Sunday brunch at Hugo’s, a bustling Mexican restaurant with a mariachi band and a multi-ethnic clientele: at the next table, a big Latino family with a happy baby in a high chair. This is a true picture of Houston: only a third of its citizens are white, and only 22 per cent of under-20s; the Latino population has risen from 6 to 41 per cent in two generations, its birth rate boosted by a culture of family support that tends to produce healthier babies. What’s significant about this, according to sociologists at the city’s Rice University, is that by 2050 all of the US will look like Houston today, with a majority of minorities in all age groups below 60.
Which means that what Donald Trump has been threatening — halting immigration, building a wall on the Mexican border, deporting ‘undocumented’ immigrants — cannot possibly achieve his objective of rebalancing the economy in favour of the older, white, non-college-educated working class who are his core supporters, because the societal change he and they so dislike is already irreversible. In Houston, immigration peaked in 2007: the continuing shift of population pattern is all about birth rates. The Trump revolution is an attempt to turn back history, and it must surely fail.
This is an extract from Martin Vander Weyer’s ‘Any Other Business’, which first appeared in this week’s Spectator magazine