A Note from the Editor - Fall 2004

By Wayne Lutton
Volume 15, Number 1 (Fall 2004)
Issue theme: "Who are we? - Samuel P. Huntington's book explores America's identity crisis"

Time Magazine Discovers Our Open Borders In a remarkable cover story, Time magazine (9/20/04) asks, "Who Left the Door Open?" They report, "Despite all the talk of homeland security, sneaking into the U.S. is scandalously easy and on the rise. Millions of illegal aliens will pour across the U.S.-Mexican border this year, many from countries hostile to America... The U.S.'s borders, rather than becoming more secure since 9/11, have grown even more porous. And the trend has accelerated in the past year. It's fair to estimate that the number of illegal aliens flooding into the U.S. this year will total 3 million... It will be the largest wave since 2001 and roughly triple the number of immigrants who will come to the U.S. by legal means." After describing the situation along the Mexico-Arizona border, Time points out, "the problem is one of the U.S.'s own making. The government doesn't want to fix it, and politicians, as usual, are dodging the issue, even though public opinion polls show that Americans overwhelmingly favor a crackdown on illegal immigration... many big companies, which have a clear stake in cheap labor, aggressively fend off the enforcement of laws that could shut down their supply of illegal workers... The argument is getting stronger, however, that this is a short-sighted bargain for the U.S." Current policies reward illegals and the businesses that hire them, with American workers and taxpayers picking up the tab. A Not Quite Jobless Recovery Over the past year, more than a million new jobs have been created. The problem is that many of the jobs have gone to non-citizens. Edwin Rubenstein notes that non-citizens were hired for 28.5 percent of all new jobs; 53 percent of all new jobs created in the last 12 months went to Hispanics, while native-born Hispanics and pre-2000 Hispanic immigrants lost jobs. Real wages have stagnated for Hispanics and non-Hispanics alike. Dr. Rubenstein concludes, "What we see here is predictable employers are shifting to newly-arrived, often illegal, Hispanic immigrants who are willing to work for less than the legal immigrants and natives. Newly arrived immigrants depress wages for all racial groups, especially those they compete with most directly, i.e., other Hispanics." (See Edwin Rubenstein, "National Data Non-Citizens, Hispanics Get Most New American Jobs," July 5, 2004, www.VDare.com.) And Away They Go The Wall Street Journal chortles, "Despite the recent reluctance of U.S. companies to talk about moving jobs overseas, the practice is accelerating... In fact, a number of executives and consultants expect the pace could pick up even more after the election on November 2. ‘Some customers were waiting for the elections to be over to place outsourcing orders,' says Suresh Senapaty, chief financial officer of Wipro Ltd., a large Indian technology-outsourcing company based in Bangalore" [cf., "Outsourcing Booms, Although Quietly Amid Political Heat," WSJ, Oct. 18, 2004, p. B1].

About the author

Wayne Lutton, Ph.D., is editor of The Social Contract.