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Old 11-08-2009, 12:35 PM
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Jeanfromfillmore Jeanfromfillmore is offline
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Education levels reveal the same dismal pattern—nearly half of all Hispanics are not graduating from high school in four years. And the more Hispanic a school district becomes, the greater level of failure for Hispanic students. In the Los Angeles district, 73 percent Hispanic, 60 percent of the students are not graduating. But the real tragedy is that, of those Hispanics who do graduate, only about one in five will have completed a high school curriculum that qualifies for college enrollment. That partly helps to explain why at many campuses of the California State University system, almost half of the incoming class must first take remedial education. Less than 10 percent of those who identify themselves as Hispanic have graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree. I found that teaching Latin to first-generation Mexican-Americans and illegal aliens was valuable not so much as an introduction to the ancient world but as their first experience with remedial English grammar.

Meanwhile, almost one in three Mexican-American males between the ages of 18 and 24 recently reported being arrested, one in five has been jailed, and 15,000 illegal aliens are currently in the California penal system.
Statistics like these have changed the debate radically. While politicians and academics assured the public that illegal aliens came here only to work and would quickly assume an American identity, the public’s own ad hoc and empirical observations of vast problems with crime, illiteracy, and illegitimacy have now been confirmed by hard data. Ever since the influx of illegals into our quiet valley became a flood, I have had five drivers leave the road, plow into my vineyard, and abandon their cars, without evidence of either registration or insurance. On each occasion, I have seen them simply walk or run away from the scene of thousands of dollars in damage. Similarly, an intoxicated driver who ran a stop sign hit my car broadside and then fled the scene. Our farmhouse in the Central Valley has been broken into three times. We used to have an open yard; now it is walled, with steel gates on the driveway. Such anecdotes have become common currency in the American Southwest. Ridiculed by elites as evidence of prejudice, these stories, statistical studies now show, reflect hard fact.

The growing national discomfort over illegal immigration more than four years after “Mexifornia” first appeared in City Journal is not only apparent in the rightward shift of the debate but also in the absence of any new arguments for open borders—while the old arguments, Americans are finally concluding, really do erode the law, reward the cynical here and abroad, and needlessly divide Americans along class, political, and ethnic lines.
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