Reno Gazette Journal July 25, 2021
US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has made more than 1 million arrests of illegal immigrants at the US-Mexico border this fiscal year (starting October 1, 2020). This is the highest number of arrests since 2000. This past June, 188,829 illegal immigrants were arrested, the highest monthly tally in more than 21 years.
To be sure, the number of arrests is a proxy for illegal immigrant traffic across the border. What we don’t know is how many illegal immigrants actually escaped the overextended CBP and entered the country. As this graph and the accompanying table from CBP shows, the current surge started in February of this year and has accelerated since. President Biden took office on January 20, 2021, and signed three executive orders on Immigration on February 2, 2021, reversing the immigration policies of President Trump creating this crisis. To illustrate the point, let’s look at the numbers: the average monthly arrests for the twelve months prior to President Biden’s executive orders was 49,140; for the five months since the executive orders, the monthly average is 164,536.
The arrests are just the tip of the iceberg. Seventeen states including Nevada offer Drivers Licenses to illegal immigrants, making us the only country in the world to do so. These illegal immigrants are also eligible for plenty of benefits at the expense of the taxpayer. For instance, an estimated 2.1 million illegal immigrants were eligible for COVID stimulus checks of up to $1400. Their children, if born in the US, will be American citizens. We are one of the few countries with birthright citizenship. Most European countries do not grant birthright citizenship. This citizen-child now makes the parents and siblings also eligible for American citizenship. As Yahoo news recently reported, President Biden’s policy encourages an explosion in the practice of “Birth Tourism” (visiting the US for the specific purpose of giving birth to a child here so the child becomes a US citizen).
It should come as no surprise that illegal immigrants are less educated than American citizens and legal immigrants. Let’s be honest, it’s not Doctors, Scientists and Lawyers who are walking across the Rio Grande. 29% of adults have less than 9th grade education (compared to 2% among US adults), 47% have less than high school education (compared to 8% for US adults). Most of them do not even have a working knowledge of English, further complicating things. The children of these illegal immigrants become part of the subculture and continue speaking their native language, creating a burden on our educational system. That barely scratches the surface as the price of illegal immigration is immense and is best covered in a later column.
One final point: This crisis once again begs the question of the role of government. Is it the responsibility of the United States federal government to save the people of Central American countries because they are economically impoverished? Is it our responsibility to accept the burden of illiterate immigrants from those countries? How about the starving children in Africa and India? Should we bring them here and bestow the privileges of residency and/or citizenship? Where does this end?
I recognize that some in the Democrat party find it their moral obligation to save the world. Moral obligation should be the responsibility of individuals and not the government. Those who want to save impoverished children should feel free to form a charity, donate to an existing charity, or better yet, adopt one of those children. Morality starts with self-sacrifice. Confiscating money from American taxpayers to fund the moral aspirations of a small minority of the Democrat party is disingenuous.