Ariz. law­maker says im­mi­gra­tion poses ‘ex­is­ten­tial threat’ to U.S.


PHOENIX — A first-term Prescott law­maker is warn­ing that im­mi­gra­tion “rep­re­sents an ex­is­ten­tial threat to the United States’’ and needs to be cur­tailed be­fore the coun­try is ir­re­vo­ca­bly al­tered.

Repub­li­can Rep. David Stringer said that new im­mi­grants — es­pe­cially those from non-Euro­pean coun­tries — do not as­sim­i­late as eas­ily as those who came a cen­tury ear­lier.

And Stringer said the rapid in­flux of His­panic chil­dren has made school in­te­gra­tion im­pos­si­ble be­cause “there aren’t enough white kids to go around,’’ not only be­cause of the pure num­bers of im­mi­grants but be­cause An­glo par­ents choose to ei­ther move to new ar­eas or sim­ply put their chil­dren in pri­vate or char­ter schools.

Stringer’s com­ments Wed­nes­day to Capi­tol Me­dia Ser­vices came af­ter nearly a minute of his 17-minute speech he made Mon­day to the Repub­li­can Men’s Fo­rum in Prescott were posted on Face­book. He said the com­ments on im­mi­gra­tion, at the end of his dis­cus­sion of crim­i­nal jus­tice re­form, were “taken out of con­text and dis­torted by omis­sion.’’

But Stringer, first elected to the Leg­is­la­ture in 2016, ac­knowl­edged that his re­marks were pre­pared and that his words were meant to be a warn­ing of sorts to his au­di­ence which was largely, if not ex­clu­sively An­glo, that the coun­try they know is chang­ing.

“I’m telling them, ‘You need to be pre­pared for this,’’’ he said.

And Stringer told Capi­tol Me­dia Ser­vices that he does be­lieve that un­less im­mi­gra­tion is slowed — and sig­nif­i­cantly — there will be prob­lems for the United States.

“Be­fore we bring in a lot of new im­mi­grants, we need to fig­ure out how we as­sim­i­late the folks that are here,’’ he said. “And maybe we have reached the point where we need a lit­tle breath­ing room now, we need a lit­tle time to as­sim­i­late.’’

He said there are “po­lit­i­cal im­pli­ca­tions of mas­sive de­mo­graphic change and dis­place­ment.’’

“Re­mem­ber now: In the United States, peo­ple are mov­ing all over the place,’’ Stringer said.

“It’s al­most like ‘white flight’ that it con­sti­tutes an ex­is­ten­tial threat to the United States,’’ he ex­plained. “I think we could be fac­ing na­tional dis­so­lu­tion in a decade or two if we don’t get con­trol of the im­mi­gra­tion is­sue.’’

It starts, he said, with in­te­gra­tion. Stringer said that re­quire­ment has its roots in the his­toric 1954 U.S. Supreme Court de­ci­sion of Brown v. Board of Ed­u­ca­tion.

“The whole con­cept of in­te­gra­tion is giv­ing mi­nor­ity kids who are typ­i­cally in worse neigh­bor­hoods, not as good a school, the same kind of ad­van­tages that white kids have,’’ Stringer said. “So you in­te­grate them with the white schools and you get a bet­ter, more fair re­sult.’’

But Stringer said that is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult in a state where he said the “mi­nor­ity’’ pop­u­la­tion makes up 60 per­cent of public schools.

“There’s not enough white kids to in­te­grate all these schools be­cause we’ve had so much im­mi­gra­tion over a short pe­riod of time,’’ he said, lead­ing to “a dra­matic de­mo­graphic trans­for­ma­tion.’’

But the is­sue, Stringer said, is deeper than just ed­u­ca­tion.

“You can’t sim­ply have amnesty af­ter amnesty and not con­trol your bor­ders and con­tinue to re­main a vi­able, uni­fied coun­try,’’ he said. “That’s what I think.’’

Stringer did not dis­pute that sim­i­lar claims were made last cen­tury — and even be­fore — amid waves of im­mi­gra­tion from places like Ire­land and Italy.

But Stringer said while “Amer­ica has been a melt­ing pot,’’ what’s hap­pen­ing now is dif­fer­ent.

“It’s been a melt­ing pot for peo­ple of Euro­pean de­scent,’’ he said.

“So if you’re a Swede, a Nor­we­gian, an Ir­ish­man and a French­man, af­ter the sec­ond or third gen­er­a­tion, your kids are all alike,’’ Stringer ex­plained. “They don’t have any ac­cents. They’re in­dis­tin­guish­able.’’

That’s not true of His­pan­ics, he said.

“Talk to Asians,’’ he said. “Even though they’re af­flu­ent, they’re an ed­u­cated, cul­tured group, they still have a sense of maybe not fully par­tic­i­pat­ing in Amer­i­can life.’’

And Stringer said even African-Amer­i­cans who have been here for hun­dreds of years “still have not been fully as­sim­i­lated into Amer­i­can cul­ture.’’


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