A metaphor begs for recognition. About 12% of the US population is foreign-born and over half of these come from Latin America (primarily Mexico from which there are some six million illegals in the US). Mexico is a corrupt country that enjoys a relatively high PPP of $9,600 due to stipends sent back home from Mexicans working in the US--this year it is expected to be the country's number one source of economic revenue, at $17 billion, surpassing even oil exports. Parasitically, Mexicans are earning money in the US that is hardly taxed if the employment is legal or not at all if it is under the table. Then they are sending it back to subsidize Mexico's economy.
So if they are bringing in less than $20,000 (see page 50 of PDF) a pop with a liberal estimate of $4,000 being paid in taxes, who is picking up the tab for things like road use, pollution, infrastructure stress, medical services (84 hospitals closing in California because they are unable to afford hordes of uninsured illegals that they must treat by legal mandate), education (as much as $15,000 per child and even more if ESL is required), and so forth? Answer: You do. I do. The net taxpayer picks up the tab so amoral multinational corporations can make a short-term profit and lefties can manufacture future voters. Do we want Californication to sweep across the entire country where whites are a minority, Hispanic groups like MEChA (whose slogan is: "For the Race, everything. For those outside the Race nothing") push for Mexico's reconquering of the Southwest, $40 billion budget deficits (California alone!), among the worst test scores in the nation (only the 60% black Washington DC performed more dismally on NCES reading tests), and the third lowest standard of living in the country? Of course, the Golden State does not bring up the rear in every category: it has the eleventh highest violent crime rate in the country and Los Angeles boasts the second highest rate of foreign-born immigrants who are not proficient in English in all the land (37%)!
The decade of 1990-2000 saw over 15% more immigration to the US than the next highest (1950-1960) since the national statistics began being recorded in the mid-19th Century. The average number of immigrants received per year from 1900 to 1989 was 1,923,000. From 1990 to 2000, it skyrocketed to an astronomical 3,270,000 per year. Even in the decades of the putative great wave the numbers struggled to reach half that number. They are coming into our house in droves, using our facilities, and sending our piggybanks back home.
Yet, isn't America's magnanimity and might built upon immigration of folks looking to work hard and realize the American dream? A few points to consider: 1) Outside of slave shipments up to the mid-19th Century, immigration came almost exclusively from Europe--now most of it comes from Latin America, 2) Prior to the 1930s and especially before the 1960s, there existed no safety net to provide for those who fell through the cracks--coming to US shores meant one had to fight it out in a competitive, capitalistic atmosphere. Thus, ambition, determination, and a strong work ethic were necessities to survive--those who could not muster it were unlikely to make the journey. Today, so-called anchor babies help ensure that huge numbers of impoverished illegals can circumvent the system and become ad-hoc US citizens, subsequently gaining access to what has become an enormous web of entitlements, and 3) The economy of the future is going to become increasingly dependent on high cognitive ability, as the need for management, research, and technology will continue to replace the need for unskilled labor. Yet, Hispanics have an estimated IQ of 91, ten points lower than that of whites. Do we benefit from the addition of a generally dull, uneducated, and impoverished underclass?
Those like The WSJ's Stephen Moore argue the fairly obvious fact that additional residents translates into a greater GDP. But total output is not what matters--purchasing power parity is (GDP divided by the total population). When new additions have lower earning power than the natives, the PPP falls. And PPP is basically synonymous with the standard of living. Think of it this way--would you rather live in scrubby Pakistan (GDP of $347.3 billion but PPP of only $2,200) or corpulent Luxembourg (GDP of only $27.27 billion but PPP of $58,900)?
Most Hispanics come from nothing to the US and work extraordinarily hard, doing menial jobs better than their American counterparts and at lower prices. Although it is anathema to say in polite society, most enterprising white males (think Midwestern, college educated, white-collar super dads) tacitly support large numbers of Hispanic immigrants because they are exceedingly polite, have a tremendous work ethic, and expect very little in return for their services--quite the contrary to native blacks and union members (speaking in terms of averages as always, of course). Yet, they seem to forget one aspect. As Steve Sailer said to me in a recent email:
There is an unspoken belief that every time we import a hard-working Hispanic, we deport a lazy black. Except it doesn't work that way.Indeed it does not. We bring in an admirable, moderate liability and keep a more burdensome one. The average sinks, and we are worse off. The lazy guy is still here, only now he is more likely to be unemployed and have a newfound resentment of the wetback who took his job. Believe me, I have little sympathy for the indolent man. But short of a Draconian rewriting of the Constitution, there is little we can do about him. Cutting into union power and slashing entitlement spending are good, but they are separate issues from immigration. Housing prices are pushed up as demand surges from newly-arriving illegal indigents. Meanwhile, the staggering costs (estimated at $2,700 per illegal household) are picked up by the net taxpayer. This squeezes the middle class and creates a Latin America-style significant upper class, shrinking middle class, and huge lower class (see California).
Finally, while the first-generation of Hispanic immigrants are hard-working, subsequent ones do not fare so well. Fourth-generation Mexicans, for example, are only one-fifth as likely as the rest of the population to receive secondary education, and Hispanics are 3.7 times as likely as whites to commit violent crime. It is foolishly quixotic to assume that the children of hard-working, Spanish-speaking uneducated immigrants who live twelve people to an apartment are going to happily follow in their parents' footsteps. Instead, they will join special identity groups like MEChA (super dads need to read that link!), become accustomed to the lifestyle of their poor, dull native friends, and demand entitlements. In a generation, they will be a larger, more vociferous black (or "gold" as MEChA terms them) nationwide underclass (much as is the case in the border states today).
Why leave the house we built wide open to any who want to use it, irrespective of their means or ability to keep it clean? We need a merit-immigration policy (like that of Canada) that lets people in based on their economic means, criminal history, age, ability to speak English, IQ, education, and profession and keep everyone else out. A wall at an irrationally expensive rate (to accomodate even the most lavish drawing up of the barrier) four times that of the Israeli fortification (see pic) would cost around $16 billion (and create lots of jobs!)--less than three months in Iraq. It would likely not have to be as extensive as the Israeli wall, and a cost of around $4 billion is probably more accurate. There are as many as 1.5 billion foreigners who would like to come to the US if it were no trouble to do so--let's take the pick of the litter, wherever they are from and whatever ethnicity they claim, so we can realize the benefits of innovative new blood without all the impossible burdens we currently shoulder.
Correction: There is another state besides California that has a minority white population: Hawaii. Thanks to faq for pointing it out.