President Biden delivered a good speech on Inauguration Day. He said he wanted to be the President of everyone in the country, not just those who voted for him. He said things like “let us unite”, “we’re not Republicans or Democrats, we’re Americans”. These words would be healing for the nation if only Mr. Biden truly meant them, but usually it’s better to watch what a politician does than listen to what he says. In the first two weeks of his Presidency Mr. Biden set a record by signing 42 executive actions, many of which were highly partisan. His executive actions were like sticking a finger in the eye of Republicans. So much for uniting.
Among other things, his executive orders:
- Require that non-citizens including illegal aliens be counted as part of the U.S. census. (This will affect apportionment of Federal dollars and possibly representation in Congress.)
- Increase immigration quotas from predominantly Islamic countries. (That’s right, Joe. Let us emulate England, France, Belgium and other countries that have experienced serious problems from growing Islamic populations.)
- Open the U.S. military to transgender individuals. (This seems like it would create an unnecessary distraction, especially for soldiers in combat situations.)
- Condemn discrimination against Asian-Americans. (You know, like Harvard does.)
- Cancel the Keystone Pipeline. (Putting 12,000 workers out of a job.)
- Allow biological boys who identify as girls to compete in girls’ sports. (This seems unfair to girls.)
A few of Biden’s orders are meant to encourage illegal immigration, a highly partisan issue. Biden wants to stop all deportations for 100 days, stop construction of the border wall, provide a path to citizenship for 11-40 million illegals (nobody really knows how many) currently in the country, reinstate the DACA program, and make it easier for border crossers to gain admission to the U.S. by claiming asylum, (a tool misused by millions to gain entrance to the country). …Let the caravans begin!
These actions obviously help immigrants wishing to gain entrance to the U.S. but do they help the country or the current citizens of the country? No, probably not.
Currently over 10 million Americans are unemployed, mostly low-wage workers who could be undercut by illegals desperate for work. Although many business owners encourage illegal immigration because it gives them a pool of cheap labor, the country currently has more cheap labor than it needs. Moreover, as factory automation and robotics grow over the next 10 years, many of these lower-end jobs will likely be eliminated, contributing to unemployment.
According to Pew Research, only 20-30% of the immigrants crossing the southern border speak English. Many don’t even speak Spanish; they speak their native tribal language. Serving millions of non-English-speaking residents has got to add expense to businesses, medical facilities, and government agencies, causing prices and rates to increase for everyone else.
Children who lack English proficiency place an additional cost burden on school systems. Teachers must be bi-lingual, ironically a requirement that gives an advantage to job applicants from Latin America.
Pew statistics also show that somewhere between 33% and 50% of immigrants who cross the border lack a high school diploma. Only about 5% of immigrants crossing the southern border have a bachelor’s degree or more.
So, it’s difficult to imagine how illegal immigration, especially in 2021, can help the country and its citizens. Yes, there’s always the one-in-a-million story of an immigrant who crossed the border illegally and now runs a successful business employing hundreds of others, but these stories are rare indeed.
What are the arguments for illegal immigration? They are mostly emotional arguments.
One could argue that the U.S. should accept any and all poor people who want to cross the border simply because they are poor and the U.S. is “rich”. It’s reasonable and admirable to want to help the poor, but there are many poor living in the U.S. already. How do we prioritize which poor should be helped? The poor in Africa and India are much poorer than the people in Latin America. Shouldn’t they have priority if need is the criterion? If poverty were the test for entrance to the U.S., that would translate to an open border. Sadly, there are an unlimited number of poor people in the world.
Another argument is race. Some politicians argue that because most of the people crossing the southern border are descendants of Mayan, Aztec or other indigenous tribes, that not accepting them is racist. This argument is the same as saying that anyone who is not Caucasian and who is able to present themselves at the border should be accepted carte blanche. Of course, that would be an impractical and a racist argument in itself. In addition, many of the immigrants coming across the border appear to be descendants of Spanish conquistadors and technically, Caucasian.
The most convincing argument for expanded immigration is that the birth rate in the U.S. is shrinking and therefore to keep the economy growing, the population must be expanded through immigration. That’s a reasonable argument. Still, current citizens should have a say in who is allowed to immigrate. The U.S. should accept those who can best help the country.
Many believe that the only reason President Biden wants to encourage illegal immigration is because immigrants tend to vote Democrat. However, polls show that most voters are against illegal immigration (or, for that matter, anything illegal), so we may see a reaction to these heavy-handed executive orders in the 2022 midterms.