My earlier post crossed with those of some of the guys from TOC. I do think you are being unfairly hard on them.
As they pointed out, you are not questioning their numbers. And even your original piece didn't claim that they drew any public policy prescriptions from their numbers.
They (meaning Roger Donway) chose to acknowledge and disseminate various facts of reality. You may not happen to like those particular facts of reality. Or you may simply wish that those facts of reality had been acknowledged and disseminated somewhere else. But they are what they are: facts of reality.
Magazines like The New Individualist that seek to influence public opinion publish not only finished arguments for a given position but occasionally also data that might be of interest to their readers. This raw data helps us by telling us what kind of world we live in. It is valuable for all the reasons that Rand cited in the parable of the astronaut in the title essay of Philosophy: Who Needs It? On the new planet he needed the readings from his instruments to help decide his next course of action.
If, for example, America had a rate of total immigration that were low, and native-born citizens had a birthrate that were high, it might make some sense for Objectivists to remain complacent about their current efforts at outreach. Just possibly, efforts like ARI's to sponsor essay contests in the public schools and to groom a small corps of philosophy Ph.D. candidates for eventual tenure-track positions at prestigious universities might be successful. I personally would not feel very complacent even in that case.
But the reality is different. The total rate of legal and illegal immigration is high. The birth rate of the native-born middle class, or of the entire middle class, is not low by European standards. But by historical American standards, or by the standards of impoverished 3rd world immigrants to this country, it is very low and is not far above the replacement level. These facts together suggest that America tomorrow, as the multiculturalists are fond of telling us, will look very different from the America of the past. It will be a bilingual nation, and any political effort aimed at substantial reform will have to be a bilingual effort. Unless there is some educational reform right away to bring children who are not from traditional, Western, middle class backgrounds up to speed on the norms and shared knowledge of that class, then there will have to be a heroic effort in a decade or two to make Objectivism attractive to and understandable by Americans whose worldviews are lightyears removed from those of Rand's current or past audience.
Of course, numbers like these suggest opportunities as well as hazards. If the Spanish-speaking population of the US is a sizeable minority that is growing rapidly, then attempting to influence it in an Objectivist direction now could have huge positive benefits down the road. And if segments of it are not well acculturated to current norms, that also means that they have yet not been brainwashed with the multiculturalist, post-modernist, anti-reason bilge of our Left. So maybe there is room for hope. What would it take to reach the children of the Mexican-American working class with Objectivist literature that they would understand and enjoy? Has anyone even thought about this yet?
Thus TOC's statistics did provide considerable food for thought.
Only a few cracker-barrel conservatives, labor union leftists, professional whiners attached to the urban underclass, and old-fashioned racists with brains genetically scrambled by generations of endogamous procreation still object to immigration by "productive and successful people" with genuine skills. Nevertheless, you were compelled to write:
We both know that many of the most productive and successful people, at least in the scientific and technological fields we work in, have brought with them, into our comprehensive human civilization, contributions from non-Christian, non-European, non-"Western" cultures. The same is often true in the arts - as you have shown, for the case of Indian film, here on Solo.This is changing the subject. The topic at hand is a large, unassimilated population of immigrants from just one culture, most of whom had sparse, if any, formal education in their native land. In recent decades, Mexican Americans have reversed their historic negative stereotype and are now known as being fanatically hardworking. Many have served honorably and often heroically in our armed services. They take excellent care of their children and their child mortality rates are therefore remarkably and commendably low. And many, as I mentioned earlier, have risen into our middle and upper classes. Many, in fact, come from families that have always belonged to our middle and/or upper classes. These are not the ones complained about by anyone I know of who calls himself an Objectivist.
To absorb in a few decades a number of immigrants that is large compared to the native population and who are distributed over a large number of alien cultures from birthplaces that are scattered geographically over the four corners of the globe requires difficult transitions on the part of any society. That is what our predominantly capitalist society of the late 19th and early 20th centuries essentially did, with difficulties that seemed painful then but which have faded with time. That is what our mixed economy, with compulsory government schools, is doing now, with more or less success.
To absorb a large number of immigrants from just one other culture presents unique problems that absorbing immigrants from many cultures paradoxically does not. For immigrants coming from many cultures, each finds himself alone or inhabiting a tiny ethnic island surrounded by a sea of natives. There is nothing for him to do but sink or swim. Therefore, the acculturation process is almost forced upon him. The Hispanic population of the United States finds itself in a dramatically different position. It is entirely possible in Houston and many other cities to find billboards advertising apartamentos, to wash one's clothes in a lavería, to get a quick bite to eat in a taquería, to purchase fresh mariscos (shellfish) in an ostionería, to buy a carro or camion in a lot where "su trabajo es su credito", to find a brand of cerveza (beer) sold with the advertisement that "los rudos y los técnicos están en acuerdo" (i.e. that the two philosophies of combat in Mexican profession wrestling are in agreement on it.) In Chinese, Vietnamese, and Indian restaurants, one finds the sign in the lavatories "Todos empleados deben lavarse los manos a menos 30 segundos antes de trabajar" ("All employees must wash their hands at least 30 seconds before returning to work,") often with no English or Asian translation. There are many parts of town where the vast majority of billboards, shop signs, and posted public notices are entirely in Spanish.
Signs in airports and bus stations throughout the country are of course bilingual, along with signs and ballots in polling places. Students with Spanish surnames have often been forced, against their parents' expressed desires, to attend the "bilingual" curriculum in government schools, in which all classes are taught entirely in Spanish. This is true even for children who are native speakers of English and who know no Spanish. (The federal subsidy for a "bilingual" Spanish-speaking teacher is much higher than for an ordinary English-speaking one, so principals and guidance counselors conspire to raise their budgets by inflating the number of "Spanish-speaking" students.)
In short, it is possible for Spanish speakers to make their lives in the US without ever learning English. As their number rises, the country risks becoming culturally bifurcated. I believe there are many opportunities for this situation not to arise or, at least, not to grow worse. And there are many benefits to having a bilingual culture. But it will require some original thinking now and a lot of good will to make the best of it, not hot-headed cries of "racism" and "treason to Objectivism" where these last are not in evidence.
These immigrants are overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Christians. The minority who are not Catholic are overwhelmingly Evangelical Protestant Christians. Many are both very poor and poorly educated. Some speak a Mexican Indian language natively, Spanish poorly, and English not at all. I fully recognize that you have a special soft spot in your heart for Christians, and that the thought of millions of Catholics and Evangelicals crossing our southern border to settle down in barrios and raise big families therefore fills your big, benevolent soul with a warm glow. But you will have to admit that many of these folks are probably a long way intellectually from becoming Objectivists. Hence all the interest in what influence they will eventually have on the country.