was rejected not only by New Yorkers, by Italians, bynCatholics, and by women—but even by New York ItaliannCatholic women.nMore important than politics, of course, is music. Deep-nSouth WSPs have given us rock, the blacks’ revenge fornslavery. Italian-Americans have given us Caruso and Tosca-nnini.nLike the Italians, today’s Hispanic immigrants are selectivenabout which features of modern American culture tonabsorb. A surprisingly large number of them manage to sendntheir children to private schools, rejecting both the antireligiousnconformism and the linguistic separatism of thenpublic schools. Bilingual education is almost entirely anpublic-school phenomenon — not a response to marketplacendemand, but to court rulings and regulations writtennby our decadent native establishment. Under a vouchernsystem it would vanish.nToday’s boisterous Hispanic adventurers remind me ofnthe 18th-century Scots-Irish immigrants who bypassed thenWASP tidewater for the frontier. The tax revolts andnanti-euthanasia protests of the 21st century will need them.nnDANIEL A. STEINnExecutive Director, Federation for AmericannImmigration ReformnThere are very few universal truths in life, but one ofnthem is “There is nothing so permanent as a temporarynchange.”nNew York City, for example, instituted its rent controlnpolicies to avoid placing undo hardships on the families ofnour boys who were off fighting World War II. Those samenlaws are still on the books in 1990, and thousands of NewnYorkers are still paying the same rent they were paying inn1940.nAfter the brutal crackdown against the Solidarity freedomnmovement in Poland in 1981, the United States grantednExtended Voluntary Departure (EVD) to thousands ofnPoles in this country — “just until conditions improved innthat country.” Solidarity now runs Poland, democracy is onnthe march in Eastern Europe, and the Poles we allowed tonstay “just until things improved” are staying in droves. Nornwill they be asked to return home. The people we permittednto live here temporarily have now established roots in theirncommunities, we are told, and it would be unfair to ask themnto leave.nFor the past six years a similar bill has been floatingnaround Congress to grant EVD to more than one millionnSalvadorans and Nicaraguans who are illegally in the UnitednStates — of course, “just until things improve down there.”nThe most recent incarnation of the bill passed the Housenlast fall and is due to be voted on in the Senate this spring.nDespite the fact that things have already improved innthose countries, the bill’s sponsors. Congressman Joe Moakleyn(D-MA) and Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) arenstill pushing this piece of legislation as hard as ever. Lastnyear’s democratic elections in El Salvador and the dramaticnresults of the February 25 elections in Nicaragua haven’tnconvinced the bill’s supporters that EVD is a bad idea whosentime has passed. Reality has simply sent them scurrying fornnew and creative reasons for not enforcing laws againstnillegal immigration.nWhereas just a few months ago EVD was being sold as anhumanitarian insurance policy for people who lived inncountries with repressive governments or civil war, we arennow being told that more than a million illegal aliens shouldnbe allowed to remain here for economic reasons. That, ofncourse, is precisely why the overwhelming majority ofnSalvadorans and Nicaraguans came here in the first place. Itnis the reason virtually every illegal alien comes to the UnitednStates.nU.S. refugee law is very specific about what constitutes anlegitimate refugee: a well-founded fear of persecution basednon race, religion, ethnicity, or political belief The law is verynclear that poverty alone is not sufficient reason for comingnhere, or being permitted to remain, either temporarily ornpermanently.nThe proponents of EVD now claim that these illegalnaliens should be allowed to remain “temporarily” becausensending them back at this time would cause economicnhardship not just for the aliens, but for their countries asnwell. It is a strange reversal of roles: the same people who fornyears have been insisting that Salvadorans and Nicaraguansnwere legitimate political refugees, not economic migrants,nare now asking that they be allowed to stay in the UnitednStates for economic reasons. It’s a safe bet that if and whennthere is some economic improvement in those countries,nthese same advocates will argue that we can’t ask thesen”temporary” residents to leave because they have nownestablished roots in this country.nAs the economic and military superpower of this hemisphere,nthe United States has an important role to play innhelping these emerging democracies succeed. However, wencannot absorb Latin America’s excess population. As thenproponents of EVD now admit, the forces driving LatinnAmericans to the United States are economic, not political.nThese problems are not limited to El Salvador and Nicaragua—nthey are endemic to the entire region. To accommodatentheir exploding populations, the nations to our southnwill have to create 52 million new jobs over the next thirtynyears, and do it from an economic base one-fifth that of thenUnited States.nnnJULY 1990/17n