Know Noth­ings 2017

Porterville Recorder - - OPINION - Raoul Low­ery Contreras Raoul Low­ery Contreras is a con­ser­va­tive colum­nist. His col­umn ap­pears on Fri­days in The Recorder. He can be con­tacted at his­pan­ic­com­men­ta­

At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions’ state­ment about 800,000 DACA (De­ferred Ac­tion of Child­hood Ar­rivals) kids tak­ing jobs from Amer­i­cans is myth per­pe­trated on Amer­i­cans by a ca­bal of mod­ern day im­mi­grant re­stric­tion­ists — the “Know Noth­ings” of 2017.

For those who are ig­no­rant of Amer­i­can his­tory, a 140-years or so ago, Amer­i­can An­glo-protes­tants ob­jected fu­ri­ously to a tsunami of Ir­ish Catholics flee­ing Bri­tish Protes­tant-oc­cu­pied Ire­land to Amer­ica, the Amer­ica that had hu­mil­i­ated the Ir­ish-hat­ing Bri­tish in 1783.

As the Ir­ish waves landed in New York, Bos­ton, Philadel­phia and Bal­ti­more, se­cret anti-ir­ish Catholic so­ci­eties emerged among An­glo-protes­tants. They were so se­cret that when any­one was asked if they be­longed to it, they would re­ply, “I know noth­ing.” They be­came a po­lit­i­cal party with the name “The Know Noth­ing Party.” It was 100 per­cent against im­mi­gra­tion by any­one not of Bri­tish and/or Protes­tant ori­gin. Their spe­cific tar­get was Ir­ish and Catholic; late in the 19th Cen­tury, Know Noth­ings added Ital­ian Catholics, Rus­sian and Pol­ish Jews and Pol­ish Catholics as tar­gets.

That Amer­i­can epoch is best known by signs through­out Amer­ica, “No Ir­ish need ap­ply.” To­day’s Know Noth­ings are try­ing to con the coun­try into re­vert­ing im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy to what it was be­tween 1924 and 1965 when im­mi­gra­tion was es­sen­tially limited to North­ern Euro­pean Protes­tants. They con with myths and out­right lies.

At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jef­fer­son Beau­re­gard Ses­sions (named af­ter Con­fed­er­ate Pres­i­dent Jef­fer­son Davis and Con­fed­er­ate Gen­eral J. T. Beau­re­gard) told the coun­try “that the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the DACA) pro­gram ended up deny­ing jobs ‘to hun­dreds of thou­sands of Amer­i­cans by al­low­ing those same il­le­gal aliens to take those jobs.” Mak­ing un­proven state­ments re­gard­ing im­mi­grants is as preva­lent to­day as it was with the Know Noth­ings in the 1800s.

The other main con job by to­day’s Know Noth­ings is about im­mi­grant crime. For ex­am­ple, they try to rat­tle peo­ple by declar­ing that 35 per­cent or more of fed­eral prison in­mates are il­le­gal aliens. That is not true.

First, of the 2.2 mil­lion prison in­mates in the U.S. less than 10 per­cent are in fed­eral prison; 200,000. Of those, 147,300 (78.8 per­cent) are Amer­i­can cit­i­zens; 25,660 (13.7 per­cent) are Mex­i­can cit­i­zens. Oth­ers to­tal 7.5 per­cent. One can­not be a U.S. cit­i­zen and an il­le­gal alien. But one can be an eth­nic His­panic and be a U.S. cit­i­zen.

It seems the only peo­ple on the planet that don’t know the dif­fer­ence be­tween an il­le­gal alien from Mex­ico, Gu­atemala, Colom­bia, etc. and a le­gal His­panic Amer­i­can is to­day’s Know-noth­ing. They claim that 35 per­cent of fed­eral prison in­mates that are His­panic by eth­nic­ity are also il­le­gal aliens; but they aren’t. The fed­eral Bureau of Pris­ons knows the dif­fer­ence. Only 25,660 — 13.7 per­cent — of fed­eral pris­on­ers are Mex­i­cans cit­i­zens, thus il­le­gal aliens num­ber fewer than 13.7 per­cent, not 35 per­cent like the Know-noth­ings preach. The same statis­tics show us that de­spite the at­tempt by Know Noth­ings to frighten Amer­ica, drug of­fend­ers are 46.3 per­cent of the in­mates and 7.9 per­cent are in for im­mi­gra­tion vi­o­la­tions. Vi­o­lent pris­on­ers are 3.2 per­cent of the to­tal.

We can con­clude the op­po­site of what Know Noth­ings try to con­vince us of, Il­le­gal aliens from Mex­ico are mostly in jail for drug of­fenses in­clud­ing smug­gling and for vi­o­la­tions of im­mi­gra­tion laws — not for vi­o­lent crimes un­less ev­ery one of the 3.2 per­cent vi­o­lent in­mates is an il­le­gal alien from Mex­ico, or Gu­atemala, or Colom­bia, etc.

Back to jobs be­ing stolen by work-per­mit­ted DACA peo­ple as charged by the United States At­tor­ney Gen­eral — that is an­other myth.

In a huge na­tional study by the Na­tional Acad­e­mies of Science, En­gi­neer­ing and Medicine in 2016, we find words that con­tra­dict At­tor­ney Gen­eral Ses­sions: “There is lit­tle ev­i­dence that im­mi­gra­tion sig­nif­i­cantly af­fects the over­all em­ploy­ment lev­els of na­tive-born work­ers.”

The At­tor­ney Gen­eral, his ad­min­is­tra­tion and to­day’s Know Noth­ings are wrong about im­mi­grant crime and com­i­cal in their in­sis­tence that Amer­i­cans are los­ing job com­pe­ti­tion to English-as-a-sec­ond-lan­guage (ESL) peo­ple brought here as kids. Amer­i­cans should know that — for the truth shall make them free.

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