Ward Connerly's American Civil Rights Institute has released an "open letter" pointing out that "under existing laws and policies, the majority of immigrants coming to America will automatically be eligible for race preferences and privileges not provided to the great majority of Americans" and arguing that "any legislation addressing immigration should make explicit that while immigrants and their descendants should be afforded the right to compete fairly and freely in every aspect of American life, they should receive no special benefit on the basis of race, ethnicity or national origin."
Cutting through all the institutional-speak, what they're saying is that even if the many millions of illegal Latin-American immigrants now in the U.S. get legalized, they and their descendants have no right to the "affirmative action" preferences that native-born American Hispanics now enjoy.
Well. On the one hand, it's hard to see how newly arrived immigrants can claim to have suffered from the history of endemic American "racism and discrimination" that used to be invoked to justify affirmative action.
But, on the other hand, haven't the signers of this interesting letter noticed that compensation for past wrongs is no longer the standard justification for same?
No! It's all about "diversity" now. And what "diversity" means, in practice, is that if we've got X % of some recognized racial/ethnic/religious (or whatever) minority present in the country, then we need to aim for X % representation of said minority in all prestigious occupations. By any means necessary.
In which case, why shouldn't newly minted Mexican-Americans move immediately to the front of the line? They are already very seriously under-represented in all prestigious occupations. And the more relatively unskilled, relatively uneducated Mexicans that come here, the more under-represented they get.
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I think that there are three main positions on this issue:
(1) The rightest of the right:
Nobody should ever get racially/ethnically/religiously/whateverly based preferences for anything. Ever. Whether he or she is an immigrant is neither here nor there.
(2) The leftest of the left:
Any member of an under-represented minority should get racially/ethnically/religiously/whateverly based preferences for anything. Always. Whether he or she is an immigrant is neither here nor there.
(3) The moderatest of the moderate:
Native-born Americans who are members of groups that have suffered from "the history of endemic American racism and discrimination" are entitled to preferences. New arrivals are not.
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I, of course, am among the rightest of the right.