Tuesday, October 26, 2010



HE, AND HIS LA RAZA DEMS, BOXER, FEINSTEIN, PELOSI and REID… all listed regularly on JUDICIAL WATCH’ 10 MOST CORRUPT, are cutting SOCIAL SECURITY for LEGALS, to finance the RAPE AND PILLAGE by their BANKSTER DONORS, whom they handed BILLIONS so these crooked banksters could go out and buy other banksters, …. AND THEN WANT TO BUY ILLEGALS’ VOTES TO BY GIVING THEM SSI!!!!



Those in favor of sending U.S. Social Security benefits to Mexican citizens argue that crushing poverty in Mexico demands some form of U.S. assistance to that country's aged. While poverty in Mexico truly is deplorable and saddening, the fact remains that Congress has no constitutional authority to enact what is essentially another foreign aid program.


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In 15 of Last 25 Months, Treasury Needed to Borrow Money to Pay Social Security Benefits
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
By Chris Johnson

Retired beer truck driver Frank Ferrira, 90, talks about social security on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009 at a senior center in Pembroke Pines, Fla. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
(CNSNews.com) - The U.S. Treasury has needed to borrow money to pay Social Security benefits in 15 out of the last 25 months on record because the Social Security system was in deficit in those months, with the cost of monthly benefit payments exceeding the Social Security tax revenues flowing into the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance trust funds, according to data published by the Social Security Administration.
Because the overall federal budget was in deficit during this entire period, the surplus revenues Social Security earned in the remaining 10 months of the last 25 was used during those months to pay ongoing general government expenses and was not saved to pay future Social Security benefits.
The government gave the Social Security trust funds IOUs for this money.
Prior to August 2008, the Social Security system usually—but not always—ran monthly surpluses, and surplus Social Security taxes were always used by the government to cover deficits in the general federal budget with a promise by the Treasury to eventually pay the money back to the Social Security trust fund when the funds were needed to cover anticipated shortfalls in Social Security revenue. Surplus Social Security tax revenue was never actually set aside to cover these anticipated deficits in Social Security. It was always immediately spent.
In August, the latest month on record, the Social Security system was $8.621 billion in the red, according to the Social Security Administration. That was the fifteenth month since August 2008 in which the system posted a monthly deficit. Back in August 2008, the Social Security system dipped into deficit by $118 million.
For more than decade prior to August 2008, however, the Social Security system ran up an unbroken string of monthly surpluses. The last time before August 2008 that the system posted a deficit in any given month was November 1997, when it ran a $154 million deficit. November was the only month in 1997 that the Social Security system ran a deficit.
In the 259 months from January 1987 to August 2010, according to data published by the Social Security Adminisrtation, Social Security ran deficits in 22 months, or about 8 percent of the time. In the 25 months since August 2008, Social Security has run deficits 60 percent of the time.
In a summary of their annual report released in August, the Social Security trustees predicted that the Social Security system would run an annual deficit in 2010 for the first time since 1983, and that it would also run an annual deficit in 2011. After that, the trustees predicted, Social Security would run “small surpluses” in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and then, barring changes in the system, lurch permanently into the red as the bulk of the Baby Boom moved into retirement and began collecting benefits.
“Social Security expenditures are expected to exceed tax receipts this year for the first time since 1983,” said the trustees.
“The projected deficit of $41 billion this year (excluding interest income) is attributable to the recession and to an expected $25 billion downward adjustment to 2010 income that corrects for excess payroll tax revenue credited to the trust funds in earlier years," the trustees said. "This deficit is expected to shrink substantially for 2011 and to return to small surpluses for years 2012-2014 due to the improving economy. After 2014 deficits are expected to grow rapidly as the baby boom generation’s retirement causes the number of beneficiaries to grow substantially more rapidly than the number of covered workers.”
Mark Lassiter, a spokesman for the Social Security Administration, told CNSNews.com that the recent shortfall was “due, in part, to more beneficiaries coming onto the rolls than originally anticipated due to the economic downturn.”
“There is no significant distinction between OASI and DI in terms of the additional beneficiaries. But the bigger impact is less revenue coming into the system than anticipated due to unemployment,” he said.
Here are the monthly deficits and surpluses for the Social Security system since August 2008, in millions of dollars. Deficits are shown in (parentheses):
August (118)
September 3,182
October (320)
November (413)
December 53,110
January 16,589
February (1,255)
March 2,772
April 20,548
May (1,755)
June 58,657
July (523)
August (5,761)
September (4,319)
October (4,763)
November (5,707)
December 47,206
January 13,159
February (7,570)
March (6,746)
April 17,725
May (5,088)
June 52,597
July (3,362)


CREATED BY LA RAZA BARBARA BOXER AND DIANNE FEINSTEIN… working hard to expand Mex supremacy every day!
California : Boxer (D) Feinstein (D)

senators who voted to give illegal aliens Social Security benefits
The following are the senators who voted to
give illegal aliens Social Security benefits.

They are grouped by home state. If a state is
not listed, there was no voting representative.

Alaska : Stevens (R)
Arizona : McCain (R)
Arkansas : Lincoln (D) Pryor (D)
California : Boxer (D) Feinstein (D)
Colorado : Salazar (D)
Connecticut : Dodd (D) Lieberman (D)
Delaware : Biden (D) Carper (D)
Florida : Martinez (R)
Hawaii : Akaka (D) Inouye (D)
Illinois : Durbin (D) Obama (D)
Indiana : Bayh (D) Lugar (R)
Iowa: Harkin (D)
Kansas : Brownback (R)
Louisiana: Landrieu (D)
Maryland : Mikulski (D) Sarbanes (D)
Massachusetts : Kennedy (D) Kerry (D)
Montana : Baucus (D)
Nebraska : Hagel (R)
Nevada : Reid (D)
New Jersey : Lautenberg (D) Menendez (D)
New Mexico : Bingaman (D)
New York : Clinton (D) Schumer (D)
North Dakota : Dorgan (D)
Ohio : DeWine (R) Voinovich(R)
Oregon : Wyden (D)
Pennsylvania : Specter (D)
Rhode Island : Chafee (R) Reed (D)
South Carolina : Graham (R) South Dakota : Johnson (D)
Vermont : Jeffords (I) Leahy (D)
Washington : Cantwell (D) Murray (D)
West Virginia : Rockefeller (D), by Not Voting
Wisconsin : Feingold (D) Kohl (D)





Welfare and food stamp benefits soar $3 million higher than September payout. New statistics from the Department of Public Social Services reveal that illegal aliens and their families in Los Angeles County collected over $37 million in welfare and food stamp allocations in November 2007 – up $3 million dollars from September, announced Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. Twenty five percent of the all welfare and food stamps benefits is going directly to the children of illegal aliens. Illegals collected over $20 million in welfare assistance for November 2007 and over $16 million in monthly food stamp allocations for a projected annual cost of $444 million. “This new information shows an alarming increase in the devastating impact Illegal immigration continues to have on Los Angeles County taxpayers,” said Antonovich. “With $220 million for public safety, $400 million for healthcare, and $444 million in welfare allocations, the total cost for illegal immigrants to County taxpayers far exceeds $1 billion a year – not including the millions of dollars for education.”

“Walsh stated. Walsh said his analysis indicating there are 38 million illegal aliens in the U.S. was calculated using the conservative estimate of three illegal immigrants entering the U.S. for each one apprehended.”

Illegal alien population may be as high as 38 million

Study: Illegal alien population may be as high as 38 million A new report finds the Homeland Security Department "grossly underestimates" the number of illegal aliens living in the U.S. Homeland Security's Office of Immigration Studies released a report August 31 that estimates the number of illegal aliens residing in the U.S. is between 8 and 12 million. But the group Californians for Population Stabilization, or CAPS, has unveiled a report estimating the illegal population is actually between 20 and 38 million. Four experts, all of whom contributed to the study prepared by CAPS, discussed their findings at a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington Wednesday. James Walsh, a former associate general counsel of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, said he is "appalled" that the Bush administration, lawyers on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and every Democratic presidential candidate, with the exception of Joe Biden, have no problem with sanctuary cities for illegal aliens. "Ladies and gentlemen, the sanctuary cities and the people that support them are violating the laws of the United States of America. They're violating 8 USC section 1324 and 1325, which is a felony -- [it's] a felony to aid, support, transport, shield, harbor illegal aliens," Walsh stated. Walsh said his analysis indicating there are 38 million illegal aliens in the U.S. was calculated using the conservative estimate of three illegal immigrants entering the U.S. for each one apprehended. According to Walsh, "In the United States, immigration is in a state of anarchy -- not chaos, but anarchy."

http://www.capsweb.org/action/activist_tool_kit.html http://www.cap-s.org/newsroom/newsletters/nlsummer07.pdf
Totalization is a Bad Idea

January 8, 2007

Through a Freedom of Information Act Request, a private group recently obtained a copy of a 2004 agreement between the United States and Mexico that will allow hundreds of thousands of noncitizens to receive Social Security benefits.
The agreement creates a so-called “totalization” plan between the two nations. Totalization is nothing new. The first such agreements were made in the late 1970s between the United States and several foreign governments simply to make sure American citizens living abroad did not suffer from double taxation with respect to Social Security taxes. From there, however, totalization agreements have become vehicles for noncitizens to become eligible for U.S. Social Security benefits. The new agreement with Mexico would make an estimated 160,000 Mexican citizens eligible in the next five years.

Ultimately, the bill for Mexicans working legally in the U.S. could reach one billion dollars by 2050, when the estimated Mexican beneficiaries could reach 300,000. Worse still, an estimated five million Mexicans working illegally in the United States could be eligible for the program. According to press reports, a provision in the Social Security Act allows illegal immigrants to receive Social Security benefits if the United States and another country have a totalization agreement.

It’s important to note that Congress, like the American people, heretofore had not seen this totalization agreement. This decision to expand our single largest entitlement program was made with no input from the legislative branch of government. If the president signs it, Congress will have to affirmatively act to override him and in essence veto the agreement. This is the opposite of how it’s supposed to work.

There are obvious reasons to oppose a Social Security totalization agreement with Mexico. First, our Social Security system already faces trillions of dollars in future shortages as the Baby Boomer generation retires and fewer young workers pay into the system. Adding hundreds of thousand of noncitizens to the Social Security rolls can only hasten the day of reckoning.

Second, Social Security never was intended to serve as an individual foreign aid program for noncitizens abroad. Remember, there is no real Social Security trust fund, and the distinction between income taxes and payroll taxes is entirely artificial. The Social Security contributions made by noncitizens are spent immediately as general revenues. So while it’s unfortunate that some are forced to pay into a system from which they might never receive a penny, the same can be said of younger American citizens. If noncitizens wish to obtain Social Security benefits, or any other U.S. government entitlements, they should seek to become U.S. citizens.

Also, totalization agreements allow noncitizens to quality for Social Security benefits by working in the U.S. as little as 18 months. A Mexican citizen could work here for only a year and a half, return to Mexico, and retire with full U.S. benefits. This is grossly unfair to Americans who must work more quarters even to qualify for benefits-- especially younger people who face the possibility that there may be nothing left when it is their turn to retire.

Those in favor of sending U.S. Social Security benefits to Mexican citizens argue that crushing poverty in Mexico demands some form of U.S. assistance to that country's aged. While poverty in Mexico truly is deplorable and saddening, the fact remains that Congress has no constitutional authority to enact what is essentially another foreign aid program.

Source: http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2007/tst010807.htm

HARRY REID'S NEVADA... day labor centers for Americans!

Harry Reid is listed on JUDICIAL WATCH’S 10 MOST CORRUPT IN 2007.
“Similarly, Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D) of Nevada has been “aggressively pushing amnesty” for illegal immigrants, says Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, another Washington group urging limits on immigration.”

The danger, as Washington Post economics columnist Robert Samuelson argues, is that of “importing poverty” in the form of a new underclass—a permanent group of working poor.

“We could cut unemployment in half simply by reclaiming the jobs taken by illegal workers,” said Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, co-chairman of the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus. “President Obama is on the wrong side of the American people on immigration. The president should support policies that help citizens and legal immigrants find the jobs they need and deserve rather than fail to enforce immigration laws.”
“Obama’s rejection of any serious jobs program is part of a conscious class war policy. Two years after the financial crisis and the multi-trillion dollar bailout of the banks, the administration is spearheading a campaign by corporations to sharply increase the exploitation of the working class, using the “new normal” of mass unemployment to force workers to accept lower wages, longer hours, and more brutal working conditions.” WSWS.ORG
“The principal beneficiaries of our current immigration policy are affluent Americans who hire immigrants at substandard wages for low-end work. Harvard economist George Borjas estimates that American workers lose $190 billion annually in depressed wages caused by the constant flooding of the labor market at the low-wage end.” Christian Science Monitor
Reid’s Nevada has the highest rate of FORECLOSURES in the country, and many of these are the homes of ILLEGALS who obtained their mortgages with LA RAZA DONORS WELLS FARGO and BANK of AMERICA. The cost to the American people for the foreclosure on homes of leaf-blowers will be staggering.
WELFARE for illegals in Harry Reid’s state has DOUBLED.
Harry Reid has been honored by the MEXICAN SUPREMACIST PARTY OF LA RAZA, for handing them $5 million of your tax dollars to help expand the Mexican welfare state.
Can you really stomach 6 MORE YEARS OF LA RAZA HARRY REID and his
The new faces of day labor
U.S. citizens are joining immigrants in store parking lots
Steve Marcus
Ken Buchanan, left, waits for work at a Home Depot Thursday morning. Most weeks he’s there six days. The most he’s made in a week: $140.
By Timothy Pratt
Mon, Nov 2, 2009 (2 a.m.)
It sounds like a George Lopez joke.
“Times are so bad that I saw an Anglo day laborer standing outside Home Depot the other day.”
Except it’s true.
In the latest sign of the Las Vegas Valley’s economic free fall, U.S. citizens are starting to show up in the early mornings outside home improvement stores and plant nurseries across the Las Vegas Valley, jostling with illegal immigrants for a shot at a few hours of work.
Experts say the slow-starting but seemingly inexorable trend is occurring nationwide.
“It’s the equivalent of selling apples in the Great Depression,” said Harley Shaiken, chairman of the Center for Latin American studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
But it is not only a sign of the times, they add. If the numbers of citizens among the day laborers in cities across the country continue to grow, it’s likely to increase the ire of followers of TV host Lou Dobbs and others who will see illegal immigrants as stealing food off the tables of the nation’s native-born or naturalized poor.
Or, it may flip certain canards upside down in the immigration debate, easing tensions in some communities.
In the Las Vegas Valley, where the most recent unemployment rate was 13.9 percent, one face of this phenomenon is Ken Buchanan. The 50-year-old describes himself as a “food and beverage” guy, most recently working for four years at Renata’s Sunset Lanes casino and, before that, 30 years in a string of restaurants, hotels and casinos here and in his birthplace, Chicago.
But in 2006 Renata’s closed for remodeling. When the casino reopened as Wildfire, the management did not rehire Buchanan, he said.
In the months that followed, Buchanan discovered the difficulty of seeking work in his fifth decade, eventually winding up at Green Valley Car Wash, where he stayed for about two years, he said.
The banks foreclosed on the house he was renting. In the attempt to grab his things two steps ahead of the constable, he wound up missing work. He lost his job. He became homeless.
A Hispanic man Buchanan met in Renata’s sports book told him he had picked up work standing outside the Home Depot on Pecos Road at Patrick Lane. One July day, Buchanan gave it a try. At first, he got nothing but sunburn. But then he started to get work. Now he’s at the Home Depot six days most weeks.
Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the Los Angeles-based National Day Laborer Organizing Network, said he has been seeing the same thing elsewhere. “It’s happening, though still not in massive numbers,” Alvarado said. In the past six months or so, he has heard of “americanos” on the street corners and parking lots of Silver Spring, Md., Long Island, N.Y., and Southern California locations.
“It’s just beginning,” he said. “But I think it’s only going to increase.”
A recent morning’s swing through the valley produced reports of the same phenomenon. At Star Nursery on Cheyenne Road west of Tenaya Way, Nicolas stood shivering under a hooded sweatshirt, hoping a car or pickup would stop. The Mexican immigrant said he had seen a couple of “white guys” showing up recently, though not on the blustery cold days last week.
At Home Depot on Decatur Boulevard north of Tropicana Avenue, Jose said the same thing, adding that “it’s never more than three or four, but they’re coming out.”
Farther south, in front of Moon Valley Nursery on Eastern Avenue, Israel said a couple of “americanos” — white and black, he added — have come out for work in recent months. “But they tend to stay only a few days.”
As a salesman at Moon Valley, Mike Fugitt’s job includes making sure the laborers don’t come into the nursery’s parking lot, because their presence draws complaints from some customers. In the past three months or so, he said, more of those laborers have been telling him, “But I’m an American.” That includes some Hispanics, he added. “But I treat them all the same; they can’t be trespassing,” he said.
Workers at all the sites said the presence of the americanos hasn’t made work scarcer or produced any conflict. Some suggested that people hiring day laborers prefer Hispanics anyway, because of their reputation as hard workers.
Shaiken said shaking up the mix at day labor sites may eventually produce conflict in the greater society. “It essentially shreds the argument that Americans don’t want certain jobs,” he said.
In the current economy, he added, “we’re almost sure to see die-hard opponents of illegal immigrants seize on the fact that we have legal workers in day labor markets,” heating an already-inflamed debate.
In the longer term, it may also lead to a more rigorous analysis of future labor markets, including revised estimates of how many immigrants would be needed under a guest worker program, as proposed in recent congressional bills.
At the same time, Shaiken said, the issue won’t become central to the debate before Congress over what is known as comprehensive reform, including a pathway for legalizing millions of workers. “The point is, do we really want a labor market with day labor work as a career path? It’s more a commentary on the economy right now,” he said.
Although Alvarado allowed that the change in day labor sites was an undeniable sign of the withering economy, he also sees a “beautiful irony” in U.S. citizens seeking work as day laborers.
That’s because his organization has defended the free-speech rights of day laborers in at least 10 court cases over more than a decade. Up to now, courts have ruled in favor of the laborers.
“We always knew (these cases) would be useful not only for immigrants, but also for U.S. citizens,” Alvarado said. “We knew there would be a time when the economy would reach this point, and they also would be looking for work this way.”
Buchanan likes to wear a Cubs or White Sox cap as a sign of his Chicago heritage when he stands with one or two Hispanic laborers about 20 yards south of a larger crowd. He said he has gone through an education of sorts in the past four months. He has always worked around Hispanics in restaurants, hotels and casinos, but now he understands the issue of immigration from up close.
His sojourn got off to a rocky start. On one of his first days on the street outside Home Depot, another laborer told him he should move along because too many people were at the spot.
“I told him, ‘I’m an American citizen and you’re trying to push me off American soil?’ ” The man walked away, and Buchanan says he hasn’t had another problem with his competitors since.
Instead, Buchanan has found himself defending the rights of his fellow laborers on more than one occasion. One day, a man tried to hire a bunch of them for $5 an hour. Again, Buchanan pulled out the “citizen card.” But this time, he was telling the other person that he, a U.S. citizen, knew about minimum wage laws, and was going to make sure those laws were followed. “I said, ‘You want me to write down your license plate number?’ ” Buchanan recalled. The guy drove away.
Now, he said, “I get along with everybody here.”
He stands in a smaller group because he thinks that helps to get work. He reads the daily tea leaves of the trade, like the end of the month being a good time for moving jobs, because many people are moving in or out. His best week so far: $140. His longest stint without work: the first two weeks, “until I learned to be more aggressive.”
Antonio Bernabe, day labor organizer for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, said the appearance of more and more U.S. citizens seeking day labor work on corners and in parking lots poses new challenges for organizations such as his. In recent months, he said, he has found himself explaining to a whole new group the legal rights of workers, as well as approaching local authorities to discuss the entry of new people into what he called “the world of day labor.” That group includes blacks and Asians, he said.
Another difference is that now he’s giving those explanations to laborers in English.
Bernabe said organizers came across one case where a local sheriff had been sending officers to answer complaints about day laborers and then found one day that the sheriff’s neighbor, a citizen, was among them. Police in that area have been less likely to harass laborers since then, he said. These events will occur more, changing people’s attitudes in the process, he said.
“For a long time, people have looked at day laborers and said, ‘The problem is the immigrants.’ Now the economy is changing. Now people may see it’s a problem of the labor market, of the rights of workers,” Bernabe said.
Buchanan, meanwhile, looks forward to a future that includes a steady job and an apartment. “I’m trying to dig my way out of this,” he said. When he does, however, he sees himself as a changed man.
“Before, I was part of the majority. Now I’m part of the minority ... I’m not going to forget this. I’m not going to forget any of this.”

“We could cut unemployment in half simply by reclaiming the jobs taken by illegal workers,” said Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, co-chairman of the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus. “President Obama is on the wrong side of the American people on immigration. The president should support policies that help citizens and legal immigrants find the jobs they need and deserve rather than fail to enforce immigration laws.”
“The principal beneficiaries of our current immigration policy are affluent Americans who hire immigrants at substandard wages for low-end work. Harvard economist George Borjas estimates that American workers lose $190 billion annually in depressed wages caused by the constant flooding of the labor market at the low-wage end.” Christian Science Monitor



Obama Administration Challenges Arizona E-Verify Law
The Obama administration has asked the Supreme Court to strike down a 2007 Arizona law that punishes employers who hire illegal aliens, a law enacted by then-Governor Janet Napolitano. (Solicitor General's Amicus Curiae Brief). Called the “Legal Arizona Workers Act,” the law requires all employers in Arizona to use E-Verify and provides that the business licenses of those who hire illegal workers shall be repealed. From the date of enactment, the Chamber of Commerce and other special interest groups have been trying to undo it, attacking it through a failed ballot initiative and also through a lawsuit. Now the Chamber is asking the United States Supreme Court to hear the case (Chamber of Commerce v. Candelaria), and the Obama Administration is weighing in against the law.
To date, Arizona’s E-Verify law has been upheld by all lower courts, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit, in particular, viewed it as an exercise of a state’s traditional power to regulate businesses. (San Francisco Chronicle, June 2, 2010). Obama’s Justice Department, however, disagrees. Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal said in his filing with the Supreme Court that the lower courts were wrong to uphold the statute because federal immigration law expressly preempts any state law imposing sanctions on employers hiring illegal immigrants. Mr. Katyal argues that this is not a licensing law, but “a statute that prohibits the hiring of unauthorized aliens and uses suspension and revocation of all state-issued licenses as its ultimate sanction.” (Solicitor General's Amicus Curiae Brief, p. 10). This is the administration’s first court challenge to a state’s authority to act against illegal immigration, and could be a preview of the battle brewing over Arizona’s recent illegal immigration crackdown through SB 1070.
Napolitano has made no comment on the Department of Justice’s decision to challenge the 2007 law, but federal officials said that she has taken an active part in the debate over whether to do so. (Politico, May 28, 2010). As Governor of Arizona, Napolitano said she believed the state law was valid and became a defendant in the many lawsuits against it. (Id.).



“CHEAP” Mexican labor did not make this once great Nation! We only need look south of the border to see what that “cheap” labor did to their own country! There is a reason why 38 million Mexicans have walked over our borders, and it isn’t only because the Wall St. owned administrations in D.C. invited them!

The danger, as Washington Post economics columnist Robert Samuelson argues, is that of “importing poverty” in the form of a new underclass—a permanent group of working poor.

“We could cut unemployment in half simply by reclaiming the jobs taken by illegal workers,” said Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, co-chairman of the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus. “President Obama is on the wrong side of the American people on immigration. The president should support policies that help citizens and legal immigrants find the jobs they need and deserve rather than fail to enforce immigration laws.”
“Obama’s rejection of any serious jobs program is part of a conscious class war policy. Two years after the financial crisis and the multi-trillion dollar bailout of the banks, the administration is spearheading a campaign by corporations to sharply increase the exploitation of the working class, using the “new normal” of mass unemployment to force workers to accept lower wages, longer hours, and more brutal working conditions.” WSWS.ORG
“The principal beneficiaries of our current immigration policy are affluent Americans who hire immigrants at substandard wages for low-end work. Harvard economist George Borjas estimates that American workers lose $190 billion annually in depressed wages caused by the constant flooding of the labor market at the low-wage end.” Christian Science Monitor

The danger, as Washington Post economics columnist Robert Samuelson argues, is that of “importing poverty” in the form of a new underclass—a permanent group of working poor.

A Response to the New York Sun
Steven Malanga
27 September 2006
The issue of immigration has prompted great soul-searching and re-evaluation among economists across the political spectrum. For years, mainstream thought in the field, based on numerous studies, held that immigration’s benefits largely outweighed its drawbacks and that in general newcomers were strong contributors to the growth and development of the American economy.
But over the last 30 years, as the nature of immigration has shifted to include more low-wage, low-skilled workers, opinion within the field has slowly changed, too, based on mounting evidence that the benefits of such immigration are small, while the costs are growing. On the right, Nobel laureate Milton Friedman has perhaps best expressed that change: “It’s just obvious that you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state.” On the left, New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman recently wrote that although he is “instinctively, emotionally pro-immigration,” “a review of serious, non-partisan research reveals some uncomfortable facts about the economics of modern immigration,” and that, eventually, “we’ll need to reduce the inflow of low-skill immigrants.”
It was the weight of this evidence and the shift in thinking that I chronicled in a piece that appeared in the summer issue of City Journal (“How Unskilled Immigrants Hurt Our Economy”). Needless to say, I was surprised to read at the end of the New York Sun’s critique of that piece (“The Case for Immigration,” September 22) that the author, Diana Furchtgott-Roth, placed me within the line of a group of “small but influential thinkers” whose ideas on immigration have, over the decades, spawned such disreputable movements in American society as the Know-Nothing party. In nearly 20 years of engaging in public policy debates, I’ve always felt great satisfaction when my opponents resort to implying that my arguments help underpin racism or nativism or some other despicable “ism.” It’s generally a sign that they find their own arguments weak.
The irony here is that it’s Furchtgott-Roth who stands with a small (and shrinking, though still influential) circle of thinkers—that is, open-borders advocates, who have clung tenaciously to the notion that all immigration is ultimately good for our economy, despite growing evidence to the contrary, and despite a significant shift of opinion within academic circles. Presented with a series of studies on modern immigration by the most authoritative economists in the field, a bipartisan congressional commission on immigration reform wrote in the mid-1990s, “It is not in the national interest to admit unskilled workers.”
In my piece, I recounted studies that explained that the first great immigration, from 1880 to the mid-1920s, brought economic benefits to the country largely because the newcomers of that era brought much-needed skills with them; indeed, a 1998 study by the National Academy of Sciences reported that those earlier immigrants were on average more skilled than native workers, more than a third of whom still toiled on farms. Those skills are a key reason why many of those immigrants and their children succeeded so well. One research report cited by the academy noted that the American-born children of those immigrants were just as likely to be accountants, engineers, and lawyers as were other native-born Americans.
Today’s immigration, the so-called second great wave, began roughly 50 years ago and has come increasingly to feature low-skilled, uneducated workers and their families at a time when succeeding in our economy demands ever-more education and skills. Throughout the 1980s and the 1990s, illegal immigrants alone—consisting almost entirely of unskilled workers—have crossed our borders at the rate of between 225,000 and 300,000 a year. Legal immigration has also turned sharply toward the low-skilled, thanks to 1965 legislation that changed our national quota system so that the vast majority of legal immigration now hails from poorer countries.
Not surprisingly, as low-skilled workers have arrived in ever-greater numbers, their fortunes have fallen. Today, for instance, Mexican immigrants, who overwhelmingly dominate the ranks of our low-skilled migrants, typically begin work in America with a 40 percent wage gap compared with native-born workers. Rather than disappearing over time, moreover, that wage gap persists and may even be growing larger, according to work by the Harvard economist George Borjas. Equally unsurprisingly, the advantage of such low-wage immigration to America’s broader economy is limited. An authoritative study by the National Academy of Sciences in 1997 found that immigration contributed a mere $10 billion to our (at the time) $8 trillion economy, an inconsequential amount, all the more so in that the cost of immigration was increasing.
Furchtgott-Roth begins her response to my piece with a singularly inappropriate example of the supposed benefits of low-wage immigration: immigrant entrepreneurs plying the streets of Washington, D.C., during a rainstorm to sell umbrellas to stranded pedestrians. She fails to note that such “entrepreneurs” rarely pay taxes and business fees, and that legitimate retailers often complain that these street-corner merchants undercut their prices precisely because they don’t play by the rules. If this is the best example we can find of how immigrants complement native workers and invigorate our economy, we’re in trouble.
From this anecdote Furchtgott-Roth proceeds to the old saw that immigrants are here to work (though the percentage of nonworking women, children, and the elderly among immigrants is much higher than in the past), and they do jobs that Americans won’t. To buttress this claim, she cites unemployment rates among high-school dropouts, noting approvingly that among immigrants, the rate is only 5.7 percent, while among the native born, it is 9.1 percent (or double the nation’s overall unemployment rate). But rather than providing cause to celebrate the immigrant work ethic, the gap in the unemployment rate among high-school dropouts is more likely evidence that native-born workers are finding themselves crowded out of labor markets by immigrants taking jobs for lower pay and fewer benefits.
Borjas and his colleague Lawrence Katz have authored the most important study of immigration’s effect on native-born workers. In their 2005 National Bureau of Economic Research paper, they found that immigrants depress the wages of low-skilled native workers by 5 percent, even when one adjusts for the additional investment that businesses make when they have access to a large pool of cheap labor. Moreover, two new papers, one published by the National Bureau of Economic Research this month by Borjas and two colleagues and another by researchers from Northeastern University published by the Center for Immigration Studies, show that the impact of low-wage immigration falls especially heavily on native-born blacks and Hispanics, not merely depressing wages but increasing unemployment levels.
In contrast, Furchtgott-Roth cites the work of economist Giovanni Peri, who argues that low-wage immigrants bring a net benefit to higher income Americans and depress the wages of all low-skilled Americans by just 1 percent. But an important component of Peri’s work (and that of others who follow him) is the claim that immigration has a muted impact on native-born Americans because immigrants largely compete with one another and hold down one another’s wages. In Furchtgott-Roth’s world, this wage impact on immigrants is unimportant because she notes that we don’t see immigrants calling for less immigration. If they don’t care about the competition from other immigrants, why should the rest of us?
The first answer to this question is that immigrants don’t protest our current policy because many of them have relatives on the list of those awaiting visas; indeed, the principal source of legal immigration in America today is family reunification, and nearly two-thirds of everyone who comes here legally does so because a family member is already here.
But in this case, what immigrants think isn’t the point. What’s troubling about the wage effect of immigrants on unskilled workers—whomever it falls on—is that it is in danger of slowing economic mobility at the bottom rungs of our society. In my City Journal piece, I devote much attention to the growing research showing how continued low-wage immigration is making it increasingly tougher on migrants themselves. This is not inconsequential; in fact, it is decisive. Americans have welcomed immigrants when we believed they could pull their own weight. Now we see signs that the economic success of immigrants is slowing. Even more disturbingly, their children are also finding it harder to make it in America, research shows, in part because of what economists describe as the “transmission of ethnic capital,” by which they mean cultural influences on children. As the children of today’s immigrants grow up in ethnic enclaves where most adults don’t speak English or value education and haven’t graduated from high school, many kids adopt those unfortunate characteristics, one reason why high-school dropout rates among native-born Hispanic children are far higher than among American-born children in general.
The danger, as Washington Post economics columnist Robert Samuelson argues, is that of “importing poverty” in the form of a new underclass—a permanent group of working poor. As Borjas recently observed, “If these historical trends continue . . . the next few decades can lead to a somewhat pessimistic forecast for the economic performance of the children of the current (i.e., circa 2000) wave of immigrants.”
This poor economic performance has significant consequences in a society that now offers substantial transfers of income through government social programs. The National Academy of Sciences in 1998 studied the trade-off between taxes paid and government services received for both the native born and immigrants in California. It found that the average native-born household paid nearly $1,200 more in taxes to support services to immigrants. Furchtgott-Roth minimizes this substantial burden by quoting only the section of the report that discusses the additional local government cost for the education of immigrant children in public schools. She ignores, however, the section about the dollars that the state and federal governments spend on immigrants for social programs. According to the study, immigrants in California received in total an average of $5,067 in benefits per household, compared with $1,983 for native-born households. Behind those costs, the study notes, was substantially greater immigrant participation in many programs.
Occasionally, Furchtgott-Roth resorts to hyperbole. In my piece, I refer to a study by two noted agricultural economists, Wallace Huffman and Alan McCunn, who find that without low-wage immigrant workers, the price of produce in America would rise only modestly. The authors offer three reasons: labor is a small part of the cost of produce, many farms would make greater user of mechanization to become more productive, and America would import more produce. To this, Furchtgott-Roth retorts, “It makes little sense to send a whole economic sector to other countries.” Of course, this isn’t remotely what Huffman and McCunn suggest would happen, nor how I characterize their study. In fact, as I point out, agricultural economists have been urging American farmers to forsake cheap labor and invest more heavily in mechanization to save their farms from competition from countries where workers earn just a few cents an hour—a rate that we’ll never compete with, no matter how many migrant workers we import. Following the path of guest-worker programs and cheap labor advocated by Furchtgott-Roth is far more likely to result in our agricultural output moving offshore.
This and other discomfiting evidence about today’s immigration has prompted considerable soul searching, as I’ve said, and not just by economists. City Journal editor Myron Magnet noted in a piece accompanying mine that most of us at the magazine are the children and grandchildren of immigrants ourselves. Over the years, the magazine has published any number of stories about the contribution of immigrants to America and especially New York. But as Magnet is fond of quoting, everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts, and increasingly the discomfiting evidence was becoming undeniable.
Such soul-searching seems to be going on everywhere except among open-borders advocates on the left and the right. On the left, advocacy for open borders is not about what’s good for our economy but about immigration as an extension of the civil rights battles of the 1960s. But on the right it’s hard to understand what’s behind the increasingly strident advocacy other than ideology—to be defended at all costs and by any rhetorical technique available, including branding its opponents as enablers of Know Nothingness or other disreputable movements.



CRAIGSLIST POST - An American Sees & Speaks

Date: 2010-02-20, 7:58AM PST
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The problem with illegal aliens and their cultural values got so bad at the El Cerrito Home Depot that they had to hire ARMED gaurds. Even so, I stopped the theft of power tools from the back of a pickup there, I was pulling up as the illegal aliens found a truck with some tools and a table saw in it, and they parked their little car next to it and started to gleefully unload the truck into the backseat of their car. I just pulled in front of their car and blocked them from leaving, and as luck would have it, the owner was coming out of the store, another illegal alien. They exchanged some loud words in Spanish, and the guys with the car just walked off, leaving their car with the stuff half out of it. The security gaurd came over, and called the police, I don't know what happened after that.

Every SINGLE time I go there, I see obvious illegal alien Hispanics roaming the parking lot looking in the back of trucks or trying door handles. At the Vallejo Home Depot, about 4 illegal aliens came up as I was unloading my cart and started grabbing my boards and putting them in my truck without asking, I was pissed at first, then got worried when they got mad at me for asking them to stop, and demanded money, I thought I was getting mugged. I told them "yeah, wait I'll get some" and got in the cab and tore out of there, they ran after me a bit in the parking lot and then went over to "help" an elderly guy with his cart. When I called the store to tell them what happened, they read some kind of script saying that "Home Depot does not support illegal immingration blah blah blah...." and I interupted and said that I wasn't complaining or had even mentioned race or illegal immigration, I'm just telling them that their parking lot has dangerous thugs in it harrasing the customers. They offered me a $25 gift certificate for my trouble.

How long are we going to tolerate this conflict of cultural values?

Date: 2010-02-20, 6:31AM PST

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I went to Home Depot in San Rafael last week and parked in the middle of the parking lot ,about halfway down. I looked forward and noticed two hispanic males walking slowly between the rows of cars, one was looking behind and around as the other was lifting up door handles on the cars and trucks. I can only assume they were looking for an open car to steal something out of. I have lived in Marin for over twenty years and have never seen so much crime as there is now, and when I read the stories it usually says the suspect was hispanic and is being held on a federal immigration charge (illegal alien). I have no hatred toward hispanics, but this is not the country I used to know. Why does the U .S . government allow these people to stay here and commit crimes against hard working loyal American citizens ?

City Journal Hispanic Family Values?
Runaway illegitimacy is creating a new U.S. underclass.
Heather Mac Donald
Autumn 2006

Unless the life chances of children raised by single mothers suddenly improve, the explosive growth of the U.S. Hispanic population over the next couple of decades does not bode well for American social stability. Hispanic immigrants bring near–Third World levels of fertility to America, coupled with what were once thought to be First World levels of illegitimacy. (In fact, family breakdown is higher in many Hispanic countries than here.) Nearly half of the children born to Hispanic mothers in the U.S. are born out of wedlock, a proportion that has been increasing rapidly with no signs of slowing down. Given what psychologists and sociologists now know about the much higher likelihood of social pathology among those who grow up in single-mother households, the Hispanic baby boom is certain to produce more juvenile delinquents, more school failure, more welfare use, and more teen pregnancy in the future.
The government social-services sector has already latched onto this new client base; as the Hispanic population expands, so will the demands for a larger welfare state. Since conservative open-borders advocates have yet to acknowledge the facts of Hispanic family breakdown, there is no way to know what their solution to it is. But they had better come up with one quickly, because the problem is here—and growing.
The dimensions of the Hispanic baby boom are startling. The Hispanic birthrate is twice as high as that of the rest of the American population. That high fertility rate—even more than unbounded levels of immigration—will fuel the rapid Hispanic population boom in the coming decades. By 2050, the Latino population will have tripled, the Census Bureau projects. One in four Americans will be Hispanic by mid-century, twice the current ratio. In states such as California and Texas, Hispanics will be in the clear majority. Nationally, whites will drop from near 70 percent of the total population in 2000 to just half by 2050. Hispanics will account for 46 percent of the nation’s added population over the next two decades, the Pew Hispanic Center reports.
But it’s the fertility surge among unwed Hispanics that should worry policymakers. Hispanic women have the highest unmarried birthrate in the country—over three times that of whites and Asians, and nearly one and a half times that of black women, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Every 1,000 unmarried Hispanic women bore 92 children in 2003 (the latest year for which data exist), compared with 28 children for every 1,000 unmarried white women, 22 for every 1,000 unmarried Asian women, and 66 for every 1,000 unmarried black women. Forty-five percent of all Hispanic births occur outside of marriage, compared with 24 percent of white births and 15 percent of Asian births. Only the percentage of black out-of-wedlock births—68 percent—exceeds the Hispanic rate. But the black population is not going to triple over the next few decades.
As if the unmarried Hispanic birthrate weren’t worrisome enough, it is increasing faster than among other groups. It jumped 5 percent from 2002 to 2003, whereas the rate for other unmarried women remained flat. Couple the high and increasing illegitimacy rate of Hispanics with their higher overall fertility rate, and you have a recipe for unstoppable family breakdown.
The only bright news in this demographic disaster story concerns teen births. Overall teen childbearing in the U.S. declined for the 12th year in a row in 2003, having dropped by more than a third since 1991. Yet even here, Hispanics remain a cause for concern. The rate of childbirth for Mexican teenagers, who come from by far the largest and fastest-growing immigrant population, greatly outstrips every other group. The Mexican teen birthrate is 93 births per every 1,000 girls, compared with 27 births for every 1,000 white girls, 17 births for every 1,000 Asian girls, and 65 births for every 1,000 black girls. To put these numbers into international perspective, Japan’s teen birthrate is 3.9, Italy’s is 6.9, and France’s is 10. Even though the outsize U.S. teen birthrate is dropping, it continues to inflict unnecessary costs on the country, to which Hispanics contribute disproportionately.
To grasp the reality behind those numbers, one need only talk to people working on the front lines of family breakdown. Social workers in Southern California, the national epicenter for illegal Hispanic immigrants and their progeny, are in despair over the epidemic of single parenting. Not only has illegitimacy become perfectly acceptable, they say, but so has the resort to welfare and social services to cope with it.
Dr. Ana Sanchez delivers babies at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the city of Orange, California, many of them to Hispanic teenagers. To her dismay, they view having a child at their age as normal. A recent patient just had her second baby at age 17; the baby’s father is in jail. But what is “most alarming,” Sanchez says, is that the “teens’ parents view having babies outside of marriage as normal, too. A lot of the grandmothers are single as well; they never married, or they had successive partners. So the mom sends the message to her daughter that it’s okay to have children out of wedlock.”
Sanchez feels almost personally involved in the problem: “I’m Hispanic myself. I wish I could find out what the Asians are doing right.” She guesses that Asian parents’ passion for education inoculates their children against teen pregnancy and the underclass trap. “Hispanics are not picking that up like the Asian kids,” she sighs.
Conservatives who support open borders are fond of invoking “Hispanic family values” as a benefit of unlimited Hispanic immigration. Marriage is clearly no longer one of those family values. But other kinds of traditional Hispanic values have survived—not all of them necessarily ideal in a modern economy, however. One of them is the importance of having children early and often. “It’s considered almost a badge of honor for a young girl to have a baby,” says Peggy Schulze of Chrysalis House, an adoption agency in Fresno. (Fresno has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in California, typical of the state’s heavily Hispanic farm districts.) It is almost impossible to persuade young single Hispanic mothers to give up their children for adoption, Schulze says. “The attitude is: ‘How could you give away your baby?’ I don’t know how to break through.”
The most powerful Hispanic family value—the tight-knit extended family—facilitates unwed child rearing. A single mother’s relatives often step in to make up for the absence of the baby’s father. I asked Mona, a 19-year-old parishioner at St. Joseph’s Church in Santa Ana, California, if she knew any single mothers. She laughed: “There are so many I can’t even name them.” Two of her cousins, aged 25 and 19, have children without having husbands. The situation didn’t seem to trouble this churchgoer too much. “They’ll be strong enough to raise them. It’s totally okay with us,” she said. “We’re very close; we’re there to support them. They’ll do just fine.”
As Mona’s family suggests, out-of-wedlock child rearing among Hispanics is by no means confined to the underclass. The St. Joseph’s parishioners are precisely the churchgoing, blue-collar workers whom open-borders conservatives celebrate. Yet this community is as susceptible as any other to illegitimacy. Fifty-year-old Irma and her husband, Rafael, came legally from Mexico in the early 1970s. Rafael works in a meatpacking plant in Brea; they have raised five husky boys who attend church with them. Yet Irma’s sister—a homemaker like herself, also married to a factory hand—is now the grandmother of two illegitimate children, one by each daughter. “I saw nothing in the way my sister and her husband raised her children to explain it,” Irma says. “She gave them everything.” One of the fathers of Irma’s young nieces has four other children by a variety of different mothers. His construction wages are being garnished for child support, but he is otherwise not involved in raising his children.
The fathers of these illegitimate children are often problematic in even more troubling ways. Social workers report that the impregnators of younger Hispanic women are with some regularity their uncles, not necessarily seen as a bad thing by the mother’s family. Alternatively, the father may be the boyfriend of the girl’s mother, who then continues to stay with the grandmother. Older men seek out young girls in the belief that a virgin cannot get pregnant during her first intercourse, and to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.
The tradition of starting families young and expand- ing them quickly can come into conflict with more modern American mores. Ron Storm, the director of the Hillview Acres foster-care home in Chino, tells of a 15-year-old girl who was taken away from the 21-year-old father of her child by a local child-welfare department. The boyfriend went to jail, charged with rape. But the girl’s parents complained about the agency’s interference, and eventually both the girl and her boyfriend ended up going back to Mexico, presumably to have more children. “At 15, as the QuinceaƱera tradition celebrates, you’re considered ready for marriage,” says Storm. Or at least for childbearing; the marriage part is disappearing.
But though older men continue to take advantage of younger women, the age gap between the mother and the father of an illegitimate child is quickly closing. Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties tries to teach young fathers to take responsibility for their children. “We’re seeing a lot more 13- and 14-year-old fathers,” says Kathleen Collins, v.p. of health education. The day before we spoke, Scott Montoya, an Orange County sheriff’s deputy, arrested two 14-year-old boys who were bragging about having sexual relations with a cafeteria worker from an Olive Garden restaurant. “It’s now all about getting girls pregnant when you’re age 15,” he says. One 18-year-old in the Planned Parenthood fathers’ program has two children by two different girls and is having sex with five others, says health worker Jason Warner. “A lot of [the adolescent sexual behavior] has to do with getting respect from one’s peers,” observes Warner.
Normally, the fathers, of whatever age, take off. “The father may already be married or in prison or doing drugs,” says Amanda Gan, director of operations for Toby’s House, a maternity home in Dana Point, California. Mona, the 19-year-old parishioner at St. Joseph’s Church, says that the boys who impregnated her two cousins are “nowhere to be found.” Her family knows them but doesn’t know if they are working or in jail.
Two teen mothers at the Hillview Acres home represent the outer edge of Hispanic family dysfunction. Yet many aspects of their lives are typical. Though these teenagers’ own mothers were unusually callous and irresponsible, the social milieu in which they were raised is not unusual.
Irene’s round, full face makes her look younger than her 14 years, certainly too young to be a mother. But her own mother’s boyfriend repeatedly forced sex on her, with the mother’s acquiescence. The result was Irene’s baby, Luz. Baby Luz has an uncle her own age, Irene’s new 13-month-old brother. Like Irene, Irene’s mother had her first child at 14, and produced five more over the next 16 years, all of whom went into foster care. Irene’s father committed suicide before she was old enough to know him. The four fathers of her siblings are out of the picture, too: one of them, the father of her seven-year-old brother and five-year-old sister, was deported back to Mexico after he showed up drunk for a visit with his children, in violation of his probation conditions.
Irene is serene and articulate—remarkably so, considering that in her peripatetic early life in Orange County she went to school maybe twice a week. She likes to sing and to read books that are sad, she says, especially books by Dave Pelzer, a child-abuse victim who has published three best-selling memoirs about his childhood trauma. She says she will never get married: “I don’t want another man in my life. I don’t want that experience again.”
Eighteen-year-old Jessica at least escaped rape, but her family experiences were bad enough. The large-limbed young woman, whose long hair is pulled back tightly from her heart-shaped face, grew up in the predominantly Hispanic farming community of Indio in the Coachella Valley. She started “partying hard” in fifth grade, she says—at around the same time that her mother, separated from her father, began using drugs and going clubbing. By the eighth grade, Jessica and her mother were drinking and smoking marijuana together. Jessica’s family had known her boyfriend’s family since she was four; when she had her first child by him—she was 14 and he was 21—her mother declared philosophically that she had always known that it would happen. “It was okay with her, so long as he continued to give her drugs.”
Jessica originally got pregnant to try to clean up her life, she says. “I knew what I was doing was not okay, so having a baby was a way for me to stop doing what I was doing. In that sense, the baby was planned.” She has not used drugs since her first pregnancy, though she occasionally drinks. After her daughter was born, she went to live with her boyfriend in a filthy trailer without plumbing; they scrounged food from dumpsters, despite the income from his illegal drug business. They planned to get married, but by the time she got pregnant again with a son, “We were having a lot of problems. We’d be holding hands, and he’d be looking at other girls. I didn’t want him to touch me.” Eventually, the county welfare agency removed her and put her in foster care with her two children.
Both Jessica and her caddish former boyfriend illustrate the evanescence of the celebrated Hispanic “family values.” Her boyfriend’s family could not be more traditional. Two years ago, Jessica went back to Mexico to celebrate her boyfriend’s parents’ 25th wedding anniversary and the renewal of their wedding vows. Jessica’s own mother got married at 15 to her father, who was ten years her senior. Her father would not let his wife work; she was a “stay-at-home wife,” Jessica says. But don’t blame the move to the U.S. for the behavior of younger generations; the family crack-up is happening even faster in Latin America.
Jessica’s mother may have been particularly negligent, but Jessica’s experiences are not so radically different from those of her peers. “Everybody’s having babies now,” she says. “The Coachella Valley is filled with girls’ pregnancies. Some girls live with their babies’ dads; they consider them their husbands.” These cohabiting relationships rarely last, however, and a new cohort of fatherless children goes out into the world.
Despite the strong family support, the prevalence of single parenting among Hispanics is producing the inevitable slide into the welfare system. “The girls aren’t marrying the guys, so they are married to the state,” Dr. Sanchez observes. Hispanics now dominate the federal Women, Infants, and Children free food program; Hispanic enrollment grew over 25 percent from 1996 to 2002, while black enrollment dropped 12 percent and white enrollment dropped 6.5 percent. Illegal immigrants can get WIC and other welfare programs for their American-born children. If Congress follows President Bush’s urging and grants amnesty to most of the 11 million illegal aliens in the country today, expect the welfare rolls to skyrocket as the parents themselves become eligible.
Amy Braun works for Mary’s Shelter, a home for young single mothers who are homeless or in crisis, in Orange County, California. It has become “culturally okay” for the Hispanic population to use the shelter and welfare system, Braun says. A case manager at a program for pregnant homeless women in the city of Orange observes the same acculturation to the social-services sector, with its grievance mongering and sense of victimhood. “I’ll have women in my office on their fifth child, when the others have already been placed in foster care,” says Anita Berry of Casa Teresa. “There’s nothing shameful about having multiple children that you can’t care for, and to be pregnant again, because then you can blame the system.”
The consequences of family breakdown are now being passed down from one generation to the next, in an echo of the black underclass. “The problems are deeper and wider,” says Berry. “Now you’re getting the second generation of foster care and group home residents. The dysfunction is multigenerational.”
The social-services complex has responded with barely concealed enthusiasm to this new flood of clients. As Hispanic social problems increase, so will the government sector that ministers to them. In July, a New York Times editorial, titled young latinas and a cry for help, pointed out the elevated high school dropout rates and birthrates among Hispanic girls. A quarter of all Latinas are mothers by the age of 20, reported the Times. With the usual melodrama that accompanies the pitch for more government services, the Times designated young Latinas as “endangered” in the same breath that it disclosed that they are one of the fastest-growing segments of the population. “The time to help is now,” said the Times—by which it means ratcheting up the taxpayer-subsidized social-work industry.
In response to the editorial, Carmen Barroso, regional director of International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region, proclaimed in a letter to the editor the “urgent need for health care providers, educators and advocates to join the sexual and reproductive health movement to ensure the fundamental right to services for young Latinas.”
Wherever these “fundamental rights” might come from, Barroso’s call nevertheless seems quite superfluous, since there is no shortage of taxpayer-funded “services” for troubled Latinas—or Latinos. The schools in California’s San Joaquin Valley have day care for their students’ babies, reports Peggy Schulze of Chrysalis House. “The girls get whatever they need—welfare, medical care.” Advocates for young unwed moms in New York’s South Bronx are likewise agitating for more day-care centers in high schools there, reports El Diario/La Prensa. A bill now in Congress, the Latina Adolescent Suicide Prevention Act, aims to channel $10 million to “culturally competent” social agencies to improve the self-esteem of Latina girls and to provide “support services” to their families and friends if they contemplate suicide.
The trendy “case management” concept, in which individual “cases” become the focal point around which a solar system of social workers revolves, has even reached heavily Hispanic elementary and middle schools. “We have a coordinator, who brings in a collaboration of agencies to deal with the issues that don’t allow a student to meet his academic goals, such as domestic violence or drugs,” explains Sylvia Rentria, director of the Family Resource Center at Berendo Middle School in Los Angeles. “We can provide individual therapy.” Rentria offers the same program at nearby Hoover Elementary School for up to 100 students.
This July, Rentria launched a new session of Berendo’s Violence Intervention Program for parents of children who are showing signs of gang involvement and other antisocial behavior. Ghady M., 55 and a “madre soltera” (single mother), like most of the mothers in the program, has been called in because her 16-year-old son, Christian, has been throwing gang signs at school, cutting half his classes, and ending up in the counseling office every day. The illegal Guatemalan is separated from her partner, who was “muy malo,” she says; he was probably responsible for her many missing teeth. (The detectives in the heavily Hispanic Rampart Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, which includes the Berendo school, spend inordinate amounts of time on domestic violence cases.) Though Ghady used to work in a factory on Broadway in downtown L.A.— often referred to as Little Mexico City—she now collects $580 in welfare payments and $270 in food stamps for her two American-born children.
Christian is a husky smart aleck in a big white T-shirt; his fashionably pomaded hair stands straight up. He goes to school but doesn’t do homework, he grins; and though he is not in a gang, he says, he has friends who are. Keeping Ghady and Christian company at the Violence Intervention Program is Ghady’s grandniece, Carrie, a lively ten-year-old. Carrie lives with her 26-year-old mother but does not know her father, who also sired her 12-year-old brother. Her five-year-old brother has a different father.
Yet for all these markers of social dysfunction, fatherless Hispanic families differ from the black underclass in one significant area: many of the mothers and the absent fathers work, even despite growing welfare use. The former boyfriend of Jessica, the 18-year-old mother at the Hillview Acres foster home, works in construction and moonlights on insulation jobs; whether he still deals drugs is unknown. Jessica is postponing joining her father in Texas until she finishes high school, because once she moves in with him, she will feel obligated to get a job to help the family finances. The mother of Hillview’s 14-year-old Irene used to fix soda machines in Anaheim, California, though she got fired because she was lazy, Irene says. Now, under court compulsion, she works in a Lunchables factory in Santa Ana, a condition of getting her children back from foster care. The 18-year-old Lothario and father of two, whom Planned Parenthood’s Jason Warner is trying to counsel, works at a pet store. The mother of Carrie, the vivacious ten-year-old sitting in on Berendo Middle School’s Violence Intervention Program, makes pizza at a Papa John’s pizza outlet.
How these two value systems—a lingering work ethic and underclass mating norms—will interact in the future is anyone’s guess. Orange County sheriff’s deputy Montoya says that the older Hispanic generation’s work ethic is fast disappearing among the gangbanging youngsters whom he sees. “Now, it’s all about fast money, drugs, and sex.” It may be that the willingness to work will plummet along with marriage rates, leading to even greater social problems than are now rife among Hispanics. Or it may be that the two contrasting practices will remain on parallel tracks, creating a new kind of underclass: a culture that tolerates free-floating men who impregnate women and leave, like the vast majority of black men, yet who still labor in the noncriminal economy. The question is whether, if the disposition to work remains relatively strong, a working parent will inoculate his or her illegitimate children against the worst degradations that plague black ghettos.
From an intellectual standpoint, this is a fascinating social experiment, one that academicians are—predictably—not attuned to. But the consequences will be more than intellectual: they may severely strain the social fabric. Nevertheless, it is an experiment that we seem destined to see to its end. Tisha Roberts, a supervisor at an Orange County, California, institution that assists children in foster care, has given up hope that the illegitimacy rate will taper off. “It’s going to continue to grow,” she says, “until we can put birth control in the water.”