Thursday, July 08, 2010

Arizona's Immigrant Problem

Arizona today is not the State I lived in 44 years ago. The problem is the darn immigrants - millions of them. Vast floods of immigrants, cutting down the orange groves, drowning the beautiful landscape and imposing their mores on the original inhabitants. There wasn't much to be done to keep them out - they were fellow Americans after all, and it was hard to begrudge them escape from the grinding cold of their previous existence in Iowa, New York, or Miami, and besides the Chamber of Commerce tripped all over itself welcoming them.

I blame those floods of immigrants, though, for many of the State's current problems. They tended to be old, conservative, white, wealthy and away from their children and grandchildren - so they hated taxes, hated paying for schools, and brought their ignorant prejudices with them.

The sleepy little Mexican towns of old Arizona were mostly on their way out by the time I got there, but there remained enough of the ambiance to give the place a charming bit of exoticism.