Diana West

Still, while mentioning the 1965 Act, Encarta also not-so-subtly implies that European "bias" was bad, while "opening the doors" to the Third World was good. This adheres to the infantilizing orthodoxy of good (nice) and bad (mean) that has stunted debate on immigration, forcing it into a political fetal position moved by the odd emotional spasm. (Courageous Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., is the leading grown-up exception to this rule.)

But now the debate -- at least one side of it -- has spilled onto the streets, where alien activists, having festooned themselves in Mexican flags, demand amnesty and rights. (Everyone should go to Michelle Malkin's Web site -- michellemalkin.com -- to see the photograph of a California high school flagpole flying the Mexican flag over an upside-down Stars and Stripes.) This outpouring may be the tangible fusion of every liberal orthodoxy, from multiculturalism to "inclusiveness" to "self-esteem"; it's also in-your-face symbolism of the abysmal failure to assimilate, to Americanize, even on the most superficial level, an ever-growing influx of foreign-born millions.

All of which needs to be openly discussed before the Senate actually votes on immigration reform. This would be a first. In 1965, when Congress passed the immigration act that "opened the door" to "massive" immigration from the Third World, there wasn't, as Brimelow has noted, much in the way of a national debate. In the two decades that followed, along with millions of legal immigrants, the U.S. attracted a huge, mainly Hispanic, illegal population -- roughly 3 million of whom received amnesty from Ronald Reagan in 1986. Twenty years later, in 2006, we see a fourfold increase in that illegal population, now estimated at 12 million. Rather than break the pattern, George W. Bush wants to grant de facto amnesty again.

But then what -- another fourfold increase over the next 20 years? That would equal 48 million illegal, mainly Hispanic, aliens by 2026. It's not impossible --  particularly if we continue to shroud the issue in the irrational silence of taboo, never asking the most basic questions. Such as: Should America plan to become a Hispanic nation? The question is neither "racist" nor "xenophobic," but central to any coherent policy. If the answer is yes, we all might as well salute the red, white and green. If not, we better call our senators.

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).