In this episode I address the deeply troubling connections between the Democrats’ latest Russiagate target, the Clintons, and Barack Obama. I also discuss the inevitable Democrat implosion as they rush to the far left.
Is there a crisis at the border as President Donald Trump says, or are illegal border crossings the lowest they’ve ever been? A media that ought to know better has been arguing the latter.
- According to the New York Times in an article published in January 2019, the reality is that “Illegal border crossings have been declining for nearly two decades. In 2017, border-crossing apprehensions were at their lowest point since 1971.”
- In an article published in November 2018, Politico asked “Immigration crisis? The stats tell a different story,” informing us that “to find a year with fewer border arrests than 2017, you’d have to go all the way back to 1971.”
- CNBC reported in February that border crossings were at record lows “as Trump declares a national emergency to build a wall.”
Why do we suppose they all used 2017 as the year to end their analysis when we’re currently in the year 2019? Because illegal border crossings exploded immediately afterward. Trump’s rhetoric did have an apparent immediate chilling effect on border crossings during his first year in office. Admittedly I’d expected an immediate surge in border crossings following Trump’s victory before any additional border wall could be constructed, but Trump’s tough rhetoric appeared to be enough – at least for the time being. When it comes to a wall, “if you build it, they won’t come,” but there’s no new border to speak of.
According to an analysis from Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz using the most recent data, the invasion is worse than ever.
According to Customs and Border Protection’s preliminary figures, 76,325 illegal aliens were apprehended at the border in February, more than any other month in over a decade since the decline of migration from Mexico. A record 40,325 family units arrived, blowing out the previous records by almost 10,000.
A record 76,325 apprehensions for one month is truly staggering, not only because it’s the single worst month at the border since fiscal year 2008, but because almost all of these people get to stay on our dime. Projected for the whole year, this pace would result in 916,000 apprehensions. But the pace is growing every month, because the catch-and-release expands. As the Washington Post observes, “The number of migrants taken into custody last year jumped 39 percent from February to March, and a similar increase this month would push levels to 100,000 detentions or more.” That would be an annual pace of 1.2 million.
Just take a look at the monthly apprehensions graphically, and it becomes clear why 2017 was always the cherrypicked year.
Judge Dana Sabraw’s July 15 (and subsequent) rulings effectively ended the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy towards illegal immigration. The administration’s controversial policy of separating illegal immigrant families at the border was aimed to deter illegals from attempting in the first place, and the immediate spike in border apprehensions following Judge Sabraw’s ruling effectively removing that policy indicates that it was working. The Obama administration implemented similarly harsh anti-illegal immigration policies in 2014 and 2015 when it was them facing a crisis at the border, aiming to detain and deport families from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala as quickly as possible. A federal judge ended up blocking Obama’s plans to lock up Central American immigrant mothers and their children without bond as a deterrent. I can’t say I remember any comparable outrage in the media over those policies.
Even if there were a gradual decline in apprehensions at the border, it shouldn’t change anyone’s mind that the border situation needs a fix. After all, we have roughly fifteen million illegal aliens in America, and even if the monthly flow of illegals across the border were declining, there is still a cumulative increase in the illegal population each and every month.
At a rally in Los Angeles on Monday, Waters said, “This president is trying to keep a campaign promise to all of those people that he swore he would build a wall! And those people who want the wall are not patriots,” she claimed, “they are not people who love this country, they are not people who stand up for what’s right!”
The rally was part of a protest of the president’s declaration of a national emergency in order to build a wall or barrier along the southern border.
The congresswoman also called on supporters to “resist” the president and the “so-called national emergency.”
A January poll revealed that 62 percent of Americans believe illegal immigration is a problem in the United States and 43 percent support the President’s efforts to build a wall along the southern border.
Do border walls work? The consensus among Democratic pundits and lawmakers clearly is “no”:
“We know walls don’t work, that they don’t stop drugs. That they don’t stop migration,” Democrat Rep. Veronica Escobar told CNN. Trump’s main shutdown-opponent Chuck Schumer echoed much of the same, that “a big, concrete wall is expensive and it doesn’t work.” “The Conversation,” a website with articles authored by academics and edited by professional journalists, published a piece beginning with the sentence “history teachers us walls don’t work,” before failing to provide any evidence in the 800-word article that followed. Nancy Pelosi has taken the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez approach and decided to put morality before the facts, arguing that walls are “immoral.”
And of course they all know better. After all, both Pelosi and Schumer were among those who voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which approved construction of 652 miles of fencing at the border. Three years after voting in favor of the Act, Schumer was pleased by the progress, stating in a speech that “construction of a 630-mile border fence that creates a significant barrier to illegal immigration on our southern land border,” before he then turned to slam employers who hire illegal immigrants. Surely he doesn’t believe that fencing is a deterrent, but concrete isn’t.
All that Schumer and company needed to change their opinion was a change in President – thus confirming their complete lack of principles.
Rather than speculate over whether a complete wall at the U.S. Mexico border would work as intended, history does have much to teach us, and it’s that walls do work. Just Facts Daily‘s Daniel Marulanda and James Agresti examined the effects border walls had on illegal crossings and terrorism in two countries: Hungary and Israel.
Hungary constructed a barbed wire fence along their border on Croatia, which was completed in October 2015. The wall was in response to the refugee crisis, tens of thousands of which were illegally entering Hungary. Judging from the figures of illegal entrants into Hungary pictured below, you probably didn’t need to be told October was the month construction was completed:
It took a mere two days before daily migrant captures fell 99%.
Israel has numerous examples of success with walls in combating both illegal entries into their country and reducing terrorism. Israel began constructing their West Bank Barrier in 2002 following a surge in Palestinian terrorism, which immediately cut terrorist deaths nearly in half, before mostly reducing them to the single digits annually.
Israel also began constructing a fence along its border with Egypt in 2010 to thwart illegal entrants from Africa. Illegal entries from Egypt to Israel fell from 10,000+ per year to near-zero. There was an uptik in 2015 as entrants began using ladders at certain border sections to get across, but the border was quickly approved to prevent that from continuing.
Everyone Also Knows Borders Work
And lastly, as Marulanda and Agresti note:
Far from being relics of a distant age, a wide variety of nations have built, fortified, or expanded border barriers since 2010. This includes Austria, Kenya, Jordan, Spain, Greece, Norway, Slovenia, Macedonia, Gibraltar, Myanmar, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Oman, Algeria, Ukraine, Tunisia, Hungary, and Morocco.
If walls didn’t work, we’d expect fewer of them, not more. Even Democrats are aware of that. The reason they’re afraid of a border wall isn’t that it won’t work (because then what would they have to fear?), it’s because it will work as intended.
In this episode I address the media’s false attacks on President Trump after his Oval Office speech. I also address the real story behind the new charges levied against the Russian lawyer at the center of the “collusion” hoax. Finally, I debunk liberal talking points on taxes and I address a growing Democrat scandal involving voter suppression.
How often have you heard the argument that “illegal immigrants pay taxes too”?
It certainly is a true (and extremely misleading) statement – illegal immigrants paid approximately $12 billion in taxes last year. While the average person may hear “$12 billion” and think “that’s a lot!,” its pennies in the context of a federal government that will spend over $12 billion per day this year.
In fact, if all Americans paid taxes at the same rate illegal aliens did, the budget deficit would be at least quadruple what it is now. According to prior estimates of mine based off the size of the 2017 labor force, if we were to replace the entire labor force with illegal immigrants and have them pay all their taxes (including state and local) to the feds, the federal government would’ve collected approximately $240 billion in tax revenue in 2017, as opposed to the $3.3 trillion that the Federal government actually collected.
And that doesn’t even take into account the fact that the jobs illegals take would otherwise be filled by taxpaying Americans, 100% of which would be paying taxes, and likely at higher wages. One recent study found illegals impose a $30 billion annual cost in lost tax revenue, three times what they pay. In other words, illegals create a net $18 billion hole in paying their $10 billion in taxes.
Clearly, illegals are hardly paying their “fair share” (to borrow a liberal term). And that’s just one half of the equation – what illegals are paying into the pot.
Earlier in the week, a reader requested a cost analysis on how much illegal aliens cost taxpayers directly through social services – and it truly is a staggering figure.
Birthright Citizenship is the Biggest Cost of Illegal Immigration
The great libertarian economist Milton Friedman famously argued decades ago that illegal immigration was preferable to low-skilled legal immigration because illegals at least can’t apply for welfare benefits. It’s basically true in that illegals cannot apply for federal assistance (though Friedman overlooked the existence of welfare fraud), but the real major cost of illegal immigration is indirect; through their American-born, and thus legal-citizen children.
Education is the biggest cost. According to the Pew Research Center, from 1995 to 2012, the percentage of K-12 students with at least one undocumented immigrant parent rose from 3.2 to 6.9%. And according to a handful of studies, the cost to taxpayers to educate the children of illegals comes out to:
- $44.5 billion annually – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reported in 2010.
- $59 billion annually – Federal for American Immigration Reform, reported in 2016.
Both estimates were calculated by simply multiplying the number of students with illegal immigrant parents by the average cost of educating a child K-12. Clearly, the cost trend is rising.
Just as these legal children of illegal immigrants are entitled to a taxpayer-funded education, they’re also entitled to a whole host of welfare benefits, given that illegal immigrant families tend to earn incomes low enough to qualify for federal aid. While they don’t qualify for the aid themselves – their legal children do.
Unfortunately, the last time the Government Accountability Office (GAO) studied the cost of benefits to the children of illegals was in 1997, and only provided estimates for food stamps, so it’s hardly comprehensive. Since a lack of comparable unbiased literature exists, it is worth noting however that they found the cost of food stamps to illegal children at $1.75 billion (in 2018 inflation adjusted dollars) per year, and obviously that’s an understatement as illegal immigration has increased since ’97.
There was not enough data for the GAO to provide total cost estimates for housing assistance, but estimated an illegal household with a child would be eligible for $612 a month in benefits, compared to an average $112 food stamp benefit per child (both figures adjusted for 2018 dollars). In other words, the dollar figure for the cost of housing assistance likely significantly eclipses that of food stamps.
The solution here is simple: end birthright citizenship. Anyone telling you it’s justified by the Fourteenth Amendment simply doesn’t understand the history of the Amendment.
Another Overlooked Cost – Healthcare
The emergency room loophole guarantees that illegal immigrants will benefit from free healthcare at the taxpayer’s time. Despite federal regulations preventing taxpayer funding of Medicaid to illegals, Forbes healthcare analyst Chris Conover estimates that roughly 3.9 million illegal (uninsured) immigrants receive healthcare each year, costing the following in uncompensated care:
- $4.6 billion in health services paid for by federal tax dollars.
- $2.8 billion in health services paid for by state and local tax dollars.
- $3 billion in cost-shifting (charging legal citizens more to compensate for illegals).
- $1.5 billion in pro-bono care from physicians.
Adding in the implicit federal subsidies that nonprofit hospitals receive, among other indirect costs, that brings us to a total cost of $18.5 billion a year to taxpayers. None of this includes the cost of the legal children of illegals, who likely qualify for Medicaid.
In just this article alone I’ve identified at least $100 billion in direct or indirect costs resulting from illegal immigration, and there are costs I’m overlooking (such as the cost of law enforcement and imprisonment resulting from illegal immigrant criminals) since I’m only examining the costs of illegals immigration from the angle of benefits to illegals.
What could be funded by the massive cost of illegal immigration? At least one big beautiful border wall…. four to five times over.
President Trump has pointed to a massive caravan of migrants trekking north through Mexico as a major issue in the upcoming midterm elections.
But when Election Day rolls around, on November 6, the caravan could still be somewhere in the middle of Mexico, depending on the group’s current location, how fast it’s been traveling and how long it’s taken other groups of migrants to cross the country.
Yesterday, the caravan of thousands of people was in Huixtla, Mexico, about 50 miles from the Mexico-Guatemala border, where many of the caravan’s members skirted authorities and crossed in rafts.
Below is the latest map showing the location of the migrant caravan:
Authored by: Matt Palumbo
Last week I published a “Debunk This” piece examining whether or not illegal aliens commit crimes at a lower rate than native born Americans, which I was prompted to do after seeing a debate featuring the Cato Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh.
Alex responded and directed me to some criticisms of the studies I cited in making my own case, some of which is necessary to incorporate into my arguments. Dan invited Alex and I to debate the subject on his NRATV show, so ahead of that, I thought I’d address some of the criticisms of my criticism. I’d recommend reading my article “Do Illegal Aliens Really Commit Fewer Crimes” to anyone who hasn’t done so already, before reading this.
Alex linked to some of his writing on John Lott’s immigration study, and the Government Accountability Office’s, both of which I relied on:
Before addressing those criticisms, I think it is worth reiterating my point that any estimates we have of illegal immigrant crime based off of prison statistics are going to be understated for the reasons I mentioned in my initial piece:
- In America, the average convict released had 3.9 prior convictions (excluding convictions that didn’t result in jail time). Given that many illegal immigrants will simply be deported at the end of their sentence (or be deported in lieu of other punishment), the chance of them re-offending is essentially zero (unless they’re to reenter the U.S.). Thus, we’re working with a biased sample, whereas many of the worst illegal alien offenders are no longer in the U.S. in the first place.
- Most crime victims in America are victims at the hands of people who look like them. Many of the victims of illegals are likely illegals themselves, or the children of illegals, both of which wouldn’t want to get law enforcement involved.
And since the studies I referenced were based on illegal immigrant prison statistics, there are two other variables that cause illegal alien crime to be understated:
- Over 60% of illegal aliens live in just 20 sanctuary cities, and some of those cities solve serious crimes at far lower rates than the national average. In 2015, 46% of the violent crimes and 19% of the property crimes reported to police in the U.S. were cleared, according to FBI data. In San Francisco and Los Angeles, only about a third of violent crimes are cleared.
- There are certain crimes illegals commit that we’re not even considering – such as identity theft/fraud. The IRS has documented 1.3 million individual cases of employment related identity theft from 2011-2016. While this isn’t the same as aggravated identity theft, the fact that nearly 40 million Social Security numbers have been compromised by illegals isn’t exactly heartwarming.
That aside, let’s dive into the two studies I cited.
John Lott/Arizona Study
Nowrasteh’s main criticism here is that Lott is overstating the number of illegal immigrants by looking at the incarceration rates of “non-citizens,” but that includes people besides illegal aliens (such as someone with a green card, whom Nowrasteh points out account for 10% of those deported). Fair enough.
To narrow down which “non-citizens” are illegal aliens, Nowrasteh isolates which have ICE detainers outstanding (which require an inmate to be deported at the end of their sentence). About 38% of illegals in his sample had ICE detainers.
There were 1,823 prisoners with ICE detainers in 2017, which out of a prison population of 42,200 amounts to an incarceration rate to be “a maximum of only 4.3% of all prisoners,” compared to the 4.9% of Arizona’s population illegals compose.
Where Nowrasteh and I disagree is in our interpretation of those ICE detainer figures. Nowrasteh sees them as the maximum number of non-citizens that are illegals, which I see that as the absolute minimum. Politics has played a large role in the number of ICE detainers outstanding, with fewer than half being in existence in 2017 than their peak in 2010. Note the figures charted below are overall detainers (not just prisoners), and the same trend holds nationally.
Furthermore, to believe that 62% of the non-citizen prison population in Arizona are non-illegal immigrants would betray everything we know about legal immigrant crime statistics. There are about 13 million legal permanent residents in the U.S., which is similar to the illegal alien population of 10-15 million. Are we to believe that legal immigrants, that have gone through background checks (among all the other hurdles to immigrate), are committing crimes at double the rates of illegal immigrants?
That seems unlikely, and as Lott himself noted, “if we adjust the 2017 rate of detainers during the Trump administration to equal the Fiscal Year 2011 rate, then Nowrasteh’s range of incarceration rates would actually be from 6.79% to 7.89%,” which is greater than their share of Arizona’s population.
A second study I cited was from the Government Accountability Office, which provided State level illegal immigrant crime statistics based on the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), which reimburses States for the costs of illegal immigrant prisoners. That report found that in 2009 there were 295,959 criminal aliens in state, local, and federal prisons, which Nowrasteh says suffers from double-counting, because the 295k figure is based on total incarcerations, not incarcerated individuals.
As an alternative figure, Nowrasteh uses the American Community Survey (ACS), a Census-like survey that (among many other things) garners data on prisoners, including whether or not they’re American citizens, and their country of birth. Nowrasteh cites 156,329 non-citizens incarcerated at the federal, state, and local level in 2008, about half the SCAAP figure. Of course, this is self-reported data, and some non-citizens could slip through the cracks when it comes to reporting their citizenship status.
Again, the disagreement between Nowrasteh and I appears to be in how to interpret both studies. In my view the SCAAP survey is an absolute maximum figure for illegals incarceration. While it does suffer from double counting, it’s hard to imagine it’s by a large extent, unless we’re to believe that the illegals are only being incarcerated for months at a time, then immediately re-offending, and all without risking deportation. Meanwhile, I’d view the ACS figure as a minimum.
Since the truth is likely somewhere in the middle, and it’s not possible to know, I’ll be retiring this study in the future (which unfortunately means I’ll have to retract the snarky comment at the end of my prior essay). I will note however that there is another way to look at the data, based on the percentage of overall prison time illegals serve, rather than the percentage of prisoners they compose. According to the 2009 SCAAP data, illegal aliens accounted for 5 and 6 percent of the total days of prison time served in state and local jails, respectively. If we’re to assume 12.5 million illegal aliens in America and an overall population of 325 million, illegals account for 3.8% of the population.
And Let’s Suppose I’m Wrong
Hypothetically speaking, let’s say I’m wrong that illegal aliens commit crimes at rates higher than native born Americans. That still doesn’t change the fact that there are crimes being committed that otherwise wouldn’t have happened. Suppose for the sake of a thought experiment that there was a city of 1 million people, and an additional 1 million illegals began living in the city. In the sake of this thought experiment, natives are victimized at a rate 85% higher than they were before the influx of illegals, due to increased crime from the illegal share of the population.
But at the same time, the population of the city doubled, meaning there would be simultaneously more native victims of crime, and yet the crime statistics would actually appear to decrease. Would any of those victimized notice (or find comfort in knowing) that they were technically being victimized at a lower statistical rate?
In this episode I address increasing liberal aggression and the reasons that Donald Trump is a threat to the media/Democrat establishment. I also address a fascinating theory about “income equality.” Finally, I discuss how Mexico treats illegal immigration.
Authored by: Matt Palumbo
While combating illegal immigration has long been a bipartisan issue, the so-called anti-Trump “resistance” has decided that guilt tripping anyone who supports a sensible immigration policy is a viable political strategy. We’ve all heard the arguments; that opposing illegal immigration is preventing people from “just looking for a better life,” or over the past few months, is “separating families.” And of course there’s the most common insult, that enforcing immigration laws is “racist.”
But are America’s immigration laws, or our treatment of illegal immigrants uniquely awful?
To answer that question, let’s examine the situation in another nation: Mexico.
Mexico Rejects More Asylum Requests than the U.S.
Speaking of the rise in asylum request rejections under Trump, a writer at the American-Statesman noted a “dramatic” change. They write, “Immigration judges, who are employed by the Justice Department and not the judicial branch like other federal judges, rejected 61.8 percent of asylum cases decided in 2017, the highest denial rate since 2005.”
Meanwhile in Mexico, nearly 90 percent of asylum requests are denied (and the figures are similarly high for other Latin American countries, such as El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala).
Mexico Regulates Immigration Based on Race
I only bring this up, because for all the rhetoric about Trump’s supposed racism or disdain for certain immigrants, there is one country that does regulate their immigration flows by race, and that’s the country Trump is most accused of being racist against.
In Article 37 of Mexico’s General Law of Population, we learn that their Department of the Interior shall be able to deny foreigners entry into Mexico, if, among other reasons, they may disrupt the “domestic demographic equilibrium.” Additionally, Article 37 also states that immigrants can be removed if they’re detrimental to “economic or national interests.”
Mexico Deports More Central American Illegal Immigrants than the United States
In July 2014, former Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto and former president of Guatemala Otto Pérez Molina, announced the start of a migration security project called Plan Frontera Sur (Southern Border Plan). The U.S. has committed at least $100 million towards this plan to help aid Mexican border security, because it’s mutually beneficial. Both Mexico and the U.S. want to keep out Central American illegal immigrants (and they have to pass through Mexico to reach the U.S.)..
Since Plan Frontera Sur, Mexico has deported more central American illegal immigrants than we have in the U.S. Even CNN had to acknowledge that:
According to statistics from the US and Mexican governments compiled by the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, Mexico in 2015 apprehended tens of thousands more Central Americans in its country than the US did at its border, and in 2015 and 2016 it deported roughly twice as many Central Americans as the US did.
Since migrant children are the hot-button topic in the American immigration debate currently; In 2014 there were 18,169 migrant children were deported from Mexico, and 8,350 deported to Central America the year before. From January 2015 to July 2016, 39,751 unaccompanied minors were put in the custody of Mexican authorities.
A report this year from Amnesty International concluded that “Mexican migration authorities are routinely turning back thousands of people from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to their countries without considering the risk to their life and security upon return, in many cases violating international and domestic law by doing so.”
Mexico Has Their Own Southern Border – and Invisible Wall
For us much as Donald Trump is criticized by the political class in Mexico for wanting to beef up security on the U.S.-Mexico border, as previously mentioned, Mexico has accepted our help in enforcing their immigration laws on their own southern border with Guatemala. While they don’t have a literal border fence, they do have checkpoints, patrols, raids, etc. According to NPR:
Rather than amassing troops on its border with Guatemala, Mexico stations migration agents, local and federal police, soldiers and marines to create a kind of containment zone in Chiapas state. With roving checkpoints and raids, Mexican migration agents have formed a formidable deportation force.
Is there any criticism of American immigration laws that can’t be made of Mexico?