Mass Immigration Doesn’t Make Us Great

The Quote Below: More Misinformation from the Media

“As election day nears, the noise out of the White House on immigration has been deafening, a torrent of lies and assertions designed to reinforce the misperception that immigrants — including, but not only, those who come to the country illegally — are a danger, an invading force that must be stopped. Underpinning this hysterical reaction are three big and wrongheaded assumptions: that immigrants are disproportionately criminals and gangsters or otherwise violent; that they pose a threat to the pocketbooks of hardworking real Americans by taking away jobs and/or living off government handouts; and that in these ways and others their arrival will subsume some embattled American culture and keep this country from becoming great again. . . .

“We are a stronger, better, richer nation for our immigrant roots, a truth that Trump and his choir try to paint differently. We have always had that mind-set in this country, that fear of the new and the different. But to our general benefit, the nation has persistently risen above its worst instincts and provided a canvas for reinvention, and for the realization of dreams and ambitions. It’s the kind of place where even the son of an immigrant housekeeper can become president.” – President Trump is wrong: Immigration makes us a greater nation, The Times Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times 11/2/18 [Link]

Fact Check of Quote: This editorial is typical of mass immigration advocacy with its airy generalizations and pieties. The title proclaims that immigration makes us greater. Really? Do they mean immigration at any level and composition? Would we be greater if, in one year, we admitted ten million impoverished and illiterate immigrants? Immigration enthusiasts don’t want such questions asked. They just want people to swoon with sweet feelings at the mere mention of the word “immigration.”

If the LA Times editorialists really believe that immigration always makes us great, perhaps they should consider their state of California. Back before the 1965 immigration act unleashed  the current wave of mass immigration, that state was the envy of the nation. It offered wide-open spaces, a booming middle-class economy, and superb infrastructure. When Americans wanted to move, California was their destination. It was a great place.

Today, the state has the highest percentage and number of immigrants. If the editorialists are right, California should be greater today then ever. But it isn’t, and many of the reasons are attributable to immigration. One is overcrowding, overdevelopment, and traffic gridlock. Infrastructure hasn’t kept up with the number of people. Another reason is an unpleasant level of multicultural “diversity.”

Worst of all, though, is that the state’s economy is coming to resemble the Third World homelands of most of its immigrants, with a relatively few wealthy people at the top, lots of poor and near-poor people at the bottom—and not much in between. Taking cost of living into account, the state has the highest percentage of poor people in the country. In recent decades, huge numbers of Californians have abandoned the state. California today is far less great than it once was.

The editorialists cite a number of studies claiming that immigration always brings economic prosperity. They might place less faith in this ivory tower research if they would just open their eyes and take good look at the state of their state.

The editorial makes several statements that are either inappropriate, or just plain false. One wonders just why it is “hysterical” to want to stop the flow of illegal immigration. It is true that many illegal aliens aren’t dangerous felons, but all of them by definition are lawbreakers. And they break a number of other laws, other than immigration laws, in order to live and work in the U.S.

Job competition from immigrants does in fact have negative effects on U.S. workers, particularly those on the lower end of our economic scale. Furthermore, immigrant households use public assistance at a much greater rate than native-born Americans. As for culture, much evidence shows that immigration fueled diversity is our weakness, rather than our strength.

Some immigration, however, might indeed contribute to American greatness. It would be helpful if Americans could have a sensible conversation about what reasonable limits we should impose on immigration to ensure that it is beneficial. Such consideration is difficult now because a biased media, holding sway over public opinion, refuses to acknowledge that immigration at any level or type could possibly have a downside.

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