A Note from the Editor: Opportunities for Immigration Reform

By Wayne Lutton
Volume 23, Number 2 (Winter 2013)
Issue theme: "Moving forward"

Contrary to the claims of mass immigration proponents, Americans have never endorsed open borders. James Madison, in his famous report on immigration to the First Congress, succinctly stated what should be our policy:

Welcome every person of good fame that really means to incorporate himself into our society, but repel all who will not be a real addition to the wealth and strength of the United States.

As our Publisher, John Tanton, reminds us, the question then is: In order to best facilitate meeting the highest goals of the American people, (1) how many immigrants should we admit? (2) and who should be admitted?

As we enter the New Year, there are opportunities to inform our fellow citizens about how immigration policies impact other critical issues. In this edition, Rick Oltman proposes to reignite grass-roots efforts. Dave Gibson explains how citizens can raise awareness of the threat to public safety posed by illegal aliens.

As we go to press, the Wall Street Journal declared, “Tepid Job Growth Fuels Worry” (January 5-6, 2013, p. 1). They went on to say that “as Economy Stays Sluggish[,] Politics Cloud Prospects for New Hiring.” But the WSJ didn’t inform its readers about the impact of immigration on the job prospects of Americans. William Buchanan does so in this issue, as he dissects Bureau of Labor Statistics data to reveal how recent immigrants, legal and illegal, have been taking new jobs, at the expense of Americans.

A lead report in ProPublica of January 3, 2013, warned, “College debt is completely out of control. Parents are increasingly taking on federal loans for their children, whose job prospects have never been bleaker.” The author of the piece, Marian Wang, claims that the problem is “falling government support for state colleges and universities.” She makes no mention of competition from foreign students and higher-skill work visa programs that undermine the prospects of recent American college graduates. Gene Nelson outlines what needs to be done to reform these areas.

A last note: the Associated Press released a story on January 5, 2013, “NC Furniture Maker Hailed as U.S. Job Creator Closes.” A year after President Obama hailed it as a sign of America’s manufacturing rebound, Lincolnton Furniture Company suspended operations indefinitely. Should anyone be surprised? Imports accounted for 63 percent of the U.S. wholesale furniture market in 2011, up from 41 percent in 2002 ( Wall Street Journal, January 2, 2013). As with immigration policy, trade policies need to be revised.

About the author

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