By Alan Caruba
Oil and more precisely the price of a gallon of gas has emerged as probably the number one issue of the forthcoming national election, but right behind it will be immigration. Other than energy, population has the most impact on a way of life American’s prefer.
Unfortunately for most Americans, both Barack Obama and John McCain, their parties, current and previous administrations have been hell-bent to artificially and unnecessarily increase the nation’s population by (a) turning a blind eye to the massive annual invasions of illegal aliens, (b) advocating amnesty for those already here, and (c) doing virtually nothing to impede the flow of both legal and illegal immigrants.
The massive citizen outcry in 2007 when an amnesty bill was being considered by Congress should have sent a message to the nation’s politicians, but the government has been intent on growing the nation’s population despite the wisdom of native-born and naturalized citizens who understand that this is a bad idea.
They understand it when they are stuck in traffic congestion. They understand it as more and more illegal immigrants crowd into our cities and suburbs while, at the same time, costing taxpayers millions to maintain schools crowded with their children, special programs for those who do not speak English, hospitals whose emergency rooms are the only access to care many can afford (the cost must be absorbed by the hospital and government agencies), and a variety of welfare programs because unskilled and frequently uneducated illegal immigrants make greater use of them. Predictably, they experience a higher rate of poverty than the general population. Why?
Despite ample evidence that a moratorium on immigration would have many benefits, our political elites refuse to acknowledge that America is being harmed by the burden of more than 12 million illegal aliens in our midst and more arriving every day. As Mark Krikorian says in his new book, “The New Case Against Immigration”, an amnesty would result in “nearly triple the fiscal burden they place on the federal budget, from $10.4 billion a year to $28.8 billion.”
If politicians will not even consider an immigration moratorium, they could at least respond to the public’s demand for better enforcement of existing immigration laws. Krikorian points out that the current illegal population could be reduced “through consistent, across-the-board enforcement of the immigration law.”
The reality is that our immigration system is broken, understaffed, and leaves Americans vulnerable to future attacks on the homeland. “On any given day, the United States Customs and Immigration Service processes 30,000 applications, conducts 135,000 national security background checks, answers 82,000 telephone inquiries, and more”
“In 2005, about 800 visa officers issued about 6 million visas to foreigners, an average of 75,000 visas per officer, roughly one every fifteen minutes” Many visas, of course, were for business travelers and tourists, but the system is so overwhelmed that it makes it too easy for people with bad intentions to slip through or just overstay their visit. And that’s not counting the millions who simply sneak into the United States.
It is madness to do nothing to slow down both the legal and illegal immigration process. Americans understand that instinctively even if they don’t have the statistics at their fingertips.
The problem remains that those in Congress or the White House who take an oath to protect this nation just don’t care who gets in or how many. The result is bleeding taxpayers who must pay out billions for the many ways illegal immigration imposes huge burdens on our society.
Between now and Election Day would be a good time to let the candidates know how you feel about this. It might help.