Moderator: My name’s Jeff Wienir. I’m the Director of Campus Campaigns for the David Horowitz Freedom Center. And it’s my honor to be the moderator for the — this is officially the last panel of Restoration Weekend 2010. So thank you all for coming. I hope you all had a wonderful time this weekend, as I did.
Let me just say one thing about the border, and then we’ll get going with our experts here. You know, after hearing Janet Napolitano say that she’s got everything with the border under control, I know that we’re in serious trouble. And hopefully, our panelists can sort of illuminate some of those issues.
Our first speaker is going to be Mark Krikorian. He is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., which examines the impact of immigration on the United States. Mr. Krikorian frequently testifies before Congress and is the author of “The New Case Against Immigration, Both Legal and Illegal,” and most recently, “How Obama is Transforming America Through Immigration.”
Mark Krikorian: Thank you. Some of the other speakers will speak on more targeted issues, but the basic point I wanted to make is this — that high levels of immigration, legal or illegal, are a handmaiden of the statist Left. Socialism needs mass immigration in the American context.
And this isn’t just me saying it. Let me quote Eliseo Medina — Senior Vice President of the SEIU, America’s worst labor union — and, not coincidentally, the honorary Chairman of the Democratic Socialists of America. He said that immigration “will solidify and expand the progressive coalition for the future.” In the same talk, he said the point of immigration is to “create a governing coalition for the long term, not just for an election cycle.”
Now, there are several reasons for this. Let me quickly touch on them. The first is kind of what everybody gets — that high levels of immigration create Democratic voters. And this is true. And there’s a variety of reasons that immigrants are disproportionately going to vote for the Democratic Party.
First, the Democratic Party and its predecessor, the Jeffersonian Republicans, have always been the party of the pluribus; while the Republican Party and its predecessors, the Whigs and the Federalists, have been the party of the Unum, of the American nation.
And it’s not that the Democrats are bad because of that — there are other reasons for that — but immigrants are inevitably disproportionately going to be attracted to the outsider party. And the only exceptions are Cubans, for instance, who, for very unique foreign policy reasons, are disproportionately Republican, but that’s pretty much it. Over time, it can change. But it takes generations.
Secondly, overwhelming majority of [immigrants] — something like 85 percent in any given year — are people that under our laws are considered minorities, and therefore are eligible for affirmative action. The party that says we need to get rid of affirmative action is not going to be resonating with immigrants. It’s just the way it is.
Immigrants have much lower level of education — four times more likely to be high school dropouts. In California, immigration has taken the workforce of that state from 1970 being the seventh-most educated in America among the 50 states, to now being 50th. The worst, lowest-educated, highest percentage of high school dropouts of any labor force in America’s in California. They will be lucky if they achieve the level of Mississippi and Arkansas at some point in the future.
That lower level of education necessarily means lower income. That’s simply the way it works in a modern society. A postindustrial knowledge-based economy just doesn’t pay high school dropouts that much. There’s no way around that. That means you’re not paying that much in taxes.
So when Republicans say, We need to cut taxes, a disproportionate share of immigrant voters are saying, Well, I don’t pay any taxes. What do I care whether taxes are cut.? That lower level of income and education means immigrants are more likely to be using government services.
Again, this isn’t an indictment of the immigrants. Our welfare system is designed to subsidize the working poor with children. Immigrants work, immigrants are poor, immigrants have more children than native Americans. Our welfare system is designed to subsidize them. And yet, what that means is when Republicans say, We need to cut the size of government, cut welfare — it’s not only not going to resonate with a lot of immigrant voters; they’ll going to say, Well, that’s not something I want to vote for.
Also, unfortunately, we’re seeing significant levels of family breakdown among immigrants and their children. Immigrants have about a 30-something percent rate of illegitimacy, Hispanic immigrants have a 40-something rate of illegitimacy, and their children and grandchildren, native-born Americans of Hispanic origin, have a 50-plus percent rate of illegitimacy. Again, this pulls them away from the Right, toward the Left.
Thirdly — I mean finally, rather — in this area of voting, immigrants disproportionately come from countries with no tradition of limited government. And this is simply the way it is. It’s something that can be taught over time, through assimilation, through inculcation. But it doesn’t happen very quickly.
In fact, in a survey of just a few years ago — these weren’t just immigrants; these were native and American-born Hispanics. But even the American-born are probably a generation or two mostly removed from the immigration process. It turns out that when they asked, Do you prefer lower taxes and fewer services, or higher taxes with more government services, Hispanic Republicans were more statist than white Democrats. Dramatically more statist than white Democrats.
But that’s just voting. Let me touch on the other reason that immigration inevitably serves the interest of statism, bigger government and the Left. And that is that it changes the political and economic and social environment to make the arguments of the statist Left more appealing even to non-immigrant voters, who aren’t thinking at all about immigration.
And let me give you just one example what I mean. The uninsured population — if we didn’t have this constant drumbeat about the crisis of the uninsured, and all of this, they would never have had the traction to get as far as they have on Obamacare and, generally speaking, on socialized medicine. Well, one out of three people without health insurance in the United States is either an immigrant or the young child of an immigrant living at home. Eighty percent of the growth in the uninsured population over the past decade is directly a consequence of immigration.
The same thing is true with the gap between the rich and poor — income inequality. Now, as conservatives, our goal is not to use government to reduce income inequality. Nonetheless, it does reinforce the argument for government intervention when there is much bigger and growing gaps between rich and poor.
Again, California’s a great example. California now has more income inequality than Mississippi did in 1970. The fact is that, whether we like it or not, that creates the political environment in which socialists get more of a hearing among middle-of-the-road voters who are, in fact, movable one way or the other.
And the last thing I want to talk about how immigration changes the environment is it increases diversity. And Robert Putnam, the Harvard professor who wrote “Bowling Alone,” has done extensive research on this issue of the effects of diversity. And what he’s found is that increasing diversity in a society weakens civic engagement. It erodes those institutions that exist between the individual and the State to mediate this power of the State.
Because what happens is people become less civically engaged. It’s not that whites and Hispanics and blacks pull into themselves; it’s that people stop having anything to do with each other altogether, even the participation in the PTA, participation in Hadassah, even in the frequency of having people over to your house for dinner — all decline as diversity increases, eliminating all those “little platoons,” [that stand] between the individual and the State, and leaving the individual naked in the face of the State.
Obviously, I could go on for another seven or 15 or 20 minutes. But my basic point is this — mass immigration inherently, because of its very nature, in a modern society is serving the interests of statism. And the only way you can create the prerequisites for achieving a smaller state and increasing liberty is through curbing the current very high levels of immigration.
Moderator: Our next speaker is Major General Paul Vallely. He retired in 1991, and he has served as a consultant to the commanding general of Special Operations Command, as well as the DOD Anti-Drug and Counterterrorist Task Forces. He is the author of “Operation Sucker Punch (Blood for Our Future),” and is now Chairman of Save Our Democracy and Stand Up America.
Paul Vallely: Thank you.
Thank you very much, David, Freedom Center, for inviting Muffin and me back to this wonderful Restoration Weekend, to see so many friends. And we thank you for your continued support for Stand Up America and the Soldier’s Memorial Fund.
We just got off a ship yesterday morning, 9 o’clock, came here. I had the opportunity to be on the spy cruise last week. And everybody likes spying and mysteries. Well, we had General Michael Hayden, past CIA director, Porter Goss, also a past CIA director, and myself as the guest speakers in the Caribbean. And it was wonderful. Because everybody likes to know what spies do? And we had a lot of retired CIA operatives who were in the audience and on the trip with us.
But last week, I had to bring in this part of our intelligence gathering. Stand Up America does is a whole new investigative intelligence center in a location in Southern California that really provides us a lot of great, modern, high-tech, instantaneous intelligence, of which about five, six months ago we provided our report to Congressman Royce, who then presented it to the Intel Committee on Israel, Southern Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. And as Congressman Royce knows, what we provided them has worked out.
And the reason I point this out, before I get into the subject of the Southern border, is that the most dangerous, hottest spot in the world today is Southern Lebanon. It’s not Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen or Somalia. It’s Southern Lebanon. When I look across the world — we look at the new chessboard, we look at the influence of Iran — we see, the second-hottest spot to me is our southern border.
And so I’ll talk today about that. And I’ll talk to you about a [notional] national security operation called Operation Checkmate.
But you know, nothing, nothing, will work in the United States — will fall apart if we don’t have national security. Because I can’t protect Silicon Valley, it’ll fall apart. And so all these great ideas can’t happen unless we can secure the American people and our families.
I said that on Neil Cavuto about two years ago. And he looks at me, because we were talking about retirement plans and 401(k)s going to pot, and all that stuff. And I said, “Neil, none of it makes any difference, unless I can make it secure for you.” And so we just have to keep that in mind.
Let me talk now on an article I wrote, a series of three articles, actually — “War on the Southern Border Cartels and Narco-Terrorists are Winning.” I usually don’t read things, but I want to [do it here] is because I think it’s very important.
[Reading from article]: There was a time when the municipality of San Fernando in Northeastern Mexico was known for farming, fishing and a quiet way of life. Today, it is associated with death.
And several weeks ago, a young Ecuadorian with bullet holes in his shoulder and cheek told a story of how he and his traveling companions were on their way to the United States, to come across our border and work for economic reasons. They had been kidnapped in San Fernando Valley by the Zetas, which are offshoots and recruit many of the military out of the Mexican army. And they’re one of the Mexicans’ largest cartels. And they work very closely with a lot of other groups there.
Even Monterrey, the country’s industrial center, known until recently with a very peaceful lifestyle, has been turned upside-down with terror. And we read about it every week — what happens in El Paso, what happens in Juarez, what happens in Tijuana.
The past few months have [been seen as an] increase in what we called “narco-bloqueos,” or impromptu roadblocks, by drug gangs to create maximum chaos in the selected cities and thwart any local authority. And we see that particularly among the border cities today.
The Ecuadorian said, “They pulled us out of the truck violently and demanded money.” And after managing to escape, they said that the Zetas — and “that they would pay us $1,000 every two weeks if we would join them. But we didn’t accept, and they opened fire.” Mexican authorities confirmed the account when they discovered in a remote and semi-derelict grain warehouse 72 bullet-ridden bodies with their hands tied and eyes bandaged. Among them was a woman in the final stages of pregnancy.
Revelations of what has now been confirmed as the worst massacre since Felipe Calderón, Mexico’s president, declared war on organized crime almost four years ago have focused international attention on the country’s drug war like never before. We have at least one to two flights from Tehran into Venezuela every week, offloading arms, offloading agents of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. And so as you look at that soft underbelly, and look what’s occurring there worldwide, in trying to figure out how they can neutralize and bring down the United States.
You can all remember, those that have visited Mexico, the plaza, that sunlit square, complete with the bubbling fountain in the middle, that forms any self-respecting image of a Mexican town. Today it means a local territory for dealing drugs.
Aware of their inability to perform even basic tasks of law and order, the center-right [coalition of] Senor Calderón has deployed almost 50,000 army troops to win the nation’s streets back from organized crime, and also to try to tell our governor, Jan Brewer, how to do her business in Arizona. That perception is increasingly reinforced by the numbers we see, the growing amounts of intensive conflicts along the border. Seventy-five hundred people have been murdered just in Mexico, according to the Reforma newspaper.
They say I have one minute left, so let me get into now Operation Checkmate. This is a notional strategy. If the federal government will not execute this operational plan to secure our borders, then the people must insist that we do it for our own protection and protecting our economy. The executable — this is what we call it in national security — a notional plan. It’s not connected to the government; it’s a notional plan that we propose in case we have to go to more aggressive action along our border.
The problems on and across our southern borders of California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas are on the news every day. You’d have to live in a perpetual cave not to know the situation. We are facing a war of gigantic proportions.
Now, the plan I’m talking about is basic. And having been in Special Operations, it’s what I would do as a war planner now because I see the seriousness of the area south of our border. This combines the best use of all of our forces that will encompass intelligence, targeting structural organization of forces to accomplish their mission, base operations, offensive and defensive operations. We can’t sit behind the fence and the border and think this is going to go away and throw billions of dollars for something that is not working.
[Operation] Checkmate organizes three border task force groups and puts them in three operational bases — one in Texas, one in Arizona, one in Southern California. I don’t have to tell you the bases that we already have there that could be utilized for this. There’s no requirement to create any new bases. I will not name these because of security. But these basic border task force groups would be organized with Special Ops, Army, Air Force and Navy, and Special Operations.
We have to plan for a 20-kilometer no-go zone on the other side of the border, just like we did in Iraq — no-fly zones. We have to coordinate in some way many things with the Mexican government. We know they’re so corrupted. But if we know those drug cartels are there, we know that the Zetas and Hezbollahs are coming up, ladies and gentlemen, we have to take offensive action across our southern border if we’re going to protect America.
And as General Schumacher stated last night, each of these border task force groups would have 5,000 helicopters, everything — Black Operation’s what we call it. And we’ll find them, fix them; and we’ll take care of them before they can come to our border. That’s Operation Checkmate.
Thank you very much.
Moderator: Thayer Verschoor is a state senator from Arizona. He has served on the Appropriations, Commerce, and Economic Development and Transportation Committees. He’s also served as the Senate Majority Leader and President Pro Temp. Thayer?
Thayer Verschoor: Well, thank you. I want to bring to you a couple of perspectives [from Arizona]. One is that the laws that we have passed regarding immigration are actually humanitarian. And I’ll explain that in a little bit. And the second thing I want to do is affirm what Paul [Vallely] has just said here.
So here’s our perspective on illegal migration — and that’s what I’m going to call it because immigration is a term of legitimacy.
I was talking to my friend, Frank Gaffney, yesterday — a new friend, I should say — talking to him a little bit. And he wants to call it invasion. Because quite frankly, there’s a lot of people who call it an invasion. But it is not immigration; it’s an illegal migration that is occurring.
In Arizona, illegal migrants cost us $3 billion every year. That’s in — and it’s a billion. When I first got elected, it was $1 billion eight years ago. Now it’s up to $3 billion. And that’s in three areas. That’s in incarceration, education, and in healthcare. Those are the three areas. We have emergency rooms that can’t even stay open because they’re just jam-packed full of citizens from Mexico coming in. So that’s one Arizona perspective.
Now the humanitarian. Folks, Senate Bill 1070 — quite frankly, all it does is it allows Arizona law enforcement officers to enforce federal law. It’s already the law. The problem is that for 30 years, Arizonans and many other people, in Texas and California, have been asking the federal government, Enforce your damn laws! And thy won’t do it! They’ve refused to do it! And until they start doing it, we’re going to continue to see this escalation that we’re seeing.
How many of you have seen the movie “Amazing Grace?” In one scene in the movie, William Wilberforce is taken to see these slave ships, where these slaves are hauled from Africa to the Western Hemisphere. Okay? Folks, this is very similar to what is occurring in this illegal migration smuggling that’s going on.
They will pile 20, 30 people into a truck or a van that’s only made to seat eight or nine people, and just cram them in there. They bring them across the desert in 120-degree weather. If someone gets sick and can’t keep up, they just leave them there to die.
They bring them to Phoenix, to Mesa, to Chandler. They put them in these drop houses, where there’s not even room to lie down or sit down. And if they try to get away, they execute them. They beat them. The women are raped. A lot of the women and young girls and boys are sold into the sex trade.
This is a disaster that’s going on here, a humanitarian disaster. So we have to stop this.
Arizona passed employer sanctions. Employer sanction just simple says, you know what, employers, you can’t hire illegal aliens. Stop hiring them. And all we’ve asked them to do is just check federal government’s E-Verify.
So these things that we’re doing in Arizona are to try and curb the incentives for people to come here illegally. We’re trying to allow our law enforcement to enforce what is already the law. These are not new laws. And yet we’re called racists in Arizona, we’re called fascists in Arizona.
Folks, what’s going on here is horrifying. The environmental impact is disastrous. If you’ve ever seen these areas where they bring these illegal aliens, smuggle them into, it’s just total disaster — the garbage and the trash that’s left behind that is almost impossible for people to clean up.
Arizona is second in the world in kidnappings. These coyotes will kidnap these human cargos and then resell them. This just goes on and on again. Folks, there’s nothing, there’s nothing redeeming about what is happening.
This is a national security issue. As of November, in this year alone in Mexico, the cartels have killed over 10,000 people now — 10,035 people as of November. Ten thousand thirty-five. Over 300 decapitations. Okay? This is al-Qaeda stuff. And this is coming over, like you said, from the Middle East. Now they’re using car bombs down there.
Now, people say, Well, you know what, we can say that’s a Mexico problem. Well, I live in Arizona. And I can attest to you, it is no longer a Mexico problem. A couple years ago, we had a running gun battle between cartels, trying to snatch the other’s human cargo, right along Interstate 10. Right there, just south of Phoenix.
We just recently, in Chandler — which is also in the Phoenix area — had a decapitation. Now, they called it a stabbing, in which the man was beheaded. At first, they tried to make it sound like some partygoers gone wild. That wasn’t the case. Now they’re starting to find out that it looks like this man had ripped off one of the cartels. And now, they came and they decapitated him as a warning.
Folks, we had, just a month ago, a cartel member living in this town of Casa Grande, which is between Phoenix and Tucson. This person was executed in his car, in broad daylight, in a middle-class neighborhood like you’d see anywhere, even here in Palm Beach. This person was — his job was to be in charge of these spotters. They believed him to have been turned to become a snitch. They executed him in this neighborhood, in front of his house, in broad daylight. They shot him to death in his car.
They have these spotters — this is military type stuff — they now have spotters in the mountains in the Arizona desert with communications abilities. They live in caves in the mountains, and they radio communication to the drug smugglers where the police are, where the Border Patrol is at, to try and help them avoid the smuggling.
This is the type of stuff that we’re seeing in Arizona. It’s bad stuff. We need not only to defund NPR, we not only need to defund Obamacare, but we need to secure our borders.
Moderator: We’re lucky to have two congressmen on this panel to talk about the opportunity GOP has to help rectify the situation — what should be done, and hopefully what can be done.
First is Steven King. He was elected to Congress in 2002 to represent Iowa’s new Fifth Congressional District. He’s a member of the House Judiciary Committee, where he sits on the Constitution Subcommittee, and is the top Republican on the Immigration Subcommittee.
Steven King: Well, thank you very much.
The previous witnesses here on this panel have covered a lot of the territory that I anticipated I might. But I’ll try to speak on this from general terms.
And just think of [illegal immigration] as, yes, a national security problem that we have. And it also is a domestic security problem we have, to the extent that 90 percent of the illegal drugs that are consumed in the United States come from or through Mexico. And when I talk to DEA personnel, and I ask them with the door closed what would happen if magically everyone who woke up in this country tomorrow morning was here legally — what would happen to the illegal drug distribution chain in America? And their answer is, it will sever at least one link in every distribution chain in America and at least temporarily shut off illegal drug distribution. So that’s a component I’d ask you to think about.
But from the broader perspective, it’s long been my belief that any country’s immigration policy should be designed to enhance the economic, the social and the cultural wellbeing of the United States of America. And to that end, we should be thinking about how we increase the average annual productivity of Americans. That’s the overlying philosophy.
We heard Mark Krikorian talk about the competing forces in this society, the Left versus Right, statism. I look at it this way — the Left in this country, the progressives, the leftists of all stripes — whether they’re directly Marxist, socialist, however you want to define them — they are about expanding the dependency class in America.
And when we saw this immigration debate come at us in about 2004 and early 2005, what we saw was an effort, I believe, on the part of the Bush Administration to bring over into the Republican side a large percentage of Hispanics. And I’ve had this debate with Karl Rove, and we’ve gone at it fairly intensively.
But my position on it is this — that newly arriving immigrants assimilate into the politics of the locale where they arrive, whether it be Los Angeles County — you know how that goes, a lot of you in this room, if you’ve been there for an hour, you know the answer to that.
But if anybody is thinking about rebutting that comment, I’d ask you then, go to Boston, find me an Irish-Catholic Republican. After all these generations, for all of this incentive that’s there, still the Irish produce more and more generations of Democrats. And the Teddy Kennedy clan continues to grow and prosper. They haven’t stopped and taken a good look. And it isn’t about whether they go to church or whether they are productive, good, family people. It’s about [the fact that] they got assimilated into the politics of the locale where they arrived, just like we have fourth- and fifth-generation FDR Democrats that are still a problem for us today.
So what happened was, back then, Bush’s immigration speech began to split the Republican Party. And then we got confused on what we believed in. We got away from this idea that we are rule-of-law Republicans, and that when you want to list the pillars of American exceptionalism, you cannot build this edifice of this great country without one of those essential pillars being the rule of law.
And the effort to disregard the rule of law, the — I’ll say the commitment that’s there to ignore it because it’s inconvenient economically or it does something to somebody’s labor supply — we should know that there are people out there every day that are taking a jackhammer to those beautiful marble pillars of American exceptionalism. And the rule of law is essential pillar.
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