The negative effects of rampant illegal immigration into the United States
Article by Waldo Benavidez
At the risk of being called a traitor and immigrant basher I must speak out or at least attempt to express a point of view that I believe has not been even a small part of the debate about illegal immigration, and that issue is the impact illegal immigration has on the working poor of this country; and the political impotence it has injected into the Chicano community. Primarily, the debate has focused on the drain illegal immigration has on institutions such as school systems, health care, jobs and the depression of wages, law enforcement and the criminal justice system. All this is true and the taxpayer funded institutions that are reeling from this huge migration into the United States are the ones that are primarily suppose to be servicing the low income people of this country. In turn, causing low income families to compete for increasingly limited funds, resources and basic survival necessities.
The proponents of open borders or at least unlimited immigration argue that these people are not harming anyone”all they want is work”, ”they do not bother anyone” and “they only take jobs not one else wants”, this naive and simplistic rational for illegal immigration fails to acknowledge the far reaching and critical impact on the low income people. The competition for low income housing is a primary example of how those that advocate for immigrants ignore the working families that cannot compete for the high rents landlords are demanding for their rental units. Whereas a family of four with one bread winner has a difficult time meeting the inflated rents being asked for housing, often substandard, plus the high cost of energy bills plus feed and cloth the family on seven, eight or nine dollars per hour. Immigrants can pay whatever is asked by landlords because they pack four and five, often times more working individuals into the unit and by pooling their resources easily manage rent. The result is that rents are inflated because a group of working adults can always outbid one working individual with a family, so the bottom line becomes inflated rents, increasing the cost of living and depressed wages, putting the working class citizen at a distinct disadvantage.
Now the elitist professional poverty pros, Chicano studies folks, and immigration advocates such as Mexican American Legal Defense, La Raza, etc. have become pro-Mexico and open border advocates, focusing their attention on immigration advocacy, again, at the expense of the Latino U.S. citizens.
The first challenge to this statement is how does advocating for immigrants harm Latino American citizens here? The answer is that this love affair with Mexico and all things Mexican cloud their judgment and instead of looking out for the minority working class citizens are using their legalistic positions to file lawsuits to overturn the majority vote of state initiatives and referendums regarding illegal immigration such as the recently passed referendum 120 in Arizona. Organizations such as Mexican American defense fund (MALDF). They should drop the American in their name because they are not rising to the challenges of combating the social ills the lower class lives with. Education in the country is in crisis, the education statistics for Latinos is appalling in most cities throughout the country and low achievement is spreading at an alarming rate. The graduation rate for Latinos is 20% or in some cases less. Higher education is not even a consideration for many young Latinos yet MALDF and others choose to take policy positions of increasing and packing more into the already over overloaded school systems by encouraging more immigration from Mexico and other third world countries. They do a disservice to this country by overloading the system to the point where the quality of education suffers and instead, schools become warehouses, overcrowded schools lead to more failure and the cycle continues. Instead of holding Mexico accountable for its immigration policies they pander and collaborate with a country that uses this country to abdicate their responsibility to their citizens, at the same time enhancing their economy with the money immigrants send to Mexico, which is considerable, anywhere between fifteen to thirty billion dollars per year. That together with the untold billions of dollars of drug trafficking money Mexico benefits from. At the same time, unloading their poor on the U.S. relieving Mexico of the burden of educating, providing health care and other responsibilities they owe their citizens. Is it any wonder that Mexico has positioned it self in a win, win situation.
Speaking of drugs, the advocates of illegal immigration would have everyone believe that illegal immigration and illegal drug trafficking are two separate issues is "BULL". Besides the fact that Mexico benefits from both illegal activities, both activities impact minority communities in profoundly negative ways. One, by competition for jobs, housing, government services, etc., the other, is the flood of drugs entering the U.S. through the U.S. Mexican border. If anyone believes that this is not so, than please tell me where the tons of drugs go? I maintain that a large amount end up in minority communities mainly in urban centers but also spread throughout the country where it becomes an epidemic in many communities. There are no questions that there is a Mexican mafia, that there are Mexican drug cartels, that there is an underground established to distribute the drugs, that a certain amount of illegal immigrants crossing the border are carrying drugs. "They are called mules" and manage to smuggle a fairly large amount of drugs into this country that "coyotes" smuggling people also handle drugs after all if persons are consistently breaking the law one way, why not double your fun and triple your profit?
Ever since 9/11 there is increased attention to the Paris borders because of the possibility of terrorists crossing into the United States, especially the southern border. One can only wonder that if drugs and people can be smuggled at will, why not terrorists, especially when the policy is catch and release. Where many persons caught entering this country illegally are given a court date and asked to appear in court at a future date for immigration violations. They then are released into this country and disappear. The fact is that eighty percent or more fail to appear at their court date. So much for catch and release!!! Another problem is identity theft. This is not a problem that gets much attention in relation to illegal immigration, but the reality is that thousands of false social security cards, birth certificates, baptismal certificates and any documentation that can be used for identification is used, causing great hardship to the person whose identity is used. Most often the working poor and Latino middle class are the victims simply because U.S. Latinos have the same surnames and are easier to assume. There is also an underground industry printing some form of ID in just about every major city particularly in the southwest. Many social security cards are printed with the illegal immigrant's real name and random social security numbers - more government laws broken. Another argument broken border advocates make is the one that goes like this... "They only take jobs Americans won't do", this is more "BULL".
Anyone with have a brain knows that the reality is that many illegal immigrants with fake social security cards are working in just about every kind of employment there is. They are not just picking sugar beets and cleaning toilet bowls, they are in state jobs, public school systems, fast food industry, construction, building trades restaurant and hotel industry, college, universities and factories, the list is endless. These are not jobs U.S. citizens do not want! Take McDonalds, the mega hamburger corporation that employs thousands of people, instead of employing so many immigrants McDonalds could set up an after school or summer training program for our youth in high school who in turn receive valuable training and earn money teenagers badly need. Perhaps, at least some youth would take more interest in graduating if they had more support from the business community!!!
That is just one example of how certain members of the business community put the dollar ahead of the greater good. Unfortunately, many politicians in Congress and the State Legislature's throughout the country either just don't get it or just don't want to, preferring to pander to the immigration lobby. Latino elected officials in particular are automatically expected to support pro-immigration issues such as drivers licenses for persons illegally in this country. Any Latino legislator not doing so would be considered a traitor even though they were elected by U.S. citizens and have sworn to uphold the laws of this country. Liberal Democrats are the worst sort of panderers on this immigration issues, they are more then willing to give away the country piece by piece and entitlement by entitlement. Twenty million illegal immigrants in this country add up to a lot of entitlements, even if it is just in the public school system with their free lunch programs.
The liberal politicians worn out rational goes like this... "We have to understand that this is a nation of immigrants". "My grandparents emigrated from Ireland during the Irish potato famine in the middle nineteen hundreds and endured great hardships and discrimination to succeed" and blah, blah and so on and so forth. This is just more double talk and pandering by mostly Democratic politicians who are always willing to hand out government taxpayer funded entitlements for votes, but ignore sharing political power by conspiring against us when gerrymandering our Latino communities there by disenfranchising Latino from the political process rendering our communities politically powerless.
As for the early nineteenth century immigrants, they came at a time when the population of the U.S. was one fifth of what it is today. Most were processed through Ellis Island in New York and were at least checked for diseases to some degree. There is no comparison to the twenty million illegal immigrants in this country today, not only taking jobs, but also taking advantage of and demanding more services and rights. The open border advocates and pandering politicians have no regard for the millions through out the world who have applied through legal means and have to wait indefinitely, jump through hoops and pay fees on top of fees and then wait some more, sometimes for years because they choose to abide by the laws of this country while other choose to break them and are rewarded generously once they get past the border and into the cities.
Meanwhile, Mexico continues to spin President Bush who doesn't seem to have a clue nor is supportive of the continued assault on the working man. The U.S. out-sourcing of jobs to foreign companies mostly to Southeast Asia and more and more U.S. companies are moving to foreign countries including Mexico. Even the Ford Motor Company recently announced that they will build a new line of cars in Mexico causing the loss of two thousand jobs in the U.S. The reason for this is mainly for lower wages, to avoid U.S. taxes, and minimize employee benefit packages. And, if that were not enough, our politicians are insistent on importing labor into the U.S. on the grounds that Americans will not work. Meanwhile, the minimum wage in the U.S. remains at a stagnant $5.15 per hour and the middle class continues to shrink, the fabric of our society continues to unravel, while President Bush fiddles while Rome burn. By the President's continued support of amnesty and legalization, he does a disservice to the country. But the pandering liberals are not without blame. They continually vote against the interest of the ninety-five percent of their constituents who want some kind of border controls and sensible immigration policy. In the coming 2006 elections all candidates for office should be voted on based on their position on immigration. There is a crisis facing the U.S. and it is about time politicos are held accountable. As far as accountability from Mexico, it seems to be a country out of control. The drug cartels seem to be in control. The fairness of political elections is always in doubt, the mordida is alive and well, and incompetent law enforcement is the order of the day.
To make a point of the preceding statement, according to news accounts, there have been over seven hundred to one thousand young women murdered and mutilated in and around the border of Juarez Mexico within the last decade with very little progress in solving these crimes. That should tell you something about the regard Mexico has for its citizens. I see it as either disregard for human life or just plain old incompetence, but perhaps both.
How all this affects Hispanic citizens politically at least in New Mexico and Colorado although many other parts of the country are also affected, is the fact that illegal immigrants cannot register to vote. Yet in spite of this fact, they are still included in the census when calculating and drawing house and senate districts. This alone cuts our overall voting strength by fifty percent in some communities!
In summary, the intent of this article is not to immigrant bash, but a plea to the decision makers that the time for political correctness and pandering is not longer an option. Recent scandals regarding the sale of drivers licenses by the thousands and the fake document industry that has exploded on to the scene only reinforces the argument that the very fabric of this society is in serious jeopardy and we can no longer wait while pandering politicians play the political correctness game. This is not a game. The very future of this country is at stake!