U.S. should put moratorium on immigration

Dan M. Rose and Ron Vissing

The Paris attack is the latest evidence of the insatiable thirst of Islamic radicals for Western blood.

Keeping foreign radicals out of America is the most effective way to safeguard the lives of our citizens. And the surest way to keep them out is a moratorium on all immigration.

To critics who argue this would keep out harmless immigrants as well as terrorists, the alternatives pose too great a risk.

Proponents of admitting refugees claim that proper screening can identify potential terrorists. But there is no evidence screening will be effective, as FBI Director James Comey recently admitted to Congress. History proves effective screening is an illusion. The 9/11 hijackers and Boston Marathon “bomb brothers” were all screened, yet still murdered our citizens. At least one of the Paris attackers may have been a Syrian admitted to Europe as a “refugee.” In Kentucky, two Iraqi refugees were screened yet later convicted of a terrorist conspiracy.

A moratorium would render moot flaws inherent in the screening process. It would avoid the expense of weeding through the criminal history of foreigners, many of whom can present no reliable evidence of their background or even from where they come. It would also avoid discriminating among people from different countries and of different religions.

Reducing the terrorist threat may also involve military action. But foreign radicals are widely dispersed throughout Muslim countries and have now penetrated Western Europe. No doubt many are already living among us. The FBI has confirmed it is currently investigating more than 1,000 ISIS operatives or sympathizers in the U.S., including in Kentucky. Keeping any more of them out of the U.S. with an immigration moratorium is more directly effective to protect us.

An immigration moratorium will also save taxpayer dollars since our government will no longer have to provide social services to the newly arrived. In 2012, 51 percent percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) self-reported use of at least one welfare program.

Resources that are currently spent screening and supporting immigrants can be redirected to help our own citizens and fight illegal immigration. Our federal government currently has to borrow billions just to feed and house our own people.

Then there is the financial scam of church-affiliated refugee assistance groups that receive hundreds of millions of tax dollars to bring in refugees, siphon off money to pay exorbitant salaries to their executives and then dump the refugees into our social-safety net. These groups then repeat the process to get even more federal money. An immigration moratorium would put a stop to this fiasco.

An immigration moratorium will also have tangential benefits. Stopping immigration will reduce the oversupply of labor and thus naturally raise wages for working class Americans, particularly for workers at the lower end of the wage scale who compete against immigrants for jobs.

An immigration moratorium is not without precedent. One effectively existed from 1924 to 1965 during which our country had some of the largest gains in working class incomes and standards of living in its history

As proponents of an immigration moratorium, we wish foreigners well and want them to thrive in their own countries. Private charities can assist the truly needy in their own countries. But America does not have the resources to support more immigrants.

To those who argue we have a moral obligation to take in refugees and immigrants, our government has a greater moral and legal obligation to protect our citizens. Our country has no obligation to endanger the lives of our people by admitting foreigners by the tens of thousands.

The primary responsibility of our government is to protect Americans from preventable harm. There is little to no upside to American citizens from more immigration. An immigration moratorium is the most effective step our government can immediately take to safeguard the lives

of American citizens.

Dan M. Rose is president and Ron Vissing vice president of Americans First, Inc. in Lexington.