A Stranger in My Own Country

By Daniel Sheehy
Volume 17, Number 1 (Fall 2006)
Issue theme: "America beyond 300 million"


The following excerpt is from a chapter of Fighting Immigration Anarchy: American Patriots Battle to Save the Nation by Dan Sheehy. It is updated for this issue of The Social Contract. Sheehy’s website is at: www.fightingimmigrationanarchy.com.

The Los Angeles Times, the newspaper I receive at home and possibly the most pro-open borders paper in America, published an editorial on August 13, 2006, titled “Ready for 300 million.” The editorial celebrated the coming “arrival of the 300 millionth living human inhabitant of the United States, projected by the U.S. Census Bureau to occur in mid-October.” Note, now we are “inhabitants” of the U.S. rather than citizens. The paper, owned by the Tribune Co., the big print and broadcast media corporation in Chicago, proclaimed that “no camera is likely to record a more significant demographic milestone.”

I call 300 million a millstone, not a milestone.
Much of the editorial quoted from a Census Bureau news release. This is mostly what big media companies do—quote from big-government news releases—instead of being honest watchdogs exposing government waste, fraud, corruption, abuse of power, and telling the American people about government-forced mass immigration and its effects on us.

“In a news release this week, the bureau offered several folksy factoids about how the U.S. has changed as it has become more crowded,” the Times wrote. Isn’t that nice. The paper admits that America “has become more crowded.” However, instead of pointing out why we’re “more crowded” and how that has negatively impacted our quality of life, the Times quoted “folksy factoids” from a government news release.

For example, the Times wrote, in 1967 when our population was 200 million, “the rage was color TV. Increase the population to 300 million and our affections turn to iPods, ‘American Idol,’ and cell phones.”

One “folksy factoid” from the Census Bureau news release the Times somehow omitted from its editorial was the number of foreign-born people in America in 1967 vs. the number this year. In 1967, the bureau said, there were 9.7 million foreign-born people. They comprised 5 percent of the total population. Italy was the leading country of origin. This year, according to the release, there are 34.3 million foreign-born people in America. They comprise 12 percent of the total population, and Mexico is the leading country of origin.
Now we’re getting somewhere.

Instead of being flippant about our population explosion by describing what gadgets were popular in 1967 compared with today, shouldn’t the Los Angeles Times have told its readers how rapidly California has become Mexicanized because of the illegal-alien invasion and massive legal immigration? Yes, but that doesn’t fit their agenda of open borders and globalism. So I’ll have to tell you about California’s speedy descent from paradise to Third World since the mid-1960s when we were a nation of about 200 million.

In 1964, Southern California was paradise for many people, including me. That was the year I moved to the Golden State from Maryland with my parents and brother. I was twelve years old. It also was the year before Congress decided to open its door to mass immigration by amending the Immigration and Nationality Act, eliminating quotas based on national origin and introducing family reunification. Not that I knew anything about any immigration act. I was more interested in riding my skateboard.
My dad had been transferred to a new aerospace company in Canoga Park, which is located at the western end of the sprawling San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County. The Valley consisted of mostly middle-
class Americans at that time.

We bought a house in a new development in Canoga Park near the rocky Santa Susanna Mountains and just a few miles from the pass leading into the Simi Valley. Many Hollywood westerns were shot on those locations. Our small development was nearly surrounded by orange groves, open spaces, and movie ranches, where TV series such as “Lassie” were filmed.
Canoga Park was so peaceful that we didn’t lock our house or car doors. California schools, including my junior high, were the envy of the nation. I remember learning to ride horses with my dad at a ranch in nearby Chatsworth, a mostly rural area back then. I remember our family driving on surface streets and freeways, where there was no gridlock, to Hollywood to see movies at famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. And I remember us driving up to central California to vacation at one of our nation’s natural wonders, the Sequoia National Park. Those are some of my memories.

But my dad lost his job in layoffs at his company and we ended up moving back to our birthplace, Binghamton, New York, in 1968. I was heartbroken and dreamed of returning to sunny Southern California.
That day finally came twenty years later in 1988 when I left my position as media relations manager for United Airlines in Chicago and moved to the Los Angeles area to manage corporate communications for United’s Mileage Plus subsidiary. I was thrilled to be returning to the Golden State.

A Flood of Immigrants

However, Southern California  was not the place I remembered fondly. Because of massive legal and illegal immigration, the population was exploding. The immigration boom was also occurring in other states, but California  was impacted the most.
Millions of poor and uneducated people from south of the border, mostly Mexicans, had flooded into
California  and other states to seek jobs and take advantage of free social services. The nearly three million illegal aliens amnestied by Congress and President Reagan in 1986 encouraged millions more to come illegally. People also were pouring in from other parts of the world.
I remember half joking with my buddies that Americans seemed to be disappearing. In fact, they were disappearing. Thousands of native-born Americans were leaving the
Golden   State  because the California  they grew up in was becoming another country, and the quality of life was deteriorating.
Initially I did not comprehend all of the consequences. But as the years passed, those consequences were becoming clearer as the
Los Angeles  area increasingly resembled a Third-World city.

I was especially angry about illegal immigration because it wasn’t fair to native-born American citizens or legal immigrants—not to mention the fact that illegal immigration is simply illegal. I sometimes asked friends, some of whom disagreed with my views, “Suppose the roles were reversed and millions of poor Americans invaded Mexico ; how would Mexicans feel, and what would they do?” However, I rarely expressed these common-sense thoughts outside of my social circle for fear of being called a racist, even though my concerns were about the rule of law, the effects of overpopulation, and the American way of life. “Political correctness,” a nice term for censorship, silenced many Americans then as it does today.

In 1994, millions of Californians voted in favor of ballot measure Proposition 187. The initiative would have denied most social services to illegal aliens and eliminated a magnet for people to enter the state unlawfully. The measure passed overwhelmingly. Then pro-illegal-alien groups set out to overturn the will of the voters through lawsuits and legal delays. Several years later Governor Gray Davis killed the proposition in a backroom deal with open-borders politicians and organizations, angering Californians. The proposition was never enacted, and the invasion and quality of life continued to worsen.

By the late 1990s, Californians were increasingly fed up with the immigrant tidal wave. In the worst affected areas, some stayed home to escape the constant traffic gridlock or to avoid communication barriers as foreign languages, mostly Spanish, were becoming more prevalent than English. And, shockingly, many foreigners were arrogant toward Americans, with no regard for American interests or culture.

And what about the California I remember from my youth? It no longer exists. The once golden state is many billions of dollars in debt. Most of the Los Angeles region has gone from paradise to Third World and become a Mexican colony surrounded by affluent gated communities. Much of this cultural transformation has occurred since 1988, two years after the federal government’s ill-advised amnesty triggered a nonstop flood of people mostly from Mexico.

In the 1960s, there were six million residents in Los Angeles County. Today that number has climbed to a staggering and unmanageable 10 million. Between 1994 and 2004, California’s population jumped by more than five million people, bringing the total to more than 36 million. Virtually 100 percent of the population growth for both California and L.A. is from illegal aliens, legal immigrants, and children born to them.

While local TV news anchors eagerly report on the latest celebrity trial, cosmetic surgery procedure, or movie blockbuster, the Los Angeles area is crumbling under the immigration-driven population explosion and importation of massive poverty. The region has officially become America’s poverty capital and has the worst traffic in the nation. Housing costs are the least affordable in the U.S. The area has officially become the gang capital of the world, with at least 80,000 members. Illegal-alien gangsters terrorize neighborhoods and commit virtually all of the murders in the region. Up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants are for illegal aliens.

Public schools, hospitals, and jails in the L.A. area are overwhelmed, thus draining taxpayer resources. Schools have gone from best to worst in the nation, with more than 60 percent of Hispanic students dropping out of high school, the highest of any group.


Nevertheless, dozens of schools are being built, at a cost of billions of dollars to taxpayers, to accommodate illegal aliens and their children. Violence between Hispanics and American citizens occurs regularly in the schools. Hospitals become bankrupt and close every few months because countless uninsured illegals use emergency rooms for everything from primary care to birthing services and actual emergencies. More than two-thirds of the births are to illegal aliens, mostly Mexicans. Fifty-three percent of the workers in Los Angeles County aged sixteen and older can barely read, write, or speak English. Thousands of aliens loiter on street corners and in parking lots every day hoping for employers to pick them up and take them to work sites.

Dozens of languages are spoken in the L.A. region, but Spanish is the predominant foreign language. Signs in stores, gas stations, restaurants, hospitals, and government offices are printed in Spanish as well as English. Many highway billboards and ads on mass transit buses are completely in Spanish. Voter ballots and state driving manuals are printed in multiple languages at the taxpayers’ expense. It is becoming difficult to find English-speaking stations on the radio among the many foreign-language stations, mostly Spanish. Employers increasingly require job applicants to speak Spanish in addition to English.

Los Angeles looks more like Mexico every day. In many areas of the region, discarded furniture and trash are piled up in front of houses and apartment buildings. Mexicans push carts on sidewalks selling food. Teenage Mexican mothers push baby carriages, sometimes with one or more toddlers trotting alongside. Houses and storefronts look like the ramshackle ones in Tijuana. Dozens of aliens are crammed into single-family homes and apartments. The Mexican flag hangs from the front porches of many properties.

Canoga Park, where I lived safely as a teenager, is now home to some of the San Fernando Valley’s most notorious Mexican gangs. My junior high has mostly Hispanic students. Chatsworth, the rural area where I learned to ride horses with my dad, is now swallowed by the Los Angeles sprawl, like the rest of the region. Hollywood is no longer an American city. In the once pristine Sequoia National Park, where I vacationed in the 1960s, international drug cartels have taken over large remote areas. The criminal gangs grow marijuana and protect their fields with AK-47s, handguns, and machetes, using illegal aliens from Mexico.

As a result of these cataclysmic changes, I feel like a stranger in my own country. California has become Mexifornia and Los Angeles has become its capital.

 Unfortunately, my factual description of how the quality of life has deteriorated in the Los Angeles area during the past 40 years because of the illegal-alien invasion and unrestrained immigration will never appear in the op-ed section of the Los Angeles Times. The elites at the paper, who know what’s best for us, would rather tell their readers that color TV was the “rage” in 1967 and “our affections” turned to iPods in 2006.

America’s second-largest paper ended their editorial “Ready for 300 million” in this way: “No information is available, however, about what ‘the rage’ will be in 2040,” the paper wrote, “when the bureau projects a population of 400 million. Biodegradable Black-Berrys? Super sunblock to combat global warming? Wait! We know: predictions about where and when No. 400 million will be born.”

Now here’s my prediction for the Los Angeles Times in 2040. If we don’t secure our borders, enforce our immigration laws, and significantly reduce legal immigration now, the Los Angeles Times will either be out of business because all of the English-speaking people will have left the region, or it will become a Spanish-language paper.   

About the author

Dan Sheehy  is the author of the book   Fighting Immigration Anarchy: American Patriots Battle to Save the Nation, republished and expanded in 2006.