Legal Immigration Increased (YES—INCREASED!) During The Recession

At
VDARE.com, we`ve been

virtually alone
in pointing out that U.S. policy on
legal
immigration
has

remained unchanged
despite the recession i.e.

where`s the moratorium?

Now the release of the Department of
Homeland Security`s

Yearbook of Immigration Statistics
of Legal
Permanent Residents for Fiscal Year 2009 [PDF]
last week shows that we were wrong.


Legal immigration to the U.S. has actually
increased
.

Fiscal Year 2009 began on October 1,
2008 and ended on September 30, 2009. Economists and
politicians may bicker about when the economic downturn
technically began, but the magnitude of it certainly
became clear in

September
and

October
of
2008.
So these statistics represent the Obama/Bush immigration
policy from the start of the

economic crisis
. During this time period nearly 6
million Americans lost their jobs.

DHS has not yet released its figures for

temporary workers
or

illegal aliens
. The few Democrats and left wing
groups who make any opposition to immigration usually
focus their attention to temporary workers, while
conservatives

limit their opposition to illegal immigration.
But
the fact is that
legal permanent immigration
is by far the most
important category of immigration to reduce. While
illegal aliens can get amnesty, and


"temporary" workers

often end up staying here permanently—with

anchor babies
exacerbating both problems—both groups
in theory will eventually be out of the country.
Legal
Permanent Residents
, in contrast, are here,

displacing American workers
and using

taxpayer-funded services
, for good.

Many Americans, and certainly our
elites,
seem to think that immigration simply is a natural
economic process that will fluctuate with supply and
demand. The truth, however, is that
as long as America has a higher standard of living than the rest of the
world, there will be an

unlimited supply of people willing to come here.

And the number of immigrants coming here is determined
solely
by government policy.

Any sane policy would

reduce immigration as American unemployment rises.

But Washington is not doing it. In the post-Crash year
of 2009, the U.S. issued 1,130,818 green cards—an
increase, from
1,107,126 in 2008 and 1,052,415 in 2007. In contrast,
during the Great Depression from 1930-1939, we issued
only 699,375 during the entire decade.

The 2009 total is the fourth highest
number of green cards issued since 1914—behind 1990,
1991, and 2006. (And it is worth noting the bulk of the
green cards issued in 1990 and 1991 were not given to
new legal immigrants but to

illegal aliens granted amnesty in 1986
—so in terms
of new arrivals, 2009 was actually higher.)

In
the first decade of this millennium, the U.S. issued a
total of 10,299,430 green cards—the highest number of
any decade in American history. This is over 3 million
more green cards issued over the entire forty year
period of 1930-1969.

You
can be sure that the Open Borders lobby will

crow about how we
only
issued 144,034 employer-based green cards
in 2009—a decrease from 2008. But of that 1,130,818
green cards, 808,478 were given to working age
immigrants 20-64. All immigrants who get green cards are
eligible for work. So most of the 664,444 immigrants of
working age will be

competing against Americans for work.


(And I`m being cautious—I`m not counting the


94,801 15-19 year old immigrants, many of whom will be

competing against American workers too
.)

Immigration enthusiasts will protest that employment is
not a zero sum game—that these
immigrants will grow the economy
. When a billionaire
comes into America and opens up a factory, he creates
jobs. Generally, while

skilled immigrants
create

their own set of problems
, depending on their
circumstances they can create some economic growth.

But most immigrant workers only create economic growth
in so far as they lower labor costs for employers,
possibly causing them to further invest. This effect is
always much smaller than the
jobs
and wages
immigrants take from Americans, to say
nothing of

the government services spent on them
. However, with
our record unemployment, even these marginal economic
benefits disappear.

And in 2009, as always, most of the legal immigrants are

low-skilled
. Immigrants of exceptional ability, with
advanced degrees, or

investors
make up a measly 8% of all immigrants
combined. No doubt this has much to do with the system`s
ongoing bias toward Third World immigrants through its
“family
reunification”
mechanism. Only 9.3% of all new green
cards went to Europeans. In contrast, 14.6% went to

Mexicans alone.

The obvious solution: a moratorium on immigration. And.
insofar as we have immigration, make it a bit more,
well,

diverse
, by stopping Mexico and the Third World from

hogging the inflow
.

But instead of doing this, the two major pieces of
immigration legislation currently proposed will
increase legal
immigration.

The
Gutierrez-Ortiz Comprehensive Immigration Reform for
America`s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 ("CIR
ASAP
"),
with

nearly 100 Democratic co-sponsors
in the House, will
create at least 550,000 new work visas in guise of
"recapturing"
imaginary unused visas from the last 20 years. It will
also create a new category to
"prevent unauthorized migration." This will create 100,000 additional visas each year to the countries
where the most illegal aliens come from— namely Mexico,
El
Salvador,
and

Guatemala
.


In the Senate, Chuck Schumer and Lindsay Graham are
expected to introduce their own "Comprehensive
Immigration Reform"
any day. When the text comes
out, you can be sure that there will many increases in
permanent legal immigration. But all we`ve seen up to
now is their
Washington Post
Op Ed describing their principles.
They proposed a


"rational system for
admitting lower-skilled workers."

However, these
"temporary"
workers
"who have
succeeded in the workplace, and contributed to their
communities over many years, the chance to earn a green
card" a.k.a. amnesty.
[

The Right Way to Mend Immigration
,
Chuck


Schumer and Lindsay Graham,
Washington Post,
March 19, 2010]


Government policy got us into our economic disaster. A
new government policy of reduced immigration is the only
way to get us out.


Sadly, not one politician

had called for a moratorium.


Hopefully these new 2009 figures will wake Americans up
to the enormity of our immigration disaster—and force
the Washington Establishment to take notice.

"Washington Watcher" [email
him
] is an anonymous source Inside The
Beltway.