Report By Richard Geno
Mark Krikorian was spectacular. He was articulate and enthusiastic about the topic of immigration. 160 people packed the American Legion Hall to hear one of the most scholarly presentations about immigration. His thesis is that immigrants have not changed that much since a century ago; the American policies have changed. Mass immigration was an important phase for the United States, but it no longer is.
He likened the eating of donuts at the age of 8 compared to at the age of 48. An 8-year old can eat a half dozen donuts, and not have any ill effects; but at 48, eating just a few donuts can be bad for one's health. Why? Because our metabolism has changed. Mark indicated that mass immigration has a negative impact on a mature society.
100 years ago, the primary sector of our economy was farming and mining; and the low-skilled immigrants who came to America were contributors to the economy. During the 20th Century, we graduated to the secondary sector - manufacturing. Now, America is in the tertiary sector - the service economy that values education more than ever. The immigrants who migrate to American are still primarily low-skilled immigrants.
In other words, 19th Century-style workers are entering a 21st Century world. This creates three problems for the economy. First for the immigrant; his ability to increase his income is dramatically limited. For America's low-skilled workers, it pushes down wages. For the employers, it discourages business from developing advanced methods of improving efficiency because there are so many low-paid workers available.
Mark Krikorian indicates that we have been forewarned that you cannot have open immigration with a welfare society. The average high school dropout American citizen consumes $20,000 per year more in government benefits than they pay in taxes. Today's average immigrant falls into that category. While there are always the occasional exceptions to the rule, on the average, the new immigrant to America is a net drain of $20,000 per year to the country.
100 years ago, it was expected that the immigrant would assimilate. Today, because of multi-culturism, people just do not assimilate. Secondly, because of modern technology, the new immigrant does not actually live 100% in the United States. The immigrant can call home regularly because of technology and the low cost of communication, whether it be by telephone or computer. Because of cheap travel, families can and do visit their old homes regularly.
Mass immigration makes it extremely difficult to screen the "bad guys." It creates a tremendous amount of pressure on the immigration infrastructure. There is a great deal of "cover" for gangs, drug dealers and terrorists. Mark Krikorian suggested a three-tiered approach towards immigration that would limit new immigrants to 400,000 per year. The first tier would be family, but limited to spouses and children (300-325,000). The second tier would be skilled and highly educated (25-40,000). The third tier would be for humanitarian purposes - refugees/political asylum - (50-60,000).
Mark Krikorian brought several copies of his book, "The New Case Against Immigration: Both Legal and Illegal." He signed each book, and sold out the supply that he had shipped from the East Coast.
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