California Is Dying—And It`s The Canary In America`s Immigration Coal Mine

Did you
happen to catch Governor

talking about Judgement Day in
California? Mr. Schwarzenegger went on the tube this
past week to tell us that
"We can only
spend what we have. That is the harsh but simple
he said in the rare midyear appearance
before a joint Legislature session.
"Our wallet
is empty, our bank is closed and our credit is dried
sees opportunity in budget crisis
, By Juliet
Williams, Associated Press, June 2, 2009,]

Earlier talk of
a Federal bailout was judged a poor idea by many,
including the
Washington Post
in a May 24

, just as General Motors

went into bankruptcy
with billions of our tax
dollars as an inducement.

And just now, in
responding to the Governor`s urgent message for cutting
costs, the California Senate

passed a bill to
give driver`s licences to illegal aliens

As if losing an
average of almost 600,000 jobs a month in the US should
mean we make it easier for the illegal aliens to stay
here and to get to
American citizens don`t have.

 But then, of
course, our helpful Federal government is bowing to
strong business pressure and allowing over 100,000 legal
aliens a month to come here to the US on various brands
of work visas.

How many to
California? Well here`s a bit of basic demography.

Since the

1965 changes in our immigration laws,
we have added
huge numbers of immigrants and

their children
to our national population. In 1970
California`s population was about 20 million. Today,
that population is estimated at about 37 million. Of
those, the Center for Immigration Studies estimates
about 10 million are legal (7 million) and illegal (3
million) immigrants. 35% of all Californians are persons
of Hispanic origin, principally Mexicans. Over 8 million
Californians were born outside the USA.

Just on the
sheer numbers alone, it is not hard to see why
California is now bankrupt.

I am a long-time
San Francisco Democrat, now transplanted to Washington
D.C. So recently I wrote

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
to ask why we didn`t fix
our broken immigration system. This was her June 5, 2009
email reply?

"I have long called for comprehensive immigration
reform to address the growing disconnect between our
nation`s immigration policy and the reality on the
ground in cities and communities across our country. Our
immigration system needs to honor the promise of America
and recognize the enormous contributions immigrants make
to our nation. We must enact immigration reform that is
humane and honors our American tradition of being a
nation of immigrants and a land of opportunity for all.
At the same time, we must secure our borders, enforce
our laws, and ensure the safety of the American people.

While immigration reform remains an unsolved
challenge for our nation, we must recognize that America
was built by immigrants, and the immigrant community
continues to make significant contributions to our
nation. The debate on immigration reform must be framed
by our nation`s rich tradition of respect for our shared
immigrant heritage. Please be assured that I will keep
your comments in mind as I work with President Obama,
leadership and the committees of jurisdiction to develop
a strategy to advance immigration legislation that
promotes our core American values."

Can you imagine
? You know her
"comprehensive immigration reform"
simply means
"amnesty" for
the 20 million illegal aliens here now and encouraging
many more later. We know the fiasco that the 1986
immigration reform legislation proved to be.

And believe me
House Speaker Pelosi is not alone. Senator Charles
Schumer (D-NY) recently held very unbalanced hearings on
immigration reform"
which failed to give time to
those opposed to the massive giveaway of American

But it really
gets much worse if one is trying to calculate the

fiscal effect on California–
and project what this
means for America.

California is the biggest example of the

famous canary in the coal mine theory ever.

Remember, until 1986 in the U.K.,

canaries were regularly used in coal mines
as an
early warning system. The birds died in the presence of
toxic gases. Because canaries tend to sing much of the
time, they provided both a visual and audible cue.

California is
certainly getting toxic budgetary news. It is killing
the economy and all that this once-vaunted state had to
offer in the way of education and environment, making it
the envy of the world. The decline I have personally
observed is obvious to so many I talk to, yet this
fiscal death notice to California which has counterparts
in other states, does not seem to worry other

thanks to a careful and exhaustive research report by
Steve Camarota,
Director of Research at the Center for Immigration


"Immigrants in the United States, 2007: A profile of America`s
Foreign-Born Population"
we learn that:

"Of adult immigrants, 31 percent have

not completed
high school
compared to 8 percent of natives. Since 2000,
immigration increased the number of workers without a
high school diploma by 14 percent, and all other workers
by 3 percent.

“The proportion of immigrant-headed households using
at least one

major welfare program
33 percent, compared to 19 percent for native


poverty rate
immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) is 17
percent, nearly 50 percent higher than the rate for
natives and their children.

“34 percent of immigrants lack health insurance,
compared to 13 percent of natives. Immigrants and their
U.S.-born children account for 71 percent of the
increase in the uninsured since 1989."

All this means

public costs
, more demands on government resources.

How long will
this madness continue? California Governor

Pete Wilson
tried long ago to get help from our
Federal Government, but those elected officials knew
better than to try to buck the industrial-military
complex that now rules our former Republic. Those
worthies (notice in what high regard our Congress

is rated in the polls
) handle immigration like a
political popularity contest where the more

cheap labor
you support importing, the more money
flows to re-elect you from the

coffers of business

Result: Just
take a look at the bloated California budget. And then
we learn that the City of Oakland, California will be
soon joining San Francisco in giving all residents
including illegal aliens ID cards. That can only serve
to add to that city`s nearly $100 million deficit, as
public services will now flow to illegal aliens and
their anchor babies.

Of course the
California voters don`t want to pay to fix this mess. In
the May special election, voters rejected all five
budget-related measures placed on the ballot by
Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders. Revenue has
continued to plummet as residents have reduced spending
and unemployment has soared to 11 percent.

I predict that
as matters get worse—and they surely will–Californians
and all Americans will finally wake up to the fact that
unchecked immigration, wanton use of the public trough
and loss of expected public services will cause a revolt
by voters.

But for now too
many are sitting on their hands, fat, dumb and perhaps
apprehensive but unwilling to take part in the political
rough and tumble. Sad that corrective action will likely
not happen before devastation to our culture, our
traditions, our comity and the prosperity we have

California has
had many recent internal signs of

overuse and unsustainability.
For example, the fish
resources of the state have precipitously declined and
the commercial salmon fishing season is now closed,
while when reasonable new regulations to save the salmon
have been proposed, Terminator Schwarzenegger has sided
with the farmers who keep degrading the

free water
they abuse, so that renewal of this great
resource is imperilled.

California is
the Big Canary. It`s dying—and Americans had better take

Donald A. Collins [email
him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.