Attorney General William B. Saxbe recently stated that, if the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service were given an additional $50 million appropriation, it could round up and deport one million illegal aliens now in the United States.
That sounds like the easiest and cheapest way to solve the un employment problem for one million American citizens, and there is no time to waste in giving Saxbe the opportunity to prove that he can do it.
The “torrent” of job-seeking aliens entering our country illegally, according to Saxbe, constitutes “one of the great migrations of our time.” Illegal migration is now ten times greater than a decade ago. Last year, the United States caught and deported 800,000 illegal aliens, that is, as many as the entire population of Washington, D.C. Yet the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service concedes that, for every illegal caught; two or three escape detection.
The total of illegal aliens already living in the United States is now somewhere between seven and 13 million, with most estimates around eight million. They hold jobs that could be held by American citizens. The AFL-CIO estimates the annual wage loss to U.S. workers at more than $10 billion.
Few if any illegals file income tax returns, and they pay little if any taxes. Large sums of this untaxed money are mailed out of the United States to support the families of illegal aliens in their native countries. Yet inside the United States, the illegal aliens receive our tax-supported social services including welfare, unem ployment benefits, and free or subsidized medical care. Their children are educated at public schools.
When authorities recently broke up a couple of smuggling rings concentrating on Chinese-Oriental and Italian aliens, they found them extorting fees from the aliens ranging from $200 to $2,000, depending on the services provided, distance traveled, phony papers supplied, and housing and jobs provided. Last year, U.S. Customs and the Immigration and Naturalization Service took more than 200,000 pounds of marijuana from illegal aliens, most of it seized at the point of entry.
All this is not to say that illegal aliens have an easy life in America. Most of them are industrious and hardworking people who enter the United States for the purpose of earning wages and sending home their savings. Their fugitive existence makes them vulnerable to employers who underpay and overwork them, to landlords who over charge them, to smuggling rings that demand exorbitant fees for phony documents and other covers, and to unscrupulous con men who pose as “immigration specialists.”
Nevertheless, illegal aliens hold jobs that could be filled by American citizens. We should provide the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service with whatever additional funds it needs to enforce our immigration laws and thereby open up the one million jobs in industry, agriculture, and services, that we so badly need today.