Somebody Get Ann Coulter a Map and a Book on Political Development (and an Almanac)
Ann Coulter: a blonder version of Pat Buchanan
Ann Coulter tries on her inner Pat Buchanan in a recent column: Invasion USA: When did we Vote to Become Mexico?
For decades, Mexicans have been about 30 percent of all legal immigrants to the United States, while only a smidgen more than 1 percent come from Great Britain. Is that fair? Granted, their food is better, but why is it the norm is to have nearly 30 times as many Mexican as British immigrants?
We have been taking in more immigrants from Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Colombia, individually, than from England, our mother country. There are nearly twice as many immigrants from El Salvador as from Canada, and 10 times as many as from Australia.
I am guessing, and call me crazy, that there are at least two excellent reasons why immigration from Mexico (and other Latin American countries) substantially tops that from the UK. First, and this is a shocker, the US has a massive land border with Mexico, while an ocean separates the US and the UK. Second, the level of economic and political development in the UK is more comparable to that of the US than is Mexico’s to the US and that would dampen the interest in substantial migration from there to here. Previous waves of European immigration (especially at the early part of the 20th Century) were driven by development disparities or exigent circumstances, like the aftermath of world wars. There is no particular reason, in 2013, to expect similar levels of immigration from developed states as from less developed ones.
Part of the disparities in the numbers is also influenced by things like relative population size (Mexico’s population is roughly twice that of the UK’s, for example). Although, granted, it is not the main variable. The main variable is relative level of development. After all, why might it be the case that there would be more Salvadorans coming to the US than Canadians? It is a true mystery!
If only there was some metric we could use to shed light on this subject.
Let’s see, the per capita GDP of the US is $49,800, one of the highest in the world. How does that compare to the countries in question?
El Salvador: $7,700
So, it ends up that El Salvador in one of the poorer countries in the world, and certainly one of the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, and Canada is one of the richest. Odd how such factors might influence one’s decision to migrate. My vast social science knowledge also leads me to point out that being poor in a really poor country truly bites in comparison to being poor in a rich country. Poor folks from really poor countries have been known to risk their lives for the chance to work as a janitor in a fast food restaurant. Poor people in rich countries, not so much.
Of course, as per the aforementioned Buchanan, Coulter is asserting that being “American” fundamentally means “white Anglo” (and hence the concerns about immigrants from the UK, Canada, and Australia). Being of a more swarthy complexion clearly means “not America” to Coulter and her ilk.
Why do we have to become a different country? Was there a vote when the country decided to turn itself into Mexico? No other country has ever just decided to turn itself into another country like this.
Also: this assertion is ironic (not to mention ahistorical), given that much of the USA used to be part of Mexico and it didn’t become part of the US via a vote. While I am not suggesting retrocession, it does require a substantial amount of myopia to ignore the historical ties between a huge chunk of the United States and Mexico (and a lot of people who are quite American, despite their hue or their last names).
The notion that American is about kin groups, and not about broader ideals, is a fundamentally flawed and racist position.
(For those who do not get the Buchanan reference, please see: Buchanan and “White America”).