It`s Official: U.S. Importing Poverty

For the last year, the discussion of immigration
policy in this country has understandably focused on the

between the mass immigration so beloved
by the

Open Borders lobby
and the

that so pulverized the American psyche

last September

Nothing has so dramatized the folly of Open Borders
than Sept. 11, but despite its importance and its drama,
terrorism by immigrants is not the only—or even the
main—reason for keeping the borders shut.

The cultural impact of Third World immigration—on

, on

, on


political institutions
—is the main reason to keep
American borders tight, but there are economic (and
therefore also cultural) reasons as well. The New
York Times
a couple of weeks ago specified a few of

"The surprising drop in median income in New York
City that has puzzled demographers studying the results
of the 2000 census appears to be traceable in large part
to immigration,"

the Times

, using 2000 Census Bureau figures. Those
parts of the Big Apple in which income dropped just
happen to be the same ones where the most immigrants
have settled, often in neighborhoods

"where longtime residents have moved out and been
replaced by immigrants."

The same pattern was apparent in New Jersey as well.
There the biggest jump in income came in Hunterdon

"a heavily white county at the heart of what has been
called the state`s flourishing wealth belt. Meanwhile,
median incomes dropped in Newark, Paterson, and Trenton,
and in smaller cities where less educated, less skilled
immigrants have moved in."

Nor is it only New York and New Jersey. About 25
percent of the nation`s Hispanic population live below

poverty line
, with 27 percent of Puerto Rican
families and 24 percent of Mexican families. Only
Cubans, 11 percent of whom are in poverty, depart from
the norm—mainly because they consist of the

Cuban upper classes
and their descendants who felt
the brunt of

Fidel Castro`s "liberation."

Teenage Latino girls

"have the highest

teenage birthrate
of all major racial and ethnic
groups in the nation

the Los Angeles Times

last spring.

"Recent immigrants make
less money, own fewer homes and are less likely to

become citizens
than foreigners who came to the
United States in decades past,"


Houston Chronicle
reported that a study from the
Center for Immigration Studies found last year. The
Center has

that Mexican immigration has

reduced the wages

native unskilled workers
(mostly black) by some 5

Of course, the only reason these patterns should be
"surprising" or that demographers should be "puzzled" is
that both the surprised Times and the puzzled
demographers have swallowed the Big Lies of the Open
Border crowd—that more immigrants

create wealth
and "have saved our cities."

What the 2000 Census tells us is that the Big Lie is
just that.

But we should not have had to wait for the Census to
know that. It ought to be pretty obvious that masses of
low-skill, low-income, low-education people from

radically different from those of this
country or its parent civilization would not typically


It should have been obvious that masses of such
people would not only not

to a culture (including an economic
culture) in which they remained, literally, alien, but
also that the presence of

of them would simply

their old culture here.

The reason it wasn`t obvious is that the Open Borders
lobby has cleverly exploited the

myth of Economic Man

to insinuate into the American mind the unexamined
premise that immigration today means Asian

geniuses and

Korean store owners

There are such immigrants, obviously, but they`re not
typical of the millions who have entered this country
during the last 30 years.

The Open Borders lobby has also managed to get many
Americans to believe that the

economic impact of immigration
is the only way to
evaluate it and the policies that created it.

Even by that standard, as the figures cited here
show, we`d have to grade it with an "F." But what
figures show is seldom the whole truth.

The larger truth is that by importing not only
low-skills but also the culture that produced the
low-skills, the immigrants may endanger the whole
cultural foundation of an advanced economy—an economy
whose high technology, work ethic, and managerial and
organizational skills distinguish it from the


that drag the economies of Latin
America, the Middle East, Africa and most of Asia.

What we are now beginning to learn the hard way is
that the immigrants may not only have

themselves; they may also have imported the
culture that

them and their countries in the first


August 19, 2002