Saturday, July 26, 2014

Immigration Hype

A Never-Ending Scheme

:: By: Larry Walker, II ::

According to the New York Times, “Hoping to stem the recent surge of migrants at the Southwest border, the Obama administration is considering whether to allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras into the United States without making the dangerous trek through Mexico, according to a draft of the proposal.”

And, “If approved, the plan would direct the government to screen thousands of children and youths in Honduras to see if they can enter the United States as refugees or on emergency humanitarian grounds. It would be the first American refugee effort in a nation reachable by land to the United States, the White House said, putting the violence in Honduras on the level of humanitarian emergencies in Haiti and Vietnam, where such programs have been conducted in the past amid war and major crises...”

What’s so wrong with this plan? It sounds a lot better than the utter chaos we have today. The pilot program proposed for Honduras would allegedly cost up to $47 million over two years, under the assumption that 5,000 refugees would apply, and about 1,750 would be accepted. What’s so bad about that?

The only flaw I can find is that because 16,500 unaccompanied children have arrived from Honduras, just since October 1st (over the last 9 months), actually up to 44,000 could apply for refugee status over a 24-month period ((16,500 / 9) * 24). That means this pilot program could actually wind up costing upwards of $413.6 million (($47 million / 5,000) * 44,000). Oops!

Furthermore, since the population of Honduras (under the age of 15) is around 2.8 million, assuming they all want to exit, the program could last for upwards of 127 years, with a total cost of around $26.3 billion ($413.6 million * 63.5 two-year periods). With an acceptance rate of 35%, we could wind up with around 981,584 Honduran refugees over the next 127 years. But that’s not the end of this proposal.

Since the program would then be adopted in Guatemala and El Salvador, which have populations (under the age of 15) of 6.0 million, and 2.0 million, respectively, again assuming all want to join us, the program could last for upwards of 270 years (concurrently), with a total cost of around $101.0 billion, assuming similar costs in all three countries.

All in all, we could wind up taking in 3.8 million refugees, at a cost of around $101 billion, over the next 270 years. But keep in mind; this only includes the cost of processing and transporting them to the United States. It does not include the cost of feeding, educating, housing, etc… And then where does it end? How many other countries could declare worse crises?

Does this still sound like a great plan? Not so much.

The Hype

The hype involves all the stupid comments I’ve been reading from so-called Conservatives, across the web, such as the following:

“Obama is not stupid; he is a very smart man that has the backing of his money people. He wants to overpower the voting system to get as many people into the USA so that the Democrats can stay in office for years to come. Therefore they can have full control of everything in this country.”

“One thing it means is that an immigrant will be automatically registered as a demoRAT with full voting privileges. You and I have to actually fill out a form, the immigrants, being illiterate (no-speaky Inglés), get a pass.”

Really? Do you all really think these kids are thinking about which political party devised the plan to let them in? As far as I can tell, all they see right now is America the Beautiful. But anyway, why are Conservatives worrying about some election ten or twenty years from now, instead of focusing on this year and 2016? Do I need to spell out why the above is nothing but hype? Alright then, because of the following:

  1. Children cannot vote.

  2. Even Permanent (aka. Legal) U.S. Residents are not citizens and thus cannot vote.

  3. One must be over the age of 18, and have been a permanent resident of the U.S. for 5 years before he or she can apply for citizenship.

  4. Once citizenship is applied for, and one passes the test and pays the $700 fee, then, and only then, is he or she eligible to vote.

  5. Assuming citizenship is attained, how such a person chooses to vote is a matter of personal preference, influenced by individual life experiences.

Perhaps it’s time Conservatives forget about some fantasy election decades away, and focus on things that really matter, like the potentially ridiculous overall cost of this never-ending scheme.