Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Illiberal Immigration ‘Reform’

People who call for “comprehensive immigration reform” seldom mean it.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online


Print Friendly

About victorhanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture. He recently published an historical novel The End of Sparta (2012), a realistic retelling of Epaminondas invasion and liberation of Spartan-control Messenia. In The Father of Us All (2011), he collected earlier essays on warfare ancient and modern. His upcoming history The Savior Generals(2013) analyzes how five generals in the history of the West changed the course of battles against all odds. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 and the Bradley Prize in 2008. Hanson, who was the fifth successive generation to live in the same house on his family’s farm, was a full-time orchard and vineyard grower from 1980-1984, before joining the nearby CSU Fresno campus in 1984 to initiate a classical languages program. In 1991, he was awarded an American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award, which is given yearly to the country’s top undergraduate teachers of Greek and Latin. Hanson has been a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992-93), a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991-92), a recipient of the Eric Breindel Award for opinion journalism (2002), an Alexander Onassis Fellow (2001), and was named alumnus of the year of the University of California, Santa Cruz (2002). He was also the visiting Shifrin Professor of Military History at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (2002-3). He received the Manhattan Institute’s Wriston Lectureship in 2004, and the 2006 Nimitz Lectureship in Military History at UC Berkeley in 2006. Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, book reviews, scholarly papers, and newspaper editorials on matters ranging from ancient Greek, agrarian and military history to foreign affairs, domestic politics, and contemporary culture. He has written or edited 17 books, including Warfare and Agriculture in Classical Greece (1983; paperback ed. University of California Press, 1998); The Western Way of War (Alfred Knopf, 1989; 2d paperback ed. University of California Press, 2000); Hoplites: The Ancient Greek Battle Experience (Routledge, 1991; paperback., 1992); The Other Greeks: The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization(Free Press, 1995; 2nd paperback ed., University of California Press, 2000);Fields without Dreams: Defending the Agrarian Idea (Free Press, 1996; paperback, Touchstone, 1997; The Bay Area Book reviewers Non-fiction winner for 1996); The Land Was Everything: Letters from an American Farmer (Free Press, 2000; a Los Angeles Times Notable book of the year); The Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Cassell, 1999; paperback, 2001); The Soul of Battle (Free Press, 1999, paperback, Anchor/Vintage, 2000); Carnage and Culture (Doubleday, 2001; Anchor/Vintage, 2002; a New York Times bestseller); An Autumn of War (Anchor/Vintage, 2002); Mexifornia: A State of Becoming (Encounter, 2003),Ripples of Battle (Doubleday, 2003), and Between War and Peace (Random House, 2004). A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, was published by Random House in October 2005. It was named one of the New York Times Notable 100 Books of 2006. Hanson coauthored, with John Heath, Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (Free Press, 1998; paperback, Encounter Press, 2000); with Bruce Thornton and John Heath, Bonfire of the Humanities (ISI Books, 2001); and with Heather MacDonald, and Steven Malanga, The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan Than Today’s (Ivan Dee 2007). He edited a collection of essays on ancient warfare, Makers of Ancient Strategy (Princeton University Press, 2010). Hanson has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, New York Post, National Review, Washington Times, Commentary, The Washington Post, Claremont Review of Books, American Heritage, New Criterion, Policy Review, Wilson Quarterly, Weekly Standard, Daily Telegraph, and has been interviewed often on National Public Radio, PBS Newshour, Fox News, CNN, and C-Span’s Book TV and In-Depth. He serves on the editorial board of the Military History Quarterly, and City Journal. Since 2001, Hanson has written a weekly column for National Review Online, and in 2004, began his weekly syndicated column for Tribune Media Services. In 2006, he also began thrice-weekly blog for Pajamas Media, Works and Days. Hanson was educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz (BA, Classics, 1975, ‘highest honors’ Classics, ‘college honors’, Cowell College), the American School of Classical Studies, Athens (regular member, 1978-79) and received his Ph.D. in Classics from Stanford University in 1980. He divides his time between his forty-acre tree and vine farm near Selma, California, where he was born in 1953, and the Stanford campus.

8 Thoughts on “Illiberal Immigration ‘Reform’

  1. Hoi Polloi Boy on July 15, 2014 at 8:07 am said:

    No pathway to citizenship or legal status to those who came illegally. Period.

  2. Hi Joe,

    This is basically the approach that I have thought would work for several years. Close the border, sort out the felons and deport them, and limit welfare to illegal aliens. I would, however, spend money on the education of every child, legal or illegal. That is a fundamental starting point in helping all of those millions of folks, who are not going back, to assimilate into our culture.

  3. David Seward on July 15, 2014 at 10:50 am said:

    The open boarder crowd have never been about earned opportunity through legal immigration, but rather groups of poorly educated and uninformed voters who do not posses the critical thinking required for good citizenship. What is happening to our great Nation is nothing less than its dismantling by Liberal ideologues. Taxpayer revolt is in order.

  4. Ted Buila on July 15, 2014 at 11:02 am said:

    I don’t want to get into a pissing match with “Who Killed Homer” (VDH) or anyone for that matter.

    Once LDC university graduate Brain Drain was an anathema. Now it’s economic/political policy/LDC development smart. When professional and farm labor costs can be squeezed: do it. One wonders what the impact in/on LDC/3rd/4th world countries would be, say politically or economically, 50 years on if 80 or 90% of foreign university/college graduates returned “home” (ie) were US labor force persona non grata. I guess musings like this Killed Homer.

  5. Colin Keesee on July 15, 2014 at 11:55 am said:

    Why do you have to specify imply that elites only liberal? There are plenty of conservatives and libertarians in the professions who benefit from not having to compete against skilled foreigners and who employ low-wage nannies and maids and gardeners. When it comes to businessmen, good luck finding a liberal general contractor or subcontractor. California, Arizona, Texas and the rest of the South West is addicted to illegal labor. Also, where are all of these conservatives who want a closed border and merit based immigration?

    Conservatives pound their chests and say how they would close the border if they had power. They say it when they host a radio show, when they have to win a primary or when they don’t control the White House. when they actually are governing, they want the same thing as liberals, cheap labor. The main difference is that conservatives don’t want these laborers to ever get to vote while liberals do. The political difference between the two approaches is vast but the economic implications are virtually identical.

    • Colin it’s true that many self identified conservatives have been hypocritical on the issue of illegals and their impact on wages paid to the physical labor class in the U.S. I also believe many of these same people who own small businesses have had a “come to jesus” moment with illegal immigration since 1986. Reagan genuinely wanted to fix the problem once and for all by providing amnesty but unfortunately things did not work out for proper security and enforcement of the 1986 Act. So your wrong about conservatives just desiring cheap labor. Conservatives want the borders secure and color blind, merit based legal immigration.

  6. Chuck on July 15, 2014 at 5:28 pm said:

    1. English as the official language.
    2. As of the date of the signing of the billl anyone entering the US illegally would be immediately sent home, no mater where that home is.

  7. Chuck and those thinking alike have got it right. There should be absolutely NO BENEFITS to illegals whether they be children or not . They’ve already broken our laws, why on earth would we reward them for it ? They should be shipped back when they arrive, and those apprehended should be treated likewise. Being a product of a bi-lingual home where America was always praised and loved, I say make foreigners learn the language, as in Israel , and scrap all Hispanic and bi-lingual education in our schools. As a foreign language teacher (Spanish being one of my languages) I can tell you that those programs are a complete farce, just retarding students in their development , and setting them up for a life of ignorance. I’ve had Hispanics who were born here, spoke what they called “Spanish” and had a strong accent and spoke ungrammatical English, and that’s saying nothing of those who came here in the first place. Just the money saved in our schools on those classes would be astounding. I’ve had students coming from other countries, without the benefit of bi-lingual education, who have all not only excelled , but bi-passed most Americans. Furthermore, Spanish should not be allowed as an alternative on signs, forms, in public places unless they are all give in every language spoken in this country for THAT would be equality. For WE did not furnish interpreters for non-English speakers. People were responsible for supplying one themselves. Getting rid of just the Russian interpreters in New York would save millions, and that’s not saying anything about all the other minorities that demand the same . This constant stress on their country of origin has created a whole class of foreigners that have absolutely no allegiance to our beloved country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation