The Dark Side Of Illegal Immigration
The Dark Side Of Illegal Immigration
Facts, Figures And Statistics On Illegal Immigration

Impacts of Illegal Immigration: American Infrastructure

Take you pick: schools, hospitals, parks, roads, urban sprawl, police force, judicial system, water and sanitation systems, among others. Anything that more people impact, illegal aliens impact and often to a far greater degree, since they generally aren't paying for any of it. Also, many spend as little as possible and send all their money home, as noted in a December 2006 article by Daniel González in The Arizona Republic, Poor workers scrimp, send money home. Regardless, one of the most common comments from Americans regarding the May 1, 2006 boycott was how much less traffic was on the highways in cities where the largest boycotts occurred.

Before discussing the specific impacts of illegal aliens in detail, we will take a look at some information on immigration in general so we can put illegal immigration in its proper perspective.

We often hear that immigration is lower now than it was in the past. Well, that depends on the definitions of "lower" and "past" and what the speaker includes in the term "immigration." As the below chart illustrates, legal immigration is close to the high peaks of one hundred years ago and is far greater than the levels of 1886 when the Statue of Liberty was dedicated on Liberty Island.

Of course we all know that the Statue of Liberty welcomes immigrants to the USA with Emma Lazarus' famous poem, The New Colossus, which contains the words:
Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

However, what you may not know is that the words were not affixed to the Statue of Liberty until 1906 and author John T. Cunningham noted that "the Statue of Liberty was not conceived and sculpted as a symbol of immigration, but it quickly became so as immigrant ships passed under [the statue]. However, it was [Lazarus' poem] that permanently stamped on Miss Liberty the role of unofficial greeter of incoming immigrants." As noted by John Cunningham, Emma Lazarus actually had other ideas.

In 2005 we allowed 1,122,373 legal immigrants permanent resident status.

As the above chart illustrates the current legal immigration into the USA with a current population of 300 million is similar to the great waves of legal immigration around 1900 when the population was much lower. In fact, in 1900 the population was a rather sparse 63 million – about what the combined population of just what California and Texas is today.

That chart, however, does not display the illegal immigration component as the following chart does:

Note that we now see that the numbers of immigrants are higher than they have ever been and the numbers of illegal immigrants is approaching the number of legal immigrants. Some of the newer data actually indicates that annual number of illegal aliens entering now exceeds legal immigrants.

The net result is that the overall immigrant population in the United States is now the highest it has ever been as noted in the following chart:

Go to the Dept. of Homeland Security's Yearbook of Immigration Statistics for detailed information on both legal and illegal immigration.

However, since we are now talking absolute numbers, it is worth noting that the Wall Street investment firm Bear Stearns published a report, The Underground Labor Force is Rising to the Surface, in January 2005 which claims that the illegal alien population was double the official government estimate of 9 million and was closer to 20 million.

Also, in October, 2006, Virginia Deane Abernethy, Ph.D. and Chairman of the Population-Environment Balance of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine published a report, Census Bureau Distortions Hide Immigration Crisis - Real Numbers Much Higher where she claims that "7.2 million aliens enter illegally each year" and notes that the "Census Bureau is a willing participant to misinforming the public on the state of the nation." Illegal immigration information from US Border Report – Migration Across the Mexican Border also supports much higher numbers.

If Bear Stearns is correct, the immigration numbers would double. If Dr. Abernethy is correct, the numbers skyrocket.

In any case, and using "official" numbers, when the immigration percentage rate was higher 100 years ago it was when the population was about one fifth of what it is today. Immigration numbers are now far greater than ever experienced in US history. With an already crowded nation, the additional illegal immigrants are negatively impacting American society. Part of the reason for this is the difference in times between the two great waves of immigration.

The basic problem with immigration of today is that it is not your grandparents' immigration. The situation is different, society is different, the country is not under-populated, and the illegal immigrants have different skills and motivations. And your grandparents didn't receive welfare payments.

As reported in the June 13, 2006 issue of Newsweek in an article, The Hard Truth of Immigration, by Robert J. Samuelson:

"... Being brutally candid means recognizing that the huge and largely uncontrolled inflow of unskilled Latino workers into the United States is increasingly sabotaging the assimilation process.

and

"... no society has a boundless capacity to accept newcomers, especially when many are poor and unskilled."

As noted by Steven Malanga in How Unskilled Immigrants Hurt Our Economy:

"... Since the mid-1960s, America has welcomed nearly 30 million legal immigrants and received perhaps another 15 million illegals, numbers unprecedented in our history. These immigrants have picked our fruit, cleaned our homes, cut our grass, worked in our factories, and washed our cars. But they have also crowded into our hospital emergency rooms, schools, and government-subsidized aid programs, sparking a fierce debate about their contributions to our society and the costs they impose on it.

... these workers add little to our economy, they come at great cost, because they are not economic abstractions but human beings, with their own culture and ideas—often at odds with our own. Increasing numbers of them arrive with little education and none of the skills necessary to succeed in a modern economy. Many may wind up stuck on our lowest economic rungs, where they will rely on something that immigrants of other generations didn't have: a vast U.S. welfare and social-services apparatus that has enormously amplified the cost of immigration. Just as welfare reform and other policies are helping to shrink America's underclass by weaning people off such social programs, we are importing a new, foreign-born underclass. As famed free-market economist Milton Friedman puts it: "It's just obvious that you can't have free immigration and a welfare state."

... Hampering today's immigration debate are our misconceptions about the so-called first great migration some 100 years ago, with which today's immigration is often compared. We envision that first great migration as a time when multitudes of Emma Lazarus's "tired," "poor," and "wretched refuse" of Europe's shores made their way from destitution to American opportunity.

... But that argument distorts the realities of the first great migration. Though fleeing persecution or economic stagnation in their homelands, that era's immigrants - Jewish tailors and seamstresses who helped create New York's garment industry, Italian stonemasons and bricklayers who helped build some of our greatest buildings, German merchants, shopkeepers, and artisans - all brought important skills with them that fit easily into the American economy. Those waves of immigrants - many of them urban dwellers who crossed a continent and an ocean to get here - helped supercharge the workforce at a time when the country was going through a transformative economic expansion that craved new workers, especially in its cities

... Many of these immigrants quickly found a place in our economy, participating in the workforce at a higher rate even than the native population. Their success at finding work sent many of them quickly up the economic ladder: those who stayed in America for at least 15 years, for instance, were just as likely to own their own business as native-born workers of the same age, one study found. Another study found that their American-born children were just as likely to be accountants, engineers, or lawyers as Americans whose families had been here for generations."

What the newcomers of the great migration did not find here was a vast social-services and welfare state. They had to rely on their own resources or those of friends, relatives, or private, often ethnic, charities if things did not go well.

... The flood of immigrants, both legal and illegal, from countries with poor, ill-educated populations, has yielded a mismatch between today's immigrants and the American economy and has left many workers poorly positioned to succeed for the long term. Unlike the immigrants of 100 years ago, whose skills reflected or surpassed those of the native workforce at the time, many of today's arrivals, particularly the more than half who now come from Central and South America, are farm workers in their home countries who come here with little education or even basic training in blue-collar occupations like carpentry or machinery

The article goes on to note:

... "Because so much of our legal and illegal immigrant labor is concentrated in such fringe, low-wage employment, its overall impact on our economy is extremely small. A 1997 National Academy of Sciences study estimated that immigration's net benefit to the American economy raises the average income of the native-born by only some $10 billion a year - about $120 per household. And that meager contribution is not the result of immigrants helping to build our essential industries or making us more competitive globally but instead merely delivering our pizzas and cutting our grass. Estimates by pro-immigration forces that foreign workers contribute much more to the economy, boosting annual gross domestic product by hundreds of billions of dollars, generally just tally what immigrants earn here, while ignoring the offsetting effect they have on the wages of native-born workers.

If the benefits of the current generation of migrants are small, the costs are large and growing because of America's vast range of social programs and the wide advocacy network that strives to hook low-earning legal and illegal immigrants into these programs. A 1998 National Academy of Sciences study found that more than 30 percent of California's foreign-born were on Medicaid—including 37 percent of all Hispanic households - compared with 14 percent of native-born households. The foreign-born were more than twice as likely as the native-born to be on welfare, and their children were nearly five times as likely to be in means-tested government lunch programs. Native-born households pay for much of this, the study found, because they earn more and pay higher taxes - and are more likely to comply with tax laws. Recent immigrants, by contrast, have much lower levels of income and tax compliance (another study estimated that only 56 percent of illegals in California have taxes deducted from their earnings, for instance). The study's conclusion: immigrant families cost each native-born household in California an additional $1,200 a year in taxes.

Immigration's bottom line has shifted so sharply that in a high-immigration state like California, native-born residents are paying up to ten times more in state and local taxes than immigrants generate in economic benefits. Moreover, the cost is only likely to grow as the foreign-born population - which has already mushroomed from about 9 percent of the U.S. population when the NAS studies were done in the late 1990s to about 12 percent today – keeps growing. And citizens in more and more places will feel the bite, as immigrants move beyond their traditional settling places. From 1990 to 2005, the number of states in which immigrants make up at least 5 percent of the population nearly doubled from 17 to 29, with states like Arkansas, South Dakota, South Carolina, and Georgia seeing the most growth. This sharp turnaround since the 1970s, when immigrants were less likely to be using the social programs of the Great Society than the native-born population, says Harvard economist Borjas, suggests that welfare and other social programs are a magnet drawing certain types of immigrants - nonworking women, children, and the elderly - and keeping them here when they run into difficulty.

Almost certainly, immigrants' participation in our social welfare programs will increase over time, because so many are destined to struggle in our workforce. Despite our cherished view of immigrants as rapidly climbing the economic ladder, more and more of the new arrivals and their children face a lifetime of economic disadvantage, because they arrive here with low levels of education and with few work skills—shortcomings not easily overcome."

I would strongly suggest you read the entire article as this is a MUST READ!

Putting all this in perspective, read the March 2003 report from the Center for Immigration Studies, Back Where We Started - An Examination of Trends in Immigrant Welfare Use Since Welfare Reform, by Steven A. Camarota where he notes:

"The primary finding of this report is that welfare use by immigrant households remains much higher than that of natives. However, the mix of programs used by immigrants, and natives for that matter, has changed significantly since 1996. Use of TANF and food stamps has declined significantly among the foreign-born since 1996, while Medicaid use has risen somewhat. The enormous and growing cost of Medicaid means that there has likely been little or no savings for taxpayers. This is especially true when one considers the increase of 750,000 additional immigrant households using welfare programs. Immigrant households account for 18 percent of all households using the welfare system, up from just 14 percent in 1996. Thus in the most important sense, welfare reform with regard to immigrants seems to have failed. Or at the least, it has not generated the kind of savings for taxpayers that its proponents hoped it would. Immigrant welfare use remains high and they comprise a growing share of the welfare case load, mainly because a very large share have little education and the American economy offers very limited opportunities to such workers."

The report includes the following chart:


The bottom line is that all immigrants, legal and illegal, use welfare more than natives, uneducated immigrants use welfare even more, and if illegal immigrants are legalized through amnesty they will use twice as much welfare as they are currently using.

The report also notes that immigrants from different countries or regions use more or less welfare than others, although, this probably has to do more with the average education levels of the immigrants from those countries or regions.

Given the large numbers of immigrants currently in the USA, one of the more discouraging aspects of the study was:

Welfare Use Over Time.

Figure 5 shows the percentage of immigrant households using at least one major welfare program, based on how long the household head has lived here. Consistent with previous research, welfare use actually increases significantly with duration of stay in the United States for at least 20 years after arrival. Even immigrant households headed by someone who came to the country more than 20 years ago use welfare programs at a significantly higher rate than natives. In 2001, almost 21 percent of these long-time residents used welfare, compared to less than 15 percent of natives. This is true even though immigrants who arrived more than 20 years ago are on average much older than the average native. To some extent, assimilation for many immigrants means assimilation into the welfare system. This is the case both for immigrants in general and for legal immigrants.

Bob Brown notes in a guest opinion article in The Billings Gazette, Montana can plan ahead for Hispanic population wave:

"As New York Times columnist Paul Krugman noted, "poorly educated Mexican immigrants increase the supply of less-skilled labor, driving down the wages of less-skilled Americans." Ranking 45th among the states in per-capita income, Montanans need to realize that they could soon be competing for their jobs with undocumented immigrants. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, undocumented immigrants currently make up 27 percent of the national workforce of drywall and ceiling tile installers, 21 percent of roofers, 17 percent of cleaning and maintenance workers, and 11 percent of food preparation and service workers

The costs to our country of coping with this great escape are overwhelming. A minimum of 12 million, and perhaps as many as 20 million, Hispanics are in our country illegally. Court decisions and the selective enforcement of our laws have allowed many to remain here and receive the benefits of U.S. citizens. These include cash payments, food stamps, free medical care and all other tax-supported public services. The crime rate among undocumented Mexican immigrants is three to four times the national average. The cost of schooling, health care, welfare, Social Security and prisons - plus the additional pressure on land, water, and power resources - greatly exceeds the taxes undocumented immigrants pay. A Rice University study recently calculated that in 2006 the net annual cost of legal and illegal immigration will add up to $108 billion. The late Nobel Economist Milton Friedman observed, "It's just obvious that you can't have free immigration and the welfare state." But as our national debt mounts, and future Americans face a crushing burden, we continue to try to defy the obvious."

Or can you? As recently reported in the LA Times by in an article by Jordan Rau, Gov. to seek insurance for all children:

"SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will propose that all Californian children, including those in the state illegally, be guaranteed medical insurance as part of the health-care overhaul he intends to unveil next week, according to officials familiar with the plan.

If enacted by the Legislature, his proposal would affect about 763,000 children who now lack insurance. Although the administration has not revealed details of how it would pay for such a program, officials estimate that extending insurance to all children could cost the state as much as $400 million a year.

That would be a small piece of Schwarzenegger's stated goal: to ensure medical coverage for all of the 6.5 million Californians who now have none. Experts say that could cost upward of $10 billion a year."

However, as noted in an article by Edward Sifuentes in the North County Times, California's Illegal Aliens Cost Taxpayers Nearly $9 Billion A Year, "a bottom of the range number," Californians are already paying a hefty price for all their illegal alien guests. Add in another $10 billion more and that is now $19 billion. If one third of Californian's pay taxes that is about $2,000 per taxpayer.

In The Hard Truth of Immigration, Samuelson goes on to note:

"Consider a new study of Mexican immigrants by Harvard economists George Borjas and Lawrence Katz. Mexicans are now the single largest group of U.S. immigrants, 30 percent of the total in 2000. Indeed, the present Mexican immigration "is historically unprecedented, being both numerically and proportionately larger than any other immigrant influx in the past century," note Borjas and Katz. In 1920, for example, the two largest immigrant groups - Germans and Italians - totaled only 24 percent of the immigrant population.

Some Mexican-Americans have made spectacular gains, but the overall picture is dispiriting. Among men, about one in 20 U.S. workers is now a Mexican immigrant; in 1970, that was less than one in 100. The vast majority of Mexican workers lacked a high-school diploma in 2000 (63 percent for men, 57 percent for women). Only a tiny share had college degrees (3 percent for men, 5 percent for women). By contrast, only 7 percent of native-born U.S. workers were high-school dropouts and 28 percent were college graduates in 2000. Mexican workers are inevitably crammed into low-wage jobs: food workers, janitors, gardeners, laborers, farm workers. In 2000, their average wages were 41 percent lower than average U.S. wages for men and 33 percent lower for women.

But some things we do know - or can infer. For today's Mexican immigrants (legal or illegal), the closest competitors are tomorrow's Mexican immigrants (legal or illegal). The more who arrive, the harder it will be for existing low-skilled workers to advance. Despite the recession, immigration did not much slow after 2000, says Camarota. Not surprisingly, a study by the Pew Hispanic Center found that inflation-adjusted weekly earnings for all Hispanics (foreign and American-born) dropped by 2.2 percent in 2003 and 2.6 percent in 2004. "Latinos are the only major group of workers whose wages have fallen for two consecutive years," said the study. Similarly, the more poor immigrants, the harder it will be for schools to improve the skills of their children. The schools will be overwhelmed; the same goes for social services."

A notable portion of rising health costs and insurance premiums is due to subsidizing the medical costs of uninsured illegal aliens. Somebody has to pay for it.

As detailed in Illegal aliens threaten U.S. medical system between 1993 and 2003, 60 California hospitals closed because half their services were unpaid. Another 24 California hospitals are on the verge of closure. Both PA and NJ hospitals recently reported that they provided almost $2 billion in free emergency and short term care services, in large part to illegal aliens. Minnesota county commissioners say that the cost of medical care for uninsured immigrants is too high for local governments to bear and they expect a $4.2 billion budget shortfall over the next two years. NC has about $1.4 billion in un-reimbursed hospital expenses annually. The Texas Hospital Association directly spent $393 million treating illegal aliens in 2002. One third of the patients treated by the LA County Health System are illegal aliens and the system is facing a $300 million deficient. In AZ, the Southeast Arizona Medical Center had a $1 billion shortfall and recently filled for bankruptcy.

As reported in the Montery Harold in December 2006 in Medi-Cal pays for 100,000 births yearly to undocumented immigrants:

"More than 100,000 undocumented women each year bear children in California with expenses paid by Medi-Cal, according to state reports.

Such births and related expenses account for more than $400 million of the nearly $1 billion that the program spends annually on health care for illegal immigrants in California, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing state reports.

California long has been one of the more generous states in offering such benefits to illegal immigrants, covering everything from pregnancy tests to postpartum checkups.

Many illegal immigrants who might otherwise shy away from government services view care associated with childbirth as safe to seek.

''I wasn't afraid at all,'' said Sandra Andrade, an illegal immigrant from Colombia who recently gave birth at a Los Angeles hospital. ''I'd always heard that pregnant women are treated well here.''

That is the impact in a large city. Unfortunately smaller communities are also being impacted, often disproportionately so as the costs need to be spread over a smaller base. As noted in Latino births on rise at hospital:

"JACKSON -- A growing number of Latino births has boosted the number of births at St. John's Medical Center, which broke its record with 415 babies born last year.

While the number of Caucasian births has held steady at around 277 to 300 per year, the number of Latino births has increased from none in 1990 to more than 100 last year.

... There is not really an increasing birth rate among the Caucasian population," she said. "The primary population increase is due to the birth rate among the immigrant population."

The hospital has averaged 277 births per year, with spikes of 327 in fiscal year 1999-00, 340 in 2002-03, and 366 in 2003-04. "The demographics are changing," Day said. "There are more Latinas here of childbearing age."

She said Jackson Hole's first Latino immigrants were men who would leave their families behind in Mexico. She said their wives have begun moving to the area as well."

Note the trend?

Maybe Jackson Hole, an exclusive vacation area for the wealthy, can afford to pay for the medical expenses of all the illegal aliens but many less affluent communities can not.

As noted in a March 2005 article by William LaJeunese, L.A. Emergency Rooms Full of Illegal Immigrants, on Fox News:

"Sixty percent of the county's uninsured patients are not U.S. citizens. More than half are here illegally. About 2 million undocumented aliens in Los Angeles County alone are crowding emergency rooms because they can't afford to see a doctor.

According to the State Association of Hospitals, California's public health system is "on the brink of collapse." In Los Angeles County, patients can wait four days for a hospital bed and up to two years for gallbladder surgery.

"The hospitals are closing because of the totality of the uninsured," said Dr. Thomas Garthwaite, director of the Los Angeles County Health Department. "If you're legally a resident in California and you're poor, you have a right to basic services."

But some critics say the taxpayers can't be the HMO to the world. Last year, Los Angeles County spent $340 million to treat the uninsured; that's roughly $1,000 for every taxpayer."

A recent report out of New Jersey, Illegal immigrants straining health care - New figures hint at cost of treating the state's migrant population, notes:

"The New Jersey Hospital Association now estimates the state's 81 hospitals will spend between $275 million and $300 million treating uninsured illegal immigrants this year.

That's less than 2 percent of the $14 billion hospitals spend to treat patients. But for many hospitals already struggling financially, officials say it's another factor pushing them deeper into the red. And it hits some facilities harder than others -- particularly those in urban areas.

"We've been watching this issue for four or five years now and it's a sleeping giant," said hospital association spokesman Ron Czajkowski. "It is really starting to have a big impact now."

For more information on the impact of illegal aliens on the nation's medical system, see the links at the end of this section:

As noted by Mary Engel in a recent LA Times article, Immigrants' health assessed in Rand study:

"Research on successive generations shows adolescents in Asian families surpass Latinos in adopting healthful lifestyles.

With each generation in the United States, adolescents from Asian immigrant families improved their health habits, while their Latino counterparts either showed no improvement or developed worse habits, according to a Rand Corp. study released Tuesday.

The study, which looked at diet, exercise, television viewing and other practices among at least three generations of youths aged 12 to 17, could help explain rising rates of obesity and diabetes among Latinos.

Upon arrival in the United States, Asian and Latino immigrants started out drinking fewer sodas and eating more fruits and vegetables than whites, according to the study, which was based on a survey of nearly 6,000 adolescents in 2001.

After two generations, Asian youths caught up with or surpassed whites in other measures, including more hours exercising and fewer watching television.

Meanwhile, similar Latino adolescents had poorer diets than their Asian and white peers and were less likely to use seat belts, bicycle helmets or sunscreen, according to the study, published on the online edition of the American Journal of Public Health.

Previous research has suggested that Latino immigrants overall tend to enjoy relatively good health despite low incomes, a phenomenon known as the "Latino paradox." But these findings suggest that the effect could diminish with each generation.

"If the trend we're seeing here, at least for Latino teens, is true," the case that Latinos are doing better than expected "is probably not going to hold out over generations," said Dr. Michele L. Allen, the study's lead author.

The shear numbers of illegal aliens are overwhelming various public services. As noted in Arizona has tough fight ahead against illegal immigration:

"Prosecutors are overwhelmed by immigration court cases. There were nearly 580,000 arrests of illegal immigrants in Arizona last year, and less than 170,000 spaces available to hold detainees at any given time. Even officials charged with reducing illegal immigration and border crimes have increasingly turned against efforts to secure the border, according to speakers at the Border Management Summit, organized by the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement.

"We are now doing more public corruption cases than ever before," said Paul Charlton, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. More bribes are being accepted, or at least more people are getting caught taking them, he said.

Hundreds of assaults on Border Patrol agents also have been reported, Charlton said."

As noted in a March 2005 article by William La Jeunesse of Fox News, Border States Grapple With Alien Criminals:

"Many police officials in states along the U.S.-Mexican border say they are fed up with the number of illegal aliens populating American prisons, many of them incarcerated for violent crimes such as murder, rape and robbery.

Almost one in six inmates in Arizona, for example, is a Mexican citizen.

"It is a phenomenon that law enforcement recognizes as a major problem," said one undercover detective, who specializes in street gangs and goes by the name "Paco."

"We have to put drug users and violators in there, babysit them, and now we have to babysit illegal aliens," said Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio whose jails are 4,500 inmates over capacity.

Most Mexicans cross the border looking for work, but competition is fierce for jobs requiring uneducated, unskilled labor. Many illegal immigrants find themselves far from realizing their dreams.

"We come over here to find a better life," said inmate Tony Perez, a convicted drug dealer. "Not all of us are here to sell drugs or to do bad things, despite a few that do. But then again, doesn't everybody else from every other country?"

Arpaio's Phoenix jails house 1,200 criminal aliens, including Perez, who by law should have been deported. But because of federal bureaucracy and an overburdened system, only the most dangerous felons are actually sent home.

Even when deportation is ordered, about 60 percent of orders are ignored.

Christian Higuera, who is serving time for assault, has fathered an illegitimate child, born in Arizona. He said he hopes he will be allowed to stay with his child, an American citizen, once he gets out of jail."

Did you note the attitudes expressed by the illegal alien criminals? As reported in the Patriot News, Hazleton, PA, Mayor Louis J. Barletta recently said:

"... illegal immigrants have brought gangs, drugs, graffiti and murders to his city, draining police and fire resources and taking services away from legal residents. People used to love the quiet, safe life in Hazleton, which averaged one murder every seven years, Barletta said. But suddenly the population swelled from 23,000 to 31,000 people and residents were shocked by blighted homes, overcrowded apartments, gang life, drug use and violence, he said. He attributed these to "illegal aliens." All were Latino, he said.

The playground where Barletta played as a kid became home to graffiti, he said. A 14-year-old undocumented Latino boy was arrested for shooting a gun there while children played. Another illegal immigrant shot a resident on a crowded sidewalk near a pizzeria on a Friday night. A 16-year-old was beaten nearly to death by people with baseball bats.

"I was losing my city," he said. "It was happening before my eyes."

Police and fire personnel, hospitals and schools were having to devote much of their time and energy to help illegal immigrants, Barletta said. He repeatedly referred to Hazleton's residents as "terrified." Rates of HIV and tuberculosis rose. He said he decided to change that instead of waiting for the federal government to fix the illegal immigration problem. "Enough is enough," he said."

To see the results, go to City's crackdown on illegals already being felt.

Sheriff DeMarco of Suffolk County, Long Island, NY noted in the article Criminal Alien Program Launched:

"Two hundred dollars a day. That is the estimated daily cost to house one criminal in the county jail, according to Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco. Noting that approximately 10% of the current jail population consists of illegal immigrants, DeMarco is looking at new ways to ease the financial burden that is hitting Suffolk taxpayers, who have been footing the bill for county prisoners who are here illegally.

"We're overcrowded, and we have to build a new jail, but part of the problem is that we have so many illegal immigrants here," DeMarco said last week. "They're taking up jail space, and it's crushing us."

A July 2006 article, Illegal Immigrants Filling Jails - Sheriff's department officials around state predict thing will worsen in the Carolina Journal Print by Karen Welsh, identifies as a reality a number of the collateral damages that this report has highlighted due to the massive influx of illegal aliens:

"RALEIGH - County jails throughout North Carolina are stressed to the limit with illegal immigrants, law-enforcement officials say.

With the lack of immigration control to deal with the estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants residing in the state, it probably won't be getting better anytime soon.

Kevin Jastzabski, prison captain for the Lee County Sheriff's Department, said the number of Hispanics clogging the county's system is getting larger everyday. "We do have a problem, and it is going to keep on growing," he said "It doesn't look like it's going to slow down any time soon."

Randy Jones, director of public information for the Alamance County Sheriff's Department, said about 40 percent of the inmates in the county's jail are Hispanics and most of those have illegally entered the country.

"It's draining the system, and you're looking at disaster," he said. "Some of the public is just coming to grips with (illegal immigrants). Right now, there's not a way to solve the problem until the government solves the problem. The issue needs to be addressed on both the federal and state level."

It's not racial discrimination, as some have feared, but cultural differences that are putting most of the illegal immigrants behind bars.

The arrests are legitimate, Jones said, and arise mostly from drug trafficking or driving under the influence of alcohol in Alamance County. DUI is the number one killer of Hispanic males in the state, he said.

"There are cultural differences," he said. "They drink and drive. It's culturally acceptable for them to do that. When we bring them in, they are usually double the legal limit. But law-enforcement officers have been called racist and have been accused of singling out Hispanics. Now the statistics are showing we were probably right from the onset - law-enforcement-wise."

Illegal drug use and smuggling is also a problem among those illegally living in North Carolina. Sheriff Steve Bizzell of Johnson County addressed this topic during an Issues Forum on Illegal Immigration at the North Carolina Leadership Conference 2006. Eighty percent to 85 percent of drug trafficking in his jurisdiction is committed by Hispanics, he said.

A growing wave of gang-related violence, including murders and armed robberies, is also cropping up in rural counties. In an ABC News report, Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said Sampson County is trying to deal with a surge of Hispanic gangs.

"They think they can set up their gangs in these rural areas and really get by with more," he said. "They don't think that the small-town departments have the sophistication and the ability or the personnel to handle what they're coming in here with."

Alamance County needs to implement a Gang Intervention Unit because of the growth of Hispanic gangs, Jones said.

Another problem plaguing jails throughout the state are repeat offenders, who are virtually given a "get out of jail free" card when they are deported. It doesn't matter whether they were apprehended for serious or violent crimes, U.S. officials drop the charges and send them back to their own country. It's usually only a matter of days before they cross the border back into the United States again under a different name, officials said."

What is now happening in Hazleton and Suffok Counties as well as smaller cities like Raleigh, is routine in big cities. One example, as noted in Study: Illegal aliens drain county funds and as reported by Troy Anderson in the Whittier Daily News, April 14, 2003:

"County calls for layoffs, deep cut - Supervisors try to fill $804 million shortfall" (link gone) where it was reported "Los Angeles County officials released a $16.5 billion budget plan Monday calling for $467.2 million in cuts in spending and 2,158 fewer employees and warned that far more drastic actions might become necessary ... Antonovich said the cost of illegal immigration is catching up with government ... Medical and mental- health services provided to illegal immigrants total more than $360 million,' Antonovich said. 'Criminal aliens cost Los Angeles County taxpayers more than $150 million.'"

The "problem" is now becoming more common across the USA as illegal aliens move away from traditional illegal immigrant enclaves and settle in mass newer areas.

In addition to the costs for "regular traffic accidents" as detailed in the TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS section, a notable amount of medical and emergency services costs are incurred from the horrific accidents that occur in the transporting of illegal aliens. As an example, see Van stuffed full of immigrants takes deadly roll, where 1 was killed and 20 were injured and 9 suspected illegal immigrants killed in Yuma crash, where out of another 21 passengers stuffed into a suburban, nine were killed. Many of the injured go to local hospitals, sometimes for extended periods of time, where the costs are also picked up by American taxpayers and those paying for medical insurance. Such accidents with no medical insurance coverage are disastrous for small communities that have to absorb the cost of the highway carnage.

Don't think these are just SW border area incidents. Here's one in the Chicago area: One person dead in pickup crash carrying 14 undocumented immigrants and another in the Denver area: Driver in Crash Held on Smuggling Counts where in this one there were "only" 11 in the van with 4 dying. By the way, in the Denver accident the illegal alien driver had been previously deported. Twice.

The emergency responder and medical costs on the local community for such accidents are enormous.

How many events like these are happening nationally? Nobody knows because NOBODY TRACKS IT

but it is growing with the illegal alien population.

As noted earlier in this section, immigrants, legal and illegal are coming to this company in record numbers. Obviously they impact the population. How much?

Dr. Steven Camarota, Director of Research for the Center for Immigration Studies, wrote in a January 2001 paper: "Immigration has become the determinate factor in population growth. The 11.2 million immigrants who indicated they arrived between 1990 and 2000 plus the 6.4 million children born to immigrants in the United States during the 1990s are equal to almost 70% of U.S. population growth over the last 10 years."

According to Census Bureau figures, more than two-thirds of current and future population growth is the result of immigration and illegal immigration is, by far, the biggest component of immigration with the trend accelerating in the last few decades.

Remember that as the population of the United States just crossed the 300,000,000 mark on October 17, 2006 quickly heading for 400 million, projected for as early as 2029. In considering the US population growth, it is worth noting that the growth is currently exceeding the "high" growth rates of most projections. At the present rate, the US population will end up at about 500 million in 2050 and a BILLION by 2100 and maybe even a Billion by 2075 if things don't change real fast.

Maybe Dr. Abernathy is correct after all and the numbers of illegal aliens flowing across the border are far higher that the government is telling us.

Regardless, the population of the USA is increasing at an alarming rate.

According to the U.S. immigration and population growth report from SUSPS (Support US Population Stabilization - an anti-immigration splinter group of the SIERRA Club that believes uncontrolled immigration is the biggest impact on the environment), unless the country's immigration policies change and change soon, the U.S. population will double this century.

If SUSPS is right and the current population trends continue, by the year 2020, the U.S. will add enough additional population to create another NYC, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, SF, Dallas, and Denver, plus many more. Illegal immigration is the biggest component of the population explosion.

And you think the freeways are crowded now?

Go here for the earth's population counter.

With all the press given to the population crossing the 300th million mark, did you see this: Latino Baby is 300 Millionth American where it was reported: "U.S. population only reached 100 million in 1915, when Woodrow Wilson was president and the cost of a new home was $3,200 - $64,158 in 2006 dollars, according to the Census."

Forget the part about the race/ethnicity of the 300 millionth American. Not surprising, but who cares. The important point is: got any houses in your city going for $64,158? Imagine what the current price will be with a few hundred million more people competing for land and houses.

Regardless, what are some of the resulting consequences of population growth? How about:

  • One acre of farmland or wild land lost for every person added.
  • 25.6 barrels of oil consumed annually for every person added.
  • 12,331 kilowatt-hours of electricity consumed annually for every person added.
  • 1,932 cubic meters of water withdrawn annually from aquifers for every person added.

While future alternate energy sources should reduce the oil consumption on a per person basis and increased efficiencies should reduce the electricity, most likely it won't be anywhere near enough to offset a doubling or tripling of the population in such a short time. Additionally, other than in Hawaii, there is no more land being made. In fact, if the Global Warming folks are right then over the same time period much of the US' current line, and coastal cities, will end up under water.

Regardless of the final number, all these additional people will require more water. In the arid and semi-arid states of New Mexico, Arizona, Southern California, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah, where much of the high growth is taking place, water supplies are already at the critical stage. Aquifers are rapidly falling and there is only so much water in the meager rivers. As noted in by some climatologists in such reports as Climate change means hunger and thirst for billions: report, many believe that global warming will only make conditions worse.

For a very sobering revelation on the impact of illegal immigration on the US' soaring population, read The Effect of Mass Immigration on population Change – Increased Impact on Large Metropolitan Areas.

For details on immigration to the United States, see: Immigration Facts, which reports that "Approximately 58 percent of the 1.1 million immigrants who obtained lawful permanent residence in FY 2005 were relatives of US citizens or permanent residents." The large families and high birth rate of the Latino component of immigration, legal and illegal, is what is driving the exponential growth.

As noted in Why we should address U.S. population growth: "If the U.S population continues to grow like the last decade (13 percent every 10 years), mathematically the U.S. will have half of China's current population within the lifetimes of today's children."

In the meantime, fragile border desert areas are being trampled and trashed by all the illegal immigrants coming across the southern border. For more information on the environmental damage, see Border-crossings impact fragile desert environments.

In 1996, the U.S. Dept. of Education estimated that 2.6 million new K-12 students will be added to America's public schools in the coming decade and many are children of illegal aliens. A study by the California Dept. of Education of the state's public schools revealed that one student in four could not speak English well enough to understand what was going on in the classroom. The school districts of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville and North Carolina have student bodies in which 80, 85 and 150 languages are spoken respectively.

FAIR's report, Breaking the Piggy Bank: How Illegal Immigration is Sending Schools Into the Red, estimates that educating the children of illegal aliens currently costs $28.6 billion per year, excluding the cost of the supplemental feeding programs. As noted in the EDUCATION section, the actual costs may be closer to $34.5 billion. If so, then just the education costs for the children of illegal aliens costs almost $121 for each and every citizen of the United States. Deduct the bottom 40% who pay no taxes and the per person amount doubles for the taxpaying Americans.

Another FAIR report, No Room To Learn – Immigration and School Overcrowding, notes

The overcrowding crisis in American schools is directly attributable to high immigration.
  • Without school-age immigrants and the children of immigrants, school enrollment would not have risen at all during the past decade.
  • One in every five students has an immigrant parent. One-quarter of these children were foreign-born themselves.
  • Immigration will account for 96 percent of the future increase in the school-age population over the next 50 years.

If immigration continues at current rates, classrooms will be overcrowded well into the future, and efforts to reduce school and class size will be doomed to failure.

For more information on the impact on schools, see the 2004 report from the GAO, Illegal Alien Schoolchildren.

In a Current Population Survey done by the Bureau of Labor and Census Bureau, the poverty rate for immigrants was noted to be 50% higher than that for the native-born. In 1996, welfare and Medicaid provided to elderly non-citizen legal immigrants alone cost American taxpayers more than $10 billion dollars, although the actual number is suspected of being much higher. The high poverty rate of illegal aliens will increase the number of people without health care and needing welfare, making health care and welfare reform much more difficult and expensive to address. It is also worth noting that when illegal aliens take jobs from the working poor Americans it also causes more of them to go on welfare.

Although a bit dated, for collective impact of illegal immigration on the quality of life in ten selected cities see A Tale of Ten Cities': A Fair Analysis? Given the increase in immigration since the report was published the impacts are even greater now. For the real-life impact of mass immigration policies in each of the 50 states, examining factors such as poverty, housing, smog, water, schools, land density, labor, traffic, farmland, and health care and other services, see Immigration in Your Backyard

To see the consequences of unchecked and out of control immigration policies see The Case Against Immigration, which details the moral, economic social, and environmental reasons for reducing US immigration back to traditional levels. 362 pages. This free book from Numbers USA details how the 500% increase in immigration numbers has played an integral part in destroying middle-class occupations and turning them into minimum-wage jobs. The book describes many occupations where this has happened. It gives special attention to the way the immigration policy of Congress has reduced economic opportunity for Black Americans, deepened the poverty of farm workers, destroyed the health of poultry plant employees and turned many construction, manufacturing and other jobs into low paying "work that Americans won't do."

For interesting take on the impact of immigration, both legal and illegal, that ties a lot of these issues together, see the 1995 Testimony to House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration by Dr. Norman Matloff, The Adverse Impacts of Immigration on Minorities, where he notes:

"We are indeed a nation of immigrants, with diverse ancestries. In fact, though a stereotypical American would have British ancestors who came to this continent during the 1700s if not earlier, the fact is that rather few of us fit that description.

The adventurous spirits of those who came to this country in earlier times contributed greatly to America's success. Immigration continues to add vitality to our society today. Yet conditions have changed significantly from those earlier times, and the current high rate of immigration does have its downsides, one very important class of which is the adverse impact immigration has on minorities. In particular:

  • Immigration adversely impacts native-born African-Americans.
  • Immigration adversely impacts both native-born and earlier-arriving immigrant Asian-Americans and Latino-Americans.
  • The sharp distinction made by many politicians and political activists between legal and illegal immigration are artificial and unwarranted. The adverse impacts on minorities are due to both legal and illegal immigration. (Except when otherwise qualified, the use of the term immigration in this report will mean both legal and illegal immigration.)
  • The adverse impacts are both economic and noneconomic in nature: increased job competition; lowered wages; reduced opportunities for entrepreneurs; reductions in quality of education and housing; increased exposure to disease.
  • Immigration is resulting in diminished attention being paid to the problems of African-Americans and other native-born minorities. As Model Minority Asian immigrants pour into the country, African-Americans are becoming the Forgotten Minority.
  • Much worse than U.S. natives, immigrants tend to have racist attitudes toward African-Americans. The U.S., by accepting large numbers of immigrants, is in effect importing racism.
  • Even activists in immigrant communities have publicly conceded that the current influx of immigrants is much higher than their communities can absorb.
  • Poll after poll in recent years has shown that minorities recognize these adverse impacts, and wish for relief, in the form of reduced levels of both legal and illegal immigration. "

The testimony goes on to make a few more points:

"Here are some examples of adverse economic impacts on minorities:
  • Immigrants are entering the U.S. faster than minority communities can absorb them.

    When asked why most Latino Americans wish to see reduced immigration, Antonia Hernandez, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), explained that "Migration, legal and undocumented, does have an impact on our economy ...[particularly in] competition within the Latino community ... There is an issue of wage depression, as in the garment industry, which is predominantly immigrant, of keeping wages down because of the flow of traffic of people.''

    (Ms. Hernandez made these remarks at the Forum on Immigration, UC Davis, March 11, 1994. After the author included this quotation in his op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times on September 30, 1994, Ms. Hernandez responded with a letter to the editor in that newspaper on October 12, 1994. There she added, in a remark relevant to the discussion on impacts on African-Americans later in this report, "[MALDEF and other civil rights groups] recognize the truism that immigrants tend to compete economically with the most disadvantaged sectors of the population.'')

    Numerous case studies in New York's Chinese-American community by sociologist Hsiang-Shui Chen show how the influx of Chinese newcomers--both legal and illegal--reduces employment opportunity for native and earlier-immigrant Chinese, as well as resulting in reduced market shares for established Chinese entrepreneurs


  • Presumably motivated by similar concerns of job competition, United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta testified to a California Assembly committee that "With 1.5 million legalized immigrants living in California, and only approximately 250,000 agricultural jobs in the state, there is no need for additional farm workers.'' ... Studies by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and others show clearly that immigration has eroded wages of farm workers.

  • A 1988 study of the Los Angeles hotel industry by the General Accounting Office found that jobs formerly held by African-Americans were now performed mainly by immigrants. Again, this study was not based on some econometric model. On the contrary, it was a direct report of the hotel owners' actions to break up the largely-Black unions, and replacement by immigrant workers. Studies have shown a similar displacement of Blacks in the restaurant industry, at airports, and so on.

  • Jack Miles of the Los Angeles Times has found that even Black social workers are being displaced by Latinos. The Blacks hope to keep their jobs by learning Spanish, but this may or may not succeed (Atlantic Monthly, October 1992). Ezola Foster, a Black Los Angeles school teacher, describes a similar situation for teachers (ABC Nightline, March 24, 1995).

  • The competition for jobs was illustrated in a rather dramatic manner in an article, "Immigrants Split Over Job Scarcity: Legal Residents in Marin Tell INS [Immigration and Naturalization Service] About Illegals,'' in the May 17, 1994 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle. The lead sentence in the article reports, "A shortage of jobs is provoking cutthroat rivalry among immigrant day laborers in San Rafael's Canal Area, where some [legal immigrants] are getting ahead by turning in their undocumented peers to the INS, authorities say.''

Unfortunately it doesn't end there. As noted in the start of this section, immigration is at an all time high. For other negative impacts on Black-Americans note the following article by Nathan Burchfiel of CNS News:

Affirmative Action Helps Immigrants Above Slave Descendants, Study Finds

A new study suggests that black immigrants benefit from affirmative action policies in the U.S. more than descendents of slaves or African-Americans who suffered under Jim Crow laws.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Education, suggest that the original goal of affirmative action policies - to right past wrongs and provide opportunities to disadvantaged groups - is not being met because the policies focus on race instead of heritage.

Written by researchers from Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania, the study found that while first- or second-generation immigrants make up only 13 percent of the 18- to 19-year-old black population, they comprise 27 percent of black freshmen entering 28 top colleges and universities.

The difference was most startling at the Ivy League level, where immigrant blacks comprise more than 40 percent of the incoming black population.

As this section has detailed, the massive immigration, legal and illegal, that has been going on for the last 20 or so years has not, on balance, been good for America. While some businesses have enjoyed better bottom line profits it has been subsidized by the taxpayers and has occurred at the expense of American workers and has especially hit the working poor and uneducated workers.

The out of control population growth in the USA, fueled by out of control legal and illegal immigration, will cause the population to double in about 50 years. There are very few things that this will not dramatically impact. Your city will need twice as many freeways or expensive and greatly subsidized mass transportation projects. More people means more infrastructure. We will need twice as many coal and nuclear power electrical utility plants. The water and sanitation systems, as well as waste disposal facilities, will have to double. And on and on it goes.

Who is going to pay for all this? Not the immigrants as they are mostly uneducated, will stay that way, and are net receivers of tax money. That means the costs will be borne by the under attack middle class. There is no way around it – tax rates will have to be significantly increased to pay for it.

For some new video on the subject from the author of The Case Against Immigration, see:

Illegal Immigration and the Numbers Pure & Simple PART ONE and PART TWO

For more information on the impacts of illegal immigration on American society see: The Hidden Cost Of Illegal Immigration and California is the Dim Picture of America's Future.

For a personal perspective on the dramatic change that is taking place, see Victor Davis Hanson's recent article, Mexifornia, Five Years Later, where he notes:

"... During the heyday of multiculturalism and political correctness in the 1980s, the response of us, the hosts, to this novel challenge was not to insist upon the traditional assimilation of the newcomer but rather to accommodate the illegal alien with official Spanish-language documents, bilingual education, and ethnic boosterism in our media, politics, and education. These responses only encouraged more illegals to come, on the guarantee that their material life could be better and yet their culture unchanged in the United States. We now see the results. Los Angeles is today the second-largest Mexican city in the world; one out of every ten Mexican nationals resides in the United States, the vast majority illegally.

... The problem with all this is that our now-spurned laws were originally intended to ensure an (admittedly thin) veneer of civilization over innate chaos—roads full of drivers who have passed a minimum test to ensure that they are not a threat to others; single-family residence zoning to ensure that there are adequate sewer, garbage, and water services for all; periodic county inspections to ensure that untethered dogs are licensed and free of disease and that housing is wired and plumbed properly to prevent mayhem; and a consensus on school taxes to ensure that there are enough teachers and classrooms for such sudden spikes in student populations.

... At the same time, focus has turned more to the U.S.-born children of Mexican illegal immigrants, in whom illegitimacy, school dropout rates, and criminal activity have risen to such levels that no longer can we simply dismiss Mexican immigration as resembling the more problematic but eventually successful Italian model of a century ago. Then, large numbers of southern European Catholics, most without capital and education, arrived en masse from Italy and Sicily, lived in ethnic enclaves, and for decades lagged behind the majority population in educational achievement, income, and avoidance of crime—before achieving financial parity as well as full assimilation and intermarriage. Since 1990, the number of poor Mexican-Americans has climbed 52 percent, a figure that skewed U.S. poverty rates. Billions of dollars spent on our own poor will not improve our poverty statistics when 1 million of the world's poorest cross our border each year. The number of impoverished black children has dropped 17 percent in the last 16 years, but the number of Hispanic poor has gone up 43 percent. We don't like to talk of illegitimacy, but here again the ripples of illegal immigration reach the U.S.-born generation. Half of births to Hispanic-Americans were illegitimate, 42 percent higher than the general rate of the American population. Illegitimacy is higher in general in Mexico than in the United States, but the force multiplier of illegal status, lack of English, and an absence of higher education means that the children of Mexican immigrants have illegitimacy rates even higher than those found in either Mexico or the United States."

Finally, another negative aspect of illegal immigration, that few realize, is the impact it is having on Congressional reapportionment. Remember, the Census Bureau counts all people for determining representative apportionment, not just citizens. As a result, there is a shift of political power going on from the states with lower illegal alien populations to states with higher illegal alien populations as noted in a Center for Immigration Studies article, Remaking the Political Landscape - The Impact of Illegal and Legal Immigration on Congressional Apportionment, as detailed in the chart to the right.

Note the 18 seat swing from mostly rust belt to sun belt? You can expect more of this after the 2010 census, if we continue counting foreign nationals for congressional representation - something I'm sure the founders did not intend when they put the enumeration requirement in the Constitution.

All this is massive collateral damage from a "victimless crime" so we can save ten cents on a head of lettuce.

Next Section: Impacts of Illegal Immigration: Economic Costs

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