by John Eberhard

Crisis in Immigration

This is Part IV of a series of articles specifically on the flaws of liberalism. In this series, I have talked about some of the various liberal ideas and policies, and how they are inherently flawed and destructive to society.

In this article I will cover immigration, the failure to control our borders, and destructive effects this is now having on US society.

We are a nation of immigrants. My ancestors on both sides came from Germany, my grandparents on my father’s side and great-grandparents on my mother’s side.

America has been a magnet for immigrants since its beginnings, due to the level of personal freedom and opportunity that we enjoy here, which is greater than in any other nation on Earth, a fact of which we can be very proud. For over two centuries people have risked everything to make the torturous journey, because they believed that life would be better here.

Illegal Immigration

But in the past few decades, there has been an explosion in the numbers of people coming into the US illegally.

Estimates vary on the number of illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States, anywhere from 8 to 12 million. California is home to 40% of the nation’s immigrants, legal and illegal.

Recent polls show that Americans overwhelmingly favor limits on immigration. According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, 52% of Americans favor a five-year ban on all legal and illegal immigration. A Time/CNN poll showed that 80% of Americans want the federal government to track down illegal aliens. A CBS/New York Times poll in 1995 showed that less immigration was wanted by 66% of Republicans, by 60% of Democrats, and 64% of Independents.

In 1994, California’s Proposition 187 (which eliminated free social welfare services for illegal immigrants) passed by 59% of the voters, but was blocked by a single liberal activist judge, claiming it was unconstitutional. During the months leading up to that election, Californians learned that $3 billion of the state budget was being spent each year on free services for illegal immigrants. That was in 1994. The figure has undoubtedly increased in the 10 years since then, and no doubt has contributed to the state’s recent financial crisis.

13 states now give drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. Last fall the liberal dominated California state legislature voted to give illegal immigrants licenses, and the bill was signed into law by Gray Davis. But then, after the recall election, newly elected Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger convinced the legislature to rescind the new law before it went into effect. On a current poll on web site, in answer to the question "Give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants?", only 6% said yes, 94% said no.

So clearly there is some controversy here. The public appears to be solidly against illegal immigration, yet some seem determined to offer powerful incentives that keep immigrants coming here illegally, in such high numbers that the 2,000 agents of the Immigration and Naturalization Service cannot possibly keep up.

Author and columnist Victor Davis Hanson states "Liberal economists swear that legal immigrants to America bring in $25 billion in net revenue annually. More skeptical statisticians using different models conclude that aliens cost the United States over $40 billion a year, and that here in California each illegal immigrant will take $50,000 in services from the state beyond what he will contribute during his lifetime. Other studies suggest that the average California household must contribute at least $1,200 each year to subsidize the deficit between what immigrants cost in services and pay in taxes."

Incentives That Drive Illegal Immigration

When we entered welfare into the scene (a liberal invention), it completely changed the nature of immigration. Welfare in whatever form rewards non-production (by supporting people who are not working) and penalizes production (by taking money away from people who do work and giving it to those who don’t).

Before welfare, America stood as a symbol for freedom and opportunity, and it was a freedom for the pursuit of happiness (not a guarantee of the outcomes). So this tended to attract people who wanted to work for their own version of the American Dream. In practice it attracted the best and brightest to our shores. As evidence, America dominates the world economically, culturally, scientifically, and militarily.

Few in other countries understand WHY we dominate the world economically, culturally, scientifically, and militarily. We dominate the world because the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights guarantee personal freedom. This attracts the most talented people on Earth, and always will. No one can hold a candle to us, and that will continue well into the new century, despite occasional assertions that this or that state will eclipse us. They won’t.

But once welfare was entered into the scene, it added an incentive for another type of person to come here – the non-producer. He knew he could come here and get a free ride. We have heard stories for years of abuses, mostly by people coming here from Mexico, managing to get on the dole and get free money.

Years ago I heard a report on 20/20, about a border town in the southwest, where thousands of Mexican residents opened Post Office boxes in the town, and by reason of having a US address, were then able to apply for and receive all kinds of US welfare type assistance. The irony was that these people would cross the border from Mexico to get their checks from their PO box, then go back to Mexico where they lived and worked (or not).

So welfare type benefits for illegal immigrants validates them, legitimizes them, and is a powerful incentive that draws even more to sneak in.

Today, jobs are another powerful incentive for Mexicans and those from other middle and South American countries to come to the US, often illegally.

Author Heather McDonald, in an article in City Journal Magazine entitled The Illegal-Alien Crime Wave, states "The only way to dampen illegal immigration and its attendant train of criminals and terrorists – short of an economic revolution in the sending countries or an impregnable militarized border – is to remove the jobs magnet. As long as migrants know they can easily get work, they will find ways to evade border controls. But enforcing laws against illegal labor is among government’s lowest priorities."

"Though it is a crime to hire illegal aliens, a coalition of libertarians, business lobbies, and left-wing advocates has consistently blocked the fraud-proof form of work authorization necessary to enforce the ban. Libertarians have erupted in hysteria at such proposals as a toll-free number to the Social Security Administration for employers to confirm Social Security numbers. Hispanics warn just as stridently that helping employers verify work eligibility would result in discrimination against Hispanics – implicitly conceding that vast numbers of Hispanics work illegally."

"Everywhere, illegal aliens receive free public education and free medical care at taxpayer expense; 13 states offer them driver’s licenses. States everywhere have been pushed to grant illegal aliens college scholarships and reduced in-state tuition."

"Hispanic advocates have helped blur the distinction between a legal and an illegal resident by asserting that differentiating the two is an act of irrational bigotry. Arrests of illegal aliens inside the border now inevitably spark protests, often led by the Mexican government, that feature signs calling for ‘no más racismo.’ Immigrant advocates use the language of ‘human rights’ to appeal to an authority higher than such trivia as citizenship laws. They attack the term ‘amnesty’ for implicitly acknowledging the validity of borders. Indeed, grouses Illinois congressman Luis Gutierrez, ‘There’s an implication that somehow you did something wrong and you need to be forgiven.’"

In all fairness, since this is an article about the failings of liberalism, it should be noted that while liberals are largely responsible for the cornucopia of free welfare benefits for illegals, both liberals and conservatives are soft on letting illegal immigrants work in the US.

But of the two incentives, I believe the far more destructive one is welfare benefits, because it attracts non-producers who want to get on the dole. At least with jobs, it is attracting people who want to work.

Illegal Immigrant Crime Spree

The afore mentioned Heather McDonald relays some shocking statistics on crimes being committed in the US by illegal aliens, and the so-called "sanctuary" laws that hamstring the police from doing anything about it.

* In Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (totaling 1,200 to 1,500) are for illegal aliens. Up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal aliens.

* A confidential 1995 California Department of Justice study reported that 60% of the 20,000-strong 18th Street Gang in southern California is illegal, and police officers say the proportion is actually much greater. The bloody gang is involved in drug-distribution, extortion, and drive-by assassinations, and commits an assault or robbery every day in L.A. County. The gang has grown dramatically over the last two decades by recruiting recently arrived illegals from Central America and Mexico.

* The leadership of the Columbia Lil’ Cycos gang, which uses murder and racketeering to control the drug market around L.A.’s MacArthur Park, was about 60 percent illegal in 2002, says former assistant U.S. attorney Luis Li.

Columnist Phyllis Schafly reports that there are 400,000 illegal aliens in the US who are under standing deportation orders, of whom 80,000 are criminals, and nearly 3,800 are from countries with a known Al Queda presence. 30% of federal prisoners are foreign born.

Our Failures to Enforce Immigration Law

Numerous cities around the US have "sanctuary Laws", which prevent local police from enforcing Federal immigration laws or even notifying the INS after arresting an illegal immigrant.

Los Angeles’ Special Order 40 prohibits police from "initiating police action where the objective is to discover the alien status of a person."

Former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani sued all the way up to the Supreme Court to defend NYC’s sanctuary laws against the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act which tried to outlaw them. He lost, but remained defiant. Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to weaken the city’s sanctuary laws but after hysterical reactions by ethnic lobbies and advocates, ended up strengthening the law.

The immigration bar association has won elaborate rights for criminal aliens that can keep them in the US indefinitely. Even if an illegal immigrant is arrested for some crime (other than being in the country illegally), and a judge issues a deportation order, he has extensive due-process rights in contesting deportation via numerous appeals.

Clearly, the lack of enforcement of the Federal immigration laws is both a liberal and a conservative problem, as neither side has mounted an effective campaign to enforce the law. Plus whenever anyone has tried to enforce the law, an army of ethnic advocates scares them off the chase. President Bush’s amnesty idea is no solution either.

The Solution

The solution is simple, if elusive. There are three actions we need to take. First, increase the resources of the INS to the point where they can actually enforce the law. 2,000 INS agents versus 8 to 11 million illegal immigrants is not an effective solution – it’s a joke. Ignore the loud and hysterical ethnic lobby that will inevitably attack such actions, and do what the majority of Americans want, which is to enforce the immigration laws.

Secondly, eliminate the local sanctuary laws. Enforce and support the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, which allows local law enforcement to work together with the INS, adding to the measly force of the INS, by combining it with the 650,000 state and local police officers across the country.

Third, eliminate the silver platter of welfare benefits for illegals, such as free public education, free medical care, driver’s licenses, college scholarships and reduced in-state tuition.

This three-pronged attack would do the trick, if we could get our politicians (liberal and conservative) to DO it.

Part V and conclusion coming soon.

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