Victor Davis Hanson: Illiberal Immigration





NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, the editor of Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome, and the author of The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern.

Recently, in symbolic fashion, spectators of Mexican ancestry in Pasadena’s Rose Bowl did not merely cheer on the Mexican national soccer team in a game against the U.S. national team — such nostalgia would be natural and understandable for recent immigrants — but went much further and also jeered American players and, indeed, references to the United States.

Which was the home team?

Was America to be appreciated for accepting poor aliens, or resented for not granting them amnesty? Is the idea of the United States to be conveniently booed or opportunistically thanked — depending on whether you are watching a soccer match or, for example, entering a Los Angeles emergency room with a life-threatening injury?

This otherwise insignificant but Orwellian incident reminds us that illegal immigration in the 21st century is becoming an illiberal enterprise.

Consider the prevailing myth of Mexico as America’s “partner.” Aside from the violence and drug cartels, an alien from Mars who examined the relationship would instead characterize it as abusive. Close to a million Mexican nationals annually try to cross illegally into the United States, aided and abetted by a cash-strapped Mexico — in a fashion that the latter would never permit on its southern border with Guatemala. Indeed, if Guatemala had published an illustrated comic book instructing, in pictures, its presumably illiterate emigrants how to enter Mexico illegally — as Mexico actually did — the Mexican government would have been outraged. So is the surreal logic of Mexico City summed up by something like, “We value our own people so much that we will help them break laws to go elsewhere”?...




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