Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Part 2 Profit Motive Changed Immigration

Profit Motive Changed Immigration

Profit Motive Changed Immigration
Jon E. Dougherty,
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
"America must not be overwhelmed. Every effort to enact immigration legislation must expect to meet a number of hostile forces and, in particular, two hostile forces of considerable strength," Samuel Gompers, founder of the American Federation of Labor [the "AFL" in AFL-CIO], said in a March 19, 1924 letter to Congress.
"One of these is composed of corporation employers who desire to employ physical strength (broad backs) at the lowest possible wage and who prefer a rapidly revolving labor supply at low wages to a regular supply of American wage earners at fair wages. The other is composed of racial groups in the United States who oppose all restrictive legislation because they want the doors left open for an influx of their countrymen regardless of the menace to the people of their adopted country," Gompers wrote.

Eighty years later, many immigration reformists believe Gompers' words were prophetic, as the U.S. faces a continuous influx of immigrants --mostly Mexican-born Hispanics who have come by the millions -- much as the country faced a similar influx of European immigrants during Gompers' time.

Gompers, who himself emigrated to the U.S. in 1863 from England, understood the cause and effects of mass immigration probably better than anyone else during his time. Yet for all his prophecy, his warnings have gone largely unheeded until today, when America is overrun with an estimated 13 million illegal immigrants.

Worse, more are on the way.

As Gompers anticipated, many come to America to find work. And, as the English labor leader predicted, their effect has been to entice corporations to hire them "at the lowest possible wage" because they "prefer a rapidly revolving labor supply at low wages to a regular supply of American wage earners at fair wages."


According to a Census Bureau report released March 18, the nation's non-Hispanic white population will decrease from 69 percent in 2000 to just over 50 percent in 2050. Also, the population will age; 20 percent of Americans by 2050 will be 65 or older. As that happens, the working age population will have to rise in order to pay for Social Security, Medicare and other benefits for seniors.

Hispanic immigrants can help fill that gap, say analysts.

"The profound demographic shifts promise to redefine American society at every level — from the ethnic makeup of suburban neighborhoods to public education, elderly care and voting patterns," said an analysis by USA Today.

By 2050, Hispanics in the U.S. will swell to 103 million—nearly double today's figures -- to 24 percent of the population. Hispanics surpassed blacks as the country's largest minority group in 2002, with 38.8 million.

But other analysts see problems with so much population growth. Demographically, it could place major strains on the national infrastructure.

"America is in the midst of unprecedented population growth with major demographic consequences, and the most shocking aspect is that this is happening without public discussion or the approval of the American people," says Dan Stein, executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

"The government and the media seem to accept massive population growth as an inevitability that we are powerless to control. It is not inevitable; it is a choice that we are making through our immigration policies," Stein says. "Even worse, both political parties are committed to increasing population growth through higher levels of immigration and amnesty for illegal aliens.

"Massive population growth is not the future most Americans want for themselves and their children," Stein continued. "But it is the future that will be forced upon them by unwanted mass immigration that benefits a small number of special interests and politicians who cannot see beyond the next election."

Ethnic Groups

Most immigrants are coming from Latin American/Hispanic nations, say demographers.

According to William H. Frey, a University of Michigan demographer and scholar with the Brookings Institute, in the South blacks are the dominant minority group. But in the West, Hispanics dominate.

But overall, says the Newhouse News Service, in a July 30, 2003 interview with Frey, "Americans in ever-larger numbers are leaving most of the states that are premier destinations for immigrants and moving to Southeastern and Western states that are home to most of the white population growth in the nation."

"The pattern gathered substantial force in the 1990s and offers a revealing look at how the interplay of another decade of record immigration and the growing lure of a baker's dozen of fast-growing states with suburban appeal are transforming the nation's demographic landscape," Newhouse News Service's Jonathan Tilove wrote.

Profit Motives

"The influence of money and profit" in the corporate world "has influenced a lot" of the immigration influx, Craig Nelson, head of Friends of Immigration Law Enforcement, told NewsMax. Also, he said, reflecting on Gompers' words, ethnic groups within the U.S. continually push for more of their group to be allowed to come into the country.

"What was true in 1924 is true today," Nelson said. "Gompers was prophetic."

He said the proposal by the Bush administration -- to grant legal status to illegal aliens who find jobs in the U.S. -- was indicative of how the White House views immigration in general.

"We keep hearing [the proposal] was an outreach to Hispanics, which I find racist in and of itself," Nelson said, "but if that were true—and the plan was really just to go after Hispanics -- the administration would have announced the plan in September," just weeks away from the fall elections and in time for maximum effect at the polls.

"But January is the time [the Bush campaign] is raising money. So we think it's pretty obvious [the announcement] was made to secure campaign contributions, or bribes, or whatever you want to call them," says Nelson.

Nelson and other border experts also argue that a number of loopholes, coupled with political pressure and pressure from industry, business and ethnic groups, has made enforcement of current immigration laws a joke.

"The coalition to sort of weaken immigration laws and keep immigration high enjoys very little public support, but from an elite perspective, it enjoys a lot of support -- on the left and right," he said.

Still, argue immigration reformists, the nation's lax immigration laws and policies will most likely benefit Democrats in the long run.


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