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Importing Poverty: How Immigration Favoring Kin Over Skills And Education Is Destroying America

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Our current immigration laws favor the relatives of immigrants to our nation over the needs of our country. This current policy is destroying our country. It is importing poverty at an astounding rate without regards to what benefits our great country will get from this new addition to our society.

Why should it be this way? Why should America shoulder the burden of new immigrants?

Now I'm not anti-immigrant, but I am an American. The past mass influxes of immigrants were related to skills and many immigrants came and contributed in sectors needing them. My question is what do we owe immigrants? If they add no benefit to our nation, yet use up our services, what is the point in admitting them into our country?

The majority of the immigrants coming to America now are simply contributing to our poverty because they are not filling positions in needed sectors, but filling low skilled poverty level jobs. There are whole industries based around exploiting this low skilled labor pool supplied by new immigrants, both legal and illegal. These industries may provide a low paycheck, but they don't provide any other benefits forcing the immigrants on to government funded services.

Frontpage Magazine

In 1963, President Lyndon Johnson launched the War on Poverty ... Since that time, the U.S. has spent over $11 trillion on anti-poverty programs, providing cash, food, housing, medical care, and services to the poor and near poor. ... immigration policy in the U.S. has come to operate in the opposite direction, increasing rather than decreasing poverty. Immigrants with low skill levels have a high probability of both poverty and receipt of welfare benefits and services.


Since the immigration reforms of the 1960s, the U.S. has imported poverty through immigration policies that per­mitted and encouraged the entry and residence of millions of low-skill immigrants into the nation. Low-skill immi­grants tend to be poor and to have children who, in turn, add to America’s poverty problem, driving up governmental welfare, social service, and education costs.

Today’s immigrants differ greatly from historic immigrant populations. Prior to 1960, immigrants to the U.S. had education levels that were similar to those of the non-immigrant workforce and earned wages that were, on aver­age, higher than those of non-immigrant workers. Since the mid-1960s, however, the education levels of new immigrants have plunged relative to non-immigrants; consequently, the average wages of immigrants are now well below those of the non-immigrant population. Recent immigrants increasingly occupy the low end of the U.S. socio-economic spectrum.

The current influx of poorly educated immigrants is the result of two factors: first, a legal immigration system that favors kinship ties over skills and education; and second, a permissive attitude toward illegal immigration that has led to lax border enforcement and non-enforcement of the laws that prohibit the employment of illegal immigrants.

We, as a nation, should be looking for the best and brightest. We shouldn't be settling for less. We have the right as Americans to say who we let in and who we don't. Given the choice, many in this world would come to America. We simply can't hold them all though and it is therefore our decision. Don't let anyone tell you different.

So what's the results of all this poverty being imported?

  • One-third of all immigrants live in families in which the head of the household lacks a high school edu­cation; and
  • First-generation immigrants and their families, who are one-sixth of the U.S. population, comprise one-fourth of all poor persons in the U.S.
  • Some 38 percent of immigrant children live in families headed by persons who lack a high school edu­cation;

  • Minor children of first-generation immigrants comprise 26 percent of poor children in the U.S.; and

  • One out of six poor children in the U.S. is the offspring of first-generation immigrant parents who lack a high school diploma.
  • Hispanic immigrants (both legal and illegal) comprise half of all first-generation immigrants and their families.


  • First-generation Hispanic immigrants and their families now comprise 9 percent of the U.S. population but 17 percent of all poor persons in the U.S.; and

  • Children in Hispanic immigrant families now comprise 11.7 percent of all children in the U.S. but 22 percent of all poor children in the U.S.

  • So what's the big deal, a few poor people, what's the harm? Well the poor pay very small amounts in taxes while requiring great amounts of government assistance. Government assistance is a limited pool of resources and the more people living in poverty means those resources have to be spread even further meaning that less is given to those already here. Illegal immigration is hurting the poor citizens and legal residents of this nation more than they are hurting any other group. They are taking directly from the mouths of the poor already here.

    The article above points to a National Academy of Sciences report that estimates each immigrant without a high school degree will cost U.S. taxpayers an average of $89,000 over the course of his or her lifetime

    Should America keep shouldering this burden? Or should we truly make sure that those coming here actually have the potential to contribute to society? Being a relative of someone who has come to America simply isn't a high enough threshold in determining their potential to move America forward.

    What do you think?

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    Posted by Digger on October 31, 2006 08:40 AM (Permalink)

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