December 9, 2001

Christopher Jencks on Immigration

The left wing New York Review of Books just ran a terrific two part series on immigration by distinguished Harvard sociologist Christopher Jencks called "Who Should Get In." It's striking, although it really shouldn't be surprising, that starting from nominally opposite ends of the political spectrum, he and I reach almost identical conclusions about what's in the best interests of American citizens. Jencks' last sentence is, "Fifty years from now our children could find that admitting millions of poor Latinos had not only created a sizable Latino underclass but—far worse— that it had made rich Americans more like rich Latin Americans." In May, I wrote in, "The unexplored problem with massive mestizo immigration is that by creating a beige servant caste, it slowly turns the wealthier native-born Americans into a white master caste. Maybe we'll be able to withstand the temptations inherent in this kind of society better than the whites of Latin America, who were thoroughly corrupted by them. The history of the American South, though, suggests that rich white Americans aren't immune to the sinister blandishments of luxurious living based on a surplus of cheap laborers of dusky hue."

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