The New York Times' rundown of the disintegrating border situation:
The Looming Expiration of Title 42
- A Big Policy Change: For the past three years, the United States has relied on Title 42 to swiftly expel migrants at the southern border. Here's what the end of the pandemic-era rule means.
- A Major Uptick: Data shows that Mexico has let tens of thousands of people cross its territory on their way to the U.S. border since April. The increase has most likely contributed to the soaring numbers of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
- Aboard 'the Beast': Ahead of Title 42's expiration, migrants have increasingly been rushing to the border. Some are arriving on the Mexican side on an infamous freight train that has been the scene of several migrant deaths and injuries.
- In Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott is sending more soldiers and police officers to the border as some state leaders appear eager to test the waters on how far Texas can go in enforcing immigration law.
- In Chicago: In the final days of Mayor Lori Lightfoot's tenure, her administration has faced a sudden surge of migrants. City officials and volunteers say the city's response has been fractured.
- In New York: The impending expiration of Title 42 has created bureaucratic chaos among state officials and a frantic search for migrant housing. Mayor Eric Adams has also temporarily weakened the city's right-to-shelter rules.
Mayor Adams' office says New York City has "reached our limit," and the Times quotes Adams as saying the city is "being destroyed" by the sheer numbers of people coming in. Creating new quasi-legal categories for people doesn't make a difference on the ground if the numbers aren't addressed. Everything has a limit.
By now, we are all aware of how cities from the Southwest to the Northeast are stretched beyond their limits to provide for the influx of "just" thousands of people.
A "disproportionate concern for illegal migrants," writes Pamela Denise Long, too often results in "siphoning resources from the multigenerational Black American communities of Chicagoland and beyond."
Cast Down Your Buckets...
Over and over, during the House debate last week, opponents of H.R. 2 cited a "worker shortage" as a reason to oppose the E-Verify / Border bill. All of them were silent on the 6 million additional Americans who would be in the workforce today if the labor force participation rate were where it was in the year 2000. The ready availability of foreign workers who accept lower wages and working conditions has erased millions of Americans from the consciousness of the political and protected classes.
The vote on H.R. 2 was a referendum on what The New York Times describes as "a back door to allow hundreds of thousands of new immigrants into the country."
The "unfettered, rapid changes in migration have cost Americans dearly," writes Long:
For example, because of mass immigration since the 1965 Act, descendants of U.S. slaves lost their position as 2nd largest population group. And now all Americans must compete for economic stability against a steady stream of replacement workers. Mass immigration depresses our wages and because of extra labor options, employers feel no pressure to raise our pay thus our income remains well below inflation and the ever-rising cost of living."
But "Employers with worker shortages are welcoming the arrivals as an important new labor pool," The Times reports. To be sure, every new labor pool is an important one if the goal is to keep wages in check, which our immigration policies are doing.
More from Cass' American Compass:
The most salient fact about the current labor market is that real wages are slowly falling: down 0.7% in March, compared to a year ago, when wages were down 2.4% compared to the year before that. Median weekly earnings were no higher at the end of 2022 than at the end of 2019...Employers claiming to be in dire straits are reducing the real compensation they offer."
"Intensifying Conditions at the Southwest Border Are Negatively Impacting CBP and ICE Employees' Health and Morale" according to the Office of Inspector General.
Health and Human Services employees are also alarmed by what they're seeing.
Cheap Labor Isn't Cheap
As we reflect on the House vote on H.R. 2, we consider the cities and communities around the country that have been pushed beyond their limits. We consider the Americans who are being disenfranchised, and the migrants who are being exploited. And we think about the overwhelmed and demoralized Americans tasked with carrying out the policies responsible for all of these.
On the other hand, real wages are declining, the cost of labor is kept in check, and employers can rely on an "important new labor pool" - that's the trade off many in government are willing to accept...until we, their constituents, require them to do otherwise.
JEREMY BECK is a V.P., Deputy Director for NumbersUSA
Updated: Wed, May 31st 2023 @ 11:14pm EDT