A good read for all you folks who don’t believe ILLEGAL immigration is a problem.
Welcome to America! Now, go home. By Dale Franks
The New York Times is hyperventilating now that they’ve learned the US Border Patrol is rounding up illegal immigrants in California. Even worse, the Border Patrol–no doubt because of institutional racism–appears to be concentrating on illegal immigrants of Hispanic origin.
Southern California Latino communities far from the Mexican border have been roiled in recent days by a series of sweeps by United States Border Patrol agents that have led to scores of arrests.
Fanned by rumors and dire reports in Spanish-language news media, fear has spread through neighborhoods in areas more than 100 miles from the border and has prompted many people to stay home from work and avoid ethnic markets. Some parents are keeping their children out of school and skipping church services after hearing reports that Border Patrol agents are staking out schoolyards, residential areas and church parking lots.
Latino community and church leaders say the inland raids are sowing fear and anger among Latinos, who they say appear to be singled out because of the color of their skin.
A spokesman for the Border Patrol said the arrests were part of an operation that began 10 days ago with sweeps in the Southern California cities of Ontario and Corona, during which nearly 160 people suspected of being illegal immigrants were arrested, most of them Mexicans, but also a few from Guatemala and El Salvador. Patrols last week in Escondido, in northern San Diego County, brought in 150 more, he said.
The Rev. Arnoldo Abelardo of La Placita Church in Los Angeles said immigration officers were randomly stopping Latinos on the street in their neighborhoods in suburbs east and south of Los Angeles and demanding their immigration papers.
“This is a very big surprise. They haven’t done this in years,” Father Abelardo said. “They’re going to Laundromats and schools and shops, stopping people when they get off the bus. They’re not doing this in places that are non-Latino.”
He added: “The community is being exploited by fears of immigration raids. It is evil.”
The professional victims from organizations like La Raza act as if there were huge expatriate communities of illegal immigrants from, say, Sweden, who are being ignored by the Border Patrol. There aren’t, of course. The Patrol concentrates on Hispanics because 99.9% of illegal immigrants in California are Hispanic.
Now, whenever this subject comes up in the media, there’s always someone telling you that “immigrants” are a boon to this country, that they pay taxes, etc., etc., etc. But that’s only true when you lump illegal and legal immigration in together. Illegal immigration is a net drain on the economy and on government services.
The problem is not “immigration”. The problem is illegal immigration that is essentially uncontrolled.
Unlike legal immigrants, illegals cannot legally work in the US. Therefore, they often work as handymen, gardeners, bricklayers, or any one of a hundred occupations where they are paid in cash, rather than carried on the rolls as employees. Those that are hired by US companies can only do so because they have purchased fraudulent identification.
If you live outside the Southwest, it might be hard to appreciate the massive weight of illegal immigration we experience here in California. Indeed, if you live outside of California, you’d probably be surprised, too, because California receives the lion’s share of illegal immigration from our sunny neighbors to the south.
And we’re paying for it, too. The state of California spends somewhere around $7.5 billion per year on medical care and education for illegal immigrants. In addition, illegals ship an additional $11 billion out of California, back to their families in Mexico. In fact, such currency repatriation is Mexico’s largest source of foreign income, with the exception of oil sales. That’s probably a pretty good deal for Mexico, but that’s a cool $11 bil that just disappears from California’s economy every year.
There is also another fundamental difference between legal and illegal immigration: legals come here to stay, and become Americans; illegals primarily come here to work. That does not invest illegals with an interest in the country in the same way that it does legal immigrants. Illegals simply have no stake in our society.
In addition, there is an ideological component to illegal immigration that is troubling. There is a concerted effort on the part of activists–including government officials–on both sides of the border who believe that the US “occupation” of California is illegal, and that California belongs to Mexico. And, come to think of it, so do Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico, as well. And while we’re on the subject, the Texas Question is far from settled, too.
Go to almost any pro-illegal immigration protests or rallies, and you will invariably hear some variation on, “This land is ours!” And, every time there’s an activist march, everybody’s carrying big honkin’ Mexican flags. (Note to activists: that’s not a way to get my sympathy. If you think the US sucks, and being in Mexico is such a good deal, then why the f*** aren’t you there? Just asking.)
That irks me. If you want to use that logic, then, frankly, why stop at the Mexican War? As far as I know, the Aztecs, the Mayans, and the Incas didn’t invite Francisco Pizarro and Hernando Cortez over here. And in that case, the land doesn’t belong to Mexico at all. As near as I figure it, my part of California would revert to the Pala Band of Mission Indians. At least, I think it would be them. I mean, that’s the casino that’s closest to my house.
Either way, Mexico gets squat.
Of course, there’s also the security issue to consider. When 750,000 illegals per year are crossing the border, that doesn’t fill me with confidence that we’re magically filtering out the al-Qaida guys who might be trying to do the same thing. Knowing who is coming into and going out of the country might be, you know, important. But if we can’t stop 3/4s of a million poor, impoverished illegals from coming into the country every year, I have zero confidence that we are keeping al-Qaida operatives out. Which is, I should point out again, something we might want to do.
What is also irksome is having US politicians sit down with Mexican government officials like Vicente Fox, listen judiciously, then come out parroting the Mexican Government’s line on Immigration. “Oh, you want us to accept Mexican ID cards as legal ID in the US? Why, Sure, Vinnie! No Problem!” “Oh, you think we should have a guest worker or amnesty program for illegals? Why, we’ll get right on that!”
Now, Vicente Fox is the president of Mexico. His job is to look after the interests of his nation and its citizens. It is in the best interest of Mexico to do a couple of things.
First, it helps keep the lid on the slow simmer of political unrest that Mexico constantly faces when the hardest working and most adventurous Mexicans can be sent north, out of the country. That way, they won’t feel the need to stick around and cause trouble at home.
Second, the flow of US dollars into the perennially crippled Mexican economy helps by giving Mexico a steady source of hard currency. It also keeps a good portion of the peasantry from starving, which, again, reduces any of that uncomfortable pressure for political change.
Taken together, this means that the Mexican government can postpone indefinitely any reform to the mercantilist economic system that’s been in place there for the last 3 centuries. That allows the 0.1% of Mexicans who own 99% of Mexico’s assets to remain comfortably ensconced in power, idly wondering, occasionally, why the remaining 99.9% of Mexicans don’t just eat cake.
But, our elected officials shouldn’t be concerned with any of that. Their job is to protect American interests, although they seem relatively uninterested about it.
Finally, illegal immigrants are not getting a very fair shake out of this either. They are worked long and hard, without any chance of building a pension, or a 401(k). They do back-breaking work until they are worn out at 40, at which point they are left with the choice of returning to Mexico–where, literally no opportunity at all awaits them–or living from day to day as a day laborer. If they get sick, they have no health insurance, so it’s the Emergency Room or nothing. They are afraid to call in the police when they become victims of crime, for fear of being deported, which, of course, makes them far more likely to become victims of crime.
And the fact that they prefer this to remaining in Mexico should tell us volumes about the crushing poverty and hopelessness endemic to that failed country.
But fixing Mexico’s failures is not our responsibility. Our responsibility is to secure the borders, as well as the lives and livelihood of American citizens. And it’s not helpful for the nation’s newspaper of record–and, for better or worse, that’s what the New York Times is–gets as restless as a…a…caged hamster when the Border Patrol finally begins to make a little extra effort to enforce our immigration laws.