RUSH: Let me share with you this story. It’s going to shock you. We talk about immigration reform, and the word to focus on here is “reform.” There’s no such thing as immigration reform. I mean, they sell it that way and they talk about it, but wait ’til you hear this story. Do you have any idea just what we’re reforming? Because it’s important. Before we can fix a problem we have to see what caused the problem in the first place, and we have to identify the problem, and before we seek a problem solver, we have to find out who helped create the problem and find out if they’re still on the job.
First, the problem. The problem is called “Hart-Seller” or the Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965. At the signing ceremony of Hart-Seller, President Lyndon Baines Johnson said, “This bill we sign today is not a revolutionary bill. It does not affect the lives of millions. It will not restructure the shape of our daily lives.” Well, that’s about 41 years ago. We’ve got a lot of hindsight that we can use. We have learned that this high sounding liberal dream Hart-Seller, 1965, worked out about as well as the war on poverty. In other words, it was a disaster.
Well, LBJ is no longer available to face accountability, but I do know that the man who marshaled the bill through the Senate is still around. The man who marshaled Hart-Seller immigration bill 1965, not only is he still around, he is leading the reform on the reform that he helped reform. We’re into our third or fourth incarnation of reform here, and the guy who’s working on the third or fourth version was the first guy who got this whole thing started in 1965. Now, before I reveal his name, let me pass on to you some of his quotes in 1965 as he then led the reform we are about to reform. Who do you think it is? Here’s what he said. (interruption) Snerdley thinks he knows who it is, and I’m sure many of you think you know who it is.
First, “Our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same. Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset. Contrary to the charges in some quarters, the bill will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia — and in the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think.”
The reformer then assured the Senate and the country and the media, quote, “The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs,” and if that weren’t enough, the reformer, the man who started this whole thing with Hart-Seller, the Immigration Nationality Services Act of 1965 and who is today leading the charge to reform his own error, to reform his own failure, to reform his own disaster, said, “No immigrant visa will be issued to a person who is likely to become a public charge.” All right, do you think you know who this is?
The reformer who wants to reform that which he reformed is Senator Ted Kennedy. These are the words of Senator Ted Kennedy, 1965, and he today is working on reforming what he reformed, what has been a total disaster. How in the world can we fix it if the same people are involved in fixing it who broke it in the first place? We’re not even being honest with ourselves about the failures of our past attempts at reform. I know some of you are surprised that he’s been around 40 years, but please, he’s been around, and around, and around our necks for 44 years. Ted Kennedy is also the man, as an ancillary little bit of information here, who gave us the health maintenance organization.
It was Ted Kennedy’s impetus that created the HMO, and it is now Ted Kennedy who’s bashing the hell out of them and saying they’re stealing people blind and mistreating customers and patients and so forth. He is the architect of at least two modern disasters, and that’s probably barely scratching the surface. All you have to do is listen to his statements from his past records and do the opposite of what he wants to do. Ted Kennedy is a disaster. Ted Kennedy probably doesn’t remember everything he said back in 1965 about the Hart-Seller bill, but it promised us then exactly what we’re being promised now, and it was an utter disaster, and we tried it again, 20 years later, we had to go back and fix it. Hello, 1986, and it was Simpson-Mazzoli.
This immigration business seems to run in 20-year cycles. Now, here’s the reality check. You heard the quotes from Senator Kennedy. Nothing bad’s going to happen. We’re not going to be flooded. We’re not going to have these people become public charges, meaning welfare recipients. It’s not going to happen. “Political refugees–” and this is the Center for Immigration Studies, their website. This was back in September 1995. This is ten-year-old stuff. You know it’s even more profound now. “Political refugees qualify for public assistance upon setting foot on US soil.
“The exploding Somali refugee population of Lewiston, Maine, (pop. 36,000) is largely welfare-dependent. Likewise, 2,900 of Wausau, Wisconsin’s 4,200 Hmong refugees receive public assistance. In all, 21 percent of immigrants receive public assistance, whereas 14 percent of natives do so. Immigrants are 50 percent more likely than natives to live in poverty.” This was exactly what Senator Kennedy 40 years ago assured us would not happen. So Senator Kennedy and the Democrats want to pander. Well, then it’s time to get both feet in the water on this immigration vote scam and be honest.
To demonstrate their compassion and their sympathy for the millions of potential new voteritos, Democrats ought to propose legislation granting illegal aliens the benefits of affirmative action. If they’re gonna call this the modern civil rights movement, then let’s take it right where we know it’s going to go right off the bat. Affirmative action. Contractors employing more than 50% illegal aliens will get preferential treatment for minority contracts. Illegals applying to colleges get equal status with African-Americans. In fact, no, they get bumped ahead of everybody, and to really sew up the vote, new union job openings will go to illegal aliens.
They are the most depressed, oppressed, the people with the toughest row to hoe. This, my friends, is the only fair way of dealing with this never-ending discrimination. If these underappreciated and undervalued, well-meaning criminals really are the backbone of our country, if they really do represent like Ted Kennedy thinks and some of the other people on this, what is great about this country, then it’s high time the Democrats, the wisest and kindest people in our planet, took the bull by the horns and did the right thing. Ted Kennedy says the immigrants today are part of a great and noble movement, like the civil rights movement of the sixties.
Well, if that’s true, and if Kennedy is not just pandering, and he isn’t just treating his new amigos like idiots and let’s give these ne’er-do-wells a helping hand, we’ve got to boost them up. They can’t get ahead on their own. It’s too much discrimination. You can hear it out there all over the country, racism and sexism and bigotry and xenophobia, all is being directed at the backbone of America. And we in America have learned how Democrats deal with this. It’s affirmative action. It’s time to give them a liberal helping hand. Let’s help them achieve what they can’t achieve on their own.
Let’s take care of them like helpless children and get them first in line. Affirmative action or give me death. Then give them something else to protest, too. We’ll have an argument about it ’til they start demanding affirmative action as they fly the Mexican flag up there. I’m going to wait for Senator Kennedy here to be consistent, and the rest of the liberals to be consistent. If this is the modern civil rights movement, and we know what that means, then it’s time for affirmative action for illegals and especially, not just affirmative action, it’s time for comparable worth. The fact that they’re being paid peanuts is insulting.
Read the Background Material…
Headline: The 1965 Immigration Act: Anatomy of a Disaster
Date: December 10, 2002
By: Ben Johnson
America’s current mass immigration mess is the result of a change in the laws in 1965. Prior to 1965, despite some changes in the 50’s, America was a low-immigration country basically living under immigration laws written in 1924. Thanks to low immigration, the swamp of cheap labor was largely drained during this period, America became a fundamentally middle-class society, and our many European ethnic groups were brought together into a common national culture. In some ways, this achievement was so complete that we started to take for granted what we had achieved and forgot why it happened. So in a spasm of sentimentality on the Right and lies on the Left, we opened the borders.
Born of liberal ideology, the 1965 bill abolished the national origins quota system that had regulated the ethnic composition of immigration in fair proportion to each group’s existing presence in the population. In a misguided application spirit of the civil rights era, the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations saw these ethnic quotas as an archaic form of chauvinism. Moreover, as Cold Warriors facing charges of “racism” and “imperialism,” they found the system rhetorically embarrassing. The record of debate over this seismic change in immigration policy reveals that left-wingers, in their visceral flight to attack “discrimination,” did not reveal the consequences of their convictions. Instead, their spokesmen set out to assuage concerned traditionalists with a litany of lies and wishful thinking.
Chief among national concerns was total numeric immigration. Senate floor manager and Camelot knight-errant Ted Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, assured jittery senators that “our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually.” Senator Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, further calmed that august body, insisting “the total number of potential immigrants would not be changed very much.” Time has proven otherwise. Average immigration levels before the 1965 amendments took effect hovered around 300,000 per annum. Yet 1,045,000 legal immigrants flooded our cities in 1996 alone.
The 1965 “reform” reoriented policy away from European ethnic groups, yet implemented numbers similar to 1950’s rates in an attempt to keep immigration under control. However, Congressmen managed to miss a loophole large enough to allow a 300 percent in immigration, because they did not take into account two “sentimental” provisions within the bill. Immediate family members of U.S. citizens and political refugees face no quotas. Their likely impact on the nation was ignored, presumably because aiding families and the dispossessed cast the right emotive glow.
Yet leftists could sound like hard-nosed defenders of the national interest when necessary. In urging passage of the 1965 bill, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, D-New York, wrote in a letter to the New York Times, “The time has come for us to insist that the quota system be replaced by the merit system.” As if merit is the operative principle along the Rio Grande today! Similarly, Representative Robert Sweeney, D-Ohio, insisted the bill was “more beneficial to us.” In fact, the 1965 bill made “family reunification” – including extended family members – the key criterion for eligibility. These new citizens may in turn send for their families, creating an endless cycle known to sociologists as the immigration chain. The qualifications of immigrants have predictably fallen. Hispanic immigrants, by far the largest contingent, are eight times more likely than natives to lack a ninth-grade education, and less than half as likely to have a college degree.
The bill did not end discrimination based on what President John F. Kennedy called “the accident of birth.” (This of course begs the question of whether birth within the nation, the basis of common national community, is just an accident, but let that pass for now.) It de facto grossly discriminates in favor of Mexicans and certain other groups.
Not only has the bill failed in its stated purpose, it has realized many of its critics’ worst nightmares. Concern mounted that this bill would radically change the ethnic composition of the United States. Such things were still considered legitimate concerns in 1965, in the same Congress that had just passed the key civil rights legislation of the 1960’s.
Specific influx predictions that were made seem tragicomic today. Senator Robert Kennedy predicted a total of 5,000 immigrants from India; his successor as Attorney General, Nicholas Katzenbach, foresaw a meager 8,000. Actual immigration from India has exceeded by 1,000-times Robert Kennedy’s prediction.
Senator Hiram Fong, R-Hawaii, calculated that “the people from [Asia] will never reach 1 percent of the population.” Even in 1965, people were willing to admit that we have a reasonable interest in not being inundated by culturally alien foreigners, and it was considered acceptable to say so on the floor of the Senate. Try that today, even as a supposed conservative! (Asians currently account for three percent of the population, and will swell to near 10 percent by 2050 if present trends continue.)
The only remaining Congressman who had voted on the 1920s quotas, Representative Emanuel Celler, D-New York, insisted, “There will not be, comparatively speaking, many Asians or Africans entering this country.” Today, the number of Asians and Africans entering this country each year exceeds the annual average total number of immigrants during the 1960s.
Yet the largest ethnic shift has occurred within the ranks of Hispanics. Despite Robert Kennedy’s promise that, “Immigration from any single country would be limited to 10 percent of the total,” Mexico sent 20 percent of last year’s immigrants. Hispanics have made up nearly half of all immigrants since 1968. After a 30-year experiment with open borders, whites no longer constitute a majority of Californians or residents of New York City.
As immigrants pour in, native Americans feel themselves pushed out. In 1965, Senator Hugh Scott, R-Pennsylvania, opined, “I doubt if this bill will really be the cause of crowding the present Americans out of the 50 states.” Yet half-a-million native Californians fled the state in the last decade, while its total population increased by three million, mostly immigrants. This phenomenon also holds true in microcosm. In tiny Ligonier, Indiana, (population 4,357) 914 Hispanics moved in and 216 native Americans departed during the 1990s. Hispanics now outnumber the Amish as the area’s dominant minority.
Thirty-plus years of immigration at historic levels have also had an economic impact on America. In 1965, Ted Kennedy confidently predicted, “No immigrant visa will be issued to a person who is likely to become a public charge.” However, political refugees qualify for public assistance upon setting foot on U.S. soil. The exploding Somali refugee population of Lewiston, Maine, (pop. 36,000) is largely welfare-dependent. Likewise, 2,900 of Wausau, Wisconsin’s 4,200 Hmong refugees receive public assistance. In all, 21 percent of immigrants receive public assistance, whereas 14 percent of natives do so. Immigrants are 50 percent more likely than natives to live in poverty.
Ted Kennedy also claimed the 1965 amendments “will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.” Teddy cannot have it both ways: either the immigrant will remain unemployed and become a public charge, or he will take a job that otherwise could have gone to a native American. What is presently undisputed – except by the same economic analysts at Wired magazine and the Wall Street Journal who gave us dot-com stocks – is that immigrant participation lowers wages.
Despite the overwhelming assurances of the bill’s supporters, the 1965 Immigration Reform Act has remade society into the image its critics most feared. Immigration levels topping a million a year will increase U.S. population to 400 million within 50 years. Meanwhile, exponents of multiculturalism insist new arrivals make no effort to assimilate; to do so would be “genocidal,” a notion that makes a mockery of real genocides. Instead, long-forgotten grudges are nursed against the white populace. Native citizens take to flight as the neighborhoods around them, the norms in their hometowns, are debased for the convenience of low-paid immigrants and well-heeled businessmen. All the while, indigenous paychecks drop through lower wages and higher taxes collected to provide social services for immigrants. And this only takes into account legal immigration.
These results were unforeseen by liberals easily led about by their emotions. Others were not so blind. Jewish organizations had labored since 1924 to unweave national origins quotas by admitting family members on non-quota visas. The B’nai B’rith Women and the American Council for Judaism Philanthropic Fund, among other Jewish organizations, supported this reform legislation while it was yet in subcommittee in the winter of 1965. Roman Catholics had the twin motivations of still-evolving social justice doctrine and the potential windfall of a mass influx of co-religionists from Latin America. Other organized minorities pressured for increased immigration to benefit relatives in their homelands. The ultra-liberal Americans for Democratic Action, the ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild joined the chorus. Further, the Communist Party USA supported higher immigration on the grounds that it destabilizes working Americans.
Americans must realize demographic trends are not inevitable, the product of mysterious forces beyond their control. Today’s population is the result of yesterday’s immigration policy, and that policy is as clearly broken as its backers’ assurances were facetious. A rational policy will only come about when native Americans place the national interest above liberal howls of “prejudice” and “tribalism.”