By Jason DeParle, The New York Times
One man likens immigrants to snakes, frets that they will never “go back to their huts,” and insists that they threaten “jobs, wages, housing, schools, tax bills” and more.
Another sees a “Hispanic invasion,” fears that it will bring the “cultural and ethnic replacement of Americans,” and warns that the foreign influx endangers “our way of life.”
After last weekend’s shooting in El Paso, it was so hard to distinguish President Trump’s views of immigration (paragraph one) from those of the accused killer (paragraph two) that the suspect offered a pre-emptive defense against charges of plagiarism. In a “manifesto” released just before the massacre, he insisted he wasn’t just mouthing “Trump’s rhetoric’’ but was offering thoughts of his own.
Posted on a far-right website, the statement never used the word “assimilation.” But it rested on the Trumpian view that immigration was failing and that this failure posed an existential threat. The fear that foreigners refuse to adapt is widespread among immigration critics, and even Americans with more welcoming views sometimes worry that assimilation is proceeding less surely than it once did.
I took reassurance this past week in another Texas immigration story, which suggests that America’s powers of assimilation remain formidable. It involves a third grader with an apt name, Precious Lara Villanueva, who lingered at dinner a year after arriving in the United States and said, “I sort of agree with Rosa Parks.”
Read the complete story here.