Hey, the elites on Wall Street have been stealing our money, the big oil spill seems a symbol of corporate indifference to our environment, and the Congress has been mortgaging our futures with profligate spending and ill focused policies. Americans are really angry.
In the Saturday, May 15 Wall Street Journal, an excellent article by Stephanie Simon tells of the rise of voter dissatisfaction.
"Primary elections draw the most ardent voters from each party, and this year many of them are in a combative mood.
Republicans seem ready to punish GOP lawmakers who helped bail out Wall Street. Democrats are challenging those in their party who resisted President Barack Obama's expansive health-care legislation.
In much of the country, each party seems to want candidates who strongly side with the president, or oppose him. Primary season has just begun, yet two longtime incumbents have already been denied new terms: Sen. Bob Bennett, a Utah Republican, and Rep. Alan Mollohan, a Democrat from West Virginia". [Primary Clashes Reflect Voter Unrest ]
Could it at last be that a powerful burgeoning reason for voter dissatisfaction is our immigration mess?
And now we find that the untreated immigration mess is stealing our children's work ethic! Not that we didn't already sense that was true!
In a May 5, 2010 OP ED published in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, I wrote:
"Our flagrant importing of cheap foreign labor in massive numbers keeps young U.S. kids from doing the kind of part-time and summer jobs that were standard in earlier generations, making shopping malls all too often the recreation centers for idle teens."
In short, a prime tenet in the upbringing of our children, learning a work ethic, is being undermined by our immigration invasion.
A recent study from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) confirms my contention. It reports that this summer "is shaping up to be worst summer ever for the employment of U.S.-born teenagers (16 to 19 years old). But even before the current recession, the share of U.S.-born teens in the labor force—working or looking for work—was declining."
So go loll at the Mall!
Again confirming the well known need to imprint early the importance of work on our young, the CIS study notes:
"The fall in teen employment is worrisome because a large body of research shows that those who do not hold jobs as teenagers often fail to develop the work habits necessary to function in the labor market, creating significant negative consequences for them later in life."[A Drought of Summer Jobs: Immigration and the Long-Term Decline in Employment Among U.S.-Born Teenagers, By Steven A. Camarota, and Karen Jensenius, May 2010]
And this is not just inner city kids who may be peddling drugs. "The severity of the decline is similar for U.S.-born black, Hispanic, and white teens. The fall-off is also similar for teenagers from both high- and low-income households."
What are we about? Who are these people shouting for amnesty for 12 million plus illegal aliens who are already here (and not being arrested when they blatantly demand immediate citizenship rights)? They are taking these birthright jobs from our youngsters. Talk about the decline and fall of the Roman Empire! It is downright unpatriotic to be in favor of amnesty under these circumstances.
You can really call this phenomenon an epidemic. It is wide spread across our country. The CIS writers note:
"Looking at change over time shows that a 10 percentage-point increase in the immigrant share of a state's work force from 1994 to 2007 reduced the labor force participation rate of U.S.-born teenagers by 7.9 percentage points. Among the states with high immigration and low teen labor force participation are Nevada, New Jersey, Georgia, Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, California, and New York."
I know my parents demanded that I have a summer job, as did the parents of my friends. I dug ditches, mowed lawns, worked in retail stores, not for much money, but the experience made me know that in the near future I would have to earn a living! Even though my competence was not up to that of older workers, these businesses in my generation knew that we were the next generation of their workers and knowingly or unknowingly, they took responsibility for bringing us along, even at very low wages.
Now of course, these same employers can obviously displace U.S.-born teenagers because the same cheap labor comes from "the vast majority of immigrants are fully developed adults—relatively few people migrate before age 20. This gives immigrants a significant advantage over U.S.-born teenagers, who typically have much less work experience."
And let's not fail to mention the effect of massive annual legal immigration on the curtailing of opportunities for American college grads, as thousands of foreign born students complete their US educations every year and are snapped up by US companies here.
With the US economy staggering, the budget deficits soaring and the American people mad as hell at the performance of their representatives in Congress, the political fallout is already showing as the WSJ piece proves.
The CIS paper concludes with this dire statement:
"The decision to allow in large numbers of legal immigrants (temporary and permanent) and to tolerate large-scale illegal immigration and to turn away from employing U.S.-born teenagers may be seen as desirable by some businesses. However, this policy choice may have significant long-term consequences for American workers as they enter adulthood. The potential impact of continued large-scale immigration on teenagers is something that should be considered when formulating immigration policy in the future."
But now my party's leader, President Obama and the leadership in our misbegotten Congress, seem bent on providing jobs for illegal immigrants, shutting out our own children.
Why not make government incentive money available for our youngsters, so American businesses can hire them? We know that hundreds of millions of foreigners want to come to America, but our responsibility as business people, parents, politicians and citizens must be to favor our own next generation or continue to turn our country into the multi-cultural soup that has brought down so many earlier dominantly powerful nations.
If we continue to allow our leaders to steal everything including our children's work ethic, how long can we expect to remain a free and functioning democracy?
The time is now to make sure we truly reform immigration and that does not mean another amnesty which will further undermine our future generations.
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.