Illegal Immigration Explained – Profits & Poverty, Social Security & Starvation
Why the Federal Government Can’t End Illegal Immigration
From Deborah White, former About.com Guide
The US and Mexican governments actively entice illegal immigrants to enter this country and to work illegally for profit-hungry U.S. employers. Poverty-stricken immigrants , who are often desperate to house and feed their families, respond to the financial enticements…and then are blamed by U.S. citizenry for illegally being in the US.
The purpose of this 4-part article is to explain why the US federal government can’t afford and doesn’t soon plan to to end illegal immigration.
Part 1 – United States Borders Are Barely Enforced
Ten million illegal immigrants live in the US, according to estimates by academic and government agencies, although Bear-Stearns investment firm analysts claim that the US illegal immigrant population “may be as high as 20 million people.”
About 75% of undocumented immigrants arrive across the US southern border with Mexico, and hail from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia and other Central and South American countries. The bulk…about 50% of all illegals….are Mexican-born people.
Time magazine stated in 2004 that illegal immigration accelerated under the Bush Administration, with the US gaining 3 million additional illegal immigrant residents in 2004. A third of all illegal immigrants in the US live in California. Other states with large illegal populations are, in descending order, Texas, New York, Illinois, Florida and Arizona.
After more than 100 years in existence, President Bush dissolved the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)in March 2003 and absorbed it into the new Homeland Security Department, along with FEMA and dozens of other federal agencies created to help citizens and residents.
Until its dissolution, the INS had been part of the Justice Department since 1940, and before that, part of the US Labor Department. After the September 11, 2001 tragedy, the Bush Administration complained that the INS was insufficiently focused on deporting and expelling illegal immigrants, and thus asked that it be transferred to Homeland Security.
The US Border Patrol is charged with the responsibility of enforcing illegal immigration across US borders. Until 2003, the Border Patrol was part of the INS, but was also folded into Homeland Security (as a separate agency from INS).
The massive US intelligence agencies overhaul passed by Congress and signed by President Bush in January 2005 required Homeland Security to hire 10,000 more Border Patrol agents, 2,000 per year starting immediately. The Border Patrol currently employs 9,500 agents who patrol 8,000 miles of border.
But Bush Administration ignored the law mandating the hiring of new agents. Said Congressman John Culberson (R-TX) to CNN’s Lou Dobbs, “Unfortunately, the White House ignored the law, and only asked us for 200 more agents. That’s unacceptable.” Culberson was referring to the federal budget for 2006 in which President Bush provided funds for only 210 new agents, not 2,000 additional agents.
Both houses of Congress worked together twice in 2005 to bypass the White House, and hire 1,500 new Border Patrol agents……500 shy of that required by law, but far surpassing the mere 210 planned by President Bush.
The US-Mexico border remains significantly under-patrolled. On October 7, 2005, 80 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to the President, calling on him to enforce immigration laws, and deferring consideration of the White House’s proposed guest-worker immigration program. “History has shown that enforcement provisions are ignored and underfunded…” said the Congressional letter.
Meanwhile, Congressman Culberson told CNN’s Lou Dobbs on October 7, 2005, “We’ve got a full-scale war going on our southern border. You don’t need to go to Iraq to see a war. We’ve got widespread lawlessness…We need boots on the ground…ASAP.”
Part 2 – Widespread Poverty and Hunger in Mexico
According to the World Bank, 53% of Mexico’ population of 104 million residents live in poverty, which is defined as living on less than $2 a day. Close to 24% of Mexico’s population live in extreme poverty, which means they live on less than $1 a day.
The bottom 40% of Mexican households share less than 11% of the country’s wealth. Millions live in extreme poverty,and children are compelled to work on the streets in order to help provide food for their families.
Unemployment in Mexico is realistically estimated near 40%, and there are no government unemployment benefits. There are also virtually no welfare benefits to provide the basics for poverty-stricken, often-starving women, children and families.