A rambling summary of thoughts on immigration.
It always seemed to me that one of the most common things you'd ever hear conservative commentators say about immigration is, "I'm not opposed to legal immigration, I just think we need to control who comes in". Common variants are "... I just think we should know who's coming in", and "how do we know people with horrible diseases aren't coming in?", but the "I'm not opposed to legal immigration" phrase was pretty constant.
I'm not sure I'm still OK with that. I've been drifting lately. Let's start with the second clause, which absolutely still fits. That one's easy. I'm still completely opposed to people sneaking across the border, whether Mexican, Canadian or OTM
ers? By all accounts, they're a small percentage of the problem. Fix the big problems and the little ones can be handled as exceptions if needed. (Basing your entire policy on the little exceptions is like saying we're going to allow unrestricted abortion up to the moment of delivery because of the 0.01% from "teenage girls raped by their uncles"; it's statistical idiocy).
I was always willing to say legal immigration is fine, but I'm beginning to have second thoughts about that. For years, Ann Coulter
has been pointing out that Teddy Kennedy's 1965 Immigration Act dramatically changed
the population entering America. Before this law, the US let in fewer immigrants in general, and the ethnic makeup of those immigrants was more like the population that came into the US at Ellis Island in the beginning of the 20th century. My own grandparents, on both sides, came into the US there. The Ellis Island immigrants were mostly European. It's simply undeniable that from our nation's founding through the mid 20th century, Americans were primarily from European stock and from a religious and philosophical view America had much in common with Europe. Since the 1965 act, European immigration has gone down while immigration from the rest of the world, and particularly from Latin America has surged. It has changed American culture and is one reason for the slide to more dependence on the state we see.
Specific influx predictions that were made seem tragicomic today.
Senator Robert Kennedy predicted a total of 5,000 immigrants from India;
his successor as Attorney General, Nicholas Katzenbach, foresaw a
meager 8,000. Actual immigration from India has exceeded by 1,000-times
Robert Kennedy's prediction.
Senator Hiram Fong, R-Hawaii,
calculated that "the people from [Asia] will never reach 1 percent of
the population." Even in 1965, people were willing to admit that we have
a reasonable interest in not being inundated by culturally alien
foreigners, and it was considered acceptable to say so on the floor of
the Senate. Try that today, even as a supposed conservative! (Asians
currently account for three percent of the population, and will swell to
near 10 percent by 2050 if present trends continue.)
The only remaining Congressman who had voted on the 1920s quotas, Representative
Emanuel Celler, D-New York, insisted, "There will not be, comparatively
speaking, many Asians or Africans entering this country." Today, the
number of Asians and Africans entering this country each year exceeds
the annual average total number of immigrants [from all countries] during the 1960s. [Square brackets added - SiG]
Yet the largest ethnic shift has occurred within the ranks of Hispanics.
Despite Robert Kennedy's promise that, "Immigration from any single
country would be limited to 10 percent of the total," Mexico sent 20
percent of last year's immigrants. Hispanics have made up nearly half of
all immigrants since 1968. After a 30-year experiment with open
borders, whites no longer constitute a majority of Californians or
residents of New York City.
Then there's the not so small matter of qualifications to immigrate into the country. If you want to emigrate to Australia
, or Canada
, or pretty much anyplace, you need to show that you'd be a valuable addition to that society. That's fine. Why shouldn't a country's immigration laws be established to favor people who will add to the country's talent and contribute to improving the country, instead of being a drain on it? Why would a country willingly take in people it would need to support on public assistance? Besides recruiting new voters, that is.
Being an engineer, I've been aware of H1B visas since the mid-80s. They were just a fact of life and didn't really stand out as something to be alarmed about until I started hearing stories like last fall's, that Disney was bringing in H1B visa holders to replace their American citizen workers, and require the Americans to train their replacements
. That was outrageous, but as I started looking around, I was disappointed to hear that kind of behavior isn't uncommon
. Not at all uncommon
. As you might expect, whenever there are big piles of money, usually being sat upon by the corpulent Fed.gov, the situation turns into an enormous orgy of cronyism
Cognizant, Wipro, Infosys, and Tata all profit by supplying foreign
workers to American companies via the H-1B visa program and almost all
the workers are Indian. Wipro, Tata, and Infosys are Indian companies and even though Cognizant is in New
Jersey, over half their workers are Indian and 64% of all H-1B Visas go
Cognizant alone spends millions of dollars lobbying politicians on
immigration policy; nearly $3,000,000 in the last two years. A look at
Cognizant’s lobbying and contribution numbers
show the bipartisan nature of the push for comprehensive immigration
reform. They cover the table, supporting both Democrats and Republicans.
On one hand, one of their lobbyists is Heather Podesta, the powerful Democrat known as the “It Girl” of Washington. On the other hand, they were big donors to the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Why are companies like Cognizant spending so much on lobbying? It’s
simple business: they make a lot more on the H-1B Visa program than they
spend on lobbying.
On one side, we have national programs to convince US kids to major in STEM programs to produce the "next generation of scientists and engineers" while on the other hand we import these H1B visa holders to fill the very jobs we're trying to get American kids to prepare for. Don't forget the workers who were in those jobs, were replaced by H1B visa holders, and are now either unemployed or underemployed. The Fed.gov is creating unemployment and misery for generations to come. It's easy to understand Gates, Zuckerburg and those CEOs: the more of these H1B visas the Fed.gov allows, the more they can suppress wages and the more candidates they can choose from. It's, unfortunately, also easy to understand the Fed.gov; they get money from Cognizant, Wipro and the like. In the case of our administration, already concerned that Americans have too much of the world's wealth, it's even easier to see a motivation to send that wealth overseas.
So while it's true that the illegal immigrants hold down wages for low end jobs (how could they not?), and conservatives rightfully try to change that, we also have the wages of hardware and software engineers, as well as IT workers and other STEM careers being held down by the H1B visa industry (again, how could they not?). The law of supply and demand is the only thing you'll find outside of hard science class that rises closest to the character of physical law.
Indian IT exporters. HCL was a contractor to Major Avionics Corporation before I retired, so I've worked with a handful of those guys. They're probably still there.
So where does this leave everything? I'm still opposed to illegal immigration; no change there. But I'm also increasingly unhappy with legal immigration. That process needs to be reformed. Well, at least the H1B visa program needs some serious reformation to get rid of the cronyism. There might be aspects of immigration that work properly, but considering who's running it, I doubt that. I have no problem with shutting down both until we fix them.