Diagnosis for Democracy
Insights into the State of Our Union
A Blog by Rob Tenery, MD

August 3, 2015: The Only Solution to Illegal Immigration

By Rob Tenery, MD on August 3, 2015

A country that won't or can't control its borders is not a country anymore.”  President Ronald Reagan

Looking back at President Reagan’s quote, one wonders if this was his own observation, when he signed into law the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986, or was it his prediction for the future of this country.

Whether individuals have illegally just come into this country, not renewed their visas or been here twenty years with families, they are all here illegally. In just being here, they are committing a crime.

The ‘do-gooders’ talk about empathy for those who are impoverished and threatened that find their way into this country illegally. It pulls at the ‘heartstrings’ of our humanitarian side. But we can only share so much of this country’s resources before we start taking away from our own population, who are here legally, pay their taxes and, in many cases, fought to insure the opportunities that make this country what it is today.

‘”From 1990 to 2004, the number of Hispanics with incomes below the government’s poverty line rose 52 percent; that represents almost 92 percent of the increase in poor people… Among children, disparities are greater. Over the same period, Hispanic children in poverty rose 44 percent; meanwhile, the numbers of black and non-Hispanic white children in poverty declined 16.9 percent and 18.5 percent respectively.”  Heather MacDonald Scholar at the Manhattan Institute

What keeps meaningful measures from being enacted?--- Politics on both sides of the aisle in Washington. The Democrats clearly have reasons to not upset the status quo, since it has been reported that from 1970 on, immigrants (legal and illegal) vote 4 to 1 Democratic. Republicans are reluctant to get out front on many of these solutions for fear that they will turn off that segment of the voting community. And, as the Hispanic population continues to grow, that concern becomes more of a reality--- a catch-22 for the Republicans.

No matter what they propose individually, the collective body of our legislators in Washington gives only lukewarm support for meaningful immigration reform. Thus, the gradual transformation of the United States into a totalitarian, entitlement state is on the verge of becoming a reality. Only the most uninformed don’t appreciate the effects of illegal immigrants on our education system, the criminal justice system, employment opportunities and the entitlement programs.

40% of all workers in Los Angeles County are working for cash and not paying taxes. This is because they are predominately illegal immigrants working without a green card.    Reported in the L.A. Times.* 

The 20% drop in American teen employment from the 1980s, in part is because more and more immigrants have flooded the market to displace native-born kids from jobs in percentages far higher than on adults.   Labor Force Participation: Recent Developments and Future Prospects. 2014 report from the Federal Reserve

The only real chance of stopping this gradual move into an entitlement form of socialism, appears to be in two ways: Either by electing a Conservative Republican President, along with maintaining a Republican controlled Congress or the individual States taking over more of their own governance. The Democratic Party of Presidents Johnson and Clinton has moved even further to the left under President Obama.

The solution can be broken down into five components--- each essential to saving this country from going over the brink. Controlling the borders, requiring photo identification cards, putting an end to birthright citizenship, more stringent penalties for repeat felons that return to this country illegally and removing any pathway to voting rights for those who have entered this country illegally, even if they are granted amnesty.

There are those who claim that this country does not need to construct a fence along our southern border with Mexico. They argue that better virtual monitoring, more agents and moving them closer to the actual border, are sufficient. So far, even when or if these recommendations are fully implemented, they will probably not solve all the problems of our porous border to Mexico. Although not impenetrable, a physical wall acts as an impediment both physically and mentally. Just look at the successes of the Berlin Wall and Israel’s wall to the Gaza settlements. A wall between the two countries may also make it more difficult for the gangs to bring their ‘drugs’ across and possible terrorists to come in. On the more humane side, many families are sending their children off for the very dangerous trip to the United States. Unfortunately, many end up in detention camps in Mexico or worse. The knowledge of a more permanent wall could act as a further deterrent before their journey even begins.

In 2014, tens of thousands of women and children, many unaccompanied by their parents, came to the United States from Central America. Most simply crossed the Rio Grande and turned themselves into to the Border Patrol, relying on the belief, that United States law made special provision for illegal immigrants who were children… The 290,000 illegals are exploiting legal loopholes that allow them to get temporary permits to stay in the United States.      Neil Munro White House correspondent.

Reportedly 47% of illegals are receiving at least some benefits from this country’s entitlement programs and accusations that as many as 3% of illegals participate in the electoral process. A photo ID would go a long way toward addressing issues in these areas. Opponents, such as the ACLU, feel this would be an invasion of privacy, while minority advocacy groups have alleged that the cards would frighten minorities from going to the polls. Unfortunately, the Democrats, since they benefit from the status quo with respect to elections, have continued to stonewall this concept. Given their similar history of troubled elections, Mexico, through their Federal Electoral Institute, now require and provide free photo IDs. They make no exceptions for those who lack the proper documents.

“The enormous flow of legal immigrants in to this country--- 29.5 million from 1980 to 2012--- has made and continues to remake the nation’s electorate in favor of the Democratic Party.”   University of Maryland professor James Gimpel  2014

Birthright Citizenship is a federal law granting automatic citizenship to children born in the United States. As background, birthright citizenship first arose after the Civil War as a constitutional provision clause of the 14th Amendment in 1868. It was a way to undo the Dred Scott ruling and ensure citizenship for former slaves born on U.S. soil. Automatic citizenship is granted according to federal statute, not the 14th Amendment, so critics of the policy argue that changing or repealing the statute outright could reform this. The United States and Canada are the only developed nations that grant automatic citizenship so expansively to children born within their borders. It is estimated that since The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, at an average of 170,000 ‘anchor babies’/year over those 24 years, adjusting for inflation, have generated costs of $165,000/child. Expanded to the whole population, babies born to non-documented parents have generated costs to the United States of over two-thirds of a trillion dollars in the last 24 years and at a current rate of 58 billion dollars/year for just their birth and education.**

Recently, the senseless murder of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco awaked the nation to the very large of number felonies committed by illegal emigrants. This is not new and occurs across the nation. A recently released report, obtained by PJ Media, was put together by the Texas Department of Public Safety and found that foreign aliens committed 611,234 unique crimes in Texas from 2008 to 2014. That number included almost 3,000 homicides and 7,695 sexual assaults.

Excerpts from the L.A. Times: 95% of warrants issued for murder in Los Angeles are to illegal aliens… 75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens… Nearly 35% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals that are here illegally… FBI reports that half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.*

In looking at the big picture of illegal immigration, those who are already in this country, or planning to come, the most compassionate approach is deterrence: Discourage non-citizens from coming here illegally by erecting a real rather than a virtual wall. By doing away with birthright citizenship. By severely punishing the repeat offenders of violent crimes who return to this country. By adopting personal identification methodology similar to Mexico. Finally, by allowing only those who enter this country legally to participate in the electoral process.

Unfortunately, it is very unlikely the Democratic Party will ever support these recommendations, even though they address the concerns on amnesty and future illegal migration. When this country crosses over to a socialist state, they can take all the credit. The Republicans, on the other hand, if they don’t try to avert this move toward socialism will get all the blame.

Where do we go from here? To the ballot box in 2016, since it could be the last election that your vote could make a difference!


*  The data used in this article, attributed to the L. A. Times, has subsequently been denied by the organization, but other related data supports similar conclusions.

** Tenery, R.M., Border Boondoggle, Echos for The Future, @ http://robtenery.com,  5/13/14.

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"I would argue that that the main problem in the world of illegal immigration in this country today is not a porous border, for, at this point in time, net immigration is back to Mexico. Nor is it border crime, for crime rates in border towns is less than that in the interior. In fact, recent data report crime rates for illegals that are less than those for citizens across the country as a whole. Nor is it unpaid taxes and overuse of our safety nets, for the average immigrant is a worker who, generally, cannot pay income taxes but pays the all important sales tax and, because of his age and health, consumes less from the safety net than his socioeconomic peers. We surely would not deny his children an education, for that is their road to success, one which they are following more successfully than their peers in the Black minority. The main problem is the existence of 11,000,000 undocumented immigrants, most of them productive workers, all of whom are technically criminals by virtue of their unlawful status. We cannot afford to leave them in the shadows. Democrats have suggested that they have a path to citizenship. Moderate Republicans have suggested a path to a legalized status. The right wing has been silent, recognizing that there is no practical or plausible way to round up and deport this many people, much less replace them in the work force. Romney’s suggestion that they “self deport” fell flat. You are correct that, as long as it focuses solely on the border and ignores these 11,000,000 people, the GOP has little chance of attracting the Hispanic vote – understandably. At some point, it must approach them with a constructive solution. The party that values the productive immigrant will gain his respect – it is a shared relationship. Regardless of how they arrived, these people are part of our future. We need to make it as bright as possible." - Tom Newsome M. D.

"It all boils down to political will... or lack thereof." - Gordon Green

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