Today’s immigrants cost taxpayers a bundle

Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, has a book coming out soon, The New Case Against Immigration: Both Legal and Illegal. Phyllis Schlafly reviews it at World Net Daily.

The pro-more-immigration crowd argues that today’s immigrants are just like immigrants of a century ago: poor people looking for a better life who are expected to advance in our land of opportunity. Krikorian’s new argument is that while today’s immigrants may be like earlier ones, the America they come to is so very different that our previous experience with immigrants is practically irrelevant.

The essential difference between the two waves of immigrants was best summed up by the Nobel Prize-winning advocate of a free market, Milton Friedman. He said, “It’s just obvious that you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state.”

She goes on:

Today’s low-wage immigrants and lower-wage illegals can’t earn what it costs to live in modern America, so they supplement with means-tested taxpayer benefits. And many immigrants don’t learn our language or assimilate into American culture because of the multicultural diversity taught in our schools and encouraged in our society.

So they get the benefits available to the working poor. These include Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (now called TANF, formerly AFDC), food stamps, school lunches, Medicaid, WIC, (nutrition for Women, Infants and Children), public housing, Supplemental Security Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and of course the public education that is provided to everybody.

Attempts to limit welfare eligibility for illegal aliens by provisions added to the 1996 welfare reform law, SSI, food stamps, Medicaid and TANF all failed. Krikorian concludes, “Walling immigrants off from government benefits once we’ve let them in is a fantasy.”

I’d guess that most refugees fall into the same category, and that’s after they get settled and get jobs. The government aid given to immigrants costs taxpayers an enormous amount of money.

The Heritage Foundation estimated that in order to reduce government payments to the average low-skill household to a level equal to the taxes it pays, “it would be necessary to eliminate Social Security and Medicare, all means-tested welfare, and to cut expenditures on public education roughly in half.” Obviously, that is not going to happen.

When we let refugees into the United States, not only do we not distinguish between groups that can assimilate easily and add something to our nation, and groups that have trouble assimilating and bring few skills, we don’t (as far as I know) distinguish between the skills and experience of the people we let in within each group. Maybe it’s time to reform both immigration and refugee policy to give preference to those who bring useful skills and a good attitude, and will not end up draining the taxpayers dry.

Now to Maryland…our home state

For the last few days I’ve written about immigration hot spots around the world (Italy, Switzerland, South Africa, and shortly I’ll tell you about Scotland), but now to Maryland, my Maryland.  

This is part of a story from a man who demonstrated recently at one of several Motor Vehicle Administration offices in the state.  Here is part of what he says:

I’m at the rally because Maryland is one of only four states that give drivers licenses to foreign nationals who are illegally in the United States. An illegal alien can get a Maryland driver’s license simply by having a foreign driver’s license – that’s all! Or, an illegal alien with merely a foreign birth certificate, an auto registration card, and an apartment rental contract qualifies for a Maryland driver’s license. There’s no requirement to prove legal presence in the U.S.; and needless to say, I’ts relatively easy to forge an apartment lease.

Maryland MVA is giving drivers licenses to foreign nationals as fast as it can – 1,700 a week according to officials (if we can believe them they have the authority to give as many as 5,000 a week)! Maryland even pays Spanish translators to help illegal aliens apply for driver’s licenses and offers a Spanish version of the driver’s test to license applicants all at taxpayer’s expense!

Now 5,000 a week totals 1.3 million in 5 years about of the State’s population! Why on Earth does Maryland’s government want to give drivers licenses to that many foreign nationals?

I bet  you are thinking he is some rightwing xenophobic racist redneck.  He isn’t!  Here is the opening paragraph of his narrative: 

This morning, I participated in a citizen’s rally at the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) facility near my home in Maryland. A group called Help Save Maryland had arranged these rallies at three different MVA sites for the same day – May 17th. Now you have to understand, I am 57, a professional manager, and haven’t participated in a demonstration since college. I’m politically progressive and adopted my son from Guatemala.

I’m not saying we are going to end up in flames like France, or Italy or South Africa, but I am saying that the heat is turning up.  Just this last week when Senator Diane Feinstein successfully attached an amendment to give amnesty to farm workers on an Iraq funding bill those of us concerned about uncontrolled immigration got in gear and defeated it (again!).  I can’t tell you how furious people are getting over these maneuvers by many in government to defy the will of the majority of Americans.

When 50 year-old self-described progressives like this fellow, Bob Fireovid, are willing to stand outside a Motor Vehicle office holding a handmade sign things are getting bad.

So what does this have to do with refugees?   You are saying refugees are legal!  The demonstration was all about illegal immigrants.  Yes, and so far that has kept the spotlight off refugees for the most part.   Most of those active in pushing for border control readily say, “I’m not against legal immigration.”  That is going to change as time goes on and there is growing resentment about out of control immigration shoved down our throats by governments.

To prove my point check out the agenda for a meeting coming up in Maryland in which a government supported agency teaches participants how to sell refugees and immigrants on communities or how to find an asylum lawyer or how to get a drivers license. 

Read about this June workshop of the Maryland Coalition for Refugees and Immigrants (MCRI) and see what your tax dollars are doing for you.


Misc. stuff that passed me by recently

I’ve been way overloaded  lately, so have had little time to post on some important issues.   What follows is a roundup of articles you might find interesting, annoying, enlightening:

News team attacked at Muslim school in Minnesota as reported by Jerry Gordon of ACT.

Recommendation that “innocent” Guantanamo inmates be treated as refugees and resettled in the US.

British proposal to ban the word “asylum”.

Australia donated $1.4 million for Rohingya housing in Bangladesh camps.

Church World Service and Ethiopian Community Development Council team up to lobby for more Africans to come to the US.

Muslim immigrants sue federal government to speed up their citizenship process, reported in another post at ACT. 

Burundi’s First Lady visits Tennessee and urges Burundian refugees to return to Africa to help rebuild the country.  We have resettled 10,000 Hutus from Burundi recently.

Canadian blog discusses new book which says Canada should limit Muslim immigration.

Media threatened in Bhutanese refugee camps in Nepal.

World Refugee Day is June 20th, get ready for media blitz with crisis stories and puff pieces on refugees.

Polygamy in Canada

We’ve written about reports of refugees who come here with more than one wife. One wife comes as a wife; the others come as single women. Here’s an informative article about polygamy among Muslims in Canada. It’s told from the point of view of a woman who discovered her husband had taken another wife. A Toronto imam named Aly Hindy performed the ceremony.

In the past five years, Hindy said he has officiated or “blessed” more than 30 polygamous marriages; the most recent was two months ago. Even some imams in the GTA have second wives, he added.

“This is in our religion and nobody can force us to do anything against our religion,” he said. “If the laws of the country conflict with Islamic law, if one goes against the other, then I am going to follow Islamic law, simple as that.”

Not all Muslims agree.

But conducting such unions in clear violation of Canadian law is wrong, according to Syed Mumtaz Ali, president of the Canadian Society of Muslims, who speaks frequently on polygamy issues.

“Muslims should not enter into polygamy while they are living in Canada, because the local Canadian law prevails. It overrules the Islamic law if there is a conflict between the two,” he said.

The issue of polygamy has heated up in both the United States and Canada. The raid on the Texas polygamous cult has focused attention on a related cult in British Columbia.  In Canada,

Provincial laws do provide some protection for women in polygamous marriages. According to the Ontario Family Act, women who came to Canada with valid polygamous marriage documents can claim spousal support and welfare benefits. While the law has yet to be challenged, it is believed that those married here could also likely do the same on the basis of being vulnerable persons.

The issue seems to be coming to a crisis in Canada:

While the Muslim factor may be a minor one in the larger debate around polygamy, which for years has focused on Bountiful, B.C., there is consensus on both sides that the practice will soon be forced to face a constitutional challenge.

Muslims have thought that if such a challenge on the basis of religion is launched, they would also benefit. But Nik Bala, a family law professor at Queen’s University, believes the case for Muslims is much weaker than that of the Mormons.

“In Bountiful, the argument of freedom of religion applies, since polygamy is a requirement necessary to get to heaven. Islam permits polygamy, but doesn’t require it to be a practising Muslim,” said Bala. “The freedom of religion argument doesn’t hold up as strongly.”

I wouldn’t bet on what Canada will do, given their extreme multiculturalism. We need to be vigilant about any moves to legitimize polygamy here in our own country.

Update: Here’s a page of readers’ comments.  Here are a few of many:

What goes in the bedroom should not be monitored by the Big Brother. As long as everyone involved is happy, we should leave them alone. We have no right getting in between the happiness of someone else. Personally, whether or not someone has more than one wife is not my problem and has no affect on me.
Tahir Zaman, Mississauga

What did the late Pierre Trudeau say? “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” What consenting adults do in the privacy of their homes is of no concern to the state. If we are going to ban polygamy, we should also re-enact and enforce adultery laws, we should also go after married men who keep mistresses and girlfriends, we should also enforce prostitution laws, we should also ensure that no man has more than one girlfriend.
Sam Villa, Toronto

Is this husband in jail? If not, why not? I believe immigration can be good for the country, however, the same laws must apply to everyone. I believe in respect for every religion if the religion is not used as a weapon but for good. However, immigrants must adhere to the laws of Canada and leave the laws of their original country behind. I think this woman should start a civil suit against this man to ensure that her family is looked after and make everyone aware of who her husband is and what he has done.
Sandra Loughead, Mississauga

Our laws concerning Polygamy should be enforced. Religion has no place in our laws. You come to Canada you should follow our rules.
Jeannette Jablonski, Burlington

The truth about Palestinian refugees

Our local Hagerstown paper had two scurrilous articles last week, promoting the line that Israel is an illegitimate entity oppressing the Palestinians. I wrote a letter in response that got printed in today’s paper. It’s here. The whole thing is copied below. I wanted to emphasize the refugee angle and the UN’s part in keeping the Palestinians miserable — facts I have learned as a result of working on this blog.

Saturday, May 17, must have been Palestinian grievance day. A letter from Elet Hall complained about the treatment of the Palestinians and promoted Hamas as “the Palestinian’s freedom fighters.” 

Charley Reese told us the root cause of the conflict in the Middle East is “the displacement of Palestinians by the Zionists in Palestine.” This came at the end of a week in which Israel marked its 60th anniversary of its recognition as a modern nation, and in which the Palestinians marked the “catastrophe” of Israel’s existence.

Some historical perspective, please. 

After World War II there was massive displacement of peoples. Twelve million Germans were expelled from eastern European countries. Fifteen million people were displaced in India and Pakistan. When Israel was founded, almost a million Jews were expelled from Arab countries where their communities were thousands of years old. All of these people lost their property and their livelihood. 

Contrast that with the Palestinians. Like the Germans, they were also on the losing side of World War II, although they did not fight in it. 

Their Grand Mufti was a personal friend of Hitler and spent much of the war in Berlin. He urged Hitler to implement the “final solution” – the extermination of the Jews. Nevertheless, the Palestinians were not expelled from what became Israel. They left because the leaders of the Arab countries told them to get out of the way while they wiped Israel off the map. 

The ones who remained became citizens of Israel. They and their descendants make up 20 percent of Israel’s population today. They have their own political party and representatives in the legislature and are fully part of the prosperous Israeli economy. 

Israel was created by the United Nations after WWII. The Palestinians were also given land for a state, but they rejected it. Instead, the Arab nations went to war with Israel. As Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary, many have pointed out that Palestinians could be celebrating the 60th anniversary of their state too, if they had accepted it. 

But even these facts are not the cause of the present conflict. Those millions of people I mentioned who were displaced after WWII were resettled long ago. And refugees since then have been the responsibility of an international agency, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Its job is to resettle refugees either in their country of origin if possible, or in other countries if not. 

The Arab refugees, however, were given an entirely separate agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, at the urging of the Arab nations. The refugees were put in camps and no effort was made to resettle them. 

Further, they were given refugee status that passes down to their children, so there are now millions of Arab refugees being supported by the UN and by donor nations. The Arab countries wanted to use the refugees as a weapon against Israel rather than helping them make new lives. Not one Arab country has offered to take them in. Naturally, the situation has been a perfect breeding ground for poverty, resentment and terrorism. 

Thus the “catastrophe” and the current pathetic situation of the Palestinian refugees are the fault of the Arab countries and the United Nations. If the Palestinians would accept the existence of Israel, they could have their own country immediately. 

They do not need “freedom fighters” – Israel would like nothing better than to live in peace with a non-hostile neighboring Palestinian state. Yet they would rather cling to their hatred, create new grievances and live in misery. 

LA Times: A bunch of xenophobes running Italy

Update May 26th:   Islam in Action blog reports that Italy is getting serious and has just razed a mosque.

In the last few days we brought you articles about the growing anger against immigrants in such disparate countries as Switzerland and South Africa and now here is one about Italy.    I’m going to say more about this later, but if you are wondering why this has anything to do with refugee resettlement, this is why:  to the average person fed up with feeling besieged by immigrants they make no distinction in their minds about whether someone is legal or not when they see obvious foreigners helping themselves to welfare and jobs.  Or, when they hear about crimes committed by immigrants.

But, back to the LA Times and Italy.   I’ve copied a large section of this article because I couldn’t seem to find a good place to quit, it was so interesting.   Note that the reporter gets in a couple of hits at Bossi’s “shooting at boats” statement.    I’m wondering if the reporter ever read Jean Raspail’s “Camp of Saints?” 

Umberto Bossi, who once suggested shooting at boats carrying immigrants, is a key force in the right’s return to power. Measures against foreigners and violence toward Gypsies has followed. 

The head of a small xenophobic political party, Bossi has emerged as Italy’s kingmaker, the power player who was key in returning Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to office in recent elections and who will continue to call many of the shots.

That victory last month, which included the election of Rome’s first right-wing mayor since World War II and the stiffest rejection ever of communists, was part of a significant shift in favor of the Italian political right, composed of restyled former Fascists, anti-immigrant forces and traditional conservatives.

In this climate, it came as little surprise that the government’s first action has been a harsh police crackdown on the Rom, an oft-targeted minority also known as Gypsies.

Bossi and the Northern League are widely seen here as the moving force behind the decision to target Gypsies and illegal immigrants, two groups blamed for a rash of recent crimes. Hundreds of Rom and foreigners were arrested, scores deported, and ramshackle Gypsy camps razed or burned to the ground by either authorities or vigilantes.

The league, which is based in Lombardy, would add most Romanians and Muslim immigrants to the list, Boni said. Overall, he said, the party advocates reducing immigration to between 5% and 10% of its current level. “That way, you have immigration and integration,” he said. “What you have now is invasion.”

The league and its right-wing partners, including Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party, were able to capitalize on Italian fears about and prejudices toward the foreign-born, sentiments that are intensifying as the number of new arrivals grows and the economy plunges into recession. Their electoral victory also reflected a deep-seated admiration among many Italians for the kind of populist demagoguery that Berlusconi and Bossi represent.

“People want this country to remain theirs,” said Bossi, who once advocated shooting at boats bringing immigrants to Italy’s shores.

Then way down in the story there is this bit of information that confirms comments that Italians are worried about immigrant crimes (we heard that in Switzerland and South Africa).   The Italian reaction is to burn the immigrants out just as the mobs in South Africa have done recently. 

….many of the Rom, by their own account, make a living through petty theft….

The most shocking incidents occurred last week in Naples, where residents, reacting to reports that a Gypsy woman had attempted to kidnap an Italian child, torched several camps, forcing hundreds of men, women and children to flee. Many were later loaded in the back of trucks and taken to safety, in scenes that United Nations officials compared to “ethnic cleansing” in the Balkans in the 1990s — the very events that drove some of these Rom to Italy in the first place.

LA Times and the rest of you pro-open borders/pro-multiculturalism uber alles advocates, keep calling it xenophobia and make yourselves feel better to label opponents as racist xenophobes, but do it at your own peril.