- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 30, 2002

Flow of illegal immigrants not 'inevitable'

The steady, massive flow of legal and illegal immigrants from Mexico and elsewhere is not inevitable ("Flow of illegals 'inevitable'," March 27). Congress and the president are directly responsible for the unsustainable population growth that is resulting from an irresponsible immigration policy. This can be changed through legislation at any time.

MinneapolisThe flow of illegals is "inevitable" only if U.S. immigration policies continue unchanged. Congress must pass laws to inhibit employment of illegal aliens. Jobs are the magnet which bring the flood of illegals to this country.
Readers should note that while Mexico's National Population Council said the flow of illegals is "inevitable," the author of the Center for Immigration Studies report, David Simcox, states that no evidence is provided to support that assertion. Moreover, Mr. Simcox says of the Mexican study, which was released last November, "The timing of this study suggests that it is more a political brief than a detached demographic investigation." Obviously, the point was to keep the talks of an amnesty alive after September 11.
For those who would like to read the Center for Immigration Studies' review of the Mexican report, go to their website: www.cis.org. A link to the Mexican study is also provided.

Coupeville, Wash.

If a creative gang of criminals issued a press release saying that crime has always existed and, therefore, law-abiding citizens should just get used to it, would everyone rush to agree? I don't think so. In the same way, when a Mexican government agency portrays lawless immigration as an irresistible force of nature, Americans should protect their wallets and reread the Constitution.
It is the job of the government to secure the borders from foreigners entering unlawfully. If recent attempts to tighten border enforcement have been bungled, then we must increase our efforts until immigration is no longer in a state of chaos. If a permanent military presence on the border is required, then so be it. Secure identification, visa tracking and workplace enforcement are also necessary to provide real homeland security.
Mexico may have difficulty creating an equitable society with jobs and opportunity, but that is their responsibility, not ours. America cannot solve every nation's internal problems, particularly when the open-borders solution is so clearly harmful to our well being and safety.
Enforcement will work if it is tried.

Berkeley, Calif.The flow of illegals is not inevitable if Congress will stop letting Mexico dictate the immigration policies of the United States.U.S. citizens have a right to demand laws that sensibly direct the growth of our country. We do not believe that we are helpless to prevent being taken over by the citizens of another nation and, therefore, should sit back and accept our collective fate. Would we feel this way if we were invaded by soldiers from a hostile nation? Would we tell crime victims to stop whining and accept what they are powerless to prevent? To accept letting our country be overrun by foreigners simply because they come here to work, instead of to fight, is just as harmful for our country as allowing invasion during war. We need to enforce our laws. We need to stop providing free health care, free education, tax-free jobs, amnesty, and citizenship for children born here to illegals. After we remove these reasons for foreigners to cross the border, we need to put heavy pressure on Mexico to take care of its people. If we don't, we are setting up a very bleak future for ourselves, as well as for future generations. A nation that so loses control of its borders that illegal immigrants begin to control its policies is a nation that loses its ability to govern.

Matthews, N.C.Concerning your March 27 story, it is absurd to accept the conclusion of a ministry of the Mexican government that the flow of illegals is inevitable. This holds only if the U.S. Congress and the president tolerate the present circumstances. Congress has failed to set sustainable limits on immigration and to correct the weak enforcement of our laws. It is time to assert our sovereignty and control our destiny. There is nothing inevitable about present trends.

Fayetteville, Ark.Like drugs, as long as there are buyers, illegal aliens will pour into the United States. Mexico also has become addicted to the $17 million dollars per day it gets from its citizens living in the United States.
The only way to discourage illegal immigrants from other countries from slipping over our borders will be with biometric I.D. cards that cannot be forged. Employers addicted to cheap illegal labor would have no excuse for hiring illegals without proper I.D. If they did, they would face stiff penalties.
American citizens cannot continue to pay the high cost of trying to absorb over 700,000 illegals every year, given the severe problems we have already with housing, schools, welfare, health care, water, energy and traffic.

Wayzata, Minn.Mexico is evidently unable to deal with their own population growth, but their failures have no bearing on U.S. immigration policies.
U.S. citizens, in overwhelming numbers, want our borders controlled. And they want those who have so far avoided detection to be sent packing.
This is our country, despite what some Mexican government agency might say.

Minneapolis, Minn.In the study by Mexico's National Population Council, I observe no mention of population pressure. In1950, Mexico had a manageable population of 25 million, while the U.S. population numbered 150 million. Today, Mexico is pushing 100 million, and the United States 300 million. The United States is currently the third most populous nation on the planet after China and India. She has the highest population growth rate among the industrialized nations, and the fifth highest rate overall. At current rates, the U.S. population will be at one billion by the end of the century. Most Americans will not stand for their grandchildren to live in a future racked by the horrors of overpopulation.
The answer is a national population policy that emphasizes population growth planning and stabilization and a complimentary program in Mexico that emphasizes lowered birth rates over emigration to the United States.
And no, this situation is not inevitable. The United States has the most powerful military in the world. Of course we can control our borders.

San FranciscoOf course Mexico would like us to think northern migration is "inevitable." Perhaps, before giving in, however, we should actually try to stop illegal immigration. Let's triple the manpower on our borders, impose stiff penalties and fines for employers who hire cheap illegal immigrant labor, end the free K-12 education for the children of illegal immigrants and eliminate other social services.
Let's give that a go before we proclaim it impossible to stop the flow of illegals.

Lodi, Calif.The so-called "experts" are wrong about the inevitability of illegal immigration. It can and should be stopped by increased interior enforcement, including employer sanctions, as well as tighter border controls. Illegal immigrants depress wages for those Americans who can least afford it: those with a high school education or less. To give up on enforcing immigration laws and to give amnesty to those who are here illegally not only rewards those who have broken our laws, but encourages others to do the same. Not mentioned was the specter of a much more ominous situation, that of overpopulation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of the United States will reach half a billion within 50 years at our present rate of growth, virtually all of which is due to immigration, both legal and otherwise. It's time for a moratorium on all immigration.

Brea, Calif.A just-released study suggesting this nation is powerless to stem the flow of Mexicans into this country is absurd. That is like saying someone who is sexually assaulted has no choice but to submit.
If the bleak scenario painted by this study becomes reality, it will be because of the very practices that created our present immigration crisis in the first place: Congress' failure to maintain a sustainable level of legal immigration, and, at best, a lukewarm effort to enforce our immigration laws.
We can easily regain control of our borders, but that will not happen until the Congress and the business community stop thinking only in terms of votes and short-term profits, respectively.

Executive director
Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration
Lombard, Ill.

Evict Jeb Bush

In your March 27 story "Court upholds drug-use eviction," you reported that the Supreme Court ruled that the government may evict the entire family of a drug user under the one-strike law.
If everyone in public housing must be responsible for his or her family's drug use, the governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, should move. His daughter was arrested in January for trying to fill a fake prescription for tranquilizers, and he lives in public housing.
The rules for the general public should apply to politicians, as well.

Norman, Okla.

Faulty praise for morning-after pill

In his March 26 Commentary column, "Morning-after pill out of the shadows?" Clarence Page confirmed an amazing statistic. He cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statement that nearly half of the 2.7 million unintended pregnancies each year result from contraceptive failure. Whatever happened to "safe sex"?
A February 2000 Human Life International Newsletter reported that $4.6 billion had been spent through Title X Federal Family Planning since 1972. What a terrible waste of our taxes.
Undeterred by the abject failure of family planning, Mr. Page has a new (for him) way to mislead people the morning-after pill (MAP). He claims the MAP would cut the surgical abortion rate in half, to 700,000.
Mr. Page fails to mention MAP's side effects, such as life-threatening ectopic pregnancies. He also ignores that many people object to the pill because it sometimes will abort a new human being.
Mr. Page praises a bill by Rep. Connie Morella that would force hospitals to offer MAP.
Perhaps when this pill fails, he will promote abstinence. As former Secretary of Education William Bennett said, "It works every time it is tried."

Silver Spring, Md.

Is the Endangered Species Act working or not?

Thanks for the coverage of my water supplier in your March 28 story "Potomac dumping to continue."
As your article illustrates, the National Wilderness Institute (NWI) and its allies in Congress spend a considerable amount of time documenting, detailing and explaining to the public why the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) doesn't work properly. NWI claims the law "has been a failure for endangered species and for people. It has not led to the legitimate recovery of a single endangered species while costing billions of dollars and tremendous harm. The old way destroyed trust between people and our wildlife officials. … The old law failed because it is based on flawed ideas."
According to these advocates of Endangered Species Act reform, the flaws in the law have "almost shut down economic activity in parts of the country, particularly the rural west, to protect possible, potential habitat of species of highly questionable authenticity from harm that is speculative."
It is clear that the reform advocates think the current law does not work and that it causes more harm than good. I agree with them. However, if they feel this way, why do they use the ESA to sue the District water utility (run by the Army Corps of Engineers), as well as the Environmental Protection Agency for giving it a permit, in federal court? Using the law as their cause of action in the case reflects more than tacit support for the law.
ESA reform groups can't have it both ways opposing the law in some cases while suing to have it enforced in others. How can NWI advocate for the law's protection of species in the District water-utility case and advocate against the law's protection of species in hundreds of cases out West?
Perhaps they think the law is being applied differently in various parts of the country. If that is the case, instead of demanding that the law be applied more strictly here, they should have filed their suit out West and argued that the ESA is being applied too strictly in that part of the country.
The NWI does not seem too covert in its reasons for suing Washington. It wants the Eastern urban crowd (or at least the Northwest Washington crowd) to experience for themselves the overzealous restrictions and huge financial burdens of this poorly crafted law and the federal agency that overenthusiastically enforces it. If this is the case, it is not a principled strategy.
If the ESA is abusive, fight to modify it, repeal it or overturn it in court, but don't spread the hurt around to prove your point.


Myths of free trade

Paul Craig Roberts' March 28 Commentary column, "Losing ground in the marketplace of jobs," is a neat summary of the myths surrounding free trade. Too bad he presents those myths as truth.
Mr. Roberts cites wage data suggesting that Americans particularly white males are worse off than in the past. Yet wage data is misleading for two reasons: It overstates inflation and fails to acknowledge the growth of non-wage benefits.
Even if one accepts such numbers, the picture is far from bleak. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, real wages have been rising by an annual average of 2 percent since 1997 a period in which imports and foreign investment in the United States were rising to record levels. Overall, real per capita disposable income rose 17 percent during the "globalization decade" of the 1990s.
Mr. Roberts goes on to say that, in the past, "We imported what others produced best and exported what we produced best." We still do. By taking advantage of more abundant labor in developing countries, we produce more goods for the same amount of money, which is how living standards go up. At the same time, U.S. exporters have thrived: The United States exported roughly twice as much in 2000 as it did in 1990. By comparison, Germany's exports were 34 percent higher, Japan's 66 percent higher, the United Kingdom's 51 percent higher and France's 36 percent higher.
Mr. Roberts concludes by arguing, "The end result of the job transfers will be a U.S. population too poor to purchase the products produced by cheap Chinese and Mexican labor." That's just silly. It implies that imports are independent of domestic incomes. In reality, every product shipped to the United States has a willing buyer here. In other words, the level of imports is a function of demand: if Americans can't afford foreign goods, those goods won't come here. More imports are a sign of our increasing prosperity, not of impending destitution.
The truth is that most Americans are wealthier and healthier than ever before. Trade is a big part of that success story.

Trade analyst
The Cato Institute
Washington, D.C.

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