Does the Midwest Really Need Illegal Aliens?

Monday, 07 Feb 2011 09:13 AM

By James Walsh

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Conor Williams, writing in The Washington Post on Jan. 29, 2011, seems to think that the Midwest needs illegal aliens.

Along with other open-borders advocates, Williams is adept at blurring the lines between legal immigrants who diligently comply with the at-times onerous U.S. immigration application procedures and those illegal aliens who blatantly disrespect and disregard U.S. immigration laws.

Williams is not alone. In newspaper articles and television news reports, talking heads rarely distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants.

In newsmedia reports on crime, most reporters choose not to identify a criminal’s citizenship status. The trend is to lump all foreign nationals as “immigrants” without reference to whether they are documented or undocumented.

This tendency is evident in a current TV commercial for the Girls and Boys Clubs, in which the voice-over has a woman saying, “Where we came from . . .” without mentioning her homeland but stating the importance of the Girls and Boys Clubs to the children of foreign nationals.

Why, this blurring of lines? The reason is simple enough. The liberal left contends that the very term “illegal alien” is politically incorrect and that “undocumented immigrants” are good for the Midwest and good for the nation.

If repeated often enough, they believe that this big lie will result in U.S. citizens no longer bothering to distinguish between a foreign national who has filled out all the immigration forms and resides in this country legally and one who has broken federal law by entering illegally and without a health exam.

In step with this thinking, Conor Williams began his article by quoting Barack Obama’s State of the Union address of Jan. 25, 2011, in which the president “demanded that we ‘stop expelling talented, responsible young people’, people we’ve educated, because of irrational immigration policies.”

In contrast to these “irrational” policies and the federal laws that shape them, dating back to the Immigrant Nationality Act of 1952 (INA), President Obama supports a Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (the DREAM Act). The latest version of the DREAM Act, which would give children brought here illegally by their parents a path to citizenship, was defeated by the U.S. Senate during the Democrats’ lame duck session on Dec. 18, 2010.

Conor Williams concludes his article by stating that immigration reform is needed especially in the Midwest, so that this hard-hit region can benefit from immigrants.

He does not differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants, nor does he view favorably former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s position that business owners who employ undocumented immigrants should be fined or jailed.

Instead Williams opines that penalizing business owners who hire illegal aliens “could be disastrous for a region already suffering from hardship. The Midwest needs more immigrants — not fewer.”

He cites Gov. Rick Snyder, R-Mich., as saying, “Immigration made us a great state and a great country.” Most of these immigrants, however, were our grandparents and great-grandparents, who entered legally with documentation and medical exams at Ellis Island.

Williams also fails to mention that illegal workers are taking jobs that could be filled by unemployed U.S. citizens in Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois. He fails to mention that, thus far during the Obama years, Michigan has experienced between 11.7 and 17 percent unemployment.

Concluding that immigration invigorates the U.S. economy from top to bottom, Williams reports that in southeast Michigan, immigrants are much more likely to have a college degree than are U.S. citizens.

He notes that immigrants helped start approximately 25 percent of new high-tech U.S. companies. Such educated immigrants are a boon to the nation, economically and socially, but most enter the United States legally and with the assistance of their employers.

Williams mixes apples and oranges in his attempt to portray all immigrants as highly educated and high tech.

He further clouds the issue by failing to recognize the negative aspects of illegal immigration, which include escalating costs to taxpayers. Many illegal aliens tend to be undereducated or uneducated, and as a result end up doing menial work for which they are paid off the books in cash.

Many are slow to learn English, and a number are criminal gang members or just plain criminals. Taxpayers cover the considerable costs of translators for non-English speaking illegal aliens who end up in the federal and state court systems.

Illegal aliens cost communities where they live significant amounts of public funds for health, education, and welfare entitlements. Immigrant advocates instruct illegal aliens that they qualify for these entitlements right along with U.S. citizens. Perhaps worst of all, immigrant advocates encourage illegal aliens to commit fraud by voting in U.S. elections.

Williams compliments the president’s 2011 State of the Union speech as a call to action on immigration legislation, even as it sidetracked the dire need for jobs, jobs, jobs for U.S. citizens.

The best the president could offer was a condescending concern for the long-suffering middle class. What did the middle class think of the speech? Just ask those U.S. citizens being laid off from their jobs in the Midwest.

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