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Why Not Just Give Them A Roomful Of Gold? Or: Immigration - Just Another Government Program
The role of the US government in not only allowing, but in subsidizing the growth of immigration has been frequently underestimated. It's not just welfare. There are a thousand governmental and quasi-governmental programs for transferring money from rich (and not-so-rich) Americans to poor (and not-so-poor) immigrants.
For example, an angry reader in Wichita, Kansas wrote to us with a question:
I need information on the formation of a non-profit organization called SER. I know it's based in Texas and is now here in Wichita, Kansas. It states that it is a National Training Center and Low Income Housing Program for Immigrants, especially Hispanics. Our local Chamber of Commerce is targeting these new Hispanics in their businesses as new workers and buyers or consumers. When thousands of citizens here in Wichita are losing their jobs after 20 years or more, now our city is welcoming more immigrants to take jobs that should go to our own long time residents
During fiscal year 1994-95, over a million individuals benefited from SER's programs with total funding exceeding $40 million.
According to the Handbook of Texas Online, SER was founded with Federal funds, has used both Federal and local funds through a system of grants, (though Reagan managed to make some cutbacks in the Eighties) as well as private corporate funding.
They receive, for example, Training and Technical Assistance grants from the Department of Labor. You can read a report on one of these from the Office of the Inspector General here, a case of misuse of federal funds.
By coincidence, in 1999, SER Corporation's 25th Annual Banquet and Scholarship Awards was held in Wichita, the city where our reader lives. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute spoke. From the press release:
"By 2005 Hispanics will become the largest minority, as well as the youngest segment of the U.S. population. Now more than ever, access to higher education for our youth is crucial, " said Congresswoman Roybal-Allard. "CHCI is the conduit that provides opportunities to develop our next generation of leaders. SER shares in CHCI 's mission by making higher education possible through scholarships and mentoring."
When she says that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is a "conduit," she means a conduit for taxpayer dollars, of course.
SER recently had a conference, and the report from the conference mentioned that two of the attendees were from the 7-Eleven corporation, which is always looking for cheap, expendable, labor.
I'm not sure how much funding comes directly from the government. A lot of support seems to come from private industry, perhaps because they need labor, and perhaps because they are strong-armed by fear of civil rights lawsuits. (See AMIGOS de SER "SER's corporate advisory council, the Amigos de SER, was formed in 1973 to provide financial support, employment opportunities and business advice. On a national level, over 100 Fortune 500 corporations are currently represented in the Amigos de SER.")
But what about the much-publicized virtuous immigrants - who get jobs, start businesses, own homes etc. etc.?
Well, it turns out that the government is subsidizing them too. Recently, I found an email in my inbox saying that the reason so many small motels are owned by Indian immigrants named Patel (click here for a PDF report on the business drawbacks of this form of immigrant enterprise) was because the US government was financing them. I didn't believe it. I cynically assumed it was some kind of legend, made up by people who don't like immigrants.
I should have been more careful where I pointed my cynicism. I should have kept it aimed at the US Government, where it belongs.
Paul Craig Roberts recently reported here that
In a 1995 Forbes story about Hospitality Franchise Systems, Joel Millman wrote:
Nor were the immigrants shy about cashing in on U.S. affirmative action programs. Though in no sense disadvantaged, Patels qualified as a "minority" and tapped below-prime financing offered by the Small Business Administration. [Emphasis added]
The same kind of thing occurs with home ownership. Congress has created two corporations, known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to help Americans own their own homes. These federally chartered corporations are designed to make financing for home mortgages easier to get.
"Well, what's wrong with that?" Some people might ask. "As long as they're American citizens, don't they have just as much right to a slice of this gravy train as any one else?"
Well, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been lending to resident aliens too, although allegedly insisting that they be legally resident. And Fannie Mae now has a home mortgage program designed to provide mortgage loans to illegal aliens. Cheap!
It works like this: Fannie Mae says it believes in fighting all kinds of "discrimination" in mortgage lending. In addition to fighting the discrimination rational lenders feel towards giving a mortgage to someone with no down payment and a low income, they have recently started a program in their "Border Region" called the "NCLR Pilot Program." Guess what "discrimination" this is going to combat. As Fannie Mae boasts on its website:
National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Pilot A pilot developed with NCLR to address barriers to homeownership for Hispanic communities. It waives the requirement that borrowers provide evidence of permanent resident alien cards and allows for a down payment of the lesser of $1,000 or 3 percent. [Emphasis added.]
American taxpayers are being forced to subsidize their own displacement - on a scale not seen since 1532, when Hispanic immigrant Francisco Pizarro made the Inca fill an entire room with gold.
January 30, 2002