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It’s the Demographics, Stupid

That's what's really driving the immigration debate.

by
Ruben Navarrette Jr.

Bio

June 8, 2009 - 12:25 am
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You didn’t buy that nonsense about how the anxiety that many Americans feel over illegal immigration — most of which comes from Mexico — is all about respect for law and order and worry over how illegal immigrants supposedly take jobs, drain services, pollute the environment, wreck the schools, and diminish quality of life.

That’s just what people say at dinner parties and on talk radio, so as not to come off as paranoid or racist. You know very well what’s really driving the immigration debate.

It’s the demographics, stupid.

It’s about concerns that the United States is — because of immigration and birthrates — becoming Latinized to the point where whites will soon be a statistical minority.

One person who noticed that trend is the reader from California who wrote me a while back to say that he wants to live around people who resemble him.

“Most people want to live in a community, a nation, where the majority of people are like themselves, racially, ethnically, religiously, etc.,” he wrote. “That is reality, based on biology. It is never going to change.”

Then, he came out with it.

“I being a gringo want to live in a country where people like myself are the majority,” he wrote. “Therefore, I oppose ALL immigration to the U.S. because I don’t want my native country to become a non-white majority country. I have nothing against Latinos. They are fine people. They are just not my people.”

That gentleman might not want for the United States to become a “non-white majority country,” but it’s been clear for some time that this is exactly where we are headed. The only thing in dispute at the moment is how fast we’ll get there.

Recently, the Census Bureau released data showing that the growth of both the Hispanic and Asian populations has slowed — so much so that the government has to push back, by as much as a decade, estimates on when minorities will become the majority in the United States. The Census Bureau had projected this would happen in 2042, but now might have to push that back to 2050 or beyond. The reasons cited for the slowdown include a bad U.S. economy and a crackdown on illegal immigration.

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