By contrasting the current situation with that at the turn of the century, John, you don’t weaken Derb’s case one whit. You strengthen it.
Below, after all, Derb quotes Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity, Samuel Huntington’s book, at some length. Huntington’s case? That immigration in which a huge proportion of newcomers come from a single country, in which those newcomers then settle on our border with that country rather than dispersing throughout our own, and in which the newcomers find themselves in a cultural and ideological milieu that discourages rather than encourages their assimilation as Americans—that nothing like this has ever before happened in history of the United States.
I’m more sanguine about Hispanic immigration than is Derb—and on Huntington’s own argument it ought to be of some comfort to find Hispanics dispersing themselves to places as far-flung as Iowa rather than clustering entirely in the Southwest. But Derb and Huntington do most certainly have a point—an historically accurate point—and noting demographic patterns in 1904 (or Derb’s British accent, or Mrs. Derb’s country of origin) does nothing to refute it.