Ilana Mercer, October 31, 2003

Most of you are too jaded to get worked up over the specter of a well-sponsored bus, packed with illegal workers and their fans, crisscrossing the country on a campaign trip. “The Freedom Riders” – Free Riders is much more appropriate – are campaigning unabashedly for more rights than they already have, chief of which is the “right” of amnesty.


For whose votes the Free Riders are trolling isn’t clear. Their fate is certainly not up to ordinary Americans. And those who make decisions for the rest of us are already determined to repeat the 1986 amnesty catastrophe and grant legal residence to millions of illegals currently in the U.S. As expected, that amnesty only accelerated the stampede toward our borders.


The massive, illegal labor force is backed by some powerful special interests and pleaders. There’s the “Parrot Press.” (That’s a Peter Brimelow pearl. Do read his Alien Nation, the best immigration guidebook there is). They are led, beak first, by the Wall Street Journal editorialists. There are the academics, and the crasser corporate interests, such as the U.S Chamber of Commerce. Left-wing La Raza identity activists also throng to defend their compatriots; and even some labor unions, desperate to replenish dwindling membership, are fighting for the “rights” of illegal aliens.


As CNN’s Lou Dobbs repeatedly points out in his series “The Great American Giveaway,” illegal aliens have better representation than middle-class, working Americans – particularly from the politicos (the Demopublicans, as they ought to be collectively known) who are orchestrating the treacherous giveaway. They want the illegal vote!


Observe how House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi raged at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement after their sweep on Wal-Mart and the arrest of 245 illegal workers. Why, she even managed to move her botox-frozen forehead for the occasion.


Try as he might, the persistent and probing Mr. Dobbs could not bring presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark to so much as utter the word “illegal.” The chaste general wasn’t about to give up his politically correct virginity, agreeing only to whimper the words, “undocumented” and “paperless people.”


The detention of the illegals, however, is hardly going to rattle a well-protected and connected community of more than 10 million.


“Starting in the late 1990s,” attests Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, “the immigration services essentially announced in public that it wasn’t enforcing the ban on hiring illegals anymore.” The Bush administration happily complied.


Although Pelosi is still fuming over the “terrorizing of illegal workers,” the Wal-Mart raid will probably remain a rare occurrence. After all, if you intend to enforce the law, you don’t keep legislating wealth transfers to illegals.


Indeed, not a week goes by without the supposed representatives of the American people dreaming up some new initiative for their prized future constituents. As it stands, once on American soil, the new arrivals become eligible for benefits that are paid for by taxpayers. Federal law, for instance, makes it an offense to refuse to treat illegals in hospitals.


New on the horizon is the DREAM Act (Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors), sponsored by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch. Smuggle your minor children across the border and, abracadabra, the kids get instant permanent residence and college aid.


Democrat Ted Kennedy is pushing the AG JOBS Act (Agriculture Jobs Opportunity Benefits and Security). Known in the immigration industry as “camouflaged amnesty,” this program makes the illegal a born-again “guest worker” and then puts him on the fast track to his salvation: the status of permanent residence.


The Federal Housing Administration in collusion with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (FHA-HUD) does its bit – it provides taxpayer-subsidized home loans to illegal immigrants, no questions asked.


But isn’t it true that immigrants pay their way in taxes? That’s yet another immigration fable that needs to be dispelled.


“The National Research Council study in 1997 concluded that each native household in California was paying $1,178 a year in state and local taxes to cover services used by immigrant (legal and illegal) households,” writes Fred Dickey in an exposé for the Los Angeles Times.


“Once transfer payments like welfare, education and health care are factored in, immigration becomes a net cost,” confirms Ed Rubenstein, a public-policy statistician and president of ESR Research Economic Consultants. “California immigrants now receive about $9.3 billion more in state expenditures than they pay in state taxes. …


“Nearly one-quarter of California’s current $38 billion state budget deficit,” writes Rubenstein, “stems directly from immigration.”


The taxpayer is left to contend with hospitals that are forced, one after the other, to close under the strain, schools filled to capacity, and crime (aliens, according to Brimelow, make up one-quarter of the prisoners in federal penitentiaries.) The cultural costs are incalculable.


Clearly, government and sectional interests, business in particular, are enjoying a bitter joke at the expense of the American taxpayer, who is subsidizing cheap labor for the latter and a voracious voting block for the former.


Would that the American Welfare State did not exist. But since it does and is, unfortunately, likely to persist for some time to come, it must stop at the Rio Grande.


October 31, 2003

CATEGORIES: Democracy, Immigration, Labor, Republicans, Welfare State

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