Friday, April 10, 2009

The Costs of Illegal Immigration Mock Obama's Sentimental Cant

In 2007 the then Senator Barack Obama made the following remark in his “courageous” speech on immigration reform:

"... we cannot weaken the very essence of what America is by turning our backs on immigrants who want to reunite with their family members, or immigrants who have a willingness to work hard but who may not have the right graduate degrees. This is not who we are as a country."

It is not clear whether his speech was courageous or whether it was in fact a cowardly capitulation to Real Politik, that is, to an America where Latinos could shift 46 crucial electoral votes in Florida, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado from Republican red to Democrat blue. The underlying meaning behind Obama’s commonplace conflation of “immigrants” with illegal immigrants was made clear on the Lou Dobbs show on CNN April 9/09.

Dobbs interviewed Steve Camarotta of the Centre for Immigration Studies, and then refereed a debate between Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation with an Obama appointee who attempted to rationalize his employer’s predilection for amnesty. Rector exposed his opponent’s clichéd arguments for what they were. In his words, “nonsense”. Amnesty in 1986 merely sent a signal to potential queue jumpers that they need only enter the United States, and wait it out for another retroactive pardon, for the government of the United States was clearly not serious about the enforcement of its own laws. Even the Obama mouthpiece conceded that Amnesty then was flawed because “it failed to put something in place to deal with the day after amnesty”---or words to that effect.

The most pernicious and catastrophic feature of amnesty , however, in Rector’s analysis, was not the people who were allowed to come in through the back door, but the number of relatives that they would subsequently be able to sponsor as immigrants once they had secured their citizenship status. Wives, mothers, grandparents etc. In fact, for each illegal immigrant accepted, three or more relatives on average, would follow him. And it must be remembered that, as Rector observed, 60% of illegal immigrants have less than a high school diploma, and therefore cannot earn the kind of income which can be taxed to reimburse the treasury for the welfare, educational, health and other government services that are provided for them.

As a result, the 12 million illegal immigrants that are officially estimated to be resident in the United States--- a number that Rector would almost quadruple---cost American taxpayers $40 billion a year. Now triple that for the chain migration that would follow them with amnesty. As Steve Camarotta has stated before Congress, amnesty does not upgrade the skill level of those granted a pathway to citizenship. They may indeed have a willingness to work hard, as Obama argued, but hard work alone is not enough to deliver the productivity that a sound modern economy increasing requires from its workforce. In 2007 more than 23 million American households received more than $47 billion in EITC or “Earned Income Tax Credit”, a misnomer surely, for much of that money went to folks who never paid a cent in taxes because they never “earned” enough to pay it. The EITC is the most illegal-immigrant friendly and accessible poverty relief program in the country.

The CNN debate revealed another politically incorrect factoid. There are 8 million “undocumented” workers in the United States and 13 million native-born Americans without jobs. This is a correlation that liberals cannot run away from. Especially when on their left, the Socialist Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, cites illegal immigration, in tandem with ongoing out-sourcing to cheap labour foreign locations, as the reason that 5 million American workers lost their jobs under George W. Bush.

But apparently to reject this massive corporate welfare scam to supplement low paid illegal immigrant incomes with the free provision of government services so that cheap labour employers can remain off the hook is or was to Senator now President, Obama, “not who we are as a country”.

But whose country is it now, though? And one wonders if family unification is such a priority with illegals, why it would not be more cost-effcective to just reunify families by sending illegal immigrants back from whence they came, all expenses paid.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

This is an excellent and penetrating piece of writing, Tim. My congratulations.
Another interesting question to consider is whether the children of illegal immigrants born here in the US should continue to get US citizenship. This policy might have made sense 150 years ago, when our country was underpopulated and in need of blue-collar workers.
Now these kids serve as anchor babies for their parents. We may be the only country in today's world to have in place such a policy that implicitly encourages illegal immigration.