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Making Me Long for the Relatively Tolerant Bush-era GOP…

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It’s always nice to see conservative anti-immigration rhetoric boil down to the question of brown people speaking funny languages:

I’m at a hearing of the immigration subcommittee, and the pseudo-congressman from Puerto Rico is going on about how “we” are a nation of immigrants. “We”? Puerto Rico is a foreign country that became a colony of the United States in 1898, no different from the French colony of Togo or the British colony of Uganda (or the U.S. colony of the Philippines). Congress granted residents of the island U.S. citizenship during World War I, but Puerto Ricans remain a distinct people, a distinct nation, with their own (foreign) language, their own history, their own culture. Like other remnants of late-colonialism (like Belize, Djibouti, Comoros, etc.), most Puerto Ricans don’t want independence at this point, because it would end the gravy train. But that’s not our problem — we need to end this unnatural situation and give the nation of Puerto Rico an independent state as soon as practicable.

In addition to a considerable level of ignorance about the history of Puerto Rico (it was never independent), and about the Puerto Rican influence on American life (there are more Puerto Ricans living in the continental US than in Puerto Rico), the comment really gives away the show about the question of legal vs. illegal immigration; Krikorian simply doesn’t care for foreign speaking people. As for cutting Puerto Rico lose against its will, I’d say we should entertain that policy around the same time that we give serious consideration to returning New Mexico, California, and Arizona to Mexico.

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