Book Review: Red Flag of Immigration Danger from Key Reform Pioneer

By Donald A. Collins
Volume 19, Number 3 (Spring 2009)
Issue theme: "Defrauding the American Taxpayer"

Book Review:

Immigration Reform and America’s Unchosen Future

By Otis L. Graham, Jr.,
Bloomington, IN: Author House, 2008
484 pp., $20.49

One of our premier American history writers has chosen to summarize the saga of mass immigration since the inauguration of the Immigration Act of 1965. The need for true immigration reform has now reached the political boiling point and threatens to affect profoundly the future of America, but certainly in near term the perceived success or failure of the highly vaunted Barack Obama Presidency.

Earlier books by this author have long demonstrated Graham’s command of the American history canon, particularly such books as Unguarded Gates: A History of America’s Immigration Crisis (2002), Franklin D. Roosevelt: His Life and Times: An Encyclopedic View with Meghan Wander (1990), and The Great Campaigns: Reform and War in America 1900-1928 (1987) among some 17 books in all.

However, this latest history covers a much more personal aspect of the author’s odyssey, as he came out of the 1960’s turbulent social movements to surprise himself by confronting the works of earlier authors of such seminal and prescient books as Our Plundered Planet by Fairfield Osbourne and Road to Survival by William Vogt, which triggered even earlier material, particularly a book by George Perkins Marshall, Man and Nature written in 1864, all of which predicted the trend of our planet toward “environmental and resource troubles, due to population growth and the mounting abuses of nature.”

From there Graham became involved in seeking reasonable reform of our broken immigration system, joining the initial board in the late 1970’s of what has become the premier reform organization involved in this field, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and later serving as Chair of the Board of the highly respected Center for Immigration Studies.

America has now arrived at that critical place in the immigration reform battle that his books have so well articulated and predicted. Reading this latest book will enlighten and embolden your actions at this urgently critical time.

A true wake up call on many policy issues for most Americans came as the Bush Administration fouled so many initiatives. However, the onset of what will be dubbed later as the Depression of 2008—our immersion in two unpopular foreign wars and the total capture of the Republican Party by the religious right and the multinational corporations—despite the deplorable record of leadership by the Democratic Party in Congress, gave enough horsepower for Democrats aided by the disaffected Republicans and Independents to ride the back of an impeccably run Presidential campaign to major victories in Congress and to the White House in 2008.

History here is important to understand. As the author so well describes, this potentially fatal blow to American democracy (the 1965 Immigration Act) was pushed through with assurances from leaders such as Edward Kennedy that there would be no increase in American numbers or any intensification of the rampant social dilemmas of today. The U.S. population was 170 million then and is now 310 million, projected at present levels of alien arrivals at 500 million by 2050.

Since both 2008 major party candidates were in the pocket of the cheap labor business crowd which has financed the unmandated voices of the ethno- and ideological-centered lobbies to pump for unlimited immigration, all these forces led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, now are demanding, over the preference of vast majority of U.S. citizens that another amnesty like the failed 1986 Immigration Act by enacted. This Act—touted as the solution to the gains already made by millions of legal and illegal aliens—proved simply to set the stage for even more massive influxes, again pushed by the same forces with totally personal agendas entirely ignoring the will of over 70 to 80 percent of all American citizens. 

The details of all of this madness are etched in careful blow by blow documentation. It is a sad story but one which is now truly desperately close to destroying our country.

I voted for President Obama, understanding that his views on immigration were not good for Americans, but praying that reason would prevail, particularly in light of the economic conditions we now confront. But again, with the mass media paying court to the multinationals and their doxies, we are plunging ahead with no certain compass to achieve some key steps which must be taken to correct the immigration crisis Graham describes.

Read this book, but understand its urgent call for political action. The latest data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security show our country, is permitting 138,000 immigrants to enter the United States legally every month. That adds up to an annual rate of over 1.5 million new foreign workers (not counting illegal workers) added to our economy.

With American citizens losing hundreds of thousands of jobs a month, our government is allowing millions of foreign workers to come here to take American jobs. We lost over 2-million jobs last year and millions more will be lost this year (2009).

Understand further the cost of those illegal aliens here presently is mounting to huge proportions. For example, in a study released by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in January 2009, we learn that the cost to the state of North Carolina per year is over $1 billion. And this level of costs is replicated or exceeded in many other states around the U.S.

President Obama’s trillion-dollar stimulus package will purportedly add 3 or 4 million new American jobs—while allowing the importation of 1.5 million foreign workers per year to take those jobs—again not counting illegal aliens coming here.

I have looked in the several newspapers I regularly read for signs of this 138,000 figure and have yet to see it. Lou Dobbs on CNN has mentioned it, but to my knowledge no one in the print media has.
No wonder newspapers are going down the tubes.
Have our Congress and our new President no shame? How can they not act, at the very least to approve the extension of E-Verify, the government’s method of giving employers a quick confirmation of whether or not a job applicant is here legally. This system works 99 percent of the time as Lou Dobbs reported on February 2, 2009.
NumbersUSA President Roy Beck points out that

U.S. immigration policies are on automatic pilot. It doesn’t matter how terrible the economy becomes—it doesn’t matter that more than 11 million Americans are looking for a job and can’t find one. No matter what, businesses can still seek to cut their labor costs by bringing in as many foreign workers as they did when the economy was booming.

So as we know, those who don’t understand history are bound to allow bad history to repeat itself and that is what Otis Graham’s timely and definitive book will allow readers to realize the main point.

It is unbelievable at a time like this that our federal officials have lost sight of the obvious. They are asking American citizens to let them continue to print money to save the economy, which is in trouble because of their indifference and mismanagement, coupled with the greed and power of big business. And then they are not willing to enact legislation that can really help American citizens.

Unless American citizens take action and demand and expect a substantial moratorium on immigration and the extension of E-Verify, Graham tells us that we will have basically lost our own country to this invasion.

Don’t fail to read this powerful history to help govern your future actions at the polls. ■

About the author

Donald A. Collins is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a board member of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.