Another great piece by Victor Davis Hanson
The flood of illegal immigrants into California has made things worse than I foresaw.
In the Spring 2002 issue of City Journal, I wrote an essay about growing up in the central San Joaquin Valley and witnessing firsthand, especially over the last 20 years, the ill effects of illegal immigration (City Journal’s editors chose the title of the piece: “Do We Want Mexifornia?”). Controversy over my blunt assessment of the disaster of illegal immigration from Mexico led to an expanded memoir, Mexifornia, published the following year by Encounter Press.
Mexifornia came out during the ultimately successful campaign to recall California governor Gray Davis in autumn 2003. A popular public gripe was that the embattled governor had appeased both employers and the more radical Hispanic politicians of the California legislature on illegal immigration. And indeed Davis had signed legislation allowing driver’s licenses for illegal aliens that both houses of state government had passed. So it was no wonder that the book sometimes found its way into both the low and high forms of the political debate. On the Internet, a close facsimile of a California driver’s license circulated, with a picture of a Mexican bandit (the gifted actor Alfonso Bedoya of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre), together with a demeaning height (5’4”), weight (“too much”), and sex (“mucho”) given. “Mexifornia” was emblazoned across the top where “California” usually is stamped on the license.