Sept. 10, 2003
The California recall will probably dominate national news until
the October 7 election, but the dog that hasn't barked yet is how the
candidates are going to deal with the big problem they are pretending
not to notice. That's the cost imposed by illegal aliens on the state
budget, the hospitals, the schools and the prisons.
The massive numbers are changing the demographics and the economy
in profound ways. Over the last decade, one million people have
illegally entered California from Mexico, while two million Americans
have fled California to a half dozen nearby Western states in search of
lower taxes, less regulation of business, better schools, less crowded
highways and safer communities.
California's problem was caused by the federal government's
failure to enforce our immigration laws plus the pandering to the
illegals by Gray Davis and his administration. Californians tried to
protect themselves from this federal default in 1994 when nearly 60
percent of the voters passed Proposition 187 to deny most state-funded
services to illegal aliens.
A single Jimmy Carter-appointed federal judge overturned the vote
of the people, sitting on the case until Gray Davis became Governor,
who then kept Prop 187 permanently inoperative by refusing to appeal
this judicial outrage. Despite a decade-long smear campaign by the
people who profit from open borders, surveys show that Prop 187 would
easily pass again if it were re-submitted to the voters.
Two authors have just presented a wealth of documentation about
the high price Californians are paying for accepting this flood of low-cost labor from south of the border. A groundbreaking investigation by
Fred Dickey of the Los Angeles Times shows how illegal aliens are
"creating a Third World chaos in the California economy," and the new
book "Mexifornia," by Hoover Institution fellow and Cal State Fresno
professor Victor Davis Hanson, sets forth the disastrous economic and
moral results of our open-borders policies.
The Los Angeles Times reports that 950,000 illegals live in the
five counties of Greater Los Angeles. Their economic activity is
mostly underground, which means the employers pay low cash wages, no
overtime, no benefits, and no taxes.
Businessmen who don't go along with this under-the-table racket
are at a 20 percent disadvantage with their competitors. Los Angeles
black talk-radio host Terry Anderson says the same auto-repair jobs
that blacks used to hold at $25 an hour are now worked by illegals at
John Chiang of the State Board of Equalization, California's tax
oversight agency, estimates that the state loses $7 billion a year in
unpaid taxes because of the underground sector. The U.S. Census Bureau
reports that 30.6 percent of Hispanics receive means-tested government
benefits compared to 9 percent of whites, and tax revenues simply can't
keep pace with the rising demand for government services.
Of course, the illegal aliens don't have health insurance, so when
the hospitals (which are forbidden to ask about citizenship) accept
them as patients, the costs are loaded onto the backs of local
taxpayers and patients who do pay their bills. Sen. Dianne Feinstein
said the cost of medical care provided to illegal aliens in California
last year was $980 million.
California schools are an academic and financial disaster. Even
though California spends $2.2 billion to educate children who are
illegally in this country, nearly half of Hispanic adults have not
graduated from high school.
"Mexifornia" describes how a de facto alliance of the
Corporate/Libertarian Right and the Multicultural Left has unwittingly
reduced the standard of living for workers of all races and spawned a
virulent and separatist race industry. The book shows that the illegal
Mexicans don't assimilate like Italian, Jewish and Polish immigrants of
earlier times, but instead congregate in impoverished communities where
only Spanish is spoken.
This cheap-labor separatism creates a two-tiered economic and
social structure. The illegals have no hope of rising into the middle
class and become increasingly resentful of the system in which they
remain forever doing menial jobs to maintain Americans in a lifestyle
that, by Mexican standards, appears to be one of ostentatious luxury.
Almost a fourth of all inmates in California prisons are from
Mexico. Hanson describes the young illegal aliens who vandalize,
steal, and deal drugs, and their anti-U.S. attitude that "It's our land
anyway, not yours."
Hanson makes the moral argument that current policies have
undermined our common culture and harmed the very people the
politicians claim to help. He calls for "sweeping restrictions on
immigration," an end to the "separatist ideology," and a "stronger
mandate for assimilation" emphasizing American culture and language.