Earlier: ”Religious Charities” (AKA Refugee Contractors) Praise Biden’s 125,000 Refugee Admission Plan
President Dwight D. Eisenhower once decried the “military-industrial complex.” (Has it brought us the war in Ukraine?) Yet my years in the Border Patrol taught me that there’s also an immigration-industrial complex that is similarly venal, and dangerous.
Northern Virginia has two of the country’s wealthiest counties because so many residents are in the business of government, either as bureaucrats or the federal contractors once called “Beltway Bandits,” or as think tankers and staffers on Capitol Hill. They’re taking taxpayer money in one form or another, and so the biggest business in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area is the government itself.
Similarly, a few years back, when I was detailed to help out the border invasion that occurred when Trump capitulated to the “kids-in-cages!” propaganda, I learned a corollary to the adage that nothing is more expensive than cheap labor: Nothing is more expensive than stopping border enforcement. It costs the taxpayers a lot more money to invite an invasion of illegals than securing the border to keep them out.
When I landed at Ground Zero, not just the number of illegals coming across appalled me—so did the amount of money we spent to import them.
Borders agents detailed from the northern border or interior stations were paid a per diem, and for hotel rooms and plane flights. But we weren’t the only federal employees there. Personnel from other components of Homeland Security were there too: U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Protective Service and even one or two employees from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. They, too, received the same reimbursement deal.
There were also personnel from Health and Human Services and National Guard troops. They helped feed the illegals and reported those crossing illegally, but they were not allowed to stop them. If no Border Patrol Agents were around, they had to ignore them and watch them enter the country illegally.
All this is happening again, because of the Biden Rush.
When I started my career in the Border Patrol, we were always short staffed and underfunded. We could have used more agents in the field, newer vehicles, more detention beds, and more.
Yet when we were releasing people into the United States, we received all the money and personnel we needed to help the illegals into the country! The local motels and hotels must have loved it. Huge profits for everyone… courtesy of U.S taxpayers.
On top of that, government money went to non-governmental organizations like Catholic Charities to help them help the invasion, just as it does now. Private contractors transported illegals to the detention facilities, some of which were privately operated as well. Even the company that makes electronic ankle monitors to track the illegal aliens loved it. (Of course the illegals cut them off and left them behind.)
Everyone was making money, all of it a drain on the taxpayer.
My conclusion: A way to slow the flood would have been not sending so many government employees to handle it. Let the illegals get backed up in their wait to have their paperwork done. Let them sit in the hot sun if they want to get into the U.S. so badly. Instead, we coddled them.
I searched the Internet for the “Immigration Industrial complex.” One article at the leftist HuffPost lamented the Department of Homeland Security’s use of private contractors to run immigration detention [What Is The ‘Immigration Industrial Complex’?, by Robert Stribley, June 28, 2017]. The take: Privately-run facilities have an incentive to lobby for detaining more illegals. Of course, Democrats and the Refugee Racket have an incentive to let them go
The other was a video from the Heritage Foundation that detailed how nonprofit organizations and corporations make a mint off of illegal immigration [The Illegal Immigration Industrial Complex: How Nonprofits and Corporations Are Facilitating the Border Crisis, hosted by Lora Ries, December 13, 2022].
Add to this list of profiteers, of course, all the employers of illegal aliens. As far back as the Truman administration, they found that illegal aliens drove down the wages of Americans.
Most of the illegal aliens I arrested during my career were paid off the books. I remember a call from a hospital when a farmer dropped an illegal at the emergency room after he fell off a barn roof. The farmer didn’t want to pay and left immediately. We eventually found him, but he denied the alien was ever an employee. The farmer paid him under the table.
Illegal immigration helps out the big farmer at the expense of the small one. The big farmer pays illegals off the books. If one is injured and the farmer doesn’t pay the hospital bill, the hospital digs into its indigent care fund. The small farmer has a much harder time making ends meet. No wonder Big Ag lobbies for more and more immigration, legal or not.
Of course, illegals often don’t pay taxes. Even when they do and they have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), they often don’t declare their full salary. (I guess they Americanize fairly rapidly!—at least in that respect.)
A friend in construction loved to hire Guatemalans who were legally in the United States because they worked hard. His white employees resented the Guats, and most likely for a good reason. The Guatemalans, my friend said, claimed every resident in entire villages in Guatemala as dependents on their tax forms and received massive refunds. Given that everyone must have a Social Security or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, I don’t understand how that worked, but my friend swore it was true.
Anyway, his Guatemalans moved on to better jobs. One went to work for the U.S. Postal Service.
I’ve even encountered legal immigrants, by the way—resident aliens, permanent residents, and Green Card holders, all terms for the same thing—who were paid under the table for construction work.
Long term, all of this drains taxpayers, and hence, the economy.
A few years ago, The Guardian published a story about illegal immigration to Italy. “Migrants are more profitable than drugs,” a Mafia boss told an associate as police listened on a wiretap [‘Migrants are more profitable than drugs’: how the mafia infiltrated Italy’s asylum system, by Barbie Latza Nadeau, February 1, 2018].
The same thing is true here, but rather than enrich the Mafia, we enrich the drug and human–smuggling cartels that operate on both sides of the border—and government employees.
Sometimes, I look at my country and wonder when the whole Ponzi scheme is going to collapse. As Herb Stein’s Law says, ”If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” Well, this system cannot go on forever.
When the Roman Empire was born, its army recruits were mostly young men from small farms…small farms equal big families (that was before cable TV). But during the dying days of the empire, large estates were worked by slaves.
We don’t have slaves per se, but we do have an impoverished underclass of illegals working on farms, especially dairy farms, while the small farms of The Waltons era, with their big families, slowly go extinct.
Unless they’re Amish.
The author [Email him] is retired from the Border Patrol.