More Distortions and Falsehoods from the Pro-mass Immigration Media:
But history provides some clarity about the relative costs and benefits of immigration over time. Fifty years ago this month, Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. . . . By any standard, it made the United States a stronger nation. . . . What ensued was arguably the most significant period of immigration in American history. . . . [T]he act created preferences for those with technical training, or family members in the United States. . . . [I]t made America genuinely New Frontier, younger more diverse, truer to its ideals. . . . The flood of new immigrants also promoted prosperity in ways that few could have imagined in 1965. . . . The Immigration Dividend, The New York Times, Ted Widmer, 10/6/15
Fact Check: One of the most important things about the 1965 immigration act, which set in motion today’s unprecedented sustained level of immigration, is that it passed on the basis of mislabeling and deceit. When the measure was being debated, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) famously promised that it would not change the ethnic make-up of the U.S., that it would not bring in the bulk of immigrants from just one region, and that it would not lead to an immigration level as high as one million a year.
Nearly all supporters of the legislation claimed that the increased numbers would be small, and the impact of the legislation would be limited. But one witness against the bill, Myra Hacker of the New Jersey Coalition, concluded otherwise. She read it carefully and found that it would sharply boost the level of immigration. Unfortunately, her concerns were ignored in the rush to pass the bill.
Obviously some supporters of the 1965 act, particularly it authors, knew its radical implications and preferred to hide them, knowing that they would not be desirable in the eyes of most Americans. For the past two decades everything Kennedy said would not happen has happened. But proponents of mass immigration, including Kennedy, never apologized. They just repeat gaseous platitudes about making us “a stronger nation,” one “truer to our ideals.”
Surely these were not the ideals of Founding Father John Jay who praised American unity as “one united people—a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attracted to the same religion, attached to the same principles of government . . . very similar in their manners and customs. . . .”
Of course we have profited from some diversity since that time, but the hyper-diversity we have today is overwhelming our bonds of unity. Extensive research shows that our most diverse areas are precisely where civic and cultural ties are weakest. Is this making us “a stronger nation?”
Are we really better off as a country than we were in 1965? A recent poll found that a majority of Americans feel like “strangers in their own country.” Would most Americans have said such a thing fifty years ago, and does “diversity” have anything to do with why they are saying it now?
The America of a half century ago faced a number of trials, but it was a far more confident nation than the one we have today. It had a “can-do” attitude, which we significantly lack today, and it had a thriving middle class and a strong industrial base to provide well-paying jobs.
If mass immigration is really so economically enriching, then why is our middle class declining, and why have our wage levels been stagnant for decades? Immigration, in fact, has contributed to our economic problems, particularly by increasing job competition and lowering wages of Americans on the low end of the economic scale. Widmer claims that immigrants have brought America technical skills need to boost the economy, but he neglects to observe that the 1965 act put much greater stress on family connections as a criterion for admitting immigrants than skills. As the consequence of this policy, many immigrants, sponsored to come here by their relatives, have not been high achievers. Significantly, our policy since 1965 has been one of “importing poverty.” Immigrant households are much more likely receive welfare than those of native-born Americans.
The 1965 immigration act was born in misinformation and falsehood. And those who defend it today, are continuing that dubious and destructive legacy.