Why Immigration Counts
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Few things require a more willing suspension of common sense than a single statistic pounded into the heads of the public by progressives and their media collaborators. Daily Signal columnist William Campenni gets right to the heart of the matter. “Call any journalist, pundit, anchor, strategist or lobbyist and ask: 1. How many illegal immigrants are in the United States? 2. What is your source for that number? Almost without exception he or she will answer: 1. 11 million. 2. The Pew Research Center,” he writes.

And where does Pew get its information? “An estimated 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the U.S. in 2014, according to a new preliminary Pew Research Center estimate based on government data,” the Pew website states. “Government data” is shorthand for the Department of Homeland Security. In December 2003, DHS estimated between 8 million and 12 million illegal aliens resided in the United States — and that 700,000 more enter each year and remain here. Writing for the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform, Fred Elbel highlights the absurdity of those stats. “As of 2014, those estimates have not changed for eleven years, even though the official annual increase alone would yield an (sic) corrected estimate of 15.7 million to 19.7 million illegal aliens today (not adjusting for Obama’s unconstitutional 2014 executive amnesty),” he explains. 

In other words, American are supposed to believe just as many illegals have died, or repatriated themselves, as have snuck into the nation or overstayed their visas for more than a decade. This despite three straight years of record-breaking border “surges” described by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske as the “new normal;” a stand down order issued to U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, who are being told to release illegals and no longer order them to appear at deportation hearings; and the reality that the Obama administration’s tracking of foreign visitors with expired visas is nonexistent, as revealed by assistant DHS secretary Alan Bersin during a recent congressional hearing. 

“How many visitors overstay their visas every year?” asked Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). “We don’t know,” Bersin replied.

The other government entity charged with determining the number of illegals in the United States is the U.S. Census Bureau, “a congressionally funded agency headed by a political appointee,” Campenni reminds us. Anyone also remember that is the same U.S. Census Bureau Obama ordered to work directly with the White House prior to the 2010 census, a “shamefully transparent attempt by your administration to politicize the Census Bureau and manipulate the 2010 Census,” as House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform members Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), wrote in a letter to the president?

But let’s make it even simpler than that. How many illegal aliens would willingly admit their illegality to a government bureaucrat?

Other methodologies used to calculate the number of illegals, while attempting to remove the thumbs of vested interests from the scales, come up with far more disturbing estimates of as many as 20 million to 40 million illegals who “have evaded apprehension and live in the United States.” 

These estimates are based on a combination of analytical factors that include porous borders, the amount of remittances to one’s country of origin, school enrollment stats and building permits. Demographic expert Nancy Boulton, who has done extensive research on the issue, offers a sobering note that if “even one person is successful for every apprehension, it implies over 1 million foreigners per year illegally cross our southern border.” And while there is no data on how many foreigners overstay their visas “data from the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs indicate about 8 percent of those admitted to that country on temporary visas overstay their visa and about 86 percent of those overstay by a year or more. If just 1 percent of the 30 million admitted on temporary visas to the U.S. do not leave as they are required to, that adds another 300,000 foreigners illegally in the U.S. each year.” 

Boulton wrote those words in 2007. If they are accurate, approximately 10.8 million illegals have entered the U.S in the past eight years alone.

So why the numbers game? “Well, professional and institutional reputations are invested heavily in the number, perhaps because with its longevity the public has become comfortable or apathetic,” writes Campenni. “Were it 20 million or more — a larger population than New York state — Americans might be getting really angry. Imagine the reaction if the media reported daily that this 20 million cohort, supplemented by chain migration and family reunification mandates, would swell to 40 million or 50 million in a decade.”

We don’t have to imagine the reaction. Despite the media disinformation, millions of American are furious at the prospect at having their birthright sold out from under them by Democrats invested in cheap votes, and Republicans invested in cheap labor. Make no mistake: immigration is the issue in this election cycle.

And it’s about time more than a few feckless politicians were asked the simplest of questions: Does your stance change in any way regarding comprehensive immigration reform, a “pathway to citizenship” or some other epithet used to disguise the real nature of what is going on, if were talking about as many as 40 million illegals as opposed to 11 million?

Inquiring American minds want to know.

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