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Sunday, February 17 , 2019, 2:16 pm | Light Rain 55º


Joe Guzzardi: Surprisingly Large, Broad Coalition Building for Less Immigration

Three times in less than six weeks over the summer, an illegal immigrant murdered an innocent American.

Kate Steinle was the first victim, shot in sanctuary city San Francisco. Second, an illegal immigrant and his accomplice allegedly raped and beat to death Santa Maria resident Marilyn Pharis, an Air Force veteran. Third, in what headlines described as “an unimaginable murder,” a 19-year-old illegal immigrant with a long criminal record in his native Belize, allegedly slaughtered three people, including a pregnant teenager.

The suspects in the first two crimes had been arrested a total of 13 times.

The brutal killings have outraged Americans, except for many of those who work on Capitol Hill. While the nation demands that immigration laws be enforced, interior enforcement resumed, and the border be secured, Congress is waffling over legislation to defund sanctuary cities that receive Justice Department grants.

President Barack Obama promises to veto any such legislation if it reaches his desk, arguing against all evidence that bills that deny funds to sanctuary cities undermine current administration efforts to remove the most dangerous convicted criminals and to work collaboratively with state and local law enforcement agencies.

The extent to which Americans want immigration laws enforced and the broad-based coalition that supports enforcement may surprise many. Last year, Paragon Insights (PI), a research firm, surveyed Americans about immigration and asked straightforward questions most other pollsters phrase deceptively.

Among PI’s questions asked of likely voters: “Would you support a candidate who said that immigration policy needs to serve the interests of the nation as a whole, not a few billionaire CEOs and immigration activists lobbying for open borders?”

The results: participants approved by a 71 percent-to-16 percent margin; women supported the concept 73 percent to 14 percent, marginally higher than men.

Obama’s opponents supported it 82 percent to 12 percent, but even his enthusiasts agreed by a 61 percent-to-21 percent margin. Liberals favored it 59 percent to 21 percent.

Most surprising, self-identified Hispanics are on board by a whopping 66 percent to 21 percent.

Another question resulted in the same overwhelmingly favorable margins: “Do you agree that the first goal of immigration policy needs to be getting unemployed Americans back to work — not importing more low-wage workers to replace them?”

The poll proves that as legal immigration has reached record levels, more than 5 million work-authorized and permanent residents arrived in the last five years, Americans are increasingly concerned about job displacement and preserving sovereignty.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since 2000 the net gain in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job has gone to legal and illegal immigrants. At the same time, the total of U.S.-born not employed increased by 17 million.

Further confirming PI’s findings are ballot box results in which immigration is rarely an issue. In 2012, Montana passed with 80 percent of the vote an anti-illegal immigration referendum that would require proof of legal status before public services could be granted. Last year in deep blue Oregon, voters crushed by a 2-to-1 landslide a proposal to allow illegal immigrants to drive.

Too much immigration, on congressional autopilot to add 1 million more immigrants indefinitely, hurts Americans. Minorities and the unskilled are more adversely effected than others. The United States doesn’t need to apologize to anyone for cutting back immigration. For decades, America has been the world’s most immigrant-welcoming nation.

But with criminal aliens on the loose, the border disappearing, and good jobs becoming harder to find, America needs adopt common-sense immigration policies that prioritizes citizens.

— Joe Guzzardi is a senior writing fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) who now lives in Pittsburgh. He can be reached at [email protected]. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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