In his well-known book, We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative, the Cuban-born Harvard economist, Professor George Borjas, makes the valid and deeply insightful point that the immigration debate ultimately comes down to “who you’re rooting for.”
The pro-mass-immigration lobby – in the form of the Biden administration and the congressional Democrats, corporate interests, or various pro-illegal alien, pro-amnesty left-wing or ethnic activists – has shown that it is clearly not rooting for Americans. Rather, it derives a smug sense of moral superiority from prioritizing foreign nationals, even when doing so clearly undermines vital interests of large segments of the American public.
In fact, the pro-mass-migration lobby’s relentless drive to bring in as many foreign nationals as possible – be it legally or illegally – isn’t even “pro-immigrant.” Immigrants who are already here are often the people most harmed by massive numbers of new arrivals.
The Biden administration wants to increase legal immigration, and make it easier – efforts which enjoy the full-throated support of the pro-mass-migration lobby. Team Biden has already sharply increased the refugee cap and is resettling tens of thousands of Afghans – without proper vetting – in the U.S. following its disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, all courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. And things are even more out-of-control on the illegal migration front, with Fiscal Year 2021 southern border apprehensions (1.7 million) breaking all historical records. Meanwhile, the Democrats are pushing for mass amnesty and the administration is making it practically impossible to deport anyone.
To most Americans, such rapid increases in immigration are a cause for concern – too much and too fast. But for the pro-mass-migration lobby this is a reason to feel good about how “humane” the U.S. has become under Joe Biden (although some open-borders radicals seem unhappy that Biden isn’t going far enough). However, their concern for immigrants seems limited to foreign nationals who are prospective immigrants and illegal aliens, whereas the interests of legal immigrants who are already living in the U.S. are essentially forgotten.
The corporatist, big business wing of the pro-mass-migration lobby views immigrants primarily as sources of cheaper labor, as well as additional consumers. For both native-born Americans and legal immigrants unchecked immigration means depressed wages, higher housing prices, and exacerbated social inequality as the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid is constantly replenished by massive low-skilled immigration. While migrants may be better off here than in the countries they are leaving, their growing numbers ignore the fact that the newcomers remain poor and stuck at the bottom, and the socially destabilizing potential of this for the future of our country.
A growing underclass leads to more long-term government dependence, which is hardly a good thing for society in general, or the immigrants. The inevitable result is a costly burden for both native-born and foreign-born taxpayers, with the mass immigration lobby staunchly opposing commonsense attempts to prevent new immigrants from becoming “public charges,” and proposals to give taxpayer-funded healthcare to illegal aliens.
Mass immigration, as it is now and has been for quite a while – unchecked, uninterrupted by any temporary pauses or reductions to help assimilation and integration, and overwhelmingly low-skilled – has the paradoxical effect of obstructing access to the “American Dream” for both those legal immigrants who are already here, and those who will come here in the future. The lobby’s various constituent groups get concentrated benefits – be it cheaper labor or more amenable voters – while both native-born Americans and legal immigrants alike are stuck with various dispersed costs. How is that “pro-immigrant”?
Pawel Styrna is Senior Researcher at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and a legal immigrant.