Publisher's desk

The Cost of Uncontrolled Immigration



Bob Capazzo

America is facing a foreign invasion — or more precisely, a massive peaceful invasion of foreigners. Our country has never before experienced such immense waves of immigrants as have crossed our borders in the past thirty years. There are currently thirty-six million foreign-born residents in the United States, almost as many immigrants as the total who came to our shores in the 358 years from 1607 to 1965. An additional 1.5 million enter the country every year, half of whom are estimated illegal. A Bear Stearns study last year concluded that there might be as many as twenty million illegal immigrants residing in our country.

Previous periods of peak immigration were marked by the waves from Europe — primarily Germans, Italians and Irish, and Jews of various nationalities. There was a degree of shared cultural background with our predominantly English and European forebears, and those who spoke only their native tongue soon adopted English as their own. Assimilation was fairly rapid: These new arrivals were soon able to make significant contributions to our country’s economic and social fabric.

The picture is quite different today. Immigration is out-of-control, and one of the culprits is the Immigration Act of 1965 which has had unintended consequences. Prior to that act, 95 percent of the immigrants had come from Europe. Of the forty million who have entered the country since its passage, 95 percent are from the Third World. Roughly a third are from Mexico, the great majority with little or no education. Spanish is their only language, and because Congress has authorized Spanish as a second language, there is no need for them to learn English. Latinos have brought their culture with them and formed their own society, a roadblock to assimilation.

The migratory wave of Hispanics from Mexico, including those from the Caribbean and Central and South American countries, is unlike anything in the past. In the border states of California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, the huge number of Mexicans represent a potent political force. According to Patrick Buchanan in his book State of Emergency, the declared agenda of some of their leaders here and in Mexico is to retake those lands they claim were forcefully or illegally taken from them in the last century — retake them by encouraging immigration, legal or illegal. The birth rate of Hispanics is working in their favor. In 2002, 23 percent of all births were to immigrant mothers (with 10 percent to illegal immigrant mothers), up from 6 percent in 1970. Because our laws confer American citizenship on a foreign child born here, whether to a legal or illegal mother, these “marker babies” constitute a Trojan horse as they grow to reproductive age.

Some liberals have called Buchanan a racist and ultra-conservative for sounding a warning that we are in danger of becoming a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, culturally polyglot nation, that our common historic legacy will soon be lost. But his point of view echoes that of many thoughtful observers dating back to George Washington, John Quincy Adams and John Jay. Arthur Schlesinger Jr. in Disuniting of America expressed deep concern that the centrifugal forces pulling America apart had begun to overwhelm the ideas and ideals that hold us together. In 1967 CBS commentator Eric Severeid referred to the “tidal wave of human beings” from the Third World as one of the “truly major issues” and warned, “There is fragmentation going on in this country. At what point does cultural, racial diversity become a kind of social anarchy? How do you get national cohesion this way?”

Americans have been proud of our country’s ability to offer refuge and opportunity to the world’s needy and to assimilate them with relatively little impact on our culture or our economy. But times have changed. The challenge of assimilating so large an invasion of impoverished migrants has no precedent in our history. Defenders of our present immigration policy tout the contribution that low-cost Hispanic labor makes to our economy, yet too few people speak out about the real cost of this “cheap labor.” An analysis by economist Lester Thurow found that each one percent growth in population requires approximately 12.5 percent of the nation’s GNP to provide the infrastructure to support it. Putting it in hard cash, each immigrant to the U.S. costs $328,000! For the 400,000 Mexicans who enter the U.S. each year, the cost is a staggering $132 billion. While somewhat more than half of this is labor cost, offset by jobs created, the rest is taxpayer-financed expansion of educational facilities, water, sewer, roads, public transportation and health care.

How important is the issue of immigration to America’s voters and specifically to us here in Connecticut? The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) recently completed a national survey with detailed polls in four contested Senate states and ten contested House races, including Connecticut’s District 4. Immigration was one of the top three issues both nationally and here, led by the Iraq war and health insurance. Opinions across the country were overwhelmingly in favor of reducing the flow of immigrants, and nearly half of those surveyed wanted stricter enforcement of existing laws. Twenty-eight percent wanted to see better border control and believed that enforcement efforts by the government were “grossly inadequate.”

In District 4 the greatest concern of voters was that immigrants placed too much burden on taxpayers for health services and schools. This was followed by “failure to assimilate or become part of American culture.” On the question of the need for unskilled immigrant labor, over 70 percent agreed with the statement that there were “plenty of Americans to do low wage jobs that require relatively little education.”

When Congress again addresses the issue of immigration after the elections, the Hagel-Martinez bill in the Senate (S-2611), and the quite different House bill will be the subject of intense debate on this nonpartisan issue from which, hopefully, some sensible compromise will emerge . Meanwhile, based on the experience with the 1986 amnesty, the CIS has estimated that passage of Hagel-Martinez will result in amnesty for ten million illegal aliens. This includes 7.4 million who will be legally eligible, 2.6 million who will obtain amnesty fraudulently, and another 4.5 million spouses and relatives who will be allowed to join them. The estimated number of 14.5 million legalized immigrants is far above the number found acceptable to those surveyed.

The favored course of action, based on the results of the CIS survey, is not the process of legalization proposed in the Senate bill that opens the door to so many illegals and their families, but something much closer to what the House proposes. Forty-four percent of the people surveyed wanted stronger enforcement that would discourage illegals from staying in the country, while only 31 percent favored legalization.

In the end, the degree of control over who and how many enter our country, and how many illegals will be qualified for amnesty, will hinge on the ability of Congress to withstand political pressure from the Hispanic community and its allies. Unfortunately, among those allies are the owners of farms and industries who take advantage of low-cost Hispanic labor and who will resist efforts to curb the hiring of illegal aliens. More than our porous borders, these employers are the problem. Until we remove the irresistible lure of employment and access to the benefits of residence in the United States, no amount of legislation will stem the tide.

 

Greenwich Agenda

  • The Many Faces of Multi Media

    2014.09.20
     @ Meli-Melo of Greenwich

    Dr. Julia Trebing, Director Creative Therapies in Stamford, CT exhibits her paintings at Meli-Melo Creperie & Juice Bar  during Sept...

  • The Food Network Open Casting Call for Home Cooks

    2014.10.25
     @ My Cooking Party

    FOOD NETWORK’S TOP CELEBRITY CHEFS ARE SCOURING THE NATION IN SEARCH OF AMAZING HOME COOKS! You’ve watched them on TV, bought their...

  • YMCA of Greenwich Harvest Art Week

    2014.10.18
     @ YMCA of Greenwich

    YMCA of Greenwich Harvest Art Week October 18 - 26, 2014 Join us for a week-long celebration of local art! Showcasing established and emerging...

  • Exhibit Ira BARKOFF

    2014.10.11
     @ Canfin Gallery

    “The beauty of the physical world becomes a metaphor for the capacity of the spirit to reveal itself". Ira Barkoff Evocation of...

  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM  Public Invited   NIGH...

  • Undulate: Paintings By Julie Gross and Margaret Neill

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY II Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM Public Invited...

  • Greenwich Hospital Gala

    2014.10.25
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    It will be a Gala worthy of a doge when retiring Greenwich Hospital president and CEO, Frank A. Corvino, will be presented with the...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02
     @ Stamford JCC

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • SPLURGE Matches Scarf Donations for Cancer Patients

    2014.10.01
     @ SPLURGE

    SPLURGE and the Cancer Institute at Greenwich Hospital are partnering to bring comfort and encouragement to cancer patients.  From October...

  • IMAGINE CANDY- SWEET TASTINGS!!!

    2014.10.24
     @ Imagine Candy

    Imagine Candy located in Scarsdale Village- Winner of 2014 Best West of Westchester by Westchester Magazine- holds a Belgian Chocolate and Candy...

  • The Wilton Fall Antiques Market

    2014.10.26
     @ Wilton High School Field House

    Barnstar Productions and the Wilton Historical Society will present the Wilton Antiques Market. More than 80 exhibitors are expected to...

  • Trunk-or-Treat For UNICEF

    2014.10.26
     @ Island Beach Parking Lot

    U.S Fund for UNICEF Greenwich Committee invites you to the 1st annual Trunk-or-Treat for UNICEF Join friends and neighbors for an afternoon of...

  • La Soirée d’ Automne at Bistro Versailles

    2014.10.27
     @ Bistro Versailles and Patisserie

    Wine dinners at Bistro Versailles are entertaining social events held on a regular basis. Socialize with friends and mingle with other attendees...

  • Flower Power

    2014.10.08
     @ SM Home Gallery

    SM Home Gallery show featuring two Greenwich based artists: Margaret Bragg and Penny Putnam. The art show runs thorough November 22nd....

  • Explore the Bruce Museum

    2014.10.28
     @ Stamford JCC

    Join us at the Bruce Museum for a private tour of the inaugural showing in the U.S. of “Northern Baroque Splendor: The Hohenbuchau Collection...

  • Educational Seminar - Effective Resume Writing & Interviewing Skills

    2014.10.29
     @ Greenwich Library

    Are you sure you are putting your best foot forward in your job hunt?  What will make employers pick your resume and ask you for an interview?...

  • Meet Bestselling Author Ayelet Waldman

    2014.10.30
     @ Organic Planet

    On October 30 at 10am, JCC Greenwich will present New York Times bestselling author Ayelet Waldman, who will discuss her latest novel Love and...

  • Flinn Gallery Art Opening

    2014.10.30
     @ Flinn Gallery 2nd floor

    FLINN GALLERY Opening Reception 'IN FOCUS' Thursday October 30, 6 - 8pm Seven artists share their visions - Carolyn Conrad,...

  • Laurel House Family Seminar Series

    2014.09.18
     @ Laurel House

    Thursday evenings, September 18, October 2, 16, 30, 6:30-8:00 pm Join us Thursday evenings for this four part Family Seminar Series as...

  • Harvest Fair and Gift Show

    2014.11.01
     @ Second Congregational Church

    Event Will Include Hay Mazes, Games, Crafts, Food, Holiday Shopping The community is invited to a Harvest Fair and Gift Show on Saturday, Nov....


Show More...

Most Popular Articles

  1. Henry & Me
    Greenwich
  2. B2B Blast Off Event
    Greenwich
  3. Go For Pink
    Greenwich Avenue
  4. Joie Shopping Event
    Joie Greenwich
  5. GRTA Hunt Ball Patron Party
    Conyers Farms