The Impact of Illegal Aliens is Worse Than You May Think
Wayne Lutton has served as editor of The Social Contract (www.thesocialcontract.com), a quarterly journal, since 1998. Dr. Lutton (Ph.D., International Studies and History) has been a college professor of history and government at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He was a research director for a foundation and worked as a policy analyst in Washington, D.C. before joining The Social Contract, and has been writing on national security and immigration-related issues for over thirty years. An author, co-author, and contributor to more than 20 books, including eight college-level political science readers, Dr. Lutton has written hundreds of articles and reviews, which have appeared in Chronicles, Human Events, Middle American News, National Review, Strategic Review, and other journals of scholarship and opinion. Dr. Lutton is a frequent guest on radio talk shows and has appeared on C-SPAN a number of times.
QUESTION: Illegal immigration is a hot button issue. Can you give us an overview of the situation?
ANSWER: The number of illegal aliens living in the United States is probably much higher than agreed upon “official estimates” of 11-12 million. On October 3, 2007, I hosted a conference in Washington, D.C. on the topic of “How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the United States?” Seven years ago, experts from four disciplines co-authored a study we released that day. They concluded that the official estimates (from the White House, U. S. Census Bureau, INS) of the number of foreign nationals living illegally in the U.S. was a gross understatement and that the real figure was likely double or triple. James Walsh, a former Associate General Counsel of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, argued (again, seven years ago) that 38 million illegals were living in the U.S. The entire press conference can be viewed on-line at YouTube.com, just type “How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US?” in the search feature. There is no reason to believe that the illegal population has drastically fallen in recent years. Quite the reverse. It is clear that the Administration and Congress don’t really want to disclose how many illegal aliens are residing in the U.S.
Q: Some “conservative” Republicans are offering immigration reform legislation. With 15 -20 million illegal aliens here, shouldn’t we seriously consider their proposals at least as a partial solution?
A: The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill that passed the Senate, endorsed by some leading Republicans, including John McCain, Marco Rubio, and Lindsey Graham, offers legal status to untold numbers of illegal aliens (probably in the multi-millions); creates new guest-worker programs, thus legally permitting hundreds of thousands of additional foreigners to compete with Americans for employment; and promises to tighten enforcement of the immigration laws to discourage new waves of illegal entrants (we have heard these promises for over three decades, all while the illegal immigrant population has continued to grow by the millions). Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a Tea Party favorite, has introduced his own amendments to S.744 (the awful Immigration Reform Bill) that would increase the number of employment visas (known as H-1B visas) by 500 percent to 325,000 annually. You can see his statement in support of this measure on YouTube.com. His amendment would allow the dependents of H-1B visa holders to also be granted employment authorization. So this Republican-authored bill would, if passed, allows hundreds of thousands of foreigners to compete with American college graduates for professional jobs, especially in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields. The U. S. admits over one million legal immigrants every year — more than the rest of the world combined. Senator Cruz wants to double the number of these legal immigrants in all categories to over two million a year. They would have full access to the American job market and also be eligible for welfare and affirmative action benefits. The Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of billionaires, headed by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his www.FWD.us organization, are vigorously promoting these proposals, especially to Republicans.
Of course, let’s not forget that the original amnesty for illegal aliens, the feature of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act was the work of the so-called conservative Reagan Administration. We were promised a “one time only” amnesty for one million illegals in exchange for securing our borders and enforcing sanctions against the employers of illegals.
Instead of one million, over three million illegals applied for amnesty and 28 years later, employer sanctions are a bad joke, and our borders remain wide open. Let me take this opportunity to clarify what we should mean by “borders.” It is not just our southern and northern frontiers and seacoast ports of entry. Any city and any state that has an international airport is a border state. Omaha, Nebraska and Tulsa, Oklahoma, for example, also rate as ”border states” since they host international airports. Law enforcement professionals estimate that almost half of all illegal aliens enter legally on a short-term visa or waiver, such as for a student or visitor, and then overstay. In most cases, that was probably their intent from the outset. Last year, the Washington Times revealed that the Homeland Security Department lost track of more than one million people it knows arrived in the U.S. but cannot prove left the country. So when politicians claim they want to “secure our borders” do they really intend to hire and train the additional hundreds and thousands of interior enforcement officers that are needed? Are they willing to hire the personnel that are required to make face-to-face interviews with prospective applicants for amnesty? Bring this up at a Town Meeting and see the blank look you will get from a Congressman and his staff.
Q: Part of the problem with “free trade” pacts — like NAFTA — is the connection to opening the doors to more immigration. Can you explain that?
A: These various agreements that have been concluded over the past four administrations are not free trade. They are managed-trade agreements between governments and under the World Trade Organization. These international agreements have led U.S.-based companies to export jobs to Mexico, Asia, and India, while at the same time they continue to import hundreds of thousands of foreign workers. It is illegal for U.S. employers to insist on employing Americans only. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiated by the first President Bush and enacted by Bill Clinton, designated items manufactured in Mexico as “North American content.” Profit-making companies left the U.S. and reopened in Mexico. Subsidiaries then opened throughout Asia, including Vietnam and China. An alphabet soup of work visas brings in around a million new admissions to the U.S. each year. Back in the 1990s, a vice-president of Caterpillar, the Peoria, Illinois-headquartered manufacturer of construction and mining machinery, said there was no reason why an American worker should be paid more than a Mexican.
At a hearing before the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, chaired by the odious Senator Charles Schumer, the chief sponsor for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, stated a “benefit” of opening America to even more legal immigration: “The second bonus (in accelerating the influx of skilled foreign workers) would address the increasing concentration of income in this country. Greatly expanding our quotas for the highly skilled would lower wage premiums of skilled over lesser skilled. Skill shortages in America exist because we are shielding our skilled labor force from world competition. In the process, we have created a privileged elite [he is talking about middle-class job holders] whose incomes are being supported at non-competitively high levels by immigration quotas on skilled professionals. Eliminating such restrictions would reduce at least some of our income inequality.” Yes, by reducing Americans to the level of Cambodians or others at the bottom of the international wage scale. We should note that at present the unemployment rate for high-tech workers who have skills and education is more than double what it is for all other categories of unemployed Americans. And, as we know, when foreign workers displace American workers or at the very least increase the size of the labor pool, wages and benefits decrease. Additionally, foreign workers send hundreds of billions of dollars out of the U.S. every year. This has the effect of increasing the U.S. balance deficit by at least half-trillion dollars annually.
Q: We hear a lot about illegal immigration – should we be concerned about the rise in “legal” or authorized immigration?
A: The United States is now the third most populous country in the world, behind India and China. We have an estimated 22-million or more Americans who are officially unemployed or
under-employed. Last Spring, American colleges and universities turned out another 1.7 million graduates who need something to do. Earlier this year, Forbes business journal reported that a record 102.159 million Americans were not working as of December 2013 [see: “After Five Years of Obamanomics, A Record 100 Million Americans Not Working,” by Peter Ferrara, Forbes, January 24, 2014]. Consequently, I would argue that we don’t need any more immigrants, legal or otherwise. There isn’t enough productive employment for the people who are already here. Despite our depressed economy and the large numbers of native-born entering the job market every year, the United States continues to admit over one million additional Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) every year. And this does not count the additional hundreds of thousands of “temporary” legal workers entering with special employment visas, as we’ve discussed earlier in this interview. Where do these LPRs come from? The top-five countries of origin are Mexico, the Philippines, Vietnam, China, and India. Sixty-five percent are here on the basis of family ties; 13 percent are employment-based; 16 percent are refugees and asylees — a much-abused category — and five percent are “diversity” migrants, largely from Africa and the Middle East. We need a “time out” from mass immigration, just as their doctor tells someone who is overweight that they need to go on a strict diet. This is why we have called for a moratorium on legal immigration (visit our website, www.thesocialcontract.com and type in Moratorium in the search feature). We need to curtail illegal immigration and end mass immigration while we focus on raising the opportunities and living standards of the people who are already here. This is not an “anti-immigrant” position, but, rather, a “pro-American” stance.
Q: The fight against illegal immigration is often portrayed as a “conservatives” on one side of the issue, with liberals on the other. I don’t think that’s true – what’s your opinion?
A: Donald Collins, writing at www.VDARE.com on January 16, identifies the Open Borders Immigration coalition as “cheap labor importers, job exporters, ethnic tribalists, and religious hypocrites” who are trying to pass a set of “comprehensive” immigration laws that would, as we noted before, triple legal immigration during the coming decade by providing 30 million green cards to immigrants while giving “temporary” work permits to an additional 15-million or more “guest workers.”
A coalition of patriotic conservatives, pro-American workers, pro-environmentalists (since immigration-fueled population growth has undermined environment and conservation goals) are opposing the Gang of Eight Immigration Reform legislation that passed the Senate. I urge readers to visit the website of www.ProgressivesforImmigrationReform.org to gain insight and information about many of the unintended consequences of mass immigration viewed from a liberal, but pro-American, perspective.
Q: Finally, what are the hopeful signs on the horizon? The Obama administration is charging full steam ahead with amnesty, but can we slow down the juggernaut or even defeat it?
A: Last year, the Sunlight Foundation, which calls for government transparency and accountability, released a study, “Untangling the Webs of Immigration Lobbying.” After digging through 8,000 lobbying reports filed since the big-push for Comprehensive Immigration Reform was launched in 2007, they found that over $1.5 billion was spent to promote amnesty for illegals and an expansion of legal immigration. While this passed the Senate, it has been blocked in the House of Representatives. The pro-American coalitions opposing the so-called Comprehensive Reforms haven’t a fraction of the resources available to the other side. In the recent North Carolina GOP primary, out-of-state forces, including the Emergency Committee for Israel, chaired by neo-conservative guru Bill Kristol, and a super PAC Ending Spending Action Fund, led by billionaire Joe Ricketts, and gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson, failed in their effort to unseat Third Congressional District Republican Representative Walter Jones. Jones has earned an A+ for his support to secure America’s borders and oppose amnesty for illegal aliens. This Fall there will be ballot initiatives in Oregon and elsewhere to deny illegals drivers’ licenses (a form of identification used to secure other government benefits, etc.) We need to help voters see the link between mass immigration and other pressing national issues, such as employment, education, protecting Social Security and Medicare, preventing U.S. jobs from moving overseas while creating jobs here at home; reforming welfare; reducing taxes; and protecting the environment. All of these issues have a large immigration component. We have our work cut out for us.
Switch to our mobile site