Monday, July 22, 2019

Who Profits from Illegal Immigration?

Victor Davis Hanson offers one of the best analyses of the immigration crisis. (via Maggie’s Farm) He looks at the different interest groups that gain from illegal immigration… thus, showing us the rationale for our current non-policy. Surely, it’s a great improvement over the usual whining about how badly we feel for the children who are separated from their parents. Tugging on heartstrings has some political force, but we will never understand how we got to this point without examining the reality behind the ginned-up empathy.

To begin, Latin American governments profit from illegal immigration:

The immigrant is the pawn of Latin American governments who view him as inanimate capital, someone who represents thousands of dollars in future foreign-exchange remittances, as well as one less mouth to feed at home — if he crosses the border, legality be damned. 

They have a distinct financial interest in allowing illegals to enter the United States. Surely, it's better than having policies that produce economic prosperity in their own countries:

Some $30 billion in remittances are sent back by mostly illegal aliens to Central American governments and roughly another $30 billion to Mexico. But the full implications of that exploitation are rarely appreciated. Most impoverished illegal aliens who send such staggering sums back not only entered the United States illegally and live here illegally, but they often enjoy some sort of local, state, or federal subsidy. They work at entry-level jobs with the understanding that they are to scrimp and save, with the assistance of the American taxpayer, whose laws they have shredded, so that they can send cash to their relatives and friends back home.

If the situation were reversed, Hanson adds, Latin American countries would stop the outflow immediately:

If thousands of the Mexican or Central American affluent were fleeing their homelands and taking their money and skills with them, their governments would probably be barring their passage.

But, you might ask, won’t these new immigrants become rocket scientists and tech oligarchs? Won’t they be contributing to the nation’s nation’s wealth? It is good to disabuse oneself of such nonsense.

Hanson explains the reality:

When 1 million of some of the most impoverished people on the planet arrive without legality, a high-school diploma, capital, or English, then they are likely to remain poor for a generation. And their poverty then offers supposed proof that America is a nativist or racist society for allowing such asymmetry to occur — a social-justice crime remedied best the by Latino caucus, the Chicano-studies department, the La Raza lawyers association, or the former National Council of La Raza. 

Did you get that? When the illegals remain poor, special interest grievance groups will band together to blame the United States, or to blame capitalism.

If Latino immigrants were of the conservative upper-middle class, as refugees fleeing socialist tyranny, arriving with English fluency, legality, and capital, then the current Latino ethnic industry would oppose open borders and its activists perhaps would go to the border to turn them away.

Politically speaking, Hanson continues, illegals have been turning red states purple and blue. Being dependent on government largesse they will unfailing vote for Democrats:

Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado are becoming Californized. Soon open borders will do the same to Arizona and Texas. No wonder that the Democratic party has been willing to do almost anything to become the enabler of open borders, whether that is setting up over 500 sanctuary-city jurisdictions, suing to block border enforcement in the courts, or extending in-state tuition, free medical care, and driver’s licenses to those who entered and reside in America illegally.

Thus, the Democratic Party has become a special interest group accumulating voters through illegal immigration: 

If most immigrants were right-wing, middle-class, Latino anti-Communists fleeing Venezuela or Cuba, or Eastern European rightists sick of the EU, or angry French and Germans who were tired of their failed socialist governments, the Democratic party would be the party of closed borders and the enemy of legal, meritocratic, diverse, and measured immigration.

Of course, businesses profit by hiring illegal aliens at wage rates far below what they would have to pay American citizens. They overwork the illegals, replace them with younger illegals, and allow the federal government to pay for their health care and welfare:

If employers were fined for hiring illegal aliens, or held financially responsible for their immigrant workers’ health care and retirements, or if they found that such workers were not very industrious and made poor entry-level laborers, then both the Wall Street Journal and the Chamber of Commerce would be apt to favor strict enforcement of immigration laws. 

Elite progressives are happy to support illegal immigration as long as they do not have to deal with them personally, except perhaps as hired help. Besides, if you suffer from extreme wealth and feel pangs of guilt over income inequality, you can assuage your feelings by supporting the Democratic Party.

Championing the immigrant poor, without living among them and without schooling one’s children with them or socializing among them, is the affluent progressive’s brand. And to the degree that the paradox causes any guilt, the progressive virtue-signals his loud outrage at border detentions, at separations between parents in court and children in custody, and at the contrast between the burly ICE officers and vulnerable border crossers. In medieval fashion, the farther the liberal advocate of open borders is from the objects of his moral concern, the louder and more empathetic he becomes. Most progressives also enjoy a twofer: inexpensive immigrant “help” and thereby enough brief exposure to the Other to authenticate their 8-to-5 caring.

If border crossers were temporarily housed in vacant summer dorms at Stanford, Harvard, or Yale, or were accorded affordable-housing tracts for immigrant communities in the vast open spaces of Portola Valley and the Boulder suburbs, or if immigrant children were sent en masse to language-immersion programs at St. Paul’s, Sidwell Friends, or the Menlo School, then the progressive social-justice warrior would probably go mute.

The moral of the story is this: discard your sentimentality and look at the cold calculus of illegal immigration. Many groups have a vested interest in not solving the problem, so the problem is not being solved.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Something is consistently overlooked: the murder rates of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. These are $#%&hole countries, and they are NOT sending us their best.

Democrats don’t care about people, they care about power. Empathy bait is their stock-and-trade.

Once Texas goes, Republicans don’t stand a chance in the Electoral College.

Sam L. said...

Who profits? Dems.

UbuMaccabee said...

The decent into lawlessness and anarchy is making the thing in the basement very agitated. My moral compass normally points due north, but these magnetic storms have it spinning in all directions. By the pricking of my thumb, something wicked this way comes.