Popular “Gumball” Anti-Immigration Presentation Fails Because the U.S. ≠ U.N.
October 27, 2016 (Fault Lines) — The following 6 minute presentation is guaranteed to make you dumber and less informed about America’s immigration policy, even considering the current level of discourse when it comes to the subject and notwithstanding your political leanings. But the damage will likely be undone should you stick around for the remainder of the post, as you’ll get those 6 minutes “back” and then some:
This video was uploaded to YouTube in 2010, but it has again been making the rounds on social media (the phenomenon that has replaced basic human interaction for most) ever since the group NumbersUSA posted it to its Facebook page a few days ago, dubbing it “the most important immigration video you’ll ever see.” It’s quite likely that many have come across this video. I’ve had several people, some of them not-completely-crazy but rather quite educated, who’ve “shared” it with me and asked whether it passes the smell test.
Roy Beck from NumbersUSA begins with the assumption that “some people say that massive immigration into the United States can help reduce world poverty,” and then asks “who in the world deserves our humanitarian compassion?” The massive immigration that Beck speaks of, one million legal immigrants per year, is not permitted by U.S. authorities for the purposes of “reducing world poverty.” In theory, that’s the piss-poor job of the United Nations, and most importantly, it’s not the purpose (implied or otherwise) of U.S. immigration laws. The U.S. may provide billions in aid to mendicant front-stabbing countries, but when it comes to the recipients’ subjects’ admission to the U.S., they are SOL.
Each applicant for admission is evaluated on a case by case basis, and “humanitarian compassion” is not a factor that’s considered. There are limited grounds for admission that may sound “humanitarian” — Temporary Protected Status, Asylum, Deferred Enforced Departure — but in reality they are not. Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Departure are usually dependent on how screwed up things are abroad (e.g., armed conflict, natural disasters) but are not contingent upon the immigrant’s or their native country’s penury. These are also temporary reliefs, save for asylum if the refugee remains countryside for long enough minding her P’s and Q’s.
Asylum is granted in only the rarest of cases, and it has nothing to do with poverty and general humanitarian considerations. Rather, it’s not unusual for a well-heeled immigrant to seek asylum from a country that’s buddy-buddy with the U.S., especially when they’re from client states where being on the losing political team can make the difference between dying in the can and living a life of leisure.
Throughout his spiel, Beck’s sole standard with regards the poor (and hence those he thinks everyone else thinks are considered downtrodden) is judged by the World Bank’s yardstick: the millions abroad making less than $2 a day. While it’s true that many people are starving, that standard of poverty is absent in the Immigration and Nationality Act, which dictates who gets admitted and who gets to stay. If a poor luckless soul who has been starving for life shows up at JFK Airport, that won’t mean squat when it comes to getting in. Either he falls under a legal admission basket or he does not.
Next, Beck says that “Mexico tends to define the immigrant that we bring here because the plurality of people comes from Mexico.” The part about plurality used to be true, since in 2013 China took over the number one spot, but the part about Mexico defining who comes in is obvious nonsense. If anything, most of those who cross the border without permission are from Central America.
As Beck clumsily takes another gumball from the towers (what is it about anti-immigrant rants and the use of confectionery?), he says:
Even if we went by the most radical proposals in Washington which are to actually double our immigration to two million a year, which would totally overwhelm our physical, natural, and social infrastructures, we couldn’t make a noticeable difference, and we may be really hurting the impoverished people of the world, because the million that we do take are among the most energetic, often the better educated
There are currently over 11 million illegal immigrants stateside, the vast majority of whom are not going anywhere no matter who ends up in the oval office. Ironically, it’s those presidents with a “progressive” agenda who usually outperform the others by a very long shot. If an additional two million legal immigrants arrive, it’s not going to overwhelm much. And for the million “we do take,” they are not necessarily the most energetic or better educated.
There’s no vetting for education or initiative for those who arrive on a tourist visa. It is those in smaller numbers, those on a business or investor visa, who have to provide evidence of skill and/or investment to immigration. It is true that immigration seeks the best and brightest, hence its lack of interest in feeding the world’s poor and its focus on the national interest.
But all of those previously mentioned are subject to the government’s ultimate safety net when it comes to admitting people: bars to admission based on criminal backgrounds. A conviction is not needed for some cases, a conviction involving small amount of drugs may trigger the “reason to believe” restriction where “there was reason to believe that he engaged in or assisted others in illicit trafficking in a controlled substance, based on circumstantial evidence.” A drug conviction that involves anything else except 20 grams of pot or less also bans any member of the huddled masses.
Thus, there is no need for people like Beck to assume the role of an alarmist, or worse yet — the one in charge of making people more stupid. The immigration laws are based on a cold, sometimes calculated, formula that seeks to promote the national self-interest. The world’s poor be damned.