Opponents of President Donald Trump just love to criticize his every move on immigration. This extends from ‘The Wall’ to the Republicans’ latest plan, the Raise Act, which would favor green card applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and contribute to the economy.
But those who claim to abhor Trump’s so-called ‘heartless’ immigration policies fail to recognize how America’s amazingly inconsistent immigration enforcement over the years has contributed to chronic problems for the working poor and those in poverty.
Such lax and poorly conceived immigration policies — especially during the Obama administration and in so-called Sanctuary Cities controlled by Democratic politicians— have helped to speed the destruction of the very people these so-called compassionate leaders have said they want to help.
Just ask those living in and around the poverty line if they’re truly happy with the billions of dollars being spent every year on public services for more than 10 million illegal immigrants. Some believe the number of illegals is actually closer to 20 million.
Ask these struggling American citizens — many whose families have lived here for generations — if they’re happy that precious resources are devoted to those who broke the law by sneaking into our country instead of fixing crumbling, unsafe inner-city schools or making investments that might deliver good jobs for American citizens and those who are here legally.
For decades, porous borders have eaten away at those in the American economy who can least afford it. Thank goodness Trump and Republicans in Congress are trying to solve many of these problems.
Of course, it’s tragic that many of those in this ragged army of refugees are fleeing poverty, crime and corruption, much of it in Mexico and many other Latin American countries.
And while our nation’s immigrant heritage may compel us to help as many as we can, what do you say to our own citizens with economic troubles.
How can you honestly tell families in Watts or Chicago’s south side or the Bluff in Atlanta or any number of the rural poor in counties across America that we’d like to help them more but instead the money must be spent on someone who doesn’t even have a legal right to be here?
In light of the suffering by many of our own people, how do we explain our preference — or at least indifference — to someone who looks upon our nation as more of an ATM machine than a beacon of freedom.
Often, they just want to send money back to their home countries instead of trying to walk a more difficult but worthwhile path to American citizenship by learning our language, our culture and our imperfect but long-cherished ideals?
Don’t we get to choose who we welcome into our homes?
And when our “guests” overstay, can we show them the door or do we just hand them another beer?
And if we choose to open up our doors more, don’t we at least get to pick who waits in that line and what skills they need to get in that line?
Or do we just accept the inevitability of America becoming a third-world nation?
Duplicitous politicians only see new legions of potential voters and don’t care if millions of low-income Americans get screwed. “Progressive” leaders are dooming them to chronically lower wages by encouraging a malignant labor surplus from across the Rio Grande with big smiles and welcoming arms.
Ask those suffering from poverty what they think of ‘Sanctuary Cities.’
According to a 2013 report from Harvard University’s Center for Immigration Studies, this enormous glut of illegal workers has led to a sizable and continuing redistribution of income away from native workers.
Harvard’s “Immigration and the American Worker” estimates that illegal immigration reduces the wage of native workers by an estimated $99 billion to $118 billion a year, and generates a gain for businesses and other users of immigrants of $107 to $128 billion.
According to George J. Borjas, the author of the Harvard report, there is little evidence that immigration (legal and/or illegal) creates large net gains for native-born Americans.
In fact, some workers face significant competition from immigrants. Borjas said these workers primarily — “but by no means exclusively” — do low-wage jobs that require modest education.
“For American workers, immigration is primarily a redistributive policy. Economic theory predicts that immigration will redistribute income by lowering the wages of competing American workers and increasing the wages of complementary American workers as well as profits for business owners and other “users” of immigrant labor. Although the overall net impact on the native-born is small, the loss or gain for particular groups of the population can be substantial.”
- George J. Borjas, the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Both Business Week and the Wall Street Journal have described Borjas as “America’s leading immigration economist.”
There also are tens of millions of families struggling to remain in the middle class. Ask them about their struggles to keep things together in the great ‘Fly Over’ states scorned by self-appointed intellectuals and progressives in our nation’s capital and on either coast.
Our jobs either have been shipped overseas or the government has erected too many obstacles. That includes heavily politicized environmental policies that inhibit low energy prices that otherwise would encourage more manufacturers to return to U.S. shores.
Shouldn’t we be doing everything we can to prevent American children from sliding further and further behind the rest of the developed world instead of allowing our educators and their fellow travelers in the Democratic Party to dither over the rights of illegal immigrants?
We have limited resources and we must have priorities. It’s that simple.
Thank goodness for the reasonable and long-needed changes being made on immigration, border security and related policies to protect our citizens and those who are legally in our great country.
Mike Kersmarki is an author in Tampa, Fla. He currently is writing a domestic policy book: “Worker’s Party: How to Help ALL Americans Achieve Their Full Economic Potential.”