Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Hidden Cost of Illegal Immigration

I have had first hand experience with illegal immigration. The New York landscape reflects an official policy of non cooperation with federal laws. It is impossible to overlook the vast numbers of illegal immigrants in New York City. There is no question that it has a depressing effect on wages. A man who travels alone to the US and sends money back home is able to accept far lower wages, especially if he is single and living with wage earning room mates, as is often the case.

Those who employ illegal immigrants are not doing so out of a sense of altruism. They are doing so because they are cheaper to employ. When I see signs in store windows saying "Se busca trabajo", it is clear that the storekeeper is filtering out those who would respond to a sign saying "Help wanted".

It is a sham to say that illegal immigrants are doing only low wage work shunned by Americans. Brick laying, painting and other construction trades are skilled labour. Many such workers are illegal immigrants. Their presence on the work force drives down the wages that a citizen or legal resident can legally expect for skilled labour.

There is a certain amount of natural selection involved even in legal immigration. A person who is willing to travel thousands of miles, willing to risk an uncertain future and deportation has more of a risk taking personality than the kind of person who never leaves his or her village. Risk taking can be expressed as entrepreneurial behavior or criminal tendencies. There are socially acceptable outlets for the risk taking personality. A person who is willing to break the law in coming to the US is more likely to manifest their amenability to risk in a lawless fashion.

Are illegal immigrants unfairly stereotyped? Statistics would lead one to believe that there is indeed cause for concern It should not surprise us that those who travel without wife and children to a country in which they are less than optimal marriage material due to financial and immigration status are at a higher risk of committing crimes. statistics seem to bear this out. The web site reports as follows.

  • In Los Angeles, 95% of some 1,500 outstanding warrants for homicides are for illegal aliens. About 67% of the 17,000 outstanding fugitive felony warrants are for illegal aliens.
  • There are currently over 400,000 unaccounted for illegal alien criminals with outstanding deportation orders. At least one fourth of these are hard core criminals.
  • 80,000 to 100,000 illegal aliens who have been convicted of serious crimes are walking the streets. Based on studies they will commit an average of 13 serious crimes per perpetrator.
  • Illegal aliens are involved in criminal activities at a rate that is 2-5 times their representative proportion of the population.
  • In 1980, our Federal and state facilities held fewer than 9,000 criminal aliens but at the end of 2003, approximately 267,000 illegal aliens were incarcerated in U.S. correctional facilities at a cost of about $6.8 billion per year.
  • At least 4.5 million pounds of cocaine with a street value of at least $72 billion is smuggled across the southern border every year. ..
  • 56% of illegal aliens charged with a reentry offense had previously been convicted on at least 5 prior occasions.
  • Illegal aliens charged with unlawful reentry had the most extensive criminal histories. 90% had been previously arrested. Of those with a prior arrest, 50% had been arrested for violent or drug-related felonies.
  • Illegal aliens commit between 700,000 to 1,289,000 or more crimes per year.
  • Illegal aliens commit at least 2,158 murders each year – a number that represents three times greater participation than their proportion of the population.
  • Illegal alien sexual predators commit an estimated 130,909 sexual crimes each year.
  • There may be as many as 240,000 illegal alien sex offenders circulating throughout America. Based on studies, they will commit an average of 8 sex crimes per perpetrator before being caught.
  • Nearly 63% of illegal alien sex offenders had been deported on another offense prior to committing the sex crime.
  • Only 2% of the illegal alien sex offenders in one study had no history of criminal behavior, beyond crossing the border illegally.
  • In Operation Predator, ICE arrested and deported 6,085 illegal alien pedophiles. Some studies suggest each pedophile molests average of 148 children. If so, that could be as many as 900,580 victims.
  • Nobody knows how big the Sex Slave problem is but it is enormous.
  • The very brutal MS-13 gang has over 15,000 members and associates in at least 115 different cliques in 33 states.
  • The overall financial impact of illegal alien crimes is estimated at between $14.4 and $81 billion or more per year. Factor in the crime as a result of the cocaine and other drugs being smuggled in and the number may reach $150 billion per year.
It is clear that there are human and economic costs that come with illegal immigration. It may well be that these costs offset the economic gains of flooding the labour pool with cheap labour.

The benefits of controlling illegal immigration accrue not only to American citizens. There is considerable trafficking going on across the border with Mexico. Illegals often pay thousands of dollars to traffickers. There is a booming prostitution market in which Mexican girls are forced into sexual slavery. tighter border patrols could disrupt this traffic. Additionally, there is a social cost to the separation of families. It is far better to develop Mexico and other Latin American countries than to simply use them as a pool for cheap labour. If good jobs are created in Mexico it will create an anchor of stability for those who want to support a family.

How serious is the problem of sexual slavery? Dr Deborah Schurman Kauflin reports as follows.

"Women and girls are trafficked from many countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Mexico is the number one source for young female sex slaves in North America. Tlaxcala, in Central Mexico serves as a hotbed for slave traders. Young women and girls are abducted, tricked, and sometimes sold by poor families into a caged life. Highly prized are 12 year old girls sneaking across the border into the United States. The girls are grabbed by Los Lenones, aka pimps, and dragged to unfamiliar areas where they are ‘broken in.' It is well known that this often occurs in Mexico. The initiation process entails 20-30 men per day having brutal sex with the girls and women. Victims are beaten, drugged, and repeatedly raped until their wills are broken. It is then that the sale is possible.

... Entry into the U.S. is perceived to be relatively easy at the U.S./Mexico border. Thus, this is a main artery for this activity. Puerto Rico is another point of entry as there are only 23 U.S. border patrol for the entire island. Once individuals enter Puerto Rico, with fake paperwork, coming to the mainland is simple. This is a dangerous open back door to the U.S., and traffickers are taking notice."

It is highly doubtful that we can expect the Mexican government to assist us in policing the border and keeping Mexican criminals out of the US. Much of what must be done must fall on us alone. There is no reason why we can not effectively seal the US border. The technology exists to make the US Mexican border impassable except at checkpoints. Failure to build walls, fences and electronic barriers to interdict illegal immigrants can only be construed as willful. Once this reasonable and urgent step is taken, the problem of deported criminals coming back to the US and committing more crimes will solve itself.

If a person comes to the US legally, we can check them for criminal records and have a legal case against the government of their country of origin for holding back information about their criminal record. We can also give priority to immigrants who are more likely to make a positive contribution. It would be advisable to give priority to immigrants who come with a wife and children. Such individuals are statistically far less likely to be criminals than those who are single. It would also make it necessary to pay immigrant laborers at a rate more comparable to wages deemed attractive by American citizens. It might also make marriage a more popular option to single people who would otherwise be disposed towards a single and less stable lifestyle.

There are a lot of incentives to wink at illegal immigration. There are those who enjoy the benefit of cheap labour. There is also the hope to tilt the ethnic balance towards a higher percentage of Spanish speakers. Among some militant Chicano groups the term "la reconquista" (reconquest) is used. Then there is the gamble of tilting the American political spectrum further to the left. All of these "benefits" come with a price tag.

There should be no linkage between securing our borders and amnesty proposals. People who came to the US illegally should not be able to jump the line ahead of those who play by the rules.

A citizen has the moral and legal duty to work, pay taxes and even to serve in the military in time of grave national emergency. Destabilising the wages of American workers with uncontrolled immigration hurts America's tax base and endangers our way of life.

Even the language has been twisted to minimise and euphemise the problems we face at our borders. According to customs of political correctness, I should have used the term "undocumented workers" or undocumented immigrants". I have avoided using such terminology for the same reason I do not call a bank robbery an "undocumented withdrawal." The original terminology was quite adequate, and the motives for changing it somewhat suspect.

Our nation was built by immigrants, but those immigrants became Americans in culture and language. We have a right and a duty as a nation to bestow residency and citizenship through free will and in an orderly manner upon those found to be deserving. That is not how immigration is being handled now. And that is a national disgrace. Sphere: Related Content

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