty Martinez provides one of the most important resources for immigrants. He runs Rio Vista Services, an accounting firm that helps the valley’s immigrant population with their finances and taxes. To Martinez, illegal immigrants constitute a misunderstood resource. He argues that illegal aliens pay sales taxes, income taxes and payments for social security, while rarely seeing any return on that money. In a valley with low unemployment, illegal aliens do not take American jobs, but instead take the jobs Americans don’t want. At the same time, the influx of immigrants has created a new market for local businesses.

“There are some people who earn up to $100,000 a year and pay taxes on it,” Martinez says. “They are also spending a lot of that money on local industry — it’s not all going back home. I think that’s why you see a lot of local businesses starting to target Latinos; they realize what a huge market potential exists here.”

Scott Chaplin, Carbondale Town Council member and director of the Stepstone Center, a nonprofit grassroots organization in Carbondale, is one of the valley’s most vocal supporters of local immigrants. Like Martinez, Chaplin believes the valley’s immigrant population to be hardworking and valuable to the community.

“In my experience these are good people who work hard and honestly,” Chaplin says. “Many do pay taxes. Certainly, all of them pay sales taxes. They take tough jobs. If they seem foreign now, those are the aches and pains of first-generation immigrants. It will get better.”

Chaplin believes that McGarry’s and Paulson’s fear of uncontrollable population growth is unfounded. He cites studies indicating that Latino immigrants have much smaller families than their counterparts back home. Chaplin believes America’s population will stabilize as immigrants continue to assimilate American values, including family planning.

Chaplin is not soft on immigration enforcement — he agrees with Paulson and McGarry that far too many illegal aliens cross the border each day. But he does not see enforcement as the answer. To Chaplin, America’s meddling in Mexican and Central American affairs is to blame for the hardship that drives immigrants across the border.

Corrupt regimes, such as those of Agusto Pinochet in Chile and Carlos Armas in Guatemala, have been bolstered and even installed by the United States over the last half-century, undermining democracies, manipulating economies and causing millions of people to seek better opportunities in America.

“Most immigrants coming to the U.S., especially from Mexico, come here due to lack of economic opportunity in their countries,” Chaplin wrote in 2000. “Can we really take a high moral stand and say to those that want to immigrate here, ‘Yes, we may have destroyed your democracies and created economic hardship for you, but we need to protect our own environment, so do not come here’?”

For Chaplin, tighter border enforcement can only be a stopgap measure. The immigration problem can only be helped by a U.S. foreign policy that promotes economic success in South and Central America rather than the interests of American companies. Until that occurs, Chaplin believes Americans should support the immigrants seeking a better life within our borders.

As the national debate evolves, the Roaring Fork Valley, like so many other places across the West, continues its transformation into a multicultural society.

Eben Harrell’s e-mail address is Home US Doris Meissner At It Again toTansform US Into Third World Country Home US

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Taskforce condems US immigration system
By Caroline Daniel and Jeremy Grant
Published: June 10 2004 22:11 | Last Updated: June 10 2004 22:11

The US immigration system is "broken" and needs to be overhauled in order better to address threats to national security, tackle lengthening visa delays for US corporations and help undocumented workers gain legal status, according to a new report.

The report, based on findings of a taskforce created by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, seeks to put immigration reform at the heart of the presidential campaign and urges the next president to make comprehensive immigration reform a priority in 2005. The system is "failing to meet the social, economic and security demands of the nation," it concludes.

"This report is a call for leadership and action, and in particular a plea for presidential leadership," said Doris Meissner, former US immigration commissioner and co-chair of the taskforce.

The report concludes: "Without action the contradictions and pressures will only increase, as the undocumented population grows, more people die at the border, families remain separated, processing backlogs increase, workers are exploited and certain industries decry labour shortages, and potential terrorists try to take advantage of systemic vulnerabilities."

The setting up of the taskforce was prompted by the economic and social tensions caused by rapid immigration into the midwestern states. "Immigration is often discussed as a coastal phenomenon. This mistakenly overlooks the heartland of the country," said the co-chairs of the taskforce, Jim Edgar, a former governor of Illinois, and Alejandro Silva, president of Evans Foods, and Ms Meissner.

They noted that over the last decade 21 per cent of the Midwest's population growth has been caused by immigrant arrivals.

Nine of 12 Midwest states had foreign-born populations that grew faster than the national average during the 1990s, while several grew at more than double the national average.

It jumped by 164 per cent in Nebraska, 130 per cent in Minnesota, and 114 per cent in Kansas.

This influx is causing significant integration problems for state and local governments.

The report cites Minneapolis/St Paul and its 60,000 Hmong immigrants from Laos, the largest urban concentration of Hmong refugees in the US and the fastest growing segment of Minnesota's population.

"Their numbers are expected to increase, as 15,000 more have been granted refugee status. . . many of the Hmong have faced great difficulty in learning English and becoming self sufficient," it says.

The economic impact of immigration is also a critical concern. Ms Meissner said: "50 per cent of new entrants into the US labour market in the last decade have been new immigrants, not native Americans."

The report calls for more resources to address the backlog of immigration-related applications, which have now reached 6.2m. "This is undermining credibility in, and support for, the immigration system. They separate families for years or even decades," it says.

It also estimates that there are more than 9.3m established undocumented persons in the US, of whom about 6m are working.

"The fact that undocumented workers continue to gain entry and employment despite a decade of heightened border enforcement demonstrates a mismatch between domestic demand and supply. . . The mechanisms of the US immigration system are out of touch with current realities and unable to adjust to economic and demographic trends."

Mr Edgar said: "it is important that these 9m come above ground, and we think, post-9/11, we should know who they are. We also need justice for these individuals so they don't have to live in the shadows."

The taskforce calls for reforms, including visa portability to reduce employer control, an earned legalisation approach that enables the existing undocumented population to gain legal status in the US, and a lifting of the cap on business visas.

CIS Reconsidering Immigration: Is Mexico A Special Case? - Samuel P. Huntington

Center for Immigration Studies

Reconsidering Immigration
Is Mexico a Special Case?
November 2000

By Samuel P. Huntington


Partial truths or half-truths are often more insidious than total falsehoods. Total falsehoods can be easily exposed for what they are by citing exceptions to their claims. Hence, they are less likely to be accepted as the total truth. A partial truth, on the other hand, is plausible, because there is evidence to support it. And hence, it is easy to assume that it is the total truth.

There are at least two partial truths concerning American identity that often are accepted as the whole truth. These include, first, that America is a proposition country — a country whose identity is defined by commitment to a particular set of values and ideals, formulated and expressed in the writings of the founding fathers, most notably in the Declaration and the Constitution. These are what Gunnar Myrdal described as the American Creed. This creedal concept of American identity is now often assumed to be the total truth concerning American identity.

It is, however, only part of American identity. For much of our history we defined ourselves in racial, religious, ethnic, and cultural terms, as well as in propositional or creedal terms. We really only came around to accepting and integrating the propositional dimension of identity into a concept of ourselves at the time of the American Revolution. Before that we had thought of ourselves in large part as being defined religiously: 98 percent of Americans were Protestant. The enemies were the Catholics — the French and the Spanish. This, of course, was also the attitude of the British, who defined themselves in similar terms.

We also thought of ourselves in racial and largely ethnic terms. Eighty percent of Americans in the decades of the Revolution were from the British Isles, with 60 percent English and 20 percent Scotch and Scotch-Irish, while the other 20 percent was largely German and Dutch. In the 19th century, the massive immigration of Irish and German Catholics, and at the end of that century large-scale immigration from Eastern Europe, contributed tremendously to religious and ethnic diversification and eventually eliminated these ethnic components of American identity. The racial element, however, still remained. From 1882 until the 1950s, a whole series of legislation excluded immigrants from Asia from coming to our society. Also, of course, for most of this time most Americans thought of America as a white country with, at best, only a very segregated and subordinate role for blacks. In addition, from the earliest time American identity has been defined in terms of the Anglo-Protestant culture, values, and institutions of the founding settlers, including individualism, liberty, the work ethic, the rule of law, private property, and hostility to concentrated power.

The founding fathers added the propositional dimension to American identity at the time of the Revolution. How else were they going to justify themselves in rebelling against the British monarchy? The British were white, English, and Protestant, just as we were. They had to have some other basis on which to justify independence, and happily they were able to formulate the inalienable truths set forth in the Declaration. Those, of course, have remained a key component, but only one component of American identity.

"A Nation of Immigrants:" Only a Partial Truth

The other aspect of American identity worth focusing on is the concept of America as a nation of immigrants. That certainly is a partial truth. But it is often assumed to be the total truth. We have all heard people say, again and again, that all Americans, except possibly the Indians, are immigrants or the descendants of immigrants. My colleague at Harvard, Oscar Handlin, began his classic book, The Uprooted, by saying, "the immigrants were American history." That’s overstating it. Yes, immigrants and immigration have been an important part of the American history. But they are not all American history. There are at least three critical points that need to be made in this connection.

The first is a basic distinction between immigrants and settlers. Immigrants are people who leave one country, one society, and move to another society. But there has to be a recipient society to which the immigrants move. In our case, the recipient society was created by the settlers who came here in the 17th and 18th centuries. They came in groups to create new societies up and down the Atlantic seaboard. They weren’t immigrating to some existing society; indeed, they often did whatever they could do to destroy whatever existed here in the way of Indian society. They were establishing new societies, in some cases for commercial reasons, in more cases for religious reasons. They had an image of what they wanted to create and they came and formed a settlement to try to realize their image. They also had to come together and agree as to how they were going to define their community. The archetypal case of this was the Mayflower Compact.

A fundamental difference thus exists between settlers and immigrants. With immigrants the process of moving is to a much greater extent a personal process involving individuals and families, whereas with settlers there is a much more collective process of a group of people moving and saying, "we’re unhappy where we are for one reason or another, and we want to move elsewhere and form our own society." The society that the settlers created on the Eastern seaboard was shaped in terms of their values and cultures, among which there were significant differences, as David Hackett Fisher emphasized in his superb book, Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America. But there are also tremendous similarities, and they basically created a society defined by what I think can be described succinctly as an Anglo-Protestant culture.

It was this society and culture that among other things — including economic opportunities here and repression in Europe — attracted subsequent generations of immigrants to this country. Some 55 million people left Europe in the century or so from the beginning of the 19th century until the 1920s, with 34 million of them coming to America. They came in considerable measure because they were attracted by what they saw here and by what the settlers created.

A Nation of Emigrants, Too

The term "immigrant" as distinguished from "emigrant" only came into the English language in the 1790s, and was created by people already here to describe the new people who were arriving. They drew a very sharp distinction between these new arrivals, these immigrants, and those who had been here for decades or conceivably a century and a half or so, who were the original settlers and founders of society.

Campbell Gibson has done a very interesting demographic analysis of the evolution of the United States in which he makes the argument, backed by considerable statistics and complicated formulae, that if no immigrants had come to this country after 1790, the population of the United States in 1990 would have been about 49 percent of what it actually was. Thus, biologically speaking the American people are literally only half an immigrant people.

Let me mention two other aspects of this. First of all, we haven’t always welcomed immigrants. The National Immigration Forum, a very pro-immigration outfit, said in one of its publications, "In addition to being a nation of immigrants the United States has also been a nation of nativists." That’s true. There have been great efforts at various times in our history to limit immigration. One can argue about what constitutes a high level or a low level of immigration. If, however, one looks at the figures, in only one decade — the 1850s — did the annual intake of immigrants amount to more than 1 percent of the population each year. In three other decades it was over eight-tenths of 1 percent, while in six decades it was less than four-tenths of 1 percent. Obviously immigration has been tremendously important to this country. But the foreign-born population has exceeded 10 percent of the total population only in the seven census years from 1860 to 1930, to which the year 2000 will almost certainly be added.

Finally, in my critique of the immigration image of America, it is also important to know that we’re not only a nation of immigrants, but we are in some part a nation of emigrants, which often gets neglected. There are some rather obscure scholarly analyses of emigration from the United States, but we generally don’t focus on this. The early immigrants in the 19th Century did not emigrate back to their home countries in great numbers. But in the great wave of immigration from the 1880s down through World War I, almost a third of the immigrants emigrated. In the 20th Century, it has been calculated that 31 percent of immigrants to the United States then left the United States. And if one looks at the figures that Michael Piore analyzed in his book on this question, in the years 1908 to 1910, emigration amounted to about 32 percent of immigration, with rather interesting variations among different ethnic groups. Emigration was 65 percent for Hungarians, 63 percent for Northern Italians, 59 percent for Slovaks, 56 percent for Southern Italians, but went down to only 10 percent for Scots, 8 percent for Jews and Welsh, and 7 percent for Irish.

Since the new wave of immigration as a result of the 1965 changes, overall emigration appears to be somewhat lower than earlier in this century. I’ve seen a figure suggesting about 22 percent. That’s an interesting shift downward. But again, emigration is still part of the American experience.

The other major theme I would like to put before you concerns the whole question of immigration in relationship to American national identity, and particularly what has happened since 1965 and its consequences for American national identity.

When I began to investigate this, my first thought was that we probably have a real problem with immigration. But then I came to the conclusion that no, while there may be an immigration problem, it isn’t really a serious problem. The really serious problem is assimilation. "Assimilation to what?", we have been asked today. John Fonte suggested patriotic assimilation, but unlike the situation 75 or 100 years ago, now that’s a big issue. What do people assimilate to? Back then that was pretty clear, and there were great pressures, and a certain amount of coercion, to ensure that immigrants did assimilate to the Anglo-Protestant culture, work ethnic, and the principles of the American Creed. Now we’re not sure what immigrants should assimilate to. And that’s a serious problem.

Immigration from Mexico

As I went further in my still very preliminary research in this area, I couldn’t help but feel that there was a still more significant problem, a problem that encompasses immigration, assimilation, and other things, too. And that is what I will simply refer to as the Mexican problem. Much of what we now consider to be problems concerning immigration and assimilation really concern Mexican immigration and assimilation. Mexican immigration poses challenges to our policies and to our identity in a way nothing else has in the past.

There are five distinctive characteristics of the Mexican question, which make it very special.

First of all, Mexican immigration is different because of contiguity. We have usually thought of immigration as being symbolized by the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and perhaps now by Kennedy Airport. But Mexican immigration is very different. Mexicans don’t come across two thousand miles of ocean. They come across, often easily, two thousand miles of border. The whole framework we have of thinking about immigration, in terms of people coming from overseas into our land, is not very relevant to thinking about the problem of our immigration from Mexico.

Our relationship with Mexico in this regard is unique for us, and in many respects unique in the world. No other first-world country has a land frontier with a third world country — much less one of 2,000 miles. The significance of this border is enhanced by the economic differences between the two countries. As David Kennedy has pointed out, the income gap between the United States and Mexico is the largest between any two contiguous countries in the world.

Secondly, there’s simply the question of numbers. Mexican immigration during the past several decades has been substantial for very understandable reasons. It is easy for Mexicans to come to this country. The cost is relatively low and the risks minimal. They are also easily able to return to Mexico and to maintain contact with their family and friends there. In 1998 Mexican immigrants numbered over seven million and constituted 27 percent of the total foreign-born population in this country. The next largest two contingents, Filipinos and Chinese, amounted to only 4.4 percent and 4.3 percent of the foreign born. In addition, Mexicans constituted about two-thirds or so of the Hispanic immigrants and Spanish speakers in turn were over one-half the total immigrants to the United States between 1970 and 1996. The post-1965 wave of immigration differs from the previous waves in having a majority from a single non-English linguistic group.

The third distinguishing characteristic of the Mexican issue is, of course, illegality. Illegal immigration is overwhelmingly a post-1965 and a Mexican phenomenon. A huge proportion of illegal immigrants have been Mexicans. In 1995, according to one report, Mexicans made up 62 percent of the immigrants who entered the United States illegally, and just under 40 percent of all illegal immigrants, including the visa overstayers who are in America illegally. In 1997, the INS estimated that 54 percent of the total illegal immigrant population in the United States were Mexican, and Mexican illegals were nine times as numerous as the next largest contingent, from El Salvador. Hence, the question of illegal entry is very largely Mexican issue.

The next important characteristic of Mexican immigration has been its concentration in a particular region. Mexican immigrants are heavily concentrated in the Southwest and particularly in Southern California. This has very real consequences. Others pointed out today that our founding fathers had somewhat ambivalent views about immigration, but they were generally favorable. The one thing they emphasized again and again, however, was that immigrants would have to be dispersed among what they described as the English population in this country. Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, and others all made this point. And to the extent that we have a large regional concentration of immigrants, I think that is a departure from the usual pattern.

Now obviously in the past, we have had high concentrations of immigrants in particular areas, such as the Irish in Boston, but by and large the immigrants have dispersed to different cities historically, and those cities have generally been host simultaneously to many different immigrant groups. This is the case still in New York, where you read again and again and again how New York schoolteachers have to teach classes with children coming from fifteen to twenty different linguistic groups. This is clearly not the case, by and large, in the Southwest and particularly in Southern California, where two-thirds or more of the children in schools are likely to be Spanish speaking. As my former colleague, Abe Lowenthal, and Katrina Burgess, in their book, The California-Mexico Connection, said, "No school system in a major U.S. city has ever experienced such a large influx of students from a single foreign country. The schools of Los Angeles are becoming Mexican."

Finally, and perhaps next to contiguity the most important factor is a general one but one with a special relevance to the Mexican case. This is simply the persistence of large immigration. The wave of immigration in the 1840s and 1850s, from Ireland and Germany, came to an end with the Civil War and with the easing of the potato famine in Ireland. The big wave at the turn of the century came to an end with World War I and the restrictive legislation in 1924. This greatly helped to facilitate the assimilation of those immigrants. In contrast, there does not seem to be any prospect of the current wave coming to an end soon unless we get into a big war or a really big depression. Mexican immigration may eventually begin to subside as result of shifts in the Mexican birth rate, which is going down, and possibly as a result of long-term economic development in Mexico. But those effects will only work in a very long term. And so for the time being we are faced with a very substantial continued immigration from Mexico.

The Self-Enhancing Process of Immigration

It is important here also to point out that sustained high levels of immigration build on themselves. Immigration reinforces immigration. Once one group has come, it’s easier for the next group, and then for subsequent groups. Immigration is not a self-limiting process, it’s a self-enhancing process. Also, particularly in this country, the longer immigration continues the more difficult politically it is to stop it. Immigrants themselves, at least from my brief exposure to polls on this issue, are not necessarily overwhelmingly in favor of more immigrants coming in — there is a certain "let’s shut the door after us" psychology at work — but by and large, they tend to favor it. Certainly the leaders of immigrant organizations and interest groups do. They have a vested interest in expanding their own constituency. And hence, as immigration continues to enjoy political support, organizational support for it also mounts and it becomes more and more difficult to limit or to reshape it.

For these reasons Mexican immigration poses issues that are quite unique in American history, and make Mexican immigration different from the other immigration that is occurring at the present time. I have not tried to analyze the implications of this for assimilation in any depth. As I look at it, in terms of various indices of assimilation, the answer appears to be uncertain. In terms of education and economic activity, however, Mexicans rate much lower than other immigrant groups.

With respect to intermarriage, Hispanics marry outside their group more than blacks but less than Asians and members of European ethnic groups. More significantly, unlike that of other groups historically, the rate of Hispanic intermarriage appears to be decreasing rather than increasing: in 1977, 31 percent of all Hispanic marriages were interethnic, in 1994, 25.5 percent were. This trend, if it continues, will be one major consequence of the unprecedented high level of immigration to this country by Mexicans and other Hispanics. With respect to language skill, I think undoubtedly Mexicans in a large part will follow the same pattern of earlier immigrants, with the third generation being fluent in English and quite possibly, unlike previous third generations, also fluent in their ancestral language. All of the characteristics which I have mentioned lead to the possibility of a cultural community evolving in the Southwest, in which people could be able to pursue satisfactory careers within an overwhelmingly Spanish-speaking and Mexican community, without ever having to speak English. This has already happened with the Cubans in Miami, and it could be reproduced on a larger and more significant scale in the southwestern United States. As we know, people of Hispanic origin at some point in the coming decades will be a majority of the people in California and eventually in other southwestern states. America is moving in the direction of becoming a bilingual and bicultural society.

Mexico thus represents a very distinct problem as far as the United States is concerned. Without Mexican immigration, the overall level of immigration to this country would be perhaps two-thirds of what it has been, near the levels that Barbara Jordan’s commission recommended. Illegal entries would be relatively minor. The average level of the skill and education of immigrants would be undoubtedly the highest in American history. The much debated balance of the relative economic benefits and costs of immigration would tilt heavily toward the former, and the wage levels of less skilled Americans would rise. The bilingual education issue would disappear from our agenda. A major potential challenge to the cultural and conceivably the political integrity of the United States would also fade away.

Mexico and Mexican immigration, however, will not disappear, and Americans must learn to live with both. That may become more and more difficult. In one of his first statements Mexican President-Elect Vicente Fox said that his goal was eventually to eliminate all restrictions on the movement of people between his country and the United States. In almost every recent year, the Border Patrol has stopped over one million people attempting to come into the United States illegally from Mexico. It is generally estimated that each year about 300,000 do make it across illegally. If over one million Mexican soldiers crossed the border Americans would treat it as a major threat to their national security and react accordingly. The invasion of over one million Mexican civilians, as Fox seems to recommend, would be a comparable threat to American societal security, and Americans should react against it with comparable vigor.

Mexican immigration is a unique, disturbing, and looming challenge to our cultural integrity, our national identity, and potentially to our future as a country.

Samuel P. Huntington is the Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard University, where he is also the Chairman of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. Professor Huntington founded the quarterly journal Foreign Policy and served as its co-editor until 1977. In 1977 and 1978 he served at the White House as Coordinator of Security Planning for the National Security Council. His most recent book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, has been translated into 26 languages.

On July 27, Professor Huntington offered the keynote address at a national symposium on American citizenship as part of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation’s Cantigny Conference series. This year's conference was coordinated by the Center for Immigration Studies.

Costly Immigration

Costly immigration
Paul Craig Roberts

November 13, 2002

What does immigration cost us? At a recent debate in Arlington, Va., Harvard professor George Borjas said economists put the net cost of immigration at $70 billion a year. He noted, however, that the cost is not evenly distributed. Some communities are heavily impacted, with swollen welfare budgets and hospitals on the brink of bankruptcy. Immigration is estimated to cost Californians $1,300 per household annually in additional taxes.

A different view was expressed by Cato Institute libertarians. Steve Moore argued that immigration is a form of reverse foreign aid that invigorates the United States with "new blood." Libertarians also see open borders as a freedom issue and value unrestricted immigration as a rare example of minimal government.

Both in terms of believing that the cost of immigration is economic and in associating immigration with more freedom, the debate has shortcomings. A strong case can be made that the price we pay for Third World immigration is our freedom.

Consider the case of Manistee, Mich., housewife Janice Barton, who was convicted and jailed for using the word "spics" in a private conversation with her mother.

I was a teenager when I first heard the word "spic." I asked its meaning and was told that it was slang for Italians, like "frog" for the French, "limey" for the British, "kraut" for German and "yank" for American. (If anyone had a right to be offended, it was southerners known as "yanks," but that was a time before sensitivity training.)

This definition of "spic," I learned recently, was incorrect. The word is slang for Latino or Hispanic. Barton used it when, passing a group of Hispanics chatting in their native tongue, she expressed her wish to her mother that these "spics would learn to speak English."

It is possible to empathize with Barton without being a racist. Many Americans feel that their communities, which give them identity, are being overrun by peoples from different cultures speaking alien languages. Manistee is a long way from warm, sunny Mexico, and yet, Barton, out with her mother, found multicultural diversity thrust upon her.

Barton expressed an annoyance, hardly a criminal action. Yet a Hispanic off-duty deputy sheriff overheard the private remark and noted down her car license, and Barton was arrested and convicted for committing a "hate crime."

Something has gone badly wrong when native-born Americans cannot express private thoughts to their own family without being put in jail. In no previous wave of immigration did immigrants have such a powerful upper hand over the native-born population, the very people who permit immigrants to come into their country. Today, it is native-born citizens who receive hostile treatment. On Nov. 1, a Michigan appeals court reversed Barton's conviction. The reversal, however, was on the very narrow grounds that Barton was convicted for "conduct she could not reasonably have known was criminal."

Note that the appeals court did not say that in America the Constitution guarantees free speech and that no American under any circumstances can ever be arrested, charged and convicted for expressing his or her thoughts and feelings privately to another person.

This fundamental right has vanished in Michigan and also in New York (as we will presently see). A right once synonymous with America has been trumped by the superior right of the newly, and often illegally, arrived immigrant to find offense wherever he wishes in the manner in which the native born receive him. On Nov. 4, Linda Alberti, a supervisor of a government agency in Nassau County, N.Y., was fired for using racial slurs in a private telephone conversation that was secretly recorded. Not content merely to eavesdrop on employees (a privacy violation?), Nassau County executive Thomas Suozzi went public in order to humiliate Alberti, who had just won a promotion. "This is a sad day for Nassau County," declared Suozzi, to have an employee show such "a very ugly and sordid side of human nature." Suozzi expressed his hopes that discharging Alberti will "send a message to others that racism in any form will not be tolerated." This episode could have been copied straight out of George Orwell's "1984," in which an all-intrusive therapeutic state monitors private thoughts and expressions and punishes "offenders" severely in an effort to reconstruct humans as the government would have them.

What is the explanation for the Orwellian experiences of native-born Americans? Is it the massive immigration of Third World peoples, every one of whom has been declared by federal civil rights enforcers to be a privileged "preferred minority" (an official designation) by virtue of skin color?

Immigration is stripping Americans of their civil rights and their national identity. Some Americans, not yet aware of their perilous position, still wave the patriotic flag. But neoconservatives set on conquest of the Middle East had best reassess the fighting stamina of a people whose civil rights and national identity are under full-scale assault at home.

IMN-Discrimination Against Conservatives on Campus


The Christian Science Monitor
6 May 2002

For more balance on campuses
By Christina Hoff Sommers

Washington - In a recent talk at Haverford College, I questioned the
standard women's studies teaching that the United States is a patriarchal
society that oppresses women.

For many in the audience, this was their first encounter with a dissident
scholar. One student was horrified when I said that the free market had
advanced the cause of women by affording them unprecedented economic
opportunities. "How can anyone say that capitalism has helped women?" she

Nor did I win converts when I said that the male heroism of special forces
soldiers and the firefighters at ground zero should persuade gender
scholars to acknowledge that "stereotypical masculinity" had some merit.
Later an embarrassed and apologetic student said to me, "Haverford is just
not ready for you."

After my talk, the young woman who invited me told me there was little
intellectual diversity at Haverford and that she had hoped I would spark
debate. In fact, many in the audience were quietly delighted by the
exchanges. But two angry students accused her of providing "a forum for
hate speech."

As the 2000 election made plain, the United States is pretty evenly divided
between conservatives and liberals. Yet conservative scholars have
effectively been marginalized, silenced, and rendered invisible on most
campuses. This problem began in the late '80s and has become much worse in
recent years. Most students can now go through four years of college
without encountering a scholar of pronounced conservative views.

Few conservatives make it past the gantlet of faculty hiring in
political-science, history, or English departments. In 1998, when a
reporter from Denver's Rocky Mountain News surveyed the humanities and
social sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder, he found that of
190 professors with party affiliations, 184 were Democrats.

There wasn't a single Republican in the English, psychology, journalism, or
philosophy departments. A 1999 survey of history departments found 22
Democrats and 2 Republicans at Stanford. At Cornell and Dartmouth there
were 29 and 10 Democrats, respectively, and no Republicans.

The dearth of conservatives in psychology departments is so striking, that
one (politically liberal) professor has proposed affirmative-action
outreach. Richard Redding, a professor of psychology at Villanova
University, writing in a recent issue of American Psychologist, notes that
of the 31 social-policy articles that appeared in the journal between 1990
and 1999, 30 could be classified as liberal, one as conservative.

The key issue, Professor Redding says, is not the preponderance of
Democrats, but the liberal practice of systematically excluding
conservatives. Redding cites an experiment in which several graduate
departments received mock applications from two candidates nearly
identical, except that one "applicant" said he was a conservative
Christian. The professors judged the nonconservative to be the
significantly better candidate.

Redding asks, rhetorically: "Do we want a professional world where our
liberal world view prevents us from considering valuable strengths of
conservative approaches to social problems ... where conservatives are
reluctant to enter the profession and we tacitly discriminate against them
if they do? That, in fact, is the academic world we now have...."

Campus talks by "politically incorrect" speakers happen rarely; visits are
resisted and almost never internally funded. When Camille Paglia, Andrew
Sullivan, David Horowitz, or Linda Chavez do appear at a college, they are
routinely heckled and sometimes threatened. The academy is now so
inhospitable to free expression that conservatives buy advertisements in
student newspapers. But most school newspapers won't print them. And papers
that do are sometimes vandalized and the editors threatened.

The classical liberalism articulated by John Stuart Mill in his book "On
Liberty" is no longer alive on campuses, having died of the very disease
Mr. Mill warned of when he pointed out that ideas not freely and openly
debated become "dead dogmas." Mill insisted that the intellectually free
person must put himself in the "mental position of those who think
differently" adding that dissident ideas are best understood "by hear[ing]
them from persons who actually believe them."

Several groups are working to bring some balance to campus. The
Intercollegiate Studies Institute, The Young America Foundation, Clare
Boothe Luce Policy Institute, and Accuracy in Academia sponsor lectures by
leading conservatives and libertarians. Students can ask these groups for
funds to sponsor speakers.

More good news is that David Horowitz's Center for the Study of Popular
Culture has launched a "Campaign for Fairness and Inclusion in Higher
Education." It calls for university officials to:

1. Establish a zero-tolerance policy for vandalizing newspapers or heckling

2. Conduct an inquiry into political bias in the allocation of student
program funds, including speakers' fees, and seek ways to promote
underrepresented perspectives.

3. Conduct an inquiry into political bias in the hiring process of faculty
and administrators and seek ways to promote fairness toward - and inclusion
of - underrepresented perspectives.

Were even one high-profile institution like the University of Colorado to
adopt a firm policy of intellectual inclusiveness, that practice would
quickly spread, and benighted students everywhere would soon see daylight.


Christina Hoff Sommers is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise
Institute. Her most recent book is 'The War Against Boys: How Misguided
Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men.'

Columbia President Lee Bollinger / Assistant Professor Nicholas DeGenova

Columbia President Lee Bollinger / Assistant Professor Nicholas DeGenova

Hate Speech at Columbia is Academic

By U.S. Congressman J.D. Hayworth

Columbia University Assistant Professor of Anthropology Nicholas DeGenova does not like the U.S. military, to say the least.

He made that clear at a recent “teach-in” on Columbia’s campus when he told the anti-war gathering that he would like to see "a million Mogadishus," a chilling reference to the 1993 ambush in Somalia that killed 18 American servicemen (it also killed several hundred Somalis). "The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military,” spewed DeGenova. For good measure, he added that those Americans who call themselves "patriots" are nothing but white supremacists.

Unfortunately, DeGenova’s outrageous comments are nothing new for him. At an anti-Israel rally last April, DeGenova showed his hatred is not confined to America’s military when he let fly with this rhetorical bomb: "The heritage of the victims of the Holocaust belongs to the Palestinian people. The state of Israel has no claim to the heritage of the Holocaust.”

DeGenova’s comments are not only seditious, they are racist. They bring shame not only on him, but also on one of America’s great institutions of higher learning. As an assistant professor, DeGenova has not yet earned the promise of lifelong academic employment – i.e. tenure. So I circulated in Congress a letter to Columbia President Lee Bollinger urging him fire DeGenova forthwith; 103 of my colleagues signed on.

Sadly, the response to DeGenova’s comments was entirely predictable. While Bollinger mildly chided DeGenova, saying he was “shocked” by the comments (given DeGenova’s history, shocked is probably the last thing he should have been) and that “this one crosses the line,” he has stated he will not fire the nutty professor. Instead, he hides behind the highfalutin principle of “academic freedom” and the First Amendment, saying that, “Assistant Professor Nicholas DeGenova was speaking as an individual at a teach-in. He was exercising his right to free speech.”

Which begs the question: So what? As Fred Friendly, former President of CBS News who went on to teach journalism at Columbia University, said, “Just because you have the right to say something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to say.”

The issue is not whether DeGenova has the right to make idiotic and hateful comments — he surely does — but whether he has the right to a job teaching at Columbia University after making such comments.

And if you think the exercise of our free speech right should always be consequence-free, talk to Senator Trent Lott and Rep. Jim Moran, both of whom had to give up leadership posts in Congress because of public outrage over indefensible utterances made under that same right.

Then there is Peter Arnett, who was fired by NBC for his treasonous interview on Iraqi TV (you could argue he was a twofer in that he was exercising his freedoms of speech and the press). And how about Terry Hughes, an R&B disc jockey at Eastern Michigan University's public radio station who was fired after giving on-air opinions in favor of war in Iraq and refusing to air National Public Radio news? In the real world, free speech carries with it real responsibilities… and real consequences.

As for academic freedom, Samuel Johnson said that, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel;” but for scoundrels like DeGenova the last refuge is now academic freedom.

But if DeGenova’s comments are to be protected under that principle shouldn’t there be some academic aspect to what he said? I can’t find one. Maybe Bollinger can explain exactly what is “academic” about wanting to see a bunch of young Americans slaughtered in battle and equating the flag and overt acts of patriotism with white supremacy.

DeGenova was not discussing some new anthropological theory or defending the unconventional or controversial work of some other academic; it was hate speech, pure and simple. And I shudder to think that racist rants and willfully wishing the deaths of millions of our young men and women in uniform apparently have now become protected categories under our long-established tradition of academic freedom – at least at Columbia University.

In his last two statements on the issue, Bollinger cites a new justification for not taking action – “freedom of thought and expression.” But Bollinger wasn’t always an advocate for such freedoms. He was Dean of the Law School at Michigan University when it imposed its notorious speech code on students that was later found to be unconstitutional. Despite being an expert on the First Amendment, Bollinger did not use his lofty position to fight the code, choosing silent acquiescence instead. Apparently Bollinger believes freedom of expression applies only to professors, not students.

Bollinger’s final cop-out is that DeGenova’s comment weren’t made in a classroom, but at a teach-in, which is “not an authorized or officially sanctioned classroom experience.” But if DeGenova had called for, let’s say, a million Oklahoma Cities at a KKK rally, I’m sure my letter would not have been necessary, and rightly so.

One of the many ironies of this sorry episode is that the first time one of America’s greatest military leaders, Dwight Eisenhower, was addressed as president was when he was President of Columbia University in the late 1940s. And if there is a shred of decency left in the academy, Bollinger will act as Ike no doubt would have and fire DeGenova.

Despite the mounting pressure, Bollinger will no doubt continue to reject that recommendation because he doesn’t want Columbia to be seen as caving into outside pressure. However, I predict that when the time is right, Nicholas DeGenova will be quietly denied tenure. At that point, the academy will regain some of the legitimacy it has lost in this sorry episode.


Congressman J.D. Hayworth has represented the 5th district of Arizona in the U.S. House of Representative since 1995.