“Texas Needs the Workers!!" was the theme of the Immigration Summit hosted by the American Jewish Council (AJC) and the AJC Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs on February 9 in Austin, Texas. So-called immigration experts gathered at the historic Driskill Hotel to speak at a swanky dinner underwritten by the Ford Foundation.
Most Americans perceive the pouring of millions of illegal aliens across our borders to be a major crisis. Not so the four speakers assembled last week. They addressed the issue as, in President Obama's words, a "broken immigration system" — i.e., the law must be reformed instead of addressing the lawbreakers.
Featured speaker Ray Perryman, president of The Perryman Group, a Texas economics research and analysis firm, presented the "defense of necessity." In an extensive white paper, he argued the notion that illegal aliens are vital to the Texas economy, taking otherwise unfilled jobs, and that the economic benefits they provide far exceed the associated costs of social services, healthcare, education, and other government services. Far from comprehensive, though, his documentation included the claim that illegal aliens cost Texas only $12.8 billion per annum, without identifying any costs incurred by undocumented immigrant felons or their victims: the cost of crimes solved or unsolved. Not to mention that the citizens and businesses of Texas are picking up the lion’s share of that tab.
According to some political pundits in Texas, Medicaid costs are on course to encompass a whopping 40 percent of the state's budget in the near future, as the second largest line item. The Texas Public Policy Foundation certainly has the issue on its radar, noting that Texas, along with other states, foots a huge undetermined cost associated with emergency room care — the healthcare system of choice among illegal aliens. Though the numbers cannot be documented, as Texas hospitals don’t differentiate between citizens and undocumented aliens, a visit to any Texas hospital ER would provide evidence that suggests otherwise. But since the ever-increasing bills that are apparently passed on to the state by hospitals don't link directly to illegal immigrants, Perryman’s cost numbers are necessarily skewed.
Nearly all the speakers at the Immigration Summit spent part of their allotted time refuting the statistics of NumbersUSA (an immigration reduction organization) and FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform), claiming, among other things, that the Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends puts the number of illegal immigrants in the country at 11-13 million, rather than 30-40 million. Demographer Steve Murdock of Rice University even claimed that, since demographics indicate that Anglos are dying out, immigrants must be welcomed and their acceptance as important citizens made easier. He insisted that the future of Texas is tied to how well minority and immigrant populations do economically.
Joining Perryman and Murdock was Todd Schulte, president of FWD.US, an advocacy group that has as its mission “to mobilize the tech community to support policies that keep the American Dream achievable in the 21st century.” As had the other speakers, Schulte insisted that “immigration is critical to Texas. Sixty percent of tech start-ups are started by immigrants.” He claimed that there aren’t enough green cards or H1-B visas to drive the number of immigrants needed to fuel the future tech economy of the state. But some critiques spring to mind. First, the great majority of illegal immigrants are poorly educated Mexicans, who will not be starting tech companies. Second, there seems to be a surplus of American tech workers. BloombergBusiness reported in 2014 that even among the college graduates of 2007-2008, who graduated before the recession fully materialized, "4.9 percent of computer and information sciences majors were unemployed." As well, the Americas have more than 32 percent of the software professionals in the world.
Of interest to establishment-watchers is this note: Along with Bill Gates, one of the founders of FWD.US is Reid Hoffman, a member of the globalist think tank Council on Foreign Relations and an attendee at the 2015 Bilderberg conference in Austria. Those names appear frequently whenever an effort to destroy American sovereignty pops up, so it is no surprise they would be behind an immigration reform movement.
Schulte stated that FWD.US has a three-pronged approach: secure legal immigration, secure the border, and provide a pathway to citizenship. But when asked by The New American to define exactly what immigration reform looked like, neither Schulte nor the other panel members gave an answer. Schulte did state, however, that nothing could be done before the elections, intimating that after the elections, the illegal-immigration-fixing machine would possibly be fired up. His colleagues echoed his comments.
The panel of speakers was rounded out by Jesus Romero, a first-generation Spanish professor, whose august title is director, Immigration Service and Aid Center Project of the Christian Life Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. His remarks centered on the very real abuses suffered by illegal immigrants, and the desperate need for pastors for the illegals, hampered by the fact that the Convention cannot ordain undocumented pastors. In keeping with the summit theme, he addressed the economic costs of the abuses.
The summiteers also examined the question that’s never excluded from any illegal immigration conversation: what to do about American children of deported undocumented parents. Though the tragedy of a broken family is a real one, the question is a distraction. The false assumption is made that deported parents will actually leave their children behind in returning to their home countries.
Uncontrolled illegal immigration is a crisis of major proportions, largely because the law has remained unenforced for decades. And fault lies on both sides of the mythical party line: Republicans skate, making more money on the backs of cheap laborers, and Democrats leave no stone unturned in searching for ignorant and dependent masses to plump up the voter rolls. And thus reasonable, legal, and humane reform is pushed aside.
In considering the immigration complexities, it’s fair to ask what other countries are doing. The American Jewish Council website declares that the group exists to "enhance the well being of the Jewish People and Israel." Indeed all four speakers lauded the “fair and generous treatment of immigrants.” AJC’s Director of National and Legislative Affairs Richard Foltin moderated the Austin event, and in his comments quoted the Bible verse in Leviticus 19:34 that states, “The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” However, a look at Israel’s immigration policy bears mention when considering said Scripture. In the name of national security, and to ensure that Israel remains Jewish, the nation's immigration laws explicitly favor Jews, and it is very difficult for anyone who is not a Jew to emmigrate to Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently declared that Israel should wall the entire country as a “protection from predatory animals.”
A final point is worth mentioning. The immigration troubles experienced in the European Union ought to be lesson enough — EU countries are admitting gargantuan numbers of immigrants whose cultures and beliefs are incompatible with those of the host countries. When the stream became a flood, a myriad of unintended consequences emerged: Non-working immigrants are bursting the already strained welfare systems; inevitable culture clashes are threatening stability; and Jews are fleeing Europe in record numbers, headed for Israel. They no longer feel safe in countries where the number of Muslims is increasing exponentially.
Perhaps it’s in order to ask anyone considering comprehensive immigration reform in the United States, “So, how’s immigration reform in Europe working for you?”