- In this continuing series, Roy Beck, director of www.NumbersUSA.org ,
asks the question as to why the late U.S. Senator Teddy Kennedy pushed
the 1965 Immigration Reform Act through Congress without any debate? What
was the purpose for flooding America with 100 million more people in the
last 40 years and another 100 million within 30 years by 2035?
- Please give us some background Mr. Beck:
- "I was dining in downtown Boston with a long-time
acquaintance of Teddy Kennedy at the very time he died," said Beck.
"We had discussed what had caused Kennedy to pursue immigration policies
that so fundamentally changed America. I got the news when I awoke the
next morning to the Massachusetts TV stations doing their eulogies. I decided
to wait until after burial to share my thoughts.
- "Since NumbersUSA is a truly non-partisan and non-ideological
organization, I want to choose my words carefully because so many of our
members absolutely hated Kennedy while many others of our members truly
loved many of Kennedy's policies (although fully disagreeing with him on
- "The first group saw his immigration policies as emblematic of
a Kennedy inclination to destroy the America as they loved it. The second
group saw his immigration policies as an aberration that fatally
undermined what they saw as many wonderful Kennedy initiatives to improve
- "Whichever it was -- or something in between --
Ted Kennedy's immigration policies have destroyed the ability of the
United States to be an environmentally sustainable nation in any decade
soon because of the gigantic U.S. population growth that he has forced.
- "And Ted Kennedy's immigration policies have knocked
hundreds of thousands of Americans out of the middle class as their
occupations have collapsed and wages declined because of inundation with
Kennedy's favored foreign workers, or because they have directly lost their
jobs to foreign competitors."
- HE WAS AN EXCEPTIONALLY SKILLFUL OPPONENT
- "For those of us desiring the traditional lower
numerical immigration that, ironically, Pres. John Kennedy had advocated
in his A Nation of Immigrants book, it was our great misfortune
that the person leading our opponents in pursuing ever-higher numbers these
last 45 years was perhaps the most skillful Senator of the last half-century
in getting things done his way," said Beck. "Ted Kennedy surely
was one of the most influential Senators in our history. His influence
on immigration alone brought more change to America than the work of any
other Senator during my lifetime. Just as a reminder, let's make a short
list of the immigration policies that Kennedy and his extremely talented
staff put into effect:
- The 1965 revamp of the entire immigration system.
It ended 40 years of low immigration, got rid of solid numerical caps
and opened upchain migration into every overpopulated country in the
world, exploding annual immigration numbers.
- Massive expansion of the refugee programs in
the late 1970s, opening up massive loopholes and encouraging a domestic
resettlement industry that became a major lobby for more and more overall
- The 1986 blanket amnesty. Kennedy's skills may have
been best seen here where he got legislators on our side to agree to the
amnesty in exchange for enforcement rules that he made sure were written
in a way that would not work. Within a decade, he would be using
the inability to enforce the 1986 rules as an excuse for why
we needed more green cards and more amnesties. An example of Kennedy's
great skill was that he persuaded Ronald Reagan to enthusiastically support
- The 1990 immigration act, which increased overall
immigration by another 35%. The first Pres. Bush was Kennedy's co-partner,
just as the second Pres. Bush was Kennedy's eager co-partner in trying
to force through another blanket amnesty 2001-2008.
- The 1990 act also established the lottery whereby
we randomly give away 50,000 green cards a year to people in
countries picked because they have the least ties and cultural association
with the United States, and which disproportionately are terrorist-sponsoring
countries. This was something of a compromise for Kennedy who was
able to ensure that during the first few years, much of the lottery
winners would be illegal aliens from Ireland -- his own ethnic group.
- The H-1B visas which have enabled corporations
to keep hundreds of thousands of American kids from getting a foothold
in the high tech industry.
- The total defeat of liberal civil rights champion
Barbara Jordan's blue-ribbon commission recommendations to reduce
overall immigration and eliminate chain migration and the lottery in 1996.
- Six mini-amnesties that passed in the 1990s, primarily
aimed at specific nationalities.
- BUT YOU BEAT HIM REPEATEDLY SINCE 2000
- "As depressing as his immigration victories are
to contemplate, you should feel some comfort in the fact that he was
totally a failure after the year 2000 in expanding his immigration dream
still further," said Beck. "Every year since 2000, Sen. Kennedy
pushed an amnesty. Every year, he pushed increases in foreign workers.
But every year, Sen. Kennedy's efforts were stopped by public pressure.
I believe an important reason for that was that during the late 1990s,
NumbersUSA was building a counter-force. Under Jim Robb's foresight, we
created an innovative internet grassroots mobilization system and raised
an ever-expanding army. And Capitol Hill veteran Rosemary Jenks had gone
to Kennedy's territory to get her law degree from Harvard. She arrived
back in Washington in August of 2001 and set up our Capitol Hill offices
- "After 25 years of almost always getting his way
on immigration, Ted Kennedy's power and influence were checked after August
2001. But his power has still been strong enough to prevent us from success
in rolling back the destructive immigration policies he put in place from
1965 through 2000.
- "While he no longer was able to accelerate the change,
his continuing immigration policies every year make the quality of life
in the United States worse. Until we change those policies, Ted Kennedy's
immigration legacy will continue to deteriorate our American dreams
of economic justice and environmental sustainability and individual liberty."
- KENNEDY UNDERMINED WHAT HE SAID WERE HIS HIGHEST PRINCIPLES
- "At the graveside service in Arlington National
Cemetery, we learned what Ted Kennedy wanted the Pope to know about the
principles that drove him. Retired Cardinal McCarrick read from an appeal
to the pope for a final blessing.
- "Hmmm, what ideals of fairness did Meisner have
in mind? Does she think it was fair to drive all those American drywallers
out of their jobs? How about all the American meat packer workers
who lost their jobs and incomes to Kennedy's army of immigrant workers?
Of course, Meisner was the chief of enforcing immigration laws that she
thought were unfair and out of step with our nation's ideals. She and
Kennedy fundamentally believed that our laws limiting immigration
are evil or unjust.
- "But NumbersUSA's website is full of page after
page of information showing that Kennedy's immigration policies have in
fact undermined the ability of the poor to find good-paying jobs and to
get on the ladder of opportunity.
- "The policies have undermined the fight against
discrimination by making it easy for businesses to ignore poor American
Black job applicantsin favor of high-motivated immigrant workers. The
plight of the Black underclass seems as intractable today as during the
- "Kennedy's policies have driven scores of urban
school districts backwards through over-crowding and through overwhelming
already precarious schools with masses of non-English-speaking students
from impoverished homes.
- "Ted Kennedy's immigration policies aren't even
good for the immigrants who already are here. There is little opportunity
in this nation today for millions of immigrants who must constantly compete
with the next decade's millions upon millions of new foreign
- WHY DID KENNEDY UNDERMINE HIS OWN DREAMS OF OPPORTUNITY,
- "Among less-immigration advocates, a debate
has long waged over whether the gigantic changes from immigration were
what Kennedy sought, or if they were mostly an unintended consequence
that he chose to ignore," said Beck. "Why was he willing to allow
his immigration policies to diminish -- and in some cases -- negate his
efforts in other areas?
- "Most of those 50 million are here as a result of
the policies Kennedy put in place.
- "Among people with a softer and perhaps more human
view, Kennedy simply paid no attention to the consequences of his
immigration policies. This line of thinking is something like this: Even
if he had paid attention to the consequences, his commitment to high immigration
was so great, there was no way he could have pulled back.
- "I really don't know why Ted Kennedy did what he
did on immigration. If his acquaintance is correct, it perhaps serves as
a major warning to us about how to deal with all the national religious
leaders, as well as our opponents in Congress, who probably really want
to believe that pushing higher and higher immigration is truly God's will
-- and who will never look at the practical consequences and the millions
of American victims strewn across the American landscape like little memorials
to idealism disconnected from concern about practical consequences."
- ROY BECK is CEO & Founder of NumbersUSA
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