We Really Did Handle Immigration Better At Ellis Island

LifeZette posted an article today about the migrant caravan attempting to get into America from Mexico.

The article reports:

Migrants who came with the caravan are suffering from respiratory infections, tuberculosis, chickenpox and other serious health issues, Tijuana’s Health Department warned on Thursday morning.

The spokesman told Fox News that out of 6,000 migrants currently residing in the city, over a third of them (2,267) are being treated for health-related issues.

There are three confirmed cases of tuberculosis, four cases of HIV/AIDS and four separate cases of chickenpox, the spokesman said.

At least 101 migrants have lice and multiple instances of skin infections, the department’s data shows.

There’s also a threat of Hepatitis outbreak due to unsanitary conditions, the spokesman said.

At Ellis Island, immigrants who were not healthy or had no marketable skills were returned to their home countries.

The biggest change to America’s immigration policies occurred in 1965 and was promoted by Senator Ted Kennedy.

So what did The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (H.R. 2580) do? Here are the basics:

The Hart–Celler Act abolished the quota system based on national origins that had been American immigration policy since the 1920s. The 1965 Act marked a change from past U.S. policy which had discriminated against non-northern Europeans. In removing racial and national barriers the Act would significantly alter the demographic mix in the U.S.

The new law maintained the per-country limits, but also created preference visa categories that focused on immigrants’ skills and family relationships with citizens or U.S. residents. The bill set numerical restrictions on visas at 170,000 per year, with a per-country-of-origin quota. However, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and “special immigrants” had no restrictions.

On September 2, 2009, Numbers USA posted the following about that change:

Ted Kennedy’s immigration policies have destroyed the ability of the United States to be an environmentally sustainable nation in any decade soon because of the gigantic U.S. population growth that he has forced.

And Ted Kennedy’s immigration policies have knocked hundreds of thousands of Americans out of the middle class as their occupations have collapsed and wages declined because of inundation with Kennedy’s favored foreign workers, or because they have directly lost their jobs to foreign competitors.

We need to consider the consequences of the Hart-Celler Act as we decide how to deal with the migrant caravans that are attempting to breach our southern border.

Numbers USA

Tonight I had the privilege of hearing Jim Robb of NumbersUSA speak at Stanly Hall in New Bern about immigration in America. NumbersUSA promotes moderate immigration levels. One of the comments Mr. Robb made about immigration in America today was, “Nineteenth Century Immigration Policy is incompatible with the Twenty-first Century Welfare State. I had never looked at immigration that way, but he is right.

When talking about President Obama’s declared move toward amnesty for five million people here illegally, Mr. Robb mentioned that Congress had three possible (if not probable) ways to stop amnesty. The most obvious way would be to simply defund the government agencies that would handle the amnesty. The second way to stop amnesty would be to impeach President Obama for violating the Constitution, but that is highly unlikely. The third way to stop amnesty would be to take the issue to the Supreme Court as a violation of the Constitution, but the Supreme Court would probably not be interested in hearing the issue unless Congress had already acted by defunding the measure.

Mr. Robb explained that there are a few problems that would be caused by amnesty. Under amnesty the average time to get a work VISA is six minutes. There is no time for proper background checks or screening. The new workers would be taking jobs in airports, companies that control electric grids, nuclear security, etc. without being properly screened. There would be a national security risk and a risk of endangering Americans. Other problems would be the increase in students our schools would have to educate, the increased drain on healthcare facilities, and the increased drain on social welfare programs.

Mr. Robb explained that there is another problem with providing six million green cards to new workers in America–we already have twenty  million legal Americans who can’t find full-time jobs.

The NumbersUSA website explains, “NumbersUSA favors an immigration policy that includes spouses, minor children, fair share of refugees, people with extraordinary skills and gives preferential treatment to American workers and those that come here legally.” That makes sense.

After the program, I was taking with a legal immigrant who had come to America as a child in 1949. The immigrant reminded me that during that time immigrants who came to America had sponsors, were expected to find work, and expected to receive no government aid of any kind. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.

NumbersUSA is working to keep immigration at a manageable level. As an organization, they have built up the connections in Washington to represent the majority of Americans who do not favor amnesty for people who are here illegally. When you move someone who is here illegally to the front of the line, you deny the rights of someone who is pursuing immigration in the correct way. That is not something we want to do.