Michael Bloomberg's horribly bad immigration ideas (crime, spending, family separation, Zakaria, CNN)

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On the Fareed Zakaria CNN special on immigration, New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg promotes his very bad immigration policy.

From this:

[In the Zakaria interview, Bloomberg says:] "Undocumented have very low crime rate. Why? Because they’re scared to death they’re going to get arrested and deported"...

...[in the interview, he] also said about 75 percent of undocumented immigrants in New York pay taxes.

"Undocumented are not unemployed, they take jobs. They may be kicking the cash economy off the books, but they work," said Mr. Bloomberg. "Employers withhold and then the government says, 'Well, this guy didn't earn enough, we have to send a refund. To where? The documentation doesnt exist or is fraudulent."

Mr. Bloomberg also told Mr. Zakaria he doesn’t think undocumented immigrants put a strain on public schools or hospitals because they tend to leave their children in their home countries and are generally young and healthy.

As with Bloomberg's "fairways" quote, this is the Daddy Warbucks view of how things should work:

1. At least one study has claimed that illegal aliens have a lower crime rate than others, but the rate is different from the number of crimes. If illegal aliens commit 100,000 crimes, that's somewhere around 100,000 crimes that would not have been committed had they not been here in the first place.

2. The bit about "scared" is similar to how a slavery proponent might highlight how slaves were afraid to commit crimes lest they be sent down the river. That's not to say that Bloomberg would be in any way a slavery proponent, just that the mindsets have a commonality.

3. And, if those illegal aliens are legalized, they won't be scared; their U.S. citizen progeny will also not be scared. Scared as a crime control technique could just apply temporarily.

4. Bloomberg is ignoring how large populations of illegal aliens tend to attract criminals, and also how those criminals are also able to blend in to the larger population. Even small cities in the U.S. have been infiltrated by organized foreign criminals, and that would be less of an issue without massive illegal immigration and the establishment's support for it.

5. By supporting the "cash economy" with people working "off the books" and using "fraudulent" identification, Bloomberg is supporting a very large number of small instances of corruption. That has a corrosive social impact, in addition to being yet another profit center for criminals. Sometimes that involves elected officials.

6. Obviously, the children of illegal aliens (illegal aliens themselves or U.S. citizens) have had a devastating impact on California school spending. In 2004, the LAUSD raised $10 billion to construct schools, projections at the time were that after all that was spent it still wouldn't be enough. (Note also that some immigration boosters try to avoid mentioning things like that). See immigration economics and immigration welfare for more.

7. Mike Bloomberg is promoting family separation as a good thing. Instead of encouraging people to stay in their own countries and solve those countries' problems, Bloomberg thinks it's acceptable that they should leave their children hundreds or thousands of miles away.

8. Needless to say, as the push for the DREAM Act and attempts to avoid family separation through legalization show, millions of illegal aliens do not in fact leave their children at home.

9. The part about illegal aliens being "generally young and healthy" is yet another temporary situation: people do tend to age. What happens to, for instance, strawberry pickers when that inevitably happens? Per one picker: "[w]hen I'm 50 years old, I will be worn out" [1]. When a picker retires, will it be to his home country, or to the U.S.? In the latter case, who's going to pick up the tab of someone who had a lifetime of back-breaking labor? Not Michael Bloomberg or those in his class, of course: they'd make everyone else except themselves pay for it.

Given the above, it's not surprising that Bloomberg would get support for his immigration position from business groups and libertarians: they're all about the profits here and now and making others pay for their bad policies.

But, it's a bit surprising why self-described liberals and those in the Occupy Wall Street movement tend to be on the same side of immigration as Daddy Warbucks.

[1] ufw.org/_board.php?mode=view&