Â As mentioned in the previous post,Â cheerleaders forÂ this immigrationÂ “reform” bill tell us we need to bring millionsÂ and millions of people who illegallyÂ slipped into this country “out of the shadows” so they can be better assimilated into American culture, just as the waves of immigrants that came through Ellis Island were in the previous century.
This assertionÂ restsÂ upon two unspoken presuppositions, (and therefore stands or falls based upon the their validity). These underlying assumptions are:
- A large majority of these illegals want to become flag-waving, tax-paying, English-speaking Americans.
- And that a significant numberÂ are likely to become such.
Â Anyone who asserts the truth of assumption #1 is either dishonest or massively immune to overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The May DayÂ pro-illegal-immigration marches of the last two years have been filled with second and third-generation illegals waving MexicanÂ flags.
Â So how aboutÂ assumption #2? How likely is it that the past and future waves of illegals streaming across our borders will even take the most basic and vital step in the assimilation process, that is, learning English?
As the facilitators say, “Let’s explore that for a moment.”
I have basic digital cable here at my house. Time-Warner cable currently offers no fewer than 14 Spanish language channels, and for a few bucks more, I could add the Latino tier and get 14 more. Of courseÂ almost every channel on the dial offers Spanish laguange captioning.Â Close to a fourth of the channels on my radio dial here in Dallas are now Spanish language with more converting all the time.Â
A lot ofÂ public signageÂ now carries both English and Spanish, as does most product packaging.Â Nearly every commercial voicemail treeÂ I encounter beginsÂ by asking me if I prefer English or Spanish. Voting ballots are now offered in Spanish as well.
You get the point. The need or incentive for any Spanish-speaking immigrant (even legal ones) to learn English is rapidly approaching zero. And immigrants that don’t learn English will notÂ assimilate. Period.
I was chatting with a few of my neighbors yesterdayÂ at a backyard reception. They had young children in the local publicÂ elementary school, all of whom were enrolled in the school’s new “Spanish Immersion Program.” These little kids with Irish and Scottish surnames are now receiving all their core classes in Spanish only. I listened in stunned silence as a question formed in my mind:Â
Who is really being assimilated here?