How Santa Ana Became SanTana

An Irrelevant Border

Immigration is like so many other political issues in modern America: The official debate is quashed by political correctness, so the real issues fester under the surface while politicians deal in platitudes.

Currently, Americans trip over themselves saying how wonderful all immigrants are, whether they are here legally or not, and opinionmakers argue about whether to provide amnesty for those who came here illegally or to institute a guest-worker program that will lead to the same result: massive numbers of new, mostly Mexican, immigrants coming into the United States.

Meanwhile, below the surface of official debate, the public talks, in hushed tones, about what they see all around them.  The sheer numbers of immigrants that have come here have dramatically changed the face of much of America, especially Southern California.  The effects are not entirely bad, but there are many social, political, and cultural problems that have resulted.  The city where I work, Santa Ana, epitomizes the dramatic and rapid immigration-driven changes, but such changes have affected the entire county.

That is Orange County, best known these days as the setting of such television shows as The OC and Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.  The fictional world portrayed on those shows certainly exists here.  There is still a beach culture, in which wealthy young people behave as they are portrayed...

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