Jon Pederson works as a pastor in the Willard area of Santa Ana, a formerly middle-class neighborhood of stucco apartment blocks whose balconies now sport bright blue tarps and small satellite dishes. Participation in gangs and drug culture is rising in the second and third generation of Hispanic immigrants, he observes. “It’s a perfect storm. When a family comes from Mexico, both parents need to work to survive; their ability to monitor their child’s life is limited.”MacDonald has much more dispiriting news at the link, and although she tries hard to find strands of hope to which we might cling one cannot escape the conclusion that in a couple of decades California will have gone from one of the most prosperous regions in the world to a third world basket case.
Families take in boarders, often kin, who sometimes rape and impregnate the young daughters. “Daddy hunger” in girls raised by single mothers is expressed in promiscuity, Pederson says; the boys, meanwhile, channel their anger into gang life. Nearly 53 percent of all Hispanic births in California are now out of wedlock, and Hispanics have the highest teen birthrate of all ethnic groups. Pederson saw similar patterns as a missionary in Central America: teen pregnancy, single-parent families with six or eight serial fathers, and high poverty rates.
Routine domestic violence is another Third World import, especially from Mexico. More than a quarter of the 911 calls to the Santa Ana Police Department are for domestic violence, reports Kevin Brown, a former Santa Ana cop who now serves on an antigang intervention team. “Children are seeing it at home—they’re living the experience,” he says.
Nationally, 42 percent of Latino children entering kindergarten are in the lowest quartile of reading preparedness, compared with 18 percent of white children, reports UCLA education professor Patricia Gándara in her 2009 book The Latino Education Crisis. By eighth grade, 43 percent of whites and 47 percent of Asians nationally are proficient or better in reading, compared with only 19 percent of Latino students.
U.S.-born Hispanic households in California already use welfare programs (such as cash welfare, food stamps, and housing assistance) at twice the rate of U.S.-born non-Hispanic households, according to an analysis of the March 2011 Current Population Survey by the Center for Immigration Studies. Welfare use by immigrants is higher still. In 2008–09, the fraction of households using some form of welfare was 82 percent for households headed by an illegal immigrant and 61 percent for households headed by a legal immigrant.
Anyone interested in sociology or in America's future will want to read her entire essay.