Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, has written an article on the results of the United States government's policy of allowing the elites of Saipan to set their own immigration policy. Krikorian starts out with a great quote from Teddy Roosevelt about immigrants as human capital versus immigrants as citizens.
Never under any condition should this nation look at an immigrant as primarily a labor unit. He should always be looked at primarily as a future citizen.
-- Theodore Roosevelt, 1917
The Rough Rider got it exactly right. Do we want a nation of citizens? Or do we want a nation of economic work units who plug into their workplaces to produce goods? For the latter needs we are better off developing robots. But immigrants inevitably become political actors. Sometimes this is for good and sometimes for ill. That they will take on the responsibilities of citizenship and act as citizens act is by no means assured. Lots of countries have populations but few real citizens. Citizenship is an alien concept in the Middle East for example and the body politic there has essentially summoned up an immune response to this Western concept (really a British and French concept) and rejected the role of citizen.
The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) was granted control of business regulations and immigration policy when they become territories of the United States after World War II. The elites of CNMI took this as an opportunity to import a massive foreign labor force and work that labor force at very low wages and appalling conditions.
But rather than using the control over immigration to preserve their "culture and community," the island elite and outside businessmen combined it with other loopholes (tariff-free exports to the U.S. and the right to claim "Made in the USA" for locally assembled garments) to upend the intent of the immigration exemption by importing a large foreign workforce. Foreign workers, mostly Filipino and Chinese, now account for the majority of the population of 80,000.
The abuse of the workers became so bad that for a while the Philippines stopped allowing Filipinos to travel to Saipan for work.
The result was not a libertarian paradise. CNMI has high native unemployment and welfare dependency. Most natives work for the government. This is what Open Borders advocates would inflict upon the US mainland if they could get away with it.
Distortion. But moves to limit abuse are irrelevant to the more fundamental impact of a foreign-labor program: the abnormal development of the host society. The foreign-labor program has completely transformed the CNMI's society in a single generation. About 70 percent of the population is now foreign-born, almost all of it non-citizen. Chamorros, the main indigenous ethnic group, used to be a clear majority; they are now barely a quarter of the population.
The guestworker system has also reinforced in the locals a culture of pervasive dependence on government. Fully 70 percent of the labor force is non-citizens, and at least 85 percent of all private-sector jobs are held by Asians. U.S. citizens have an unemployment rate triple that of non-citizens; of the indigenous Chamorros who do have jobs, 56 percent work for the government, fueling a doubling in the size of the bureaucracy since 1980.
The 2000 census found a poverty rate on the islands of 46 percent, up significantly from just two years earlier, and nearly quadruple the U.S. rate. A recent survey found that two-thirds of children in the Commonwealth received food assistance from the local or federal government. The number of people receiving federal Food Stamps specifically has increased more than sevenfold in less than a decade.
The corrosive effect on the work ethic and morals of the American citizens is so bad that, in 1995, the government actually had to issue a directive prohibiting welfare recipients from hiring foreign maids. "Free-market success," indeed.
Welfare recipients with foreign maids. The maids are cheap when there is no minimum wage and they can get imported from countries with much lower average wages.
Do you want the United States to become like Kuwait?
The CNMI's experience over the past 20 years is a clear warning against any of the foreign-worker proposals before Congress. A new guestworker program in the U.S. would have the same basic results: widespread permanent settlement, increased illegal immigration, exploitation of foreign workers, and distortion of our economy and society. "Only a few countries, and no democratic society, have immigration policies similar to the CNMI," wrote the bipartisan Commission on Immigration Reform. "The closest equivalent is Kuwait." This is not a club we should want to join.
The "Proposition Nation" neocons make a big deal of their own concept of core American values. Well, one of my core American values is self-reliance. Unlimited immigration creates a culture of dependency. Take away labor laws and workers become treated life indentured servants. This is not self reliance. It is not freedom either.
All the babies being born to imported workers on Saipan and other CNMI are born with the right of American citizenship. But what lessons do they learn about citizenship growing up there under the conditions created by the corrupt CNMI elite? What sorts of "citizens" will they become?
Also see my post "How Jack Abramoff Made Labor Cheap On Saipan". Corrupt American elites and corrupt Saipan elites are like birds of a feather. We should reject these people and take their power away and put an end to America's immigration madness.
Update: Krikorian explains in a nutshell why we are in this mess.
The illegal population in the United States has grown to some 11 million people, not because immigration is some kind of irresistible force, like the tides or the weather, but because the special interests that benefit from uncontrolled immigration -- employers of cheap labor, ethnic pressure groups, left-wing organizations, immigration lawyers -- are not counterbalanced by any special interests that benefit from immigration controls.
Research has shown that the gap between the views of the public and the elite (Big Business, Big Labor, Big Religion, Big Journalism) are wider on immigration than on any other issue. This has resulted in a body of immigration law that looks tough on paper (to satisfy the public), but which is not enforced (to satisfy the elite).
The centerpiece of the Sensenbrenner bill is an attempt to change this, by requiring all businesses to verify new hires' Social Security numbers through an online system, which has been field-tested for nearly a decade. The bill would also expand border fencing to help state and local police deal with the illegal aliens they encounter and make it a criminal offense to be an illegal alien (you thought it already was?).
Krikorian is referring to James Sensebrenner's bill H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005, which passed the US House of Representatives on Dec. 16, 2005.
On December 16th, the United States House of Representatives passed by 239 to 182 votes a bill sponsored by James Sensenbrenner, a Republican from Wisconsin. This would make illegal immigration a felony, create a crime of employing or aiding undocumented migrants, and order “physical infrastructure enhancements” (ie, a fence) along more than a third of the 3,100 kilometre (2,000 mile) border.
The New York Times and other liberal media are joining ethnic activists and business interests to prevent the passage of the bill in the US Senate. The New York Times is not happy.
The Times warned darkly that the bill "would broaden the nation's immigrant-smuggling law so that people who assist or shield illegal immigrants would be subject to prosecution. Offenders, who might include priests, nurses or social workers, could face up to five years in prison. The proposal would also allow the authorities to seize some assets of those convicted of such a crime." Moreover, the bill "could also subject the spouses and colleagues of illegal workers to prosecution."
At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Randel Johnson said Wednesday that the business group wanted a more comprehensive approach. The group favors both a program for temporary workers and a "pathway to legal status" for undocumented immigrants, he said.
"The House bill is unacceptable to the business community," said Johnson, chamber vice president for labor, immigration and employee benefits.
I'd love to make employers of imported labor pay for all the costs of that labor. Right now they get subsidized labor where many of the costs are paid for by the rest of us.
Note how "true immigration reform" is a code term for amnesty and open borders.
Democrats Gwen Moore of Milwaukee and Ron Kind of La Crosse plan to vote no.
Moore, citing the absence of a guest worker program, said the bill fell short of true immigration reform. The measure "generally diminishes the chances that immigrants have of becoming permanent citizens," she said
The US House more closely represents the will of the people. The US Senate and President tend to be more closely allied with elites. So Sensenbrenner and allies face an uphill battle trying to get more border fences and interior enforcement of immigration controls. So far America's traitorous elites are winning and America as a whole is losing on immigration.
H.R. 4437 gives more direction to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Secretary of Defense in five specific areas:
- It calls for them to develop a plan to increase the availability of the Department of Defense surveillance along the U.S. international land and maritime borders
- To assess border security vulnerabilities on Department of Interior land directly adjacent to the U.S. border
- Conduct a training exercise on border security information sharing
- Establish a Border Security Advisory Committee
- Establish a university-based center of Excellence for Border Security
Additionally, the bill also requires that the Secretary of DHS place any alien, unless from Mexico or Canada or who has not been admitted or paroled, into expedited removal if apprehended within 100 miles of the border and within 14 days of unauthorized entry.
If public anger continues to build on immigration the bill might eventually pass.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2006 January 15 11:56 AM Immigration Societal Decay|