In 1965, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., was chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and Naturalization.
He ushered through the Senate the immigration policy of President Lyndon B. Johnson, stating Feb. 10, 1965:
“I want to comment on … what the bill will not do. First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same. …”
“Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset. … Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [this bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area. …”
“Thirdly, the bill will not permit the entry of subversive persons, criminals, illiterates or those with contagious disease. … As I noted a moment ago, no immigrant visa will be issued to a person who is likely to become a public charge. …”
Kennedy answered critics of the 1965 immigration bill:
“The charges I have mentioned are highly emotional, irrational and with little foundation in fact. They are out of line with the obligations of responsible citizenship. They breed hate of our heritage. …”
“The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.”
An interesting observation is that prior to LBJ’s 1965 immigration policy, most immigrants to the United States were from Europe, with 70 percent coming from the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany.
European immigrants assimilated, as they were culturally and economically similar to America’s population. Immigrants were educated and, interestingly, many tended to become Republicans.
After the implementation of LBJ’s policy, immigrants came from poorer countries, were less educated, more dependent on government, and, interestingly, tended to become Democrats.
In attempting to understand his motivation for the current immigration bill, one wonders if Sen. Kennedy has studied the impact of 20 million more Democrat votes, especially with the long-term effect of “chain migration” and higher birth rates.
And with many in the Republican base disapproving of the bill, its passage may discourage their campaigning for the next Republican nominee, contributing to a possible Democrat presidential victory in 2008.
Other large-scale demographic changes can be observed around the world.
Lebanon went from a majority Christian country to a majority Muslim country after it was given independence from France in 1943. This was accomplished through a process called “Islamification” – the number of Muslims moving into Lebanon increased, along with higher birth rates, resulting in more control of elections.
Tibet has resisted unification with China and as a result has been subjected to a process called “Sinofication” – the forced migration of Chinese into Tibet. As the population of Chinese in Tibet increases, Tibet’s resistance to unification with China decreases.
Increased Latin-American immigration into the U.S. not only translates into more Democrat votes, but lessens resistance to the proposed “North American Union.”
During the Clinton administration, NAFTA and GATT were ratified (1993 and 1994), allowing global conglomerates to bring less expensive goods and grains to Mexican consumers. This put tens of thousands of Mexican farms and manufacturers out of business. Then the value of the peso collapsed in 1995, resulting in millions of displaced workers migrating north.
The situation was compounded by a “strong dollar” and the loss of trade protections for U.S. manufacturers and farmers, putting them in a position of needing less expensive labor to compete with the less expensive goods and grains available globally.
A century ago
Immigrants formerly received no automatic entitlement benefits upon arrival in America, but since there was no minimum wage they could easily get a job, allowing them an opportunity to learn the language and a skill. Extended families lived together, pooling their resources until they could get ahead. Churches and charities provided welfare and social services.
Goodbye middle class
Today immigrants arrive and are entitled to taxpayer-funded welfare and social services, resulting in increased use of emergency rooms, increased welfare rolls, increased enrollment in free public schools and increased cost of law enforcement. Since most illegal immigrants operate on a cash basis, avoiding taxes, middle-class taxpayers pay more to cover the increased use of public services. As taxes increase and wages decrease, America’s working middle class is squeezed.
The New York Times, Oct. 28, 2003, stated: “Nearly one Mexican in five regularly gets money from relatives employed in the United States, making Mexico the largest repository of such remittances in the world, according to a poll sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank.”
Whereas typical American workers spend most of their earnings in America, helping the U.S. economy, immigrant workers send most of their earnings back to their home countries.
The Associated Press, Sept. 24, 2003, quoted Mexican President Vicente Fox saying: “Remittances are our biggest source of foreign income, bigger than oil, tourism or foreign investment. … The 20 million Mexicans in the United States generate a gross product that is slightly higher than the … billion(s) generated by Mexicans in Mexico.”
Some remember Teddy Kennedy’s promise regarding the 1986 amnesty bill:
“This amnesty will give citizenship to only 1.3 million illegal aliens. We will secure the borders henceforth. We will never again bring forth an amnesty bill like this.”
The most significant effect of the 1986 amnesty bill was the expectation of future amnesty, which contributed to increased illegal immigration.
Kennedy now states regarding his current Kyl-Kennedy immigration bill:
“Year after year we’ve had borders that aren’t secure and a system that is broken. … Well, now it is time for action – 2007 is the year we must fix our broken system. … I’ve been around here long enough to know that opportunities like this don’t come often.”
Trust Teddy Kennedy, again? He certainly knows the immigration problem very well.
He helped create it!
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William J. Federer is a best-selling author, former U.S. congressional candidate and president of Amerisearch, Inc. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet.