Tuesday, August 16, 2005


John McCain vs citizens (May 23, 2006)

The "Maverick" sides with foreign criminals against US citizens:

The Senate voted yesterday to allow illegal aliens to collect Social Security benefits based on past illegal employment -- even if the job was obtained through forged or stolen documents. ...

"We all know that millions of undocumented immigrants pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for years and sometimes decades while they work to contribute to our economy," said Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican.

"The Ensign amendment would undermine the work of these people by preventing lawfully present immigrant workers from claiming Social Security benefits that they earned before they were authorized to work in our community," he said. "If this amendment were enacted, the nest egg that these immigrants have worked hard for would be taken from them and their families."

Only 7.65% of wages are withheld for FICA taxes. Low-skilled migrants that fraudulently obtain SS numbers are often not going to file income tax returns. For the average full-time male Mexican resident in the US, the FICA contribution comes to $1,592 a year. Last year the average monthly Social Security check per beneficiary was $927. Profitable enterprises focus on profit, not revenue. If a product is bringing you $1,592 in revenue per unit sold, but the unit COGS is $11,124, you don't have a sustainable operation.

If the migrant does file and he has a couple of kids, the EITC will come to $4,400 (not in the form of a reduction in taxable income, but in the form of an actual tax credit). That means if the migrant's total tax rate is less than 21% (and at $21,000 a year it certainly would be), he will end up paying zilch (while his children cost nearly $20,000 for education alone). Not promising these miscreants (keeping in mind that they've violated immigration law and committed fraud) a future benefit comes nowhere near compensating the net taxpayer for the lifelong cost of low-skilled immigrant residents.

The contribution to the GDP made by these migrants is negligible (well under 1%, virtually all realized in the form of lower labor costs). They are breaking our laws and stealing benefits that should be going to natives. Traitors like John McCain are beyond complicit--they are actively plundering the American citizenry. Notice the Senator's euphemism: "The Ensign amendment would undermine the work of these people by preventing lawfully present immigrant workers from claiming Social Security benefits that they earned before they were authorized to work in our community." Translating: "I want to retroactively make all foreigners legal residents and grant them the same benefits the citizen enjoys, including those accrued prior to the realization of my open borders agenda." McCain wants to end the illegal immigrant problem by granting blanket amnesty.

Hopefully, the proposed amendment to the CIRA is one of several that will ultimately be nothing more than symbolism when a final version is voted on. It may actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise that the Ensign amendment to deny SS benefits to illegals failed because guys like Sessions and Ensign will be less likely to cave in to the final CIRA bill. But it's worth pointing out who voted to kill the amendment (and it's death was a narrow 50-49 in a simple majority vote). Republicans siding with the foreigner-first camp (click to contact):

John McCain (AZ)
Sam Brownback (KS)
Lincoln Chafee (RI)
Mike Dewine (OH)
Lindsey Graham (SC)
Chuck Hagel (NE)
Richard Lugar (IN)
Mel Martinez (FL)
Arlen Specter (PA)
Ted Stevens (AK)
George Voinovich (OH)

These guys are encouraging the Republican party to commit hara-kiri. They want an inegalitarian society with brown serfs, an elite capital-controlling fair skinned aristocracy, and a downwardly mobile native working- and middle-class. If you live in these states, voice your disgust and be sure to vote against them forever in the future.

Citizen-first Democrats:

Robert Byrd (WV)
Kent Conrad (ND)
Mark Dayton (MN)
Ben Nelson (NE)
Bill Nelson (FL)

Praise these guys.

We need a Nationalist third party to form in stark opposition to the globalist Republicrats. The future of our republic hangs in the balance--do we want to become an over-crowded third world miasma marked by high levels of crime and pollution, low social cohesion, a powerful centralized government assuming the task of holding the polyglot together by force, increasing poverty and wealth disparity, lower IQs and educational attainment, and a decreasing per capita purchasing power and standard of living? Do the issues of same-sex marriage, capital gains tax rates, or prayer in schools compare in importance to the national question? Cross party lines. Make yourself a one-issue voter, because this issue is of critical importance.

Driving diversity (May 18, 2006)

Does a polyglot society produce bad drivers? People of all cultures have little tolerance for idiocy on the road, however said idiocy might be defined by an individual driver. More diversity means more versions of idiocy clashing with one another. The top five cities with the worst road rage (and the percent of each city's foreign-born population in brackets):
— Miami [60.6%]
— Phoenix [21.1%]
— New York [36%]
— Los Angeles [41.3%]
— Boston [21%]
The five cities with the most pleasant drivers:
— Minneapolis [17.6%]
— Nashville [9%]
— St. Louis [5.7%]
— Seattle [17.2%]
— Atlanta [6.3%]

The AutoVantage survey doesn't provide a metric scoring system, only rankings. And the sample's too small for much statistical analysis. But the five worst cities to drive in average a foreign-born population of 37.2% (and the worst--Miami--is a multiculturalist's Utopia). The five cities with the most tranquil drivers average 11.2%.

More exciting trends to look forward to as our conurbation increasingly comes to resemble the third-world!

WSJ continues to moderate (May 12, 2006)

An interesting exhibition of Quixotism versus Reality in yesterday's WSJ:
I had an unusual encounter with an illegal immigrant. He was only 25, from Guatemala, and had been in the U.S. for only three months. He'd been doing landscaping work until he was admitted to Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut, with an excruciating headache. The medical team discovered that he had active tuberculosis, so fulminant that it had even invaded his spinal fluid...

I took the patient to the operating room and spent the rest of my Sunday in the hospital. I wasn't thrilled. I wore a special mask designed to hug the face tighter than most OR masks, but the thought crossed my mind that I was putting myself and the entire OR staff at risk. I made the longest incision I'd ever made in my surgical career, carefully opened 10 segments of spine, and worked away at the inflammatory mass that was plastered to his spinal cord. I called a pathologist in to examine the pieces of specimen I was removing. He heard the full story, refused to contaminate his equipment, and left...

Why should our hospitals have to eat the cost of disease brought in by
undocumented workers? I found out that his bill totaled $200,000. This excludes
professional fees, meaning everything that would have been billed separately by the many physicians treating him over 10 weeks (including what I'd have charged
for surgery). We all worked for him free. How many other diseases are being
brought in by how many other undocumented and unexamined workers?

Good question. One in seven Asian immigrants in New York City carries hepatitis B. Illnesses we thought had been vanquished from the developed world are creeping back in. Hepatitis A, measles, rubella, shigellosis, rabies, and brucellosis are all disproportionately high in the US along the US-Mexico border. In addition to importing poverty, we are also importing disease.

Conscientious commentators opposed to open borders usually make security arguments because although these reveal a fascistic streak, they're generally not quite excommunicable in the eyes of the big lie orthodoxy. The opiner, it is assumed, will be placated if we just hire a few more Border Patrol agents. The disease polemic is riskier because the logical conclusion is to either vaccinate all of the third world and then let it in or keep it out all together. So the author's "epiphany" near the end of the editorial isn't surprising:
I thought I'd never see this young man again, but I was wrong. Six months after surgery, he walked into my office. Walked in. No wheelchair, no walker, no cane, not even a limp. Not only that, he told me (through a translator) that he was looking for a new job. I thought about all the American workers I'd operated on, for far less serious problems, who were quick to bring in disability paperwork after surgery, hoping I'd deem them permanently disabled, unfit for any line of work. And at that moment, the resentment I'd felt six months earlier was replaced by something quite different--admiration.
Should have known working class natives would be spit on sooner or later. These obsequious serfs, unable even to give the aristocracy lip, are pretty durable! These are the good souls. Indeed, the open border crowd wants dirt cheap labor at the expense of technological innovation and a society where the distance between the haves and the have-nots is ever expanding. Democratic pols should be licking their chops. Of course, at five dollars an hour under the table, I can't help but wonder how long our Guatemalan pal will have to be slaving in the US before he kicks back the $200,000-plus through sales tax collections from McDonald's.

The WSJ is making progress. The departure of the contumeliously open borders George Melloan and the overwhelming dissatisfaction of the public over immigration has helped. This is encouraging, because the WSJ is the only major newspaper that has a chance of tackling immigration empirically. Recently, the op/ed board ran a piece that mentioned how little Mexican immigrants add to the nation's GDP:
The overall effect of Mexican immigration on the U.S. economy is trivial -- almost certainly less than one-tenth of 1% of GDP. Moreover, to the degree that Mexican immigration makes some industries more internationally competitive, it does so by reducing the wages of the U.S.-born workers in those industries. The reduction is not trivial. Careful research done by Harvard's George Borjas indicates that Mexican immigration has caused a 7% decline in the wages of U.S.-born high school dropouts, and a 1% decline in the wages of workers with only a high school diploma. Score one for the hard-liners on immigration.
This is a substantial shift for a paper that only months ago refused to acknowledge that real restrictionist arguments even existed, smearing their "isolationist" purveyors as a "small but vocal" minority". The shift is welcomed.

Border Patrol quislings (May 9, 2006)

I wonder how Senate "compromisers" will deflect this:
While Minuteman civilian patrols are keeping an eye out for illegal border crossers, the U.S. Border Patrol is keeping an eye out for Minutemen -- and telling the Mexican government where they are.

According to three documents on the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Web site, the U.S. Border Patrol is to notify the Mexican government as to the location of
Minutemen and other civilian border patrol groups when they participate in apprehending illegal immigrants -- and if and when violence is used against border crossers.
My Spanish is feeble, but even I can pick up the gist of the Foreign Relations site. The Minutemen are vigilantes and the rights of Mexican "connacionales" must be protected. The increminating suggestion that violence is a Minuteman tactic is risible, considering how immaculately the Minutemen have conducted themselves while the accounts of property and livestock damage, littering, trespassing, and other crimes committed by the aliens are a plenty.

US Customs isn't trying to hide what's going on:
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman confirmed the notification
process, describing it as a standard procedure meant to reassure the Mexican
government that migrants' rights are being observed.
The Mexican government is not a friend. Mexico exports its social problems to the US and gets $17 billion in remittances for doing so. Mexico doesn't want to aid us in the drug war. Mexico doesn't believe in our sovereignty. Why is the US government concerned about reassuring the Mexican government when at home the populous is overwhelmingly unassured (from Parapundit):
Thirteen percent of respondents in a new Zogby Interactive poll approved of Mr. Bush's handling of immigration, and 9 percent approved of his handling of border
security. Among conservative and very conservative people, he was below 25 percent.
Treacherous. The Minutemen have been incredibly effective in halting the influx where they've been on post. Administration marionettes in the Border Patrol (these are supervisors--much of the information exposing the government's dereliction has come from anonymous BP agents who fear reprisal for telling the truth) have tried hard to downplay the Minutemen's success. They are lying. If concerned citizens can put a dent in the flow of impoverished lawlessness into the US, obviously our government can almost stop it cold. We need a wall. While it's being built, we need the National Guard to back up the Border Patrol.

Mexican prosperity to bring more immigants, not less (May 8, 2006)

Open border advocates like to deflect criticism directed at Latin America from restrictionists by stating that we need to help those to the south by ensuring that these countries are prosperous with lots of economic growth. One wonders how taking millions of "hard workers" from these countries each year is aiding that goal. And one should also wonder whether a wealthier Latin America attenuates or augments the flow of workers into the US:
For years, economists and politicians have said the solution to surging emigration is prosperity at home. If Mexico and other Latin American nations that send millions of migrants to the U.S. could grow fast enough, the theory goes, their residents wouldn't head north for work...

Now the theory looks wrong -- or at least simplistic. Emigration often surges along with economic development. In an expanding economy, would-be migrants gain the skills at home that pay better abroad. They also are better able to save the relatively modest sums -- $200 for a cut-rate airline ticket; $1,000 or so for a reliable border-crossing guide -- that workers looking to enter a better labor market need to take their skills north.

The theory propagated, true to its Marxist form, is missing the crucial element of cultural, in addition to being incomplete (the migration curve is not linear, it's S-shaped). As the US increasingly resembles Latin America, the wage premium required to entice migrants to head north will decline. The pressure to assimilate, having been under siege for forty years, is moribund in the Southwest. Instead, the white middle class, unable to assimilate to the border states' level of Hispanicization, is heading into America's interior. Meanwhile, growth in the sending countries make it easier for aliens to get into the US.

It's easy to comprehend why a small premium is necessary to get low-skilled laborers to come to Los Angeles. If you lived in the rust belt and made $20,000 a year, would you move to Chicago for $100,000 a year, free education, and free healthcare? What if, having arrived, your child would enable you to bring your extended family in as well? If your rust belt wages rose to $25,000 annually, would that dissuade you from Chicago? Likely the only thing to stop you would be physical barriers keeping you out or the fear that after arriving you'd be forcibly repatriated. Your decision might be effected, however, if the destination was Osaka instead of Chicago. Well, four in ten Mexicans--about 41 million people--see the US as Chicago, not Osaka:
Meanwhile, separate PHC surveys conducted in Mexico show that about four of every ten adults in the Mexican population say they would migrate to the United States if they had the means and opportunity and that two of every ten are inclined to live and work here without legal authorization. The willingness to migrate, even illegally, is evident in all sectors of Mexican society including the middle class and the well-educated as well as those who are poor and who only completed low-levels of schooling.
Make the US a Mexico with higher wages and more handouts, and unsurprisingly much of Mexico will want to come to the US. With a PPP of $10,100, Mexico is one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America. So it's likely that the proportion of the populations in other Latin American countries wanting to come to the US is even higher than in Mexico. Thankfully, Mexico's border with Guatemala is less porous than the Mexican-US border, making it more difficult to get from Central America to Mexico than from Mexico into the US!

When will the free flow stop? Only when equilibrium is reached:
Call it the Development Paradox. The more conditions in "sender" countries improve, the more emigrants those countries will send, at least until living standards in sending and receiving countries achieve rough parity.
That's a long way off, even if we fallaciously ignore differences in IQ. The most conceivable process toward equilibrium is not a progression of the standard of living in poorer countries, but a regression in wealthier ones. Who wants equilibrium? Do we want an average IQ of 90? A life expectancy of 64 years? A literacy rate of 82%? A per capita purchasing power under $10,000? We do better in all these categories. Why regress toward them?

Hispanic deluge bad news for Jews (May 5, 2006)

I recently had an interesting exchange with a Jewish reader concerning his perception of America's growing hostility toward Jews. He expressed a desire to leave the US for Israel or somewhere in Europe. I do not mean to impugn the validity of his personal experience, but I remain unconvinced. To the extent that there is a nascent anti-Jewish undercurrent gaining strength in the US, immigration is fueling it:
One of the most important findings of ADL's 2002 Survey of Anti-Semitism in America concerns Hispanic Americans, one of the most significant and fastest growing segments of the American population, in which the poll found an extraordinary gap between those born in the United States and those born abroad. The survey revealed that while 44% of foreign-born Hispanics hold hardcore anti-Semitic beliefs, 20% of Hispanic Americans born in the U.S. fall into the same category.
Yet Foxman smears immigration reformists and opposes HR4437:
According to the ADL report, “extremist groups are seeking to exploit the flow of foreign workers into this country to spread a message of xenophobia, to promote hateful stereotypes and to incite bigotry and violence against Hispanics, regardless of their status as citizens.” ...

To make that point, [Foxman] said the ADL would be disseminating the report widely on Capitol Hill at a moment when Congress is wrestling with a controversial
immigration reform bill.

After accusing everyone from Tom Tancredo to Bill O'Reilly of being hate-mongering racists, Foxman expresses fear that white America's immigration truculence will be turned on American Jews in short order. White Americans are not specifically identified in the previously excerpted ADL release:

The findings in brief … Strongly anti-Semitic:
17% of Americans
35% of Hispanics [44% foreign-born Hispanics; 20% of Hispanics born in the US]
35% of African-Americans
3% of U.S. college and university students
Why no white breakdown? Extrapolating from these numbers reveals that only 12% of whites hold "hardcore antisemitic" beliefs. Digging into the actual report (p13) turns up the finding that "as a person's educational level increases, his or her tendency to hold anti-Semitic views decreases by 15%." Hispanic immigrants are far more anti-Semitic than other demographic groups--even more so than the black community, which wages a perpetual battle with Jews over who is the most oppressed and which also represents a large segment of the Islamic community in the US. Hispanics in the US are also far less likely to be college educated than whites.

Why, then, does Foxman want to increase the number and proportion of groups most hostile to Jews? He is, from a Jewish perspective, rightly concerned about Latin America's antagonistic attitude toward Jews:
It is not surprising yet very distressing that one of the fastest growing segments in America holds strongly anti-Semitic views," said Mr. Foxman. "There is no doubt that this is a reflection of what is being learned about Jews in the schools, churches and communities of Hispanic nations, which is anti-Semitism at its most basic. We need to re-focus our efforts on reaching out to these groups in addition to the larger American public."
Let me try to make sense of this by humbly modifying Steve Sailer's consternation over a similarly illogical non-sequitur. Anti-Semitic sentiment is endemic in Latin America and nearly half of all foreign-born Hispanics are virulently anti-Semitic. Therefore, American Jews should support bringing another twenty million of these folks in?

According to a recent Zogby poll, they do--or at least they are less opposed to doing so than the rest of America. While only 2% of the country believes immigration levels are currently too low, 14% of Jews hold that position. And it's not just because they're rich--among those with annual incomes exceeding $75,000, only 1% believe immigration is too scant. Even more startling, 64% of Jews favor the Senate's amnesty proposal over deportation or HR4437--that's higher than Hispanics (54%), Progressives (47%), and people with incomes over $75,000 (33%).

I wish I better understood Jewish cerebration on demographics. It strikes me as quite irrational. My Jewish friend worries that anti-Semitism in the US is on the upswing and that Europe is the better place for an Ashkenazi to be. I wonder to what extent favorable opinions of Israel proxy for favorability of Jews in general. In an EU poll conducted in 2003, 59% of Europeans listed Israel as the greatest threat to world peace and stability.

Meanwhile, support for Israel in the US--historically always having been higher than the rest of the developed world--has spiked to 68% favorable, 23% unfavorable according to a Gallup poll conducted in February of this year. Corresponding to the rise in support for Israel has been a precipitous decline in America's perception of Islam. A CBS poll last month showed 45% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Islam (compared to just 19% favorable). Parenthetically, favorability toward Judaism runs at 47% compared to only 16% unfavorable--considerably more positive than the opinion of "fundamentalist" Christianity, which comes in at an even 31% favorable, 31% unfavorable.

Jews need to realize that much of the world detests them for a menagerie of reasons (economic and intellectual successes, religion, culture, etc) but that the US--at least a US composed of white goyim--does not. Because of a large (but shrinking) middle class, America celebrates economic success more than anywhere else in the world save maybe Hong Kong.

Purely out of self-interest, Jews should adamantly work to preserve America's traditional ethnic makeup--an America that has supported Israel at great expense to herself. An increased number of Hispanic voters will truncate America's tenacious support of Israel and increase hostility toward Jews in the US (due to both direct hostility and also to an augmenting of the wealth gap with Jews on one side and Hispanics on the other).

Immigrant protests give a sweet taste of what might be (May 2, 2006)

Trying to put a happy face on the immigration rally flop, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams introduced the network's report:
We're told 27% of students in grades six through twelve were absent from class...
Hispanic eighth graders in California averaged 254 and 239 on the 2005 NAEP in math and reading, respectively. On the whole, the state scored 269 and 250. Assuming the absent students were run-of-the-mill Hispanics, if we extend that absentee rate across all of California, the state's average scores rise over four points in both categories, topping 273 in math and 254 on reading. For one glorious day, Cali's kids (those in class) were better in math than the scamps in Arkansas, Georgia, Nevada, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and West Virginia, and on the same short-lived day her striplings became more literate than children in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Nevada. At around $35 per student per day lost due to ADA rules, residents saved over $7 million from being poured down the sinkhole in Los Angeles alone.

But surely the rallies had some sort of negative effect too, right? NBC couldn't come up with much. They produced no macro numbers, offering only generic muddle:

Tuesday, it's clear much of the U.S. economy did not grind to a halt, as some organizers had warned, but they still were able to send a very loud economic
To back that assertion up, reporter Ron Allen takes a soft platitude from Randy Johnson of the US Chamber of Commerce and the complaints of a restaurant owner who depends on serf labor.

Whatever the (lack of) economic impact the protests had, watch out:

Hispanic leaders say they were encouraged that a normally passive community turned out in the hundreds of thousands in some 70 U.S. cities, including people in the country illegally. They now hope to turn that confidence into political power.
Normally passive? They've shut down ERs all across the Southwest. They comprise 17% of the federal prison population. Mobs of them have been gathering in the streets for weeks. Oh, thus far they've been politically passive. To self-immolating Republican pols, such words of change are euphonic:

The nation-wide "Day Without Immigrants" demonstrations were a stunning success by at least one measure --- creating a stronger awareness of the enormous potential of Latino political empowerment. This is undoubtedly good news for Dems, who have received healthy majorities of votes cast by Latinos in recent elections, and stand to benefit even more in November...

Let’s start with the generic Congressional contest. This poll finds Democrats with a stunning 61-21 lead over the GOP among Hispanic registered voters, which translates into a 50 point lead (75-25) among those who express a preference.

The tendentious NBC report also tries to scare viewers into believing that if the protests continued over an extended period of time, several industries that help the US remain a step ahead of China and India would collapse:

-Agriculture: Fields were unpicked in California and Arizona.

-Trucking: Some West Coast shipping ports shut down when drivers did not show up.

-Meat production: In the Midwest, Tyson — the industry's largest — closed about a
dozen plants.
The skills required of replacement workers for these jobs can be learned in a couple of days. Anybody can do this stuff. I do not want to subsidize ConAgra and Tyson. I'd rather these companies disappear. Of course, with net incomes last year of $641 million and $353 million and employees numbering 39,000 ($8 more an hour for every employee will still keep them in the black) and 114,000 (even this disaster can afford $1.50 more an hour an remain profitable), respectively, both would survive. They might even find more innovative ways of doing things--an appropriate course of action given that this is the 21st Century, not 1927.

If they had left the country instead of just skipping work and school to form rabble packs in streets, May Day would have been worth celebrating.

Shop this May Day (May 1, 2006)

Alter your routine to counteract this:
Illegal immigrants and their allies gathered Monday for marches, prayers and demonstrations on a planned national day of economic protest, skipping work, school and shopping to show their importance to the country.
Normally get your weekly groceries on Wednesday? Go today instead. Been wanting to take your mountain bike in for its annual tuneup ahead of this summer's riding season? Take it in today. Fill up your tank this afternoon. Take your family out to eat. Go book shopping. Concentrate your weekly discretionary income spending into today. With less immigrants in stores and on the roads you'll be safer and there will be less traffic congestion. Show the illegals and their socialist backers that they are not needed.

Catch and release nonsense (April 27, 2006)

Writing about the recent IFCO crackdown, John O'Sullivan points out that most of the illegal aliens apprehended were promptly released:

For even before Chertoff had spoken (but not before blogger Michelle Malkin had predicted it), four-fifths of the illegals arrested had been . . . released.

Two hundred and seventy-five of them were deported. The rest were sent away in return for a promise to return for a court hearing. Many, probably most, will disappear. And since the government's computers were "down," their brush with immigration enforcement may not even be officially recorded. They are home dry -
well, dry anyway.
Obviously the migrants won't return for trial. The hypocrisy is staggering. Only a few weeks ago, Chertoff spoke of how hollow catch-and-release is:
"If we catch them and release them ... we suggest to people that if they can get across the border they are home free and safe from being returned. We want to send a very different message," Chertoff told reporters.
This followed news that 39,000 illegal Chinese immigrants are to be repatriated. We can effectively extradite tens of thousands of migrants halfway around the world to a communist society we putatively object to, but the most we can muster when it comes to the big amnesty PR push (if ever Bush was to get tough this would be the time) is a paltry 275. Booting the Chinese is more expensive in per capita freight, but the opportunity costs involved reveal the real deadweight. The median income for Mexican males in the US: $20,814. For Chinese males: $40,423 (both from 2000). Mexicans using public assistance: 6.8%. Chinese: 3.5%. Mexico's estimated IQ: 87. China's: 100. Inanity.

Meanwhile, President Bush constructed an impervious argument against deportation rendering its stultified supporters useless:
"Massive deportation of the people here is not going to work," Bush said as a Congress divided over immigration returned from a two-week recess. "It's just
not going to work."
Well I'm convinced.

Of course it would work. It's working for 39,000 Chinese. It worked for 275 in a couple of days. If history is any indicator, the number forcefully removed would be dwarfed by the number leaving of their own volition:

The INS claimed as many as 1,300,000, though the number officially apprehended did not come anywhere near this total. The INS estimate rested on the claim that most aliens, fearing apprehension by the government, had voluntarily repatriated themselves before and during the operation. The San Antonio district, which included all of Texas outside of El Paso and the Trans-Pecos,qv had officially apprehended slightly more than 80,000 aliens, and local INS officials claimed that an additional 500,000 to 700,000 had fled to Mexico before the campaign began.
The numbers are difficult to substantiate, but the general trend is clear. For every one forced out another seven or eight will leave voluntarily. If we use that ratio with a daily deportation of 275 during working days (Mon-Fri only), 600,000 or so illegal immigrants would go home each year. Punitive fines, a wall, and militarization of the border would augment this estimate.

Perhaps you think it will work, but that it will Gestapo-like, leaving a sordid taste in your mouth. But there's no need for home raids or the interrogation of good Samaritans. Simply removing illegals who are caught breaking another law (using phony social security numbers, being cited for traffic violations, failing to report income, etc) would do the trick.

Bush's ability to make a cogent argument parallels his ability to act clandestinely, as an aide for one of the Senators present at a meeting in which Bush endorsed their amnesty proposal reveals:
An aide to one participant said that Bush told the senators that he could go no further publicly than his veiled support for the Senate bill because to do so would anger House Republicans.
Bush doesn't care about his constituency. He's willing to sell the Republican Party down the river on an incredibly idiotic strategy that is sure to fail. Republicans are not going to win over Hispanics. As Republican pols shift left, the Democrats will move in tandem with them. Increasing revenue is not good if the marginal output of each unit is negative. The Republican Party should instead aim for white working class natives who are being hammered by unskilled immigration and who are uncomfortable with the Democratic Party's continual movement to the left on other social issues. They'd probably pick up a bit of the black vote in the process.

Maybe there's some reason to be optimistic. IFCO is still embarrassed and several managers face fines potentially stretching into the millions of dollars. The public has seen how expeditiously 275 migrants can be deported. The longer it takes for the Senate to send a bill back to the House the more likely it is that House members will remain tenacious as November binds them closely to the public.

IFCO slammed for blatant use of illegals (April 22, 2006)

An encouraging sign that the winds are starting to howl in the direction of the sovereignty crowd:
The Bush administration unveiled Thursday what it said is a new strategy aimed at companies employing illegal immigrants, illustrating it with a crackdown on the German-based firm IFCO Systems.

Law enforcement officials will "use all the tools we have, whether it be criminal enforcement or immigration laws to break the back" of businesses that exploit undocumented immigrants, said
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff at a news conference.
The novel strategy is to vigorously enforce the law. Maybe the critics were wrong about Myers. Not Harriet, Julie. Michelle Malkin derided her for not being experienced in immigration enforcement, calling Myers a "clueless crony" and excerpting that her nomination prompted "sharp criticism from some employee groups, immigration advocates, and homeland security experts." The former two are concerned that she might be a change of pace. And the latter--well, if I had a little more wanderlust and cash I'd love to head down to Mexico with some friends and make a documentary of our group crossing into the US illegally. Their unease sparks hope. Thus far Myers pleases:
"We are turning away from focusing only on civil liability," Myers told CNN. "It used to be in these cases that they amounted mainly to a slap on the wrist or a small civil fine. We're now focusing on criminal cases and bringing as many criminal charges as we can when we find employers that blatantly violate worksite enforcement laws."
Finding them should not be hard. Mastercard and Visa can deactivate cards instantaneously. They will shut you down if you're not following their rules. A social security database should allow ICE the same leverage against employers who try to run defunct or false social security numbers.

This new move comes as a surprise, but it wasn't inconceivable. Nothing is in the immigration debate, where politicians are even more capricious than usual:
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean yesterday called border security his party's top immigration priority for November.

"The first thing we want is tough border control," he said. "We have to do a much better job on our borders than George Bush has done. And then we can go to the policy disagreements about how to get it done."
Dean isn't popular in the Democratic establishment. His pugent rhetoric easily allows him to be portrayed as a fringe extremist by Republicans, even though his history doesn't bare that out. Vermont is without Hispanics or immigrants--it is not southern California. Dean's abrupt entry onto the national scene came from internet boosters and college activists. The La Razas and Archer Farms of the world don't have him in-pocket.
A Gallup Poll of 1,004 Americans this month found that 81 percent think illegal immigration to the United States is out of control and that 79 percent think it's extremely or very important for the government to take steps this year to halt the flood of illegal aliens.
Of course Dean's words are politically expedient. But his concern for working-class natives is a refreshing break from the trashing they receive on a regular basis from both parties:
"We don't like guest-worker programs," said Mr. Dean, a candidate for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination. "I don't like guest-worker programs. I think the president's guest-worker program is essentially indentured servitude. It doesn't help the immigrant, and it threatens wages."...

"Don't forget -- the Republicans have been in power for five years. They've
had the House and Senate and the White House most of that time. And they have
done nothing about immigration."

He is right. The war in Iraq has consumed the political debate for the last four years. But the quagmire and the bromides that accompany it have lost their luster. There's little new to add. Conservatives are coming to terms with how nothing they stand for has been accomplished in the last half-decade and they are rebelling. Working class Democrats (of Pew's three Republican-leaning and three Democrat-leaning typologies, the two strongest opponents of guest working came from the Democratic side) and blacks are getting hammered by the Hispanic underclass importation. The open-border goons can only respond to charges that underclass immigration causes unnecessary pollution, depresses wages, lowers the nation's average IQ, destroys school systems, stresses infrastructure, increases crime, decreases housing affordability, creates communication barriers, and brings in atavistic diseases with brunamagem claptrap about a "land of immigrants" (how'd that turn out for the Native Americans, by the way?) and "jobs Americans won't do" (Econ 101 is not a prerequisite for uttering such nonsense).

Immigration reform is unique in that public support for it spans political, economic (to a point), and racial lines, while at the same time being resisted across the spectrum of the political class. It is the quintessential populist issue. The more vociferous the public is, the more the elites are forced to react. They try to ignore and confuse the issue as much as possible, occasionally throwing out bones to try and placate the rabble.

This enforcement is probably good thing. IFCO has both a market cap and an annual revenue of nearly $500 million. It will create anxiety in larger companies that fear they might be zapped next. But the move should have us asking why more isn't being done rather than relieve pressure on the Bush Administration for having finally done something salient. However, it may only be a political ploy designed to diffuse the immigrant debate while simultaneously boosting support for a guest worker amnesty that turns the illegals into legitimate residents so that no more of the mawkish videos linked to in the CNN article have to occur again in the future.

If a legitimate third party forms in the near future, immigration will be its semination. It is crucial we make it the deciding issue in November.

Immigration tocsin from Europe (April 20, 2006)

I am both distressed and comforted by Europe's deterioration. Western Europe and the US share a common ancestry, culture, religion, and broad economic system (sort of). If we don't stick together we'll probably hang separately. But if Europe goes off the deep end first, it might provide impetus for the US to avert a lemming's outcome. The Danish cartoons show that multiculturalism restricts freedom and destroys the host culture. The latest French riots presage the difficulty in remaining globally competitive when employment is guaranteed. We're still asleep on the impending senescence crisis, but Europe is older than the US is so we'll hear them scream before the Reaper surprises us. And hopefully Americans will become more skeptical of massive immigration from the south by referencing what is happening on the Old Continent:
BERLIN -- Germany needed workers. Turks needed work...

So starting in 1961, the country invited Turkish ''guest workers" to come do the dirty jobs that Germans didn't want.

Nobody grasped that the country -- and the continent, because neighboring nations soon undertook similar experiments -- was on the brink of a transformation whose effects are still reverberating across Europe.

''The idea, originally, was that the foreign workers would stay for as long
as economically necessary, then go home," said Michael Bommes, director of the
Institute for Migration Research at Germany's Osnabrueck University. ''It didn't
quite go like that."

Of course they didn't. And neither will our guest workers unless a three-pronged system of enforcement (wall/military on the border, harsh punitions for employers who hire, and the involvement of local authorities in deportation and arrests) is, well, enforced.
But more recently, as economic growth has slowed, swelling numbers of Muslim immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa -- many of them arriving without any visas, or overstaying their visas and melting into the ethnic suburbs -- are being blamed for social stresses from urban blight to chaotic schools. In the words of the late Swiss writer Max Frisch: ''We wanted workers, we got people."
What will happen to the construction industry as the housing market continues to cool (and the slowdown is most trenchant in the West)? California's miserable NAEP scores portend the future of the US educational system. Frisch should have done as Randall Parker's been doing and looked to the father of a civilization the US and the Swiss mutually share for a solution. As Plato said through Socrates: "Necessity, who is the mother of invention." Instead of an endless search for cheap labor, companies need to be developing more efficient processes through mechanization and robotization. Machines are workers without being people.
France, in an about-face, has decided it no longer wants to admit the poorest of the poor, just skilled workers who speak fluent French and respect the ideals of secular democracy. Germany and the Netherlands have passed new laws that seem intended to thwart immigration from Islamic lands -- with potential newcomers queried about attitudes toward women's rights, Jews, and gays.
This is an obvious response of sovereign nations that are concerned with bettering the lives of current residents, not bettering new comers at the expense of natives. Prudent advice for investors: Don't invest in mutual fund families that advertise. The money you give will be used to bring in more money for the fund rather than growing your investment. Prudent advice for voters: Don't vote for politicians that sell you out to import more supporters. Power will be used to preserve power rather than improving your lot.

Why compromise Occidental culture? Why suppress wages, bring in atavistic diseases, stress infrastructure, increase crime, accentuate the wealth gap, make housing less affordable, create communication barriers (and the deadweight loss that comes from native college students majoring in Spanish instead of architecture or engineering), and prop up the economy of a corrupt Mexico?
Europe's guest worker programs were mostly scrapped during the recessions of the 1970s, but in a pattern reflecting the Hispanic flow into the United States, the movement of Muslims to Europe only accelerated. Those early guest workers routinely overstayed their one- or two-year permits, or lived from extension to extension, but faced scant risk of deportation unless they committed serious crimes.
Latin American economies are tied to the US economy. NAFTA, CAFTA, and other hemispheric trading agreements strengthen the interdependency. Living through an American depression beats living through a Nicaraguan depression. When the economy no longer has a short-term use for them, underclass immigrants are still going to come and stay.
While many European governments failed to seriously pursue integration, many Muslim immigrants were equally unwilling to shed their own languages and national identities.
A nation within a nation. Sound familiar? Instead of half-heartedly attempting to integrate immigrants after they arrive, why not demand that they be linguistically, culturally, economically, and educationally integrated before they arrive? Build a wall and institute a merit immigration system that forces them to be so.
Indeed, the future of the continent may be written on these darker-skinned faces thronging the streets. Birth rates in some European countries are plunging dramatically. Immigrants earning wages and paying taxes appear to represent the best chance the continent has of keeping its place in the world's economic front ranks.
No, finding ways to get Europeans to have babies and remain productive as the population ages is the continent's best shot. That third-worlders must be imported to do low-skilled jobs that otherwise will not get done is a hard propisition to swallow with an EU unemployment rate of 9.4%. If a group is a net liability, bringing in more of them does not ameliorate the situation, it makes it worse.
Many of the original guest workers are now retired, enjoying the comfortable pensions that are the pride of Europe. But their children and their grandchildren are trapped between two worlds, too ''Europeanized" ever to return to the Middle East or North Africa, but lacking the language skills and education to forge ahead in their new countries.
Are the children of brown serfs going to happily toil away picking fruit in Californian sun for $5 an hour? Or are they going to desire opulent lifestyles that they do not have the ability or diligence to obtain? The latter. And they are going to resent it.
The progeny of the early workers are filling schools -- and, critics say, jails -- as well as putting heavy demands on social services. The legal status of the offspring is murky, with many entitled to social services and health care without holding citizenship.
The only difference is that the US grants birthright citizenship and therefore makes it easier for spawns to receive services.
At the rough-and-tumble Ruetli vocational high school in Neukoelln, where 80 percent of students are of immigrant stock, not a single student from last year's graduating class went on to specialized training or an apprenticeship, the normal routes to decent-paying, blue-collar jobs.
Mexican-Americans attempt secondary education at only a fifth the rate of other Americans. Only 53% of Hispanics graduate from high school in four years, compared to 77% of whites and 55% of blacks. Do we want another black underclass that happens to be brown?

The interregna of my excerpts are full of quixotic fluff about how if only integration and understanding would truly occur all would be well. A German politician of Turkish descent criticizes the perceived hardline stance against immigration taken by the US government (are you kidding me?). He laments a country of such historically successful integration questioning unfettered immigration. If the US, with race-based prison riots, witch hunts, affirmative action, criminals waving foreign flags in the street, intractable education, economic, and criminal ethnic/racial gaps, etc is to be considered a success, I shutter at the thought of integrative failure.

Borjas in WSJ on immigration and wages (April 18, 2006)

The WSJ editorial board is moderating its advocacy of open-borders. Recently they finally admitted that the phrase "Jobs Americans won't do" must be suffixed with "at current wages". Today the WSJ runs a piece (subscription required) by George Borjas that is ambivalent on the economic value of immigration (in the eyes of the general public, although the typical WSJ reader is probably going to see wealth transfer from laborers to capital/business owners in a relatively positive light):
Immigrants cluster in a small number of cities. A third live in three metropolitan areas (New York, Los Angeles and Chicago). In the past, the stereotypical study exploited this clustering by correlating wages and immigration across cities. A negative correlation, indicating that wages are lower in cities penetrated by immigrants, would suggest that immigrants reduce the wage of competing workers. In fact, the estimated correlations bunched around zero, creating the impression that immigrants had little impact.

This inference is not correct for two reasons. First, immigrants are not randomly distributed across cities. If, as seems sensible, high-wage areas attract immigrants, there would be a spurious positive correlation between immigration and wages. This positive correlation could easily swamp any negative wage effect that immigrants might have had.

Natives also respond to immigration. Employers in Michigan, for example, see that Southern California cities flooded by low-skill immigrants pay lower wages to laborers. The employers will want to relocate to those cities to increase their profits. The flow of jobs to the immigrant-hit areas cushions the adverse effect of immigration on the Southern California wage, while slightly worsening conditions in Michigan. Similarly, laborers living in California, who now face stiffer competition, might leave the state to search for better opportunities. These flows of jobs and workers diffuse the impact of immigration across the national economy and tend to equalize economic conditions across localities.

From this, Borjas posits that immigration is better measured on the national level. That's sensible enough for wages, although there are lots of analyses to be done on the local level to show that immigration harms the well-being of the native working and underclasses (e.g. home ownership rates, affordability, school test scores, etc.

Sticking with the data at the national level and looking at how immigrant jobs effect natives with similar skill-levels, Borjas finds that from 1980 to 2000 immigration lowered the wages of high school drop-outs 5% over the long-term (its effects were more detrimental in the short-run). For other groups, immigrants had a marginal effect on wages (people who had completed high school but not college benefited slightly; natives with college degrees suffered slightly). He concludes that immigration has resulted in a wealth transfer from labor to capital owners, with a question mark on the total economic utility realized in the US.

It makes sense that low-end earners suffer more from immigration than high-end earners, at least on the service side of the economy. Globalization means that Microsoft, Pfizer, or KPMG seek out professionals wherever they reside. If KPMG needs to hire ten accountants to run numbers for managerial accounting consultation, it can pull them from anywhere in the world. If the five chosen who do not happen to be American natives are living in the US or in India at the time of hire is not going to significantly effect the compensation offered to the five natives who are picked. Having the five Indians in the US likely actually boosts the pay for natives because the Indians become more costly to hire than if they were in Bangalore.

Menial service jobs, however, are much more geographically contingent. Dishwashers, maids, and yard workers have to be in close proximity to the entity they are doing the work for. If the non-native laborers are in Mexico City, they can't cut lawns in Los Angeles. Angelinos desiring lawncare will have to look locally. Thus the wages of native yard workers will be directly effected by the location of non-native yard workers.

In other words, higher-end work can increasingly be done irrespective of the worker's physical location. American-born programmers (or researchers, writers, etc) compete with Indian-born programmers whether the Indians live in the US or in India. Low-end service work depends more on where the workers are. American-born yard workers (or burger flippers, janitors, construction workers, etc) only compete with Mexican-born yard workers if the Mexicans are in the US.

This is why I am less concerned by an increase in highly-skilled immigrants than by low-skilled immigrants. The US standard of living is a competitive advantage America can leverage to attract brains. Better to have a Japanese-born researcher (who brings few social problems like crime, disease, school deterioration, etc) become a US citizen to create wealth inside the country than have a multinational pay him in Japan. Or at least the first scenario is preferable to bringing in unskilled labor that is going to suddenly compete with unskilled natives and depress wages, consume services that natives pay for, and bring other pathologies. Whether or not the first scenario is preferable to no immigration at all is a tough one. But encouraging the second situation certainly makes no sense to me.

Industries of the future: Housekeeping, landscapping, and meat packing (April 13, 2006)

Our economic dynamism is hardly being fueled by this:
Of the hotel industry's 1.5 million employees, 150,000 aren't supposed to be here, according to statistics gathered by the Pew Hispanic Center. In food manufacturing, also with 1.5 million, 210,000 have no right to work. Landscaping, Mr. Penry's line, has 1.2 million workers, 300,000 of them illegally in the country.
Virtually every third-world country has these industries. They do not add to America's global competitiveness. The less endowed natives our elites are spitting on can do all of these jobs. We have youths to do them as well. Agriculture is already subsidized directly to the tune of over $12 billion a year before even taking the indirect subsidy for low-skilled immigrants into account.

Tancredo's Caucus should more vociferously support employer sanctions and the enforcement thereof. HR 4437 was is not particularly strong in this area. Businesses can claim good faith and gain exculpation from the actions of their subcontractors. Subcontracting work is by nature more transitory and harder to track. Subcontractors contract out further making the "good faith" argument easier to construct. Plus, 40% of illegals overstay visas. An impervious barrier alone won't stop this. Of course, without teeth the laws are meaningless:
Inspectors now need written permission from supervisors before entering a work site. Employers get credit for "good faith attempts" to live up to the law. Since 1996, when the focus of enforcement began to move away from work sites to the borders, the number of fines collected have dropped to nearly zero from a high of about 8,000.
A message of tougher enforcement will bolster support among blue collar folks. Pew's Political Typology report found that opposition to guest workers is strongest among "Disadvantaged Democrats" and "Conservative Democrats"--stronger than it is among any of the Republican/conservative categories. Working class natives do not want employers to use slave labor at the expense of their standard of living. Republican pols need to ditch the futile attempt at pandering to a Hispanic demographic that is never going to vote for them. It will cost them white votes. If a 10% gain in the Hispanic vote costs Republicans 1% decline in the white vote, it is a wash.

A new report reinforces the obvious:
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates that state and local costs associated with illegal immigration for public education, health care and incarceration, now about $36 billion a year, would balloon to $61.5 billion by 2010 -- a 70 percent increase -- and increase to $106.3 billion by 2020. As a result of an amnesty and a vastly expanded guest worker program, millions of current illegal aliens would gain legal access to government
programs and services, a FAIR analysis states.

Moreover, newly legalized aliens would be allowed to bring their dependents to this country, adding to the burdens on schools and public health care.
President Bush pines to have illegal aliens "emerge from the shadows". Allowing them second-class citizenship is bad. But allowing them full citizen would be positively disastrous. They would become eligible for exemptions and the EITC. In families with lots of dependents (and the average Hispanic household is 135% the size of the average white household) this will often result in a direct transfer from the government to the non-taxpayer in the form of a refund larger than the total taxes paid during the year.

Costs more difficult to quantify will have an even worse long-term impact. School test scores will continue to plummet, the wealth gap will grow, housing will become less affordable, crime and pollution will increase, ad infinitum. The negative effects will augment as the newly-minted citizens send for relatives back home. The demographics will make immigration reform impossible.

FAIR estimates California really takes it on the chin, with the cost created by illegals representing over $1,000 per citizen:

California $8.8 billion ($1,183 per native household)
Arizona $1.03 billion ($717 per native household)
Texas $3.73 billion ($725 per native household)
Florida $.91 billion ($315 per native household)
Taking Randall Parker's high-end estimates and inflating them to $10 billion, a wall could be constructed for less than $100 a household.

From the Reagan amnesty to the present, the illegal population quadrupled. So does that mean when I hit forty the President and Senate will be looking for a way to bring another 50 million into the sunlight? Probably not, because by that time a senescent population of dullards will make the US a much less desirable location.

We need a wall, a merit immigration system, and publicized punitive actions taken against businesses that pass the cost of their low value-adding labor on to the net taxpayer.

Our economic dynamism is hardly being fueled by this:

Of the hotel industry's 1.5 million employees, 150,000 aren't supposed to be here, according to statistics gathered by the Pew Hispanic Center. In food manufacturing, also with 1.5 million, 210,000 have no right to work. Landscaping, Mr. Penry's line, has 1.2 million workers, 300,000 of them illegally in the country.
Virtually every third-world country has these industries. They do not add to America's global competitiveness. The less endowed natives our elites are spitting on can do all of these jobs. We have youths to do them as well. Agriculture is already subsidized directly to the tune of over $12 billion a year before even taking the indirect subsidy for low-skilled immigrants into account.

Tancredo's Caucus should more vociferously support employer sanctions and the enforcement thereof. HR 4437 was is not particularly strong in this area. Businesses can claim good faith and gain exculpation from the actions of their subcontractors. Subcontracting work is by nature more transitory and harder to track. Subcontractors contract out further making the "good faith" argument easier to construct. Plus, 40% of illegals overstay visas. An impervious barrier alone won't stop this. Of course, without teeth the laws are meaningless:

Inspectors now need written permission from supervisors before entering a work site. Employers get credit for "good faith attempts" to live up to the law. Since 1996, when the focus of enforcement began to move away from work sites to the borders, the number of fines collected have dropped to nearly zero from a high of about 8,000.
A message of tougher enforcement will bolster support among blue collar folks. Pew's Political Typology report found that opposition to guest workers is strongest among "Disadvantaged Democrats" and "Conservative Democrats"--stronger than it is among any of the Republican/conservative categories. Working class natives do not want employers to use slave labor at the expense of their standard of living. Republican pols need to ditch the futile attempt at pandering to a Hispanic demographic that is never going to vote for them. It will cost them white votes. If a 10% gain in the Hispanic vote costs Republicans 1% decline in the white vote, it is a wash.

A new report reinforces the obvious:

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates that state and local costs associated with illegal immigration for public education, health care and incarceration, now about $36 billion a year, would balloon to $61.5 billion by 2010 -- a 70 percent increase -- and increase to $106.3 billion by 2020. As a result of an amnesty and a vastly expanded guest worker program, millions of current illegal aliens would gain legal access to government
programs and services, a FAIR analysis states.

Moreover, newly legalized aliens would be allowed to bring their dependents to this country, adding to the burdens on schools and public health care.
President Bush pines to have illegal aliens "emerge from the shadows". Allowing them second-class citizenship is bad. But allowing them full citizen would be positively disastrous. They would become eligible for exemptions and the EITC. In families with lots of dependents (and the average Hispanic household is 135% the size of the average white household) this will often result in a direct transfer from the government to the non-taxpayer in the form of a refund larger than the total taxes paid during the year.

Costs more difficult to quantify will have an even worse long-term impact. School test scores will continue to plummet, the wealth gap will grow, housing will become less affordable, crime and pollution will increase, ad infinitum. The negative effects will augment as the newly-minted citizens send for relatives back home. The demographics will make immigration reform impossible.

FAIR estimates California really takes it on the chin, with the cost created by illegals representing over $1,000 per citizen:

California $8.8 billion ($1,183 per native household)
Arizona $1.03 billion ($717 per native household)
Texas $3.73 billion ($725 per native household)
Florida $.91 billion ($315 per native household)
Taking Randall Parker's high-end estimates and inflating them to $10 billion, a wall could be constructed for less than $100 a household.

From the Reagan amnesty to the present, the illegal population quadrupled. So does that mean when I hit forty the President and Senate will be looking for a way to bring another 50 million into the sunlight? Probably not, because by that time a senescent population of dullards will make the US a much less desirable location.

We need a wall, a merit immigration system, and publicized punitive actions taken against businesses that pass the cost of their low value-adding labor on to the net taxpayer.

++Addition++How surprising:
The shelter’s manager, Francisco Loureiro, said he has not seen such a rush of migrants since 1986, when the United States allowed 2.6 million illegal residents to get American citizenship...

Migrants are hurrying to cross over in time to qualify for a possible guest-worker program--and before the journey gets even harder.
Apprehensions are up:
South-central Arizona is the busiest migrant-smuggling area, and detentions by the U.S. Border Patrol there are up more than 26 percent this fiscal year — 105,803 since Oct. 1, compared with 78,024 for the same period a year ago. Along the entire border, arrests are up 9 percent.
The sympathetic AP reads into this that enforcement is becoming fierce. It laments that immigrants must face "armed US citizens". But more plausibly--and what the bulk of the referenced article suggests--it is the number of crossings that have increased. The numbers of rescues and deaths during attempted crossings lead one to that conclusion.

It is insanity to repeat the same action over and over and expect different results each time. Either the majority of the Senate and the White House want the US to descend into the ranks of the third world or they are all insane. I prefer the latter but fear the former is more accurate.

Immigration and the Ownership Society (April 8, 2006)

It's been awhile since President Bush has touted his push for an Ownership Society. Given the intensity of the current immigration debate, it's prudent of him to keep his mouth shut. Why? Because the larger the foreign-born population, the lower the home ownership rate becomes.

Running a regression on the
home ownership rate and foreign-born proportion of the population by state yields a significant factor of zero (it's definitely not random) and an r-squared of just over .42 (42% of the home ownership rate of a state can be explained by number of the foreign-born in that state). For each 1% increase in the foreign-born population as a portion of the state's entire population, the home ownership rate correspondingly decreases .65%.

Like so many other potential consequences of unprecedented immigration, it's something people should know about, and--in light of Steve Sailer's
Dirt Gap--something Republican pols should think about.

++Addition++From basic economic theory (and obviously there are lots of other factors like geography in play) I would expect the newly-arrived to locate in areas where housing is more affordable, but they are doing the exact opposite. In fact, the percentage of foreign born and housing affordability have an inverse r-squared (zero sign factor) value of .58. Wow. What role are migrants playing here? Are they attracted to places they cannot afford (because there are many affluents in need of services), are they making places less affordable, a combination of the two, or something else?

Whatever the best explanation for the complex underlying causes, the new arrivals are keeping house prices high. As natives leave (Cali or NY for example), residential prices should fall as demand eases. But migrants, who prefer the service jobs created by the high-income natives that can still afford higher-priced markets, do not go to areas where they would make less nominally (and probably in real terms as well given the industries in which they work) even though housing is generally more affordable in these places. Being able to guaratnee five bucks an hour, fill the belly, and send money back home is a desirable situation for the migrants but not for natives. Thus, the newly-arrives compensate for the price relaxation of native exodus (and then some). Meanwhile, wages are suppressed, making home ownership even less tenable for those remaining.

States with high foreign-born populations are beginning to look like manors. I'm going to look at metropolitan areas with high foreign-born populations to try and focus the effect. It seems reasonable that the inverse correlation between foreign-born and affordability will be even higher. Peasants come because the keeps have plenty of menial chores to be done. The peasants have work, but they can't afford to buy part of the manor. This situation is bad for the burghers, who leave because earning power is being pushed down while costs are going up. It's bad news for natives (future voters) that don't already own a home.

++Addition2++State-by-state comparisons dilute the inverse correlation between affordability and immigration a little. Looking at cities with over 500,000 people, the r-squared increases to .63 with a significance factor of zero.

Our self-immolating immigration policy is certainly making the ownership society a pipedream. I would hate to be a kid in his early twenties a few months away from graduation! Generation Y has it rough--a tidal wave of entitlement obligations for retiring baby boomers, a stagnation in wages, and growing unaffordability of housing.

WSJ gives some ground (April 8, 2006)

The WSJ admits (finally) that unskilled immigration lowers the wages of our unskilled natives:
Yes, immigrants compete for these entry-level jobs most directly with Americans who lack a high-school diploma...
Hopefully the "Jobs Americans won't do" bromide is now moribund. The WSJ employs the usual smearing of immigration realists (calling them "leftist economists"!) and proclaiming a sealing of the border to be impossible, even though the same op/ed board cheers the success of the Israeli security fence. But there's a better way:
Our answer is that a closed economy ultimately would make America a less competitive and hence poorer country...
Control of the border and the institution of a merit immigration system and/or a reduction in the total number of immigrants permitted entry is not at all synonymous with a closed economy. What happened to the rudimentary economic idea of core competencies (including human capital)? What a strawman. Continues the WSJ:
We'd have less human capital, and because we'd be using the human resources
we did have less efficiently.

No, we'd be using it much more efficiently. Having migrant fruitpickers depressing wages (and by extension, technological innovation), filling almost a third of our federal jail cells, and sending $17 billion a year back to Mexico each year is an incredibly inefficient use of human capital. Having the brightest provide services and otherwise take care of this growing underclass creates deadweight loss.

After downplaying the impact of immigration on wages at the bottom, the WSJ states:
Immigrants also increase the demand for labor, not just the supply. That is, they are also consumers who create jobs by buying goods and housing here.

Criminals increase the demand for prison guards. Cigarettes increase the demand for lung surgeons. If we annex Mexico tomorrow, US GDP and jobs will enjoy double-digit increases, but the more important measures of PPP and worker productivity will drop by 20%.

The real estate price explosion is
fueling an economy built on unjustified home equity loans. People are spending more than they make. If you're among the 100 million Americans who don't own a home, affording one is the toughest it's been in 15 years. Unskilled immigrants need places to live. So they push up the cost of housing. This is a boon for homeowners, but for natives who don't own a home--disproportionately those same people whose wages are being depressed--the chance at the American dream we use to defend irrational immigration policies is getting ever smaller.

After suggesting that open borders make the US more competitive globally,
we learn what the industries are:
The domestic carpet industry based in Georgia has managed to survive and thrive due to immigrant labor. The same holds true for meat-packing plants in the Midwest...

The agriculture industry certainly would attract more Americans if it paid $50,000 a year to pick lettuce in the noonday sun, but not without raising the cost of food and other things. It would be more expensive to eat out, for example, and fewer people would do so as a result, affecting the restaurant industry, among others.

Carpet-makers, meat packers, fruitpickers, and dishwashers. Taiwan, Bangalore, and Hong Kong better watch out!

Reid hard to read? (April 7, 2006)

I hope the House stays tough:
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, appeared with Reid and said "We have a great opportunity to deliver to the American people what they expect, what they deserve," a comprehensive border security and immigration reform bill.

The deal, which would include a temporary worker program backed by President George W. Bush, would allow illegal immigrants who have been in the United States more than five years a chance to become citizens if they meet a series of requirements and paid a fine. Other rules would apply to people in the country less than five years.
Harry Reid certainly is familiar with compromising--his beliefs, that is. In 1993 he sponsored a Resolution that never made it out of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration. It almost puts Tom Tancredo to shame:
S.1351 Title: A bill to curb criminal activity by aliens, to defend against acts of international terrorism, to protect American workers from unfair labor competition, and to relieve pressure on public services by strengthening border security and stabilizing immigration into the United States.
It details deportation procedures, withholds all benefits to those failing to show up to asylum hearings, increases penalties for VISA fraud, and brings back the venerable public charge designation:
(4) PUBLIC CHARGE- Any alien who cannot demonstrate to the consular officer at
the time of application for a visa, or to the Attorney General at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, that, taking into account the
alien's age and medical condition, he or she has assets, education, skills, or a combination thereof that make it very unlikely that he or she will become eligible for means-tested public assistance of any kind (including, but not limited to, medical care or food and housing assistance) or will otherwise become a public charge is excludable.'
It also caps total immigration at 300,000 minus the number of refugees given asylum and puts the maximum number of work-related Visa grants at 40,000.

Fast-forward to 2006, carcass of S1351 a distant memory:
Reid said the overhaul must include heightened border enforcement, a "guest worker" program and a "path to citizenship" for the estimated 11 million people in the United States illegally. He called legislation by Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and John McCain, R- Ariz., a "good place to start."
Reid used to be an ardent supporter of immigration reform. He was elected into the House as a representative from Las Vegas in 1982 and became a Senator in 1986. As the turf changed, so did old Harry:
Nevada is one of three states that had a foreign-born population increase of more than 200 percent during the 1990s. Nevada's foreign-born population increased 202 percent...

101,000 illegal aliens resided in Nevada as of 2000, according to INS figures. This is 321 percent higher than the previous INS estimate in 1996 and 461 percent higher than the estimate for 1992.

I guess Ed Gillespie is right. If Republicans will just accept massive amounts of impoverished Hispanic immigrants and all the problems this embraces, they too will retain power for twenty years. The only catch is that they will all have to become Harry Reid simulacrums, and they'll have to be able to out-pander the real Senator.

Demographic shifts close our window of opportunity a little more each day. The issue has to be our electoral priority. Indeed, it should be the sole arbiter. We cannot afford to let anything else take precedence. Vote against your House member if he didn't vote for HR4437. Give your Senator the boot if he signs on to the guest worker atrocity. Let Sam Brownback know you will be casting a ballot against him in the primaries and in the '08 Presidential election if you're a Democrat. Cross party lines. We have competent, cogent leaders at places like VDare. The public is on our side. We just have to have it transfer to the polls. That means putting capital gains, abortion, and even Iraq on the backburner. It's now or never.

++Addition++Rather than having to rely on the House staying tough, we got the
Senate locked in intercine bickering:
Agreement over a highly touted Senate compromise on illegal immigration fell apart Friday as lawmakers lashed out at each over who was to blame for the present impasse over the bill...

The compromise reached Thursday sought to divvy the estimated 11 million or so illegal immigrants into three groups: those who have been inside the country for more than five years; those who have been in the country for between two and five years; and those who have been in the country for fewer than two years.

How is the time spent in country going to be tracked? This sounds fallacious on its face. The government knows little about these people now--how we would go about verifying how long they've been in the US is obviously problematic. Steve Sailer is right--the best thing that can happen for immigration sanity is no bill now so that it can be primary issue in '06.

Gini's a better measure (April 6, 2006)

The median/mean ratio is problematic for
correlating race with income disparity, as it gives more weight to the right side of the income distribution than the left (If Bill Gates' income doubles, the median will stay put but the mean rachet up quite a bit. If Joe pool attendant's income is cut in half, the median will again remain the same, but the mean will only drop slightly). The poverty rate is not an optimal variable either, because it involves only a fraction of the income distribution, has contingencies like family size, varies based on age, and doesn't take into account cost-of-living (poverty rates tend higher in places with a lower cost of living because nominal wages are lower, but this doesn't tell us little about wealth disparities).

Robert at the eponymous
Robert's Rationale suggested use of the Gini coefficient. It scales between 0 and 1, with 0 being perfect income equality and 1 representing a single person with all the income. This eliminates the problem of affluent pull and captures the entire income distribution.

This slightly moderates the strength of the correlations with the significance factor remaining zero. The r-squared for a higher Gini (more income inequality) and the black/Hispanic grouping is .56. For median/mean, it was .58. For non-Hispanic whites/Asians the correlation of lower Gini (more income equality)falls to .43 from .44. While the change is trivial, Gini is more accurate.

So how should open-border types react? Progressively, of course. They should not look to ten years in the future like those short-sighted conservatives. Instead, they can take the longview--if we accelerate the underclass immigration rate and
white birthrates remain below replenishment, in a century the income gap will begin to narrow as the new arrivals are ever-closer to the national average (because it's been falling for the last ninety years)!

39,000 Chinese a drop in the bucket (April 5, 2006)

We're told by politicians that it's impossible to start rounding up Hispanic illegals and deporting them a couple of hundred miles south. But apparently it's no sweat to round up 39,000 Chinese illegals and
ship them halfway around the world:
The United States and China are close to an agreement on repatriating illegal Chinese migrants, the U.S. security chief said on Tuesday at the end of a visit that also focused on aviation and ports security.
Chertoff says he wants to send a message:
"If we catch them and release them ... we suggest to people that if they can get across the border they are home free and safe from being returned. We want to send a very different message," Chertoff told reporters...

About 39,000 Chinese were illegally in the United States, many of them brought there by people-smugglers, Chertoff said.

The Chinese in the US are less likely to voluntarily leave because of distance when they begin being deported. Hispanics would have less trouble hightailing it if they knew their time in the US was limited. So if we can do it with Chinese illegals, we certainly can with Hispanics. Yes, 39,000 is not 12 million but it is not an insignificant number either. Even if we moved to repatriate (and imprison those with records) a couple hundred thousand a year the desirability for new-arrivals would decrease and others already here would start to leave on their own.

agreement has been reached after protestations from the Chinese government, which previously resisted taking them back. The US did some arm-twisiting to get it done.

These Chinese runaways are probably better for the US than most Hispanics. They are coming on a trip that requires greater means from a
cognitively endowed country that is still not favorable to entrepreneurial types unless they have political connections. They're akin to the early waves of Cuban immigrants. Chinese Americans--47% of whom are first generation--have median household incomes 30% higher than the national average, a home ownership rate of 65% compared to a national average of 54%, and 38% have a bachelor's degree compared to a just under a quarter of the nation as a whole.

So we can deport illegals even in the face of political opposition by their host countries when the illegals are less detrimental to American well-being, but when they are positively disastrous for the US by virtually every measure possible, we must fatalistically accept what we are powerless to do anything about and instead work on making our new liabilities feel welcome.

Diversity and economic disparity (April 3, 2006)

Diversity brings economic disparity. Economic disparity is not good for democracy. The corollary is that diversity is not good for democracy. The optimal situation is one in which wealth disparities are naturally small without having to resort to robin hood wealth transfers.

Yet economic disparity is absolutely correlated with race. Running a regression and correlation analysis on data from the fifty states plus DC, I looked at each state's population of the four major ethnic/racial groups (non-Hispanic white, black, Hispanic, and Asian) and correlated it with the variable "
Median income as a percentage of Mean income" which was computed by dividing each state's median income by its mean income. The larger the difference between the two, the greater the economic disparity in the state (think of how much Bill Gates moves the mean while doing no more for the median than Joe accountant in the state of Washington who makes $60,000 a year).

I found that significance factor was virtually zero for whites, blacks, and Asians (in other words, there is a 99.9999999% chance that the correlation between wealth disparity and race is not random). For Hispanics, the significance factor .067, meaning that there is a 6.7% chance that the relationship was due simply to chance. That is due to the
substantial differences in the American Hispanic community (Cuban doctors in Florida vs Amerind fruit pickers in California).

The r-squared value for blacks is the highest, at .494. But the greatest correlations exist when non-Hispanic whites and Asians are combined into one group and blacks and Hispanics into another. The significance factor for both drops to virtually zero, throwing chance out the window. The r-squared value for whites/Asians is .44. For blacks/Hispanics it is .58. This means that 58% of the magnitude of wealth disparity can be explained by the percentage of blacks and Hispanics in a state. That's enormous, and though raw, it's a powerful argument against facile comparisons of this wave of immigration to the previous three that were from Europe. It was 44% for whites and Asians (the reason this correlation is more moderate is because whites represent 70% of the country and consequently are the most economically diverse subgroup). Other groupings showed no statistical significance.

As the country becomes progressively more Hispanic and black, wealth disparities are going to continue to grow. As the white/Asian group dwindles in relative size, numerical superiority is going to shift towards the poor end as the middle class dwindles. We are moving from a middle class to society to one of economic extremes. This is fertile ground for leftist populism and quasi-dictatorship. Check out the
average net worth of millionaires by continent. The fattest are in Latin America followed by Africa. Do we want to become more like Latin America or Africa?

Think it's hyperbole? As Steve Sailer has chronicled,
it's moving north. Far-left candidate Andres Obrador has a real shot at the Mexican Presidency in July. He will be even more harmful to the US than Vicente Fox has been, if that's possible (he has criticized Fox for not coming down hard enough against HR4437). Some putative conservatives want to throw caution to the wind and out-pander the left. Former RNC cacique Ed Gillespie admonished Republicans in the WSJ:
The Republican Party cannot become an anti-immigration party. Our majority already rests too heavily on white voters, given that current demographic voting percentages will not allow us to hold our majority in the future...

Hispanic voting percentages are increasingly decisive in swing states like New Mexico, Nevada, Florida, Colorado and Arkansas. Mishandling the immigration debate today could result in the Republican Party struggling in these states and others in the same way it does now in California.

Are you kidding me? All the states mentioned used to be Republican strongholds. The deluge from south of the border has turned the red purple, and more immigration is going to give it a blue hue. Prop 187's attempt to lessen the incentives for an illegal Hispanic underclass did not doom the Republican Party in California. It's failure to be implemented and built on doomed the GOP. Gillespie needs to be working to halt the influx from the south. The popular support is there.

It is self-immolation for the Republicans to turn their backs on white Americans and the middle class in general, as much as Gillespie laments the fact that the Republican Party has to rely on them. When I first learned about politics, I was attracted to the Republican Party because of their supposed core values: Small government, respect for tradition, rationality over emotion, critical thought over political correctness, individual responsibility over group obligation. In the Gillespie's Republican Party, I see none of these things. Democratic leaders, worthless as they are on the immigration issue, must be given credit for being wise enough not to moan about how they rely too heavily on blacks as they pursue of more Hispanic voters (when
it is clear that blacks, like whites, want stricter immigration control).

WSJ becomes embarrasingly irrational, unempirical (March 31, 2006)

I didn't think the WSJ could get any less empirical in their
tendentious apology for open borders, but I've been proved wrong. First, they launch into smearing Tom Tancredo (again). Then they launch into empty sentimentalism:
To wit, do Republicans want to continue in the Reagan tradition of American optimism and faith in assimilation that sends a message of inclusiveness to all races? Or will they take another one of their historical detours into a cramped, exclusionary policy that tells millions of new immigrants, and especially Hispanics, that they belong somewhere else?
Reagan shows what the Republican Party should not do. He won a second term after one of the most lopsided elections in history. Then came the 1986 amnesty, and the Republican Party has subsequently struggled mightily to garner 50% of the vote in Presidential elections. Republicans enjoyed a boost from the flourishing of talk radio and the internet that culminated in control of the House and Senate by Newt and company in 1994. For the first time the right had a national outlet. But that hiccup is running its course. Demographic trends bode terribly for the future of the Republican Party. The quixotic ideology the WSJ touts is what led to the mess in 1965 and again in 1986. We do not need three strikes.

Ted Kennedy, who is a leading proponent of the impending Senate disaster, said 41 years ago that such an historically unprecedented demographic shift would not occur with the
INS Act of 1965. He promised that "Our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually." Today, there are 500,000 illegals that pour into the country each year, and that's a low-end estimate. Total annual immigration surpasses Kennedy's mark by several hundred thousand. He also errantly assured skeptics that "the ethnic mix of the country will not be upset." Now the two most populous states in the union--California and Texas--have white minorities.

The putative benefits do not require unskilled Hispanic immigration:
This has been mostly for the better -- in revitalized inner cities, a younger workforce to fuel a dynamic economy, and in general helping America avoid the senescent future of other industrial nations.
As far as these positives exist, they can easily be attained through a merit immigration system that selects for the brightest and most industrious immigrants the world over. The current immigrant workforce will of course have a detrimental effect on our ability to cover benefits promised to the baby boom generation because the foreign-born make less money and consume more in government benefits than natives do. They are, on the whole, net costs. The solution is to bring in net assets. Contemporary immigration patterns only accentuate the coming tsunami of obligations for the baby boomers, as they compete with Hispanic advocacy groups for handouts.

To combat senescence, what we need are incentives for the native wealthy to have more children, which will boost the nation's average IQ, keep the US birthrate
at least at replenishment, and narrow the wealth gap (all of which will benefit the Republican Party). Importing third-worlders that cost more than they are worth does not improve our economic prospects.

The WSJ, which openly
called for an end to American sovereignty prior to 9/11, throws around the typical "nativist" charge, as if to insinuate that it is immoral to want what is best for the citizenry of one's own country instead of what is best for foreigners at the expense of the natives. Yet, in the same paragraph, the WSJ admits that different areas of the country have suffered more from immigration than others:
But there have also been costs, and parts of America have borne more than have others. The border states in particular have experienced more crime and social disruption, as well as the cost to local taxpayers of "free" health care and education for illegal immigrants.
The states with the most immigrants have suffered the most from immigration! Who would have thunk it? Sounds like an airtight argument to import unskilled masses into the rest of the country to me!

As is typical, the WSJ calls those in opposition to its
unpopular position as a "small but vocal" group. Maybe the editors missed that 60% of Americans want a barrier along the US/Mexico border. Maybe they overlooked the plurality of Americans who think the US is not doing enough to secure its borders (82%). Or the 62% of Americans that want the US to "do whatever it takes" to cut the flow of illegals (including militarization).

The WSJ fears that Hispanics
will get fed up with the GOP:
But because the policy is aimed largely at Hispanic immigrants, it will also rightly be seen as a specific ethnic rebuke. Millions of Hispanics -- both illegals and those who have been here for decades -- will get the message that the Republican Party doesn't want them. Those Republicans who shout "no amnesty" and want to make illegally crossing the Rio Grande a felony are well on their way to creating a generation or more of new Democratic voters.
Hispanics make up about 8% of the voting electorate, and go 3-to-2 in favor of Democrats. The 800 pound gorilla of our electoral system--whites--vote Republican 3-to-2 and make up 77% of the electorate. So for every ten percent increase in Hispanic support, the GOP still comes out behind if it costs them a single percent of the white vote. Isn't it clear that the Republican Party should be interested in turning away not Hispanic voters, but white voters?

Obviously the last sentence quoted is inanity. Bringing in an ethnic minority underclass that congregates in urban areas (can you get any more a quintessential definition of a Democratic stalwart?) is not going to help the Republican Party. It is going to create a generation of new Democratic voters. How the WSJ can expect its readers to buy its illogical nonsense that more Democratic voters are good for the Republican Party is beyond me.

I should start at the bottom of WSJ op/eds, because they become progressively more unhinged:
In 1994 in California, [immigration restrictionists] rode Pete Wilson's Proposition 187 to a short-term re-election victory but at the cost of polarizing Hispanic voters and making themselves the minority party in our largest state.
So it was the wildly popular Prop 187, which was shot down by the Judiciary and therefore never had a chance to take effect, that caused the Republican downfall in California! It wasn't the increasing poverty, wealth disparity, and white flight brought on by the growth in size of the Hispanic underclass that did it. That the growth in the Hispanic population of California is directly related to the decline in the Republican Party's popularity there doesn't matter! If we expand the California experiment across the entire country, it will be good for Republicans, you'll see!

Responding to solutions like militarization of the border and the construction of a wall,
the WSJ blathers:
Any bill that merely harasses immigrants and employers, and stacks more cops on
the border, may win cheers in the right-wing blogosphere. However, it will do nothing to address the economic incentives that will continue to exist for poor migrants to come to America to feed their families.
At least they've admitted their position. Americans should sacrifice their own well-being to provide a plane for economic equilibrium with the third-world. In other words, the US should continue to allow in foreign net-liabilities until the standard-of-living decreases to the point of making the US an undesirable destination for migrants. Good plan, even without taking birthrates (that poorer nations have more explosive birthrates and therefore perpetually drive down the global standard of living) into consideration! I guess social problems being imported for $17 billion a year is the best way to "address the economic incentives" of Vicente Fox's open borders position!

The evil Tancredos of the world will be awful ambassadors of the people:
Without doing anything to draw illegals out of the shadows and help them assimilate into the mainstream of American culture and citizenship.
That would be the assimilation we've seen over the last couple of weeks in the streets of Los Angeles and other third world cities across the country, right?

Golden race takes to the streets (March 27, 2006)

Welcome to the
United States of Mexico:

The cheering, boisterous students ditched classes on a day honoring the late leader of the United Farm Workers Union. Similar school walkouts were held around the state Friday and were followed by a rally at Los Angeles City Hall that drew an estimated 500,000 people - one of the largest demonstrations ever held in the city.

Protesters object to a U.S. House bill that would make it a felony to be in the U.S. illegally, impose new penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants and erect fences along one-third of the U.S.-Mexican border.
Michelle Malkin, as usual, has a great set of photos from the rallies. Illegals waved Mexican flags, burned American flags, held up banners claiming that the indigenous, beautiful brown people owned the land, and shook signs reading "Chicano Power!" The great multicultural experiment at work. California is a harbinger of things to come, and Los Angeles is the epicenter. ERs are being shut down because they are overwhelmed by uninsured illegals. Gangs divided along racial lines roam the streets and riot in the prisons. Wealth disparities continue to grow, a disastrous trend for the health of a democracy. Test scores are among the worst in the country. Whites flee in droves to demographically traditional states like Utah, Wyoming, and Montana.

Half a million people in a single city openly flouting the law of the land, screaming about how we've not given them enough. They want to feed off our prosperity but otherwise want nothing of our culture. Sound familiar? Maybe a
clash of civilizations? Fortunately these protests have thus far remained peaceful, and so are not as bad as the Muslim riots in Europe. Still, these migrant's countries of origin are corrupt and economically retarded. I want nothing of them.

The laissez faire attitude toward immigration pushes towards an eventual equilibrium. Who wants that in the US? An
average IQ of 90? A life expectancy of 64 years? A literacy rate of 82%? A per capita purchasing power of under $10,000? We do considerably better in all of these categories. Our immigrants should push our stats even higher, not lower them to that point of theoretical equilibrium where illegal immigration will cease because it is no longer attractive for aliens to migrate (that is, the US becomes a third-world nation less desirable than Mexico).

We need a wall. We need to crack down on employers of illegals and begin deportations, at least of those with a record (misdemeanor or felony). This can be done. Half a century ago, we shipped/scared out as many as a million people in a year. If we did it then, we can certainly do it now.

Unskilled immigration has a host of costs. They consume more in services than they pay into those services. They depress wages for natives. They create pollution. They are incarcerated at higher rates than natives. They bring in atavistic diseases we thought dead in the country. There are other costs that are more difficult to quantify but equally important like linguistic barriers. Universities are offering more Spanish majors. So our brightest are learning to speak Spanish instead of becoming engineers or scientists. This is doing nothing for the US' global competitiveness.

We need a merit immigration system that skims the cream of the crop from across the globe and brings net benefits rather than net liabilities into the country. The US has one of the
higher net migration rates in the world (by absolute number it is the very highest). Lots of people want to come here (Steve Sailer estimates as many as 1.5 billion). We do not need to be taking in swarms of underclass Latinos. Why not pick the brightest and most industrious in the world. Immigrants should benefit the host country, not the other way around.

Clinton's conversion and ransom insurance (March 24, 2006)

So much for Hillary Clinton
moving to the right of the Republican Party on immigration reform:
Surrounded by a multicultural coalition of New York immigration advocates, Clinton blasted the House bill as "mean-spirited" and said it flew in the face of Republicans' stated support for faith and values. "It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scriptures," Clinton said, "because this bill would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself."
I expect the Senator to turn for biblical guidance on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage today and tomorrow, respectively. She'll also presumably be calling out Bill to repent for his extra-marital affairs in the Oval Office. But Hispanic advocacy groups agree with her:
About 30,000 protesters on Thursday marched into downtown Milwaukee as part
of a demonstration titled "A Day Without Latinos" in which Latinos were encouraged to take time from their jobs to march, according to Voces de la Frontera, which organized the event. A police spokesman said the crowd was between 10,000 and 15,000...

The Milwaukee march was one of several recent protests organized across the nation by groups opposed to immigration bills considered by Congress.

Clinton's obvious pandering aside, the Messiah might not have agreed with her. Jesus was not a booster of balkanization. "If a country divides itself into groups which fight each other, that country will fall apart. If a family divides itself into groups which fight each other, that family will fall apart," Mark 3:24-25, recorded as Jesus' spoken words (this is where we get the phrase "A house divided cannot stand"). Using a religious figure to bolster a political position strikes me as a direct violation of the Third Commandment, so I try to steer clear of it, especially given that I'm not a religious person. In any case, the Bible presents ample material to be used to further virtually any position so it's disgraceful to see Clinton trying to invoke it in this way. Meanwhile, the protests:
Other protests are planned in Atlanta, where an alliance of Hispanic organizations is encouraging Latino residents to participate in a commercial boycott and work stoppage Friday to demonstrate how Latinos help bolster the Georgia economy.
I wonder if the Latinos marching in protest of US sovereignty will, on the same day they stop working, also stop committing crimes at over three times the white rate or if they'll stop taking in more government benefits than they pay for.

Of course there is going to be a short-term disruption if the unskilled do not show up for work when they are expected to, but that is not a legitimate argument for their putative necessity. If in 1860 plantation slaves stopped working, the Southern economy would have been jolted in the short-run, but in the long-run abolition fueled technological innovations that made slave labor uneconomical in addition to being morally abhorrent. Yet our third-worlders are essentially wage slaves. The work they do merely requires warm bodies and is easily fungible with natives. Sure, employers might have to pay higher wages, but why shouldn't they? Why should you and I, as taxpayers,
subsidize the labor of big business? I am not interested in Tyson's bottom line. If the company cannot turn a profit without taxpayer assistance, it's not a value-adding firm. I'm interested in America's standard of living, educational system, economic viability, and long-term competitiveness.

It's not just agriculture and cleaning services
that are enjoying open borders:
Don’t waste your time looking it up on the Internet. It is advertised here exclusively by word of mouth. And even though it is not cheap, it is now selling like hot cakes.

Kidnap insurance traditionally associated with the lawless coca groves of Colombia or the tribal wetlands of Nigeria is now conquering south Texas.

Faced with a wave of crime, major U.S. insurance companies are quietly selling abduction coverage here to address the needs of businessmen on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border.
While Mexico exports its social problems to us and imports $17 billion in cash in return, we become more like our southern neighbor each day. The federal government warns us not to travel to several northern Mexico provinces because of the anarchy and drug wars that are ongoing there. Mexican mobsters have made armed excursions onto US territory, and now if you live in Laredo it has become prudent for you to buy ransom insurance in case you are kidnapped.

We need a wall. While it is being built, we need the National Guard to back up the Border Patrol and light up any vehicle or person who dares take a pot shot at our nation's sentries. We do not need low-value adding, uneducated net-costs in this country. We need a merit immigration system that brings in immigrants that are going to benefit natives, not immigrants who will be benefited by natives at the native's expense.

The House recently passed
HR4437. The Senate is now dealing with it. Email your Senators (they will have a link to 'contact' and then 'email' on their Congressional websites) and let them know your position on immigration. Feel free to copy anything you find here in the letter.

WSJ's pathetic plea for open borders (March 13, 2006)

The WSJ's defense of open borders is so fallacious that its editorial board cannot even finish a single op/ed without fabrication. They've had two op/eds in the same edition that have been contradictory, like when the board ridiculed the idea of a wall on the US-Mexico border and then in the next editorial went on to praise the effectiveness of the Israeli-Palestinian security barrier, but this is a new nadir:
The immigration debate is finally picking up some Beltway steam, which is long overdue. The problem is that it's moving in a direction that could do real damage to the economy, not to mention to the Republican Party.
No kidding! Across the political spectrum there is widespread support for shutting down illegal immigration from the southern border. Sixty percent of Americans support the construction of a physical barrier and 68% support using the US military to back up the Border Patrol. Serf labor subsidized by the net taxpayer for the benefit of inefficient and uncompetitive American big business is definitely straining the economy, as the poverty rate and national debt continue to grow in tandem. The Republican Senate and the Republican White House are both moving in the wrong direction indeed.

Oh, but the Journal was actually talking about the House, where tough
HR4437 has been kicked over to the Senate. Apparently the WSJ, which does not seem to understand basic economics when they spew the tired and fallacious bromide that illegals are "doing jobs Americans won't do," believes that an increased number of Hispanics, who vote three-to-two in favor of Democrats, are going to somehow help the Republican Party. The inanity continues:
Any sensible immigration reform would focus not just on keeping illegals out of the country, but also on why they're coming and how to get the estimated 11 million illegals already here out of the shadows. Yet last year the House whooped through a bill that expands enforcement and nothing else.
That is a non sequitur. If a border reform measure focuses on halting the flow of illegals, why is its merit contingent upon what is done about illegals already here?
'There are starlings in the attic!'
'Where are they coming in from?'
'The hole in the wall above the window!'
'Quick, patch up the hole!'
'No! Not until we figure out what to do with the starlings that are already inside.'
'But more starlings keep coming in!'
Dealing with the illegals already here is certainly a need, but that it hasn't yet been dealt with is not an argument not to deal with curtailing the flow of more illegals. If the boat has sprung a leak, the first thing you do is plug the leak. Bailing the water while more continues to flow in is futile.

But since we're on the subject, why not take a page out of the book of a revered Republican, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and ship illegals out by train back to their home countries (a la
Operation Weback)? "Oh, but the economy would collapse! A full quarter of farm workers are illegal," goes the standard open-borders line. Yet the agricultural industry is subsidized to the tune of $12.5 billion a year. And then these illegals make $20,000 under the table and pay much less in taxes than they consume in government services. They can send their kids to school (close to $10,000 per, another $3,000 or so for ESL), use our roads, infrastructure, and hospitals, pollute, land in jail, consume fire fighter or policy services, depress wages for natives, ad infinitum. So this industry is subsidized twice. Sorry about the increased crime, atavistic disease, and balkanization of your homeland. But at least Tyson and the country of Mexico are getting a good deal!

Says the Journal, in talking about limits on stays for guest workers:
That kind of forced turnover could mean huge labor disruptions for U.S. businesses, and the likely result would be more illegal aliens, as some workers exit the program and enter the black market rather than returning home.
No, with adequate border enforcement and stiff fines for employers of illegals the result would not be more aliens. It would be innovation. Increases in technological efficiencies will lead to a reductions in the need for low value-adding migrants who are net costs to society and do nothing to make the US more competitive globally.

Painful equivocation
comes next:
Under current law, foreign workers in high-tech fields can extend their stay if an employer sponsors them for a green card. Why should the same rules that apply to Intel's engineers not also apply to Marriott's chambermaids and California's farm hands?
Because Intel's engineers add more value, have higher IQs, are better educated, and do much more for the competitiveness of the American economy than do warm bodies that do jobs that any American can and would do if the price of such work rose. It's much easier for the Marriott to find a chamber maid among natives than it is for Intel to find an engineer. Maybe the hotel will have to raise its wages a bit, but so what? Why should you and I pick up the tab of the chambermaid for the benefit of the Marriott's bottom line? If the Intel engineer is a net liability, then the same logic would apply, but he's likely not.

The board then goes on to voice support for the disastrous
McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill followed by an outright lie:
None of this will appease the small but vocal "no amnesty" crowd, but restrictionists put forth no solutions other than greater militarization of the border and harassment of employers, which we know from experience won't work alone. If the real goal of immigration reform is to have people "obey the rules," let's make sure the rules are sensible.
'Small but vocal'? A large majority of Americans support the construction of a barrier and of militarization of the Mexican border (just as Mexico militarizes its southern border to keep out migrants from much poorer central American countries). And, not surprisingly, the US public is opposed to amnesty 55%-34%, and even Hispanic oppose it 51%-49%. A vociferous 'minority' indeed. And what experience shows us that barriers do not work? The Israeli border fence? The Berlin wall kept people in, not out, so that's a fatally flawed comparison. Eisenhower's operation moved a million people out in a year. Duncan Hunter's wall has been such a resounding success that he's helping lead the charge to expand it. So where is this experiential evidence showing that HR4437 won't work? It is the unpopular status quo that has so obviously failed.

'Really bad people' try to smuggle in across the Southern border (January 22 2006)

That the US borders remain open reveals the government's
dereliction of duty when it comes to protecting American citizenry:
Court documents in a Brownsville, Texas drug-smuggling case cite a wiretapped telephone conversation by one of the smugglers who said that "Osama's people" are ready to be transported across the Mexican border into the U.S...

"During a Jan. 5, 2005, telephone conversation, [the smuggling suspect] described the men as 'Iraqis,' ages 25 to 33, who were willing to pay $8,000 for transportation past Border Patrol checkpoints in South Texas and into the U.S. interior.

"[The suspect] mentioned that eight of the men were coming to Progreso, northwest of Brownsville. He said they were 'dangerous' and 'really bad people.' They carried guns and made the smuggler that was helping them 'afraid.'"

Wiretaps managed to detect this coyote's concerns about his cargo. But it is unclear as to whether or not the illegals were identified or apprehended. Even if they were in this specific incident, that the smuggler used the word 'Osama' in a phone conversation is an anomaly. How many of these so-called OTMs are coming across undetected? Unbelievably, it is really anyone's guess. Even more shocking is the insouciance of ICE's dealing with them:
Detention and Removal Operations does not have enough detention beds to accommodate every OTM that is apprehended.

As a result of this, the majority of OTMs apprehended by the USBP are released into the interior of the United States with notices to appear before an immigration judge.

Most of these released OTMs fail to show up for their hearings and are not ultimately removed.
Hard to believe. I fear the morning we wake up to a news alert showing the aftermath of simultaneous terrorist attacks on a number of major US cities.

Meanwhile, more evidence that Mexico is a
hostile parasite rather than a solid ally surfaces:
The Mexican military has little regard for the border as troops have entered the United States 216 times over nine years, according to a Department of Homeland Security document and a map of incursions.
Notice these invasions are not being made merely by mercenaries hired to aid in smuggling--this is the actual Mexican military breaching the border and engaging our BP agents:
One border agent speaking on condition of anonymity told the Bulletin: "We've had armed showdowns with the Mexican army. ... These aren't just ex-military guys. These are Mexican army officials assisting drug smugglers.''
The Mexican government benefits enormously from contraband (drugs, people, weapons, and otherwise) that's smuggled in. Mexico gets rid of its social problems by exporting them to us and gets compensated handomsely for doing so (remittances alone were $17 billion in 2004). Vicente Fox audaciously calls HR 4437 'shameful'--as if the House's protecting of the security and economic interests of Americans is somehow immoral.

the Minutemen didn't realize it was this bad:
"That number [of 216] is 20 times larger than even the Minuteman project organizers are aware of,'' said Jim Gilchrist, co-founder of the Minuteman Project, a civilian group concerned with border security. "But I'm not surprised at that number. There are significant drug and human cargo cartels involving Mexican military threatening Americans at the border. But our Congress has turned a blind eye to it because what the American people don't know won't bother them – that's how our representatives think.''
Notice the outcry when the Minutemen peacefully assembled along the US-Mexico border to call attention to lax border enforcement compared to the muted media response to hostile (keep in mind, they've fired on BP agents) incursions by armed forces from another country onto US territory. But Americans are starting to pay attention. They overwhelmingly support the construction of a physical barrier to halt the flow of illegals.

We need a wall. In the meantime, we need the National Guard to backup the Border Patrol and respond to any hostile fire by lighting the desert up.

The security fence worked in the holy land (January 06 2005)

The WSJ has two separate op-eds in today's edition honoring the achievements of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who is in critical condition and unlikely to regain the capacity required for continuing involvement in politics.

Sharon has been part of Israel since its inception in 1948, fighting under the star of David when the
country was attacked on the day of its birth by members of seven surrounding Arab states. He fought in the 1956 Sinai Campaign, and was a general in the 1967 Six Day and 1973 Yom Kippur Wars. A vociferous critic of the Oslo Accords, he did an about-face last year in ordering the removal of Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip, ostensibly to appease the world community but pragmatically to relinquish territory too costly to defend. Who will emerge now that the nascent Kadima party has lost its marquee man is up in the air, as is the tenuous relationship between Israel and the rest of the Middle East.

In the tributes,
an interesting thing was noted--the precipitous drop in terrorist attacks by Palestinians on Israelis:

In 2002, the year Mr. Sharon ordered an invasion of the West Bank, 452 Israelis were killed by Palestinian bombers and gunmen. That number was halved in 2003
and halved again in 2004. Last year the figure was 45. Palestinian losses to Israel also declined by 75% during the same period, as fewer terrorist attacks elicited fewer reprisals.
The infitada that brought routine Palestinian suicide bomber attacks in 2001 forced Israel to respond aggressively. But offense was only part of the equation:

This was not achieved because of Palestinian restraint -- even now, the number of attempted terror attacks has scarcely abated. It came about through a combination of large-scale Israeli military actions, targeted killings of Hamas leaders such as Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Rantissi, the arrest and incarceration of suspected Palestinian terrorists, and the building of the security barrier [my emphasis] in the West Bank. All these actions were fiercely denounced, particularly in Europe, as illegal, immoral and counterproductive.
Aha! Indeed, the security fence has been incredibly effective--terrorist attacks have virtually ceased in places where it stands (not all of Israel's perimeter is fortified by the barrier, although it is being expanded in phases). It's keeping the bad guys out.

Of course most illegal immigrants in the US are not bad people, and, at least at this point, the security threat from south of the US border pales in comparison to the danger the West Bank poses to Israelis. But American illegals are
law-breaking net liabilities that are harmful to the economic, security, and cultural interests of the US. We have firsthand evidence of how helpful a barrier can be. The WSJ acknowledges it here, but only a week ago derided Tom Tancredo and his supporters for wanting to construct a similar panoply on the US-Mexico border, suggesting it would fail in additon to being evil. What gives?

Sharon is renowned for his ability to feel the pulse of his constituents. Rather than fight those he was elected to represent,
he actually represented them:
When Israelis overwhelmingly supported the construction of a West Bank fence, Mr. Sharon, who originally opposed the barrier, began to build it.
So, when public opinion in the US shifts in favor of building a barrier our politicians will heed our wishes and begin construction immediately! Wait, the majority (60%) already supports the tough reform measure by a ratio of over two-to-one. But the House (closest to home) is the only body amenable to public sentiment. President Bush certainly is not. Hopefully the Senate, the Administration, and the WSJ will realize what the American Joe is now well aware of--massive, meritless immigration from Latin America is harmful to the US and action should be taken immediately to stop it.

WSJ vs. America (December 29 2005)

The WSJ editorial board
blatantly smears Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo and the immigration reform crowd:

The House took a step in that direction this month by passing another immigration "reform" bill heavy with border control and business harassment and light on anything that will work in the real world.
The bill in reference is HR 4437, which passed last week 239-182. Because House members are closer to their constituents (representing smaller geographical areas in all but a few states, having less individual power, and facing reelection every two years) and enjoy less politically correct scrutiny than Senators, it is they who are more often the challengers of the status quo. Undoubtedly the resolution's force will be diluted when the Senate gets through with it.

Still, HR 4437 is incredibly encouraging. It calls for the end of the risible
Visa Lottery system which randomly selects applicants to emigrate to the US from countries generally underrepresented in the American immigration pool like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, and Yemen (terrorism anyone?), requires employers to check via a standardized electronic database system on the background and legality of prospective hirees, and fencing along the most porous areas along the southern border.

Apparently, the WSJ cheap labor rah rahs consider measures forcing US companies to comply with immigration laws to be "business harassment". That third world underskilled immigration has increased wildly since the
Reagan amnesty in 1986 is, they say, the trump as to why stringent enforcement measures should not be enacted:

For the past two decades, border enforcement has been the main focus of immigration policy; by any measure, the results are pitiful. According to the Migration Policy Institute, "The number of unauthorized migrants in the United States has risen to almost 11 million from about four million over the past 20 years, despite a 519% increase in funding and a 221% increase in staffing for border patrol programs.
Exactly why a wall would be optimal--other measures have failed dismally. Currently the US Border Patrol has a little over 11,000 agents patrolling 19,000 miles of US land and sea periphery, most of whom are focused on the 1,951 mile US-Mexico border. Assuming that the average agent is on patrol one-fourth of the time (42 hours per week), each working BP person is responsible for just a hair shy of seven miles of border! Obviously some spots are more viscous than others and the lion's share of patrolling takes place in the four border states, but with as much as 20 million illegals inside the perimeter, the paucity of agents doesn't strike me as sufficient. Even if the entire BP force was concentrated on the US-Mexico border, each agent would still be responsible for more than two-thirds a mile. This is supposed to pass as an adequate panoply against potential terrorists and other pathological criminals?

The cat-and-mouse game simply isn't effective, and just adding more agents will at best slightly reduce the flow, not stop it. But the evidence for a barrier's effectiveness is certainly not lacking. California Congressman Duncan Hunter's
barrier in San Diego has been such a resounding success that he, along with Tancredo, are spearheading the effort build similar fortifications across the entire border. Israeli's security fence has virtually eliminated terrorist activity--the continued attacks occur almost exclusively in areas that as of yet do not have fencing.

The Journal then shifts from tendentiousness to
outright lying:

The legislation is aimed at placating a small but vocal constituency that wants the borders somehow sealed, come what may to the economy, American traditions of liberty or the Republican Party's relationship with the increasingly important Latino vote.
Perhaps the nation's second largest newspaper missed the recent Rasmussen poll that showed that a solid 60% of Americans favor the construction of a barrier along the southern border while only 26% oppose it. How long the economy can sustain net drains on it by largely unskilled third-worlders who consume more tax dollars than they pay is certainly a valid question, however! So are concerns about the net taxpayer's freedom from atavistic disease, increased criminal activity, cultural balkanization, economic liberty, and his desire to put in place a government that acts as a steward of the taxes he pays. And of course, decreasing Latino immigration will benefit the GOP as Republicans are incredibly lucky if they can nab 40% of the Hispanic vote.

Then we play a little semantics:

Perhaps the bill's most revealing feature is the one that makes it a criminal offense, rather than a civil violation, to be in the country illegally... This also smears the law-abiding aliens with the lawbreakers.
These putative "law-abiding aliens" are already lawbreakers. The immigration laws of this country are not magically eviscerated just because Jose hasn't (yet?) stolen your bike. While I do not blame illegals for taking a gamble by sneaking into the US to enjoy the economic efflorescence their corrupt and backward native countries are unable to provide them, the fact remains that they are in clear violation of the law.

Predictably, the op/ed contains the open border crowd's most ridiculous bromide of all:

...means creating legal pathways for foreign labor to enter the country and fill jobs Americans simply won't do anymore.
The world's top business newspaper is in dire need of a lesson in basic economics. These low-value adding jobs are jobs that Americans won't do at current wages. If businesses cannot find enough help paying $5.15 an hour, they'll have to pay more or develop other mechanisms to get the job done. But the work will certainly be completed. Go to Iowa, Maine, or Vermont (92.6%, 96.5%, and 96.2% non-Hispanic white, respectively)--the lawns are still getting cut, the trash is still being picked up. And the standard of living in these states is much better than in New Mexico or California (ground zero for illegal immigration). There's also a lot less crime in the aforementioned low-immigrant states (notice how high crime rates seem to flow from Mexico northward--pictures can be worth a thousand words).

Ironically, the
very next WSJ op/ed excoriates corporate welfare. But cheap labor is subsidized labor (read corporate welfare). The net taxpayer must pick up the tab for the costs immigrants bring and do not even come close to paying back in taxes (education, medical, police, and fire services, pollution, infrastructure wear, language interpretation, ad infinitum) so big business (much of which, like the agricultural industry, is already heavily subsidized) can skimp on costs. Meanwhile, American competitors turn to technology to obselesce cheap human labor and all its baggage (Japan has over half of the world's functioning robots). When automation technologies eventually become more cost effective even in the short-run versus cheap human labor, US industry will be hopelessly unable to compete.


Hope you already own a home (December 23 2005)

Housing is becoming tougher for the middle class to come by. The
Fed has raised the discount rate for the last thirteen consecutive quarters to 4.25%, its highest point in over five years (the prime rate, the rate at which banks lend money to their credit worthy customers, runs about 3% higher than the discount rate--it currently sits at 7.25%). And real estate prices have exploded in various parts of the country. Thus (subscription required):

Housing affordability in October sank to its lowest levels since 1991, according to the National Association of Realtors' Affordability Index, a widely followed measure of the average household's ability to buy a home at current interest rates. In some areas, including New York City, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Miami, housing affordability has dropped to levels not seen since the early to mid-1980s, according to mortgage giant Fannie Mae.
This is wonderful news for the 68.8% of Americans who own homes or have real investment property. But for those prospective househunters, the situation is hardly encouraging:

Affordability has long been a problem for low-income home buyers. But as home prices have marched steadily higher in recent years, many buyers with healthier incomes also are being squeezed. Declining affordability mainly affects whether first-time home buyers will enter the market, but in some markets people who already own a home are finding it tough to trade up.
Want to take a stab at a primary reason for the squeeze? Start with a little basic supply and demand. As the demand for housing increases, the price people are willing to pay for homes goes up. To offset this, more homes can be built, and in places with ample room for expansion that's been happening. But shoving off to find a place more affordable usually means finding a place, cost aside, that is less desirable:

Declining affordability is forcing many home buyers to accept longer commutes,
says Jane Powers, a broker with Ewing & Clark Inc.
In regions with higher population densities where simply throwing up more housing is not feasible, higher prices result. Recalling the cities mentioned earlier, the astute reader realizes that these are cities characterized by an unusually high population of foreign-born immigrants: New York City (36%, seventh highest in the US), Los Angeles (41.3%, third highest), San Diego (27.9%, tenth highest), San Francisco (36.7%, fifth highest) and Miami (60.6%, very highest in the country). In a future post I am going to look at the correlation between percentage of foreign born and housing affordability by state and, if I can find it without having to pay an exoberant amount, by city as well.

California has by far the most foreign-born immigrants in the country, with
26.9% of its population non-native--and the top six least affordable housing markets are all in the Golden State. In many ways our nation's most populous state is a metaphorical tocsin alerting us to what we can look forward to as millions of unskilled and uneducated immigrants, both legal and illegal, continue to pour into the country: A bankrupt state treasury, atrocious NAEP test scores, high crime, enormous wealth disparity, racial tension, high unemployment, sub altern high school graduation rates (p8), ad infititum.

Partially distorting the saliency of increasingly unaffordable housing are nifty borrowing and financing tricks that save buyers a
pittance now in exchange for a mountain being owed down the road:

Some factors have helped offset the decline in affordability. Many borrowers have embraced creative mortgage products, such as interest-only loans, mortgages with teaser rates of as low as 1% and "piggyback" loans aimed at buyers who don't have the money for a down payment. In the third quarter, borrowers could boost their purchasing power by 26% by taking out an interest-only mortgage, which allows a home buyer to put off repaying principal for several years, instead of a standard mortgage.
This is obviously not sustainable. Nor is the American way of life--built on ample room and a tight labor market--sustainable if immigration patterns continue as they are.


The vulpine Fox weighs in on US politics (December 20 2005)

Mexican President Vicente Fox ripped into the just passed HR 4437, which among other tough reform measures calls for a fence to be built in the most porous areas along the southern border:

Fox said barriers between nations belonged to the last century and had been torn down by popular uprisings, referring to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

"This wall is shameful," Fox said at an event for migrants in his home state of Guanajuato...

"When we look at their roots, the immense majority are migrants, migrants that have arrived from all over the world," he said.
What audacity he has to criticize our legislators for listening to their constituencies and passing a resolution that is in the best interest of the US. The Berlin Wall was built to keep people in--it was tantamount to a prison inclosure. This fence will be keeping people out--there's a huge difference. A better comparison would be made with the Israeli barrier, which has done a phenomenal job in protecting that country's citizens from external hostilities.

The previous three waves of immigrants, each of which
is dwarfed in comparison with the prodigious magnitude of this fourth wave, came from Europe. With the possible exception of Ireland, they were as developed or more so than the US. They came from countries characterized by average IQ scores similar to those of the US. There was a booming need for manual labor that is continually disappearing from a contemporary economy built increasingly on technical skill and professional education.

And of course, there was not a huge safety net or welfare system that provided free health care, medical services, infrastructure, and so on to whoever could skirt by the border patrol undetected. German families abruptly picked up English with the onset of World War II--today,
some 11 million people residing in the US are deemed 'nonliterate', meaning they cannot partake in even the most basic forms of English communication. Training and paying translators are yet another hidden economic cost of rampant underclass immigration.

Fox's comparisons are spurious indeed. He is looking out for the well being of Mexico at our expense.


The Mexican government is not a friend (December 18 2005)

But we're Mexico's best friend. Remittances to Mexico are now that country's
number one source of external revenue ($17 billion in 2004), even surpassing dollars generated from oil exports. The Mexican government has lobbied hard to get US banks to accept matricula consular cards, which are issued by Mexico to Mexican nationals living outside the home country (inside the US, in other words). Over 200 US banks honor the cards, even though they are illegal substitutes for legitimate social security or green cards.

So, Mexico helps banks set up accounts for criminals so these illegals can easily wire money south of the border. Even though such activity is clearly illegal, its
practice is widespread:

LILIANA SALAS-GRIP, WELLS FARGO: "We are not in the business of immigration. We don't question any customer, Latin, American, or any other customer that comes into our financial institution in their legal or illegal status..."

But there are clear laws on the books for the integrity of the immigration system. United States criminal code, "It is a crime punishable by 10 years in jail for aiding and abetting someone in this country illegally for commercial gain." And the
Bank Secrecy Act of 1972 makes it clear banks must know their customer, and any illegal activity must be reported to the government.
The Mexican migrants who come to the US are below the national average by several measures: Have an average educational attainment equivalent to the eighth grade, are three times as likely not to have a high school diploma and only one-eighth (four generations in they are still only about one-fifth) as likely to pursue secondary education as natives, illegal immigrants (primarily but not exclusively Mexican) comprise around a quarter of the US prison population but only a tenth of the total population, use welfare services at a rate as much as 50% higher than natives (p9), and are an astounding 250% more likely to fall below the poverty threshold than natives.

Think about how great a deal this is for Vicente Fox. He attenuates the problem caused by his impoverished and unemployed by shipping them out of the country. Then, his economy gets injected with $17 billion without having to give anything up. Mexico parasitically exports her social problems and we pay her for them. Sort of like the old
privateers--send your criminals out of the country to go plunder other countries on your behalf.

Indeed the
Mexican government is aware of how lucrative this trade is:

The Mexican government publishes and distributes a comic book-style guide on
breaching the border safely and evading detection once in the U.S.

That cultured country of unrivaled probity makes some fine comic strips for sure (scroll down a bit)! Meanwhile, in my home state, illegal immigrants pay only a fourth of what my pals from Missouri fork over to attend KU. To insure that American culture does not make Mexicans forget the culture of their great golden race, the Mexican government actively pushes for Mexican history and culture to be taught in largely Hispanic areas within the US:

Since 1990, Mexico has supported a number of initiatives to import Mexican culture into the U.S. For one thing, each of Mexico's 47 consulates in the U.S. has a mandate to introduce Mexican textbooks into schools that have a sizeable Hispanic population.
Ironically, however, Mexico has an entirely different opinion on immigration policy when she's on the receiving end:

Mexico’s own immigration policies are the exact opposite of what it relentlessly advocates in the United States. Its entry permits favor scientists, technicians, teachers of underrepresented disciplines, and others likely to contribute to “national progress.” Immigrants may only enter through established ports and at designated times. Anyone not presenting the proper documentation and health certificates won’t get in; the transportation company that brought him must pay his return costs. Foreigners who do not “strictly comply” with the entry conditions will face deportation. Steve Royster, who worked in the American consulate in Mexico from 1999 to 2001, presided over several deportations of Americans who had overstayed their visas. “They were given a choice: accept deportation or go to jail,” he says.

Providing full college tuition or all-expenses-paid secondary and primary education for illegal American students in Mexico? Unthinkable. Until recently, U.S.-born children of Mexican parents weren’t even allowed to enroll in Mexican public schools, reserved for Mexican citizens only. The parents would have to bribe officials for Mexican birth certificates for their kids. (The 1998 change in the Mexican constitution to allow dual nationality now makes enrollment by U.S.-born Mexicans possible.) “We’re not friendly with immigrants; that’s a big difference with the speech we have here with American schools,” admits a Mexican diplomat.

Those caciques must think we're absolute morons. Could we possibly be played for fools any worse than we currently are being played? We bend over backwards to help a corrupt country (more than 30% of Mexican households report that they have paid at least one bribe in the last year) that would never do the same for us.

When I say "we", of course, I'm not including
big business that exploits the cheap labor (Republicans) or leftist politicians who love manufacturing more votes (Democrats). I'm talking about you, the net taxpayer--the one who subsidizes unskilled immigrants. The costs illegal immigration thrusts upon the US are staggering--somewhere in the range of $11 to $22 billion annually. And this number would be even higher--around $29 billion--if amnesty was granted to all illegals (as these illegals would instantly become eligible for a wider array of government services). While an illegal pays $4,200 on average in taxes per year, with two kids in school requiring ESL he is receiving $25,000 from the net taxpayer. Then there's medical services, pollution, police and fire use, infrastructure wear, linguistic translation costs, ad infititum.

It's time for President Bush to
put his money where his mouth is. Importing an obsequious foreign servant to replace a rowdy domestic one does not get rid of the latter--it just gives you a new member of the underclass. We need a barrier and a thundering crackdown on the flow of indigent hordes into the US that depress wages, increase crime, bring in disease, stress our infrastructure, increase the size of our underclass, and threaten our national security. The economy of the future, unlike the one of our forefathers, has little need for menial labor. And in the words of Milton Friedman, "It's just obvious that you can't have free immigration and a welfare state."


Bush blathers on border (November 30 2005)

I want to support President Bush. I really do. I'm nationalistic, capitalistic, and a self-described member of the
empirical right. I want to believe that he is serious about stopping illegal immigration. Last Tuesday, Bush gave a speech in Arizona at least paying lip service to stricter border enforcement. It was a mixture of empty platitudes, immigration-is-self-evidently good chatter, and a bit of gold:

"This practice of catch and release has been the government's policy for decades. It is an unwise policy and we're going to end it...

Under current law, the federal government is required to release people caught crossing our border illegally if their home countries do not take them back in a set period of time. That law doesn't work when it comes time to enforcing the border and it needs to be changed.

Those we we're forced to release have included murderers, rapists, child molesters, and other violent criminals. This undermines our border security. It undermines the work these good folks are doing. And the United States Congress needs to pass legislation to end these senseless rules. [No kidding!]

In some places, the most effective way to secure the border is to construct
physical barriers to entry. [
Some sharp PR calculation]"

But it's words like these that deflate what hope I may have had:

"As we enforce our immigration laws, comprehensive immigration reform also requires us to improve those laws by creating a new temporary worker program [read amnesty]. This program would create a legal way to match willing foreign workers with willing American employers to fill jobs that Americans will not do. Workers would be able to register for legal status for a fixed period of time, and then be required to go home. This program would help meet the demands of a growing economy, and it would allow honest workers to provide for their families while respecting the law."

This makes me think this abrupt 'push' to secure the borders a full five years into office is little more than an attempt to shore up dwindling support by jumping on a popular issue that most of the political establishment won't touch.

A temporary worker program is essentially amnesty. If a worker
stays for six years--more than enough time to plant roots in the US--why would he possibly choose to leave when the time is up? Enforcement would be a nightmare--imagine the US government trying to deport 12 million people. These 'temporary' workers will get married to gain citizenship, find ways to avoid detection after some time (ie, fake social security numbers). Currently, the government does not know who or exactly how many illegals are here now. That is not going to change by calling them 'temporary workers' instead of 'illegal immigrants'. However, it would make them eligible for more social services granted to US residents on the taxpayer's dole.

The US is increasingly a
knowledge-based society where technical skill, IQ, and educational attainment are key determinants of success. Increasing the size of our underclass to assist big business in its short-sighted search for lower costs is setting us up for a catastrophic downfall when robotization in nations like Japan become not only more cost-effective than unskilled human labor, but also more reliable, efficient, and with drastically lower negative side effects.

And if I hear "jobs Americans won't do" one more time, I'm going to puke. Apparently the Presdient needs a quick lesson in
basic economics: For any desirable good (in this case money) as supply increases, price falls. As supply decreases, price rises. The labor market is no different. If there are ten million tomato-picking jobs, and twenty million potential workers, the ten million willing to work for the least (that would be those coming from corrupt Latin American countries where they made a small fraction of the US minimum wage) are going to get the jobs. Now, boot those ten million out, since they are being subsidized heavily and decreasing the standard of living, and now the businesses have less wage discretion. They can either hire the remaining ten million (lower class natives) or innovate away the need for these menial farm tasks.

A baby step in the right direction, but stultifyingly frustrating nonetheless.


Border Patrol under siege (November 27 2005)

more reason for a barrier on the US-Mexico border, pronto:

U.S. Border Patrol agents working the Arizona-Mexico border were victims of twice as many attacks this past fiscal year compared with the previous year, officials say...

Nationwide, agents were assaulted 687 times, up from 349 a year earlier.

Officials say the growing number of attacks reflects the increased influence of criminal gangs and the profits they can make smuggling migrants across the border.

The viciousness of these nomadic indigents has led to the requisition of combat-style patrol vehicles:

Now Yuma sector Border Patrol agents can cover these areas even more effectively. They just got more advanced tools to better protect them when they patrol such high risk areas.

"It's armor-plated, even the glass you can see is thick bullet-proof glass," U.S. Border Patrol, Yuma Sector, Agent Michael Gramley, said...

"We also have gun ports in the sides here where agents are able to fire outside the vehicle," Gramley said.

That Americans must so fear for their physical safety from illegal invaders is a sad exposition of our contemporary state of affairs. The net cost of a burgeoning newly-arrived underclass runs into the billions (just shy of $30 billion according to the CIS).

While the economic argument alone mandates action, other factors decry open borders. The
number of "other than Mexicans" (OTMs) who cross illegally is staggering, and the threat to our national security beggars the imagination:

Because OTMs, or "Other Than Mexicans" as the Border Patrol classifies them, must be returned to their country of origin, they cannot be simply sent back across the southern border, as most Mexicans are. Under U.S. law, they must be detained (in the U.S.) pending a deportation hearing. The problem is, immigration detention centers are packed, so most OTMs are given a court summons and told to return in three months. A full 85 percent don't.

According to the Border Patrol, some 465,000 OTMs have taken advantage of
this "catch and release" policy to settle here in the U.S. "It's an insane policy which encourages OTMs to come into the country illegally, and we shouldn't be shocked that they are coming in record numbers," says T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents more than 9,000 agents.

On top of that we can throw on the qualitative cultural stuff, the costs and tensions of a language barrier, the dismal academic performance of illegals and their progeny, the failure of multiculturalism in general, increased pollution, drug smuggling, disease, ad infinitum.

A barrier,
favored by a majority of Americans, is estimated to cost somewhere between $2-$16 billion depending on height, layers, and extras like concertina wire. Not a drop in the bucket, but quickly recouped by stymying future illegal immigration. We need to make the investment fast.


60% of Americans want a barrier (November 7 2005)

I spend so much time reading the newswires and listening to NPR that the
new Rasmussen poll nearly knocked me out of my socks. Of course, it shouldn't have. Most Americans are pragmatic people who want a better life for their friends and family. They don't waste time morally posturing themselves to appear as the enlightened by way of wishing for the country to be devastated by 'multiculturalism'. And they understand that cheap labor is subsidized labor, picked up by the net taxpayer. They are sick of open borders and derelict calls for amnesty. A full 60% of them support the construction of a barrier along the southern border to keep illegals out. Only 26% oppose such fortification.

Also encouraging is the revelation that more Americans oppose granting automatic citizenship (49%) to those born in the US than favor it (41%) (so-called
anchor babies). The US is one of the few countries in the world with such an insane benefit granted to the children of criminals who are here illegally.

Duncan Hunter's stock just rose. The California Congressman is
set to introduce a bill that captures the sentiment of most of America:

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) on Thursday called for constructing a high-tech fence along the nation's border from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico as part of a sweeping crackdown on illegal immigration.

The proposal would also increase penalties on employers who hire undocumented workers, step up deportation of illegal immigrants already living in the U.S. and deny citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegal entrants, among a host of enforcement measures.

The bill, to be introduced soon, is a wish list for immigration control advocates in the pending congressional debate over President Bush's plan to create a guest worker program.

Unfortunately, Bush cares more about propping up uber-corrupt Mexico than protecting US citizens and increasing America's standard of living:

The Bush administration already has taken a stand against building a fence along the 2,000-mile-long border with Mexico. "Let me be clear: We will not build a giant wall across our border," Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said this week in a speech in Houston.

No wonder he's a lame duck. Thankfully he only has three more years of paralysis before we get a shot at some new blood. My early support is with Tom Tancredo--if he coupled with the more voluble and intellectually alacritous Newt Gingrich, America's will might actually become a reality.


Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe (R) has
for the most part been an open-borders advocate over the last two decades. Perhaps a recent incident too close for comfort will cause him to reconsider. On July 23, a pack of illegals broke into the representative's Sonoita residence. No one was home at the time. The vagabonds left the big-ticket items alone and instead fixed themselves a couple of meals, used the facilities, showered, and made off with a few pairs of new clothes. They did not bother to clean up the mess, as piles of wet towels and trash scattered carelessly made evident.

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.

Here is a letter I sent to Senator Brownback regarding his support for the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill. You can contact the Senator
here to make your opinion heard as well (or simply cut and paste and then email this to Brownback using your name).

Dear Senator Brownback,

I urge you to drop your support of
S. 1033. Please do not become a contemporary Charon, taking means from a burdensome man before dumping his hardship upon us. Your vote against the AGJobs amnesty earlier this year was admirable and encouraging, but this recent co-sponsoring comes as a disappointing shock.

As you know,
over half of current immigration to the US comes from Latin America. Birth rates in these countries range from twice (Mexico) to three times (Paraguay) that of the US, yet Hispanic households bring in nearly $14,000 a year less than the average American household. Thus, they are paying less in taxes and costing more (at roughly $10,000 per student--more if ESL instruction is necessary, medical services, police, road wear, etc) than the average US resident. With an $8 trillion national debt and ten times as much in unfunded liabilities, this is not going to ameliorate our financial crisis, but will only serve to accentuate it.

Hispanics are
underrepresented in secondary education and overrepresented in the prison system. According to Harvard economist George Borjas, the average immigrant from Mexico has the equivalent of an 8th education. There are five million able-bodied welfare recepients, two million incarcerated folk, and 7.5 million unemployed Americans looking for work who can be utilized to satisfy the need for unskilled labor. Creating a large underclass for the benefit of mega-corporations with the average American picking up the tab is deleterious to the American way and quality of life.

Please reconsider your support for S. 1033 and look instead towards some sort of merit-based immigration program that benefits the average US citizen and still allows for all the constructive aspects of fresh blood in America. If you do so, you will have a vociferous supporter for your 2008 Presidential run.

Thank you for your consideration,

WSJ's Stephen Moore has an opinion piece (subscription required) singing peans over the recent influx of immigration. But if ever someone has played with some numbers and omitted others to push a position, this is it. Let's attempt a little debunking.

Moore points out that the current foreign-born population makes up 12% of the people on US soil. Yet his economic growth statistics are taken from 1980-2000. The portion of foreign-born residing in the US in at the end of 2000? Only
9.5% of the US population. In 2003, the most recent Census data I could obtain online, the foreign-born population was 11.7% of the entire population.

In 1980, the foreign-born population was slightly over
14 million, or 6.2% of the 227 million US residents. In 1990, the foreign-born population was 20 million strong, or 8% of the total US population of 250 million. From 1980 to 1990, the foreign-born proportion of the population grew 29% over the ten years (average increase of 2.5% per year). From 1990 to 2000, the foreign-born segment increased 57% to 31.1 million in 2000 over the ten years (average increase of 4.6% per year). That means in the three years beyond Moore's economic stats, the immigration rate increased 23% (over 7% per year)--considerably faster than any time during the two decades from 1980-2000 that Moore so ebulliently parades.

So how has the economy done in the last few years with this truly accelerated immigration growth? US GDP per capita (adjusted for
inflation from 2000 using CPI): in 2000 was $33,599, in 2001 was $34,828, in 2002 was $35,115, and in 2003 was $35,230. That works out to a whopping 1.6% per year GDP per capita growth over this three year period. Of course the stock market bubble took its toll, but the go-go growth of the late nineties was fueled by a technological boom is not attributable to waves of immigration anymore than the bubble bursting can be pinned on the immigrant's shoulders.

Looking at macroeconomic growth does little to inform whether immigrants are net assets or net liabilities. We have to look at the immigrants themselves. Moore mentions three past waves of US immigration: the first from Western Europe in the late 18th century, the second in the mid-19th century, and the third at the beginning of the 20th century. This current wave is the fourth. A glaring difference between the first three and the fourth immediately becomes apparent: this most recent wave is not overwhelmingly European as the others have been. In fact,
half of this new wave is Hispanic while less than 15% of it is European.

Unfortunately, not all immigrants are created equal. Hispanic median income in 2002 was
$33,103 compared to the national average of $42,409. Hispanics are 3.7 times more likely than whites to land in jail, Hispanic students score considerably worse than whites or Asians on NAEP reading and math tests (they are in line with black test scores), and of foreign-born US residents who are college educated only 16% are Hispanic (while they comprise 50% of the total foreign-born pool). In contrast, 44% of these college educated foreign-borns are Asian, even though there are only half as many foreign-born Asians in the US as there are Hispanics.

There are heavy costs incurred from this influx of immigration that Moore does not take into consideration by only looking at income and GDP numbers. A study by Columbia University economists, however,
estimate that immigrants are a $68 billion drag on the per capita economy. The "per capita" distinction from overall economic growth is a crucial one to make. If a family of four from Central America comes to the US and the breadwinner brings in $20,000 (and is therefore paying, as a very liberal estimate, $4,000 in taxes) while sending two children to school (at over $7,500 billed to the taxpayer a pop--and considerably more if either requires ESL services), the family is adding to the nation's GDP, but clearly the nation's standard of living is taking a hit as natives have to cough up more money for each of these families than the families contribute to them. They are also incurring other costs that the net taxpayer must pick up such as road wear, social services, police and fire services, medical costs (which have become catastrophic in places like Los Angeles), etc. And this is assuming the family is legal--if they are working under the table (and therefore not paying income taxes), the cost-benefit ratio is skewed further against natives.

Moore glibly points out that the immigrants who have lived in the US for the longest period of time fare better than those more newly arrived. That is certainly true, but further explanation suggests why that is the case (beyond simply earning more over time). Large-scale Latino immigration is a relatively new phenomenon:
European and Canadian immigrants are twice as likely to have been in the US for 20 years or more than are Hispanic immigrants and are less likely than Hispanics to have come in just the last five years. Asians, however, have on average only been in the US slightly longer than Hispanics. Moore proclaims, "Immigrants are economic investments with increasing rates of return over time." But the immigrants he is drawing these conclusions from are not synonymous with the bulk of contemporary immigrantion. European immigrants perform similarly to native whites (not surprisingly), but there are striking differences between the performance of Hispanics and whites.

Those hurt the most by this myriad of immigrants are the native underclasses. During the current economic recovery,
black unemployment has actually risen even though historically the trend has been for those on the lower end of the economic spectrum to be more elastic than those at the middle and top. In other words, black employment should be rising faster than that of whites, not dropping while white rates are increasing.

Hispanics have suffered a wage decrease over the last two years, although their employment rates have risen modestly. Moore champions the drop in unemployment, but does not mention the decrease in wages. Basic economics explains what he does not: As the labor supply increases, the wage rate will decrease. And the bulk of the new jobs are going to go to the immigrants willing to work for the least. That would be fine if we lived in a Libertarian paradise of no taxes, but removing ourselves from the quixotic, we realize that if company X can hire an immigrant for $5 an hour instead of paying a native $6 an hour, X is going to do it. The native has to go find another job likely paying less (say $5 an hour as well.) Now, we have X who has cut costs, but we also have two US residents making $5 an hour ($10,000 a year) that are costing the taxpayer at least $10,000 over that same time period (and each of these residents is at most contributing $2,000 to the tax pool). We do not benefit from an expanding lower class that undercuts itself for the sake of businesses that derive an enormous direct benefit and only a mild indirect detriment.

Moore nails one point: "One of the most obvious malfunctions of our current immigration policy is that we deny work visas to tens of thousands of highly trained and educated foreign graduate students who have enormous upside economic potential." The risible
Visa Lottery system that lets potential immigrants into the US in a completely random way means thugs from Saudi Arabia have as much chance to be granted legality as does a chemical engineer from the Ukraine. Allowing current immigrants to pull family members in does not do the US any good either, as most of those relatives are likely to be economic burdens. A merit system of immigration setting standards in areas such as IQ, means, education, age, and civility would be prudent and would remove any potential for subjective racial or nationality bias.


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