I have just read “Immigration is good for U.S. and native-born workers” by Gideon Aronoff, president of HIAS. Although he is supposed to support the cause of Jewish immigrants, Mr. Aronoff’s goodwill extends to all immigrants, even those who break the law by sneaking across the border. Mr. Aronoff tries to blur the distinction between illegal and legal immigration by calling illegal immigrants “undocumented,” as if they were legitimate immigrants who accidentally misplaced their documents. He tries to obscure the fact they entered the country illegally and remain here illegally, while legal applicants for U.S. immigration comply with all the formalities and then wait their turn until they can enter.
Mr. Aronoff quotes a nameless “University of California Study” that states that wages for native-born workers increased 1.8 percent because of immigration. Tell that to the meat and poultry workers, the migrant agricultural workers, or the hotel and restaurant workers.
And what about the community costs of unbridled immigration, the closing in California of a vast number of community hospitals because they cannot afford the financial cost of keeping their emergency rooms open to the non-paying, the large increase in gang violence due to the 10 percent or so of illegals who are career criminals?
Illegal immigration should not be accepted. We already have a generous legal immigration quota. We have to decide, and then control, how many immigrants we are able to absorb and what skill level of immigrants we want to receive. We have to end the game where, if you can cross the border undetected, you are allowed to remain here forever and are offered a path to citizenship as well. This process unfairly favors Mexicans and those who are able to gain entrance to Mexico.
Now, Mexico is not the poorest country in the world. There are four billion people in the world living in countries with a standard of living lower than Mexico’s. If we admit Mexicans without limitation because they are poor, then we should also admit an unlimited number of Filipinos, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Indonesians, and Africans. We can’t do this because our economy would be swamped and we would decline to Third-World wage levels, destroying the purpose of the immigrants in coming here.
I feel that Mr. Aronoff deserves high marks for compassion but low marks for public policy. We should have legal immigration, but it must be controlled. Illegal immigration should not be accepted and rewarded.