That is the title of this great column by Senator Jeff Sessions and Congressman Dave Brat in Roll Call. It begins:
America is about to break every known immigration record. And yet you are unlikely to hear a word about it.
That’s true. Why? Because the New Class has decided that it wants continued and expanded mass low-skilled immigration, and thinks it would be inconvenient for you to know about it. So liberal reporters, loyal (if underpaid) New Class members, write about something else that better fits their agenda.
The Census Bureau projects that the foreign-born share of the U.S. population will soon eclipse the highest levels ever documented, and will continue surging to new record highs each year to come.
Yet activists and politicians who support unprecedented levels of immigration are never asked to explain how they believe such a policy will affect social stability, community cohesion or political assimilation.
Those are topics liberal reporters aren’t anxious to bring up. As for immigration “reform,” it helps to know who benefits, and who doesn’t.
Immigration reform should mean improvements to immigration policy to benefit Americans. But in Washington, immigration reform has devolved into a euphemism for legislation that opens America’s borders, floods her labor markets and gives corporations the legal right to import new foreign workers to replace their existing employees at lower pay.
Consider the giant special interests clamoring for the passage of the Senate’s 2013 “gang of eight” immigration bill: tech oligarchs represented by Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us, open borders groups such as La Raza and the globalist class embodied by the billionaire-run Partnership for a New American Economy.
For these and countless other interest groups who helped write the bill, it delivered spectacularly: the tech giants would receive double the number of low-wage H-1B workers to substitute for Americans. La Raza would receive the further opening of America’s borders (while Democratic politicians gain more political power). And the billionaire lobby would receive the largest supply of visas for new low-skilled immigrants in our history, transferring wealth and bargaining power from workers to their employers.
What would be the effect on schools? On hospitals? On police departments? On labor conditions? On poverty? What would the effect be on millions of past immigrants forced to compete for scarce jobs and meager wages against these new arrivals?
Few seemed to ask, or care.
This is not immigration reform. This is the dissolution of the nation state, of the principle that a government exists to serve its own people.
Liberals don’t believe in the nation state, nor do they want the government they control to serve the American people, for whom they have contempt. In their view, obligations all flow in the other direction.
What does history tell us about the pros and cons of mass immigration?
Here are the forbidden facts which have been edited out:
The great and broadly-shared middle-class growth that occurred in the 20th century took place during a period of low immigration.
Following the 1880-1920 immigration wave, which saw the foreign-born population double from 7 million to 14 million people, Congress passed a law to reduce future immigration. Between 1920 and 1970, America’s foreign-born population shrank from 14 million to 9.6 million. For half a century, the number of immigrants declined both in total number and as a share of the population.
This period witnessed rapid wage growth.
According to the Congressional Research Service, from 1945 to 1970 — as the foreign-born population fell — the bottom 90 percent of wage earners saw an 82.5 percent increase in their wages. During this time, millions of prior immigrants were able to climb out of the tenements and into the middle class.
Then, Ted Kennedy and his fellow liberals decided that Americans needed to share more of their prosperity with foreigners, especially those with few salable skills:
In 1965, Congress passed a new immigration law which helped produce an unprecedented wave of low-skilled immigration. The foreign-born population more than quadrupled, from fewer than 10 million in 1970 to more than 42 million today. In 1970, fewer than 1 in 21 residents were foreign-born, today it is approaching 1 in 7. In cities such as Los Angeles and New York, almost 4 in 10 current residents were born in another country. One-fifth of our residents now speak a language other than English at home. One-quarter of our residents is now either an immigrant or born to immigrant parents.
This ongoing immigration wave continues during a time when workers are being replaced with automation, when record numbers are living on welfare and when manufacturing plants are closing their doors. All of this has combined to help create an immense wage-compressing surplus of labor: 66 million working-age residents are not working. Real average hourly earnings are lower now than they were in 1973.
The Congressional Research Service reports that during the 43 years between 1970 and 2013 — when the foreign-born population grew 325 percent — incomes for the bottom 90 percent of earners fell nearly 8 percent.
And yet, on autopilot, each year the U.S. further swells the labor supply by issuing millions of new visas to foreign nationals seeking jobs and residency in the United States.
The big problem is not illegal immigration, it is legal immigration policies that are intended to harm, not benefit, the vast majority of Americans.
Over the next 10 years, the U.S. will hand out more green cards than the combined populations of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. This has absolutely nothing to do with the border or immigration enforcement: These green cards will be issued — this year and a hundred years from now — unless Congress passes a law to prevent their issuance.
On top of this, the U.S. issues each year approximately 700,000 visas to temporary foreign workers, 500,000 visas to foreign students, and 100,000 visas to refugees and asylum-seekers.
Because these new immigrants and foreign workers arrive legally, corporations can legally substitute them for their existing workers at lower pay. From 2000 through 2014, all jobs gains among the working-age were claimed by foreign labor. Moreover, because immigrant workers are paid lower salaries, their wages are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers. A recent report from the Center for Immigration Studies revealed that 3 in 4 immigrant households with kids are drawing welfare payments.
Why would we want to invite millions of foreigners to come to the United States to take jobs away from American workers by bidding down wages, with the understanding that, since they won’t be making much money, American taxpayers–including the ones whose wages are driven down–will pay them welfare benefits. Are we crazy?
Assuming no law is passed to reduce immigration, the Census Bureau estimates that, in less than eight years’ time, the percentage of U.S. residents born in a foreign country will be the highest level in our history. And the bureau estimates — again, assuming Congress does not reduce immigration rates — that the foreign-born population share will keep rising to new all-time records for as long as they can project.
Pew Research projects that new immigrants and their children will add another 103 million residents to the U.S. over the next five decades. That’s the population equivalent of 25 cities of Los Angeles.
These terrible policies are on autopilot. Unless the law is changed, the immigration situation will continue to spiral out of control. But the Democrats don’t want to change the law, since they think they are importing millions of new Democratic voters. They’re right about that.
Did any American vote for this extreme and untested policy?
No, we didn’t, and polls show that most Americans want today’s record-smashing immigration reduced, not expanded.
Yet our politicians who have created this policy do print or speak a word about it. This remains the forbidden conversation.
And the reason it is not discussed is because it cannot withstand scrutiny.
Yes, plus the fact that substantially all of the reporters who could force politicians to address the consequences of immigration are Democrats. Dishonesty about immigration is pervasive:
Rhetorical games grow weary. We’ve had vastly more immigration than ever before, but our politicians pretend like we’ve had very little. Nearly 1 in 4 residents aged 25-53 is not working, but our politicians talk of needing more immigration to fill “labor shortages.” Billionaire CEOs bully and intimidate concerned parents into silence while helicoptering their own kids to the world’s most expensive private schools.
What is missing from this conversation is a sense of moderation, of limits and of compassion for struggling families.
It is not caring, but callous, to bring in so many workers that there are not enough jobs for them or those already living here. It is not mainstream, but extreme, to continue surging immigration beyond all historical precedent. And it is not rational, but radical, to refuse to recognize limits.
With respect to immigration, as with pretty much every issue, liberals tell us they are being compassionate. There are billions of poor people in the world, why shouldn’t they all come here and obtain welfare benefits? That would be compassionate, wouldn’t it?
After nearly half a century of massive immigration it is time to turn our attention to our own residents. It is time to help our own workers, families and communities — immigrant and U.S.-born — rise together into the middle class.
We need an immigration policy that shows compassion for Americans.
Immigration is the number one issue in the 2016 campaign, but most politicians are unwilling to go beyond illegal immigration and address the far more serious issue of immigration laws that amount to a vicious attack on America’s working class.