How a 1965 immigration reform created illegal immigration
From 1980 to 2010, the Border Patrol budget rose 16 times, despite the fact that the number of attempted undocumented entries was not itself rising. Faced with the significant risks of crossing the border, after first entering the United States, Mexicans hunkered down to stay, dramatically reducing the rate of out-migration while leaving the rate of in-migration largely unaffected. As migrant workers spent more time north of the border, their spouses and children increasingly migrated to the U.S. to join them.
In short, shifts in U.S. immigration policies transformed a circular flow of male workers from Mexico going to a few states into a settled population of families living in 50 states, including 11 million undocumented people.
In order to convince the American people of the legislation’s merits, its proponents assured that passage would not influence America’s culture significantly. President Johnson called the bill “not a revolutionary bill. It does not affect the lives of millions”, while Secretary of State Dean Rusk and other politicians, including Senator Ted Kennedy, hastened to reassure the populace that the demographic mix would not be affected; these assertions would later prove grossly inaccurate.
“In 1866, Senator Jacob Howard clearly spelled out the intent of the 14th Amendment by stating:
“Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States.
This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country.”
10/5/2015 11:51 PM EDT
There’s a reason why California has the highest poverty rate in the country (about 25%) and one third of the country’s welfare cases. Importing third worlders from Central America and Mexico is the direct cause.
12:01 AM EDT
Don’t forget, too, that 59% of California’s non elderly Medicaid enrollees are Hispanic. In Texas, it’s 63%. Thanks to illegal immigration and the lunacy of Birthright Citizenship.
For supporters, the intent of the legislation was to bring immigration policy into line with other anti-discrimination measures, not to fundamentally change the face of the nation. “We have removed all elements of second-class citizenship from our laws by the  Civil Rights Act,” declared Vice President Hubert Humphrey. “We must in 1965 remove all elements in our immigration law which suggest there are second-class people.”
At the signing ceremony on Liberty Island, President Lyndon Johnson said the new law “corrects a cruel and enduring wrong in the conduct of the American nation,” but he downplayed its expected effect. “The bill that we sign today is not a revolutionary bill,” he insisted.
Opponents of the reform proposal had argued that the United States was fundamentally a European country and should stay that way. “The people of Ethiopia have the same right to come to the United States under this bill as the people from England, the people of France, the people of Germany, [and] the people of Holland,” complained Senator Sam Ervin, a Democrat from North Carolina. “With all due respect to Ethiopia,” Ervin said, “I don’t know of any contributions that Ethiopia has made to the making of America.” The critics highlighted population pressures in the developing world and predicted the United States would find itself inundated by desperate migrants from poverty-stricken countries.
Only a few supporters of the 1965 legislation said the country could and should be willing to accommodate more immigrants of color. “The American nation today stands as eloquent proof that there is no inherent contradiction between unity and diversity,” declared Representative Peter Rodino of New Jersey, a Democrat of Italian origin. The more typical response to the nativist arguments was simply to deny that the proposed immigration reform would bring any significant shift in the pattern of immigration. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, testifying in Congress, said he saw no indication of “a world situation where everybody is just straining to move to the United States.”
…The heightened emphasis on family unification, rather than replicating the existing ethnic structure of the American population, led to the phenomenon of chain migration. The naturalization of a single immigrant from an Asian or African or Hispanic background opened the door to his or her brothers and sisters and their spouses, who in turn could sponsor their own brothers and sisters. Within a few decades, family unification had become the driving force in U.S. immigration, and it favored exactly those nationalities the critics of the 1965 Act had hoped to keep out, because those were the people most determined to move.