The Corner

The Gang of Eight Backs Assimilation? Don’t Believe It

Granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants at a time when our patriotic assimilation system is broken makes no sense. With this criticism of Schumer-Rubio gaining ground, advocates of amnesty have adopted a new strategy: Praise the bill as a fount of assimilation. Today’s Christian Science Monitor features an article that claims even critics of Schumer-Rubio are pleased with its provisions for the integration and assimilation of immigrants. Bad timing, since John Fonte has a piece today here at NRO that tells the truth about Schumer-Rubio’s assimilation provisions.

Schumer-Rubio almost quadruples federal funding for immigrant-integration programs, while also setting up a bureaucratic apparatus designed to channel tens of millions more in corporate funding into public-private partnerships designed to support such assimilation. Sounds good. But in practice this will channel tens of millions of dollars into the coffers of “non-profit groups,” many of them Alinsky-style community organizations that focus on recruiting and politicizing immigrants. As Fonte explains today on NRO, that’s exactly where money for immigrant integration already goes in many states. This bill will add a huge federal bonanza on top of that, to be overseen by Obama-appointed bureaucrats who will no doubt do everything in their power to channel those dollars into the hands of left-leaning community organizers.

In Radical-in-Chief I tell the story of Obama’s involvement with a hardcore Alinskyite group that catered to immigrants, many of them illegal, in Chicago in the 1980s. Fonte shows that Joshua Hoyt, an organizer Obama met and worked with in those early days, now runs a successor group in Illinois, where a “strategic partnership” with state government channels public money to the group. So a supposed state-backed effort at immigrant assimilation has turned into state-subsidized political agitation for leftist-Alinskyites instead.

This pattern repeats in other states, and Schumer-Rubio gives the Obama administration a chance to spread it still further. Just as the Community Reinvestment Act forced banks to fund a huge network of leftist community organizations charged with supervising sub-prime loans (ACORN and many more), Schumer-Rubio could give birth to a vast network of Alinskyite “non-profits” across the country catering to immigrant “integration.” In practice, these groups are more interested in pushing immigrants to agitate for increased government spending (see Hoyt’s activities in Illinois), than in patriotic assimilation in the classic sense.

Today’s Christian Science Monitor piece makes much of effusive praise for Schumer-Rubio’s “assimilation” provisions from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI). No wonder. MPI is a major force for replacing traditional patriotic assimilation with the gospel of multiculturalism. Fonte’s Hudson Institute report with Althea Nagai on our broken patriotic assimilation system singles out MPI as perhaps the most influential opponent of immigrant assimilation, at least as this country has long understood that term. The “assimilation” provisions of Schumer-Rubio ought to be called “multiculturalism” provisions instead.

The assimilation argument against Schumer-Rubio holds that we can’t keep funneling government money into a system based on multiculturalism and leftist political agitation. Until we halt government backing for the diversity industry and rework the institutional support structure for immigrant integration (Fonte and Nagai have suggestions for how to do that), more public-private money will do nothing but subsidize the multiculturalist blather that killed off our assimilation system in the first place.

So don’t believe the hype. Schumer-Rubio doesn’t “fix” our assimilation problem. It is our assimilation problem.

 

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