What do we get from CBS` respected (at least by Democrats like me) "60 Minutes" on Sunday, December 11, 2005? A segment entitled "More Migrants Dying To Get In" hosted by Ed Bradley [send him mail] which tells a sad story about illegal immigrants coming across our southern border, many dying in the desert, because we have closed off easier entries through border cities. In short, our fault!
It is tragic to see a distinguished news program use sob-sister techniques to obscure the true nature of this complex problem.
The real story: In a troubling report just issued by the respected Center for Immigration Studies, researcher Steven Camarota discloses that
"new Census Bureau data shows that nearly 8 million immigrants (legal and illegal) have settled in the country since January 2000, nearly half of them illegal aliens. In addition, the report provides a detailed picture of the socio-economic status of today`s immigrants".
Using his usual cautious estimates, Camarota notes that "New arrivals are offset by deaths and return migration among the existing immigrant population, so that the total number here increased by 5.2 million since 2000, half of whom are illegals."
However, this means there are 35.2 million immigrants (legal and illegal) here as of March of 2005, the highest ever recorded—two and a half times the 13.5 million during the peak of the last great immigration wave in 1910.
Immigrants account for 12.1 percent of the total population, the highest percentage in 8 decades.
If current trends continue, within a decade it will surpass the high of 14.7 percent reached in 1910. The immigration flood rages onward.
Only vaguely does the 60 Minutes segment touch on the real problem:
"The University of California`s Wayne Cornelius, a national authority on immigration, predicted ten years ago that no matter what the government does to fortify the border, Mexican workers will still keep coming as long as there are jobs here for them.
"`They can earn more in an hour of work in the United States than they could in an entire day in Mexico—if they had a job,` says Cornelius."
"The government says crossing the border through the desert is breaking the law, but Cornelius says the U.S. is sending a very mixed message."
You bet! The reason for this "mixed message" remains clear. Until US businesses are severely penalized for buying this cheap labor–and the people in our government who are ignoring this invasion punished–this job-drawing power will remain irresistible. Business keeps making the unsubstantiated claim which CBS allowed to be repeated on this segment by retired INS agent, Mark Reed.
Reed first of all had good news:
"What we did is we pulled together the meat packing industry in the states of Nebraska and Iowa and brought them into Washington and told them that we were not going to allow them to hire any more unauthorized workers. Within 30 days over 3,500 people fled the meat packing industry in Nebraska. We proved that the government without doubt had the capacity to deny employment to unauthorized workers."
But what happened next? "`We were invited to leave Nebraska by the same delegation that invited us in. The bottom line issue was, please leave our state before you ruin our economy,` says Reed."
What does Reed mean? That stealing jobs Americans were willing to do for a living wage and replacing them with illegal immigrants who work for slave wages is ruining whose economy?
I will tell you what happened: The owners of these packing plants who give big political donations to keep the borders open. But Reed isn`t through will his disinformation:
"`The reason is that by putting that factory out of business, not only do we put the unauthorized workers out of business, but we`ve put United States citizens out of business and we destroy, we have the potential to destroy, an entire community,` says Reed."
So there it is again: In-sourcing illegal labor and outsourcing American jobs, a rip-tide of immoral behavior allowed by our elected officials. Unless patriots like Tom Tancredo (R-CO) stop it, Bush and the business paymasters of our Congress will again try to slip the wool over Americans and tell us poor slobs how great it is that we have all these illegal slaves, just like the Roman Empire as it began its decline. Just as Bush is telling us how great things are going in Iraq, he is now trying to pull another sleazy political trick on working Americans.
Of course, my elected Democrats don`t have any spine either—thinking that their base is best bought by bilingual blarney on multi-culturalism and open borders, when research shows that a large percentage of US citizens of Hispanic origin are against illegal entries.
Cheap labor is not cheap, particularly when honest research by people like Camarota point out the multi-billion dollar impact on our tax supported services, which are being now freely used by these illegal aliens. Shame on you, Ed Bradley and 60 Minutes. Your reputation for telling it like it is really suffers when you tell these old lies cloaked in the sad true facts that some are dying because of Washington`s "mixed message."
America`s message isn`t at all mixed when you ask the 80-plus per cent of us who want real reform vs. the majority of our elected officials who are afraid of losing their contribution flows, even though they are hiding out in their gerrymandered districts.
Your Democracy as well as your jobs are on the line, folks.
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.