Victory tour '06: Vicente comes to California

He’ll address his constituents on Thursday afternoon, then let Schwarzenegger kiss the ring at a state dinner. Arnold’s got no choice, really: the stench of identity politics hangs heavy in the air and Democratic leaders are doing some heavy breathing. Time for some turbo-charged Hispandering, as Kaus might say.

Drudge has all the best immigration links today, including the adversary culture’s version of Minutemen, how illegal immigration has now reached the scale of population transfer, and the hysterical xenophobia of Mexican law compared to its American counterpart. I’ll add a few, though. Here’s Waffles explaining why he was for a fence before he was against it. Don’t laugh too loudly: “flip-flopper” is a bipartisan charge these days, and rightly so. Meanwhile, illegal immigrants from Central America are taking civics lessons so that they can pass as citizens. Of the United States? Guess again:

Non-Mexican Hispanics entering the United States illegally are studying up on Mexican history and geography, even learning to whistle the national anthem, to beat U.S. plans to fly them home…

Mexicans, who make up most of the almost 1.2 million immigrants detained crossing the border illegally in 2005, are given a criminal background check and then sent over the frontier, usually within a day. Many often try crossing again immediately.

But so-called Other Than Mexican, or OTM, illegal immigrants mostly from Central America, are increasingly being flown back hundreds of miles to their home countries, which can effectively end their dream of entering the United States to earn a better life.

So, many pretend to be Mexicans.

Finally, here’s Mark Steyn’s latest, which complements the Chronicle piece in emphasizing the sheer scale of what’s happening and the WaPo piece in imagining what role identity politics might play in it:

[A] “worker class” drawn overwhelmingly from a neighboring jurisdiction with another language and ancient claims on your territory and whose people now send so much money back home in the form of “remittances” that it’s Mexico’s largest source of foreign income (bigger than oil or tourism) is not “immigration” at all, but a vast experiment in societal transformation. Indeed, given the international track record of bilingual societies and neighboring jurisdictions with territorial claims, it’s not much of an experiment so much as a safe bet on political instability.

Exit question: if you took Vicente Fox’s brass cojones and enlarged them a thousand times, what would you have? Answer: America’s least-favorite welfare queen, who, when he’s not jailing political dissidents, beating the hell out of protesters, and happily cashing billion-dollar checks, spends his time whining about U.S. efforts to promote democracy in the Middle East.