Common Sense Is an American Value

The Quote Below – More Misinformation from the Media

From travel bans to family separation, President Trump has made a draconian approach to immigration [as] the defining signature of his presidency. Many of these actions have focused on undocumented immigrants or people seeking asylum at the border. So his administration’s decision to launch its most significant battle against legal immigrants is significant — and ominous — in several ways. . . .

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers will now weigh the use of ‘public benefits’ — a definition the Trump administration has expanded to include everything from Medicaid to food stamps — as a way to disqualify legal immigrants from obtaining green cards and citizenship. . . .

Cuccinelli sought to paint the new rule as merely a way to ensure that immigrants to the U.S. are self-sufficient. But federal law already requires those seeking legal status to prove that they will not be a burden to the U.S. This requirement has been successful, too — immigrants are less likely to take public benefits than are native-born Americans. . . .

The change is also discriminatory: It’s likely to disproportionately affect lower-income immigrants from poorer countries. . . .

This may please the Trump administration, but it’s antithetical to U.S. values. This nation has been most successful when it’s allowed a wide variety of people — in a wide variety of economic situations — to create new lives for themselves on our shores. – Editorial: Trump’s Immigration Rule Is an Affront to Nation’s Principles, San Francisco Chronicle, Chronicle Editorial Board, 8/13/19 [Link]

Fact Check on Quote Above: To say that the Trump plan is “discriminatory” is no argument against it. A Gallup Poll found that almost 160 million foreigners would like to move here. With their spouses and minor children, the total easily could be twice that. Since we can’t open our doors to all of them without swamping our country, we have to discriminate on some basis to decide whom to admit. Simple common sense dictates that we select people on the basis of what they can contribute, rather than take, from our country.

This common sense is in no way “antithetical” to our values. From America’s earliest years, states excluded “paupers,” and this practice continued with federal control of immigration. During the days of Ellis Island, people were kept out as potential “public charges.”

The number excluded was not great because jobs were plentiful, and opportunities to get private charity and public assistance were limited. Immigrants who could not support themselves in America often returned home. When the current wave of mass immigration began in the Sixties the public charge laws were still on the books, where—as the editorial notes—they remain. What it doesn’t note is that in recent decades we have seldom enforced them.

The interval since the Sixties coincides with the huge growth of the American welfare state. The claim of the Chronical Editorial Board that immigrants use less welfare than natives is simply false. In reality, 51 percent of immigrant-headed household use at least one public assistance program compared with 30 percent of native-headed households.

This fact does not suggest that immigrants as a group are lazy. What it does mean is that they often work in low-paying jobs, and the low salaries they receive qualify them to receive government assistance. Continuing mass immigration helps to keep their wages low, as well as the wages of disadvantaged natives. Were it not for continuing immigration, businesses would have to pay workers higher wages—which would end their need for welfare.

Consequently, mass immigration is a tax-paid subsidy to businesses that want to suppress wages as much as possible. When editorial writers pontificate about an alleged obligation to admit poor foreigners, they display total indifference to the impact of such a policy on the poor, immigrants and natives, who are already here.

Our country now has the highest sustained level of legal immigration in its history, more than a million a year on average for the past 30 years. Many immigrants are poor and likely qualify for welfare. Robert Rector at the Heritage Foundation describes our policy as one of importing poverty. The economist Milton Friedman once stated that “It’s obvious that you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state.” Alas, it isn’t obvious media pundits who are blinded by their bias.


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