Illegals Who Don’t Learn English Threaten Unified Society, Gov. Lamm Says
The growing tide of illegal aliens threatens to destroy the unified fabric of American society because these arrivals never learn English and don’t assimilate into the nation’s culture, Colorado Gov. Richard D. Lamm told Congress today.
“Massive immigration, particularly massive illegal immigration, involves serious and profound risks,” Lamm testified at a hearing of the Joint Economic Committee.
“A country must be concerned with the success rate of its new citizens,” Lamm said. “If they succeed, the nation will succeed; if they fail or do not assimilate, then I believe the country is given a destiny-shattering blow.”
But Lamm, co-author of a book entitled “The Immigration Time Bomb: The Fragmenting of America,” said more and more immigrants, particularly Latinos, aren’t succeeding as previous waves of foreign arrivals did.
“Today, they come and live their complete lives without learning English,” he said. “Obviously that is retarding their ability to compete in American society.”
More than half the illegal aliens entering the nation each year come from Latin countries, he said. About 2 million illegal aliens come from Mexico each year.
The tide of illegal aliens not only lowers wages but strains already-scarce government funds, Lamm said.
“I don’t have enough money for social programs--let alone being a medical clinic for Mexico,” he said.
Lamm, a Democrat, said it is difficult for Americans to understand that the melting pot analogy no longer holds because “we have been so blinded by the Statue of Liberty, it’s such an overpowering symbol. We have adopted this stuff on blind faith.”
The 50% dropout rate among Latino high school students results from their isolation in “linguistic ghettos,” Lamm said. “The reason these children are not succeeding as much is because they are not assimilating as much.”
The linguistic diversity of previous immigrant groups, and their isolation from their homelands once they arrived in America, ensured their eventual assimilation into their new land, Lamm said.
But the close proximity of Latino immigrants to their homelands means that many return. Mexicans and Canadians have the lowest naturalization rate of any immigrant group, he said.
“Being an American is more than just a question of being here,” he added.