Roy Beck's Picture

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  by  Roy Beck

No tragedy is too great not to be exploited by U.S. open borders advocates and those who insist on using immigration to force massive U.S. population growth. The media are filled with drumbeats to use the Haitian disaster as an excuse to greatly increase immigration even further past its already record-setting pace. Here are a handful of their most illogical arguments . . .

OPEN BORDERS ARGUMENT NO. 1: MORE IMMIGRATION WILL RELIEVE THE PRESSURE IN HAITI AND PREVENT CHAOS

The Washington Post came up with this doozey this weekend:

(Taking more immigrants from Haiti) would reduce the overwhelming numbers of destitute Haitians who will need to be housed, fed and cared for . . . it would provide an orderly procedure to relieve the pressure building in a country where almost no one currently has a means of exit.

Keeping people bottled up in a place as wrecked as Haiti is a sure-fire way to make desperate people more desperate; it raises the risk of violence, instability and chaotic exodus.

-- Washington Post editorial

Do you suppose anybody at the Post thought to consider what percent 50,000 is of 8 million?

Even these editorialists aren't calling for more than perhaps 50,000 to 100,000 extra immigrants. While that level would be quite harmful to U.S. workers and communities, does anybody think the departure of 50,000 people from Haiti's 8-million population would make a noticeable difference in the demands on relief and development work?

Do the editorialists really believe that removing only about 1% of Haiti's population would have any measurable effect on the pressures for violence and chaotic departures? If anything, watching 50,000 fellow citizens getting on boats for America might evoke more chaotic unauthorized efforts to follow them.

But the Post is on a crusade. Before that editorial ran, the paper ran two days of op-eds calling for more Haitian immigration as a solution to the tragedy, and then a front-page article about the so-called momentum building to create an expanded Haitian immigration category.

OPEN BORDERS ARGUMENT NO. 2: BRING MORE HAITIANS IN TO TAKE U.S. JOBS SO THEY CAN SEND MONEY BACK TO HAITI

The New York Times, Washington Post and most of the rest of the national media elite can't imagine why this doesn't make sense.

The editorial writers apparently don't read their own papers which carry daily stories about what 10% unemployment is doing to desperate demographic communities across the country. Just which jobs do the editorial writers want the new Haitian immigrants to take?

In fact in this economy, every new Haitian immigrant (just like the 75,000 working-age immigrants we have been adding monthly all during the recession) who finds a job will be causing a U.S. worker to not have a job.

This is typical elitist humanitarianism in which the well-placed get to puff out their chests in righteousness about giving aid that is paid by the most vulnerable members of society.

Allowing higher immigration so more remittances can be sent to Haiti is like a seriously regressive tax on America's poor. If the elites want more money sent to Haiti than the massive amounts already being given by Americans, then the elites should shell out their own money -- not pick the pockets of America's unemployed workers.

OPEN BORDERS ARGUMENT NO. 3: TENS OF THOUSANDS OF HAITIANS HAVE ALREADY BEEN APPROVED BUT ARE BLOCKED BY A PAPERWORK BACKLOG; JUST LET THEM COME ON IN

This is what the president of a major refugee re-settlement group wrote in USA Today:

We can help the approximately 50,000 Haitians who've already gotten U.S. government approval to come to this country because they have a close relative (spouse, child, parent or sibling) who's a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

-- Lavinia Limon, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

The open-borders people talk like this all the time. As soon as a foreign citizen applies for immigration and has the application accepted, the advocates claim the citizen is "approved" and the only reason he/she isn't here already is because of paperwork backlogs or bureaucratic red tape.

In fact, though, the United States has had numerical yearly limits on most categories of immigration since 1921. Those limits have been very high since 1965, but they are the reason that once annual immigration hit the 1 million mark in the 1990s, it has barely edged above that. Extended family waiting in this line are not a "backlog." They simply are "in line."

Keep in mind, though, that there are NO limits on spouses and children of immigrants who have become U.S. citizens. NumbersUSA has always called for quicker processing of this type of immigrant. The one place where I could see some give in the system would be breaking the limits on spouses and minor children in Haiti of legal "green card" immigrants here who have not yet become citizens.

But most of the relatives in line are not spouses and minor children but are extended family. There are millions of extended family members of immigrants who have applied and are in line to come to the U.S. some day. We oppose this category even existing. If we allowed in immediately everybody who is qualified to submit an application, our peak immigration of today would quickly double and quadruple.

Hooray for the editorial writers at USA Today!

To stop us from thinking that only the most blinded of thinkers are hired to write newspaper editorials, USA Today (the nation's largest newspaper) came out against increasing Haitian immigration.

For starters, inviting thousands to flee Haiti is no way to help Haiti rebuild. To the contrary, Haiti's survival depends on encouraging its best and brightest to remain and work on its revival.

-- USA Today editorial

Unbelievable to find that level of sophisticated thinking in an editorial board. But there it is (and to be fair, we often see thoughtful consideration of immigration at USA Today). The last thing the U.S. should be doing is luring away their citizens who might be most likely to be what I call "change agents." My colleague Jim Robb did a study in the 1990s that showed a high percentage of all Haitian doctors were in the U.S. Is that really a moral immigration policy?

USA Today also noted that the people standing in the line that the other editorial boards want to bring here may not necessarily even live where the earthquake hit. It brings up a number of other questions of fairness and practicality.

The more one weighs the consequences, the less appealing the immigration option seems. So far, the Obama administration has gotten the policy about right: It's not throwing open the doors, but it is doing a great deal to ease Haiti's burden.

America will do the most good by doing what it's capable of doing more efficiently. Finding ways to make Haiti more livable, more quickly, will encourage citizens to stay. Helping to finance reconstruction will create thousands of jobs for Haitians, in Haiti.

That might not feel as good as saying "ya'll come," but in the long run, it will be far more beneficial.

-- USA Today editorial

I hope you have used the NumbersUSA free faxing system to encourage the Obama Administration and Sec. of State Hilary Clinton to continue their very wise policies thus far of telling Haitians that their future is not in the United States but in working to rebuild their own country.

-- ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

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refugees
humanitarianism
brain drain
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