Racist or taking matters into their own hands?

I’ve got a few news stories to throw out at you, all of which, in my mind, are related. At the end, I’ve got a couple of questions for you. First, the news stories, many of which are just from the last couple of days:

Under the Labour Government, England has had an overwhelming influx of immigrants, which is balanced out by the almost equally high number of native Britons leaving the country. In a few decades, immigrants will be in the majority. The country’s social services are crumbling under the strain.

Although the media is playing coy, reading between the lines we understand that Arab and African immigrants are running riot in France, again.

Half of the 3.5 million immigrants living in Texas are illegals. Nationwide, one third of immigrants are here illegally.

Illegal aliens are behind drunk driving deaths and murders.

In North Carolina, state funded colleges and universities are being forced to admit illegal immigrants.

San Francisco is handing out official IDs to illegal immigrants.

And now two more news stories:

In Australia, which has had a huge influx of Muslim immigration, pigs’ heads were placed on the site of a controversial proposed Islamic school. (Hat tip: RD) This rendered the land unclean by Muslim standards.

In Padua, Italy, native Italians arranged to have a pig run over land that was being slated for a controversial mosque. Again, the land was made unclean.

These last two headlines can easily be classified as racist or, at least, religion-ist. Nimby-ism in its nastiest sense. But I think that’s a bit too simplistic.

What people are seeing, both here and abroad, is that their governments have failed to control immigration, whether by having open border policies or by allowing unchecked illegal immigration. They’re also seeing that their governments, having failed to stop immigrants at the borders, are either encouraging further illegal immigrants or destroying their economies handing out benefits to immigrants, both legal and illegal.

These government policies would be fine if the people actually agreed with them — but they don’t. Americans, for example, are overwhelmingly opposed to illegal immigrants and to extending benefits to illegal immigrants. (See here and here for examples of poll results.) Native Europeans are also disturbed by the enormous influx of immigrants. None of the polls, incidentally, indicates overwhelming xenophobia, with immigrants being castigated as evil. Instead, people are mad at their respective governments for losing control over a situation that is desirable under limited circumstances. After all, immigration, especially in America, is a very healthy antidote to societal stagnation. In other words, immigration, like medicine, can be wonderful in small doses and toxic in large doses.

So what I think those last two stories show isn’t racism or religion-ism. I think they show an exasperated population trying, without violence or overt face-offs, to step in and act in the vacuum their governments have created. Heck, it’s not even a vacuum. All of these governments, whether deliberately or through inaction, are flouting the will of the people. If governments would control their borders and stop handing out benefits like candy, local populations wouldn’t feel obligated to exert some minimal control over their own environments.

Do you agree or disagree? Alternatively, do you have a whole different theory I didn’t even think of?

UPDATE: As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve got a real bee in my bonnet about dishonestly presenting actual facts. The sin of omission especially gets me, because the author of a particular report self-righteously points to the accuracy of what he did say, without having acknowledging the inaccuracy created by what he didn’t say. Into that category falls a new study out of UCLA that announces that illegal immigrants are underutilizing the free services offered to them at American emergency rooms. Below, you can read the headline and the first few paragraphs in the LA Times version of the story:

Study finds immigrants’ use of healthcare system lower than expected

UCLA researchers find that Latinos in the U.S. illegally are 50% less likely to visit emergency rooms.

By Mary Engel, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 27, 2007

Illegal immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries are 50% less likely than U.S.-born Latinos to use hospital emergency rooms in California, according to a study published Monday in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

The cost of providing healthcare and other government services to illegal immigrants looms large in the national debate over immigration.

In Los Angeles County, much of the focus of that debate has been on hospital emergency rooms. Ten have closed in the last five years, citing losses from treating the uninsured, and those that remain open are notorious for backlogs.

By federal law, hospitals must treat every emergency, regardless of a person’s insurance — or immigration — status. Illegal immigrants, who often work at jobs that don’t offer health insurance, are commonly seen as driving both the closures and the crowding.

But the study found that while illegal immigrants are indeed less likely to be insured, they are also less likely to visit a doctor, clinic or emergency room.

“The current policy discourse that undocumented immigrants are a burden on the public because they overuse public resources is not borne out with data, for either primary care or emergency department care,” said Alexander N. Ortega, an associate professor at UCLA’s School of Public Health and the study’s lead author. “In fact, they seem to be underutilizing the system, given their health needs.”

Reading that headline, sub-headline, and packet of six paragraphs, you are of course meant to understand that the illegal immigrants are not, in fact, a burden on health care, and that it is racist, classist, imperialist, capitalist, and any other -ist you can think of for the anti-illegal immigration crowd to base its arguments on our overburdened health care system.

But did you figure out what’s missing from the story? The question isn’t whether the illegals are under-using the system relative to their own health care needs. From the point of view of the American tax payer, the only question is whether they are over-using the health care system compared to their contribution to the system. And only in paragraph seven of the story does Mary Engel touch upon that pivotal point:

Ira Mehlman, media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that lobbies for tougher immigration controls, said that usage rates are just one measure of illegal immigrants’ effect on healthcare. The other factor, he said, is the cost to taxpayers, which Ortega’s study did not examine.

Cost estimates vary widely. A Rand Corp. study published last year in the journal Health Affairs put the cost of healthcare for illegal immigrants nationwide at $1.1 billion a year, excluding care for those younger than 18 and older than 64.

FAIR called the Rand number a “low-ball” estimate. Its own study of healthcare costs of illegal immigrants and their dependents, including U.S.-born children, estimated California’s portion alone to be about $1.5 billion a year.

Mehlman said $1.5 billion “is still a significant amount of money, unless you’re Bill Gates.”

Having made an intellectually honest women of herself, Engel goes right back to her dominant point, which is that the immigrants are sacrificing their health so that we don’t have to bear their burden. Really, it brings tears to my eyes — NOT.

By the way, if you’re wondering why I included this story in this post, it’s because it’s kind of part of the package of stories I included at the top of this post, regarding the enormous stresses illegal immigration places on American society, and it can be analogized to the enormous stresses legal immigration places on the social welfare societies of Europe.

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  • Lulu

    Well, I suppose if the government fails to do anything, a pig in every parlor isn’t the worst strategy…

    Actually, it is not racist to object to a problem out of control. I do not feel bigoted toward Hispanic people. I do object, however, to schools in California whose entire student body is comprised of either illegal immigrans or their children. I do object to not even being able to find a gardner service in which I can hire someone here legally, or who even speaks the English language. I object to people who are here without any allegience to the United States. What I object to are the problems caused by illegal immigration, and I am frustrated that there is no end in sight.

    The out-of-control immigration in Europe has been legal, just without restriction. But legal or no, I’m grateful that the immigrants we have flooding here are not Arab or Moslem Africans as in Europe.

  • Friend of USA

    And take a look at this, ( ok it is a small event and in Canada but still…)

    Supporters of black-only school shut down meeting

    Updated Thu. Nov. 29 2007 9:17 AM ET

    toronto.ctv.ca

    Protesting parents shut down a Toronto District School Board meeting on Wednesday after realizing the issue of a black-focused school would not be discussed.

    [...] The debate for a black-focused school has enraged some parents, who feel the initiative is a dangerous throwback to the days of segregation.

    However, some parents, community leaders and educators support the concept. They say the current curriculum is failing the city’s black youth.

    More than half of black male teens at Toronto’s public schools haven’t earned the 16 credits required by the end of Grade 10, according to the school board.

    Supporters of the plan say an “African-centred alternative school” would lower the dropout rate of young black males.

    Some parents say an African-centred school with black teachers and role models would help black youths graduate and succeed.

    … … …

  • Friend of USA

    The sin of omission especially gets me, because the author of a particular report self-righteously points to the accuracy of what he did say, without having acknowledging the inaccuracy created by what he didn’t say.

    I wish I could write or express my thoughts as well as you do Bookworm!

  • Friend of USA

    …But the study found that while illegal immigrants are indeed less likely to be insured, they are also less likely to visit a doctor, clinic or emergency room.

    The number of illegals in the US grows everyday and we all know eventually more of them will use the “free” health services because activist groups will encourage them to, telling them they are “entitled” .
    ( activists are already working their a** off helping illegals cross the borders…)

    And then far more than 10 emergency rooms will have to close.

    And journalists will have to be far more creative to conceal the facts.

  • Friend of USA

    After 9/11 leftists have said,

    ” We should ask ourselves what we have done to those people that they would do something as desperate as driving airplanes into our buildings?”

    And today I would like to say to leftists,

    What have Muslims done to those people that they would do something as desperate as put pigs head on a land?

    I would not expect an honest answer of course…

  • Allen L.

    What is also missing from the LA times story.

    I read this story and was immediately thinking how could they possibly know such a thing? So I read down and buried in the middle, “a 2003 randomized telephone survey.” What? You mean to tell me that the whole study’s premise is based on a telephone survey. Junk science, again. It really galls me how science has been hijacked for political purposes.

    Beware anything that uses the terms “scientific polling,” or “study based on a telephone survey.” Invariably it can be filed under GIGO.

  • Friend of USA

    Not about race but just as shocking ( and no it is not a joke)

    from worldnetdaily.com

    Airline ‘discount’ charges heterosexual customers more

    10% penalty applied if buyers don’t get tickets from ‘gay’ site

    Posted: November 28, 2007
    9:55 p.m. Eastern

  • jj

    1. If they cost five cents it’s too much: they are ILLEGAL.

    2. Muslims must not get around much: if land where pigs were once harbored is forever off limits to them, then I’d expect them to be instantly gone from Manhattan, which used roving herds of pigs to keep the streets free (sort of) of garbage 150 years ago. The Bronx was one huge slaughterhouse.

    3. San Francisco handed out an official ID to Nancy Pelosi – what price illegal aliens? Apparently anything goes in that city.

  • Gray

    What people are seeing, both here and abroad, is that their governments have failed to control immigration, whether by having open border policies or by allowing unchecked illegal immigration.

    The Baby Boom generation in both the US and Europe simply didn’t have enough kids….

    Cheap labor has to come from somewhere.

    It’s not like we have an alternative.

  • boqueronman

    “It’s not like we have an alternative.” Yes, there is an alternative. A coherent, enforced immigration policy which establishes a controlled border AND accounts for REAL, not cheap, labor needs from legal immigration. Much of “taking jobs Americans don’t want” is a sound bite developed by the amnesty and open border crowd to help justify illegal immigration. Current pay levels are depressed for lower skilled labor due to the availability of illegal, untaxed labor. If fewer illegal immigrants were available, salaries would have to rise and improved technology applied to maintain productivity. That’s fine by me. I’ll pay a little extra for my salads or get a little less floor space in my McMansion if that means the U.S. acts decisively to control the borders.

  • Gray

    Yes, there is an alternative. A coherent, enforced immigration policy which establishes a controlled border AND accounts for REAL, not cheap, labor needs from legal immigration.

    Real unionized tax-paying labor that is no longer cheap comes with too much economic pain….

    How much leverage would lettuce pickers unions have when they strike to leave the crops in the field?

    A great deal of leverage.

    Demographics is destiny. We can’t go back and retroactively make the boomers have more kids, so we let the labor sneak in. It’s awful, but the drop in standard of living would be intolerable.

    That’s fine by me. I’ll pay a little extra for my salads or get a little less floor space in my McMansion if that means the U.S. acts decisively to control the borders.

    How are you going to sell that pain politically?

  • jj

    I was being somewhat (not very) facetious in the the first post, but Gray makes an interesting point.

    This problem isn’t just something happening here: it’s happening everywhere in what is commonly referred to as the “developed” world. Not just here – everywhere.

    So it seems to me then, that this changes the dynamic a bit, and the question becomes: why?

    I can’t really speak to Europe, I haven’t lived there in years, but I can speak to this country, and one of the things I notice about this country is that everybody expects to make a ton of money. Suburban schoolteachers – in my old suburbs – were making $75,000 – $90,000 a year after ten years for (as far as the Dept of Labor is concerned, a part-time job [more than 12 weeks a year off is part-time by definition]) which is a hell of a lot of money for a part-time job. Along with it comes, of course, complete medical care and retirement benefits forever.

    Truck-drivers make $60K plus retirement and medical care.
    Professional people of course are unlimited, and cost us all a fortune.
    Guys who drive subway trains get $100K a year plus, as well as full medical, retirement, etc., etc.
    Cops make, in this country, anywhere from $50k to $150k depending on where they are and how long they’ve been at it – plus the usual benefits.

    You see where we’re going. I suspect Europe is there, too. Gray says, “it’snot like we have an alternative.” Boqueronman says yes we do.

    I wonder. If we had actual citizens, with all the actual citizen expectations of this country at work in those fields picking that stuff, it begins to me to look like the little prepackaged salad at Burger King would have to cost something on the order of fifty bucks.

    We would not be paying “a little extra” for our salads – we would be paying one huge hell of a lot more for them. The wage differences between the so-called developed world and the rest of the world – whew! It would probably be worthwhile – and kind of entertaining – to find out what the Teamsters or someone of that ilk would think a day’s work int he fields ought to be worth.

    That’s the answer to the “why” in Europe and here: if we or the Europeans had to actually pay the field-hands the way we pay everybody else, you’d have eaten your last salad.

  • Gray

    This problem isn’t just something happening here: it’s happening everywhere in what is commonly referred to as the “developed” world. Not just here – everywhere.

    So it seems to me then, that this changes the dynamic a bit, and the question becomes: why?

    ’68er generation generation didn’t have enough kids here or in Europe.

    It’s the first time in history (absent plague or war) that a smaller generation followed a larger one–the largest generation in history, in fact….

    The number of abortions from Roe v. Wade until 1980 is now about equal to the number of illegals.

    But at least we only import nice Catholic Mexicans and not Muslims like Europe.

  • http://usmalesf.blogspot.com EssEm

    America supports immigration as part of our national mythology. Although I do not buy the notion that we are a purely creedal nation without that having any link to ethnicity, we are able, with a lot of effort and no small difficulty, to turn immigrants into “us”. (I am speaking of legal immigration, of course).

    Europe, on the other hand, composed of states based almost entirely on ethnicity, has no natural or national mythology by which to manage foreign immigation. To imagine that you can take Moroccans and turn them into Danes…how is that to be done? There can be no “we” without the complete dissolution of the original people.
    It was a stunning hubris which led the Europeans to imagine that this kind of thing could work without cultural suicide…(and I wonder sometimes if this is the unconscious goal for a post WWII continent gripped with guilt).

    Our national future in the USA is not clear, but at least we have a chance. For Europe, I suspect the outcome will be very rough.

  • Lulu

    A logical response to the collective European guilt after WWII would be to fight fascism and totalitarianism, appreciate American values, and support Israel and fight anti-semitism. Unfortunately, Europe chose the opposite road embracing pacifism (fighting is evil, rather than fighting evil), hatred of the USA, hatred of Israel, a rise in anti-semitism and a “critique” of Israel movement morphing into anti-semitism, an unwillingness to even identify evil ideologies, and unchecked immigration of west-hating, women-suppressing, jihad-supporting immigrants. With their ethnically based identities, integration is unlikely to ooccur, so Europe will either succumb from within (can you imagine Islamist fjord towns?), or start expelling large numbers of people leading to horrific unrest and bigotry. What on earth was Europe thinking?