Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I fail to see how this is the government's problem...

...or that of the American taxpayer, for that matter:

OAKLAND, Calif. — Perched at the edge of an exam table, Delmira Maravilla is anxious for a check-up — and for a timeline on the president's promise of health care for all Americans.
She's paying out of pocket for the exam, and like one-third of Hispanics, the mother of nine doesn't have health insurance.
Latinos like this immigrant from El Salvador have much to gain if the legislation taking shape in Washington passes. Among the major ethnic groups, they are the least likely to have health coverage through work. And Hispanics often face language and cultural hurdles to getting good-quality health services. They're far less likely to have a regular health-care provider, and to get the kind of routine screening that prevents serious health problems.

"Hispanics often face language and cultural hurdles." To the extent this is true, we all know the reason for it -- because they don't take it upon themselves to learn the English language. And I don't understand why anyone who fits this description should be accommodated, to be honest. Call me a heartless bastard, but if people -- no matter their ethnicity or country of origin -- are going to come to this country then they need to assimilate, by learning the language and adapting to the native culture. I am reminded of this bit that was making the rounds a little while back, from Rush Limbaugh (these are just select snippets, but you owe it to yourself to read the whole thing):
All right, immigration proposals under discussion. Let me add mine to the mix. I want to call this proposal the Limbaugh Laws. Here they are. First, if you immigrate to the United States of America, you must speak the native language. You have to be a professional or an investor. We are not going to take unskilled workers. You will not be allowed. There will be no special bilingual programs in the schools, no special ballots for elections, no government business will be conducted in your native language. ...According to the Limbaugh Laws, if you're in our country, you cannot be a burden to taxpayers. You are not entitled, ever, to welfare, to food stamps, or other government goodies....
...Another thing. You don't have the right to protest when you come here. You're allowed no demonstrations, you cannot wave a foreign flag, no political organizing, no bad-mouthing our president or his policies, or you get sent home...
I can imagine many of you think that the Limbaugh Laws are pretty harsh. I imagine today some of you probably are going, "Yeah! Yeah!" Well, let me tell you this, folks. Every one of the laws I just mentioned are actual laws of Mexico, today. I just read you Mexican immigration law. That's how the Mexican government handles immigrants to their country. Yet Mexicans and others come here illegally, they protest in our streets, they get on our welfare program, and we have members of the United States Senate, both parties, doing handstands and back flips, going through every contortion possible to allow it to continue so that it doesn't make these people mad, resulting in votes against these linguini-spined populations.

Now I know at least the not allowing protests would be flatly unconstitutional and would (we should hope) be ruled as such, but I don't see what would be so wrong with adapting the rest of those policies. And once again, I don't mean any of this to be an indictment of Hispanic immigrants as a whole, but I bet you the Mexican government would tell you they have those laws for a specific reason: to maintain their society and -- wait for it! -- their culture. And there's not a thing wrong with any of that. I've mentioned this before, but I remember Houston deejay John Walton of the Walton & Johnson Show has said more than once, "If you don't have borders and a common language, you don't have a country." And he was exactly right. The Mexicans have it figured out. Why can't we?