I sent the following in the form of an email to a local radio station that put it on its website for a few days. I also sent it to my Reps in Congress.
"I enjoyed your program this morning, but I was disappointed I couldn't get on after 45 minutes of holding on the phone. I guess that is a reflection of the fact that you have a popular program and many engaged listeners.
Re the Bush Guest Worker Program: I agree with you that we don't need another guest worker program and that it won't work anyway. First, we already have many guest worker programs in the form of various visas such as H1B, H2B, TN Nafta Work visa, L-1 Intra-company Transfer Work visa, Nurse Work visa, O-1 Visa, P Visa, R-1 visa, etc. We already have millions of people working here as guest workers under those programs.
Where you and I part company is your suggestion that we increase the current legal immigration quotas to get the workers we need. We don't need to increase the number of the current one-million legal immigrants we take in annually. We do need to change the existing immigration laws that are not serving us well as a nation. We are taking in more legal immigrants than ever before, just not the ones we need to provide us with the skills and talents required to keep us competitive in the global economy.
What is going on today is unprecedented in our nation's history. Here are some facts gleaned from Bureau of the Census data that provide an indication of what is really happening:
---The 35.2 million immigrants (legal and illegal) living in the country in March 2005 is the highest number ever recorded -- two and a half times the 13.5 million during the peak of the last great immigration wave in 1910.
---Between January 2000 and March 2005, 7.9 million new immigrants (legal and illegal) settled in the country, making it the highest five-year period of immigration in American history.
---Immigrants account for 12.1 percent of the total population, the highest percentage in eight decades. If current trends continue, within a decade it will surpass the high of 14.7 percent reached in 1910.
---Of adult immigrants, 31 percent have not completed high school, three-and-a-half times the rate for natives. Since 1990, immigration has increased the number of such workers by 25 percent, while increasing the supply of all other workers by 6 percent.
---The proportion of immigrant-headed households using at least one major welfare program is 29 percent, compared to 18 percent for native households.
---The poverty rate for immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) is 18.4 percent, 57 percent higher than the 11.7 percent for natives and their children. Immigrants and their minor children account for almost one in four persons living in poverty.
---One-third of immigrants lack health insurance -- two-and-one‑half times the rate for natives. Immigrants and their U.S.‑born children account for almost three-fourths (nine million) of the increase in the uninsured population since 1989.
A central question for immigration policy is: Should we allow in so many people with little education, which increases job competition for the poorest American workers and the size of the population needing government assistance? How did we get into this predicament in the first place?
Prior to 1965, the US was taking around 178,000 legal immigrants annually. In 1965, Congress replaced the national origins system with a preference system designed to unite immigrant families and attract skilled immigrants to the United States. With these changes and some subsequent ones, the result was that most of our legal immigrants now come from Asia and Latin America, and not Europe. Chain migration designed to unite families has also brought in aged parents, children, uncles, etc., many of whom are not contributing to our society and in fact, require more social services. Even with quotas in certain immigration categories, we are now legalizing the status of over one million people annually and millions more are waiting in lines overseas for their turn to come in. Chain migration has also changed the "mix" of immigrants, making it less diverse.
Mexico accounts for 31 percent of all immigrants, with 10.8 million immigrants living in United States, more than the number of immigrants from any other region of the world. Immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean account for the majority of immigrants, with 54 percent of the foreign‑born coming from these areas. Of those who arrived 2000 to 2005, 58 percent are from Latin America. This lack of diversity has hindered assimilation and could well result in the Balkanization of the country by language and culture.
We need a rational, sensible immigration policy for many reasons, some of them economic and some of them cultural, i.e., the ability to assimilate these massive numbers into our society . Since 1970, the population of the US has increased by 100 million; since 1990; by 53 million; and since 2000 by 20 million or the equivalent of our six largest cities. The Bureau of the Census projects that we will have 364 million by 2030 and over 400 million by 2050 with one-quarter of the population being Hispanic. The annual arrival of 1.5 million legal and illegal immigrants, coupled with 750,000 annual births to immigrant women, is the determinate factorÃÂ or three-fourthsÃÂ of all U.S. population growth. These additional people will require infrastructure [roads, water, electricity, gasoline, etc.], and impact our schools, hospitals, social welfare systems, penal system, etc. Couple these increases with an aging US population faced with entitlement programs about to go belly-up in 10 years and you have some serious public policy issues that could threaten the future of this country.
Just as Social Security is the third rail of American politics, so is real immigration reform. No one really talks about decreasing the numbers of legal immigrants or changing the laws to give us a system that acts to benefit this country in terms of supplying us with people who will contribute economically to our national well-being. We are after all a "nation of immigrants" and our politicians and others speak as though we have gone through all of this before. No one is against legal immigration, and some even want to increase the numbers. The real fact is that we are taking in unprecedented numbers of legal immigrants and when you add an additional 500,000 to one million illegal aliens annually, you have a recipe for disaster.
I compare what is happening in terms of immigration to the oft-repeated example of boiling a frog who is put in a pot of cold water with the heat slowing being increased until the frog realizes too late that it is being boiled alive. Eventually, the American people will realize what is happening. It will come down to whom do you believe, the political elites' spin or "your own lyin' eyes."
Chris, you have been one of the few in the mainstream media who get it when it comes to immigration issues. As you correctly mentioned, the illegal immigration problem is easier to correct than the issues surrounding legal immigration. To me, the greater problem is legal immigration and our existing laws that contain the seeds of our own destruction. America is the world's lifeboat, the best hope of Man, but there are limits to the numbers we can bring onboard without swamping us. We already take in more legal immigrants than probably the rest of the world combined. We need, as a country, a public policy debate on this issue--a debate not marked by demagoguery and name calling. Cheers
Ok, I see you have primary source material to report. I’m going to ping Duncan Hunter’s son, Sam, who is also a freeper with the screenname Duncan Hunter Ambassador to see if we can get a response on LEGAL immigration such as H1B visas.
These are not only Hispanics, but Asians, who are quick to embrace all their financial "rights" once they get here.
It makes me see red, when I see this drain on the public treasury by those who never contributed one dime.