The Corner

Canadian vs. American Immigration

In a front-page New York Times article on Canada’s Manitoba province, Jason DeParle appears puzzled as to why Canada seems more welcoming of “immigrants” than is the U.S. To be sure, the article acknowledges the crucial difference between Canadian immigration and the bulk of American immigration: Canadian immigrants obey Canadian law in entering the country; millions of American immigrants flout American law. DeParle also observes that Canada seeks out skilled and educated immigrants, whose children “typically do well.” Though DeParle does not spell out the American obverse, it is the following: Many children of Hispanic illegal aliens are doing poorly, with rock-bottom high-school graduation rates, sky-high teen-pregnancy rates, persistent academic difficulties, and rising levels of gang involvement across generations. (Of course, there are plenty of admirable exceptions to this reality.)

These differences makes any implied comparison between the two countries’ immigration politics wholly unjustified. However much DeParle’s article acknowledges the crucial ways in which Canadian immigration diverges from the current American situation, to even put the two immigration universes side-by-side implies that there is a common basis of comparison and that illegal and legal immigration are more alike than not. This idea is of course the dominant conceit of the MSM, whereby reporters almost never scruple to distinguish legal from illegal immigrants. I may be wrong: DeParle’s article may in fact be a subtle and welcome endorsement for the Canadian skills-based immigration system. But I have a hard time avoiding the impression that to the contrary, it is an implicit rebuke to America’s lowered tolerance for what DeParle calls “more pluribus and . . . less unum.”

Recently released data from California underline why illegal immigration has produced a backlash in the U.S. Over 50 percent of children in California public schools are now Latino, a demographic shift that American voters have never formally endorsed. Unless educators quickly figure out how to close the achievement gap between Latinos, on the one hand, and whites and Asians, on the other, the consequences of this demographic development for California’s economic future are bleak. California spends billions trying to bring its Hispanic students up to speed, but finds that millions of students born here continue to be classified as “long-term English learners” throughout their school careers because their cognitive skills are so low. Each year brings new tutoring ventures and pedagogical methods, but the apparent cultural blocks to high academic achievement have so far been intractable. Perhaps California’s high-tech economy can find all the innovators it needs from other sources, but the costs of trying to overcome the achievement gap will drain public money away from investments in infrastructure and elite R&D. 

Most Popular

U.S.

The Lies We’re Told about the American Story

Editor’s Note: The following essay was adapted from remarks delivered to the annual dinner of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, in California, on October 4. Every American heart must break when lies are told to boys and girls, who then grow up to think the worst about their past: that the American ... Read More
U.S.

The Lies We’re Told about the American Story

Editor’s Note: The following essay was adapted from remarks delivered to the annual dinner of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, in California, on October 4. Every American heart must break when lies are told to boys and girls, who then grow up to think the worst about their past: that the American ... Read More
Film & TV

Bill Murray: The King of Cool

Bill Murray’s Bill Murray impression is priceless in On the Rocks, the way John Wayne did a fantastic John Wayne parody in True Grit and Al Pacino found a new level of Pacino-ness in Scent of a Woman. I want to quote every line of dialogue Murray delivers in his new movie for Apple TV+ -- every hilarious piece ... Read More
Film & TV

Bill Murray: The King of Cool

Bill Murray’s Bill Murray impression is priceless in On the Rocks, the way John Wayne did a fantastic John Wayne parody in True Grit and Al Pacino found a new level of Pacino-ness in Scent of a Woman. I want to quote every line of dialogue Murray delivers in his new movie for Apple TV+ -- every hilarious piece ... Read More
Books

Orwell, Huxley, and Us

To hear some people tell it, America entered a dystopia long before the coronavirus and measures undertaken to combat it altered everyday life almost to the point of unrecognizability. As for which dystopia, and when, well — that depends on whom one asks. For many on the left, the annus horribilis was 2016, ... Read More
Books

Orwell, Huxley, and Us

To hear some people tell it, America entered a dystopia long before the coronavirus and measures undertaken to combat it altered everyday life almost to the point of unrecognizability. As for which dystopia, and when, well — that depends on whom one asks. For many on the left, the annus horribilis was 2016, ... Read More
Media

The Media’s Shameful Hunter Biden Abdication

In an interview with National Public Radio’s public editor today, Terence Samuel, managing editor for news, explained why readers haven’t seen any stories about the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email scoop. “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want ... Read More
Media

The Media’s Shameful Hunter Biden Abdication

In an interview with National Public Radio’s public editor today, Terence Samuel, managing editor for news, explained why readers haven’t seen any stories about the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email scoop. “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want ... Read More