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Whose backlash?

RealClearPolitics has an excellent lineup of columns weighted to immigration this morning, foremost among them Victor Davis Hanson’s “What backlash?” He writes:

If many thousands of illegal aliens marched [last weekend] in their zeal, many more millions of Americans of all different races and backgrounds watched–and seethed. They were struck by the Orwellian incongruities–Mexican flags, chants of “Mexico, Mexico,” and the spectacle of illegal alien residents lecturing citizen hosts on what was permissible in their own country.

If the demonstrators thought that they were bringing attention to their legitimate grievances–the sheer impossibility of deporting 11 million residents across the border or the hypocrisy of Americans de facto profiting from “illegals” who cook their food, make their beds, and cut their lawns–they seemed oblivious to the embarrassing contradictions of their own symbolism and rhetoric. Most Americans I talked to in California summed up their reactions to the marches as something like, “Why would anyone wave the flag of the country that they would never return to–and yet scream in anger at those with whom they wish to stay?” Depending on the particular questions asked, polls reveal that somewhere around 60-80% of the public is vehemently opposed to illegal immigration.

When schools were dismissed due to student walkouts and traffic disrupted, Americans began to see the wages of their own indifference to the problems of illegal immigration. Insidiously over the last 30 years we have allowed an entire apartheid community to grow up in enclaves in the American Southwest and occasionally beyond–one by language and psyche that may well feel more romantically attached to the Mexico it left and won’t return to the United States it sought out and must stay in.

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