Are Hispanic Values really all that conservative?

24 11 2006

Cross Posted by Bear Creek Ledger

City Journal’s latest quarterly has two excellent stories about immigration, both legal and illegal.  Steven Malanga talks about what is the Right Immigration Policy.  And Heather MacDonald writes about runaway out of wedlock births.  Because of the illegal alien problem the US has created an underclass which isn’t prone to work itself out of the unskilled labor rut.  Immigration numbers used to be controlled by country so there wasn’t one ethnic or cultural group in predominance.  With the illegals this has changed with Hispanics from south of the border.

snip….A study by Harvard economists George Borjas and Lawrence Katz noted that 63 percent of Mexican immigrants are high school dropouts who on average earn 53 percent less than native workers when they enter the United States. Because such immigrants start so far behind, this income gap can persist for decades, research shows. Moreover, because so much of today’s immigration now hails from just a few countries (Mexican immigrants now represent 30 percent of America’s foreign-born population, whereas no two ethnic groups during the first great migration accounted for 25 percent), immigrants increasingly group in insulated communities of their own, where their children adopt the cultural attributes of their home country rather than those of America.

The draw for immigrants used to be it’s America, if you work hard you can achieve the American dream.  The immigrants didn’t have welfare, free medical, food stamps, government housing, English as a second language and all the other government props hooks which work against an immigrant to assimilate and succeed here. 

Welfare-benefit restrictions are an acknowledgment that the economic calculus of immigration has changed dramatically. Before the welfare state, which developed countries have all embraced to some degree, immigrants came to a country like the United States because its free-enterprise system gave them an opportunity to succeed—but not a guarantee. Those who failed often returned home, and one reason why studies showed that immigrants did so well during the first great migration is that those who came were the most enterprising and those who stayed were the most skilled at adapting to our economy.

But today, the modern welfare state has turned the self-selection process upside down, offering immigrants from very poor countries incentives to come to America and sponge off the taxpayers, reaping where they did not sow. Today’s immigrants are more than twice as likely to use government programs as native-born Americans. As Nobel laureate Milton Friedman has said: “It’s just obvious that you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state.”

The Republican National Party continually is talking about Hispanic conservative values.  Unfortunately what the RNC hasn’t realized is the US welfare draws have encouraged and promoted the change in Hispanic values.  The most dramatic example of this is shown with Hispanic girls in their middle teens having babies.

Unless the life chances of children raised by single mothers suddenly improve, the explosive growth of the U.S. Hispanic population over the next couple of decades does not bode well for American social stability. Hispanic immigrants bring near–Third World levels of fertility to America, coupled with what were once thought to be First World levels of illegitimacy. (In fact, family breakdown is higher in many Hispanic countries than here.) Nearly half of the children born to Hispanic mothers in the U.S. are born out of wedlock, a proportion that has been increasing rapidly with no signs of slowing down.


But it’s the fertility surge among unwed Hispanics that should worry policymakers. Hispanic women have the highest unmarried birthrate in the country—over three times that of whites and Asians, and nearly one and a half times that of black women, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Every 1,000 unmarried Hispanic women bore 92 children in 2003 (the latest year for which data exist), compared with 28 children for every 1,000 unmarried white women, 22 for every 1,000 unmarried Asian women, and 66 for every 1,000 unmarried black women. Forty-five percent of all Hispanic births occur outside of marriage, compared with 24 percent of white births and 15 percent of Asian births. Only the percentage of black out-of-wedlock births—68 percent—exceeds the Hispanic rate. But the black population is not going to triple over the next few decades.

snip….The rate of childbirth for Mexican teenagers, who come from by far the largest and fastest-growing immigrant population, greatly outstrips every other group. The Mexican teen birthrate is 93 births per every 1,000 girls, compared with 27 births for every 1,000 white girls, 17 births for every 1,000 Asian girls, and 65 births for every 1,000 black girls.


To grasp the reality behind those numbers, one need only talk to people working on the front lines of family breakdown. Social workers in Southern California, the national epicenter for illegal Hispanic immigrants and their progeny, are in despair over the epidemic of single parenting. Not only has illegitimacy become perfectly acceptable, they say, but so has the resort to welfare and social services to cope with it.

There’s more disturbing news to go along with this growing issue, I encourage you to read it and weep.  Our politicians of all stripes appear to be adverse to recognizing the new demographics and trends of this population. 

**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration(CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let me know at what level you would like to participate




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