Saturday, May 14, 2011

More "Bitter Clingers"?

Today, President Obama spoke at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast. A transcript of his remarks is here.

The part that really jumped out at me was when the President asserted that "[immigration] is a subject that can expose raw feelings and feed our fears of change. It can be tempting to think that those coming to America today are somehow different from us."

Typical Obama move -- reminiscent of the "bitter clingers" remark, isn't it? Anybody who isn't for his version of "immigration reform" (i.e., amnesty) is nothing but a bigot with a pathological fear of "change." Rarely has a President insulted so many of his fellow Americans with such regularity.

Just for the record: Very few Americans oppose all immigration -- rather, they oppose illegal immigration, and the attack on our sovereignty that results from the Obama administration's non-enforcement of the immigration laws on the books. The issue isn't about "change" or "difference" or bigotry . . . it's about the rule of law.

If the President actually stopped the flow of illegal immigrants into this country -- and contrary to his claims, the metric isn't how many people the government employs to do this, but how well they succeed -- I bet he'd be amazed at how open Americans in both parties would be to solving the remaining immigration issues.


Mass immigration ‘has made the UK’s poor even poorer’

Ministers drew a link for the first time yesterday between large-scale immigration and rising levels of poverty among low-paid workers.

Iain Duncan Smith said that Labour’s open door to migration meant tens of thousands more people were chasing unskilled jobs – and that in turn meant many gave up on work for a life on benefits.

The Work and Pensions Secretary named immigration as one of the causes of rising distress among low-skilled workers after the latest official breakdown showed working-age adult poverty has reached its highest level in 50 years.

The figures showed slightly less poverty last year among children and pensioners, and average take-home incomes went up.

But the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies said this was mainly because of increasing state benefits and tax credits in the year before the general election. It predicted record falls in incomes and a vicious squeeze on living standards this year.

The poverty figures showed that 5.7million working-age people were living below the Government’s poverty line in the financial year that ended in April 2010, a rise of 700,000 in five years between 2004 and 2009.

The IFS said the 16 per cent of working-age people now below the poverty line is the highest since it started compiling its own records in 1961.

However, the great bulk of the increase did not come during the recession years after 2007, when unemployment began to rise, but in the three years between 2004 and 2007.

This was the period when the economy was booming – attracting one and a half million Poles and other Eastern Europeans who came to work in Britain after the borders were opened when their countries joined the EU. Immigration from other parts of the world was also running at unprecedentedly high levels over the three years.

Mr Duncan Smith said: ‘Labour’s open-door immigration policy meant that the competition for low skill jobs in many areas increased, and a life on benefits became a more attractive option than a life in work. ‘That’s why this Government is doing the responsible thing and reforming the welfare state and tightening up on immigration to get Britain working and end the madness of generations living on benefits with no higher aspiration.’

Labour ministers defended high immigration on the grounds that it benefited the economy.

The poverty figures, however, suggest there was force behind the arguments of critics of immigration who said the benefits were felt only by the well-off – and those on low incomes were facing greater competition for work and lower pay.

According to the Households Below Average Incomes report, the share of working-age adults in poverty – below 60 per cent of median income – stood at 14 per cent in 2004. Last year it reached 16 per cent.

Mr Duncan Smith said that despite the falls in official poverty levels, inequality is at record levels and working people have borne the brunt of paying for the state benefits that gave better living standards to the workless. ‘These figures lay bare the growth of income inequality in the UK which is now the highest it has ever been,’ he said.

He added that ‘benefit [welfare] dependency and worklessness (had been made) inherent to the UK way of life with middle and low income earners picking up the bill.’


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