Half of immigrant-led households collect welfare as admission rules go unenforced
Victor Davis Hanson commentary: ‘Ethnic ‘elites’ favor loose immigration policies
Friday May 13, 2016 5:00 AM
Support for, or opposition to, mass immigration is apparently a class issue, not an ethnic or racial issue. Elites more often support lenient immigration policies; the general public typically opposes them.
At the top of the list are Mexico’s elites. Illegal immigration results in an estimated $25 billion sent back in remittances to Mexico each year. The Mexican government worries more about remittances, the country’s No. 1 source of foreign exchange, than it does about its low-paid citizens who are in the U.S., scrimping to send money back home. Remittances also excuse the Mexican government from restructuring the economy or budgeting for anti-poverty programs.
Mexico sees the United States the way 19th-century elites in this country saw the American frontier: as a valuable escape hatch for the discontented and unhappy, who could flee rather than stay home and demand long-needed changes.
American employers in a number of industries — construction, manufacturing, hospitality and others — have long favored illegal immigration. Low-wage labor cuts costs: The larger the pool of undocumented immigrants, the less pressure to raise wages. That was why Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers in the 1970s occasionally patrolled the southern border in its vigilante-style “illegals campaign” to keep out undocumented immigrants while opposing guest-worker programs.
Moreover, the additional social expense associated with millions of undocumented workers — in rising health care, legal, education and law-enforcement costs — is usually picked up by the public taxpayer, not by employers.
Ethnic elites also favor lax immigration policies. For all the caricatures of the old melting pot, millions of legal immigrants still rapidly assimilate, integrate and intermarry. Often within two generations of arrival, they blend indistinguishably into the general population and drop their hyphenated and accented nomenclature. But when immigration is mostly illegal, in great numbers and without ethnic diversity, assimilation stalls. Instead, a near-permanent pool of undocumented migrants offers a political opportunity for activists to provide them with collective representation.
If the borders were closed to illegal immigration, then being Hispanic would soon be analogous to being Italian-, Greek- or Portuguese-American in terms of having little prognostic value in predicting one’s political outlook. The continual flow of indigent new arrivals distorts statistics on poverty and parity, prompting ethnic elites in politics, journalism and higher education to seek redress for perennial income and cultural imbalances. Offering affirmative action to a third-generation Hispanic-American who does not speak Spanish apparently is seen as one way to help thousands of recently arrived impoverished immigrants from Oaxaca, Mexico, find parity.
High-income American elites likewise have largely favored illegal immigration for a variety of predicable reasons. The professional class likes having low-wage “help” to clean the house, cook meals, help take care of kids and elders, and tend the lawn.
Elites have ways of navigating around the downsides of illegal immigration. They can avoid crowded schools and low-income neighborhoods, and they can easily pay the higher taxes that can result from illegal immigration.
Support for lax immigration policies also offers psychological penance for essentially living a life of apartheid. An elite can avoid living in integrated neighborhoods or sending his children to diverse schools, but he can square that circle by voicing theoretical support for immigrant amnesty and sanctuary cities.
Who does not benefit from mass illegal immigration? Mostly the poor, minorities and the lower-middle class. They are not employers, but rather compete with undocumented immigrants for low-wage jobs. They cannot afford to send their children to a different school when theirs becomes overcrowded. They cannot afford the increased taxes needed for social support of millions of new arrivals.
Donald Trump tried to demagogue illegal immigration along ethnic lines. But the issue is not where illegal immigrants come from or who they are, but rather their effect on the struggling working classes already here.
Prune away the rhetoric and the issue becomes simple: Elites profit from high-volume illegal immigration, while most other U.S. citizens only support immigration when it is legal, measured and diverse.
EXCLUSIVE: Illegal immigrants are being deported on PRIVATE JETS – and taxpayers are on hook for $300,000 every day to fly aliens back to their home countries
By WILLS ROBINSON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 12:59 EST, 14 April 2016 | UPDATED: 13:35 EST, 14 April 2016
American taxpayers are forking out more than $300,000 every day to deport illegal immigrants on commercial flights and even on private jets, Daily Mail Online can exclusively reveal.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spent $116m in 2015 to transport 235,413 people in the United States illegally back to their home countries.
More than 40 per cent of those who had violated visa restrictions were convicted criminals while more than 1,000 were identified as gang members.
A group campaigning for taxpayers’ rights have said the figures obtained by the Daily Mail Online are ‘insane’ and an ‘outrageous waste of tax dollars’.
The ICE revealed to Daily Mail Online that the average cost of every immigrant in 2015 was $12,213.
The cost includes identifying the immigrant, apprehending them, placing them in a detention center, their process through immigration court and their subsequent removal.
Normal interior: Gulfstream IVs are equipped for private executive travel, meaning aliens being deported fly home in the lap of luxury
To remove an illegal immigrant costs an average of $1,962. This includes both ground and air fares.
When they needed to be taken abroad, ICE either used commercial flights or hired jets, including a Gulfstream IV.
At one point they hired a a long-range, twin engine commercial jet that seats 261 passengers to take a single illegal immigrant to Nigeria.
They had to charter flights for so-called ‘high-risk charters’ on at least 34 occasions, because of the number of security personnel they needed on the flight.
The statistics obtained by Daily Mail Online following a Freedom of Information request. They revealed that ICE uses commercial flights to send illegal immigrants back to 190 countries.
David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, told Daily Mail Online: ‘This is insane.’
He added: ‘This is an outrageous and unacceptable waste of tax dollars. There is absolutely zero justification for spending this amount of money deporting immigrants.
‘DHS needs to find a more efficient way to do this. Somebody at DHS should be held accountable for this.
‘This type of wasteful spending is why the American people have such a high level of skepticism and cynicism about government.
‘Leave it to the government to take a relatively simple task and make it complicated and expensive.
The Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not respond to requests for comment.
The latest revelations come to just months after Daily Mail Online discovered that housing someone in the nation’s largest immigration detention center costs more than a night’s stay at the nearest Hilton Hotel.
The government shells out $231 every 24 hours to house just one of the 2,105 foreign detainees at The South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, a small town 200 miles from the Mexican border.
The figure was more than a double room at the four-star Hilton Palacio del Rio 70 miles away in San Antonio, which costs $169.
It was also higher than the $199 rate for a king suite at the nearby four-star Hotel Cantessa – which boasts a rooftop pool and a gym.
The figures are likely to be fodder for Republican front-running presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has won over voters attacking the government of Mexico and outlining a plan to charge them $100,000 for every illegal immigrant who crosses the southern border.
He has attacked the Mexican government for allegedly ‘pushing’ undocumented immigrants to the U.S. to avoid dealing with them themselves.
Trump said that Mexico had been allowed to get away with the scheme because they are ‘smart’ and President Obama and his administration are ‘stupid’ – a situation which can only be fixed if he leads the charge to ‘take back our country’.
A report by the National Immigration Center suggests alternate methods to detention, including ankle monitoring bracelets, would cost the government between 17 cents and $17 per illegal each day.
The controversial center in Dilley, a town of just 3,650 people, was opened last May to accommodate an influx of families crossing the border and takes in around 40 immigrants every day.
More than 500 protesters gathered outside when the doors opened and chanted ‘shut it down’.
The facility, which costs more than $178m a year to run, forms part of the enormous network of facilities operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The agency which overseas the detention of illegal immigrants as an annual budget of $989m.
Flat screen TVs, playgrounds and 24-hour snacks are a few of the amenities on offer inside.
The 50-acre compound features 80 two-bedroom, one-bathroom cottages connected by dirt roads and newly laid grass sod.
The cottages include bunk beds and cribs that can sleep up to eight, and a kitchen – although cooking is prohibited to prevent fires.
Food is served in a dining hall but, according to reports, many children have rejected the food.
Donald Trump’s comments offend many U.S. Latinos, but not all
Mexican Elites Secretly Agree With Donald Trump
They’re all hating on him now, but the fact is, when they’re just among themselves, Mexico’s elites roundly agree with The Donald on Mexican immigrants.
Of the many different reactions to Donald Trump’s inaccurate and insulting comments about how Mexican migrants to the United States come from the bottom of the barrel, one of the most interesting has been that of wealthy and powerful Mexican elites who are suddenly long on indignation and outrage but short on memory and self-awareness.
That’s because Trump’s dismissive comments about how the United States has become a “dumping ground” for castaways from Mexico sound like something you’d hear bandied about at a Guadalajara country club or a fancy banquet in Mexico City.
After all, Mexico—like the rest of Latin America—is not exactly a model of social equality. There is prejudice and discrimination, pecking orders to which one must adhere. And those who leave the country are often ignored and forgotten.
So it is interesting that Trump has became so unpopular with the Mexican elites, who are usually content to watch from a safe distance the divisive immigration debate in the United States. If you’re a doctor or lawyer or businessman in Mexico City, and you shop at Louis Vuitton and spend your summer vacations in Europe, the plight of poor and uneducated Mexican migrants in the United States must seem like someone else’s problem.
Mexico is a country divided—by political parties, generations, skin color, geography, urban vs. rural. You name it. But the deepest division has to be based on class lines.
The elites are so busy feeling superior to most of their countrymen that few of them take the time to think about how their country benefits from those who migrate to the north.
In fact, that’s one thing that Americans and Mexicans have in common: Both groups are too proud to admit how dependent they are on Mexican migrants who work in the United States, and acknowledge how much those migrants contribute.
About 12 years ago, when I was part of the editorial board of the Dallas Morning News, my colleagues and I had a meeting with the governor of one of the states in Mexico. Not only did he not acknowledge the contributions of immigrants to his state via remittances, but when I brought up the point, he actually fought me on it. That money, he said, went into private hands and not public coffers. Thus, he insisted, while helpful to individual families, it had no impact on his state’s economy.
I pushed back. I pointed out that, while those dollars might have started off in private hands, they don’t usually stay there. They get spent—at supermarkets, on utilities, in restaurants, etc. They become public dollars soon enough. And, in the process, the Mexican economy benefits.
Mexico gets the better end of the immigration deal since millions of people who probably couldn’t be absorbed by a fragile Mexican economy instead work in the United States and send home about $25 billion a year in remittances. That’s all gravy, with the only costs being whatever minimal amount the Mexican government spends to maintain a few dozen consulates in the United States.
Incredibly, the Mexican elites are so proud that they actually think they’re the ones keeping the country afloat. But that’s not so. Without the $20 billion a year in remittances sent home by lowly Mexican immigrants toiling in the United States, Mexico would be as financially insolvent as Greece.
As for Trump, let’s remember how the ruckus started. The real estate mogul got into hot water with individuals, media, and corporations on both sides on the border because, in announcing his presidential bid, he glibly characterized Mexican migrants as “people that have lots of problems,” folks who are “bringing drugs” and “bringing crime” and are often “rapists.”
If Trump was seeking attention, it worked. Along the way, he also picked up some support from Republican primary voters.
A new CNN/ORC poll finds him in second place behind Jeb Bush atop a crowded GOP presidential field. Bush is the choice of 19 percent of Republicans, and Trump is preferred by 12 percent.
In the United States, Univision, NBC-Universal, Macy’s and other companies have cut ties with Trump over the comments. Ora TV—a production company launched by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and former CNN anchor Larry King—also ended its business relationship with Trump. In Mexico, where Trump recently insisted he is loved by the masses, vendors are doing a swift business hocking piñatas created in the Donald’s likeness because nothing says “love” like a firm swat with a broken broom handle. And, more recently, Mexico pulled its contestant out of the Miss Universe Pageant.
Interestingly, one of the first bursts of Mexican outrage occurred on U.S. soil. On June 18, a few days after Trump’s remarks, Fher Olvera, the lead singer of the popular Mexican rock group Mana, zeroed in on the real estate mogul during a concert in Los Angeles.
“He said we were trash,” Olvera told the sold-out crowd at Staples Center. “He said that the people who came from Latin America and Mexico are rapists, thugs, and drug dealers. Those were his words. We feel pity for this incompetent man. I have never heard a speech as violent, or as filled with hatred—not since Hitler.”
Olvera then tried to offer a more optimistic view of the contributions of immigrants.
“Latinos and Mexicans came to this country to build it from the ground up,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what one cabrón said—just remember that he insulted our fathers, our mothers; he insulted everyone. And that is inadmissible. When you go out to vote, which is soon, you know what you have to do.”
Certainly, it’s a tense time for Latinos—especially those in the American Southwest. Trump’s remarks touched a nerve not just with Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the United States, but also with Colombians, Cubans, Puerto Ricans. Because we know the truth.
Because we can say with certainty to Trump or anyone else who cares to listen that our immigrant parents and grandparents were not criminals, rapists or drug dealers but hard-working, law-abiding laborers who loved and appreciated this country and contributed to it.
After Olvera concluded his remarks, he launched into the band’s rendition of “Somos Mas Americanos”—a pro-immigrant anthem penned by the legendary norteno band Los Tigres del Norte that talks about “America” not as one country but as a pair of continents. The defiant message to Trump, and his supporters: It’s not just that we’re as American as you. Actually, we’re more American than you. And don’t forget it.
But with outrage should come introspection. It’s easy for Mexicans to make Trump a target. But he simply said out loud what many Mexicans who stay behind have long believed about those who fled to the north—that they’re the undesirables who were out of options, didn’t make it, and couldn’t hack it.
Which raises the question: Are Mexican elites upset at Trump for insulting their countrymen, or for stealing their lines?
CDC Official Calls Obama Worst President, Amateur, Marxist After Influx of Illegal Alien Minors
Report: 36K criminals freed while awaiting deportation
Illegal immigrants responsible for almost three-fourths of federal drug possession sentences in 2014
Think about that: 121 times over the past four years, the administration has released an illegal immigrant with prior criminal convictions who went on to be charged with murder. That is one every 12 days.
In one case, an illegal immigrant and felon named Apolinar Altamirano allegedly gunned down a 21-year-old Arizona convenience store clerk, Grant Ronnebeck, over a pack of cigarettes. Altamirano had been convicted of felony burglary and was in the middle of deportation proceedings. But ICE released him after he posted a $10,000 bond — which allowed him to allegedly go kill an innocent young man. Asked by Sens. Flake and Grassley whether she had notified state and local authorities when Altamirano was released, Saldana replied, “ICE does not routinely notify local authorities when a detainee is released on bond from ICE custody.”