Answering the tough questions
By Rachel Alexander
With the recent passage of Arizona’s SB1070, which gives state and local officials the authority to enforce immigration laws that have largely been ignored by our federal government, J.D. Hayworth’s 2006 book Whatever It Takes on illegal immigration is receiving renewed attention. Hayworth recently wrote a comprehensive book touching upon everything that is wrong with illegal immigration in America today. Regardless of your views on illegal immigration, there are enough shocking facts and statistics in this book to make anyone realize this has become a serious problem in the U.S. that cannot be ignored nor easily fixed by opening the borders. Ridiculed by immature staffers of rival Congressmen for being a “blowhard,” former Arizona Congressman Hayworth, who graduated with honors from college, easily disproves that stereotype with this well-written and informative book. Attacking Hayworth by calling him a “blowhard” merely reveals his opponents lack any real, substantive criticism.
The U.S. is a melting pot of nationalities, which has made us strong. It seems natural to want as many immigrants to come here as possible, to further enhance our greatness. But unfortunately there is something directly opposing mass immigration today – the welfare state. We cannot afford to allow unlimited numbers of unskilled immigrants into the country, because our welfare system has become out of control with its bankrupting level of mandated services. Some of them are downright ludicrous, like gender change operations and cosmetic surgery performed under the guise of necessary medical procedures. Services like Social Security are close to going bankrupt. The vast majority of illegal immigrants from Mexico, Latin America, and Southern America are unskilled workers who use more in government services than they put into the economy – and many of their paychecks go straight back to Mexico.
Until the politicians focus on reducing the welfare state, the only option left to deal with the costs of illegal immigration is limiting the number of immigrants allowed into the country. Currently, Mexico accounts for “an unprecedented 30 percent of overall legal immigrants.” (p. 30) This is three times more immigrants than we take from any other country, and doesn’t include illegal immigrants. (p. 84) We exclude other nationalities in order to permit a disproportionately large number of immigrants from Mexico to legally enter the country. The unfairness of this is revealed when it is taken into consideration that there are many countries throughout the world poorer than Mexico, or under political and religious persecution, that don’t receive this special treatment. Hayworth says our lopsided immigration policy defeats the purpose of one of our country’s bedrock foundations, diversity of admission, noting that, “Bicultural societies are among the least stable in the world.” (p. 30) There is a legitimate concern that the Southwest will become like Quebec. (p. 56)
Hayworth provides well thought out responses for all of the typical arguments the open borders proponents put forth. Many liberal police chiefs claim that the focus of law enforcement needs to be on criminal offenders, since they must be taken off our streets. Hayworth responds, “But claiming that focusing on ‘egregious violators’ will ‘deter’ other immigration violations is like saying focusing on bank robbers will deter shoplifters; it is backwards. The way to deter major crime, as we now know from experience, is by vigorously prosecuting lesser crimes.” (p. 44)
Perhaps the most compelling argument Hayworth puts forth against “temporary” workers as a solution is the most emotional one. Guest worker programs split Mexican families. Whether the workers are legal or not, there now exists in Mexico “whole villages comprised almost entirely of women, children and old men because all the young men have headed north to work.” (p. 82) This is evidence that a more realistic solution lies in fixing Mexico. But “as long as unemployed Mexicans have the option to ‘migrate’ to the United States, the pressure is off the politicians in Mexico to make the necessary changes to fully open up their economy.” (p. 88)
Many open borders proponents cannot be negotiated with, and exacerbate the problem. Alfredo Gutierrez, a former state legislator from Arizona who frequently advocates on behalf of illegal immigrants, flatly tells illegal immigrants, “You have a right to live in this country.” (p. 63) Even more troubling, he admits, “We call things racism just to get attention. We reduce complicated problems to racism, not because it is racism, but because it works.” (p. 61) This comes as no surprise to Hayworth, who observes, “Racism is the last refuge of liberals who have run out of arguments.” (p. 64)
There is the often repeated argument that illegal immigrants take jobs that Americans won’t. Actually, Hayworth says that illegal immigrants take wages that Americans won’t. (p. 143) Illegal immigrants are undercutting the free market system. Unfortunately, unions have exacerbated this problem by requiring minimum wages. Ironically, big plantation owners in Mexico now say the same thing about workers from South America who illegally enter Mexico and take jobs away from Mexicans: “Mexicans will not do the hard work of planting, cultivating and picking.” (p. 90)
Hayworth dispels the argument that the cost of produce will dramatically increase without illegal immigrant labor. Since the price of labor is just one of many factors that goes into the cost of a head of lettuce, if the price of labor were to double, the increase in the price of lettuce would be negligible. Agricultural economist Philip Martin of the University of California-Davis performed a study which found that if the cost of labor increased 40% due to a lack of illegal workers, the average person would spend $8 more per year on fruits and vegetables. (p. 116) And in the past, when agricultural businesses have been confronted with higher costs of labor, they have made up for it by advancing the technology used at a faster pace, allowing them to use fewer workers.
The most outrageous tactic used by the left reported in the book is a false statement the Democratic National Campaign Committee (DNCC) made up about Hayworth in 2002. The DNCC issued a press release that began, “Yesterday, during a debate on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Arizona Republican J.D. Hayworth likened Hispanic legal permanent residents to ‘enemies of the state.’” In reality, Hayworth’s speech addressed an amendment that would ban noncitizens from making contributions to political parties and candidates. It had nothing to do with illegal immigration and never mentioned Hispanics, only the Red Chinese contributions to Clinton-Gore. (p. 75-76) With tactics like these, it is no wonder it is difficult to achieve any kind of reasonable compromise with the left on this issue.
Even those who should know better are merely stirring the pot instead of working toward solutions, afraid of being labeled racist. When former Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming, a moderate Republican, proposed limiting an increase in immigration to “only” 35%, the Wall Street Journal compared him to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. (p. 66)
Hayworth sticks up for the Minutemen, noting that there were never any incidents of violence caused by them during their stepped-up patrols along the border, and cites a correlating large decrease in illegal immigration during their patrol. (p. 70) There are some excellent chapters on the lack of enforcement by the IRS, the REAL ID Act, Social Security and SSN fraud, the 1986 guest worker program, terrorism, and assimilation.
What is next after SB1070? One area that has come under increasing scrutiny lately is automatic birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants, known as “anchor babies” since they tend to facilitate additional immigration of relatives. Due to a misinterpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, the U.S. is one of very few countries that still grants birthright citizenship. (p. 185) That amendment says, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.” But the author of the citizenship clause, Senator Jacob Howard, made it clear that it was not intended to cover the children of foreigners, “Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdictions, is by virtue of natural laws and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons.” (p. 185)
Anchor babies have huge financial ramifications for Americans. “With an estimated 300,000 to 350,000 anchor babies born every year, the costs are astronomical.” (p. 185) Hayworth refutes the argument that reversing this would punish the children for what their parents did. In reality, the children are currently being rewarded for the sins of their parents. (p. 186) Momentum is increasing to reverse this practice, as even mainstream syndicated columnist George Will recently wrote a column calling for the end of birthright citizenship.
I believe the solution to illegal immigration ultimately lies in dismantling our bloated welfare state. But until the politicians acknowledge that is the root of the problem, Hayworth’s book has made it clear that opening the borders right now is unworkable.
Rachel Alexander is Director of Social Media for the JD Hayworth 2010 Senate campaign.