Immigrants: US needs more of them. Immigrants: US needs more of them.

Why U.S. needs more, not fewer immigrants

Immigration policies are more about political profiteering of irrational fears

We are informed by hard science that the pale blue dot we call home is rotating on its axis at 1,075 miles per hour, traveling through the cosmos along with our solar system and galaxy at a rate of 2.7 million miles per hour.

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This is, of course, deeply counterintuitive because we have evolved to sense only our own planet’s gravity.

Likewise, we are informed by the social sciences that immigration from developing to developed countries is to everyone’s net socioeconomic benefit, but because we have evolved to be tribal, we find this counterintuitive as well.

But both things are true.

I’m very much tempted here to digress into a polemic about how our new Dear Leader (with hair every bit as bizarre as Kim Jong-un’s) is a mentally ill narcissist who is overcompensating for a deformed testicle like Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ dictator-protagonist in The Autumn of the Patriarch, with a vocabulary that hasn’t progressed much past the fifth grade.

But I’ve already done that. More than once, apparently to little effect.

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So I simply offer five reasons the United States needs, if it is to survive in any meaningful way, more immigrants, not fewer.

1. Immigrants commit fewer crimes than U.S. citizens. A plethora of studies from the American Immigration Council, the Journal of Criminology and Public Policy, Boston University, the National Bureau of Economic Research, as well as our very own FBI database of crime statistics, among other reliable sources, conclude that immigrants, both legal and undocumented, commit far fewer crimes than the native-born population.

2. Immigrants don’t take Americans’ jobs or rob our welfare system. Despite anecdotal accountings of immigrants taking U.S. citizens’ jobs, another comprehensive study published in 2016 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found this to be patently false, again, in correlation with previous findings of other research institutions.

Moreover, it only takes a few minutes of Google searching to debunk other anti-immigration myths: as it turns out most undocumented workers pay into Social Security, pay local state, federal, and sales taxes, and aren’t eligible for most public benefits. Illegal immigrants largely eschew visits to the emergency room, underreport crimes committed against them and contrary to Donald Trump’s bizarre and groundless assertions, wouldn’t dare try to vote, all in fear of being discovered and deported.

3. Mexican undocumented immigrants are not swamping our borders. Pew Research Center’s comprehensive 2015 study found that not only has Mexican immigration declined, there is a significant net loss of migrants who are returning to Mexico. This confirms other smaller studies by university demographers on both sides of the border.

4. Immigrants revitalize dying communities. As Michael B. Katz with the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences has pointed out, immigrants and refugees are helping revitalize depopulated rust belt cities. Moreover, a review of the relevant literature points toward illegal immigrants actually reducing crime rates in major urban centers.

5. Continued economic growth is inextricably linked to immigration. Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School (ironically Trump’s alma mater), recently concluded that immigration “leads to more innovation, a better educated workforce, greater occupational specialization, better matching of skills with jobs and higher overall economic productivity.”

Canada, like the U.S., is experiencing drastically declining fertility rates combined with an aging population, and is aggressively raising its annual immigration levels to keep its economy growing. Every major study reaches the same conclusion: economic growth depends on increasing immigration, not slowing it.

And yet, despite the above studies having been replicated or confirmed by hundreds of others, a sizable minority of Americans think that these things are hogwash (not dissimilar from climate change deniers), and that the shibboleths, slogans and unartfully concealed racist dog whistles of the anti-immigration Right are somehow closer to the truth.

This both fascinates and troubles me. After all, as of 2012, there were more than a million immigrants in the country illegally from Asia, almost a million from Canada and Europe (combined), and according to the DHS, twice the number of Canadians illegally overstay their visas compared to Mexicans. The Irish embassy in Washington D.C., estimates there are some 50,000 Irish citizens living illegally in the U.S.

Of course there are more Mexicans now living undocumented in the U.S., but this should hardly be surprising as we share the same geography, have intricately interconnected economies and a centuries-long history of cross-border migration which benefits both countries. (Incidentally, there are around a million U.S. citizens living full-time in Mexico.)

Among Trump and his fiercely loyal automatons of the alt-right, though, I haven’t heard a peep about illegal Canadians or Chinese or French or Irish immigrants. Does this strike anyone as slightly odd? After all, one doesn’t tend to see Canadians or Japanese harvesting tomatoes alongside their Mexican compatriots for less than minimum wage – presumably they are engaged in more lucrative, skilled trades and professions that U.S. citizens would be willing to perform.

Or is it simply racism and tribalism? After all, Canadians and northern Europeans look like us white people, talk like us and share many of our cultural traditions. But then again, Asians don’t share any of those characteristics. Is it just jingoism, an understandable impulsive reaction that foreigners would have the gall to disregard our immigration laws? Perhaps, but we don’t seem to mind certain other types of undocumented workers.

While all of the above factors have some place in this enigma, as well as basic human psychology, I think it is mostly about simple stupidity and fear, an unfortunately powerful combination. Or to put it more diplomatically, a lack of appetite for anything that might require study and nuance, combined with the natural fear of change, of living in a society where the majority is becoming the minority.

Leading this cri de coeur of indignation against the raping, thieving, drug-dealing Mexicans is President Trump, a man who has exploited undocumented labor again and again, and bragged about it. But that isn’t all he exploits. He plays on both our fears and our sense of nostalgia for those halcyon days of Norman Rockwell’s America where the U.S. was white, the world’s hegemonic power, prosperous, and Mexicans knew their place.

We really ought to grow up. The proposed border wall and mass deportations have nothing at all to do with our national security, our national autonomy or our national economy.  It’s simply the political profiteering of the electorate’s irrational fears and easily-manipulated emotions, helped along no doubt by a generous dose of general ignorance of socioeconomics and history.

Take a walk backwards along history’s timeline and ask the Sumerians, the Egyptians and the Romans: What happens when societies reject change and bury their heads in the sand? They slowly go extinct, not unlike species that fail to adapt to a changing natural environment. We’ve taken the first step in that direction by electing a shameless, feckless moron who manipulates the irrational passions of an equally unlearned electorate.

Whether from global climate change or the implosion of a civilizational plutocracy, I hope that a millennium from now archeologists are not digging through the rubble of a once great society, wondering how we could have been so purblind to the obvious.

Glen Olives Thompson is a professor of North American Law at La Salle University in Chihuahua, a specialist in law and public policy and a frequent contributor to Mexico News Daily. Some of his other non-academic work can be viewed at glenolives.com

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  • WestCoastHwy

    Sumerians, the Egyptians and the Romans all had one common Enemy that rob them of their Economies. This Enemy did not Assimilate into it’s Host Country but kept it’s own institutions and slowly sucked the life from the Host Country to Extinction.

    • owl905

      What a load of bunk. There’s no record of the Sumerians immigration patterns. Egypt was the greatest assimilate empire in all history – it was a great secret of their success. Rome assimilated fitfully – it actually fell in the West when it stopped assimilating; and it thrived in the East for another 1,000 years.

    • Your knowledge of history is completely baffling….the romans where defeated because the strain of having an inefficient communication system was hard for such a vast empire… which caused them to separate into 2; the western Roman Empire and the Byzantine empire… the western empire was being propped up by trade from the east which was then cut off plunging them into economic hardship meaning that they could no longer properly patrolling their borders and then they fall to the Germanic tribes until Constantine ….. but yea… blame the small Jewish community you bigot

  • miabeach

    The Muslim Arabs didn’t assimilate when they were invited into Lebenon to do the jobs the Lebense wouldn’t do. In less then 10 years it went from a Christian majority country to a Muslim majority country. No where on earth where a Muslim dominat country borders a non-Muslim dominant country is there peace. There is war on every Muslim-non muslim countries border. Every. Single. One.

    • SickofLiberalbs9999

      All important, relevant facts that American liberals ignore.

  • miabeach

    I got banned from Facebook for stating that the Latino invasion is like a massive termite colony that ate everything available and is moving north into the US

  • miabeach

    Canadians and Europeans may look like you but they don’t look like President Obama. A man elected twice and who was nicknamed Deporter in Cheif by people who didn’t look like him. Obama deported more Latinos then all other US presidents combined and only stopped deporting them after the 2012 election victory and the beginning of the 2016 presidential race. Obama switched his administrations policies to win what would be a difficult bid to win for Democrats. American history proves that party change is normal after two terms but the democrats thought they could buck the odds with identity politics. Obama’s early career was anti ilmmigrantion AND anti homosexual, he changed his core beliefs to win another election but failed.

  • Same old pap disguising, as long perped by the MxGovernment, colonization as immigration.

  • Mike S

    Brilliant, well documented, and and well written column. Sadly. I don’t hold out much hope for the ignorant, gullible, uneducated, Archie Bunker lemmings of the Vladimir Trump movement. They are easily manipulated and fear driven. These are mostly untraveled people who live a Faux News/Limbaugh bubble. Very alarming is Trump’s incessant attacks on the free media and the pathological lying that his following eats up hook, line, and sinker. A long 4 years ahead unless he gets impeached for violating the emolument clause of the Constitution…and that would require turning over the gerrymandered House which is unlikely.

  • cooncats

    Amazing bunch of BS here. Why doesn’t Mexico take more immigrants? That should solve all its problems and make Mexico richer than America.

    Oh, that’s right, 20 million had to leave home because Mexico is full of economic geniuses like this guy. Not to mention wall to wall politician-thieves.

    LOL, really. Let’s have some fun with this joker:

    “Illegal immigrants accounted for nearly 75 percent of federal drug sentences in 2014. This is according to the United States Sentencing Commission, which also found that illegals were involved in nearly 17 percent of drug-trafficking sentences and over 33 percent of federal sentences overall.”

    “A disproportionate amount of illegals are in state prisons. Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and a lawyer, reviewed statistics from the Government Accountability Office and Pew Research Center and compared the number of illegals and non-illegals imprisoned for murder-related offenses in a 2015 National Review piece. Some of his findings:

    There were 68.57 illegal aliens imprisoned for every 100,000 illegals in Arizona, compared to 54.06 citizens and legal noncitizens imprisoned for every 100,000 citizens and legal noncitizens.
    There were 97.2 illegals imprisoned for every 100,000 illegals in California, compared to 74.1 citizens and legal noncitizens imprisoned per 100,000 citizen and legal noncitizens.
    There were 54.85 illegals imprisoned for every 100,00 illegals in Florida, compared to 67.8 legal immigrants imprisoned for every 100,000 legal immigrants.
    There were 168.75 illegals imprisoned for every 100,000 illegals in New York, compared to 48.12 legal immigrants imprisoned for every 100,000 legal immigrants.
    There were 54.54 illegals imprisoned for every 100,000 illegals in Texas, compared to 65.43 legal immigrants .”

    ” The rise in illegals crossing the border has fueled gang violence. In March, the Daily Caller reported that the barbaric MS-13 gang has been recruiting young illegals, resulting in higher crime in the Washington, D.C area. In fact, Montgomery County in Maryland “has seen an unprecedented level of gang-related violence in the last 8 months – with illegal immigrant youth being responsible for 85 percent of street robberies,” according to IJ Review.”

    “David Frum of The Atlantic, no hard-core immigration opponent, wrote in 2015 that as of 2011, there were 25,000 illegal immigrants serving murder sentences, and nearly 3 million offenses committed by illegal immigrants between 2003 and 2009, including 70,000 sex crimes and hundreds of thousands of other violent crimes. “After years of welcome decline,” Frum pointed out, “crime rates are rising in immigration hubs including Houston, Milwaukee, Phoenix, and San Diego.” Former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo reported in 2015 that between “2008 and 2014, 40% of all murder convictions in Florida were criminal aliens. In New York it was 34% and Arizona 17.8%. During those years, criminal aliens accounted for 38% of all murder convictions in the five states of California, Texas, Arizona, Florida and New York, while illegal aliens constitute only 5.6% of the total population in those states.”

    These liberal liars try to confuse legal immigration with illegal immigration on purpose. The ruling elite here and their lackeys in academia like this one don’t want Mexicans to ask the question of why their government is so corrupt that 20 million of their countrymen have had to leave their homes and families to survive.

    And finally this is why the U.S. border needs to be secured:

    “Almost 50 percent of federal crimes were committed near the Mexico border. A report from the Department of Justice in 2014 found the following, via Judicial Watch:

    Of the 61,529 criminal cases initiated by federal prosecutors last fiscal year, more than 40%—or 24,746—were filed in court districts neighboring the Mexican border. This includes Arizona, New Mexico, Southern California, Western Texas and Southern Texas. The two Texas districts each had more than double the convictions of all four federal court districts in the state of New York combined, according to the DOJ report. The Western Texas District had the nation’s heaviest crime flow, with 6,341 cases filed by the feds. In Southern Texas 6,130 cases were filed, 4,848 in Southern California, 3,889 in New Mexico and 3,538 in Arizona.

    Not surprisingly, most of the offenses were immigration related. In fact, 38.6% of all federal cases (23,744) filed last year involved immigration, the DOJ report confirms. Nearly 22% (13,383) were drug related, 19.7% (12,123) were violent crimes and 10.2% (6,300) involved white-collar offenses that include a full range of frauds committed by business and government professionals. This is hardly earth-shattering news in fact, the nation’s southern border region has for years been known for its high crime rate compared to the rest of the country.

    Judicial Watch also notes that the crimes near the border had been spiking at such an “alarming rate” that “Mexican and American journalists have largely stopped reporting it,” whether for ideological reasons or to avoid backlash from the drug cartels.”

    • Güerito

      I support the general gist of your comment, but I try to avoid posting things from conservative news sites, because your opponents will jump all over that.

      I’d seen the first data from NR and the Member of the Civil Rights Commission. I’ve avoided using it because in one state the data is the reverse (FL) and in a couple the difference is not all that that great (TX and AZ).

      From the Atlantic, the use of “criminal alien” is kinda vague because a legal immigrant is still considered an alien, so we’re not sure they’re talking about all immigrants or just illegals. But regardless those are high numbers for immigrants, whether legal, illegal or both.

      With Judicial Watch, of course you need to be careful, and the study itself mentions these crimes were mostly immigration related, i.e., it might just be illegals getting detained for their legal status, or drug related, which would simply be large seizures near the border.

      • cooncats

        A fair comment but if you look at my citations, I always look for the embedded links to the data. Lefties rarely cite anything credible and you’ll notice that they rarely cite anything here at all. Their game is personal attack and Ad Hominem and I’m not going to be ruled by it.

        There are numerous sources which confirm that illegal immigrants are a substantial source of social problems and crime. The dishonest left like this professor knows this so they try to blend the illegal in with the law abiding and productive illegal to obscure that basic reality.

        Don’t play their game. Shove it right back down their throats. Another day is ending here and that is the day when the left owned the pulpit.

    • SickofLiberalbs9999

      We can always begin with extreme skepticism when the author is a Professor.
      Professors do not live in the real world, their ideas and opinions emanate from such a limited, sheltered academic environment where they are never challenged or questioned.
      Professors always try to dazzle us with statistics and studies, all of which can typically be challenged, discredited, or seriously questioned – hence no viable conclusions.
      Professor, stick to the classroom and stay out of politics.
      Your essay is fatally flawed, ignoring terrorism as if it doesn’t exist – it’s actually the driver of the current crisis.

      • cooncats

        You’ll notice also how much they love psycho babble and junk science. But the most striking thing about this BS filled essay is why Profession Superior Genius can’t carry his own logic to the inevitable conclusion, namely that if immigrants create so much prosperity, why not flood Mexico with immigrants and specifically illegal ones.

        And it bears reiterating that these academics are very clever to blur legal immigration with illegal immigration even though the bulk of the problems arise from the latter and that is what the U.S. has had quite enough of. And with very good reason as the statistics I cited show they are hardly the angels these liberals want to make them out to be.

        Indeed, Mexico are not only studiously avoiding flooding their own country with immigrants, they are making sure those of us who are allowed to come here bring plenty of money and have clean noses. And, of course, Professor Superior Genius and the rest of these very selective vision leftists are managing to totally ignore what is going on along Mexico’s southern border and their own actions, like loading a bunch of Cubans on planes and sending them home. It has reached the point where even their fellow open border lefties at Amnesty International are openly criticizing Mexico for brutality.

        With the help of the liberal enablers, Mexico is demonstrating gross hypocrisy when it comes to borders. There’s an old saying that fits it perfectly: “Don’t do as I do, do as I say.” That’s basically Mexico’s border policy or it used to be because the U.S. has had quite enough of it.

        Mexico has two choices: It can continue to listen to the demagogues and sore losers, the self serving corrupt politicians who have used the U.S. to get rid of their “problems”, the nosy Canadians and the expat traitors who blather disrespect and ignorance of their own Constitution in their wholesale scramble to pander to the former.

        Or it can see the handwriting on the wall and start being a responsible neighbor and get serious about helping the U.S. secure the border on both sides and deal with the criminals.

        Donald Trump is a very clear wake up call sent from the heartland of America to the coasts and to the world. We are sick of globalism, junk weather science, a government that thinks it has the right to shoot hard-working ranchers and destroy people’s livelihoods. If it hadn’t been him and it hadn’t been now, it would have been soon.

        The significance of his win cannot be overstated. He ran against the Democrat left (all that remains of a once great party I was a member of for more than half my life), he ran against the oligarchy of globalist billionaires like Soros, Buffett, Bezos, Gates et. al., he ran against the grossly biased and partisan media–and he beat them all.

        Ignore this at your own peril.

        • Güerito

          “He ran against the Democrat left (all that remains of a once great party I was a member of for more than half my life), he ran against the oligarchy of globalist billionaires like Soros, Buffett, Bezos, Gates et. al., he ran against the grossly biased and partisan media, he ran against the leftists in his own party–and he beat them all.”

          That’s a good summary.

          But he also ran against the Military Industrial Complex/War State and the CIA spook crowd. That’s why they’re trying to topple him now, as the Left cheers on the coup attempt.

          Trump is the first 3rd Party or Independent President in US history.

        • SickofLiberalbs9999

          His essay is about LEGAL immigration.
          Why? Not relevant.
          Trump supports legal immigration.
          What a waste of time and energy.
          ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION is the issue, Professor.

        • 46patrick46

          Bravo !

      • Glen Olives

        I live on the border. How many terrorists have illegally crossed into the U.S. from Mexico? Zero. Unless, of course there’s a conspiracy by the biased media to not report such events.

        • SickofLiberalbs9999

          We’ll see what you have to say in the next year or two.

          Obama let them in for 8 years – “catch and release”.
          Border agents know that thousands have entered.
          As a good liberal, you think ISIS is stupid, huh?
          Too dumb to see a President open their enemy’s border?
          Too dumb to send teams here to prepare for attacks?

          America will likely see teams of terrorists attack soft targets like they have in Europe and Asia – teams that entered easily because of Obama. He will be responsible for their terror.

          Of course you will now paint me as a crazy whatever…….
          But will you promise to return here and write your retraction after I’m (unfortunately) proven right in the future?

          • Glen Olives

            I don’t think you’re crazy. Perhaps a bit paranoid, prone to conspiracy theories, and not particularly good at reasoning in a disciplined way, but probably not crazy. For example, it could be that terrorists have been crossing the border during the Obama administration (despite dramatically increased border security) and going completely unnoticed. But that seems unlikely, to say the least. I’m sure you’re familiar with the principle of Occam’s Razor: the simplest explanation is usually the best. It could be that these terrorist infiltrators were just lucky in escaping detection. Or that there is a massive conspiracy to keep their border crossings secret among both the media and DHS. Or perhaps it just isn’t happening.

          • SickofLiberalbs9999

            You don’t have to be lucky when you are caught and then released.
            Where did you get the idea that Obama “dramatically increased border security”? Ask border agents, they tell a different tale. They were required to release, by Obama policy, lots of questionable people, for 8 long years.
            Border agent testimony is far more credible to me than conspiracy theories.
            How do you explain away the testimony of these agents on the ground?

          • Glen Olives

            The number of agents, the number of deportations, all dramatically up under the Obama administration. Do you seriously dispute this? And are you seriously suggesting that DHS has captured terrorists at the border only to release them on Obama’s orders? Sorry, that is bizarre beyond words. Stop listening to Brietbart and Info Wars and By the Numbers and do your own research; there’s lots of good research out there untainted by overt jingoism.

          • SickofLiberalbs9999

            Ok, so you do acknowledge that thousands were released with no vetting after being caught, by Obama orders, yes?
            It was called “catch and release.” Trump issued an EO to cancel this Obama policy – just last week. You can’t deny that Obama gave this order and border Patrol reluctantly complied – it’s a fact, an inconvenient one for liberals.

            After Trump cancelled “catch and release”, why do you think border patrol was so happy and praising Trump? Easy, their hands had been tied by Obama, for too long .

            So who were the thousands released after being caught?
            The border patrol had no idea if they were terrorists.
            It’s not like they had a “terror test” they could administer in the field. Military aged men from Syria or Iraq might easily look similar to young men from other Latin or South American countries. When they were arrested, they didn’t speak. How does anyone know where they’re from?
            Border Patrol couldn’t retain them because they “looked Middle-Eastern” – under Obama and Holder, no way.

            Border Patrol were given “stand down” orders on retaining these people. Now they’re all in the USA.
            Of course, the media didn’t cover this story.
            Finally, what about those who DIDN’T GET CAUGHT by Border Patrol? Or were smuggled in successfully?
            How many got through without detection?
            And everyone says Trump is Hitler for sealing the border?

          • Glen Olives

            I study and write about immigration policy, and catch and release is no embarassment to me at all. You’re slightly misinformed about how it worked. DHS had wide authority to catch and detain or catch and deport those who CBC agents who believe “pose a threat national security, border security, or public safety.” That’s pretty broad discretion, don’t you think? As to the rest of your argument, it can simply be dispensed with using a phrase from Logic 101: the absence of evidence is not evidence. Neither does desparately wanting something to be true make it true. Lastly, I don’t think Trump is Hitler for wanting to seal the border. He’s simply ignorant.

          • SickofLiberalbs9999

            I don’t care how catch and release was “supposed” to work.
            Border agents tell the true story of what really happened.
            They released plenty of potential terrorists. They were ordered to do so by Eric Holder.
            That “wide authority” you describe was overruled by liberal politics – unless the border-crossers had AK47s, a jihadi 72 virgins manual, and a map of the World Trade Center, they couldn’t be retained. Agents were also told that if they complained to the media, they would lose their jobs.

            See, like most liberal professors, you use “wrong” and “ignorant” as synonyms. Not good.
            To leftists, their “rightness” and moral superiority is so absolute and presumed, that the only explanation they can conjure up for someone disagreeing with them is lack of intelligence.
            We can disagree with you, professor, without being “ignorant.”
            I disagree with you, professor, but I’m not ignorant.
            And it’s at least POSSIBLE that you might be wrong, isn’t it?
            How long have you been using “ignorant” to describe anyone who disagrees with you?

          • Glen Olives

            I’ve already said that it’s possible that I’m wrong (see above). Anybody can be wrong. That aside, you seem to be making two mutually inconsistent claims. First, that agents were ordered to disregard the letter of the law on detaining potential terrorists by Eric holder and not to talk to the press about it. Then, as proof of this, you claim that “[b]order agents tell the true story of what really happened.” If not the press, who did these agents “tell their stories” to? What is your source? Moreover, journalists are always perfectly happy to protect the identity of sources by treating them as anonymous (current White House leaks demonstrate this quite amply), so no imagined gag order would keep the press from reporting such a juicy story as the DHS intentionally releasing potential terrorists. I would appreciate you explaining this enigma (without going down the hopeless rabbit hole of conspiracy theory).

          • SickofLiberalbs9999

            See, they weren’t INTENTIONALLY releasing terrorists.
            Their hands were tied by Holder/Obama with red tape – deliberately.
            Obama wanted open borders during a time of terrorism – he succeeded.
            His motives for this policy remain unknown to this day.

            Border agents or officials have been speaking out only after retiring or quitting. You can find those interviews online from multiple sources.
            My sources are friends in CA, AZ, and TX who work as border agents.
            They whispered the truth during Obama’s term, but could not speak out.

            As for the press – alt media covered this story.
            Mainstream media? Are you kidding? No way.
            It makes Obama look terrible. No one would touch the story on MSM.

          • Glen Olives

            “His motives for this policy remain unknown to this day” = bad conspiracy theory, as in not even good enough to impute a false motive for an action. Again, take a close look at Occam’s Razor. Your sources fom California, Arizona and Texas should really speak to the press. They can do so anonymously and their identities will be protected; any mainstream journalist could make his career on this bombshell! I suggest contacting newsmanager@foxnews.com where your friends will likely find a sympathetic journalist’s ear. I look forward to reading the scoop!

    • Glen Olives

      I’m guessing you’re a fan of Fox, Breightbart and By The Numbers. Incarceration rates are a red herring. They tell you mostly that the low hanging fruit for law enforcement are the ones getting arrrested and not actual crime rates. Better to use the FBI’s database. And like Trump, when facts are presented that you don’t like, you claim a conspiracy that the media isn’t reporting events. The truth is not in my view something to be afraid of.

      • 46patrick46

        DOJ/FBI data base has been corrupted for decades regarding statistics based on Race and legal status. It all began when Police Departments were required to CHANGE their reporting methodology.
        Once upon a time , the Police recorded a Mexican on a Police report as a … wait for it … Mexican !
        After the CHANGE the Police reported a Mexican as a White-Hispanic.
        The operative word being WHITE !

        Once a municipal police report was introduced to the DOJ / FBI Data Bank a White-Hispanic criminal became a White criminal. The word Hispanic disappeared.

        Look at FBI murder rates for the USA. Murderers are 53% Black , 45% White and 2% Other.
        FBI defines “other” as Asian. Question : where are the Latino murder rates ?
        Answer : commingled with European White murder rates.

        Actual murder rates in the USA , which vary very little every year , are the following :
        Blacks 53%
        Hispanics 33%
        Whites 12%
        Asians 2%

        That totals to 100%
        FBI commingled the 33% “White-Hispanic” murder rate with the 12% White murder rate to total a murder rate of 45% for WHITES only.

        Moral of the story … government statistics have become politicized. They are not accurate.

  • SickofLiberalbs9999

    Pathetic liberal propaganda.
    People who support the wall must be racists?
    People who support the wall must be stupid?
    Let me guess, you were (still are) a big Obama supporter, right?
    Obama’s opponents were all stupid racists, just like all of the Trump Wall supporters, right?

    “Immigrants wouldn’t dare try to vote?”
    Thanks for helping discredit your entire essay by throwing out this whopper.
    Obama promised undocumented immigrants they could vote without fear of arrest – on national television!
    I guess you missed that Obama speech during the campaign? I didn’t – I couldn’t believe my ears.
    Why are liberals so adamantly opposed to an investigation of voter fraud?
    Let’s see how many illegal votes Obama was able to encourage and generate shall we?

    And why no mention of terrorism in your essay? Easy.
    You ignore terrorism because it’s the factor that makes your entire essay irrelevant.
    You mention history – you’re right. History has never seen a suicidal global death cult like Islamic terrorism.
    Islamic terrorists want to infiltrate America and kill Americans.
    They’ve been using lax immigration enforcement to do it for 8 years under Obama.
    Keeping them out of America is just common sense.
    Border/immigration control with extreme vetting should be the policy of every nation on earth in today’s world.
    Wake up, the world has changed, your essay ignores the elephant in the room – terrorists posing as “immigrants”.

    • Glen Olives

      You’re right about one thing. I do think that people who support the border wall are ignorant. That doesn’t mean they’re bad people. Just ill-informed and blinded by ideology.

      • The ideology of law and order.

      • Güerito

        Open borders is an ideology part of those other ideologies capitalism and the ideology of “economic man.”

        • Glen Olives

          I don’t support open borders, in fact I think it’s quite silly. I do, though, support sensible immigration reform. Look at some of these comments. People ostensibly want Mexicans to immigrate legally, to get in line. But ask any US consular official and they’ll tell you — there’s simply no line to get into.

      • SickofLiberalbs9999

        I’m only “blinded” by ISIS mixing into the hordes crossing my country’s open borders to plan attacks on America.
        Hope I’m wrong – but do you really think they’re too dumb to take advantage of their sworn enemy’s wide-open border? For the last 8 years, how many have entered America? Dozens? Hundreds? Thousands? We’ll see.

        Mexico should be fearful of ISIS wanting to establish permanent locations in Mexico to be near the US border.
        To ISIS, Mexicans are no different than American infidels.

  • K. Chris C.

    When the US tyranny Khazarian grift-machine steals and then loans out, fences, the people’s deposits as counterfeit-money (monetary inflation) prices go up (price-inflation). Businesses also see reduced ROIs and blindly consume their capital because of the resulting economic distortions. Economic opportunities are reduced.

    To delay the above symptoms for as long as possible, the Khazarian grift-machine exports capital overseas to build factories, and then manipulates exchange rates so as to offset price-inflation with cheap imports. Distribution networks and retail outlets (WalMart, Amazon, etc.) are then funded and built from the people’s pension funds looted via the Wall Street ponzi scheme. Economic opportunities are further reduced.

    Simultaneously, the Khazarian grift-machine loans, fences, massive amounts of their grift via the US tyranny. To service the debt, the US tyranny must steal ever higher amounts of the people’s wealth via so-called “taxes” and regulations. Escalating “tax” and regulation burdens further undermine and distort the economy. Economic opportunities are reduced even further.

    To keep the music blaring as long as possible, and so as to sow social chaos and discord, foreigners are imported to work as serfs within the “connected,” or fascist part of the economy–Tyson chicken, etc. These “illegal” serfs also serve as a scapegoats and diversion away from the Khazarian grift-machine and their US tyranny partners’ looting of the American economy. Americans now begin to compete with the “illegal” serfs for rapidly diminishing economic opportunities.

    So yes, the Khazarians grift-machine, their US tyranny partners, and fascist dependents, need the flow of serfs to continue to the North, as does the Mexican tyranny. Otherwise the music stops too soon leaving unconsumed scraps on the American economy’s bones.

    Or put another way, there are no Mexicans, or Illegals” on the US Supreme Court or running the Federal Reserve, only dual-citizen interlopers, grifters, and their treasonous US partners.

    An American citizen, not US subject.

    • JaM

      New orders from the Fuher Chris:

      It’s Not “Zionists,” It’s Not “Khazars,” – It’s Jews
      Andrew Anglin

      Say it with me now: “it’s the Jews.”
      Say it with me now: “it’s the Jews.”
      One of the bigger lies that exists within the massive compilation of lies that is collectively known as the “Truth Movement” is that it is morally wrong to criticize “all Jews,” and thus we need to use various euphemisms to describe Jewish criminality. The two most popular euphemisms are “Zionists” and “Khazars”. Herein I will explain why both are inaccurate descriptions of the enemy we are fighting, and why both should be abandoned in favor of honest terminology, such as “Jews,” “the Jew,” or “international Jewry.”

      Time to come out of the closet, Chris.

  • alance

    The anti-immigrant populist tide is sweeping across Europe and America. Britain voted to leave the EU with Brexit on June 23, 2016 due to uncontrollable immigration and Trump won on November 8th for the same reason. Populist Marine Le Pen is leading in the race for president of France due to immigration and it looks like Angela Merkel will lose in Germany for letting in over a million immigrants.

  • Güerito

    Glen, this really is a mish-mash piece, stitching together points from about four or five of your other opinions pieces.

    Beyond that, the most important thing to note is your continued conflation of legal and illegal immigration.

    You start by saying the US needs more immigration. Then you spend the bulk of your piece ripping on Trump, even though he made no proposal during the campaign to limit legal immigration. His wall and the plans to deport those in the US illegally will not affect legal immigrants or future legal immigration to the US.

    * In bullet point 1, you state immigrants in the US are less likely to commit crimes than the native born population. That’s true. But then you sneak in the word “undocumented” in body of the paragraph. You and I went back and forth a while ago about this, and we came to the conclusion that we simply don’t know, for lack of data, if illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes. All the studies look at the entire immigrant population or subgroups in the native population.

    * In bullet point 2 it’s interesting you cite the recent NAS study, which I mentioned in a comment to your first hyper-linked piece above. Here’s a part of the comment quoting one of the members of the NAS study:

    “In this case, immigration redistributes wealth from those who compete with immigrants to those who use immigrants—from the employee to the employer.

    And the additional profits are so large that the economic pie accruing to all natives actually grows. I estimate the current “immigration surplus”—the net increase in the total wealth of the native population—to be about $50 billion annually. But behind that calculation is a much larger shift from one group of Americans to another.

    When we look at the overall value of immigration, there’s one more complicating factor: Immigrants receive government assistance at higher rates than natives. The higher cost of all the services provided to immigrants and the lower taxes they pay (because they have lower earnings) inevitably implies that on a year-to-year basis immigration creates a fiscal hole of at least $50 billion—a burden that falls on the native population.

    What does it all add up to? The fiscal burden offsets the gain from the $50 billion immigration surplus, so it’s not too farfetched to conclude that immigration has barely affected the total wealth of natives at all.

    Put bluntly, immigration turns out to be just another income redistribution program.”

    This quote illustrates that immigration – legal and illegal – results in the lowering of wages for the native population (job displacement) and that immigrants are a fiscal drag. Your comment about immigrants not being a fiscal burden again confuses things by speaking of only illegal immigrants, although even here you do acknowledge they get some government benefits (“aren’t eligible for most public benefits”).

    For immigrants (as as whole) being a public charge, see this recent piece: https://gborjas.org/2017/02/01/who-is-a-public-charge/

    For a recent article about how a California farm found sufficient legal workers by simply raising the pay by about 15%, see: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-garlic-labor-shortage-20170207-story.html

    * In bullet point 3, you again go back to illegal immigrants, touting the much cited Pew 2015 study. As you and I have discussed here often, the Pew 2015 was dated when it was first published (since it stopped analysis in mid-July) and was flawed by counting deportations.

    Pew itself acknowledged the tiny supposed negative figure (between 2009 and early 2014 – which includes the worst years of the US recession) was completely offset by a large increase in entries from Mexico starting in late 2014 – present. The latest border apprehension figures, while often cited to show Mexicans make up a smaller % of the total than in the past, show that Mexicans still make up about half of all those detained at the border. But, when discussing illegal immigration, the amount coming from Mexico is not all that important since there’s been a huge surge from Central America and elsewhere. And all of this is completely irrelevant to a discussion about legal immigration.

    To the extent the rest of your piece requires comment, I would just note Canada and the US can replace an aging population (assuming this is needed) by encouraging child birth among the native population (like many European countries) or with legal immigration.

    Again, Trump during the campaign and up to this point in his term hasn’t made any proposals regarding legal immigration.

    • Güerito

      Hey, Glen, I forgot to mention a couple other points.

      The NAS study found that recent immigrants (legal and illegal) assimilate slower, measured by English language acquisition and economic integration, than previous generations of immigrants. I think it’s obvious why that’s happening. https://gborjas.org/2016/09/21/a-users-guide-to-the-2016-nas-immigration-report/

      About illegal immigrants, AZ apparently initially saw a slight economic slowdown after the state enacted some very tough anti-immigration laws, but later the state saw some economic benefits in higher wages for some native workers and lower state spending in some areas.

      “Economists of opposing political views agree the state’s economy took a hit when large numbers of illegal immigrants left for Mexico and other border states, following a broad crackdown. But they also say the reduced competition for low-skilled jobs was a boon for some native-born construction and agricultural workers who got jobs or raises, and that the departures also saved the state money on education and health care.” http://www.americanborderpatrol.com/16-FEATURES/160209/160209-Feature.html

      Lastly a point that that applies mostly to illegal immigrants, but also to some legal immigrants brought in for family re-uniification, i.e., lower skilled immigrants. You’ve mentioned a few times that robotics and automation as some of the reasons manufacturing jobs are disappearing from the US. Well, if that’s the case, does it make sense to bring in any more low skill immigrants? Looked at this way, declining native birth rates might be exactly what developed nations need.

      • Glen Olives

        That’s quite a lot to chew on, some of it being ground we’ve tilled before, so I’ll just make a couple of general comments. First, there’s no question that illegal immigration at the border is way, way down. Yes FY 2016 saw a slight uptick, but far below 1980s levels. In fact, in 1983 we had 3,500 agents on the southwest border and now we have close to 20,000, yet apprehensions are a tiny fraction of what they were then. This is a telling fact. As far as the economy and social services go, yes it is possible to find contrary studies (the slightly racist website By The Numbers is a good source). But if you were to compile every demographic and economic study on the economic efffects of both legal and illegal immigration and stack them in a room, you would find a giant pile of papers that support my position, and a little tiny folder of papers that does not. That’s just a fact. Now, could I be wrong? Of course. There could be a conspiracy among academics and statiticians to fudge the facts and analysis, but I would be at a loss as to what motivation they might have to do this. Lastly, as you can see from some of the below comments, many people are adamant that illegal immigrants are draining the system based mostly on anecdotal accountings. But we know that even legal immigrants are not eligible for welfare, SNAP, Medicaid and many other social service programs for 5 years, let alone illegals.

        But let’s say I’m only half right. Do you think that illegal immigration as a matter of public policy deserves the attention it is getting? Outsourcing, crowdsourcing, offshoring and automation are going to be civilizational game changers, not immigration, yet we insist on chasing ghost villains.

        • 101st

          Yes, it ‘does deserve to get the attention it’s getting’, because it is a broken system….and both
          parties need to work together, to fix it.

          • Glen Olives

            We’ll have to agree to disagree about the priority it has been given. But I think we agree that it is a broken system and both parties need to work together to fix it. That’s been tried before of course and hasn’t worked out. I remain sanguine though.

  • Felipe_Calderoff

    Two years ago, Glen Olives Thompson predicted on Mexico Daily News that Mexico will become the “dominant economic power in the 21st century.”

    After a statement like that, why would anybody with an IQ above room temperature believe anything else he says?

    • Glen Olives

      I stand by that statement. This century is still quite young.

      • Señor Olives, we are of one mind on this. I see Mexico as a nation on the way up. I am optimistic. We get better every day. The United States, however, is a nation on the way down.

  • owl905

    The premise is right, but the arguments appear a mix of verbatim echoes and softballs for the immigrants. America needs immigrants with skills, money, and youth. The biggest barrier is the xenophobic bigot vote that put carrot-top in power – it wants nothing that isn’t pale-skinned and worshiping ‘the wrong God’.

  • alance

    The fertility of Latinas drop rapidly once thy’re settled in the U.S. due to organizations like Planned Parenthood and state funded Medicaid abortion on demand for free where social disapproval of unwed mothers is common especially in the schools. Not all aspects of American culture are benign.

  • Nice try, Olives. It’s always interesting to watch the left, of which you are a card-carrying member, figuratively speaking, pretending that immigration and illegal immigration are one and the same. They decidedly are not. The hubbub that helped deliver Trump to the Oval Office was illegal immigration, i.e. criminality, law-breaking. It was not immigration in general, the orderly, legal process.

    So this list of the positives of legal immigration is pointless. It has nothing to do with the issue of the day.

    Back to the drawing board!

  • Kathy

    Cherry picking data does nothing but create fake news by obscuring, skewing, and fabricating news.
    The fastest growing prison population in the US is children of illegal aliens. Illegal aliens as soon as they produce a US citizen are eligible for social services like food stamps, and housing/utility subsidizes. The entire household is counted for these services. Illegal aliens cost the US 1 billion dollars/year to provide special schooling and social services.
    Once a criminal always a criminal. Illegal aliens are criminals the minute they cross the border without permission.
    Over 2/3 of illegal aliens live in large cities and work in service jobs taking US citizens jobs.
    The US has a vetting system that prevents people whose goal is to suck off the social service system and work for slave labor wages.

    • Stephen Dedalus

      Sorry Kathy. You need to check your “Facts”. The fastest growing US prison population is…women – up 800%. I won’t bother challenging your other non-fact-based opinions.

  • Three score and ten

    Glen, I have enjoyed a lot of your commentary in the past, and (though we often disagree) I can still get something out of your stuff even with your extreme dislike of President Trump………..BUT……….turning your writing into personal attacks (feckless moron, mentally ill narcissist) rather than solid arguments detracts from your commentaries. This thing is more of a meaningless rant than an opinion. Have a couple of martinis before you write the next one.

    • Glen Olives

      I don’t think I used “feckless moron” gratuitously. It seems to me just a statement of fact. Did you see the last news converence?

      • Three score and ten

        Don’t obfuscate. We both know your opinion here is just another personal attack under the guise of debate based on fallacious arguments. No, I have quit watching the fake news, so I miss some good stuff.

        • Glen Olives

          No need to watch fake news. Just watch President Trump’s last press conference, unedited. And then tell me that who you saw was not a feckless moron or mentally ill narcicissist.

  • From South of the Border

    Glen, You have got to be kidding.. The U.S. has about 1 million legal immigrants a year.. Do you understand the difference between Legal and Illegal?? I know Progressives have a hard time understanding this difference, but an Illegal immigrant is a criminal by the definition of his or her situation.. Yes, There are a little over a million Americans/Canadians in Mexico, but unlike the majority of immigrants to the U.S. that million Americans/Canadians actually obey Mexico’s immigration laws .. So what is good for the goose is good for the gander!! Grow up Glen and stop drinking your left wing Kool Ade..

  • Glen Olives
  • Henry Wilson

    as usual, this pseudo-intellectual has it all wrong in his effort to blame the worlds problems on the big bad gringos of the north. this dude gives new depth of meaning to “fake news.” the us welcomes more legal immigrants to the nation than any other nation. all we ask is that latinos respect our laws and quit cutting in line. but more than 11 million of your people can’t seem to do that, glen and insist upon the right to ignore our laws and rules. want to know which ethnic group most strongly supports trumps plan to deport illegal aliens, glen? that’s right. latinos who legally emigrated to the us. unlike you and yours. glen, it seems some latinos still possess a modicum of respect for the laws and rules of other nations.

  • Dward Fardbark

    If there is so much benefit from having illegal aliens .. why doesn’t Mexico keep them to reap the benefits?

  • gypsyken

    Many thanks for a very cogent essay. The attacks on it by supporters of Il Duce Trump will confirm its cogency.

  • Güerito

    Here’s a good summary of the points I’ve been making. In this NYTimes guest editorial that was just publish today:

    “Over the past 30 years, a large fraction of immigrants, nearly a third, were high school dropouts, so the incumbent low-skill work force formed the core group of Americans who paid the price for the influx of millions of workers. Their wages fell as much as 6 percent. Those low-skill Americans included many native-born blacks and Hispanics, as well as earlier waves of immigrants.

    But somebody’s lower wage is somebody else’s higher profit. The increase in the profitability of many employers enlarged the economic pie accruing to the entire native population by about $50 billion. So, as proponents of more immigration point out, immigration can increase the aggregate wealth of Americans. But they don’t point out the trade-off involved: Workers in jobs sought by immigrants lose out.

    They also don’t point out that low-skill immigration has a side effect that reduces that $50 billion increase in wealth. The National Academy of Sciences recently estimated the impact of immigration on government budgets. On a year-to-year basis, immigrant families, mostly because of their relatively low incomes and higher frequency of participating in government programs like subsidized health care, are a fiscal burden. A comparison of taxes paid and government spending on these families showed that immigrants created an annual fiscal shortfall of $43 billion to $299 billion.

    Even the most conservative estimate of the fiscal shortfall wipes out much of the $50 billion increase in native wealth. Remarkably, the size of the native economic pie did not change much after immigration increased the number of workers by more than 15 percent. But the split of the pie certainly changed, giving far less to workers and much more to employers.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/27/opinion/the-immigration-debate-we-need.html

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