In his post from earlier today, John comments on the anti-Americanism on display in Mexico City during the Miss Universe pageant. But one need not journey to Mexico to find displays of anti-Americanism among some Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. One can find it at soccer matches here in the U.S.
It’s probably unrealistic to expect illegal immigrants and even first generation legal immigrants from Mexico, El Salvador, etc. to root for the U.S. when they play the immigrant’s native country. And, given the intensity of the soccer rivalry between U.S. and Mexico, the vehemence of the pro-Mexicans who live here isn’t surprising either. But mass booing of our national anthem and harassment of U.S. fans, as occurred in a U.S. – Mexico match in Los Angeles, is going too far. It was also discouraging when, here in Washington D.C., Salvadoran fans booed our anthem and turned against the local team because it had been forced by salary cap considerations to trade a star player from El Salvador.
One cannot base public policy on what happens at beauty pageants or soccer matches. Better instruction can be found in statistics about drop-out and graduation rates, participation rates in violent gangs, teen-pregnancies rates, and the like. Unfortunately, as Heather Mac Donald shows, the picture of our Hispanic recent-immigrant population that emerges from this data isn’t pretty either.
Living in the Washington, D.C. area, I have regular contact with members of the recent-immigrant community, and have provided free legal services to several illegal immigrants. It would be a mistake to demonize these people, but just as big a mistake to romanticize them, or to label as “know-nothings” or “nativists” those concerned about some consequences of their mass influx into this country.
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