May 9, 2010
If America Were a Free Country, Immigration Would Not Be a Problem
Prior to the early twentieth century, immigrants to America were typically poor when they arrived here. But they sought no unearned handouts as they struggled to raise their standard of living and assimilate into their newly adopted society. These early immigrants achieved the life that they had worked for without violating anyone else's rights. That was how it was when America was a free country.
Now, the crippling burden of our massive regulatory welfare state, along with the federal government's disregard for crimes committed against citizens by violent foreign gangs and drug cartels, has turned immigration into a problem. This problem is the result not of innocent people seeking a better life, but of an overbearing government that is too big not to fail.
A century of progressive legislation culminating in the money-hemorrhaging Obama administration has resulted in a system of taxation by which approximately half of Americans pay no federal income tax, and 40 percent actually receive payments from their fellow citizens via the IRS. With this being the case, the majority of new immigrants from poor countries fall into the category who pay nothing and receive benefits that taxpayers are forced to provide.
Indeed, a 2006 Heritage Foundation study shows that immigrants pay little in taxes and receive high levels of government assistance. Because illegal immigrants qualify for fewer benefits than legal immigrants, granting them amnesty would cost American taxpayers an estimated half-trillion dollars per year. Even without these additional costs, the government will spend over 10 trillion taxpayer dollars on welfare programs over the next decade.
Furthermore, the 2006 study was conducted before passage of ObamaCare, which forces taxpayers to subsidize even more of their fellow citizens' health coverage, while paying higher premiums for their own health care as costs are driven higher by the new legislation.
To make matters worse, White House budget director Peter Orszag has shockingly commented that the independent payment advisory board created by ObamaCare will have enormous power to cut Medicare payments and thereby impose rationing to save money for the government. The addition of millions more citizens who are unable to support themselves will only add to this burden of rising costs, rising taxes, and government-imposed rationing of critical, life-saving health care.
None of these injustices is the fault of the immigrant community; these immoral policies are the fault of an out-of-control government that is no longer limited to the protection of individual rights, and instead actively violates these rights on a daily basis.
In addition to exploding the dependent population, our porous borders have allowed violent gangs and drug cartels to advance north into the American southwest. People who live in areas close to the border such as southern Arizona are in the crossfire of violent drug traffickers who commit murders, kidnappings, home invasions, and robberies. Only last week, a central Arizonan sheriff was shot in the stomach by one of a group of immigrant smugglers wielding an AK-47 assault rifle.
Even if we were to adopt the most liberal immigration policies, it is imperative to have secure borders; keeping its citizens safe is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of a government, but ours is defaulting on this responsibility for political reasons. Left-leaning politicians express an outpouring of concern for the feelings of those who might interpret enhanced border security as being racially motivated, but they exhibit callous disregard for the citizens who are being terrorized, and in some cases killed, by criminals from south of the border.
Cries for a civilized, honest debate arise from the left as a knee-jerk response to those who express articulate opposition to their agenda, yet these same leftists hurl the absurd accusation of racism at anyone who favors securing our borders. Even the chaotic soup of wild emotions and random, out-of-context facts that make up the intellect of a liberal should be capable of grasping the possibility that factors other than an irrelevant physical attribute drive opposition to their political agenda.
So why can't we have the honest, rational immigration debate that the left is calling for? The explanation is simple: Openness and honesty will not advance their statist agenda. Ayn Rand elegantly presented this principle in her book Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal: "When opposite basic principles are clearly and openly defined, it works to the advantage of the rational side; when they are not clearly defined, but are hidden or evaded, it works to the advantage of the irrational side." The truth poses a threat to proponents of tyranny.
The statists stand to benefit from a degradation of the American standard of living, from balkanized group politics that disregard the individual and from lies and distortions presented by the mainstream media as objective facts. They are collectivists. They know that an honest discussion of the issues would reveal the moral obscenity of their attempts to exploit immigrants and citizens alike for the purpose of expanding their power and destroying a civilization that they despise. It would reveal the moral bankruptcy of their argument that it is our duty to throw our borders wide open and care for needy people from around the globe, even as it destroys us. The statists would not want more Americans to consider the idea that it is a profoundly moral loyalty to life that drives many of us to reject this torture and defend our right to exist.
There are no conflicts of interest among rational men; innocent, decent, and honest people who want to immigrate to America should be welcome here. In a free society, immigration is beneficial to all. Absent the perverse incentives created by a rights-violating welfare state that refuses to protect its citizens, why wouldn't we want to welcome productive, hardworking, freedom-loving Americans-in-spirit? It is crucial that the nature of the present immigration conflict be identified: It is not a conflict between whites and Hispanics or between citizens and immigrants. At its root, it is a conflict between those who wish to live and be free and the emerging tyrannical regime that seeks to control us.