New Census data out this week shows the tidal wave of immigration just keeps gathering steam, while one of the top-tier GOP presidential candidates is probing for answers to why so much of the terrorist activity in recent years appears to involve immigrants or their offspring.
The total immigrant population – defined as anyone not born in the U.S. – swelled to a record 42.1 million in the second quarter of 2015.
In the last year alone, the number of recent immigrants living in America grew by 1.7 million, and about three-fourths of them entered the U.S. legally. The data also shows a resurgence in Mexican immigration, with 740,000 Mexicans entering the U.S., the majority legally, following three years of declining numbers. Immigration from the Middle East and Africa are growing at a much faster rate than from Europe, according to a report on the data by the Center for Immigration Studies.
The total immigrant population in the U.S. from sub-Saharan Africa doubled from 2000 to 2007 and then nearly doubled again from 2007 to 2015, where it stands at 1.8 million. The Middle Eastern immigrant population – meaning only those born abroad and not those born to immigrants on U.S. soil – doubled from 983,000 in 2000 to 1.9 million in 2015.
European immigrant population, by contrast, actually declined over that same period, going from 4.4 million in 2000 to 4.3 million in 2015.
About 100,000 new Middle Eastern immigrants enter the U.S. each year, said Steven Camarota, director of research for CIS and co-author of the report.
“So the Mideast immigrant population is up by about 600,000 just since 2007; it’s grown quite a bit the last few years and is at 1.9 million now,” Camarota said. “At the same time, the number of immigrants from Europe has slowed way down.”
Despite the recent terrorist activity carried out by Muslim immigrants and children of Muslim immigrants, including the fatal shooting last month of five U.S. military servicemen in Chattanooga, presidential candidates have been unwilling to discuss the issue of legal immigration in general, much less Muslim immigration.
WND sent a questionnaire to the top 10 GOP candidates last week asking whether it was time to consider reining in immigration from Muslim-dominated countries in light of the Chattanooga attack and numerous other foiled attacks. None of the candidates responded.
Cruz launches inquiry with Sessions
One candidate appears to at least have the issue on his radar screen, however.
Presidential contender Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, joined Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., in sending a letter to the Obama administration demanding answers to 15 questions that would tie the recent spate of terrorist attacks to the nation’s immigration deluge.
The Aug. 12 letter states that 72 immigrants have been identified, just in the past year, as having been involved in terrorist activity:
“Based on publicly available information, we have identified at least 72 individuals in the United States who, over the last year: have engaged in or attempted to engage in acts of terrorism; conspired or attempted to conspire to provide material support to a terrorist organization; engaged in criminal conduct inspired by terrorist ideology; or who have been sentenced for any of the foregoing. We would like to understand more about these individuals, and others similarly situated in recent history, and the nexus between terrorism and our immigration system.”
Fazliddin Kurbanov, who arrived as a United Nations refugee from Uzbekistan in 2009 being resettle in Boise, Idaho, was arrested in 2013 on terrorism charges. A jury found him guilty Wednesday of gathering explosives in his Boise apartment and planning to blow up military facilities, the Times-News of Idaho reported.
The Russian-speaking Kurbanov, a truck driver, also provided computer support and money to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which the U.S. government has identified as a terrorist organization.
The FBI has said it has active investigations into potential ISIS fighters or lone-wolf sympathizers in all 50 states.
The Chattanooga shooter, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, 25, emigrated from Kuwait in 1996 with his parents at the age of 6. He joined his high-school wrestling team, earned solid grades and graduated with an engineering degree from a local college.
Hoda Muthana, a 20-year-old woman from Hoover, Alabama, was born to recent immigrants from Yemen and was attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham before she left in November 2014 to join ISIS.
The six Somali-Americans from Minneapolis who were arrested in April of this year were from refugee families that came legally to the U.S. from Somalia and were enrolled at various colleges.
The same goes for the Boston Marathon bombers. They came legally as children as asylum seekers from Muslim Chechnya.
European countries are dealing with similar problems, on an even greater scale, with their Muslim immigrant populations. Every week there are new attacks and reports of violence.
Just this week, a Muslim asylum seeker from Eritrea committed a double homicide inside an IKEA store near Stockholm, Sweden. He allegedly beheaded a woman with a steak knife in the store and stabbed her son to death.
Border security alone will do nothing to vet refugees and visa holders coming into the U.S., Sessions said. ISIS itself has tweeted promises to infiltrate the world’s growing refugee population as a means of entry into Western nations.
“Improved border security would have no effect on the continued arrival of these new foreign workers, refugees and permanent immigrants – because they are all invited here by the federal government,” Sessions said at an Aug. 3 subcommittee hearing.
Rubio, Bush, Obama on same team?
Whether it’s on the low end of the economy with unskilled workers or on the high end with highly skilled tech workers, the Democrats have teamed up with establishment GOP lawmakers to encourage more legal immigration, Sessions said.
On the low end, 9.6 million illegal immigrants were removed from any danger of being deported by President Obama’s unilateral declaration of amnesty last November. About 5 million are in line for green cards and other benefits.
On the high end, Sen. Marco Rubio has co-sponsored the I-Squared bill in the Senate that would triple the number of skilled “guest workers” allowed into the country every year on H1-B visas – from 65,000 to at least 195,000 while also allowing unlimited student visas for university diploma mills.
Microsoft and other corporate fans of Rubio’s bill have argued that America doesn’t produce enough skilled tech workers to fulfill their needs, an argument Sessions says has been exposed as sheer propaganda in light of recent layoffs of 7,800 workers at Microsoft. Disney, Southern California Edison, Northeast Utilities, Harley Davidson and others have cut loose their American workers only to replace them with foreign workers at lower wages.
Rubio, who is running for president, is joined by Jeb Bush in backing the legislation. The 16 GOP candidates in general have been reluctant to talk about scaling back legal immigration from its record levels of more than 1.1 million people per year. They have preferred to speak about illegal immigration and border security, though that accounts for less than one-fourth of the immigrants coming into the country, Camarota said.
But while the candidates are silent, some big names in talk radio are starting to mention not just illegal immigration but all immigration as something that needs to be reined in. Mark Levin addressed the issue in no uncertain terms in his Aug. 12 program.
“Day in and day out we’re told about the dreamers. Who are the dreamers? Illegal alien children. Well we have dreamers too – our children. What about our children? They never talk about our children. Jeb Bush, the Republican establishment, the Democrats. What about the impact of illegal immigration? What about the waves and waves and waves of legal immigrants, on our children, their job prospects? And we’re told ‘be happy, in 2044 we’re going to cease to be a white nation.’ What does that mean? What’s with all this racist nonsense? You’re going to accept your changes to culture, and demographics, the damage to jobs and the economy, and all the mayhem it creates, with the lack of assimilation and Americanization. And you’re told there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. Worse than that you’re condemned. You’re accused of xenophobia, if you dare to say ‘hey slow down a minute.'”
Listen to Mark Levin’s statements about mass immigration and what it’s doing to America:
The ‘greening’ of America
The most significant of all U.S.-issued immigration documents is, by far, the “green card,” Sessions said.
“When a foreign citizen is issued a green card, it guarantees them the following benefits inside the United States: lifetime work authorization, access to federal welfare, access to Social Security and Medicare, the ability to obtain citizenship and voting privileges, and the immigration of their family members and elderly relatives.”
Holding a green card makes an immigrant a “lawful permanent resident.” About 1 million of these cards are handed out per year in the U.S. under current policy.
Department of Homeland Security data shows the U.S. issued 5.25 million green cards in the last five years, an average of 1.05 million new legal permanent immigrants annually.
Border security came up in the presidential debates, but there has been no discussion of the overall level of immigration; this at a time when total immigration is surging.
“It’s an interesting question as to why that is,” Camarota said. “There is a lot of public dissatisfaction and a lot of what people don’t like about illegal immigration can also be said of legal immigration, although most people aren’t aware that legal immigration is at record levels. Does it make sense to give out a million green cards every year? You may say it does but to not even have a debate about it when the numbers are growing out of control, when we’re seeing 900,000 births per year, what does that mean for the impact on pollution to the environment, on jobs and the labor market, on the schools, the health-care system?”
Stagnant wages tied to immigration
If nothing is done to change the rate of influx, the immigrant population by 2026 will have added another 10 million to 11 million legal permanent residents. The impact on the job market alone will be huge, Camarota said.
“We’ve had two decades in which there’s been very little wage growth and rates of employment that are very low, particularly for people in their 20s,” Camarota said. “Yet, none of these issues are talked about. Even Donald Trump isn’t talking.
“Bottom line is, immigration touches on many things that directly impact the lives of Americans and yet there’s no national discussion of it,” he continued. “There has been 70 immigrants just this year who’ve tried to join ISIS or engage in terrorist activity here at home, and the president wants to bring in 35,000 refugees from Syria over the next year. Does that make sense? What is in the national security interest of the U.S.? Again, that’s a very valid question, but why are we not even having a discussion? We can talk about sanctuary cities but that’s just one small aspect of the problem.”
There’s also the issue of political representation in Congress. Republican representation will be steadily diluted if present rates of legal immigration are continued, Camarota said.
“States that are comprised heavily of American citizens like Pennsylvania and Ohio lose out to states with high numbers of immigrants because the Census Bureau counts all immigrants, including illegals, and again that’s never discussed,” Camarota said. “So you’ve got the impact on jobs, schools, national security, crime, healthcare, political representation, at a time where wages have been stagnant or declined and a near record number of working-age people are not working we are having no discussion of our record levels of legal and illegal immigration, so that’s really amazing. It’s hard to think of another issue that touches on so many issues of American life that’s not getting discussed.”
If current policies don’t change, Camarota said the U.S. will be vaguely recognizable in 2050.
He sees the gap between the haves and have-nots growing. The middle class gets squeezed.
“We should be asking, does immigration play a role in work opportunities and the accumulation of wealth, leading to a much more unequal income situation where you have a large poverty class and a very wealthy class but very little in the middle,” he said. “Mass immigration will also create significant upward pressure for more government programs to help the enlarged low-income population. One out of every three children living in poverty today lives in an immigrant household.”
Among the other findings of Camarota’s report:
- The nation’s immigrant or foreign-born population, which includes legal and illegal immigrants, grew by 4.1 million from the second quarter of 2011 to the second quarter of 2015 — 1.7 million in just the last year.
- Immigrants are 13.3 percent of the nation’s total population — the largest share in 105 years.
- Growth in the last year was led by a rebound in the number of Mexican immigrants, which increased by 740,000 from 2014 to 2015 — accounting for 44 percent of the increase in the total immigrant population in the last year.
- The total Mexican immigrant population (legal and illegal) reached 12.1 million in the second quarter of 2015 — the highest quarterly total ever.
- Prior research has indicated that net migration (the number coming vs. the number leaving) from Mexico had fallen to zero; the recent growth indicates that the period of zero net migration from Mexico has ended.
- In addition to Mexico, growth in the immigrant population was led by a 449,000 increase in the last year from countries in Latin America other than Mexico.
- The Department of Homeland Security and other researchers have estimated that eight in 10 illegal immigrants are from Mexico and Latin America, so the increase in immigrants from these countries is an indication that illegal immigration has begun growing again.
- The number of immigrants in the United States is now enormous, but it must be recognized that most immigrants, including those from Latin America, are in the country legally. Absent a change in legal immigration policy, the immigrant population will continue to increase.