Tired, Poor and Yearning to Work and Be Free

For those of us who have been working on the immigration issue for decades, seeking to have our immigration laws enforced and/or modified so that our immigration policies actually benefit America and Americans, the current near non-stop discussion about immigration issues is a wonderful target-rich environment.

The ignorance of those who oppose everything from secure borders to verifying a person’s right to work in America is incredible. It makes one wonder if people are more stupid today than 20, 30, 50 years ago, or do we just see it better with modern technology?

The citing of Emma Lazarus’s poem, The New Colossus, on the Statue of Liberty by open border zealots as if it is/was U.S. immigration policy, is a prime example of that stupidity.

Gratefully, we are hearing pundits and commentators say to them what many of us have been saying for decades: “It’s a poem, not a policy.”

What hasn’t been covered much in this discussion is the fact that in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries from the wave of millions of legal immigrants, a substantial number returned to their nation of origin for a variety of reasons. One of them was because it was just too tough to make it in America.

Remember, a century ago there was no welfare-state in America. If you didn’t work, you didn’t eat. And times and circumstances were very tough on new immigrants. Those who came either worked their way up in the economy or returned home.

According to Genealogy.com: … a report in 1908 comparing the departures in 1908 with the arrivals of 1907, 61% of the southern Italians returned home. Croatians and Slovenians (59.8%), Slovaks (56.1%), and Hungarians (48.7%) also had high return rates.

The announcement by the Trump Administration on August 12th that it is taking action to help ensure that non-citizens in this country are self-sufficient and not a strain on public resources is welcome news.

It will take effect on October 15th, and applies to immigrants who’ve been receiving public benefits for 12 months in a three-year period.

It is, of course, being met with howls and lawsuits from the usual suspects.

The day after the announcement, the city of San Francisco and Santa Clara County filed a lawsuit to block the action. Additionally, 13 states (Washington, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Virginia) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington (state) saying that the new rule results in:

… a radical overhaul of federal immigration law… .

Not quite.

From the U.S.C.I.S. Public Charge Fact Sheet: Public charge has been part of U.S. immigration law for more than 100 years as a ground of inadmissibility and deportation. An individual who is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible to the United States and ineligible to become a legal permanent resident.

Acting Director of U.S.C.I.S., Ken Cuccinelli, said it perfectly in his announcement of the policy on Monday: Throughout our history, self-reliance has been a core principle in America. The virtues of perseverance, hard work, and self-sufficiency laid the foundation of our nation and have defined generations of immigrants seeking opportunity in the United States.

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. [Winston Churchill.]


Statue of Liberty - Liberty Enlightening the World

Trump Administration's "public charge" rule keeps illegal aliens from abusing taxpayer-funded medical care, MedPage Today, August 17, 2019.

Spare the Angst Over the ‘Public Charge’ Rule, Rachel Bovard, American Greatness, August 17, 2019:

The notion of admitting immigrants who can become self-sufficient, contributing members of American society is a foundational principle of our immigration law, dating back to 1645 when the colony of Massachusetts passed a law to prohibit the admission of paupers. The principle was later formalized at the federal level in the Immigration Act of 1882, which banned entry to immigrants who would be relying solely on American taxpayers for their welfare.

The definition was updated in the Immigration Control and Financial Responsibility Act of 1996, which required that federal officials consider “age, health, family status, assets, resources, and financial status; and education and skills” when evaluating whether to grant a green card.

Specifically, the 1996 law—which at the time was supported by Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Steny Hoyer, Dianne Feinstein, Dick Durbin, Joe Biden, and Patrick Leahy, among others—made clear that “any alien, at the time of application for a visa . . . is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible.”

The Trump Administration’s new regulation does not create new law. It simply updates the 1996 statutory definition with a more modern definition of what constitutes a welfare benefit—including food stamps, Medicaid, and public housing assistance....

And the rule would only apply to the approximately 400,000 legal immigrants seeking a green card each year....