Posted By Jim Kouri On March 19, 2010 (8:10 am) In Voices and Choices
President Barack Obama is already planning his next sweeping change for American society after he gets his Obamacare passed in both houses of Congress: fulfillment of his campaign promise to revamp U.S. immigration policy as part of his fundamental transformation of the United States.
On Thursday, Obama mentioned a proposal by Democrat Senator Charles Schumer and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, that features a first-ever national identification card for U.S. citizens and legal immigrants who want a job.
In a blog posted online by The Washington Post, Senators Schumer and Graham stated “our immigration system is badly broken.” Graham, who has angered conservatives time and time again, and Schumer outlined plan revamp U.S. immigration policy.
While the proposal for state-of-the-art identification cards are a new development in the Senate, other parts of the Schumer-Graham plan are old hat including a promise to upgrade border security, creating a new process for admitting temporary workers, and implementing a “tough but fair path to legalization for those already here,” a euphemism for illegal alien amnesty.
Obama met last week with Schumer and Graham, and the White House said a sweeping agreement dealing with as many as 12 million illegal immigrants was unlikely to get through Congress without support from both parties. Such a measure would have difficulty advancing before November’s congressional election especially with the epidemic of violence occurring at the U.S.-Mexico border and reports that Islamic terrorist groups are recruiting and training would-be terrorists in Central and South American countries.
It’s been widely reported that illegal aliens comprise upwards of 27 percent of the US prison and jail population. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection — two agencies within the Department of Homeland Security — claim in several reports that they’ve apprehended over 100,000 criminal aliens whose offenses go far beyond violation of immigration laws and regulations.
Sadly, only about 25 percent of expenses for imprisoning criminal aliens is reimbursed by the federal government to state and local governments. This creates a hardship for taxpayers in states with high incarceration rates for criminal aliens. The proponents of open borders or lax immigration enforcement always point to the benefits derived from illegal immigration such as the amount of taxes they pay into the government system. Evidence, however, exists that refutes those claims. For instance, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence that suggests a large number of illegal aliens are paid “off-the-books” therefore those wages are not taxed.
The National Research Council has estimated that the net fiscal cost of immigration ranges from $11 billion to $22 billion per year, with most government expenditures on immigrants coming from state and local coffers, while most taxes paid by immigrants who actually do pay taxes go to the federal treasury.
The net deficit is caused by a low level of tax payments by immigrants, because they are disproportionately low-skilled and thus earn low wages, and a higher rate of consumption of government services, both because of their relative poverty and their higher fertility.
This is especially true of illegal immigration. Even though illegal aliens make little use of welfare, from which they are generally barred, the costs of illegal immigration in terms of government expenditures for education, criminal justice, and emergency medical care are significant.
Californian officials have estimated that the net cost to taxpayers in order to provide government services to illegal immigrants approached $3 billion during a single fiscal year. The fact that states must bear the cost of federal failure turns illegal immigration, in effect, into one of the largest unfunded federal mandates existing today.
In addition, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, even with free trade, the United States continues to enjoy a higher real wage than other nations, due to the superiority of US technology. If taken to an extreme and the US removed all barriers to migration, most foreign workers would move to the United States, lured by the higher wages available here; Foreign labor would essentially cease to exist.
However, with all labor now in the United States, the prices of goods would return to their level of self-sufficiency, prior to the opening of trade. That is, perfectly free migration entirely eliminates the gains from trade that US natives had enjoyed. World income rose with the migration, but the natives of foreign countries in this case received more than all of this rise, since the income of US natives declined. With the world’s majority of low-wage workers in the US, there would be tremendous damage to free trade and its benefits, with US middle and upper-middle class workers suffering the brunt of declining wages.
The urge for a utopian state of existence and a desire to make all things equal by the American Left has given way to a desire simply to make all things equal sans utopia. In their passion for a neo-Marxist level for the masses, they’ve decided consciously or subconsciously that if they could not bring the World’s population up to the American level of prosperity and wealth, then they will bring US citizens down to the World’s level of poverty and misery. For this is a result of seeing free trade as a zero-sum entity, and self-alienation of the American Left from their own country, the USA.
The problem isn’t about the need for new laws; the problem is about the lack of enforcement of existing laws. The US Constitution provides the executive branch with a number of inherent powers such as the enforcement of immigration laws.
The Constitution also mandates that the President protect American sovereignty and the American people. That is the number one priority for our government — of it should be. And congress is mandated to provide domestic tranquility for Americans. Criminal alien gangbangers do not add to our domestic tranquility.
Why is it suddenly necessary for congress to pass laws on illegal immigration when we haven’t been enforcing the laws that already exist. The executive branch has the power to add border agents, equipment and other resources. The President has the power to use the military if necessary to enhance border protection. Passing laws is an easy, painless process. The trick is to enforce those laws.
And why isn’t the US government arresting illegal aliens while they are protesting in our city’s streets all across the country? The protest organizers, are said to be sponsored by left-wing groups including Open Borders and MEChA, are protesting the border security bill that passed the US House of Representatives in December and is still awaiting passage by the US Senate.
The University of Texas at El Paso recently conducted a study that found the following: Treating illegal immigrants in hospitals accounts for nearly one quarter of the uncompensated costs at border county hospitals in Cochise County. That county in Arizona spends tens of thousands of dollars just picking up trash left at campsites by these illegals. Prosecuting and jailing illegals costs this county an additional $5 million a year. And 25 percent of Cochise County’s budget is paid for health care for the uninsured, the majority of whom are illegally in the country.
In another study of a sample group of 55,000 criminal aliens, it was discovered they accounted for over 400,000 arrests and more than 700,000 criminal acts including felonies. In Los Angeles, the city that’s hosting the protest — which was whole-heartedly endorsed by its mayor — 95% of the outstanding arrest warrants for homicides are for illegal aliens and 65% of all felony warrants are for so-called undocumented immigrants. Are they committing the crimes Americans won’t commit?
Sources: National Criminal Justice Research Service, Department of Justice, The Center for Immigration Studies, National Institute of Justice.