Immigration Crisis?

I go back to my initial question of this post yesterday – What made immigration suddenly become Topic Number One on the national political scene? Have we suddenly had a dramatic increase in some immigration statistic? I decided to do a little digging, and ended up at the Department Of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics Materials site. Let’s start with inspections done at all DHS points of entry. The latest monthly report was from February 2006. It shows that inspections for February 2006 are down from February 2005 in all categories:

Nothing particularly dramatic, but the trends in all categories are down, even if only slightly in some. So what about apprehensions along the Southwest border? Maybe those are up significantly? Well, yes and no…

Apprehensions are indeed a little higher, but voluntary returns are up even more, meaning a slightly higher percentage of those caught are voluntarily returning to their country of origin. So that couldn’t be the trigger.

What about deportations, those illegals caught once inside the US and sent packing? Are those numbers up? Are we seeing more inadmissables, those turned away because they don’t meet one of the criteria? Are those up? Nope – criminals aren’t even up:

2005 wasn’t up over 2004; 2004 was lower than 2003; 2003 was pretty much flat, or slightly lower, than 2002. 2002 was up sabout 20% over 2001, but I suspect that can be seen as a response to 9/11.

So are they sapping Social Security? In fact, they’re subsidizing it. In 2004, it’s estimated that illegal workers paid $7 billion in Social Security. About 1 dollar in 10 paid into Social Security in 2004 came from an illegal worker, who won’t ever see a penny of that money unless they become citizens. So precisely why the illegal immigration issue has suddenly become such a hot topic is a bit mysterious; you have to wonder how fast it will disappear.

May 16, 2006 В· Harry В· 3 Comments
Posted in: Politics

3 Responses

  1. loren - May 18, 2006

    I’ve got to say that my two major concerns, the environmental impact of millions of people and the use of widely available cheap labor to drive down wages don’t seem to be a consideration in any of the debates I’ve heard so far.

    In fact, cheap labor seems to be the only reason people want to accept immigrants. I wonder if they allow workers to come work but not stay if they will still require them to subsidize Social Security while denying them any benefits.

    Do you think Americans would eat less if they actually had to pay decent wages to get food on their plates?

  2. Dave - May 20, 2006

    I totally agree. It’s incredibly frustrating to hear people say “Immigrants do the jobs Americans don’t want to do”, when really, immigrants are doing jobs for minimum wage (or less) that Americans would do if the employers paid enough for them to live on.

    That’s why, even though the “guest worker” program sounds better than the criminalization plan that the House has passed, it’s really just a sop to big employers and corporations who want to continue to use cheap foreign labor instead of having to pay Americans.

  3. Jaded Thea - May 24, 2006

    excellent research.