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Once again, President Obama is bending history fit his agenda. One moment he and his “open borders” supporters are calling illegal aliens “the new civil rights movement” similar to African Americans in the 1960s. The next moment they claim Latino illegal aliens in America are like Joseph, Mary, and Jesus seeking refuge in Egypt.
On St. Patricks Day, 2015, Obama compared Latino illegal aliens to the Irish immigration experience. This comparison is another attempt to rewrite history to fit his liberal agenda.
The truth is that there are some very big and important differences in the two immigrations.
One, the Irish had to cross an ocean to get to America, and their entry was controlled. Latinos are just next door with no large visible geographical barrier, and their entry has never been as controlled.
Two, the Irish have come in numbers small enough to assimilate and become “Americanized”. On the other hand, for every one Latino that assimilates and Americanized, there 5 or 6 or more have just cross the border… and assimilation and Americanization does not seem to be their goal in recent times. Additionally, the Latino immigration numbers are overwhelming in comparison to the Irish, or any other immigrant group.
Third, the Irish never had Celtic language media that helped them keep and maintain their national and ethnic identity separate from the rest of America. Latinos have Spanish language media which helps to segregate them and, in some cases, even discourages their assimilation. Spanish language media, along with the liberal main stream media, often portray Latino immigrants as “victims in and of the America”, which lessens their desire to become part of the new nation. There is also the narrative, particularly among liberal academics, that Texas and the southwestern U.S. is “occupied Mexico.
Four, there is the obvious difference in that the Irish did not have “political correctness” to hinder their integration and assimilation to become Americans. Latino illegal aliens are not integrating, nor assimilating, but rather they are encouraged to segregate, separate and maintain their national identity.
Finally, there is the fact that “Latino” or “Hispanic” are manufactured identities. While black African Americans and Irish are real racial and nationality groups, there is no such thing as Latino or Hispanic. Latinos/Hispanics are an amalgamation of various racial and national Spanish speaking groups. Their main commonality is language. Even Filipinos have been classified as Latino/Hispanic.
Comparing today’s Latino immigration experience to the Irish immigration experience is like comparing apples and bowling balls. They both have a similar shape, but they radically different in functionality.