Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. Can we get a deal done on DACA? Lindsay Graham certainly hopes so.
Jacobson: Yeah he made a...used the media yesterday to make a direct plea to President Trump.
Graham (from tape): Mr. President, close the deal! 80% of Americans want to give the DACA Kids a better life, and 80% of Americans want to secure our border and fix a broken immigration system. It's gonna take you, Mr. President, working with Republicans and Democrats, to get this done. It's not gonna be done on Twitter, by tweeting. It's gonna be done by talking, and understanding.
Proft: Yeah, the...it's kind of a complicated, three-dimensional challenge, though. Not just because of the demagoguery of Durbin and others on the left and the question of their sincerity in getting any kind of deal done that would be serious about border security, despite the fact that, you know, a barrier plus security? It actually works! Imagine that. New York Post, Paul Sperry reporting on El Paso.
Jacobson: Oh, yeah. Where there's already a wall in place. I lived in El Paso.
Proft: Yeah. When the project first started in 2006, illegal crossings were 122k, by 2010 when the 131-mile fence was completed, from one end of El Paso out into the New Mexico desert, immigrant crossings shrank to 12,251, immigrant crossings. So that's basically a reduction by a factor of ten. So it does work. But Dave Brat, of course...Congressman from Virginia who replaced Eric Cantor, he sat down with an interview for...with Ginny Thomas, Connor Thomas' wife, for Daily Caller. And he said this...here's the challenge with respect to DACA, plus new immigrants, plus welfare reform.
Brat (from tape): in 2016 we allowed in 1.8 million, legal and illegal, last year, in one year, 1.8 million. So that's 2 million, plus forma (?), that's 6 million people. And, we've got a bank shot coming...a double bank shot...because we also want to do welfare reform. So Paul Ryan is a genius on welfare reform, so this is all good, going way back, right? Robert Rector and Heritage and all this kind of thing. But the confusing thing there is we're gonna take able-bodied people, right, that have left the workforce, so they're not even counted in the unemployment numbers anymore, so the unemployment rate is really low, it's 3 or 4. But it would be 8 if you counted these folks, right? 20 million people that have left the labor force, they've been displaced by something. So now immigration, we've got 6 million people coming in in one year, displacing American workers, right? And we're gonna do welfare at the same time, trying to get those people who were just displaced back in the workforce. So it's just a colossal problem, we basically have to fix all of this.
Proft: And he's multiplying from the 800k based on the idea that if you don't do anything about chain migration or, you know, to address Durbin's delicate sensibilities, family reunification, as the basis for immigration. We were just talking with Joe Pollack about it, give the Dreamers status and then allow them to bring in family members, your backdooring into the country people who did come here illegally of their own volition, and what kind of sense does that make? And then you get to the larger numbers that Brad is talking about and then the implications in the context of welfare reform you want to do, and then underemployed Americans that are looking for work. Turns out to be pretty complicated, and the only person I know that can distill it for us is Victor Davis Hanson, National Review Columnist, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute, and author of the new book "The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict was Fought and Won"...VDH, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it.
Hanson: Thank you for having me.
Proft: So, you opined on this topic, I read your piece in the LA Times. And you started with kind of...let's establish a baseline about these 800k DACA beneficiaries or "Dreamers", to distinguish the actual universe from the stylized vision of them that is being promoted by the press.
Hanson: Well I mean, they're not all 19 years old at Stanford, and I mean, the average age is somewhere between 24 and 26. They did come as minors, but most of them are no longer minors, and that means they've had four or five years to address their immigration status as adults, but very few of the 800k did. We hear a lot that they're in the military, less than 1/3 of 1% actually join the military of the 800k, no more than 900 people. And only 5% have ever graduated from high school, about half have dropped out of high school...excuse me, only 5% graduate from college, half have only graduated from high school or are still in high school. So it's...that statistic is kind of what I see, I'm at sort of ground zero of central California. I'm speaking to you when I have neighbors about a quarter-of-a-mile away that are mostly illegal from Mexico. And I don't see...I see their parents, people in their 40s and 50s who came, but I don't see a lot of the children going to Harvard or going out every day and working. We've had a terrible gang problem here, the local town met last night to address the growing epidemic of crime, and it's what a rational person might expect if you were going to import half a million people from one of the poorest areas in Mexico and Central America, and people were going to come without legality, without a high school diploma, and without English. So, how this translates into Democratic politics, I don't think the Democrats can negotiate. Because their whole Electoral College strategy is predicated on flipping the American Southwest from Red to Purple to Blue. And part of that strategy is bringing in voters from very impoverished regions and having them dependent on subsidies and...they don't say that, but if I were a Democratic strategist like Jennifer Palmeri...well, just wrote a memo, the Clinton former Communications Director, saying, you know, "We really need DACA, because it's central to our strategy." She's right about that. So, that's what it's about, and to the degree that Lindsay Graham is sort of wishy-washy or squishy, it's a larger issue for a lot of the Chamber of Commerce, Wall Street Journal Republicans, they want inexpensive labor. (Jacobson: Well you mentioned the...) And between inexpensive labor and...I'm sorry, go ahead.
Jacobson: Well yeah, you mentioned the people that live near you and the gang problem in your neighborhood...do you want ICE to just come in and round everyone up and send them back to Mexico? Do you think that's the solution, or maybe just the gang bangers?
Hanson: Well I would think that all of us; I, you, your audience...we all know what the solution is. It's to look at the 11 million people who are here illegally, and say you broke the law, the first thing you did when you came here, with the exception of the DACA people, you broke the law. And then it became easier to break other laws, like Federal affidavits or Social Security applications, or disability where people use phony names. But we can solve this problem by saying build the wall, have E-Verify, stop chain migration, and in exchange for that, allow us...and allow us to deport people who have no work history...there's some of them that have never worked, or have committed a serious misdemeanor or felony. And then the rest of the people who speak...can...willing to learn English, to pay a fine, who have a work history, and have not been on public assistance, have not committed a crime...and I don't know how many of that 11 million pool would qualify, but it might be as much as 5 million, not give them AMNESTY but say here's a Green Card. And what you want to do with that Green Card, whether you want to renew it every year, and you qualify, more power to you. If you want to apply for citizenship, get in line like everybody else. And I think that's the solution, but I don't think that can happen because that's antithetical to what the Democratic Party sees as its success in California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and it's not gonna give up on the borders, it's just not.
Proft: What....well, right, and Republicans don't do a great job in cornering them to admit what they want is open borders, they wouldn't exclude anybody. They want they want to do immigration policy is based on the perspective of the person who wants to come here, instead of based on the perspective of the American people, including all of the immigrants who ARE here. And I think if you could kind of distill that for the populace, you could kind of cut through some of the racial demagoguery.
Hanson: I think so, but in reference to the anecdote, I just deduced...when the SWAT Team did come, it didn't make much difference because we're a Sanctuary State, and we're also, my local community, a Sanctuary City. So it's illegal for them when they came and saw people heading out through the orchards and vineyards in flight, they couldn't pursue them. Because if they were to find out that they were here illegally, and they didn't actually see them committing a crime, there's nothing they could do. And they know that. And there's other things that happened that we're not supposed to talk about, but if you look at certain statistics...so half of all the accidents in Los Angeles County are hit and run. And we have work...California is only 1/6th of the population, we have 1/3 of all the welfare recipients, 22% of people live below the poverty line, one out of every four people in the state wasn't born here in the United States, one out of three people admitted to the hospital for any reason whatsoever are found out to have Type 2 onset diabetes. So there's an enormous amount of social and criminal, justice, educational, and legal challenges that happen when you have immigration that's not diverse...they really talk about diversity but 1/4 of immigrants are from Mexico, and the other quarter are coming from Central America and Latin America. And it's not measured, and it's not legal.
Proft: Well, and just to pick up on that, there's an interesting piece by Tyler Cohen, and of course the Left wants to make this about "If you're not for open borders, then you don't like black and brown people and don't want them to come here", and the President's comments didn't help. But Tyler Cohen did an interesting piece in Bloomberg where he points out how educated so many of the African immigrants coming to this country are. 42% of individuals born in Africa and living in the United States have a Bachelor's Degree or better. Those coming from Nigeria, 17% have Master's Degrees, and 3/4 of African immigrants speak English. So there's a group of individuals that are going to have a much easier time assimilating, they've got an educational background that makes it disproportionately likely that they'll be self-sufficient. So, okay, FINE, from Nigeria or other African countries with education, you know, even poorer countries with education and the ability to be self-sufficient and fluency in the language, great, no problem! It's these other problems that present themselves when you don't have a merit-based system like one that brings in individuals as I'm describing.
Hanson: I think that's true. And that same paradigm holds true for Latin America. We have people in Fresno County that come from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and they don't come en masse, and they don't come illegally, and they don't come without high school diplomas, and they integrate, assimilate, and intermarry very quickly. That everybody...every statistic, every study that's ever been shown is that if you bring people from one place, and they come in great numbers, and they don't know the native language or customs, and the attitude of the host is to treat them in a tribal manner and not assimilate them...and that's pretty much what we do now in California, then you're not going to have assimilation or integration. And if you're not going to have assimilation and integration, then you're not going to have parity with a host population. If you don't have parity, then the state's going to have to stop...step in and say "Here is help with education, here is help with welfare, here is help with healthcare, here is help with criminal justice, and if you're going to do that, then you're going to develop an industry that says "Well, they don't have parity, not because they came illegally, don't have a high school diploma, but because the host was illiberal, racist, xenophobic." And then you have that entire identity politics process continue, and that's...I hate to be so cynical, but that's what the Progressive movement wants. And that's what, when I hear that they're not going to negotiate on DACA or...Durbin...Durbin could no more go into that meeting and with it...you know, without being disingenuous, he couldn't go in there and just be empirical and say "Mr. President, we really want to protect these 800 kids. If they haven't committed a crime, and they're working or in school, let's just finish the wall. We used to be for a wall, we used to be for E-Verify, we used to oppose chain migration. I myself said that on the record. Let's cut a deal." That's not going to happen. It can't happen.
Proft: He is Victor Davis Hanson, historian...you can get his writings at the National Review, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and the new book from Victor Davis Hanson, "The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict was Fought and Won". Victor Davis Hanson, thanks as always for joining us, appreciate it.
Hanson: Thank you.