A Fistful of Dollars

How much money did your grandparents bring to Ellis Island?

We often hear rags-to-riches stories within our own families: “So-and-so came here with only $10 in his pocket and there was no welfare check waiting for him.” But no matter how bleak things were for that immigrant generation, they had “White Privilege,” so we are told.  But I recall photos of signs reading “Irish Need Not Apply” and job advertisements like “Negroes $1.25 per day, Italians $1.00.”  Times were hard for everyone in the good ole days.

Times are still difficult for immigrants but there is a support system most of us aren’t aware of. The NY Times had a story recently on refugees who struggle to repay travel loans they obtained to get here.  It seems our State Dept offers no-interest loans, up to $1,100 per refugee to come here. Are you fleeing the Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, or any danger spot?  Not only can you claim asylum in the U.S. but we’ll pay for your plane tickets.  Family of four?  That’ll be a $4,400 loan and four years to repay.  Not every refugee needs or wants a loan from Uncle Sam, but the State Dept keeps $10 million set aside for them.  About 25% of the 50,000 annual refugee borrowers stiff the government.  Plus, taxpayers lose 25% in fees to private administrators.

Once refugees arrive they have a financial support system our grandparents could only dream of. It costs taxpayers $12 billion per year to support refugees – 75% paid by the federal government, 25% by the state.   In addition, the refugee can tap into food stamps, Medicaid, local welfare payments, schools, and Social Security programs.  (We are just talking about refugees, not standard immigrants or illegals.)

I’m sorry if I sound like a xenophobe but there are some fine lessons to be learned as our country inserts itself around the world. Whether we invade foreign shores or open our hearts to suicidal nations, we ultimately change the already stressed demography of the United States with an unending influx of diverse races, religions, and cultures.  And, we merrily pay for our transformation.  Every country we upend militarily becomes a source of new immigrants and a financial drain, not to mention the havoc our bombs sow on the people who can’t escape.  Al Qaeda was born with our First Gulf War in 1991.  ISIS came to being with the Iraq War in 2003.  Doing nothing is sometimes a better option.

Today’s Times would give anyone pause.  It seems that Italian American Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, is an evangelical Christian who is preparing for The Rapture.  His work and dreams for the Middle East are strongly based on Biblical prophecy!  Elsewhere in the news, while Italian nationalists are resisting uncontrolled immigration from Africa, our Italian Argentine Pope Francis is in Morocco encouraging open borders.  Maybe we are rightly worried about the fate of Western Civilization.

As far as our Southern border, it seems the media – and even NBC’s Chuck Todd – now admit there is a crisis at the border.  Border agents report masses of over 13,000 aliens are reaching the fence each day. (The normal number is 4,000).  On Meet the Press, Chuck Todd asked former Colorado Governor Hickenlooper, a Democratic presidential contender, how he would address the crisis right now.  He only managed to sputter something about not separating children from their parents and “this nation was built on immigrants.”  So much for his crisis management skills.

I have a funny feeling that as we approach the 2020 elections many Democrats will start sounding like Donald Trump with regard to immigration.  Even candidates of color will have to admit our nation has lost control of its demographics.  Gaining U.S. citizenship by birth tourism has reached an industrial level for Chinese women.  Flooding our porous borders by the tens of thousands with children as passkeys is now a military science in Central America.  The Third World that blamed the West for destroying its primitive paradise now risks death to taste what Greco-Roman civilization created.

But these tired huddled masses all yearn to replace us. -JLM

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