Illegal Immigration and Poor Americans
The Democrats and the left have a rallying cry regarding the Trump administration's policy toward those crossing the border illegally. They point to the separation of children from their parents and deplorable conditions. They claim that it is a humanitarian effort, but how humanitarian is it to drop off numerous unaccompanied children or release them into an unknown territory where they can become the victims of predators? They never address the negative impact on the poor American citizen.
They are calling attention to pictures of children in cells, yet, in 2014, when Obama was president, American Thinker interviewed then-governor of Arizona Jan Brewer, who stated, "Each child has a designation of cells, such as 'cell 7 or cell 8.' There is a chain link fence surrounding them and they are sleeping on bed mats with just a blanket. It breaks my heart to see babies being born in these facilities. I spoke with a fifteen-year-old who is pregnant. I was told by a lot of these children that they had to pay between $5,000 and $7,000 and that they still owe money to those who brought them here. You know what these cartels will do – use extortion. We need to question if there were any children that never arrived, and what happened to them? What about the potential for these children to be part of a human-trafficking ring? Do we know anything about the people they are being released to? As a mother, I can never conceive that these children would be sent with a stranger to a strange land on a fifteen-day hazardous journey. I understand the humanitarian argument and feel the situation is pathetic and pitiful. But what about the children who are American citizens living in ghettos and are fearful for their lives because of gang violence? The bottom line is, America is not big enough or rich enough to accept all these people."
Another instance was told to American Thinker by a member of the Civil Rights Commission, Peter Kirsanow, who also happens to be a great thriller-writer, his latest being Second Strike. A few years ago, he and his colleagues went to a Texas detention center and found the conditions to be the opposite of Arizona's. "We found very nice facilities where the people there were given three meals a day, dental/medical care, clothing, and a nice recreational area. Yet the majority report included two photos showing horrific conditions. My assistant discovered that these were not of the detention center, but of prisons," which also separate families when either a mother or father is incarcerated.
Kirsanow is frustrated with what is happening in America today. He is a black American and believes that illegal immigration has a devastating effect on low-income American citizens. It seems that the Democrats and left are just using the illegal immigration issue as a talking point, supporting aliens at others' expense. "We need to understand illegal immigrants have some negative competitive effects on American workers. They drag down wage rates, drag down employment, and compete directly with blacks in industries such as service, hospitality, and construction. Welfare and college spots have been taken from Americans and given to illegal immigrants. They are a net drain on the economy."
Steven A. Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, agrees. "Because the overwhelming share of illegal immigrants residing in the country have not completed high school or have only a high school education, it would require highly implausible assumptions to avoid a substantial net fiscal drain from this population. In short, illegal immigrants are a large net fiscal drain because of their education levels, and this fact drives the results."
He compared the amount in annual expenditures on children in detention centers to those of American children: "the March 2017 Current Population Survey has 24 percent of American children living in a household making $35,000 or less. And it is my understanding that is what we spend on kids in detention."
Senator Robert Kennedy was in the Mississippi Delta 50 years ago for a Senate subcommittee examination of War on Poverty programs. Ellen B. Meacham wrote in an op-ed, "What he saw on his widely publicized trip shocked a nation, but Americans would be even more shocked to know that 50 years later, the Delta remains desperately poor," with one in three people running out of food each month. Perhaps this is because the attention has shifted to the illegal alien.
Concerning the separation of families, the Heritage Foundation found that single parents make up the overwhelming majority of all poor families with children in the United States. Welfare programs create disincentives to marriage because benefits are reduced as a family's income rises, such as food stamps, public housing, Medicaid, day care, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
It is striking that the conditions of a poor American child do not draw the same attention and sympathy as children of illegal aliens. Kirsanow wants people to understand that 73% of black children are born to a single mother, up from 20% in the 1960s. "Liberal policies have been responsible for this. The Democratic policies facilitate single parenthood, separating children from their families."
Kirsanow cites the statistic that competition from illegal aliens has caused 40% of the nineteen-point decline of black employment levels over a couple of decades. "We are talking over a million jobs. Black wage rates were suppressed by $1,000 annually. Democrats are throwing blacks under the bus by appealing for the Hispanic vote by calling for open borders. The lives of blacks in cities like Detroit, with uninterrupted Democratic rule for decades, have not improved significantly. These policies have been devastating to blacks."
All Americans should strive to protect our fellow citizens and their interests first. As Kirsanow summarized, "it is really disappointing to see an entire party more invested in the plight of foreigners than in the welfare of Americans. The Democrats understand that even though they have policies devastating to blacks they still get 90% of their votes. They have disjointed appeals to different identity groups, with electoral politics trumping all."
The author writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.