To become a citizen of Switzerland, you must reside there legally for twelve years. At the end of those twelve years, if you are able to make your way through the torturous and expensive application process, the Swiss authorities will then ask your neighbors what sort of citizen you would make.
To become a citizen of the United States, you must sneak across the border.
There are Americans who think this is a wonderful policy. The question they never seem to ask themselves, the vital question which must be asked, is: do we want the U.S. to be more like Mexico? For make no mistake: a people create a culture, and the culture in turn nurtures and shapes them. To see what culture our new citizens will be importing, a trip to Mexico can be most instructive.
I'm not suggesting a trip to Acapulco, or Cancun, or one of the other resort towns which Americans usually visit, which feature smiling hotel staff, friendly waiters, and eager to please mariachi bands in colorful native garb.
I'm suggesting something much less expensive: a trip to a border town like, say, Tijuana.
Stroll the streets. Absorb the atmosphere. Marvel at the building codes. Take in a cockfight or two, or a dogfight if that is your fancy. If you're feeling festive, go see the Juicy Lucy show. Say hello to some of the many pimps or prostitutes who openly ply their trade. Watch some of the federales help protect the local drug overlord. If you're lucky, you may get to witness a gunfight.
Then come back home. Ponder on what you have seen. Our borders may suddenly seem very long and porous to you.
But that's not fair, you say. Border towns are notoriously squalid and unsavory places and it's unfair to judge Mexico by them. After all, the Mexicans had two great civilizations, the Mayan and the Aztec.
True enough. To see how much the U.S. will benefit from these great cultures, take a trip to any barrio in the U.S. and see how much of those great civilizations the Mexicans have brought with them. What you'll probably see are a lot of Mexican men, as many as twenty to a house, but no pyramids.
But, you say, these are all hard working men who are just trying to provide for their families back home in Mexico. Can you blame them for that?
Of course not. If I were Mexican, and poor, I would do the same thing. I'm not castigating the Mexicans who are trying to make a better life for themselves. That's what everybody does. I am saying that American policy is supposed to be formulated for the benefit of United States citizens, not foreign citizens.
It is true that mexican immigrants are hard working, willing to take on jobs which most Americans aren't, and willing to work for lower wages. But this is not true of the second and third generations. They tend to go to community colleges and join La Raza and resent white Americans for being richer than they are. Or they join gangs. And it is the second generation and beyond who will be the Mexicans' lasting legacy in this country.
If Americans continue to sell their citizenship so cheaply, sooner or later it will not be worth having.