Immigration Madness: Not Limited to Switzerland!
In many respects, Switzerland has become a staggering old man in the Continent’s family of nations. And it now looks like the Swiss will pay a heavy price for their insane immigration policies in the 60s and 70s.
By the time I arrived in Basel as a doctoral student in 1980, immigration laws had been tightened up considerably, but the strain on the social welfare system had already begun. Today, with a jobless rate of four percent, the damage appears irreparable. Little wonder that in the recent elections the Swiss People’s Party gained ground. The People’s Party is nationalist and isolationist and opposes membership in the European Union. It bitterly opposed Swiss membership in the United Nations last year. According to the Party’s website, illegal immigration remains a major problem in a country in which every fifth resident is a foreigner:
Die Schweiz ist auf Grund ihrer Grösse und ihrer Bevölkerungsdichte kein Einwanderungsland. Dennoch wurde sie in den letzten Jahren zum Ziel vieler Scheinflüchtlinge und illegaler Einwanderer. Der Bundesrat steht dieser Entwicklung konzeptlos und überfordert gegenüber. Wegen der laschen Politik der anderen Parteien hat die Schweiz heute einen der höchsten Ausländeranteile Europas. In unserem Land ist jeder Fünfte ein Ausländer. Bundesrat und Parlament versuchen, mit massiven Erleichterungen der Einbürgerung die Statistiken zu beschönigen. Die SVP tritt dieser Verschleuderung des Bürgerrechts entgegen. Sie fordert eine Migrationspolitik, mit welcher der Ausländeranteil nicht nur auf dem Papier, sondern tatsächlich gesenkt wird.
My guess is that all of this is a foretaste of things to come in the United States in light of our own immigration follies. An example has been documented by nationally syndicated columnist Phyllis Schlafly in her essay, Rising Costs of Tolerating Illegal Aliens. “While Americans without health insurance struggle with the problem of how to pay for medical care, Mexicans don’t have that problem,” says Schlafly. “They just ride in a Mexican ambulance across the border ... and get free medical treatment.”
According to Schlafly, a study conducted by the U.S.-Mexico Border Counties Coalition shows that U.S. hospitals in the border states of Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Texas are spending at least $200 million a year for emergency care to illegal aliens. “In the four border states, 77 hospitals now face a medical emergency,” she wrote. In Arizona, the Cochise County Health Department is spending 30 percent of its annual budget to pay for immigrant care; the Copper Queen Hospital in Bisbee, Arizona, spends two-thirds of its net operating income for such costs; the University Medical Center in Tucson spent $10 million; and the list goes on and on. Many medical facilities are on the verge of bankruptcy. The eventual outcome seems clear: without some kind of reprieve, many border-area medical-care facilities will have to shut their doors.
Next week President Bush is scheduled to meet with Mexico’s President Fox at the Summit of the Americas in Monterrey, Mexico. Mexican officials have complained that the Bush administration has been preoccupied with border security and combating drug trafficking and has neglected immigration policy. In response, Bush is proposing to let foreign workers who have U.S. jobs waiting for them enter America—a move clearly designed to capture Hispanic voters in this year’s election.
No one can deny that illegal immigration is a colossal problem in the United States, with nine to eleven million illegal aliens currently estimated to be in the country. Keep in mind that John Lee Malvo, one of two men convicted in the Washington-area sniper shootings, was a Jamaican who was in the country illegally and was once detained by authorities and released. Efforts to end illegal immigration cannot succeed without eliminating the incentives for it. At the very least we need to stop granting citizenship to the children of illegal aliens; withhold work authorization to those with pending asylum claims; establish a system for checking welfare and work eligibility; and, most importantly, end all public benefits for illegal aliens.
If we don’t, the lesson of the Swiss will be lost on us, and it will be too late to put a stop to our immigration madness.
January 7, 2004
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.