El Paso, Texas, is the new Ellis Island, Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) told Vice President Kamala Harris as Harris arrived for her border visit.
“Welcome to El Paso. Welcome to my community, to the new Ellis Island, to the capital of the border,” Escobar said.
Ellis Island was used as a reception center for millions of legal immigrants beginning in 1892. But Congress sharply reduced immigration in 1924 and 1925, and the island facility was closed in 1954 when immigrants compromised only about one in 14 Americans.
In the low-immigration years after World War II, Americans’ living standards, wages, and productivity rose hand-in-hand.
The post-war wealth was widely shared around the nation because job-creating investment flowed into poor heartland states, companies bought labor-saving machines to help Americans get more work done each day, and Americans moved from poor areas to booming cities.
But in 1965, Congress reopened the doors to mass migration. Then, in 1990, President George H. Bush, the establishment wing of the GOP, and the Democrats doubled immigration rates to roughly one million per year.
Since then, Americans’ wages have grown slowly while the stock market boomed as wages stalled and the government imported millions of new consumers. Housing prices also spiked as the new migrants competed for apartments and homes sought by Americans.
Also, U.S. politics changed as establishment politicians tried to cure domestic problems — poverty, education, housing, productivity, innovation — by importing more workers instead of reforming federal laws and regulations. Worse, Democrats have shifted their concern from blue-collar Americans as they try to maximize the number of imported voters.
President Joe Biden’s deputies are now trying to push immigration far above the one million per year number by widening many side doors for poor, government-dependent migrants to enter the southern border.
“This administration is working to establish lawful pathways for individuals to migrate or seek protection,” said a June 15 statement by the White House titled, “Action the Biden-Harris Administration Has Taken to Address the Border Challenge.”
The most important player is Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden’s chief at the Department of Homeland Security. He is using his bureaucratic and regulatory powers to open more doorways through the border for foreign workers.
Mayorkas is helping economic migrants get jobs by letting them file for political asylum in the United States. He is helping teenage economic migrants walk into jobs via a side door created in a 2008 law for victimized children. He is helping economic migrants stay in the United States by letting them use the same 2008 law — and rules for refugees — to pull their left-behind children and spouses up into the United States.
Mayorkas is also using his parole power to invite lawfully deported migrants to rejoin their left-behind migrant children who are applying for asylum. In addition, he is using the U Visa program to provide work permits and Social Security Numbers to migrants who say they were victimized by a crime in the United States.
The Department of Justice is also revising asylum rules so Mayorkas’s deputies can offer citizenship to migrants who claim their home-country governments do not protect them from spousal abuse or routine crime.
The new maximum migration policies may be delayed by court actions or even stopped by majorities in Congress. However, many establishment GOP leaders are closely tied to the business groups that want to import more consumers, renters, and workers.