It has happened. Whites have been reduced to a minority in California. By whites, I mean, of course, “non-Hispanic whites,” because most of the illegal aliens who have poured across the border from Mexico during the last 30 years to change dramatically the composition of California’s population are mestizo, a mixture of Spanish and American Inthan, though some—especially those illegal aliens whose origin is Guatemala—seem purely Inthan. Inthan or mestizo, the new population (which also includes significant numbers of Salvadorans) little resembles the Mexicans descended from old California families who lobbied successfully during the 1920’s to be designated as “white” in the census.
Although the numbers are both debated, there are probably five to seven million illegal aliens and children of illegal aliens in California. Some 80 percent of these are of Mexican origin. This unchecked flow of illegal immigrants has made California 30 percent Latino. Americans of European descent now make up only 47 percent of the population, with Asians at 11 percent and blacks at 6 percent. As recently as 1970, whites were more than 80 percent of the population. The total population is now 34 million, an increase of 12 million since 1970, and none of this growth has come from the European-American population. Since the early 1970’s, more whites have moved out of California than into the state, and the white birthrate has fallen below replacement level. If both legal and illegal immigration had been tightly controlled, California’s population would have stabilized 30 years ago, something for Californians to contemplate during the next power shortage, water rationing, or freeway gridlock.
Population projections are always problematic, but, if the rates of increase and demographic change remain the same, the year 2030, California will be home to 50 million people, and fewer than 20 percent of them will he of European extraction. Whites will be outnumbered not only by Latinos, but by Asians. Blacks will probably maintain their six-percent share of the population but will continue to be displaced from their old neighborhoods, which have been especially hard hit by Mexican immigration. A good example of such displacement is occurring in Oxnard, a seaside, mostly working-class community that is Ventura County’s largest city. Blacks made up seven percent of the population in 1980; today, the city is only three percent black, and the black population is likely to dip under two percent by the next census. Meanwhile, the percentage of Latinos has increased from 40 to 66. “Oxnard is just not a friendly place anymore,” said Ruby Vines, a 55-year-old black woman, in a Los Angeles Times interview. “They cater to Hispanics in Oxnard. California is beginning to seem like a foreign country to me.” Vines plans to move back to her native Texas. Maurice Qualls, born and reared in Oxnard, recently moved to Las Vegas because of the Mexican influx. Returning to Oxnard to visit, he complained, “Here there’s a Latino mayor and Latino city manager. And there has been a lot of problems with black and Latino gangs. Out on the streets, black people are outnumbered.”
Competition for jobs has driven many blacks from Oxnard. “There’s not enough work to go around,” said Robert Wilber. “I don’t think it’s prejudice, but once Hispanics get in a neighborhood, they bring all their family, and then they all get jobs. So they have so many working, they can always get a house and keep it.” A family of illegal aliens nearby demonstrates Wilber’s point. Living together in a small, three-bedroom house are 12 Mexicans— a mother and father, five sons, a grandfather, an aunt and uncle, and two cousins. “We like it here,” said one of the sons. “Everybody works. And mostly everybody around here speaks Spanish.” This helps to explain why Oxnard has lost nearly a thousand black residents during the last decade while gaining 30,000 Mexicans. “It’s weird,” said Douglas Cotton, a born-and-bred Oxnard resident who moved to Dallas in 1996. “I was back in Oxnard for Thanksgiving, and I didn’t see anybody I grew up with.”
Because of the Hispanicization of black neighborhoods, black political clout has declined precipitously since peaking during the 1980’s. There are only four blacks in the 80-member California assembly and just two in the 40-member senate. Statewide, fewer than 250 blacks hold office. At the same time, there are 19 Latinos in the assembly and seven in the senate, and nearly 800 hold county, municipal, and city offices. Tom Bradley was Los Angeles’s first black mayor. He might also be the last. With blacks sinking below 15 percent and Latinos now exceeding 46 percent of Los Angeles’s population, the next mayor will likely be brown. James Hahn, who recently defeated a Latino candidate for the office, might be the city’s last white mayor.
“High population density” and “California” used to be mutually exclusive terms. Rambling, one-story houses on large lots were common in the suburbs in the 1940’s and 50’s. Now, because land has become so valuable, new housing tracts rarely feature one-story houses: Building two-stories allows the developer to maintain the square footage of the house while drastically reducing the size of the lot. The old, sprawling feeling that was part of the relaxed ambiance of California suburbs has been replaced by dense development, because millions of immigrants, almost all of them non-English-speaking (and most of them illegal and Latino), have flooded California’s cities and sent whites fleeing to the suburbs.
Based on number of people per household, the Golden State now has eight of the country’s ten most densely populated cities. Based upon number of people per square mile (a methodology that would seem to eliminate California’s low-rise cities from contention), California still has five of the top ten most densely populated cities in the United States. The numbers can boggle the mind. When a fire destroyed a five-bedroom house in Oxnard, six Latino families, totaling 43 men, women, and children, lost their home.” Thank Godd most of the kids were in school,” said the mother of six of the 30 children in the household. “Only 12 were at home.”
Despite such crowding, Oxnard ranks only fourth on the roster of most densely populated cities, trailing Santa Ana, El Monte, and East Los Angeles. Santa Ana, Orange County’s largest city at 338,000 residents, fought the influx of illegal aliens and the concomitant population explosion by passing an ordinance in 1991 that limited the number of people who could inhabit various types of dwellings. The city thought it was reasonable, for example, to limit the number of people living in a one-bedroom apartment to five. Taken to court, the city’s anti-crowding ordinance was initially upheld, but eventually it was ruled invalid by a state appeals court, which declared that a state housing code (which allowed for denser habitation) superseded the ordinance.
With the ordinance invalidated, Santa Ana saw its population grow by more than 45,000 during the 1990’s, despite tens of thousands of people abandoning the town for the suburbs of southern Orange County. Santa Ana, once the bastion of the white working class in Orange County, is now only 12 percent white, and English is a second language in the elementary schools. Both the city council and school board now have Latino majorities.
As town after town in California goes the way of Santa Ana, the Golden State is headed for a population density that could rival China’s in another 3O or 40 years. Yet strangely, the Sierra Club, the state’s oldest environmentalist group and once devoted to preserving California’s wilderness and conserving the state’s resources, not only refuses to call tor a reduction of legal immigration but even refuses to attack illegal immigration. Long ago, the club was taken over by politically correct activists, most of whom have never set foot upon the John Muir Trail, let alone hiked its entire length lugging all their gear and supplies in an old Kelty pack. Some of the genuine wilderness trekkers who still remained in the club pushed the question of California’s growing population, immigration levels, and illegal immigration to a vote last year by proposing that the club adopt a policy position calling for restriction and control. The proposal was defeated by a 60 to 40 majority. I have a sneaking suspicion that, if there were millions of foreign whites inundating California, the Sierra Club would have found the courage to pass the proposal.
The Sierra Club also remained silent on the issue of immigration during California’s recent power crisis. Repatriating only the illegal aliens and their offspring—upward of seven million people—would mean no shortage of electricity, no more wild rivers dammed, and no new” power plants built. California is now in a plant-building frenzy, and the last of the free-flowing rivers are being studied for power-generation potential. Another 30 years of illegal (and legal) immigration, and there will be no river left untouched by dams and generators. Conservation is no answer, California already has one of the lowest consumptions of electricity per capita of any industrialized state, and electricity use has declined five percent per capita since the 1970’s.
Looming on the horizon is California’s next crisis, which should make brownouts seem tame. California’s climatological pattern is clear: a prolonged drought will occur. With millions of people added to the state’s population since the last dry spell and with no new water resources developed—thanks to the Sierra Club and their allies—the situation could become desperate. The Sierra Club cannot have it both ways. Either stop people from pouring across the border and drastically reduce legal immigration, or dam everything down to creeks, build desalination plants in every coastal city, sink a million wells, seed the clouds, and tow icebergs from Antarctica.
Even if both legal and illegal immigration are stopped, the birthrate among immigrant Latinas in California will ensure a growth rate that will double the state’s population in 50 years. While white women in California each have fewer than two children, immigrant Latinas are producing more than four children each. The rate is quite remarkable, especially when we consider that Mormon women in Utah have slightly fewer than three children each. California’s schools reflect these birthrates. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), which was nearly 70 percent white as recently as the early 1970’s, is now 71 percent Latino and only 9.9 percent white. The schools of the San Fernando Valley, which are part of the LAUSD, were known for their homogenous white composition well into the 1970’s. Most of the valley schools were more than 90 percent white, and many of them were almost exclusively white, until busing and then illegal immigration began effecting dramatic changes during the 1970’s. Today, the schools that were once the bastion of the white middle class are 66 percent Latino and only 19 percent white.
Most of the schools in North Hollywood, a portion of the eastern San Fernando Valley, have become more than 50 percent Latino, and English is taught as a second language. These schools receive millions of dollars in federal funding under Title I. The schools are required to spend one to two percent of the money on the students’ parents, most of whom are illegal aliens. The bulk of the money is used to provide every classroom with a teaching assistant and each school with a truant officer, a counselor, a nurse, a psychiatrist, and a social worker. Money also goes to the establishment and operation of a community center. Parents are offered special courses; the students, individual tutoring and a free breakfast and lunch.
Additional supplementary federal monies (which, in this case, must be matched by the state) come to the schools from the Bilingual Funding program, amounting to millions of dollars, one to two percent of which must be spent on the parents. Teachers whose students quality, under Bilingual Funding receive an extra $5,000 per year. Computers and books are also supplied under the program. More money is pumped into the schools through the Structured English immersion and LA Best programs, the latter offers “homework enrichment” and allows each student up to i2 hours of after-school tutoring by a teacher. The Early Language Support Academy tutors students in groups often. Millions here and millions there eventually add up to real money, and almost all of it goes to students who are the children of illegal aliens or illegal aliens themselves. Despite generous funding and all of the special programs, student performance is dismal, with most of them scoring far below grade level on various standardized tests.
That many of our public schools are essentially attempting to educate the children of Mexico, and to a lesser degree Central America, should be evident to every California citizen. The Mexican government recognized this in the early 1990’s and began donating textbooks by the thousands to California school districts. The textbooks are written in Spanish and are devoted to Mexican history and culture. Students can learn all about the Mexican national coat of arms, the Mexican national anthem, and the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration, but nothing about their American counterparts. The Mexican government has been so elated by the results of the program that it is now sending textbooks to school districts outside of California that have large Latino populations.
The problem of illegal-alien students extends beyond California’s primary and secondary schools into college. Illegal aliens are not prohibited from attending California’s public universities, but—if they have been honest when filling out their college applications—they have to pay out-of-state tuition, as do other foreign students and students from America’s other 49 states. For several years, advocates for illegal aliens have been demanding that “undocumented immigrants” pay only the legal resident tuition fee. In 2000, a bill to that effect, supported by most Democrats and nearly all Latino legislators, was approved by the state legislature but vetoed by Gov. Gray Davis, who cited conflicts with federal law. Touring California last March, Mexican President Vicente Fox urged that the issue be revisited. A new bill currently sits in the legislature. If the bill becomes law this time around, illegal aliens will pay a fraction of the tuition paid by an American citizen from another state. “You say your family have been tax-paying American citizens for five generations and you won two purple hearts and are 20 percent disabled? Tough break, pal; you’re from Iowa, not Mexico!”
The controversy may soon become moot. With the wholehearted support of most Latino legislators, a bill has been introduced into the state legislature to grant California driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. With a California driver’s license, a California high-school diploma, and a Social Security card (easily obtained illegally), no university would question a prospective student’s residency status.
Illegal immigration has also taxed the criminal-justice system to the limit in several counties. In 1999, San Diego County expended $50 million on law enforcement and emergency medical care for illegal immigrants. Next door, lightly populated Imperial County, with a fraction of San Diego’s tax base, spent six million dollars. Imperial County supervisors fear that the burden may push the county into bankruptcy. In Los Angeles County, illegal aliens commit wildly disproportionate amount of crime, costing the county tens of millions of dollars. Last April, the Daily News published a rogue’s gallery of the 20 most wanted criminal suspects in Los Angeles. One was black, two were Armenians, and 17 were Latinos. An accompanying article provided a description and vital information for each suspect. That for Alvaro Beltrani Merino was typical for the Latinos: “black hair, brown eyes. . . wanted for suspicion of murder . . . may have fled to Mexico.”
Why do we, or the powers that be, allow all of this to occur? Because powerful interests are benefiting from it. Those who employ illegal aliens get cheap labor. The labor, however, is cheap only to the employers. The rest of us are paying for it. When illegal aliens give birth, their instant citizen-children make them eligible for AFDC, food stamps, subsidized housing, and transportation vouchers. The birth of the children costs the illegal aliens nothing, and schooling is free. The LAUSD, for example, spends nearly $11,000 per child. A family with four children thus costs the district almost $44,000 per year. A day laborer, farm worker, domestic, or minimum-wage factory employee does not pay enough taxes to cover more than a fraction of the schooling costs alone. The greatest cost of all, though, cannot be calculated in dollars: the loss of our national sovereignty, cultural heritage, and identity as a people.
For years, most people outside of the once-Golden State looked upon illegal aliens and the Hispanicization of society as California’s problem. Warnings from Californians fell upon deaf ears. Now the problem has come to other states. Meanwhile, back at the White House. President Bush celebrates Cinco de Mayo and broadcasts his weekly address to the nation in both English and Spanish.
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