Prager U video and Charles Krauthammer miss the mark

Charles Krauthammer presents his solutions to the illegal alien invasion crisis in this Prager U video: Build the Wall. He makes some good points, yet he clearly has not thought through the demographic ramifications of his proposal. Here's an abridged transcript from the video page:

Every sensible immigration policy has two objectives: 1) to regain control of our borders so that we decide who enters; and 2) to find a humane way to deal with the 11 million illegal immigrants who now live among us. 

Start with the second. For both practical and moral reasons, America cannot and will not and should not expel 11 million people. That leaves us with two choices: ignore them or figure out a way to legalize them. Ignoring them hasn’t worked. But there is also a huge problem with legalization: it creates an irresistible incentive for new illegal immigrants to come.

We say, of course, that this will be the very last, very final, never-again, we're-not-kidding-this-time amnesty. And everyone knows it's phony. That’s what was said in 1986, when we passed the Simpson-Mazzoli immigration reform. It turned out to be the largest legalization program in American history -- nearly 3 million people got permanent residency. There was no enforcement. We now have 11 million new illegal immigrants in our midst....

A vast number of Americans who oppose legalization and fear new waves of immigration would change their minds if we could radically reduce new -- i.e., future -- illegal immigration.

And we can.

First, build a barrier. Call it a wall. Call it a fence. Call it what you will. Add cameras and sensors. Add drones. Beef up the patrols. All that matters is that we regain control of the border.

Fences work. The triple fence outside San Diego led to a 90 percent reduction in infiltration. Israel’s border fence with the West Bank produced a similar decline. Even holier-than-thou Europeans have conceded the point: Hungary, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Austria, Greece, Spain – why, even Norway -- have all started building border fences to stem the tide of Middle Eastern refugees.

Then enforce two other measures: a national E-Verify system that makes it just about impossible to work if you are here illegally, and a functioning visa tracking system, since 40% of illegal immigrants are visa overstays.

So, let’s fix that. Track the visas, do E-Verify, build the damn barrier. It’s ridiculous to say that it can’t be done.

... do, we legalize the 11 million, granting them the right to stay and work here.

We can’t give them citizenship. That’s a bridge too far. You don’t get to join the political destiny of the country by entering it illegally. But any children born here would be American -- which means that over time the issue resolves itself....

Krauthammer makes some valid points:

Krauthammer misses the mark:

  • He quotes the stale, unvarying, and outdated U.S. government figures of 11 million illegal aliens living in America. There are probably 3 to 4 times that number of illegal aliens residing in America. Legalizing them in any manner will have far-reaching consequences. See:
    How many illegal aliens are in the U.S.?, The Social Contract, Summer, 2007.
    How many illegal aliens reside in the United States?, by Fred Elbel.
  • Granting citizenship to anchor baby children of illegal aliens will have far-reaching cultural and demographic consequences.
  • Legalizing 30 million or more illegal aliens and granting citizenship to their children will further fuel America's multicultural morass. It will also directly contribute to America's population doubling. American women voluntarily reached replacement level fertility (2.1 children per woman) in 1972, yet our population growth continues unabeted, thanks to mass immigration.
  • The Democrat party opposes securing America's border because they want an unending stream of new illegal aliens, who ultimately will vote Democrat.
  • The Republican party opposes securing America's border because they want an unending stream of cheap, foreign workers to displace American workers. Neither party appears to care much about America's future as a Constitutional Republic.

Krauthammer calls for some serious - and absolutely essential - enforcement measures. Yet because he underestimates the magnitide of the number of illegal aliens in the United States, his feel-good proposal for legalization and citizenship does not fully recognize the tremendous societal and demographic costs of implementation.

A functional wall / fence / barrier will keep illegal aliens from sneaking into America. E-verify will keep those who are here from working, and a viable visa tracking system will keep visitors from staying forever. Let's implement those items and allow illegal aliens who are here to voluntarily return home to reunite with their families and contribute to the well-being of their own countries. There is no need to immediately legalize them and effectively mandate that they remain in America.