Bravo, Atlantic

In America, there is a tendency to try to pigeonhole every social and political issue neatly into the framework of liberal versus conservative. In reality, most of the burning issues our time are not really left vs. right.

Immigration is perhaps the prime example of an issue that does not fit the paradigm. Rather than a left-right issue, the real divide over immigration is the elite versus (for lack of a better term) average Americans. It’s not quite the 1 percent versus the 99 percent, but clearly there is a dramatic divide between how the denizens of the island of Manhattan, or the upscale Zip Codes in and around Washington, D.C., view immigration, and those who live in much of the rest of the country.

5111267506_97072a859d_oCase in point: At this moment Sen Bernie Sanders, a proud socialist from the land of Ben and Jerry, is raining all over Hillary Clinton’s coronation as the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nominee. Unlike most other prominent leftists, Sanders is not only the very antithesis of elitism, but delights in being a thorn in the side of the left-wing elite. Despite his incongruous support for the 2013 Gang of Eight amnesty bill, Sanders clearly recognizes the damaging effect that mass immigration has on what he might describe as the proletariat.

More refreshing is that the July 1 murder of Kathryn Steinle at the hands of an illegal alien criminal who was turned loose by the elitists who rule San Francisco may have sparked some introspection by the elite themselves. By pretty much anyone’s definition, the editors of The Atlantic, would qualify as elite, as would most of the magazine’s readership.

In an unsigned column that appeared on July 29, “The Problem with Downplaying Immigrant Crime,” The Atlantic confronts, head-on, the elitist attitudes that resulted in Ms. Steinle’s killer being put back on the streets of San Francisco. “When American elites debate immigration, they mostly ignore [issues like crime], and instead debate its economic impact. But even the most favorable analysis concedes that the economic benefits of immigration to the native-born are exceedingly small: about 0.2 percent of GDP, in a computation frequently cited and endorsed by the Obama administration. In return for those relatively meager economic benefits, the United States shoulders many serious and severe social costs, including the crimes tallied by the GAO,” note the editors.

The consequences of the elitist policies favored by many of its readers, opine the editors, is that “American immigration policy has built a population that is younger, less educated, and poorer than it would otherwise have been. It has built this population at a time when young, less-educated people face narrower opportunities than young, less-educated people did two generations ago. The United States has become a society in which it’s harder for poor and less-educated newcomers to succeed, even as its immigration intake has tilted ever more sharply in favor of the poor and less-educated.” In other words, we have an immigration policy that ignores the interests of the vast majority of our citizens.

Bravo, Atlantic. Let’s hope it gives your readership something to think about.

avatar About Ira Mehlman

Ira joined FAIR in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar Larry Glickfeld says:

    Immigration is a critical part of the greater population problem — both here in the USA as well as many other civilized nations, e.g., western Europe. Many or most of us are aware that over-population is the root cause of economical problems such as welfare and unemployment, as well as environmental issues including habitat destruction and climate change. And although the world population of 7.3 billion and growing effects the entire planet, it also has serious consequences for individual nations such as the USA ( along with Britain, France, Germany, etc.).
    Unfortunately, when it comes to politics, there are very few who recognize this situation. It seems that virtually all of the “liberals” who favor environmental protection and birth control available to all, not to mention a higher minimum wage, are more or less “pro-immigration”, i.e., favoring amnesty, or the path to citizenship for those in the country illegally, while failing to admit that this practice will only encourage more illegal immigration. Meanwhile, the Donald Trumps and Rick Santoriums of the political world, who favor strong regulation of immigration, would deny easy access to birth control, while favoring the the elimination of most environmental regulations in the interest of more profits for big business– even as we destroy the planet in the process.
    With his latest revelation that he recognizes the damaging effects of immigration on the American worker, I’m holding out hope for Bernie Sanders in the upcoming presidential election as the exception to the typical “liberal vs. conservative” rule as noted above. But it remains to be seen how this scenario develops.

  2. avatar Tim says:

    The elites are well protected behind walls and wealth; so they have no empathy for citizens who face the crime, the grime, the job loses and the feeling of lost community in a sea of folks who expand their community to replace the one that 8s being submerged. The elites then smear it in your face calling citizens haters while they smugly congratulate themselves for being such nice folks as the commit genocide in the black and white communities of the regular folks.

  3. avatar David Smith says:

    How can you expect any enforcement on immigration laws when a renegade black president, placed their by white femme-Nazis and blacks, hate White Anglo-Saxon Protestant America and everything it stands for. It’s ironic that the brown and black WASP haters come here in the first place and refuse to go home wanting to change the country into the same cesspool they fled.

  4. avatar Timothy says:

    I’m glad FAIR is FINALLY giving a bit more time to the massive problem of LEGAL immigration.

    I’ve said this for over 15 years: Illegal immigration is merely a symptom of way too much LEGAL immigration.

  5. avatar joeyinwi says:

    the biggest problem is that we are allowing too many to immigrate all at once. refugee programs are costly and when you let in too many at once they have less incentive to assimilate so we get force fed the notion that diversity is great and If you disagree they bully you. we are told to provide for the needs of these people or even overlook our laws to accommodate the demands of their advocate groups who make darn sure that they are granted every entitlement our government has. they have more vocal representation than we do. they like to encourage them to hold to their nationality’s identity by populating enclaves of foreigners and segregate from anyone else. they discourage their kids from becoming Americanized as though it is such horrible thing. we on the otherhand are supposed to work to make them as comfortable as possible and dismiss criminal behavior because we have to understand that it is their culture. if their are offended by something then we must change it. employers are sued because of religious or cultural beliefs even if it goes against the needs of the companies needs or is actually dangerous to the employee and they get sued if they don’t think that the job isn’t a good fit and don’t hire them. now we have complete neighborhoods where everything around is in different languages. the left wants to give them voting rights and a road to citizenship. they don’t need citizenship t live here legally. but we aren’t to have any expectations from them for granting them the privilege of living here. we are being taken advantage of, immigrants who came decades ago were not given welfare, and there was an expectation they become loyal americans. not now, we will have parades for you. set aside months to celebrate you. we will go out of our way to force our people to learn your culture.

    • avatar Rossbach says:

      Exactly. What you describe is not traditional immigration; it is wholesale recolonization of our nation.

      Treason is the reason that this is happening.

  6. avatar Kyle says:

    Intelligence from a media source for a change, how novel. But don’t hold your breath on the imbeciles that pervade OUR government from grasping it.

  7. avatar Kirt Thialfad says:

    We are importing poverty.

    • avatar Leland says:

      Absolutely. All these so called “studies” that claim some big benefit from legalizing illegals ignore the plain facts. The majority do not even have a high school education and that means that in general they will be working low wage jobs. Therefore they will pay little in taxes and in many cases will be eligible year after year for the earned income credit which is a direct government check up to 5 thousand dollars.

      • avatar Tom says:

        There is one sub topic on illegal immigration which never gets mentioned: the billion (yes, with a B) dollar annual tax fraud relating to the ACTC – additional child tax credit. I urge you and others to research this online as numerous accountants and other whistleblowers have tried to stop/slow this increasing fraud. Hopefully, FAIR can research it as well, and do some reporting on its impact. It is strange that FAIR has had nothing to say of this billion dollar tax scam by illegals.

        Also, re; the Earned Income… there is also massive fraud in this as well. Keep in mind too that a $4,000 dollar welfare check (earned income) which goes directly back to Mexico is the equivalent of an American receiving $80,000 dollars.

        ** minimum wage in Mexico is .50 cents per hour – or, $4.00 per day (for 8 hour work day).****

        Like Trump says, they (Mexico, China, et al) are all laughing at us….

      • avatar Not Politically Correct says:

        and they seem to be the ones who reproduce more, having more children than they can afford thus further burdening the welfare system.

  8. avatar Simply Sara says:

    Yes! We do have short attention spans. Only because there is so much information out that with technology so we must “strike while the iron is hot” and sometimes “we still miss the boat!”
    But it will change! Young Americans are not going to be subjugated to 2nd or 3rd class citizens, who follow laws, pay the taxes and honor their country, while others, who often break many of the laws get the jobs, extra benefits and use the many “bonuses” in the system. pushed through by the “Pro Amnesty” groups to game the system.
    It is up to Congress now to write a strict policy – self sufficiency, change the 2008 back to the law that excludes the original Southern countries as “refugees”, just as Mexico. E-Verify – the law of he land, make clear the “true” definition of the 14th amendment,
    Many Syrians, Yemenis, and others in so many countries have no place to sleep, watch their family members die daily of disease, *if not bombs dropping on their heads,” and countries are running out of food drops quickly -
    And here, we are being sued at every turn by Amnesty groups – because nothing is good enough!

  9. avatar Leland says:

    Wow, the Atlantic piece sounds exactly like what groups like FAIR have been saying for 30 years. You know, all those decades when anyone questioning our mass immigration policies was labelled a right wing nativist? It’s the same thing going on in Europe now, especially Britain. All those who promoted mass immigration as the greatest thing since sliced bread are now saying we might have been wrong. So the question is, why were you so stubbornly wedded to what was so obviously incorrect to some of us for so long?

  10. All We Need is the Billionaires Monetary Backing to American Voters’ Causes

    I’m sure their are many billionaires that think exactly like we do. They haven’t come out in lime light, perhaps they fear for their lives? We’re waiting patiently for their help.

    • avatar Simply Sara says:

      Billionaires are never going to show any favoritism except to Visas and low wage workers!
      Here in Dallas, there are oodles of programs by these numerous corporations that have “poverty programs for youths. The Catholic Church jumps in, the lobbyists and most programs turn out with an enormous group with a very small representation of whites or blacks. Is that discrimination?
      If a population becomes the majority – should the lesser population become the minorities and have first priority.
      Guess any Corporation that discriminates should be sued until they make the program equal. No?

      • avatar joeyinwi says:

        yes! I have been saying that for years. minority benefits should become regional. these reps always want to redistrict counties so they can max their voter demographic. so should minority class.

  11. avatar Freedom1958 says:

    While I found the article in The Atlantic heartening, I was even more gladdened to see the readers’ responses.
    Let’s hope that the current wave against illegal immigration grows wings!

    • avatar Simply Sara says:

      It’s moving fairly quickly. You can go to almost any popular political “online” publication and when the topic is illegal immigration and Visas, even the most liberal blogs have heavy “upset” responses.
      It just took 24 hour communications exposed to the entire world for us to see the destruction of the core of the country by the politicians, lobbyists and businesses!

      • avatar Leland says:

        You’re right about the liberal blogs. The majority of the comments are against illegal immigration and work visas.

  12. avatar Sandra says:

    Thank you!! I’ve been quite irritated for some time by the “blame game”. It accomplishes NOTHING. Anyone with open eyes can see these floods of immigrants (legal and not) are detrimental to the well-being of our citizenry.

    Unfortunately,it seems many people have short attention spans. The discussion of Kate Steinle has faded lately, with new “outrages’ grabbing the headlines. I hope some positive outcome will rise from her death and the Senate will pick up the ball in their court.