“White Immigrants Get a Pass; Brown Ones Do Not.” That is the title of an August 12 commentary authored by the Rev. Robert Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches.
In that piece, Rev. Edgar complains that “devilishly clever” conservative “fearmongers” and “demagogues” are using “nearly every scare tactic they can think of to reduce us [Americans] to a highly suspicious lot all too willing to not love the alien[s] as ourselves and to evict them from their homes, get them fired, separate them from their families, in an all out rampage of oppression and prejudice.” “Immigrants have become the contemporary scapegoat,” he says. “It’s time we call it for what it is — racism.” Edgar characterizes illegals generally as “people who have come here in search of the same thing my northern European ancestors were seeking … a better life for their families, more opportunities for their children and to learn English.” “They [illegals] already pay millions in taxes and contribute to their communities,” he emphasizes.
Just a week prior to the publication of Rev. Edgar’s piece, four African Americans (two male, two female) aged 18 to 20 were accosted in a Newark, New Jersey parking lot by a quartet of murderous savages, two of whom proceeded to sexually assault the women before forcing all four victims to kneel on the ground and shooting them in the head, execution style. Three of the four victims died. The two primary suspects are 28-year-old Jose Lachira Carranza and 24-year-old Rodolfo Godinez — illegal aliens from Peru and Nicaragua, respectively. At the time of the attack, Carranza was free on $150,000 bail despite 31 pending indictments related to his having committed repeated sexual assaults over a four-year period against a girl who “was in his care” beginning when she was four years old.
Rev. Edgar, of course, sees absolutely nothing in the bestial cruelty exhibited by Carranza and Godinez that invalidates the sentiments he expresses in his most recent article. Similar anecdotal anomalies could be cited about members of any demographic group, he would argue. But what Edgar and the rest of the religious Left invariably fail to address in any meaningful way are the staggering aggregate facts that go far beyond anecdotal observations of illegal immigrants’ criminality. Consider just a few, as reported by FamilySecurityMatters.org:
- At the end of 2003, approximately 267,000 illegal aliens were incarcerated in U.S. correctional facilities — at an annual cost to American taxpayers of $6.8 billion.
- A Government Accountability Office study of 55,322 incarcerated illegal aliens found that they had been arrested a total of 459,614 times (about 8 times apiece) for some 700,000 criminal offenses (roughly 13 offenses each).
- Human Events contributor Mac Johnson estimates that illegal aliens murder between 1,806 and 2,510 people in the United States each year; Iowa Congressman Steve King places the figure much higher, at nearly 4,400.
- According to a “conservative estimate” by Dr. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin of the Violent Crimes Institute, the illegal alien population in the U.S. includes approximately 240,000 sex offenders who commit about 131,000 sex crimes annually. Sixty-three percent of those offenses are committed by people who were previously deported.
- The website Gangs Or Us estimates that the violent gang MS-13, which originated in Central America, currently has more than 15,000 members and associates in at least 115 separate cliques in 33 U.S. states.
- According to one study, mostly illegal-alien Hispanics were involved in about one-fourth of all fatal traffic accidents, meaning that their involvement in such events exceeded their representation in the overall U.S. population by a factor of 5. Moreover, illegal aliens are involved in DWI arrests at a rate that is 3 to 6 times greater than their representation in the population.
- Tuberculosis is widespread in many illegal alien communities, and a new Multiple-Drug-Resistant (MDR) form of TB — whose treatment costs between $250,000 and $1.2 million per patient — is becoming increasingly common. It is estimated that each person infected with TB will infect 10 others.
On July 26, 2006, Steven Camarota -- Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies — reported the following while testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee:
· “[I]n 2002, [households headed by illegal aliens] imposed costs of $26 billion on the federal government and paid $16 billion in federal taxes, creating an annual net fiscal deficit of $10.4 billion at the federal level, or $2,700 per household. Among the largest costs were Medicaid ($2.5 billion); treatment for the uninsured ($2.2 billion); food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC [Women, Infants, and Children], and free school lunches ($1.9 billion); the federal prison/court systems ($1.6 billion); and federal aid to schools ($1.4 billion).”
· “[C]ontrary to the perceptions that illegal aliens don’t pay payroll taxes, we estimate that more than half of illegals work ‘on the books.’ On average, illegal households pay more than $4,200 a year in all forms of federal taxes. Unfortunately, they impose costs of $6,950 per household.”
Camarota further testified that granting amnesty to illegals would only grow that deficit:
One of my most important findings with regard to illegal aliens is that if they were given legal status and began to pay taxes and use services like households headed by legal immigrants with the same education levels, the estimated annual net fiscal deficit would increase from $2,700 per household to nearly $7,700, for a total net cost of $29 billion. Costs increase dramatically because less-educated immigrants with legal status — what most illegal aliens would become — can access government programs, but still tend to make very modest tax payments. Of course, I also found that their income would rise, as would their tax payment if legalized. I estimate that tax payments would increase 77 percent, but costs would rise by 118 percent.
Another American societal crisis that illegal aliens exacerbate is the scourge of illegitimacy. As Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald points out, half of all Hispanic children born in the U.S. in 2002 were illegitimate — twice the rate for American whites and 42 percent higher than the overall rate nationwide. Nor can this trend be blamed on some factor inherent in American culture, since the illegitimacy rate for foreign-born Hispanics is 40 percent. In El Salvador, it is an astonishing 72 percent.
In April 2006 MacDonald testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims, where she warned of the “illegal alien crime wave” flooding American society. Among the figures she cited were these:
· The L.A. County Sheriff reported in 2000 that 23 percent of inmates in county jails were deportable.
· Illegals were the targets of 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (which totaled 1,200 to 1,500) in Los Angeles during the first half of 2004. In addition, as many as two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (which totaled about 17,000) were for illegal aliens.
According to the Arizona Republic, “Arizona taxpayers pay an estimated $1.3 billion a year for health care, education and prison costs of undocumented immigrants.” This figure included $810 million to educate illegal immigrants and their children, $400 million for their health care, and $80 million for prison costs.
The foregoing facts represent merely the barest fraction of a crisis that is essentially unacknowledged by individuals like the pious Robert Edgar. Such men view America as little more than a racist snake pit whose capitalist economic structure has corrupted the collective soul of its citizenry. In their view, anyone who expresses an interest in not having himself or his family members slaughtered in the streets by a segment of the population whose criminality is far out of proportion to its numbers, is casually dismissed as a “racist.” Anyone who is reluctant to shoulder the crushing financial burden imposed upon him by the recklessness and incivility of people who have willfully chosen to disregard the immigration laws of the United States, is routinely branded a “fearmonger” or a “scapegoater.”
This approach by Edgar (and his ideological kin) is no accident. It is perfectly consistent with his value system. If we know that someone wishes to see a particular plant wilt and die in the sun, we should not be surprised to find that he will not water it.