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Ted Kennedy’s America: 50 Years After the Law That Changed Everything

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Fifty years ago today, Ted Kennedy began changing the face of the United States by ushering the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act through Congress. That legislation resulted in the fundamental transformation of the demographic, economic, social, and political landscape of nation, exactly the opposite of what its supporters promised.

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The Kennedy immigration law abolished the national origins quota system, which had favored immigrants from nations with a similar heritage to our own, and opened up American immigration visas to the entire world.

While about nine in ten of the immigrants who came to the United States during the 19th and 20th century hailed from Europe, the 1965 law inverted that figure. Today about 9 out of every 10 new immigrants brought into the country on green cards come from Latin America, Africa, Asia or the Middle East.

The size of the numbers also grew exponentially as well. According to Pew Research Center, 59 million immigrants entered the United States following the Act’s passage. Including their children, that added 72 million new residents to the U.S. population.

In 1965, according to Pew, the country was 84 percent white, 11 percent black, 4 percent Hispanic and less than 1 percent Asian.

In 2015, as a result of Kennedy’s immigration law, the country is now 62 percent white, 12 percent black, 18 percent Hispanic and 6 percent Asian.

Pew projects that in forty years time, “no racial or ethnic group will constitute a majority of the U.S. population,” as “whites are projected to become less than half of the U.S. population by 2055.” Therefore, by 2065, the nation would be 46 percent white, 24 percent Hispanic, 14 percent Asian and 13 percent black.

Moving forward, Pew projects, births to current Americans will be vastly outnumbered by new arrivals unless Congress hits the “pause” button on issuing new green cards. If that doesn’t happen, Pew projects an immigration flow so large that nine-tenths of all new residents will be immigrants or their children. In a 2012 report, the Center for Immigration Studies observed that: “if the level of immigration the Census Bureau foresees in 2050 were to continue after that date, the U.S. population would reach 618 million by 2100 — double the 2010 population.”

Those numbers could go even higher as many politicians, most notably Senator Marco Rubio, are pushing to dramatically expand the number of green cards, foreign workers and refugees. These limitless immigration expansions are sought by donors who want to keep workers’ salaries as low as possible.

Today, after five decades of large-scale immigration, real average wages are lower than they were in 1973, shortly after the green card gusher began.

Because foreign workers do jobs for such low pay, their incomes are padded with welfare. A census data report authored by the nonpartisan Center for Immigration Studies recently found that “immigrant households use welfare at significantly higher rates than native households,” with more than half of U.S. immigrants on welfare.

Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald has observed foreign-born Hispanics and their American-born children use welfare at rates which vastly exceed those of native-born whites. “Native-born Hispanics collected welfare at over twice the rate as native-born whites,” Mac Donald writes.

Moreover, the Hispanic population accounted for almost the entire increase in poverty from 1990 to 2004. As Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson has reported:

The number of Hispanics with incomes below the government’s poverty line [rose] 52 percent; that [represents] almost all (92 percent) of the increase in poor people,” Samuelson writes. “Among children, disparities are greater. Over the same period, Hispanic children in poverty [rose] 43 percent; meanwhile, the numbers of black and non-Hispanic white children in poverty declined 16.9 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively.

The impact of the Kennedy-backed bill is also evident on the nation’s education system. After five decades of providing visas to poor nations, a majority of public school students are minorities, a majority of students now qualify for subsidized school lunches, and U.S. test scores have plummeted. As the liberal-website Vox recently observed:

The results for last year’s SAT test-takers are in, and they’re not good: the lowest on record in the last decade… The pool of test takers is more likely to include poor and nonwhite students than before… SAT-takers have become more racially diverse, largely because a greater share of test-takers are Hispanic now than in the past. The share of students from poor families and those who learned English as a second language have increased… as the pool of test-takers has gotten more diverse and poorer than in the past, the average score has fallen slightly from year to year. To some extent, that’s to be expected.

Increased spending, combined with race-based affirmative action policies, have been widely instituted to try to equalize the results between white and soon-to-be-majority students. But the “achievement gap” remains.

The failing schools, in turn, feed into gangs.

As Heather Mac Donald explains:

California, with one-quarter of the nation’s immigrants and its greatest concentration of Mexicans and Central Americans, is the bellwether state for all things relating to unbridled Hispanic immigration, including crime. The Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study, conducted by sociologists Alejandro Portes of Princeton and Rubén G. Rumbaut of the University of California, Irvine, followed the children of immigrants in San Diego and Miami from 1992 to 2003. A whopping 28 percent of Mexican-American males between the ages of 18 and 24 reported having been arrested since 1995, and 20 percent reported having been incarcerated—a rate twice that of other immigrant groups. Anyone who speaks to Hispanic students in immigrant-saturated schools in Southern California will invariably hear the estimate that 50 percent of a student’s peers have ended up in gangs or other criminal activities.

Indeed, many of the nations’ violent gangs would not exist in the United States but for immigration. In a Business Insider article perhaps somewhat misleadingly entitled “13 American Gangs That Keep the FBI Up At Night,” eleven of the thirteen listed gangs are in the country solely as a result of immigration.

“The 18th Street Gang is considered the largest street gang in California… [the gang’s] reach extends across 32 states from Maryland to Hawaii.”

The gang “Florencia 13 works closely with the Mexican Mafia… [and]  is part of a terrifying gang war scene that has turned L.A. into one of the most dangerous counties in the country.”

The gang “Los Aztecas work with the Juarez cartel and Los Zetas running drugs, smuggling illegal aliens and murdering consulate officials.”

The “Latin King Nation is said to be the largest Hispanic street gang in the country… The gang’s influence stretches to 34 states.”

“Somali gangs are becoming more prevalent across the country…Strangely, the biggest pockets of Somali gangs can be found in states like Minnesota, Washington, and Missouri.”

“Trinitarios… The predominantly Dominican gang… is notorious for recruiting in high schools throughout New York and New Jersey, and is said to be behind a number of teen shootings and machete deaths.”

“Pistoleros Latinos, was born in, and now dominates, Texas’ correctional facilities. Outside, the Hispanic group owns the streets of Laredo.”

“The Mexican Mafia is the oldest, most powerful prison gang in the U.S.”

“The Mongols [formed by Hispanics] battle with brass knuckles, pipes and steel-toed boots.”

The Vagos Motorcycle Club “are notoriously ruthless with their enemies and have declared war on law enforcement.”

And the Salvadorian gang Mara Salvatrucha (or MS-13) “is perhaps the most dangerous gang in the country.” As the Washington Post writes, MS-13 “was formed in Los Angeles in the 1980s by immigrants from war-torn El Salvador. The gang spread beyond Los Angeles and California in response to anti-gang efforts and a demand for low-skilled workers across America.” The gang has become notorious for its penchant for gruesome violence: “the gang has been linked to shootings, baseball bat beatings, the stabbing of a pregnant teenager who was a federal witness, and the removal of four fingers from a 16-year-old boy’s hands using a machete.”

But an even newer kind of violence has arrived on U.S. shores. Muslim immigrants are the fastest growing group of newcomers. In 2013, the U.S. imported more than 280,000 migrants from predominantly Muslim countries (this figure includes immigrants that were permanently resettled within the U.S., as well as temporary workers, refugees, and foreign students).

As a result of Muslim immigration, Equality Now recently issued a report documenting how half a million U.S. girls are at-risk of the gruesome practice of female genital mutilation .

The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act has similarly had a revolutionary impact on the political landscape as well. As Breitbart News reported, Republican voters in Virginia are increasingly finding their conservative ballots disenfranchised by the arrival of newcomers who are voting to impose bigger government on the state’s longtime residents.

Scholars have documented that incoming immigrants overwhelmingly favor big government policies.

As Latino Decisions writes, “At their core, Latinos are progressives. That is, across a wide array of policy questions, Latinos on average sit significantly to the left of white Americans.  More importantly, when queried about their core beliefs regarding government, its role, size and growth, Latinos (and other minorities) regularly offer views that are left of center and left of Anglos.”

The group’s findings led it to conclude that, “anticipation of a large movement of minorities into the GOP camp is very likely to be in vain. If, for a moment, we can stereotype GOP ideology as ‘market good, government bad,’ that spending should be cut and taxes never increased, it’s just crystal clear that super-majorities of minority Americans do not agree.”

Yet many prominent Republicans are locking-arms with Democrats to push the numbers even higher. Republican publications, including National Review, have even boosted the candidacy of Marco Rubio, who has done more than anyone in the country to try to expand mass immigration.

But it was no less than National Review who published a magazine special in 1997 declaring that, if it was not shutdown, mass immigration would bring about the end of America’s unique conservative flourishing – and all it has to offer to future Americans. The cover story, Electing A New People, written nearly two decades ago, warned:

The Republican hour is rapidly drawing to a close… it is being drowned—as a direct result of the 1965 Immigration Act. Nine-tenths of the immigrant influx is from groups with significant— sometimes overwhelming— Democratic propensities. After thirty years, their numbers are reaching critical mass. And there is no end in sight.


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