2006 January 15 Sunday
Immigrants Outnumber Natives On US Territory Of Saipan

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."

Business interests oppose any measure that will reduce the supply of labor and drive up labor costs.

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.

Update II: Sensenbrenner's bill has all sorts of measures aimed at improving border security.

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:

  1. 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
  2. To assess border security vulnerabilities on Department of Interior land directly adjacent to the U.S. border
  3. Conduct a training exercise on border security information sharing
  4. Establish a Border Security Advisory Committee
  5. 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

John S Bolton said at January 15, 2006 1:59 PM:

Going directly to the bottom line in terms of the currency of power, the essence of the matter is whether a years' total of immigrants admiited under such polices, will add to the aggression on the net taxpayer. If they do, the policy is wrong. The problem is that everyone's aggrandizement is being considered, but not the rights of the net taxpayer, not to have the level of aggression be increased on them.
The debate is constrained by speech taboos which don't allow the net public subsidy of immigrants to be spoken of. If it were publicly debated, the disconnect between opinion elites and almost everyone else, would grow even more glaringly divergent.
As suggested above, it is not democracy, but despotic little parasite polities, which have the highest levels of foreign born, commonly used cruelly as guest workers.

John S Bolton said at January 15, 2006 8:16 PM:

Regarding the point on immigrants being treated as strictly economic units; that could also be a mendacious tactic. If we see them as altogether economic, even though the issue is totally political; this allows for the consideration of the effect on the overall level of aggression, as influenced by immigration, to be glossed over.
The left doesn't want it to be known what the political effect will certainly be from additional immigration cohorts of similar type as may be expected; the moderate right doesn't want to know, and hates to be told.
Economists, especially libertarian ones, like to tell us that the global utility will be maximized by moving expanding populations to where unemployment rates are lower, and wages are higher. What if they're wrong, though?
Is there any reason to suppose that labor saving innovations would have come into use with any respectable degree of frequency, if wages had not gone much higher, and unemployment much lower, in some countries?
The argument that the industrial revolution occurred during a period of high population growth, doesn't indicate that faster population growth would not have prevented the growth of productivity. The early phases of the industrial revolution, indeed its first 100 years, were marked by slow growth in per capita output nationally.

Michael said at January 16, 2006 7:56 AM:

WE SHOULd LET BLACK WHITES LAT"INOS AND others in our country to if they take a lie detector TEST for not letting drugs go in our country!

Rick Darby said at January 16, 2006 11:12 AM:

While both parties at the national level are captive to pro-immigration business and ideological interests, states are finally beginning to take the initiative against de facto open borders on their own, a very welcome development.

Everyone who wants to stop The Invasion, and for whom it is a practical option, should move to Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. (California is so far gone that trying to redress the balance there would dilute the efforts in the other three border states.) That would speed up the progress at the state level and provide a greater counterforce to Washington.

Jorge D.C. said at January 17, 2006 3:37 AM:

...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.

This is avoiding the issue. Historically just what exactly were the counterbalancing special interests? I don't think they have ever existed in the USA or elsewhere.

The counterbalancing mechanisms were not special interests but general interests: 1) socially acceptable racial pride 2) socially acceptable ethnic pride 3) socially acceptable national pride. All of which are obviously the building blocks of nationhood.

But as a result of the Left's massive cultural deconstruction program (brainwashing) of the past 40 years, the building blocks of nationhood have been removed and the Republic rests upon the fraudulent "proposition nation" concept.

With this kind of foundation planted in the public's psyche, the concept of border enforcement flies out the politically correct window. And the open borders forces are then free to go about their dirty business.

You could make an argument that strong unions once-upon-a-time encouraged border legal status of workers and that has changed. But the real force behind the immigration restrictions and mass deportations in the country's past was racial, ethnic, and national pride within the minds of our elites.

If you want to open the borders (destroy a nation), you deracinate and denationalize its elites. There are and never were any "counterbalancing" special interest groups that needed to be overcome to achieve this goal.

CyberAnth said at January 17, 2006 10:24 PM:

As a CNMI resident from the U.S. mainland, I attest to the truthfulness of original poster's post. Honestly, the CNMI is one of the most dysfunctional societies I have live in, and I have lived in quite a few, including in the so-called third-world.

In my view, one of two things needs to happen here politically.

One, the CNMI desperately needs the U.S. rug pulled from under its feet. The enormous influx of U.S. federal monies in the CNMI has utterly ruined an entire generation of its indigienous inhabitants, Chamorros and Carolinians. Then, let them struggle to find their way in a globalized world.

Two, the CNMI needs to be politically disolved and it needs to join Guam into a full U.S. State. This stands to place the Marianas on a path away from the tribalism and clanism currently destoying the social system and making exploitation of others an inherent component of everyday life and labor.

Overall, the main social problems in the CNMI stem from the level of cultural protectionism practiced by the locals through their creative misuse of U.S. federal dollars. Locals view U.S. federal monies as "theirs" and fiercely protect their "right" to distribute federally funded jobs (every government job in the CNMI has U.S. federal money tied to it) and favors to tribal members. While protectionism can be a good thing, it ceases to be when it means that other ethnicities, including non-local U.S. citizens, are exploitated in the very proccess, as is the case in the CNMI. And what is worse, it is U.S. monies that are being used, ultimately, to fund the exploitation.

Brent said at January 21, 2006 9:39 AM:

Great job; great quote. We're more than merely homo economicus.

Tom Kidd said at March 2, 2006 2:50 PM:

In 1962, as a summer intern at the West Wing of the White House, the subject came up about Pacific territories and how to handle them.
Of all the recommendations that came I had seen, the most interesting was to encourage all new Pacific territories that want to be
part of the U.S., to do so by becoming part of Hawai, such as a county or district. Instead of sending representatives to Washington DC, they would send them to Honolulu. They would have state representatives and state senators who meet in Hawaii, and collectively they could add another member of the U.S. Congress. Since they will be Pacific Islandes, like Hawaii, they will have much in common. Each island would have a stronger voice in the U.S. Congress and in the Hawaii Legislature. Anyway, I thought this would be worthwhile running up the flagpole to see if it draws any salutes.

Oahu - 895,000
Hawaii - 151,000
GUAM - 144,000
Maui - 128,000
FSM - 103,000
Marianas - 78,000
Kauai - 60,000
American Samoa - 54,000
Marshall Islands- 54,000
Palau - 16,000

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