Sunday, January 24, 2016

America For Sale: Why Amnesty and Legal Immigration Surges Spell Disaster

 Mike Scruggs

One of the absurd myths of the Democratic and Republican political establishments is that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are law-abiding and would make good citizens. This ignores, of course, their unlawful breach of our borders, for which the lawfully established penalty is heavy fines, deportation, or imprisonment. Furthermore, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, 75 percent of the 8.5 million illegal Immigrant workers in the U.S. use false or stolen social security numbers. In fact, there is a rather large industry in Arizona unlawfully obtaining the Social Security numbers of new born babies and selling them to illegal immigrant channels. The other 25 percent of illegal alien workers evade taxes by operating outside the income visible economy. There is an extreme double standard here: American citizens who use stolen or fake Social Security Numbers or fail to report taxable income are subject to stiff fines or prison sentences.   

Another extraordinarily stupid but common counterfactual belief is that amnesty will stop further illegal immigration. American immigration experience since 1986 has been an unequivocal lesson that amnesty does not stop illegal immigration; it explodes both illegal and legal immigration. The 1986 amnesty created a serial amnesty machine that resulted in another six amnesties through 2000, more than doubling the original amnesty from 2.7 million to over 5.7 million. According to a study by Joshua Linder published in 2011, these amnesties not only failed to stop illegal immigration, they encouraged more of it, increasing illegal immigration from an average of 576,000 per year from 1977 to 1986 to, 912,000 per year from 1986 to 2000, a 77 percent average increase in annual illegal immigration. This was based on apprehensions, which means it only includes the ones that were caught. Linder’s data also demonstrated a 7.0 percent  real wage drop for American workers between the two periods, a simple manifestation of an excessive supply of cheap foreign  labor in the economy versus demand. Amnesty may take illegal immigration off the legislative agenda for an election cycle at most, but its inevitable consequences soon demand the counter-logical solution of more and bigger amnesties and the eventual surrender of our country   

 Furthermore, according to a recent DHS release and the Washington Times, the number of illegal immigrants who come legally on business or tourist visas and join the estimated 12  million illegal aliens already in  the country has risen to  over 500,000 per year. A disproportionate number of these come from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. This is only the tip of the iceberg, since the DHS data did not include student and work visas. Five of the 911 hijackers came to the U.S. on student visas. Altogether, about 40 percent of illegal immigrants come on legal visas and disappear. This makes sealing the border practically useless unless our immigration laws are enforced at the workplace and the benefits line, and some sort of visa control is exercised.  

 Then there is the extremely counterfactual myth that immigration always benefits the economy and increases our prosperity. According to the Heritage Foundation, unlawful immigrant households cost an average of more than $14,300 per household per year more in benefits and services from federal, state, and local governments than they pay in total taxes of all kinds. If they are legalized, that cost actually rises to nearly $28,000 per year because of higher benefit eligibility but little increase in tax revenue, because they would still remain in low tax brackets. These costs were based on 2010 statistics. They are probably much higher now because of expanded eligibility for food stamps and lax enforcement of benefit eligibility.

 We don't have the money for this. Most of these costs are an indirect subsidy to employers who use illegal immigrants rather than American workers. This is a moral outrage.

 According to Harvard labor economist, George Borjas, the economic costs to American workers for both legal and illegal cheap foreign labor is more than $402 billion per year or more than $2700 per year per American worker. The businesses using this labor profit $437 billion per year. That is why these businesses can easily afford $250 million per year ( to lobby and persuade legislators and the public that amnesty and increased legal immigration are good for the country, when they are actually  fiscal and economic burdens falling heavily on American workers and ordinary taxpayers. Yes, a moral outrage!

 High immigration is not compatible with the welfare state that we have become. We are already running up huge federal deficits and enormous debt that could send the value of the dollar and real household savings down sharply, inflicting enormous damage to the American economy and vast millions of American families and households.

 In addition, public safety and national security risks are substantially increased by tolerating illegal or loosely vetted legal immigration, including the extravagantly wasteful and coercive refugee settlement programs being imposed on local communities by the U.S. State Department. There needs to be a thorough Congressional investigation of our Resettlement Program in regard to possible corruption and national security risks. 

 Most of our illegal immigrant problem would go away on its own, if we had the good sense and courage to enforce our immigration laws at the workplace and the welfare benefit offices. Not much rounding up would be necessary. Securing the border will help, but without enforcement at the workplace, it will be less than 50 percent effective. The best things we can do to solve our immigration problem is to shut off the job and free benefits magnets and establish firm controls on our visa system. We need an immigration system that benefits Americans, not special interests and their lobbyists.

 Amnesties and unwarranted legal immigration surges steadily change the electorate to stack the electoral deck against conservative issues and conservative political leaders. So much change has already occurred under the George W. Bush and the Barack Obama administrations that we are almost certainly near the edge of the cliff, which would make Left-Democrat rule a permanent feature of American government. We simply cannot afford any more amnesties or failure to enforce immigration law, no matter how emotional the appeal.

 Our immigration system is so corrupt and out of control that we need to cut off all but the most urgent and thoroughly vetted applicants for entry as an absolute necessity to maintain our national sovereignty, national security, and public safety. It may take several years to find our way back to a safe and reasonable immigration policy.  We must also reject the absurd tenets of multiculturalism that are threatening the cultures, social fabric, and viable sovereignty of several European countries.

 Caving in to amnesties and excessive levels of legal immigration has brought us to a steep slope, beyond which lies the precipice of national self-destruction. We had better do our homework on issues and candidates. Everything you own, value, and love is at stake.

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