Monday, January 11, 2010

Are We Forgetting Something?

As my colleague passes along the good information about Wednesday's March on Annapolis there is some concern that some of the organizers of this event may be, at best, ignoring one of the biggest issues of concern to conservatives affecting how liberty and prosperity here in Maryland.

The issue, illegal immigration.

A recent report from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) outlines the costs of illegal immigration to Marylanders. I urge you to read this report.

Here are some startling facts. The illegal alien population in Maryland is approximately 250,000 quadrupling since 2000. Maryland’s illegal immigrant population costs the state’s taxpayers more than $1.4 billion per year for education, medical care and incarceration. The annual fiscal burden amounts to about $790 per Maryland household headed by a native-born resident.

With these figures, this issue certainly deserves the same attention as increasing taxes and overall excessive spending in Annapolis. Most conservatives would agree.

According to some immigration activists, leaders of AFP and other organizations involved in Wednesday's protest don't view illegal immigration as a major issue and view programs such as E-Verify, which seeks to stop companies from hiring illegal aliens, as an unnecessary hardship. Others have commented that immigration is simply a "social issue" that has no import to the debate about the direction our country is going.

This view is no better epitomized by Dick Armey of Freedomworks' support for open immigration.

I don't believe most of the good folks going out on Wednesday would support such an agenda or fail to see illegal immigration as harmful to our liberty and prosperity. As former Governor Ehrlich said "Citizenship should mean something" and the leaders in Annapolis (and of the Tea Party Movement) should get that message as well.


justdafacts said...

More than likely, the heirs and multinational corporate interests that bankroll Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks have a huge stake in maintaining the status quo on illegal immigration.

Too bad we'll never know exactly who they are or how much they give because both groups exploit election and tax law to avoid financial disclosure, hiding behind IRS nonprofit educational status.

- Steve Lebowitz

JokersWild said...

I can assure you that many, many AFP'ers are quite unhappy about illegal immigration as well globalization's affect on our manufacturing sector and the massize trade imbalance that politicos from both sides of aisle are responsible for.

Tom said...

I absolutely agree with this post.

Wednesday's event should be as transparent as possible, and the message should be one designed to warn the legislature that the citizens are mad as hell and they aren't going to take it anymore.

But, who is preparing the tea?

According to the invite, the event is being sponsored by Americans for Prosperity and Campaign for Liberty, Institute for Liberty, Maryland Taxpayers Association, Hagerstown TEA Party, Annapolis TEA Party,Cecil County TEA Party Patriots, Bel Air Tea Party Patriots, and Marylanders for Fair Property Taxation.

In addition, the keynote speaker will be the open borders and amnesty activist, Grover Norquist.

Anyone who understands the brewing process of tea knows that cooling down the liquid will slow the steeping and affect the color and flavor.

Adding the open borders and amnesty folks to the grassroots movements of the tea party will prove to damage the strength of the brewed base and water down the components which produce better results when the brewing temperature is hot.

When the temperature of the steeping process is lowered, one notices that the tea is not only weaker, but one is actually altering the flavor of the brew. Everyone knows that the most full flavored tea is the one that is prepared when the water is boiling.

The actual Tea Party Patriots are realizing that congress is finally listening to their steaming kettle. This is NOT the time to allow any additives to the brew as the process has not yet finished steeping.

A good strong cup of tea is what our elected officials need to be served now; not one that has been sweetened with the self-serving agendas of Norquist, Langer, or Armey.

The Tea Party Patriots are not offering up the standard fare here, and they aren't diluting the brew with those who would see illegal immigration become an acceptable additive to their movement.

There is no greater threat to our liberty and prosperity than that of illegal immigration. Yet, the grassy and astringent additives of those groups ignoring, or worse, hijacking the Tea Party Movement to manipulate the masses into self destruction will not only cause the brew to be unbalanced but prove to drive all the oxygen out of the water which is the tea's base.

Americans may love their morning cup of coffee, but this election year will prove tea is our new elixir. We're not looking for a nice comforting "cuppa" tea, but a strong hot steeped liquid brewed and served at just the right temperature.

Mark Newgent said...

Just to clarify. Help Save Maryland

is a sponsor of the event--a simple click on the link provided would have revaled that salient fact.

HSM's director Brad Bowtin is a speaker. And unless Brad has undergone a lobotomy his staunch stance against anti-illegal immigration hasn't changed just because his group has common cause on other issues with another group that may or may not see eye-to-eye with his on illegal immigration.

Or has anyone here never heard of coalitional politics.

Greg Kline said...

I want to be clear that I am not discouraging anyone from attending the event or supporting the common issues we have. However, I was surprised to hear about some of these issues as I think most attendees would be. There is no doubt that a number of groups involved in the event and most attendees would agree with the points I made about illegal immigration and its impact in Maryland.

My point though is that if some do not, we ought to know that. While we can work together I think it is only right that we know what it is in fact we agree upon.

Kevin Waterman said...


I'd be hesitant before relying on FAIR for immigrations statistics.

It's pretty openly stated on their website that they aren't simply against illegal immigration, they are in favor of even reducing our current level of legal immigration and want to keep it as low as possible. Considering our current legal immigration system is a complete and total joke that sort of sentiment ought to raising some warning flags.

Beyond that their study that you're citing was heavily flawed. I read through it and it presents a heavily skewed picture of the economic role of immigrants in our society, legal or otherwise.

Any honest accounting of the costs of immigration must necessarily be balanced against the benefits of immigration, both legal and illegal.

FAIR’s study doesn’t do this. While they at least took the time to acknowledge there is a receipt of taxes from illegal immigrants, they gloss over the point, suggesting that any contributions made by illegal workers would be balanced out by new contributions by legal workers.

This point is demonstrably false. As a Cato Institute study released this summer notes, increasing security to limit illegal immigration would in fact have a deleterious net impact on the economy:

Our simulations show that the difference between the long-run welfare effects for U.S. households of the worst and best policies that we considered is about $260 billion a year in current dollars. This is the welfare gap between the tighter-border-enforcement policy in Simulation 1 (a welfare loss of 0.55 percent) and the liberalized policy with an optimal visa charge in Simulation 7 (a welfare gain of 1.27 percent).

These economic impacts come in part through tax receipts, but also manifest in the form of increased wages to remaining illegal immigrants, reductions to average wages as a result of changing occupation-mix of employment of U.S. workers, tightening capital, decreased employment, all of which outpace the relatively meager reductions in public expenditure on illegal immigrants.

The effect of this problem becomes bigger when one considers the relative inputs and outputs of illegal immigrant economic activity. The only welfare programs they have access to are emergency medical care and K-12 education (with some additional public expenditure coming in the form of law enforcement and incarceration costs). When you consider that the first two will logically have an inverse correlation to the third, any cost savings from reducing illegal immigration will likely be lower than what FAIR sells them as.

With economic impacts like these it is careless at best, and downright deceptive at worst to willfully leave out the economic benefits of immigration when doing an accounting of its costs, particularly when Cato has already done such a thorough study on the topic.

Tom said...

Help Save Maryland (HSM) was NOT a sponsor of the event tomorrow. They were only given two minutes to speak when questions were raised about excluding the issue of illegal immigration from the rally.

And the questions weren't raised by HSM.

HSM has misled its members by sending out email blasts indicating that the sponsors of the event are opponents of illegal immigration. By doing so, HSM has lost all credibility with its members and given their opponents more ammunition when exposing their hypocrisy.

Two minutes of fame isn't worth misleading honest citizens and taxpayers. HSM should be ashamed of its behavior.

The sponsors of this event aren't on record as being against illegal immigration. In fact, the data would strongly suggest that Norquist and AFP are working to increase guest workers, ensure a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens, and amnesty.

If we do not demand the truth in events like this, we are no better than those who prepare legislation behind closed doors and force it upon the citizens.

Americans for Prosperity set up this rally tomorrow, HSM joined in, and then AFP asked for an amnesty supporter and a foe of E-verify to keynote it.

Enough said.