What are the facts? The fact is illegal immigration to this country is dwindling. Yes. That's a fact. Donald Trump claimed that there are 30 million "illegals" in this country. Why anyone would vote for him astounds me because any flaming moron could look up that this number is so out there in the o-zone layer that this man knows nothing about fact checking. Which is fine if you are Joe Blow at the bar--annoying but fine, but this man wants to be the most powerful man in this country. In a job interview, you'd better know your facts and he simply doesn't take the job seriously enough to research while flying around in that fancy plane he likes to brag about. So what are the real numbers? Just over 11 million in the USA right now. It varies depending on which creditable source you review. DHS, Department of Homeland Security says 11.4M and Pew Research says 11.3M. The facts are that illegal immigration into the USA peaked in 2007 at about 12.2M and has been on decline over the last decade. Even they know Obama has been a disaster. Okay, my opinion. See how easy it is for me to write that and if I didn't you might actually take and repeat that like fact but it's not. It's a joke out of my opinion. That's it.
So let's put this in perspective. We'll use the DHS number of 11.4M (current estimate). In 2014, there were 318.9M people in the USA legally. Most illegals avoid being counted now because of paranoia. They don't trust the authorities in their previous countries, let alone here. But let's say that 318.9M actually counts them, even then they make up 3.5% of the population. Seriously. That's it. So what? They still are a lot. Really? As of 2014, there were 42.4M legal immigrants in this country--20M of whom are counted even though they are now legal citizens of the USA--aka. naturalized. The other 22.4M are legal immigrants with sponsors, on work visas or student visas, and the like. Student visas make up about 1M people in this country. Even though they are not actually immigrating, they are counted in the immigration rolls. Likewise with work visas, they aren't necessarily staying. Many people come here because their jobs require it, but like anyone that has ever moved away from home can tell you, sometimes the experience of living elsewhere just makes you homesick enough to want to go back and never leave. So while those numbers may seem high, they are not completely accurate as far as the actual immigration, those people who come over here with the intent of staying.
The naturalized citizens shouldn't be counted at all in my opinion, but now here's the interesting thing. No matter when they became naturalized, they are included in this count. If your grandmother immigrated after WWII and has been a naturalized citizen since 1954, they still count her in that 20M. When does a naturalized citizen actually not get counted? When they are dead, and even then, think about the voting fiascos where dead people have been included in voting rolls for decades after they die. I'm not sure we can guarantee that all the naturalized citizens they are "counting" are even still alive. Once they are naturalized, they are just like any of us that are natural born. They don't have to renew this or that or keep up with their visas, passports, et cetera. Would you in their shoes? Maybe, maybe not. They might be more likely to keep up their now USA issued passports if they still have family or friends overseas, but even that is not guaranteed. Regardless, think about the fact that when people talk about the legal immigrants they are still counting American citizens.
Well, the numbers prove nothing. Immigrants in general are running rampant on our streets. The numbers show that there are plenty of legal immigrants and they should come legally. Well, not exactly. What the numbers show, the legal immigrant numbers, is that we have legally allowed 22.4M immigrants (not all immigrants--some are just on extended stays for school or work) into this country. Now the ones that are staying have been here for no telling how long. Just like the grandmother example I used earlier, they may have been here for decades. We approve approximately 1M legal immigrants to enter this country each year. That's it--globally. Almost half of those are family visas--wives or husbands and children of approved visas. Refugees make up about 70K...that's right 70,000--of the 1M we approve visas for--7%. So when people scream about how terribly risky it is for us to take in refugees running from religious extremists in a part of the world very few of us have seen other than on television, it seems almost laughable that 70K is a number to scream about compared to the 320M Americans here.
So what? Those numbers are massive. Really? Between 1910 and 1915, 13M, that's right 13 MILLION immigrants entered the USA. So what, your point? My point is that the population of the USA during the 1910 census, and remember the census didn't care if you were here legally or illegally so people didn't avoid being counted, was 92.2M people...92,228,496 to be exact. Now there were likely some babies born prior to that being completed and some people that moved into the country as it was being completed, so it's not really 100% accurate, but neither are our numbers today. The census attempts as good as it can to be a snapshot to predict population over the next decade based on it and historical data. Okay, but to my point, The percentage in just 5 years an hundred years ago: 14.1% So let's review. We allow legally 1M a year right now. Just 1M per year, which is 0.3% compared to our current population. Do you see how ridiculous worrying about immigrants is? But that's only the legal ones. Yes, but how many illegals do you think enter this country each year? That 11.3M is how many total. Estimates are that 700K, aka. 700,000, illegal immigrants enter the country each year. Donald Trump has all these crazy people in a tizzy over 0.2% of the population.
One risky immigrant is too many. Okay. The most devastating terrorist attacks in the 1990s were the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing--American, the Atlanta Olympics bombing--American, the Unibomber--American, Columbine High School--American kids. We have plenty of our nutjobs here to worry about, so we don't need anymore. You might have a point, but as the Land of the Free and the Brave--it sounds awfully like cowardice to be afraid that immigrants legally or not would cause more pain than we can handle. Cowardice is not the America that my grandparents instilled in me. We are the greatest, not because of might or right or religion. We are the greatest because we are made up of all the greatest of every immigrant we have absorbed into our society. We aren't just German, Polish, Irish, French, Italian, Greek, Lebanese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, et cetera...We are not just Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Wicca, Atheist, Shaman, Buddhist, et cetera...We are as whole ALL of it. Everything and everyone. We are the world and that is what has made us great.
Fine, but they are taking our jobs. The largest influx of immigration was the late 1800s to early 1900s. My grandmother's parents immigrated right at the turn of last century. Most of the jobs and small businesses grown during the 1910s and 1920s came from immigrants. That's right. A large part of the "Roaring Twenties" were because of immigrants. Even now, as we argue over increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, we forget that hard working immigrants would take the current minimum wage very gratefully for flipping burgers while they learn our language, can go to school, save to start their own businesses like many of grandparents and great grand parents did just a century ago. I'm super opposed to raising the minimum wage and most conservatives are. Financially any idiot can remember that when minimum wage was $3.35/hour and a "value" meal cost about $3 and some change. Then minimum wage was raised to $5 something and the "value" meal went up to $5-$6. Now it's $7.35 and a "value" meal average price is $7. It was a little higher, but most of us if we have to spend $7, may as well spend another 2 or 3 dollars and eat in a better restaurant. Well, that's my logic anyway. No conservative is for raising the minimum wage--yet so many get tizzed up over immigration. Yet, every single immigration boom has resulted in a financially and globally stronger USA. Immigrants built the railroads, immigrants created or were the workforce for the economic boom of the 1920s. Immigration historically has always worked in our benefit. It's just a fact historically. The "boom" in the late 60s and 70s...financial boom in the 80s. I know there's a very complicated explanation based on some obscure economic theory that someone probably won the Nobel Prize in Economics or Mathematics for, but that's not something average Joes get. What we get is immigration boom in the 1910s, followed by financial boom in the 1920s. Immigration boom from 1965 to mid-late-70s...followed by financial boom in the 1980s. That's what average Joe gets and that's what immigration has meant over and over for this country. The truth is that immigrants are willing to take the jobs that we have groomed our kids to think are below them and that they should get paid for shit jobs better than shit job pay. Flipping burgers was never meant to support a family. Period. It's a crappy high school job or the job the old retirees took because they were bored. Not the job some idiot with 3 kids was supposed to be working--unless in between jobs and just trying to make ends meet temporarily. Immigrants would work for the $7.35 and manage to send half their paychecks back to family or saving it to pay the fees to bring their families here. And they wouldn't complain that it was shitty pay and they need more for flipping burgers because in their previous countries they wouldn't even have a job.
Which brings me to the point that most Americans, hell even most Europeans or western countries as we are referred to as a whole, people that are immigrating away from their countries are normally running for their lives or running towards hope of a better life. I heard a fine lady that I admire a lot say just yesterday to someone that "hope is everything. We have nothing if we have no hope." How true. Many Americans equate hopelessness to depression now. I know I'm even one of them. I have friends that suffer from depression and it's hard to watch how miserable they can be. What we forget is that some people in this world live in hopelessness based on the country they are living in. The Olympics are in Brazil this year. Rio de Janeiro. It's one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Yet, in Brazil, the education system is extremely limited. If you fail a class, you are out of school whether 3rd grade or 11th. That is the education that you get and you get no second chances. The USA is one of the only countries in the world that we are the great believers in second chances. Even a kid can fail a class or even a grade. We still give them the opportunity to try again. Not in Brazil. Not in most of Central and South America. I served in the Navy with a guy from Colombia. He made it through high school but he didn't make a high enough score to go to college. Yes, even if you graduate high school and want to go to college, if you don't score high enough, you're not going. Well that sounds like the SAT or ACT? Sort of, but there's a number of slots in colleges the governments run, and you either score high enough to get one of the 100 openings or you don't. It's got nothing to do with you being capable. And these tests they have to take test everything from day one of school. They study for a year before taking it in the hopes of one of those precious appointments. Picture every kid in this country looking for an appointment to one of the military academies and no other options in the country. That's the world they live in.
Bullsh*t, you say? The 2014 World Cup in Brazil was the first time that the Europeans got to see what Latin America is like. We Americans, unless we have caught the soccer bug, still for the most part have our heads in the sand. Those people who have no or minimal education live like the pictures below and try to keep in mind they have no choice. None. This is it.
Do you think anyone living like this doesn't dream of a better life? Hell yes they do. We are a country where you can get a GED. They don't have that opportunity. They failed once; they are failures forever. We are the country of hope. Conservatives that speak against immigration say they will take our jobs. These people would take any job--even the jobs we as Americans think we are too good for and deserve $15 for. They would take them, they would strive to get a GED, unlike a stereotype, they would be trying to learn English. For those of you that don't know, English is one of the hardest languages in the world to learn. Too, two, to? One, won? Will, will, will? Will the noun, will the verb, will the other noun that can also be a verb? (You're racking your brain on which will is that and you grew up speaking English all your life.)
Which brings me to the final ridiculous argument: All immigrants should have to learn English. Okay if they want to become permanent citizens, but oh my God. English is literally one of the hardest languages to learn. Most Americans butcher the English language horribly just because it is that difficult to keep those words that are pronounced the same but spelled different straight. Add those words that are spelled and said the same and have multiple, completely unrelated, meanings. Geez Heck, every American knows what "geez" means but if you look up the definition it doesn't actually convey the whole of the meaning. We have those words that just express emotion unlike a lot of other languages. How annoying is that? Well, not to us, because we use it constantly, but just imagine trying to follow our discussion when we throw a lot of those type of words in.
When we talk about building a big fancy idiotic wall to prevent 700,000 people...oh right, almost forgot. Only 60% of illegal immigrants come from Mexico, so that's 420,000 people. That idiot Donald Trump wants to spend $8M to build that damn wall to prevent the equivalent of 0.1% of the US population from coming into the United States. Really. Immigration is not our problem. It's such a tiny little drop in the bucket. Idiots that want power try to make idiots out of us by making us focus on something that is so tiny we will forget all the really big issues that need to be addressed.
Anyway, at this point, you may or may not agree with me, but if you remember nothing else, remember these things:
- Historically, immigration booms have been financially and globally good for the USA over and over and over.
- Immigration numbers actually include naturalized citizens, even the government numbers.
- Annual legal immigration is less than 0.3% of the population.
- Annual illegal immigration from Mexico is 0.1% of the population.
Then really think how important this issue is to you and how important it should be. Is it smoke and mirrors for some rich boy brat and his immigrant whore trying to make a grab for the White House? Is it really that big of an issue that it is truly affecting your everyday life? Is it really bad for the United States as a country? Or is it just that politicians were looking for someone to blame instead of taking the blame themselves?