Immigrant Invasion: What Shall America Do?
(A position paper of Citizens’ Investigative Commission. Permission granted to publish, copy or foreward on the condition that full credit be given to CIC. Thanks. )
As America enters the 21st century, there remains a great challenge that almost every politician in Washington wants to ignore: the unseemly tide of immigrants pouring into our great country. There is clearly a growing concern with many citizens, particularly in the southwest part of the United States, about this problem. Sadly, many of our elected officials are afraid to talk about it for fear of being branded a bigot. But we at CIC believe now is the time to address this national crisis.
Every American citizen recognizes that our nation was founded by immigrants and that this fact is a proud tradition of America’s history and progress. At the close of this century many law-abiding legal immigrants are still coming here in search of the American dream. Unfortunately, their record numbers are too much for our citizens to bear, especially when they fail to assimilate into our communities and immerse themselves in the English language. They are also draining the American taxpayer an estimated minimum of $11 billion a year (Nation Research Council, 1997).
The simple solution in this regard is to drastically limit the number of legal immigrants coming into the country each year (as Rep. Bob Stump proposes under H.R. 41). This would allow the legal immigrants already here time to assimilate themselves. Time-outs, as Congressman Stump is proposing, have been the tradition and norm for centuries. Sadly, we haven’t had a time-out in the last 35 years. Quite simply, if we do not take this measure soon, we will become a “Balkanized” nation forever.
More importantly, though, the concerns of legal immigration pale in comparison to the real threat: the outrageous flow of “illegal” aliens who sneak into our country to commit crimes, take away jobs, and bleed the American taxpayers of public social services. In fact, this has been such a growing problem in California for years that in 1994 voters there overwhelming approved Proposition 187 which sought to cut off benefits to illegal aliens (but was nullified by a pro-Clinton judge). The sentiment in California and elsewhere around the country has only intensified in recent years, and similar referendums are sure to be on several state ballots in the 2000 elections (Orange County Register, 12/12/99).
The latest estimates by the Immigration and Naturalization Service reveals that there are over five million illegal aliens residing in this country. (This completely undermines the legitimacy of 3.5 million immigrants who are now here legally waiting for citizenship). Well over half of these illegals are from Mexico; the rest mostly from other Latin American countries (INS, 10/96).
Indeed, some illegals do come here for work. But in the process, they take away jobs from American citizens and cost the taxpayers at every government level billions of dollars. Recent studies have estimated that illegal aliens displace about 659,000 American workers every year and cost the taxpayers $3.5 billion (Federation for American Immigration Reform, 4/97).
Moreover, many illegals are easily obtaining fake Social Security cards in order to get legitimate jobs and are costing the Social Security Administration (SSA) over $795 million a year. A decade ago, it used to cost an alien $3,000 for a fake SS card on the streets; today, the going price is $20. The SSA is so overloaded that it cannot control this problem. It has been estimated that it would cost the SSA $9.2 billion to correct this fraud perpetrated every year by illegal aliens (Brent Lancaster, Times-News, 12/21/99)
But probably the greatest danger posed by illegal aliens is to the safety of our families and communities. A sizeable portion of illegal aliens are criminals and convicts of the worst kind committing murder, assault, rape and robbery on innocent American citizens. The most infamous and recent case in point is that of the “Railroad Killer” Rafael Ramirez who easily entered the country from Mexico multiple times. Ramirez was on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list, but federal authorities only apprehended him after he had committed 8 brutal murders of American citizens (Associated Press, 7/13/99).
Ramirez is no aberration, though. Take, for example, the recent stand-off at a prison in St. Martinsville, LA in which five illegal Cuban inmates took several guards and other prisoners hostage. It took days to end this crisis because the federal authorities had to negotiate deportation with Cuba, a direct result of the fact that the U.S. has no deportation agreement with this communist nation. It has become all too common for many Latin American countries to dump their undesirables on the U.S. and leave them here without any place to go – except Americans prisons, when we catch them, and all at the cost of the American taxpayer (Alan Clendenning, Associated Press, 12/16/99).
America’s prisons are overloaded as it is. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons estimates that over 20% of total “federal” prisoners are illegal aliens, a frighteningly high statistic considering their overall presence in the country. These numbers do not include the thousands of illegal aliens also serving time in state and local prisons. It is clear that aggressive and forceful action needs to take place to eradicate this criminal element from our soil.
Several solutions are crystal clear. First, the Border Patrol vastly needs more resources and support to apprehend and deport such aliens and to prevent new arrivals coming in. Secondly, agreements need to be negotiated with primarily Latin countries that allows the U.S. the right to deport immediately foreign-nationals who are here illegally. And lastly, the loopholes in U.S. immigration laws need to be changed in order to severely restrict illegal immigrants from milking our system.
There is no doubt that formidable challenges lie ahead in tackling the volatile issue of both legal and illegal immigration. But the first step all Americans need to take is to realize and understand the gravity of this national crisis. Then we must work together to pressure our elected officials to enact laws that protect all of us.