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Immigration is a major problem for our country

On this page we will be concerned with the effect of immigration on the strength and prosperity of the United States. We will consider both legal and non-legal immigration. Questions we will address include:

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Do we need to to import workers from other countries?

Apparently, for some jobs we do. Although labor leaders oppose the idea of temporary workers, there really are some jobs that most Americans are not willing to do.

Farm workers: The harvesting our large fruit and vegetable crops is hard, unpleasant work and the financial rewards (by American standards) are meager. The primary reason that our citizens, and many who are not citizens, refuse to do this work is that our poorest citizens have a higher standard of living, even on welfare, than those who come here for the harvesting.

Food processing: Chicken processing and meat packing can be unpleasant jobs that most Americans would rather not do. In many places these jobs have been taken by illegals because they are available. Entry of illegals into these occupations tends to drive out others who may have once done the work because illegal workers will work harder under adverse conditions and for ultimately less pay. The other side of this situation is that the consumer benefits from lower food prices.

Construction & etc.: The case for imported workers in other occupations is not so clear. Workers who immigrate illegally will generally work for lower wages. There for several reasons for this: the most common being that they fear being discovered if they demand more. But additionally, they usually are being paid in cash with no taxes being withheld, making their actual pay higher. They also live more cheaply by sharing housing and transportation. The end result is that they probably do take away some jobs, particularly in building construction, that citizens would do if the wages were higher. On the other hand, everyone who benefits from less expensive buildings and homes would have to pay more for their construction.


What are illegal immigrants entitled to?

In our view, illegal immigrants are entitled to only the humane treatment that we believe that all people should have:

On the other hand, they are not entitled to:



Our judgment on entitlements is based on the following considerations.

They really are violating our laws

One thing is clear and true about all "illegal immigrants", otherwise known as "undocumented workers", "visa overstays ", etc. : we (as a nation), did not invite them to come into our country or to over stay their welcome. While it is true that some groups have, for their own purposes, welcomed these illegal intruders, the laws of the nation, created on our behalf by the government say that their presence here is unlawful and they are therefore they are subject to criminal proceedings or other remedies the laws prescribe.

They came here for their own personal reasons

Illegal immigrants do not come here to help out America. They make the decision to violate our borders based on their own desires and needs. If they have made contributions to our society (and certainly some have made positive contributions) we need not feel obligated to them for that reason, because they contributed incidentally, while they were pursuing their own ends. Immigrants have been drawn here for a variety of reasons: Some have come for safety; some for religious reasons; some to maintain contact with family; some for social/political reasons (freedom of speech, more opportunities to advance, fewer social restrictions); many come for economic reasons; and more than a few for criminal purposes. Regardless of how admirable their motivation might be, it is not the prerogative of foreign citizens to cross our borders uninvited. If we (collectively) believe that their reasons justify living in our country, we will invite them under our laws and they are welcome. Otherwise they have no right to be here or to stay here.

Americans have contributed to the problem

To be honest, we must admit that we have created and economic environment that has been a major incentive for immigrants to enter illegally. Although most of us probably were not originally aware of the large number of immigrants taking advantage of the economic opportunities available here, we have all benefited to some degree through lower prices for many products and availability of services.

Are they an asset or a Burden?


Must our population continue to grow?

What is an appropriate number of immigrants? Will the children of illegal immigrants be content to do the hard work at the menial wages of their parents? Clearly that is not the experience of previous immigrants. Must we import new workers for those jobs in that generation?

Effects of population increase:

Must the United States continue to increase its population for economic reasons? Isn't this a little like the social security program that depends on large numbers to new workers just to pay what has been promised to those who came before? Is the housing industry (which employs a large number of illegal immigrants) doomed to continue expanding forever to provide the economic impetus for our standard of living.

Does importing workers have the same effect on our well being as does exporting industries?


Temporary or permanent residency?

Granting permanent residency to an immigrant will probably culminate in citizenship, if not for the person initially granted the residency, it will become the right of their American born descendants. Therefore, who is to receive residency is an essential consideration if we are to control who gains citizenship.

Who should be granted legal residency?

Immigrants who do seasonal work or primarily manual labor do not appear to be good candidates for permanent residency. That is not to say that their labor is not a valuable asset to the Unites States. However, they perform such labor in this country because it is an economic advantage to them as compared to their value in their native country. Also, the value received for their labor here will generally buy a better standard of living in their homeland if they return home than it would if they continue to reside here. The agricultural or food processing jobs that is generally available to many illegal immigrants are physically demanding and often unpleasant work that take a heavy toll on the workers. The working life span in these occupations will limited by age, physical ability and health.

As careers, these jobs provide no retirement or other long term befits. Workers who remain in the United States and who are no longer able to work, will become wards of the American public. American born children of these workers are about as unlikely to to do these onerous tasks as the average American citizens today are. The point is that importing a generation of such workers as permanent residents will only lead to subsequent importations to replace the losses due to age and better opportunities in other fields. In other words, an never ending influx of poor, uneducated, and financially dependent residents.


What qualifications for prospective legal immigrants?

What should be the function of immigrants; what will they do for our country? Should immigration be controlled by country of origin?

Expert Workers: "Expert immigrant workers" are those who those foreigners who possess special skills or knowledge that are not sufficiently available among our citizens and who desire to live in the Unites States for various reasons. It is important to note that our economic and political status in the world have been developed in part by graduates of our excellent universities. We were able to afford this academic environment because we were blessed with a land of great natural resources to support education. In turn, this universities have provided the knowledge to take advantage of our natural resources. Today, we are in a much different position in regards to natural resources. Our one-time near monopoly in oil is now a source of weakness. We need to maintain and improve our technical and intellectual creativity if we are to continue our high standard of living. If there is indeed a great need for this category of immigrant, it seems reasonable that our immigration policy should place high priority on admitting them. Of course, the problem that arises is determining how many of what type are needed and who (business of government) should make that determination.



The politics of immigration

Union Attitudes: The illegals are not taking government jobs or jobs in the manufacturing sector where union membership is more prevalent. They are not (generally) taking jobs in the manufacturing of clothing because these jobs have all been exported, some of them to Mexico. Even if they are taking some low paying jobs once done by citizens, the chances are that their low wages are all that is keeping the jobs in this country. In our view, the union objections to "guest workers" seems unrealistic because these guest workers will never be a threat to union jobs. On the other hand, the unions seem to favor legitimacy for the millions of resident illegals, who once they become legal, will be a potential threat to union jobs. Our guess is that union bosses are playing a type of politics that is not necessarily in the best interest of their members.

Business Positions:

Business probably don't care so long as they are profitable, their stocks rise, and the owners or managers get well compensated. Don't look for businesses to take the lead in solving the immigration problem. On the other hand, businesses that can't operate profitable here may fail or be exported. It is a real problem and will require serious national study to determine what our actions should be.

Agricultural Positions:

Political Parties:

Our Political parties don't seem to serve us very well in solving complex and crucial problems. In their struggle for power, political parties often pretend to have the best interest of the country in mind, while in reality they are only adopting positions the satisfy the personal interest of their most supportive interest groups. Such groups seek mostly to increase their members income or social preferences with little foresight into the effects their goals will have on the nation. Only when conditions get obviously critical will most to the country momentarily forget their self-interests and agree to work for the common good. In the meantime, events may have overcome our ability to rectify what our selfishness has allowed to confront us.


Will we like the way immigration changes our society?  

We ,as a people, probably have quite varied views of the ideal society and will likely find some good and some bad consequences from illegal (or even legal) immigration. However, the majority of us probably want our society to maintain something like its current composition. We are more or less comfortable with the kind of neighbors we presently have and are not seeking new residents who speak different languages, worship (or not worship)radically different, have a large difference in culture, or are not committed to becoming genuine Americans. So, in short, speaking for the editors, we expect that most of us would not like the majority of the changes that massive illegal immigration will bring.

The role of diversity

Diversity may be the spice of life, but does it contribute to maintaining the strength of the United States? There are many attractions that our citizens of varied races, ethnic groups, culture and language have brought to our society. The multiple abilities, experiences, foods, music, and their connections to other societies have largely melded to make our society the envy of much of the world. We are what we are because of our history of a variety of immigrations. But it has not always been easy to assimilate various groups. The forced immigration of Africans as slaves has resulted terrible turmoil and generations of troubled assimilation within the larger society. An important factor here is that although their ancestors were brought here against their will, the vast majority of African-Americans consider themselves Americans first. We think that we are now doing a much better job of working together to eliminate contention among races, but we recognize that some problems are likely to continue well into the future.

Now we are faced with how to manage a very large immigrant population who are citizens of Mexico or other Central or South American countries. Especially in the case of Mexican citizens, there appears to be considerable doubt as to where their loyalties lie. The proximity and easy crossing of the border tends to tie these immigrants to Mexico rather than to the United States. The use of Spanish makes it easier to maintain a Mexican contact and negated the necessity of learning the English needed for integration into our society.


National Unity

Although we don't like to think about it, diversity is a threat to national unity. We don't need to delve into ancient history to find events where often small differences in religion, language, appearance, race and more recent immigration have led to extreme violence and inhumanity. A perfect example is the hatreds and bloodbath accompanying the breakup of the Yugoslavian state. Or how about Darfur? Too much diversity can lead to internal dissension and strife. Although Canada has few racial problems, and religion does not seem to be a major item of contention, differences in language and culture are threatening to split the country apart. The mutual antagonism between the French speakers and English speakers might appear unreasonable to Americans, but it is a very real problem for Canada. The obvious parallel here is not so much the growing use of Spanish, but rather that in some area of the Mexican border, Spanish is the de facto language of the population and even the government. Where is this likely to lead?

National Defense

Our ability to defend our territory and our national interests ultimately depends the willingness of American citizens to determine what those interests are and to agree to defend them regardless of the personal costs. Determining which courses to follow are much easier when we are not divided by ties to countries and causes other than our own national concerns. The possibility that residents and even native born citizens will provide aid and comfort to a national enemy has ample precedent in this country. During World War I, Germany offered to return our southwestern states to Mexico if Mexico would declare war on the United States. Prior to World War II many Nazi sympathizers worked to prevent our joining the Allies against Germany. In the Cold War, numerous Americans provided the utmost of American secrets to the Stalinists. In today's terrorist environment we find that some to whom we have provided with shelter and kindness now have no scruples about murdering as many of our citizens as possible.

This is not to suggest that the large body of hispanic immigrants are likely to become enemies of the state. We do not believe that to be the case at all. However, unassimilated populations will likely have contain disaffected groups that are fertile ground for enemy recruitment. difficulties

A common language is a critical element in national defense. The building of comradeship is essential for an effective armed force. If our soldiers cannot relate to each other in a common language, there can be no cohesion among the force and cooperation will be diminished, weakening the army. The Austro-Hungarian Empire had a large army composed of troops from several nationalities. Because of language difficulties, soldiers from Hungary and other countries could not understand the orders of the German-speaking Austrian officers. This unwieldy situation contributed to the defeat of the Central Powers in World War I and resulted in the breakup of the Austrian Empire.

In today's world, the capability to use multiple languages is a national asset and should be encouraged. However, when a subset of our population communicates in a language not understood by the majority of the populace, it engenders unease and resentment when encountered in public. Most of us have experienced the situation in this country where we were exposed to people speaking a foreign language (not usually Spanish) and felt uncomfortable because we weren't sure what the conversation was about. There have been more than a few anecdotal stories of foreign language speakers having unkind discussions about the people around them but not realizing that someone in the group actually understood what was being said. These stories illustrate that using a non-English language (except for foreign visitors, of course) in public is likely to create distrust even though there is no offense intended by the speakers.


Social considerations

It is true, we all are immigrants. Over the centuries we immigrants, whether of long ago or more recent immigration, have developed a view of what our social norms should be. Together, we have created a society by consensus. While we recognize that the society isn't perfect, we believe that it is the responsibility of our citizenry to maintain or change society as we see fit. It is not for those who intrude uninvited to determine the course of our society.

Will massive immigration appreciably alter our existing society? It is very likely that it will. Some changes might be considered to be positive, some seen as insignificant, and others might be drastic and undesirable modifications to our existing societal norms. Things to consider include:

Are "comprehensive" political solutions possible?

President Bush Addresses Border Security and Immigration Challenges

"Although the Congress has not addressed our broken immigration system by passing comprehensive reform legislation, my Administration will continue to take every possible step to build upon the progress already made in strengthening our borders, enforcing our worksite laws, keeping our economy well-supplied with vital workers, and helping new Americans learn English. "

President George W. Bush
August 10, 2007



Comprehensive is the wrong approach our immitation problems. Immigration is not one problem; it has many facets that need to be addressed individually, but always keeping in mind that all the solutions should meet the needs of our country. The so-called comprehensive solutions are mostly efforts by political groups to satisfy their goals without reference to what is good for the country.

The question is: “why was the Senate working on a “comprehensive” immigration package?” The answer is that many of the provisions of this package would not be accepted by the public if they were presented individually. This suggests that certain groups are willing abandon principle and the overall good of the country in pursuit of the self-centered goals of their members.

Some of these groups are easily identified. Labor leaders want a closed labor market. They oppose temporary workers who might work for lower wages and are not subject to being recruited by unions. You might think then that unions would support closing the border, but apparently that is not the case. Certain businesses seek to take advantage of the illegal immigrant pool as a source of cheap labor. They are short-sighted for not understanding that immigrants who stay in this country will soon develop the same wage demands as natives. Some ethnic and racial groups and their associated organizations simply seek the power that large numbers can provide. And then there are political parties, each of whom has its own agenda.

Some actions would be welcomed by an overwhelming majority of our citizens. Closing the border is the essential first step and is critical to all other issues related to immigration. Had the border been previously closed, all of the other items in the present bill would have already been debated and decisions made on how to proceed. With closed borders, unions will face less low wage competition. However, they would also have millions fewer potential new union members. Businesses that rely on hard work at low wages would have to reconsider their methods of operation or convince the American people that importing workers was critical for the nation’s (not the businesses’) economy. Closed borders will help to reduce the threat that our southwestern states will soon become a haven for Mexican citizens whose support is provided by the citizens of the United States. 

We realize that some well-meaning legislators are trying to create the best solution possible under current political conditions for the near disaster that our open border has created. However, this comprehensive (read compromise) approach carries too much baggage that most of us can’t support. Do Americans really want to reward illegal immigrants with a chance to become citizens? Let’s have an open debate on that single subject and react based on our mutual decision. Other immigration related issues should also be individually debated rather than hiding them inside a package that almost no one believes will solve the current problem, but that powerful groups are willing to support for personal gain. A compromise may yet be reached, but it will not provide real solutions and will be so cumbersome as to be impossible to implement. Let’s rethink the situation and address the most important issues first and soon.

(to be continued)


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Publications on illegal immigration 
The public's view 
Polls on immigration
Immigration reform

Medicade for illegals not a benefit?

In a recent article, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) said that Emergency Medicaid for pregnant illegal immigrants was not a benefit to the mother since the money was paid to the hospital and not the mother.

If Medicaid is not a benefit to the patient, perhaps we should eliminate the program and save lots of money? (TCW)

Mexico's leader rips U.S. policies

Mexican President Felipe Calderon blasted U.S. immigration policies and promised to fight harder to protect the rights of Mexicans in the U.S., saying "Mexico does not end at its borders." He said, "unilateral measures taken by the U.S. ... have only persecuted and exacerbated the mistreatment of Mexican undocumented workers." (AJC 9/3/07) What mistreatment? (TCW)

Immigrant numbers reach all-time high

In 2006, the immigrant population in the U.S. reached 37.5 million. About twenty percent of the population now speak a language other than English at home. Latin American immigrants tended to lower the education level of states because almost half of those immigrants lack a high school education. Asian residents tended to raise the educational level because nearly half have a batchelor's degree or higher.

(U.S. Census)

System fails legal residents

Recently in a local letter to the editor, a legal residen alien (from Canada) who has worked for ten years in the U.S. and who is attempting to become a citizen, expressed great dismay about the inadequacy of the naturalization process. The paperwork almost requires a lawyer to interpret and some of the questions are clearly assinine. For example, her children (aged 8 & 10) were asked if they were Nazi war criminals! (mdj 9-30-07)

Clearly the system need to be reworked. It is not that the application should not be thorough and even restrictive, if that's what we want, but the system should at least work efficiently. Some politians now want to give free citizenship to illegal aliens who complete two years of college. Even if this were a desirable goal, the naturalization system would not be able to handle it appropriately.

Law and compassion

"Humanitarian beliefs of our citizens demand that we be compassionate toward our fellow man, but citizenship requires we also follow ths laws of our society and governments. Let us not confuse one with the other."

Larry Ceminsky MDJ 120307

Supporting illegal migrants

Who supports illegal immigration? "All manner of misguided benevolents... and other more self interested people, such as those looking to fill up empty church pews, cheap-labor enthusiastics and wide-eyed pols looking for voting constituences...."

Harry Hogan MDJ 120307