Guy W. Farmer: Welcome to ‘Mexifornia’
A few years ago, Time magazine published a cover story titled “Mexifornia” about how legal and illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America were changing the face, and the demographics, of our large and “progressive” neighbor to the west.
That process has only intensified in recent years. Let’s call it “la reconquista” — the inexorable reconquest of California by Mexico. Should we be concerned? As my most loyal readers know, I have strong family ties to Mexico because I was married to a lovely Mexican woman for 40 years and have two terrific Mexican-American children. Nevertheless, I’m concerned about what’s going on in California, which is now a “sanctuary state” for illegal immigrants, including hundreds of Hispanic gang-bangers and drug traffickers, thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown and a far-left legislature.
The current “reconquista” was recently described in detail by Prof. Victor Davis Hansen, a longtime resident of California’s Central Valley who teaches at Stanford’s prestigious Hoover Institution think tank.
“I have traveled about, taking the pulse of the more forgotten areas of Central California,” Hansen wrote. “I wanted to witness … what is happening to a state that has the highest sales and income taxes, the most lavish entitlements, the near-worst public schools … and the largest number of illegal aliens in the nation.”
Riding his bike on a leisurely road trip through southwestern Fresno County, Hansen observed “an area of abject poverty (with) almost no ethnic diversity.” His old elementary school “is 94 percent Hispanic and 1 percent white, and well below federal testing norms in math and English.” He said “arbitrary cutoffs in federal irrigation water have idled tens of thousands of acres of prime agricultural land, leaving thousands unemployed,” and added many manufacturing plants in the area have been shut down because “their production has been shipped off overseas or south of the border.”
“Many of the rural trailer-house compounds I saw appear to the naked eye no different than what I’ve seen in the Third World,” Hansen wrote. “The public hears about all kinds of tough California regulations that stymie business … but apparently none of that applies out here (in rural Fresno County) … California’s coastal elites may worry about the oxygen content of available water … but they seem to have no interest in the epidemic dumping of trash, furniture and toxic substances throughout California’s rural hinterland.”
Well, you get the idea. While California’s coastal elites live in million-dollar mansions, the forgotten citizens of rural California live in abject poverty increasingly disconnected to the rest of their sprawling state. Hansen wrote these conditions “have driven (California) residents out of the state at the rate of 2,000 to 3,000 a week” with many of them moving to neighboring Nevada. This influx of Californians to Las Vegas and the Reno-Tahoe area have also changed the face, and the demographics, of the Silver State. We call it the Calfornication of Nevada because among other things, it generates thousands of ignorant voters, too many of whom can’t speak English and can’t locate our state’s capital city.
I just spent two weeks in Southern California, where many law-abiding citizens are rebelling against Gov. Brown’s sanctuary state policy, which prohibits local law enforcement officers from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. I was in Los Alamitos when the city council voted to defy Brown and his “open borders” advocates, as did commissioners of Orange and San Diego counties.
As Hansen wrote, California “is a sort of social, cultural, economic and political time bomb.” We hope it doesn’t explode because the fallout would devastate Nevada.
Guy W. Farmer is the Appeal’s senior political columnist.