Illegal immigration is the problem

Hispanics, some legal workers and many of them not, are arriving in metro Atlanta at a rate faster than anywhere else in the nation at a time when unemployment is rising.

It’s no secret most immigrants come for a single reason: money. No matter what a job pays here, it will be far more than they could ever hope to earn in their own country. A job in America is a ticket to what appears to them to be a fortune, letting them live better than they did at home while still sending money back to their relatives.

But consider what most of the media ignores: With the exception of a few agricultural jobs, it is simply a lie that Americans will not perform certain jobs because of their low status or because they involve hard labor. We have done this work throughout our history. Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies gives an excellent analysis:

“If immigration were reduced, and not enough Americans were willing to take those jobs at existing wages, two things would happen: 1) Employers would seek to attract new workers, through higher wages, more benefits and better working conditions, and 2) Employers would seek to eliminate the jobs they were now having trouble filling.” That means, essentially, that poor people would get a pay raise.

The center documents that unchecked immigration has the effect of slowing technological development in industries that have become addicted to immigrant labor.

Congress will consider stemming illegal immigration, since the need to hamper those who sneak across our borders has become urgent since the Sept. 11 terrorism attacks. In the meantime, there are calls by the open borders lobby for more mass transit in cities such as Atlanta, since many Third World newcomers can’t afford to own a car. Who pays for that in Georgia? The taxpayers.

Immigrants will need schools for their children (even if they are here illegally). Every immigrant will need police, fire and health services, and will use our water and sewer systems. Again, taxpayers pick up the tab.

Also, because they drive down wages, unskilled immigrants pay less in taxes than the Georgians whose jobs they have taken. Many illegal immigrants pay no taxes at all. Clearly, we have a broken system that lets hundreds of thousands of unskilled people into the United States at random to take jobs, burden the American economy and put little or nothing back into strained local, state and federal tax coffers.

This has to end. Deportation of illegals by the feds — with help from the states — must increase and Congress needs to reduce immigration back to more manageable numbers. This is a first step toward addressing looming problems in Georgia, such as more money for mass transit and less for road and infrastructure development.

Phil Kent of Atlanta is executive director of the American Immigration Control Foundation.

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