Immigration Funds Bigger Government, Says 2020 Democrat Buttigieg

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (L) leaves
Scott Olson/Getty

Extra immigration will fund the oversized government in the Indiana city of South Bend, Mayor Pete Buttigieg claimed during a campaign stop with pro-immigration Asian and Latino advocates in Des Moines, Iowa.

“We were built for 130,000 people and we’ve only got 100,000 now,” he said about the distressed town where he is the mayor. “I have got enough fire stations and roads and police officers and water capacity to take 30,000 more people. and I could use 30,000 more taxpayers to help us fund it.”

Buttigieg’s April 17 claim that immigration spurs taxes and economic growth is a commonplace claim among progressives.

But the data actually shows that the federal government’s immigration policies transfer growth and wealth from heartland states and small towns, and then send the jobs and wealth to the coastal states where most legal and illegal immigrants prefer to settle.

That massive transfer of wealth from the heartland to the coastal cities is made obvious in data posted April 18 by the New York Times, which reported that “international migration contributes to population growth more in larger metros than in smaller ones or in rural areas — and most of all in the dense urban counties of large metros.”

In 2014, the Brookings Institution reported that 51 percent of immigrants were clustered in just 10 cities — New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Washington, Dallas, Riverside, and Boston. In turn, the imported populations spike real estate values in the coastal regions, much to the advantage of property owners and investors along the coasts. In 2013, a business-funded pro-immigration advocacy group claimed:

The 40 million immigrants in the United States have created $3.7 trillion in housing wealth, helping stabilize less desirable communities where home prices are declining or would otherwise have declined.

That inflow of migrants to the major coastal cities absorbs much commercial investment that would otherwise employ the young American men and women who graduate from high schools and colleges in Indiana and other heartland states. The shift of investment away from the heartland means fewer jobs, lower wages, smaller families and more drug deaths. 

Buttigieg’s call for imported people is routine among Democrat and Republican politicians, said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies. But importing more migrants cannot fix the problems which cause declining populations in cities such as South Bend, he said, adding:

What it fails to address is the reason that people are leaving their cities, whether they are Gary, Indiana, or Houston [Texas]. The [politicians] are saying ‘We need replacement people!’ But where did the [Amerocan] people go? Why did they leave? … if your schools such, importing people won’t change things.

Politicians like Buttigieg make the mistake of thinking that immigrants are why dynamic cities are dynamic. In fact, it is the other way around. If a place is growing it attracts new residents, American or immigrants. If a place is depressing, it won’t change anything.

When a city has problems, immigrants act like Americans and exit the city, he said, adding “Aren’t they people too?”

 But Buttigieg is a progressive, and he argues that federal immigration policies can be targeted to help fund government in his small town, whatever the impact on Americans and their children. He said:

We need people here. We need to grow. my community …  If we’ve got responsible, able-bodied people on a path to citizenship, send them to South Bend. Because we trying to grow our community, and job growth in population growth go hand-in-hand.

We know — despite what they say about us here in the heartland —  we know how much our communities benefit from the growth that happens through immigration.

But President Donald Trump seems to be proving Buttigieg wrong.

Under Trump’s low-immigration “Hire American” economic policies, heartland states have gained jobs and investment faster than the Democrat-dominated coastal cities and countries won by Hillary Clinton in 2016. An April 17 article by the New York Times reported:

Now, under a Republican administration, job growth rates in Trump country are rising faster than they are in Democratic America. As the national unemployment rate hovers at just below 4 percent, far more red states than blue states are setting records for low levels of joblessness.

“Everyone’s accelerated, but Trump counties have gone from lagging Clinton counties to seeing faster job growth,” Mark Muro, a senior fellow at Brookings wrote by email. “Redder, smaller, more rural communities really are ‘winning’ a little more. So long as there’s no recession, that may shape the atmosphere surrounding the 2020 election.”

During the first 21 months of the Trump administration — January 2017 to September 2018 — both Clinton and Trump counties continued to experience faster rates of job growth. But the increase was substantially larger in Trump counties, where the rate of growth increased from 1.5 to 2.6 percent.

During his Des Moines speech, Buttigieg endorsed the mass immigration policies pushed by coastal progressives, including amnesty for illegals, the 2013 “Gang of Eight” amnesty-and-cheap-labor legislation:

The Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform [in 2013], and it died in the House [in 2014]. So it is another example of Washington being broken. But I think, with presidential leadership, we can get it done. And we are going to have to because our economy and the trajectory of this country depend on it. 

The 2013 amnesty included a “staple” provision allowing companies to hire an unlimited supply of foreign graduates in place of American graduates. 

In his speech, Buttigieg hid the problems of immigration behind a condemnation of illegal migration, as if legal immigration is automatically good simply because it is legal:

Of course we want [immigration] to be through a lawful ordinary process but we’ve got to fix the process or it is never going to work. 

He also dismissed the public’s deep concerns about illegal and legal immigration, saying: 

So, you know, there’s a political strategy that’s clearly been adopted by the President to try to divide us around the issue of immigration. I get it. Look, it appeals to a certain sense that I think all of us share that there should be a process for these things. My father is an immigrant. He went through the process. he arrived in the country as a student, he became an American citizen. But we can’t expect that process to work if were not willing to fix it.

Now, when it comes to what we ought to do with immigration policy, I think most Americans broadly agree on what to do. We need a pathway to citizenship, we need Temporary Protected Status and protections for Dreamers [young illegals]. We need to improve our lawful immigration processes that are bureaucratic and that are backlogged and we need to do whatever is appropriate and necessary on border security. I think we can all agree on that. 

In fact, many of Buttigieg’s comments imply support for unpopular progressive goals, including amnesty for younger illegals, more cheap-labor migration, and the displacement of American graduates by foreign visa-workers. For example, Buttigieg’s comment about “backlogged” immigration suggests he supports “country cap” legislation that would greatly expand the inflow of Indian visa workers into U.S. middle-class jobs.

The Indian outsourcing bill is H.R. 1044 and S. 386.

Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.

But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants, refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar guest workers, in addition to approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers, and also tolerates about eight million illegal workers and the inflow of hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants.

This federal policy of flooding the market with cheap white-collar graduates and blue-collar foreign labor is intended to boost economic growth for investors.

This policy works by shifting enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors, even as it also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts children’s schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions.




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