Minnesotans For Sustainability©
Sustainable: A society that balances the environment, other life forms, and human interactions over an indefinite time period.
Common Sense on Mass Immigration
John Tanton, Ed.*
Table of Contents
One of the great challenges to Public Policy is knowing when and how to change a successful policy, grown obsolete. Very few policies are immortal. Time is a kaleidoscope presenting policy makers with an ever-changing pattern. Yet the clichés from one era often linger in our minds and public dialogue as if they were written in stone. Too often we confuse temporary success with universal wisdom. In my experience almost inevitably today's solutions become tomorrow's problems. Take immigration as an example:
Of course, "we are a nation of immigrants," but immigrants originally settled every nation in the world; this cliché confuses facts with wisdom. It tells nothing about what we want America to become. Of course, immigration "has been good for America," but we are no longer an empty continent - we are a crowded country of 290 million people, with problems of sprawl, pollution, and disappearing open space. When the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886, there were less than 65 million Americans. What other public policy applicable to the 1880s is still applicable today?
It is said that immigration is important because there are "jobs that Americans won't do." This probably never was true, but this cliché has now become a job-destroying and wage-lowering philosophy where employers use both unskilled and (increasingly) skilled immigrants to hold down wages and obtain cheap labor at the expense of American workers.
One particular below-the-belt cliché suggests that all discussion of immigration is "racist." Yet every immigrant-receiving country in the world (and there are not many that take any immigrants) has not only the right but also the duty to discuss and decide how many immigrants, which immigrants, and by what rules such decisions are to be made and enforced. It would be public policy malpractice not to debate and discuss such an important topic.Clichés are the enemy of thought. Immigration and demography are subjects too important to be left to shallow thinking and trite sayings. The great physicist Niels Bohr once said "The opposite of a true statement is a false statement, the opposite of a great truth is often another great truth." Of course immigration has been good for America, but mass immigration during the Twenty-first Century brings America far more liabilities than assets.
Richard D. Lamm, LLB, CPA
William Safire, "William Safire's Rules for Writers."
Mass immigration makes the nation's cities and their surrounding areas unacceptably crowded. This cancels the deliberate decision of U.S. citizens to limit their numbers by having fewer children. Choosing the size of the national family is the right of any nation. By allowing two million or more immigrants every year, the majority view has been excluded from the decision-making loop.
From 2000 to 2002, 86% of U.S. population growth was the result of immigration and births to immigrants. How densely populated the U.S. will become 30 years hence depends on limiting legal immigration today, and containing illegal entry by making the nation's entry points safe from invasion.
Illegal immigrants are self-selected, gaining admission through our porous borders and inadequate controls. They are not "inspected" before entering. There is near-zero enforcement of immigration law in our country's interior, and "accommodation" to the presence of illegals in most major cities. Between 8.7 and 12 million illegal aliens live among us. One million more arrive each year.
Legal immigrants add another one million people every year. There are many routes to legal residency. Most applicants gain entry under the family reunification provisions of the immigration law. This is known as "chain migration."
Chain migration allows relatives to immigrate - not only a spouse, minor children, and parents, but also siblings and adult children. Once a person gains admission, the chain will extend to that immigrant's spouse, who sponsors his or her parents, and brothers, and sisters, and relatives, ad infinitum.
Together chain immigration and illegal entry have essentially replaced the right of the majority citizen-stakeholders to set national immigration levels. But even more serious is the ratcheting up of our numbers. This propels the exponential population growth curve with steep and dangerous momentum. Inevitably, the nation will become more seriously over-populated, natural resources will dwindle, and the quality of life will erode.
Lawmakers must revise immigration policies "from the ground up" - otherwise, the nation's destiny will be controlled by interests unconcerned with or adverse to most Americans.The size, composition, and distribution of the United States population is a national issue of the highest urgency. Elected officials must act, or our country and environment will pay a terrible price.
Diana Hull, Ph.D. (Behavioral Science)
1. From 2000-2002, U.S. population grew 5,116 million. Direct
immigration was 2,960 million and births to immigrants 1,475 million.
U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, Annual Birth, Deaths and
Migration 2000-2002 (last revised July 2003). In 2002, the size of
the U.S. foreign born population increased to 32.5 million, an increase
of 12.7 million over the estimated 19.8 million in the 1990 census.
Measuring the Foreign-Born Population in the United States; Current
Population Survey 1994-2002. Bureau of the Census, Population
Division Working Paper No. 73 by Dianne Schmidley and J. Gregory
Robinson, October 2003. Also Immigrants in the United States: A
Snapshot of America's Foreign Born Population, by Steven Camarota,
Center for Immigration Studies Backgrounder, November 2002.
Without births to women born outside the United States, the increase in
U.S. population growth from births minus deaths would be reduced by more
than half. Personal communication, Brady Hamilton, National Institutes
of Health, National Center for Health Statistics (NIH-NCHS), December 8,
On September 11, 2001, the willful negligence of federal, state, and local politicians aided in the murder of 3000 people. These murders were the foreseeable, inevitable result of decisions made by Presidents and Congresses beginning in the 1960s. The dismantled procedures that screened out dangerous aliens attempting to get visas while masquerading as students, tourists, and business travelers; and concurrently, to open US borders to millions of illegal aliens.
ALL nineteen of the 9/11 terrorists were given entry visas by the State Department despite laws that barred all of them.
In disregarding the law, bureaucrats merely obeyed the wishes of politicians who in turn bowed to lobbying and campaign contributions by the travel and education industries. They wanted ever increasing numbers of aliens to fill more airplane seats, amusement parks, hotels, and college and university classrooms.
There were profits to make and political careers to build by making it easy for any alien to get a visa, and neither the profiteers nor the politicians cared if some visitors were terrorists and criminals.
Meanwhile, employers such as beef and poultry processors, contractors, etc., discovered that the worker protections of the New Deal could be evaded and profits increased if American labor was replaced by cheap foreign workers, both legal and illegal.
Presidents and Congresses responded to their campaign donations by stripping America's borders of personnel needed to keep out illegals and ending prosecutions of employers of illegals. State and city politicians joined in by giving drivers licenses, subsidized housing, and free medical care to illegals, and refusing to report them to the INS.
By 2001, the result of these political decisions was a population of over 10 million illegals and a culture of absolute lawlessness.
Thus, Al Qaeda's planners knew the U.S. would grant visas to their agents, and that once in the U.S. the terrorists could blend in with the millions of illegals, free from fear of discovery; free to get drivers licenses, open bank accounts; free to finance, plan, and rehearse their mass murder; free, with U.S.-issued drivers' licenses as valid ID, to board planes they would use to murder our loved ones.All this freedom was granted them, wrongfully but knowingly, by American politicians in order to get support from those who profit from open borders. This must stop.
Peter Gadiel, J.D., father of James Gadiel who was
lost in the World Trade Center Disaster.
Open borders are welcoming dangerous criminals. A crime-minded foreigner envisions the American Dream as a different sort of opportunity than the one imagined by immigration sentimentalists. He sees cash and expensive items available for easy theft, a market for selling his illegal drugs and a police system that cuts enormous slack to obvious illegals. Along with the material affluence, he may imagine women and children are easy targets for his sexual desires in America's open culture.
Immigrant crime is not much discussed in polite company, since the subject violates the romantic fable of the earnest hard-working newcomer, even the so-called "undocumented." However, in addition to their unlawful entrance or visa overstays, many illegal aliens are variously engaged in identity theft, fraudulent social security numbers and ID cards, tax evasion or driving without a valid license or insurance - crimes which are practically made necessary by their unlawful status.
The availability of false documents within immigrant communities facilitates criminal aliens' escape from law enforcement, which may only follow the undeterring "catch and release" policy.
Determined criminals take advantage of our laxity: "In some areas of the country, 12% of felonies, 25% of burglaries and 34% of thefts are committed by illegal aliens," according to the Congressional testimony of John Morganelli, a Pennsylvania District Attorney. Further, more than one-quarter of federal prisoners are illegal aliens. The percentage is similar for Los Angeles County's jail, where criminal aliens cost the county over $150 million annually.
The likelihood of a person being affected by foreign criminals has increased with growing immigration anarchy. Ethnic gangs have moved in all over America, turning pleasant American communities into mean streets filled with theft and violence. Highways are more dangerous too, as the number of illegal alien drunk drivers has increased. Nearly half of California's drunk driving arrests in 2001 were Latino men. In addition, California's percentage of fatal hit-and-run accidents in that year was more than twice the national average, namely 7.8 percent versus 3.8 percent nationally.The future doesn't look hopeful since common-sense proposals for improved enforcement and identification have been received unenthusiastically in Congress.
Worsening threats to Americans' safety are another instance of how uncontrolled immigration does not serve the national interest.
Brenda Walker reports on immigration and crime at: < www.LimitsToGrowth.org > and < www.ImmigrationsHumanCost.org >.
A criminal looks at America < http://www.immigrationshumancost.org/text/criminals.html#simio >, from the book Another Mexico.
Testimony of District Attorney John M. Morganelli < http://www.house.gov/judiciary/morganelli100103.htm
> before the House
Subcommittee on immigration, Border, Security and Claims.
County calls for layoffs, deep cut - Supervisors try to fill $804 million
shortfall < http://www.whittierdailynews.com/Stories/0%2C1413%2C207~12026~1326312%2C00.html
>, By Troy Anderson, Whittier Daily News, Monday, April 14,
Study: Illegal aliens drain county funds < http://members.tripod.com/~cochiseguardian/NEWS/CriminalAliensLACo001226.html
>, by Lisa Wahla, Antelope
Valley Press December 26, 2000.
A troubling trend: Hispanics and DWI - Latinos account for nearly half of
2002 Austin arrests < http://www.statesman.com/specialreports/content/specialreports/dwi/0720drunkdrive.html
>,By Claire Osborn and Andy Alford, Austin
American-Statesman, July 20, 2003.
California's hit-and-run crisis - More flee fatal accidents here than any
other state: < http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/07/27/MN292165.DTL
>, by Michael Cabanatuan, Erin McCormick, San Francisco
Chronicle, Sunday, July 27, 2003.
(Map of USA with prevalence of hit-and-run fatalities: < http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object.cgi?object=/chronicle/pictures/2003/07/27/mn_fatalhitandruns.jpg&paper=chronicle&file=MN292165.DTL&directory=/chronicle/archive/2003/07/27&type=news >.
When most American middle-class workers think of mass immigration, they envision illegal aliens toiling on farms to provide them with cheap produce, or the laborers who maintain their landscaping. They give tacit approval for illegal immigration because the allure of cheap labor is irresistible. Unfortunately for these middle-income professionals, what goes around comes around. Employers also want cheap labor and are using foreign professionals to get it, costing many middle-income workers their jobs.
Guest workers, on nonimmigrant visas (NIVs), come primarily from Asia and East Europe on H-1B or L-1 visas. Employers justify hiring foreign professionals by claiming that dire shortages of workers with the right skills threaten our economy. The shortages don't exist, but the propaganda effectively perpetuates the importation of foreign labor.
Competing in the job market against NIVs isn't an option for American citizens because the deck is stacked against them. NIVs are indentured because they depend on their employer to maintain the visa. In other words, they must meet their bosses' demands or face deportation. Americans are justifiably opposed to competing for jobs against indentured labor, but unfortunately that shuts them out of the job market. Many NIVs pay no income or Social Security taxes, further cutting employers' costs.
The number of visas that have been issued for nonimmigrant workers is staggering - over 17 million since 1985.1 Nonimmigrants take professional jobs such as high-tech, education, medical, accounting, and blue-collar jobs in manufacturing.
Saving American jobs for American citizens is as vital to our national security as the war against terrorism, because a strong middle class insures stability. We cannot afford to allow employers to continue their practice of replacing American workers with the cheap young blood of foreign workers.Temporary guest-worker programs must be abolished. Turning the visa faucet off will not only make companies less inclined to replace American workers at home, they will find it very difficult to "offshore" jobs overseas.2 Allowing white-collar guest-workers into this country exacerbates the offshoring of jobs because companies must import foreign workers to learn our technology and skills. Once the knowledge transfer takes place, the offshoring begins. We must stop the influx of nonimmigrant labor before the destruction of the American middle class is irreversible.
Rob Sanchez, an information technology worker,
reports on jobs at <
1. "'High Tech' Visa Glut," Gene Nelson, Ph.D., September 6, 2003,
There's a heated debate about whether American K-12 education has declined. (My considered conclusion: probably yes, taking into account the increased dropout rate.) But what can't be denied is increased cost. Per pupil expenditure rose from $2,290 in 1980 to $8,745 in 2002.1 K-12 education now costs $415 billion, about four percent of Gross Domestic Product.
Immigration - and not the often-cited "baby boom echo" - is driving the school-age population increase. Immigrants are younger and tend to have more children. Thus they account for a disproportionate share of the growth in enrollment and costs. In 2000, about 8 million of the total 53 million school-age (5-17) children in the U.S. were the offspring of immigrants who had arrived since 1970. This is equal to all of the growth in the school-age population over in the last 20 years.2 Immigration adds not merely to the total cost of K-12 education, but to per-pupil costs. School districts must hire specially trained teachers and institute new programs. Bringing a student with limited English skills to average performance levels requires spending an additional $10,000 per student, according to a recent case study.3 Although there are no national estimates (why not?), bilingual education probably adds $4 billion to education expenditures in California alone.
Ironically, immigrant students who go through some type of bilingual education appear to earn significantly less than their counterparts in English immersion classes. Many immigrant students drop out anyway. Almost half (44%) of Hispanic immigrants ages 16 to 24 do not have a high school diploma.4
School violence is more frequently encountered in districts with high concentrations of immigrants. So is remedial education.
Even immigrants who stick it out and go to college suffer relative to natives. College bound Latinos and Mexican-Americans were the only major ethnic groups for which verbal SAT scores declined between 1987 and 2003.
As an immigrant myself, what seems to me to be the real question is: What is the impact on American children of having their classrooms filled with foreigners? Recently, I asked a leading education expert whether there was any research on the subject."Not only is there no research," she said, "but there isn't going to be any research - because no one wants to know the answer." The answer, however, wants to know us.
Peter Brimelow, M.B.A.
1. U.S. Department of Education, Digest of Education Statistics
2002, June 2003, Table 166.
America's linguistic unity, which has enabled it to become the most successful multi-ethnic nation in modern history, is under attack as never before. Record numbers of non-English speaking immigrants threaten to overwhelm our assimilation process. And in a stark reversal of the past, our government has embarked on a policy of accommodating a growing number of foreign tongues in the name of "diversity."
The result is "linguistic apartheid" in which an expanding underclass is being balkanized into linguistic ghettos, and whose members find it almost impossible to achieve the American Dream. Today almost one in five Americans speaks a language other than English at home.
Alarmed by these developments, 26 states have enacted laws making English their official language, often through citizens initiatives passed by huge margins as high as nine to one.
Opponents say official English is "anti-immigrant," or that it is merely symbolic and therefore, unnecessary.
These arguments are false. By more than two to one, immigrants themselves say the U.S. should expect newcomers to learn English, and by nine to one Hispanic immigrants agree that learning English is essential to succeed in the United States.
Official English is not "English only." None of the 26 states with official English laws prohibits state agencies from communicating in another language when there is a clear reason for doing so in the public's interest, including: protecting health and safety, assuring equality before the law, promoting tourism, teaching foreign languages, and many other legitimate needs. Today over 180 countries have official languages, including Canada and Mexico.
Designating an official language simply means that for the government to act officially, it must do so in that language. And it means that no one has an inherent right to government services in another language.Making English our official language also sends an important message to new immigrants: that the U.S. intends to protect its linguistic unity as a nation, and that as applicants for admission to our society they have the responsibility to learn English as their first step in pursuing the American Dream, and full participation in American life.
K. C. McAlpin, CPA, Executive Director
1. Richard D. Lamm, "It is a Blessing for an Individual to be
Bilingual; It is a Curse for a Society to be Bilingual", <
Freedom is what makes America special. Our Constitution affirms such fundamental freedoms as speech, assembly, and worship. To protect our liberties, it also limits the power of government.
But the Constitution alone cannot guarantee that we will remain free. Freedom requires that Americans share a common loyalty to the principles of the Constitution. If we don't embrace these principles as a society, they will pass away - despite what any document says.
The excessive levels of immigration we now have are overwhelming our ability to assimilate the newcomers to our culture. In 1997 President Clinton observed that immigration was removing our "common...culture," but claimed that we should not worry about it.1 He was quite wrong. Diversity under a common culture can be beneficial. But immigration-propelled "multiculturalism," which destroys our common culture, is a threat to American liberty.
These are the reasons:
(1) Many immigrants today come from countries with little or no history of political freedom. While they may appreciate freedom, they often do not have the knowledge and habits of long practice to sustain it. Their growing numbers and lack of assimilation make them a strong influence outside the mainstream of free America.
(2) Multiculturalism means the rise of diverse ethnic and political groups with little in common. With the decline of English as our standard language, they won't even be able to speak to one another. In this situation, a powerful government - one not respectful of liberties - may be the only force capable of holding the factions together.
To cite an example: free speech among people with little in common can easily cause someone to take offense. For the sake of keeping peace, some people will say "we must limit free speech." European countries and Canada, influenced by multiculturalism, have already moved in this direction.2 We Americans still enjoy legally protected free speech, but for how long? We must make a choice. We can have the multiculturalism made inevitable by mass immigration, or we can have freedom. But we can't have both.
John Vinson, M.A. (Historic Preservation)
1. Derrick Z Jackson, "Tomorrow, Clinton can make up for years of
inattention to race," Boston Globe (June 13, 1997).
One of the most troubling economic
trends of recent years has been the rise in health care costs.
Health-related spending is rising about 7.3% per year - doubling every ten
years. As a share of the economy no country spends more on health care
than the U.S.
Medical insurance pays about three-quarters of all health-care costs in the U.S. Unfortunately, insurance premiums are rising so rapidly that many middle-class Americans cannot afford coverage. According to the Census Bureau, about 44 million people were without health insurance in 2002. Since 1992 more than 10 million people have joined the ranks of the uninsured.
Explanations of the health insurance crisis usually focus on actions of employers, the aging population, consolidation among health insurance companies, and cutbacks in government medical programs. The role of mass immigration is rarely discussed, but data show that immigrants have had an enormous impact on the size and growth of the uninsured population in the United States.
About one-third of immigrants lacked health insurance in 2002. That is nearly three-times the uninsured rate of native-born Americans (12.8%). More importantly, in recent years immigrants have accounted for all of the rise in the uninsured: From 1997 to 2002 the number of uninsured immigrants rose by 2.2 million, to 11.2 million, while uninsured native born fell by 2.0 million, to 32.4 million.
Why are immigrants uninsured? Many are poorly educated, ending up in jobs that pay poverty-level wages and few benefits - including health insurance. What's worse, immigrants often displace native workers, who suddenly find themselves without health benefits. Meanwhile all employers, even those in white collar industries with few immigrants, face skyrocketing health insurance costs because they are forced to pay, indirectly, for the uninsured.
Uninsured people receive pretty much the same medical care available to people who pay for health insurance. Their medical costs are paid for by government programs, which means that taxpayers foot the bill. Even illegal immigrants, many of whom pay no taxes, are eligible for publicly funded medical care.
Efforts to resolve the health insurance crisis without addressing the role of mass immigration are doomed to fail.
Edwin Rubenstein, Ph.D. (Public Finance)
For a comprehensive overview of the uninsured population, immigrant and native, see: Institute of Medicine, "Coverage Matters: Insurance and Health Care," National Academy of Science, 2001.< http://books.nap.edu/html/coverage_matters/ch3.html >.
Mass immigration is a threat to our nation's health. Diseases nearly eradicated are breaking out again. Tropical diseases, previously unknown in the United States but prevalent in Third World countries, including Dengue fever and Chagas disease, are appearing for the first time. Medieval ailments, such as leprosy, are resurfacing. Among the diseases carried into the U.S. by immigrants are:
TUBERCULOSIS: Thought conquered by the early 1970s, the federal Centers for Disease Control reports TB is making a deadly comeback and "immigration is a major force sustaining the incidence of tuberculosis in the United States." TB in the countries from which most immigrants to the U.S. originate is 10 to 30 times greater than in this country.1
HIV/AIDS: a deadly virus that originated in Africa and spread throughout the Caribbean (especially Haiti), Latin America, and large parts of Asia. Immigrants are circulating AIDS. Hispanics, 13 percent of the U.S. population, account for 19 percent of the reported number of new cases, more than three times the rate for other Americans.2
CHOLERA is a communicable disease that re-emerged in the early 1990s, brought to the United States by Latino migrants. People become infected with cholera by contact with water contaminated by fecal matter. Scientific American magazine reports migrants expose others to the disease in the fields, factories, and restaurants where they work.3
MEASLES: a disease virtually stamped out by 1990, the CDC reports it is reappearing. Immigrants have brought almost all of the new cases into the U.S.
HEPATITIS A and B: highly contagious, these diseases attack the liver and can lead to death. They are often transmitted through unclean food and water and spread by infected food handlers and processors.4
SARS (SEVERE ACUTE RESPIRATORY SYNDROME): A deadly, easily spread, pneumonia-like ailment imported to the U.S. from China and Hong Kong in early 2003.5
Illegal aliens bypass health tests and legal immigrants are poorly screened for disease. The clean, healthy environment Americans worked hard to achieve is being threatened because federal officials refuse to curtail mass immigration. The United States is in danger of experiencing a public health calamity.
Wayne Lutton, Ph.D. (History)
1. < www.cdc.gov/nchstp/tb/faqs/qa.htm >.
For more information on this topic, see the report, Immigration and the Public Health Crisis, by Robert Howard and Wayne Lutton (Americans for Immigration Control, P. O. Box 738, Monterey, VA 24465) and the article, "Immigration and Public Health," by Wayne Lutton, The Social Contract, Vol. XIV, No. 1, Fall 2003, pp. 12-20 < www.thesocialcontract.com/pdf/fourteen-one/xiv-1-12.pdf >.
Social Security taxes workers to pay benefits for elderly and disabled Americans and survivors of deceased workers. Because birth rates fell after 1965, when baby boomers retire, the number of taxpaying workers supporting each beneficiary will decline from about 3.3 today to about 2.0 by 2040. Therefore, Social Security's tax revenues under current law will no longer cover benefits, and by the 2040s Social Security will be unable to pay benefits on time.
Immigration supporters argue that increasing immigration will push the taxpayer/beneficiary ratio back up and thereby avert the Social Security crisis. Seemingly sensible, this claim is extremely shaky.
Immigration contributes little to Social Security's finances. Alleged tax payments by illegal immigrants of $2.7 billion in 1990 were less than one percent of that year's Social Security revenues. So to substantially help Social Security, immigration would have to be much greater than it is now. Maintaining today's taxpayer/beneficiary ratio would require millions of immigrants every year, above future immigration already assumed by Social Security. Immigrants get old, too. So still more immigrants and their adult children would be needed to pay their benefits - perhaps 180 million by 2080. Adding such huge numbers of workers would depress labor productivity unless matched by trillions of dollars in investment. Since immigration is already making labor incomes stagnate, much higher immigration would almost certainly depress wages, and perhaps even reduce Social Security revenues. And most immigrants are poorly-educated and unskilled, hence earn low incomes, making them poor Social Security revenue sources.
Besides, much higher immigration would cause serious problems. The enormous population growth would overwhelm our infrastructure, energy supply, and natural resources, and greatly worsen urban sprawl. Political conflict is also likely, since poor working immigrants will understandably dislike being taxed to support wealthier Social Security retirees.
In some ways, immigration actually weakens Social Security. Some skilled foreign H-1B "guest workers" are recruited and supplied under contract to American firms. As employees of foreign firms, no Social Security taxes are withheld. Moreover, displacing Americans with cheaper immigrant labor means revenue losses for Social Security.
John Attarian, Ph.D. (Economics)
For further reading see John Attarian, "Immigration: Wrong Answer for Social Security," available from American Immigration Control Foundation, at < www.immigrationcontrol.com/publications.htm >.
Face it. We are a compassionate people. Individually and collectively, we take pride in caring for the needy. When summoned to help anywhere in the world, we respond. Even in the highly personal decision to create a charitable budget, generosity prevails. We strive for understanding and thoughtfulness to maximize the benevolent effect of every dollar.
Compassion for the underprivileged finds expression in our welfare budget. The crossroads between immigration and welfare call for exceptional compassion and thoughtfulness.
In March 2003, a report issued by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) revealed that immigrant households receiving welfare have increased by 750,000 since 1996.1 A CIS report of November 2003 pointed out that 25% of immigrant-headed households relied on welfare. This contrasted with 16% of native households. The average payment to immigrant households in 2001 was 50% higher than to native households.
The CIS study also revealed that illegal aliens, on behalf of their U.S. born children, receive a substantial share of our welfare budget. In 2001, the value of benefits received by illegal alien households averaged over $1,000. These dependencies persist. Even after immigrants live in the United States for 20 years, they continue to use the welfare system at significantly higher rates than others.
The welfare budget helps some, but ignores others. It helps those here illegally. Meanwhile, it perversely turns a blind-eye to the needy in foreign lands. Every dollar given to an illegal immigrant in the U.S. is one less dollar available to help the law-abiding foreigner overseas, where exchange rates expand charitable prospects for the same dollar.
In a world having a net population gain (births minus deaths) of about 220,000 everyday, we must learn to help the poor where they are.2 History has delivered us beyond the point of meaningfully responding to this massive need with relaxed borders.
Persons taking the initiative to cut and run are often the best candidates to agitate for a change back home. Our immigration welfare policies lure them away. We should instead encourage them to stand and fight for changes at home.
Learning to act with thoughtful charity, as we responsibly confront the limits of a finite planet, will become our all-defining challenge.
John F. Rohe, J.D., practices law in Petoskey,
1. The URL for this report is <
Amnesties forgive the breaking
of immigration laws and reward illegal aliens with permanent residence
in the United States. Inevitably, amnesties entice more illegal aliens
to the United States, in the hopes that they, too, will be rewarded
for breaking the law. Census 2000 results indicate that 700,000 to
800,000 illegal aliens settle in the U.S. each year, with an estimated
eight to eleven million illegal aliens currently living here.
Until 1986, the United States had never forgiven the act of illegal immigration, except in individual cases involving unusual circumstances. We had never rewarded large numbers of illegal aliens with the opportunity for U.S. citizenship. In 1986, the U.S. Congress passed a law granting amnesty to almost three million illegal aliens. It was supposed to be a one-time, never-to-be-repeated action. Since 1986, however, Congress has passed seven amnesties, rewarding more than six million illegal aliens with legal residence and putting them and their relatives on the path to U.S. citizenship.1
In the decade following the 1986 amnesty, illegal immigration increased dramatically, and has continued to skyrocket. Each of the six million illegal aliens granted amnesty since1986 has been replaced by more than one new illegal alien, resulting in the huge illegal population enumerated by the Census Bureau. The solution, according to some elected representatives, is yet another amnesty.
Polls show that the vast majority of Americans oppose amnesty for illegal aliens. Recognizing this overwhelming opposition, politicians are being careful not to use the word "amnesty" to describe their proposed solutions. Instead, they have sought to disguise amnesty by calling it a guestworker program or to obfuscate by using alternative descriptions such as "earned regularization."
The fact is, however, that any plan that allows illegal aliens to get legal residence and a green card is an amnesty. It is sufficient enticement for millions more aliens to enter or remain in this country illegally, even if it means risking their own lives and the lives of their families to get here.
Another "jackpot" loophole needs to be closed: Each year we hold a lottery for 50,000 visas for legal immigration. This nonsensical approach to selecting newcomers should be ended.
Amnesty may be the jackpot for illegal aliens, but it's a losing policy for America.
Rosemary Jenks, J.D.
1. NumbersUSA Education and Research Foundation. See < www.numbersusa.com/interests/amnesty.html > for complete list of the seven amnesties.
In every traffic-choked, infrastructure-stressed, park-congested, school-overcrowded community of the land, Americans live with the same fear: that their quality of life will forever deteriorate under an inevitable, never-ending population explosion. Woods, brooks, and fields at the edge of town that once helped soothe their souls have been cleared, scraped, paved, and built on. Every ride or hike through countryside near the new urban edges is like a walk through a hospital ward for the terminally ill - the days of these nearby open spaces are numbered.
U.S. population grows by 3 million a year. That, according to federal data, is roughly half the cause of the destruction of 2.2 million acres of natural habitat and farmland each year.1 But the relentless deterioration is not inevitable - Congress has the power to correct this.
With native-born Americans adopting a slightly-below-replacement-level fertility since 1972, the only cause of long-term U.S. population growth is immigration and the high fertility of immigrants.2 For three decades the federal government has increasingly sabotaged the American people's dreams for environmental quality by snowballing total immigration over traditional numbers by 400-700%.
Lest anybody misunderstand, the immigrants themselves are not to blame. Rather, the responsibility for environmental damage rests with the officials who have set and allowed the unprecedented immigration levels.
Some supporters of high population growth contend that immigrants can't cause sprawl because they are so poor and huddle in crowded urban tenements. Federal data, however, show that the majority of immigrants live in the suburbs. Many construct housing in the rural strip around the suburbs.3 Many more buy existing suburban houses from American natives who would not otherwise have the money to construct their houses on the rural edge. The children of immigrants flee the urban core cities at exactly the same rate as the children of natives.4 For many reasons, massive immigration drives massive destruction of natural habitat.
America at the first Earth Day in 1970 was filled with 203 million people and now has grown by another 90 million. The Census Bureau projects that current immigration policies will drive our population to 420 million by 2050, nearly three times the 1950 number.5 Only Congress can stop that from happening and allow for a decent quality of life for America's future human, animal, and plant inhabitants.
Roy Beck, B.A. (Journalism)
1. Roy Beck, Leon Kolankiewicz, and Steven Camarota, "Outsmarting
Smart Growth; Population Growth, Immigration, and the Problem of
Sprawl," Center for Immigration Studies, August, 2003. In just the 15
years from 1982 to 1997, America converted approximately 25 million
acres (39 thousand square miles) of rural land - forests, rangeland,
pastures and cropland - to developed land. These losses occurred at an
average rate of 1.7 million acres per year. And according to the U.S.
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which has conducted
these inventories of the nation's ecologically productive land base
every five years since 1982, in the 1990s the rate at which rural land
was developed accelerated, rising to about 2.2 million acres per year.
In 2003, Saul Castro-Arizago, a 44
year old illegal alien, was caught in a Fresno County Sheriff's Department
sting operation making phony identity and immigration documents. Some of
the forged documents undercover deputies asked Castro-Arizago to make bore
the names of actual al-Qaida terrorists.
Point taken. However, exposing Americans to terrorist attacks is only the most dramatic example of the unacceptable consequences of our collapsing system of identification. By facilitating lawlessness, the increasingly widespread abuse of U.S. identity documents has unleashed an explosion of fraud, money laundering, human smuggling, illegal immigration, and other threats to the rule of law.
Not surprisingly, the abuse is most prevalent among some eleven million "undocumented" foreign nationals currently residing illegally in the United States. For law enforcement authorities, the continuing presence of this huge population of illegal aliens constitutes a serious obstacle to fighting crime and maintaining a reliable and unobtrusive system of identification.
Making matters worse, the Mexican government has launched a major initiative, through its roughly four-dozen consular offices scattered across the United States, to issue millions of Mexican ID cards to illegal aliens. The Mexican campaign includes the aggressive lobbying of state and local officials by consular officials demanding formal recognition of the Mexican illegal alien ID card, even though the Vienna Convention expressly prohibits consular interference in domestic politics.
Many local communities have complied with Mexico's demands, and now, ominously, other countries are following Mexico's lead. To date, no federal agency has taken action against any state or municipality that has inappropriately recognized foreign-issued ID cards. Rather, in 2003, the Treasury Department, bowing to heavy lobbying by Mexico and U.S. financial corporations, issued rules allowing banks to accept foreign ID cards to open accounts.
Worse yet, many states are issuing drivers' licenses to illegal aliens, providing them with a "breeder document" with which they can get other false IDs. They can then enroll in welfare and benefit programs.
Identity is important. The United States has certain duties to its
citizens - like ensuring national security and defending against
international and domestic fraud - requiring that the responsibility for
identification of persons in the United States remain with U.S.
authorities. These responsibilities must not be ceded to any foreign
government.Craig Nelsen, B.A. (Western Philosophy)
Suspects arrested in document counterfeit scheme (Associated Press,
December 03, 2003)
"When our U.S. borders are not secure, it becomes easier for all sorts of illegal activities to take place in our nation's communities and neighborhoods. More drug use and crime result; illegal harboring of undocumented foreign nationals becomes more of a problem; crimes are committed against them, and more. Quality of life in our neighborhoods is diminished, and the safety of all people living here is jeopardized." - Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)1
There are an estimated 8 to 12 million illegal aliens present in the United States, approximately 40 to 50 percent of whom crossed our borders without inspection.
In 1994, six states filed suit in federal courts charging the federal government had failed to meet its obligation under Article IV Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution to "protect each (state) against invasion...." Each state sought reimbursement for money expended by them for medical care and for costs associated with the criminal prosecution and incarceration of illegal aliens.
"Although the federal government may have the luxury of abdicating its constitutional duty to protect Arizona's borders, Arizona cannot solve the problems that this abdication causes by following the federal government's example and abdicating its duty to prosecute and incarcerate illegal aliens who commit felonies within Arizona's unprotected borders," Arizona argued in its high court appeal.2
"The situation in California long ago passed the point where reasonable minds could differ: the overwhelming illegal entry across California's borders is nothing short of an invasion," that state said.3 In all cases, their suits were dismissed as being political questions and not legal ones. What to do?
Public officials must come to realize their careers depend on supporting laws to stop the invasion and remove those illegal aliens here; opposing amnesty in any form; and, opposing guest workers that undercut American jobs.
Governmental entities, whether federal, state or local, must enter into agreements that ensure contractors and vendors with whom they do business certify their employees have been cleared through the Basic Pilot Extension Act of 2003, S. 1685, which enables employers to voluntarily check the validity of an employee's name and social security number.
Robert Park, Prescott, AZ
No poll taken in the last fifty years has found a majority of Americans in favor of more immigration. Most want less - much less - than the current level.1 Support is even stronger for better border security and measures to deter illegal immigration. With the economy and homeland security still major concerns, the logic of tighter immigration enforcement would seem to be self-evident.
Public officials can read poll results. Often, these same officials hear citizens complaining about immigration crises in town meetings and other candidate forums. So why the inaction?
The answer is money, of course. Money influences the nature of the constituencies that support mass immigration. The folks who control 90 percent of the jobs in this country make up far less than ten percent of the voting population, yet they have disproportionate influence over campaign contributions. And while any analogy to the Reformation or American Independence might be inexact, few revolutions succeed without some support from the propertied, land owning, and merchant classes. Without help from a sector of the elite - business owners, lawyers, finance capitalists - it will be difficult to change the status quo.
Who is least affected by mass and uncontrolled immigration? Wealthy individuals, business owners and their families. Who has the greatest stake in using immigration as a way to control labor costs? Who puts the most money into the political system? Large corporations and their stockholders.
Who pays most of the costs for cheap foreign labor? Hard-working American families. Who pays education taxes? Just educating illegal alien children costs taxpayers $7 billion a year. Who pays property taxes - taxes to support housing subsidies, low-income assistance programs, public education, emergency (uninsured) health care, Medicaid, school lunch programs, criminal justice costs? The list goes on and on!
Congress seeks to mitigate the public backlash against these oppressive burdens by federalizing the expenses whenever possible. Spreading out costs helps disguise them. Taxpayers in Michigan, for example, are forced to pay to provide health care to illegal aliens in Arizona. Without an itemized bill taxpayers don't actually know how much mass immigration is costing them.
Some say that because of this money/influence alignment, the system can never be fixed. I say that while there are challenges, they can be overcome. But only by educating an interested citizenry on the overall national impacts can durable change be brought about.
Dan Stein, J.D., Executive Director
1. Fifty-five percent of Americans think illegal immigration into the U.S. is a "very serious" problem, and 56 percent "agree strongly" that Congress should authorize detention, forfeiture of property, and deportation for anyone here illegally. (Roper ASW for Negative Population Growth, March 2003.). Nearly 63 percent would support a policy that stopped all immigration from countries suspected of harboring terrorists. (Hamilton College, February 2003.) Fifty-eight percent think that the U.S. should "Admit fewer immigrants each year." (Zogby International, May 2002.)
A common response to a consideration of the role of immigration and immigrants in the problems confronting America is that immigrants are being "scapegoated," i.e., blamed for ALL of these problems. This we emphatically are NOT doing. Rather, this pamphlet is an attempt to layout for reasoned debate the role which immigration plays - sometimes larger, sometimes smaller - in a wide range of American problems. Few if any of these problems can be solved by immigration reform alone; but likewise, few can be solved or even be adequately addressed without taking immigration into account.
Three Fundamental Questions
After all of these discussions, we need to get down to the hard work of
answering the fundamental questions of immigration policy:
Providing answers to these three basic questions is the price we must all pay for admission to the Great Debate on Immigration - no fair criticizing current policy without putting your alternatives on the table. The only way to beat an idea is with a better idea. What is your better idea?
Our public officials decide - at the local, state, and national levels. We suggest you provide your public officials with a copy of this educational booklet, and ask them for answers to the questions posed here. Then tell them whether the policy positions they take will merit your support. And don't stop there. Order more copies of this booklet (see the order form, give them to your friends, relatives, and associates, and urge them to join in the debate.
Working together we can get the job done.
John H. Tanton, M.D.
1. Illegal Immigration: Secure our borders and end illegal immigration. Enforce the "invasion" clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 4: "The United States shall... protect each (state) against invasion...". Repatriate those here illegally. No more amnesties.
2. Legal Immigration: Establish an inclusive overall ceiling for legal immigration, including refugees. Set this limit at the level of emigration (now about 200,000 per year) so legal immigrants will be admitted at levels that assimilate and do not expand our population or undercut our job market. End the "chain" migration of relatives, which, like a pyramid scheme, swells immigrant numbers over time. End the visa lottery. Instead, admit people on their merits.
3. English: Designate English as the language of official government proceedings and records.
I ask your assurances that, as a public official, you will work to make these changes.
August 15, 1973 - August 9, 2002
Kris Eggle was an outstanding human being, at the top of his class academically and athletically in high school and college. He was headed for a career with the National park Service. He had served at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and at Great Smoky Mountains and Canyonlands National Parks. in 2000, he was assigned to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, west of Tucson, Arizona on the U.S.-Mexican Border. This park has become one of the main routes for people and drug smuggling from Mexico.
On August 9, 2002, in an encounter with a drug smuggler, Kris was shot and killed. Read Kris's story at < www.KrisEggle.org >.
For the stories of other victims of our chaotic borders and immigration policy, see < www.immigrationsHumanCost.org >.
I suggest you hand the book out at the end of the talk, and give the audience a little tour of the book:
a. Education - see Chapter 6
b. Language - see Chapter 7
c. Taxes - see Chapters 11 & 12
d. and so on... Give a little topic tour.
Many Thanks for your help in passing the word.
John Tanton, M.D. Editor
Cover / home page art copyright Jim Watts, used by permission of 9/11
Families for a Secure America < http://www.911fsa.org/ >.
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