Immigrants and immigration have been in the news for a long time, but recently, there has been increased focus, both locally and on the national stage. Locally, we were treated to the controversy around the refugee resettlements happening in the Fargo area, orchestrated by Lutheran Social Services. There was an outpouring of local sentiment ranging from concern to anger, and as usual, it was dismissed by the folks pushing and implementing the resettlements.
At the national level, Donald Trump is keeping the topic of immigration on the front pages nearly every day, mostly by saying something that somebody in the news media finds offensive. Thus far, he’s a single issue candidate. In fact, if you go to his campaign website, he only has a single entry on the “positions” menu – and it is immigration reform.
The Trump immigration position paper has a lot of different stuff in it.
I appreciate that the paper starts with 3 simple principles, and iterates and expands from there. Trump consulted with Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) on putting together the policy.
The traditional libertarian position on immigration is that it ought to be free and easy. That is, people should be free to move around as they like. That’s a good principle, so far as it goes, but as is often the case, there are complicating factors.
For one thing, as I pointed out during the conversation about refugee resettlement in the West Fargo area, why is it that the federal government administers this program? Barack Obama isn’t going to have these new refugees as neighbors – that will be folks in West Fargo. North Dakota is going to spend money dealing with the refugee population, so shouldn’t North Dakota have a say? Since most refugees end up in Cass County, shouldn’t Cass County police and Cass County welfare programs have a say? Since this latest group of folks will be settling in West Fargo, (apparently), shouldn’t the government of West Fargo have a say?
Since these people are going to need places to live and their children will need places to go to school – shouldn’t the apartment managers and school board have a say?
In fact, we do not have a system of “free immigration” so much as a system of federally forced integration. In Fargo, as along the Mexican border, federal policy is to allow or encourage outsiders to come within the borders of the United States. But once folks are here, other jurisdictions are forced to deal with any consequences. All across America, you have school districts being coerced into teaching kids who have no knowledge of English and no interest in learning it. In the American southwest, you have private land owners who are having their property destroyed (and sometimes, their lives destroyed) by illegal immigrants. When these private individuals attempt to defend themselves and their property, the federal government intervenes NOT to stop the illegal immigration, but to punish and stop Americans from defending themselves.
Again, the federal immigration policy is one of forced integration, and the rest of us are implicated in that policy irrespective of if our state, county, city, neighborhood, or landlords, agree with the policy or not.
Revisiting our original libertarian principle, it is a great goal that folks ought to be free to move about. But this naively ignores the question: where will those folks move about to? Certainly, folks are not free to move into my front yard unless I permit it. They are not free to move into your front yard unless you permit it. They are not free to camp in the Wal-Mart parking lot unless Wal-Mart permits it.
Federal immigration policy, in effect, asserts that people are “allowed in” whether or not there is anyone anywhere in America who wants “them” on their own property.
(This is not strictly true. Ironically, highly skilled immigrants, like those in the H1-B program, are not allowed to enter the country unless there is a company willing to sponsor them. But if you are a low-skilled worker or a criminal, the federal government is going to try very hard to get you here, keep you here, and keep anyone here from deporting you. Our immigration policy is utterly the opposite of what a person would do if they were chiefly concerned with making America stronger…)
To read a longer and more eloquent discussion on this topic, please consult Hans Herman-Hoppe’s famous paper.
All that said, irrespective of what set of principles you think are most weighty when considering the appropriate rules regarding immigration, now we turn to the pressing issue.
Given current law and immigration trends, the Republican party will permanently stop winning national elections
Pew Research published a paper in 2013 titled “Second Generation Americans: A Portrait of the Adult Children of Immigrants”
It’s 130 pages long, and it’s clear that most Republicans have never read it.
We’re going to talk about what the paper says, because it’s important that you know what it says, and start asking Republican leaders about it.
First, some explanations, and some backstory.
In the paper, second generation immigrants are defined as children born in the United States to one or more first generation immigrant parents (who were NOT born in the United States). For example, a Mexican-born couple arrives in the US. The husband and wife are both first-generation immigrants. They give birth to a baby in the US. That is a 2nd generation immigrant.
First generation immigrants cannot legally vote in US federal elections unless they gain US citizenship. Simply coming here does not give you the power to vote here.
However, the story is different for second generation immigrants.
Second generation immigrants – who were born here – would seem to have automatic voting privileges in the US once they turn 18.
Let’s turn now to the Pew Paper.
On page 9, there is a side bar. It shows that, of 2nd generation immigrants who are of adult age, 35% of them self-identify as Hispanic. Also on page 9, there is a box that says that the current size of the 2nd generation adult immigrant population in the US is about 20 million adults.
On page 12 is the jaw-dropping graphic: of 2nd generation Hispanics, 71% identify as left-leaning or democrat, while only 19% identify as right-leaning or republican.
To put that in round numbers, that’s between 3 and 4 democrats for every republican.
Remember – this is 2nd generation adult Hispanic immigrants – the ones who have birthright citizenship.
(If you care about such things, also on page 12, we learn that 53% of 2nd generation Hispanic women who have given birth (and have now produced more people born with voting rights), are unmarried)
You should also notice that the 1st generation adult immigrant population size is about double what the 2nd generation adult size is. That is, there is a huge wave of 2nd generation immigrants that haven’t reached adulthood yet, but soon will.
In fact, Hispanic immigration has dominated all immigration into the US in the last 40 years. From page 31, “The Hispanic immigrant population … is dominated by the large influx of immigrants from Mexico, who are disproportionately low-educated and unauthorized. Hispanic unauthorized immigrants account for about 45% of Hispanic immigrants.”
Now, let’s fast-forward to page 70, and see what quotes jump out:
“second-generation Hispanics are even more strongly Democratic leaning than are immigrant Hispanics”
“Among Hispanics… a clear majority of both generations prefers a larger government with more services”
“more of the second-generation Hispanics identify themselves as liberal on political issues than do first-generation Hispanics”
“Second-generation Hispanics are more likely than immigrant Hispanics to describe their political views as either “very liberal” or “liberal”—36% versus 27%.”
“About eight-in-ten (83%) first-generation Hispanics say they would rather have a bigger government with more services than a smaller government with fewer services. While still a clear majority, the share opting for an activist government is lower (71%) among second-generation Hispanics. Compared with the general public, both first- and second-generation Hispanics prefer a more activist government.”
Look at the side bar on page 73. Hispanics are tremendously to the left of the current American public regarding the correct size and amount of government services.
On page 74, we see something interesting. You have heard many Republicans justify their amnesty policies and pro-Mexican immigration stances by claiming that Mexicans are “natural social conservatives” and “good family values Catholics”.
This is a pleasant sounding fiction, but the data doesn’t support it. What the data actually says is that even on the issue of abortion, which is supposed to be near-and-dear to Catholics, 2nd generation Hispanics are actually MORE supportive of abortion than the current American population, and are MORE supportive of abortion than their 1st generation Hispanic parents.
In other words, Hispanic families come here and then have children who are LESS socially conservative than even their parents!
Finally, on page 87, we see the appendix with the big data table that paints the picture of the end of the Republican Party. This table shows the population breakdown by age, immigrant generation, and origin.
If you look on the 2nd to rightmost column, that column is called “2nd”, meaning 2nd generation immigrant. Now, look for the row about in the middle of the page, under the heading “Hispanic population”, and then look under that for the row for age range: “Younger than 18”. Line up the row and the column.
The number staring you in the face is “57”. It’s a percentage. It means that 57% of 2nd generation Hispanic immigrants are still under age 18. These are kids who will be allowed to vote the day they turn 18, and we know that they skew almost 4 to 1 democrat when they vote, and that they are more liberal on social issues as well as size of government issues than the current American population.
In fact, 57% is the highest bucket on that whole demographic chart. The largest slice of population in this dataset are 2nd generation Hispanic immigrants who will be eligible to vote sometime in the next 4 presidential elections.
This is the demographic bomb facing the Republican party. There are millions of Hispanic immigrants who have been voting Democrat in the last few years, and tens of millions more who will be voting in the next few elections. If you look elsewhere in the paper, the majority of future population growth in the US is expected to come from Hispanic immigration.
In fact, let’s do one final bit of math. Just how plausible is the idea that Hispanic immigrants could cause a Republican voting nightmare?
The current adult population of 2nd generation immigrants is 19.7 million (page 9, infobox)
The current percentage of 2nd generation adult immigrants who are Hispanic is 35% (page 9, side chart)
That means that there are 6.89 million 2nd generation Hispanics in the US. All of them are birthright citizens, eligible to vote.
Suppose that all of them voted. We know they lean about 3.5 to 1 democrat. If we multiply 6.89 million by 71%, we get 4.89 million democratic votes from 2nd generation Hispanics with birthright citizenship.
4.89 million votes for democrats.
What was the 2012 Presidential victory margin?
According to Wikipedia, Obama received around 65 million popular votes, and Romney received around 60 million. The difference was 4.9 million votes.
It is mathematically possible that Obama won entirely because of 2nd generation Hispanic voters.
(However, it turns out that the actual voter turnout for 2nd generation Hispanic voters was only 43%, according to page 27 of the Pew paper. So in fact, the maximum number of 2nd generation birthright citizen Hispanic votes for Obama was probably more like 2 million.)
So, it’s mathematically possible, today, for 2nd generation Hispanics to deliver an election to the democrats. And what we know is that the share of 2nd generation Hispanic voters is about to increase significantly. We saw that 57% of 2nd generation Hispanics are still under age 18.
So now we get back to one very interesting point in Trump’s immigration plan:
Ending birthright citizenship for the children of immigrants.
Trump is by no means the first person to suggest this. In fact, Ron Paul suggested the same thing. If you want to be shocked, you can google “Maternity Tourism” and start reading. Trump is probably right when he claims that 2/3rds of Americans want some kind of restriction on birthright citizenship for children of some immigrants.
Based on the data presented here, everyone who wants future Republican victories should also want some changes.
Finally, I’ll end with this quote. It was during the debate about the 1965 immigration reform bill that led to the current immigration (and demographic) situation in the US today:
“First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually…Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset.” – Ted Kennedy
It shouldn’t surprise us when Ted Kennedy turns out to have been either a liar or an idiot. But we should expect both more intellect and more honesty from Republican leaders on this whole mess.
After all, if Donald Trump is the most honest guy in the race, what kind of race is it?