Sunday, 26 July 2015


US Prison System is an Epic Failure and a Factory for Creating Criminals
By The Free Thought Project on July 24, 2015
(RT) — The mass incarceration policy in America over the last 40 years has created more problems than it has solved. The longer the term served, the higher the rate of reconvicted felons, a new study reveals.
The research from University of Michigan economics professor, Michael Mueller-Smith, has proven that prison terms don’t rehabilitate a criminal and turn them into a law-abiding citizen.
The US penal policy just doesn’t appear to be working. The criminal world is expanding, despite more and more criminals being incarcerated and isolated from society.
The American practice of imprisoning people for even the most trivial offences, not only ruins lives, but tends to act as a college for crime.
Up to 75 percent of former prisoners are rearrested within 5 years of their release date.
The study says that every year spent in prison increases the probability of a return to crime by 12.4 percent (5.6 percent a quarter). Also, those once accused of committing lesser crimes often go on to commit more serious offences after serving a term in prison.

Peter’s Point of View

Prison as a form of punishment has been around for as long as organised government and the availability of written language, leading to the establishment of the first formal legal codes, the best known being the Code of Hammurabi of Babylon about 1750 BC. So imprisonment for criminal offending is not new and during over 3,000 years of universal and continuous use it has undergone only superficial reform.
New York's Sing Sing Prison

It is interesting to note that during this period the world crime rate reached its all-time high and even today’s crime rate cannot match that of 3,000 years ago. During this time the leading causes of death were starvation, murder, war and disease with an average life expectancy of less than 25 years. Slavery was normal and less than 50% of an average country’s population was in paid employment. The gap between rich and poor has never been so wide at any time since, and that is why crime was a problem. Crime was a means to survival.

The purpose of imprisonment has always been for punishment. Although at times rehabilitation and reformation have been of secondary importance, punishment has always been paramount. But in this situation punishment as a word should be interchangeable with revenge. But revenge has never worked in any context. Revenge creates more victims, more ill-feeling, more crime, and lowers the boom for everyone. Ask the Arabs and Israelis if revenge has ever done anything for them.  The reality of crime is that most criminals see themselves as victims too, and in many ways they are. Imprisonment does not reduce crime.

Prison buildings at Norfolk Island
The first truth about imprisonment is that it doesn’t work. The second truth about imprisonment is that there is a popular, but false, belief that it will work if the sentence is long enough and the conditions are harsh enough. The third truth about imprisonment is that politicians are elected to office with a promise to reduce crime be legislating for harsher penalties. But that is simply bait for gullible voters.

Many criminals are born into criminal families and sending them to prison will only help them recruit and train new members to the cause. Many criminals have personality disorders that attract them to violence and dishonesty, or by process of trial and error, it is the only life open to them, and long periods of incarceration will only exacerbate their disorders and lead to further offending.

It is a fact that a majority of prison inmates have either a psychiatric disorder, or a limited education, and are in prison because they were unable to cope in normal society. Removing them from society for an extended period will not inexplicably cure their disorder, and on regaining their freedom they will be even less likely to cope than before.

Prisoners in prison where crime breeds crime
The knee-jerk punishment people love to cry out for fewer privileges for prisoners, wanting phones, televisions, computers, heating, and nutritional food banned. They say that it is not punishment when prisoners are allowed those things. But if prisoners are to cope on the outside they will have a better chance of doing that, if they emerge healthy in a transition that is seamless.  They will also have a better chance of gaining legitimate employment if they are familiar with modern technology and have normal communication and social skills.

In many ways prison life has not changed significantly since the Middle Ages, when prisoners starved if family or friends failed to provide them with food, clothing and medical care. At the end of their sentences, if they were still alive, they were often not released if they, or their family, couldn’t pay the imprisonment fees. The punishment industry is barely more enlightened now, even though the public perception of it may be higher.

Prison has never been a safe place because most criminals are violent, and prisons are violent places. Non-violent criminals, and those who are innocent in prison or awaiting trial (or wrongfully convicted), are caught up in the violence also. Many people who know that there is violence in prisons will approve of it. “Give them a taste of their own,” they will say. Unfortunately, some people with that attitude become prison officers, and that makes them no better than the people they are supposed to be reforming.

Prison reformers have been trying for centuries to persuade the public and politicians. But the public, most of whom have no idea of what it is like inside a prison, will not allow the politicians to get on with the job of introducing meaningful reforms that could reduce crime to levels not seen ever before. The public, and the victims and their families, will cry, “What about the victims?” This writer believes that most prison reformers are also concerned about the victims of crime, but they also understand that with less imprisonment, there will be fewer victims, inside and out.

The state of Pennsylvania in 1786 was one of the first places in the world to introduce public works employment for prisoners in the form of hard labour. It was thought that the hard labour would reform them, and the state would benefit from the free labour. Conditions included access only to religious literature, and a requirement live in complete silence. But crime didn’t reduce in Pennsylvania and concerned citizens who witnessed the abuse of forced-labour convicts helped change the Pennsylvania System.

In England, in the 1700s, crime had reached such epidemic proportions that the people demanded execution for more than 200 different crimes and excessive prison terms for lesser crimes, including the sentence ‘For the term of his or her natural life.’ The politicians complied.  But even with such an extreme regime the crime rate accelerated and the country faced a crises in prisoner accommodation.
So England shipped its over-crowded population to America where they served their hard labour sentences. After the American War of Independence, the USA refused to take any more convicts and for several years surplus prisoners were locked up aboard floating hulks around the coast. But still the crime rate was out of control. The British Government then looked to Australia and the first 700 convicts landed at Sydney Cove in 1788 to establish British rule in a convict colony. Convicts continued to arrive by the thousands for the next 80 years.

But the British convict colony experiment, other than creating a new nation, was a spectacular disaster in crime prevention. If the experiment had been successful then the United Kingdom, the USA and Australia would now be outstanding as having an almost zero crime rate, which they have not, by a long country mile.

On tiny Norfolk Island some hundreds of kilometres east of Australia, the most hardened criminals were held in appalling conditions until an enlightened prison commandant, Alexander Maconochie, took over in the 1830s from Commandant Morisset, the most extreme of all Britain’s punishment enforcers. Maconochie found the prisoners reduced to wrecks in body and spirit, many dead or dying from starvation and torture. Norfolk Island became known as Hell in Paradise. He freed them from confinement, fed them better food, treated them as equals and became their friend. The results were spectacular with some later returning to Sydney and others choosing to remain on Norfolk as free men. For these freed men the rate of recidivism was zero. But the enlightened Maconochie was replaced because he was too lenient.
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Incarceration has a huge negative impact on society. It creates broken families, terminates employment, causes bankruptcy and generates further crime, victims and suffering. The moment a family breadwinner goes to prison, his children’s futures are also most likely condemned to a life of alternating between prison and struggling to survive on the outside.  The crime cycle can only be broken by removing the prison cycle and the prison industry.

With GPS monitoring there is no need for prisons in the conventional sense. Most prisoners, with few exceptions, will be reformed and rehabilitated without going anywhere near a prison. Community based sentences make much more sense. But if criminals must be confined for security or public safety reasons, they would benefit from a boutique family confinement system where the criminal’s family would live with the family of a corrections officer. The supervising families would have to be carefully selected and trained for the role as well as suitably remunerated. It wouldn’t be a job for prison officers as we know them now. These people would be examples of good family living and an example and guiding light to their customer families. They would be charged not just with turning around the life of an offender, but the whole family.

In 2012 America’s prison population reached 2.3 million for the first time and the prison cost was estimated at $75 billion. But the prison cost is only a fraction of the total cost of crime to society. Prison is not working as a deterrent, as a punishment, or as a means of rehabilitation. The system is over 3,000 years out of date, and it is a sheer waste of time and money.

Only a radical new approach to this problem can succeed. At the very least criminals need to be placed with people who will befriend them and set them an example that will turn their lives around. Putting them with other criminals is totally and absolutely counter-productive. History proves it.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Peter FitzSimons to head Australian republic campaign

A prominent journalist and author has been elected to the post of chairman of the Australian Republic Movement and is keen to mount an early challenge to the right of British Royalty to rule the once British convict colony.
Peter FitzSimons

Republicans see the high profile FitzSimons as the man who can make the difference. FitzSimons has been the author of nine books of Australian history. He is a prominent newspaper and radio journalist, and has served on many boards and committees including the Australian War Memorial, the ANZAC Centenary Advisory Board, the Sydney Writers Festival, the Senate of Sydney University, and numerous sporting committees.

FitzSimons was named a Member of the Order of Australia in 2011 for service to literature, journalism, conservation, disability care, and sporting organisations. As a rugby player, Peter FitzSimons represented Australia against France and New Zealand as a lock from 1989 to 1990. He has a degree in government and political science from the University of Sydney. He also had a year in Ohio on a field scholarship. Peter FitzSimons is a Fairfax Media columnist and is married to Nine Network’s Lisa Wilkinson. They have three children.

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“I do believe that Tony Abbot will be Australia’s last monarchist Prime Minister,” FitzSimons has been reported as saying. “Whatever happens from this point, should it be Labor or should it be another Liberal, in all likelihood there will soon be bipartisan support in the federal leadership for a republic,” he said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has already declared his support for a republic with this statement: “Like all Australians, I have tremendous respect for Queen Elizabeth. She has fulfilled her constitutional responsibilities with grace for many years, but I don’t believe we have to wait for a change of monarch to renew the republic debate.”

Republicanism in Australia as a movement dates from 1832 when Horatio Wills, the son of a convict published The Currency Lad in which he promoted Australia as a republic. In 1854 some participants in the revolt at the Eureka Stockade in Victoria were openly republican and some later republican movements adopted the Eureka flag.

As the Australian colonies moved toward federation in 1901, republicanism was widely debated, but the country was fully engaged in the process of federation, and declaring a republic was seen as one step too far at a critical stage in the constitutional evolution.

Republicanism in Australia was re-awakened by the dismissal of the Gough Government by the Governor-General in 1975, but again the majority were in favour of the status quo.
In recent years the Australian Labor Party has actively pursued the republican aim with Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and Paul Keating in favour. But a referendum scheduled to be held in 1998 was replaced by a Constitutional Convention after royalist Prime Minister John Howard ousted labour in 1996. At that time a majority of Australians favoured a republic, but there was disagreement on the structure of it. Finally, a referendum was held in 1999, at a time when many Australians were becoming wearied by the debate, and the republican proposition was defeated.
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Frequent objections to having a republic have been that it would be seen as an insult to the Royal Family. Others believe that Australia would no longer be eligible to be a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, but little do they seem to realise that most Commonwealth members are in fact republics, and the Queen still visits those countries as head of the Commonwealth without being offended in the least.

Another frequently expressed objection is that Australia would be too much like America, as though America was the world’s only republic. In fact republics outnumber all other systems of government combined. In the 21st century a republic is the normal and accepted constitutional system, while kingdoms and constitutional monarchies are very much in the minority. Another objection often stated is that the time is not right and the right time would be after a monarch has been crowned. But that is a bit like saying, no time will ever be the right time.

Monday, 13 July 2015


Is the TPPA a big business conspiracy to create a new world order?

Opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is getting a full head of steam in every country that is a party to the secret negotiations.

The TPPA partners are the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Peru, but more countries including China and South Korea may join.

The partnership had its roots in an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico, in 2002, when New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, Goh Chock Tong the Prime Minister of Singapore, and Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, began negotiations on the Pacific Three Closer Economic Partnership.

Previous New Zealand governments had negotiated for access for New Zealand produce into the European Economic Community (now the European Union) with considerable success against determined opposition from some EEC members (The United Kingdom Government itself had to contend with determined opposition from its own people).
Former New Zealand
Prime Minister Helen Clark

New Zealand politicians had also negotiated two free trade and economic treaties with Australia, in spite of bitter opposition from the public in both countries on the basis that it was a sell-out and there would be a wholesale loss of jobs and unfair competition. The final free trade agreement between the two countries has been a huge success for both business and employment, and the two countries continue to move closer together.

With that record, New Zealand was seen as a country well capable of punching above its weight on the world stage. Two New Zealand prime ministers, Clark and Mike Moore, have gone on to head two powerful United Nations bodies, further evidence that New Zealand politicians can foot it with the best.

When Brunei in 2006 showed an interest in the Pacific Three Closer Economic Partnership it was renamed the Trans Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement (P4). In 2008 Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Vietnam joined while the negotiations continued and, with 2012 as the target date, the agreement became the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
Former Singapore Prime
Minister Goh Chock Tong

From that first meeting in Mexico, the TPPA has grown to be the world’s largest ever trade agreement negotiations and will bring 40% of the world’s trade, employment and economic activity within its scope.

For people who think that big is bad, it’s time for them to consider the opposite of expanding trade blocs; imploding trade blocs. Think about trade and government the way it was two or three centuries ago. In many countries it was illegal to take produce from one town to the next, let alone across international borders, unless exorbitant tariffs were paid. The purpose of the trade barriers were supposedly to protect local industry and workers, but some people, politicians among them, could see that the effect of the barriers was counter-productive. However, the task of convincing the public at large of the advantages of free trade is not an easy one.

It is no coincidence that as nations and trade blocs have expanded over time, the range of products available has grown, employment has grown, life expectancy has increased and people enjoy more leisure time and healthier life styles. It is no coincidence at all. While it would be wrong to claim that freer trade alone has improved the standard of living, it must be recognised that it has played a major part. When the TPPA is finally signed it will help lift the lifestyle of 40% of the world’s population to an all-time new level of prosperity and quality of life.
Former Chilean President
Ricardo Lagos

So, you may ask, if the TPPA has such a glowing future, why are so many people opposed to it?

Quite simply, the answer lies in human nature. Even in the twenty-first century we all have a natural in-built instinct to protect our own little patch and to preserve what we know and understand. In some ways we haven’t progressed much since we lived in caves. We still believe that a caveman should not be allowed to trade with cavemen on the other side of the mountain. Someone might get a bad deal, and may even lose his cave if the deal goes wrong. Of course, this is an extreme and rather ridiculous example in today’s world, but it illustrates just where we have come from.

It is perfectly natural to think that change will be bad, especially if what we know and trust is replaced by something larger. It is easy to think that there is some kind of conspiracy going on, and that we will be the victims of that conspiracy.

The leaders of the 12 nations that were negotiating the TPPA in 2012

When it comes to the TPPA the conspiracy theory is that the whole thing is driven by big business and that only the big business owners and the politicians will be richer as a result. But such a proposition cannot stand up to proper scrutiny. Economic common sense must tell us that if 99% of the population are poor, then the other 1% will also be poor. Even if the 1% owned 99% of the world’s assets, those assets would be worthless. The products and services owned by the 1% would be useless if 99% of the world population could not afford to buy them. Every day we hear that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, but that is patently incorrect because it ignores the basic economic reality set out above.

Then there is the suggestion that the TPPA will allow corporations to sue governments. In most parts of the world corporations already have that right. It is also a fact that most agreements, contracts and rules have procedures included to cover breaches. That claim is nothing other than a protestor’s red herring.

The TPPA is driven by far-sighted politicians, skilled departmental advisors and astute business leaders who understand that expanded free trade benefits everyone, except perhaps those countries left out of the loop.

Another reason often given for opposing the TPPA is that it is a conspiracy to create a New World Order (a form of world government) and it is going to be bad for everyone. Well that conspiracy theory has been around for hundreds of years, and we are still waiting.

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Then there is the argument that the negotiations are being held in secret and therefore it must be sinister. This writer has one word to describe that theory: Rubbish! I challenge any reader to give me just one example of a trade agreement that was negotiated publicly. That is not how government to government negotiations are conducted. Any government that tried to negotiate that way would certainly finish up on the losing end of the bargaining, and the people shouting the loudest would be the biggest losers.

Just imagine New Zealand’s four million people all having a say. The farmers would make their demands at the expense of everyone else. Manufacturers would do likewise, and so would teachers, orchardists, fishermen, bankers, lawyers, shop assistants, students, and so on. The delicate negotiations between the nations’ leaders, if carried out in public, would quickly degenerate into a violent lolly scramble of epic proportions. It would probably be enough to trigger a world war.

The negotiations can only be held in orderly private sessions. It is quite simply a case of a majority having elected the political leaders, and now they have to trust them. The politicians will understand that if they fail they will fall unceremoniously from office.

Meanwhile, the protest movement in every partner country is convinced that their country alone will be on the losing end of the deal, while all the other partners will win. Well, they can’t all be right on that score.

The opposition comes from many different quarters, even from some who are regularly accused of being involved in conspiracies. Brother Nathanael Channel writing in Real Jew News has stated that, ‘The Trans Pacific Partnership – now in secret negotiations – is nothing less than Globalization on steroids.’ Sorry, Brother, while the negotiators are working away quietly and resolutely, it is the protestors who are on steroids.

But after the TPPA becomes a fact of life, the world and its people will move on. There will be other negotiations, agreements and advances, and there will be more bitter protests and misinformation, lies and finger pointing. But more people will have a bigger share in a larger slice of cake.

Friday, 10 July 2015


Are we being poisoned by secret government programs?

The term ‘Chem Trail’ was coined in the mid-1990s by people who believed that there was a government conspiracy to, (a) control the climate, (b) spray urban areas with birth control chemicals and (c) hundreds of other unproven theories.
Clouds, con trails, or chem trails?

So what are chem trails, as opposed to con trails, how long have they been around, and what causes them? Let’s examine con trails (condensation or vapor trails) first, if only because the term has been around much longer.

Con trails were practically unheard of prior to World War II because pre-war aircraft were few and far between and flew mostly at low altitude due to the absence of pressurization and powerful jet engines. Even the best airliners rarely went above 10,000 feet.

But the use of higher-performance military aircraft during WWII meant that for the first time pilots had a reason for flying right up in the cold thin air at 25,000 feet and more, because in combat, height gave an advantage. Height could be turned to speed and height could give another advantage; that of hiding in the line of the sun. Battle of Britain pilots coined the saying, ‘Beware of the Hun in the sun.’
A close up view of a Qantas B747 at 36,000 feet

For the first time, people on the ground could follow the dogfights by observing the condensation trails of the combatants. Spitfires were relatively small aircraft and almost invisible at 25,000 feet, but the con trails often filled the skies when conditions permitted. However, the con trails could be a pilot’s enemy too, because they made it easier for the real enemy to locate them.

Military aircraft of the 1940s produced con trails in a number of ways. The chief source was the wing-tips, but propellers, tail-planes, engine exhausts and other factors sometimes made a contribution too.

At the start of WWII less than 40 years had elapsed since the Wright Brothers first flew, and aviation was still very much in its infancy, particularly with regard to the design of wings. To understand how a wing generates con trails, one must understand how a wing produces lift. Because of its special shape the typical wing gains about 30% of its lift from the lower surface and about 70% from the upper surface. This is because the upper surface is curved and the airflow passing over the wing has further to go than the airflow beneath the wing. One of the laws of fluids (air behaves like a fluid) dictates that velocity, pressure and temperature are directly related in as much as a change to one will cause a change to the others. Therefore, as the velocity of the air over the wing accelerates, it triggers a decrease in atmospheric pressure and temperature. It is the decreased air pressure above the wing that provides most of the lift.
The apparent grid pattern is due to cross-winds and aircraft
flying at least five different routes

But then, because the two areas of different pressure will try to equalize, the higher pressure under the wing will flow outwards towards the wing-tip and some will curl up and around the tip to join the lower pressure above. These wing-tip rotations are known as a vortices (sometimes called a vortex) and they continue to rotate long after the aircraft has passed by. Inside the vortex the air pressure and temperature both decrease dramatically and any moisture will condense and form a condensation trail. In the right conditions, con trails can also form in the slipstream from the propeller, because the propeller blade is simply a miniature wing with all the same properties; lift, drag and unequal air pressure. The rudder, elevators, flaps and ailerons can also create these aerodynamic vortices, and condensation trails.

As wing designs have improved vortices (which are a form of drag) have become less of an issue. Many airliners now have winglets at the end of the wing to reduce drag and improve fuel consumption, but meanwhile large and powerful jet engines have moved the major part of the con trail from the wing to the engine.

The engine condensation trail comes from hot, water-laden exhaust gases suddenly meeting sub-freezing air. The water vapour condenses and freezes into ice particles similar in texture to high altitude Cirrus clouds, and often after a few minutes it is almost impossible to tell the difference.

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The Scapegoat

So if that is how con trails are created, how are chem trails created? The short answer to that question is, they can be created by anyone with a half-plausible conspiracy theory.

One popular theory is that the airlines use dirty fuel that creates clouds which let less sunlight through and stop terrestrial radiation thereby contributing to global warming. But that theory runs contrary to the Nuclear Winter theory of the 1980s when Greenies claimed that too much cloud would cause temperatures to plunge.

Another theory doing the rounds of social media is the claim that high-flying aircraft are deliberately spraying chemical and/or biological agents on the population for undisclosed and sinister purposes. They argue that con trails disappear quickly but chem trails stay longer and must therefore contain other substances. But con trails are clouds and are capable are staying as long as clouds, depending on the conditions.

Other claims include solar radiation management, psychological warfare, and mass surveillance, none of which have been accompanied by any plausible documentation, let alone proof. But the theorists constantly claim that they have proof, or that people with proof have been silenced.

Yet others will tell you it’s the United States Air Force flying high altitude grid patterns with unmarked aircraft. I can understand some people being confused by what may look like a grid pattern. Airliners normally fly the same routes relative to the terrain, usually separated by altitude or time intervals. When they fly a few minutes apart on the same route, because of wind drift at altitude, the con trails drift with the wind and a trail could be several miles downwind by the time the next aircraft flies along the same route.

Another claim is that ‘skies are being seeded with electrically-conductive materials as part of a massive electromagnetic superweapons program based around the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP)’ This conspiracy theorist must have suffered an ultra-high-frequency brain-wave.

Other conspiracy theorists are simply people who spend all their waking hours thinking up reasons for being anti-government. They are surely direct descendants of the last members of the Flat Earth Society. They seem to want to scare their children and grandchildren into believing, because of government, that life in the future won’t be worth living. It’s time they got a life in the here and now and started giving their children the hope that they deserve.

Thursday, 9 July 2015


What if all the illegals left America – all 20 million of them?
There is a popular belief in America, and in most countries, that if all the illegal immigrants could be rounded up and deported, most of that country’s crime and economic problems would go away with them. But how accurate and reliable is that commonly held belief?

Illegal immigration and crime are hotly debated issues in many countries, and the debate is not new. I can remember this same debate raging in New Zealand in the 1950s. New Zealanders wanted to be rid of English, Dutch and Pacific Island immigrants, most of whom were fully legal. In 1962 I went to live in Australia for two years, and the same debate was raging there. Australians wanted all Italians, Greeks and Germans sent home. In 1971 I spent another year working in Australia and the only thing that had changed during my absence was that Australians had started to accept the earlier waves of immigrants and their descendants, and were focusing their attention on New Zealanders, even though they appeared to accept me and other New Zealanders that they knew personally.
It was about that time that I realised for the first time that the whole world had a bee in its bonnet about immigration. But a study of history will quickly illustrate that xenophobia is not new. It has been going on for centuries, even thousands of years, and has been the cause of countless wars and wide-scale and unnecessary human suffering, and it really should stop.

Today, I read a post on Facebook titled ‘What if the illegals left?’ Initially, it had the appearance of being well-research and authoritative. It even posed a question regarding the economic consequences of sending home America’s 20 million illegals. But as I read on, I didn’t find what I had expected to find. The whole tone of the article suddenly became a biased and illogical diatribe about the savings to the American economy, the immediate reduction in the crime rate, and an instant and magical improvement in the American way of life.
Having travelled and/or worked in a number of countries, as well as working with people from almost 200 different countries, I think I can justifiably claim to have some understanding of ‘foreigners’ and immigrants. I have also had the experience of living in a country that lost about 5 percent of its population in just one year. That loss amounted to an economic catastrophe for that country. For America, losing 20 million people in one go would be even more catastrophic. The country would be bankrupted overnight.
The economic savings claimed by the author of ‘What if the illegals left?’ are all based on false and emotive assumptions, rather than factual down-to-earth records. For example, it was claimed that an additional $401 billion extra in taxes would be collected. That could only be achieved by increasing tax rates, because there would be fewer people paying taxes. Then it was claimed that $80 billion a year less would be sent out of the country to the illegals’ homelands, but how much does the rest of the population send out of the country for foreign travel and paying for imported goods? The amount immigrants send home is always grossly overstated. In fact, immigrants tend to spend almost 100 percent of their income just getting established in their new homes. So that is just another popular, and emotive, urban myth.
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As I read the article I realised that the journalist’s name was Tina Griego and I wondered if that was an immigrant name, perhaps from Mexico? Well, I suppose the American population, like that of New Zealand, Australia and Canada, had to come from somewhere. Without immigration those countries would not exist in the way that they do today. People often justify early immigration by saying that ‘the country was empty then,’ or ‘they were hard-working, law-abiding people.’ But in their time they faced the same ill-informed prejudices that today’s immigrants face.
Then Ms Griego claimed that 28 percent of prison inmates are illegal immigrants, but that is in contradiction with the official figures, which show that for a national incarceration rate of 3.04 percent in the 18-39 year age group in the American population, only 0.86 percent of prisoners are foreign born.
At the end of the article, it was claimed that America would make saving of $538 billion from sending home the 20 million illegal immigrants, but that figure has been created out of a collection of highly emotive pieces of claptrap. Not only would there be no savings at all, but there would be a cost that would be far too great for the country to sustain.
It takes population to keep the economy ticking over. Immigrants work hard to get a better life than they had at home. They have to work hard to pay the rent, buy a home, fill it with furniture, educate the children, and so on. When immigrants spend money they keep others in jobs and businesses. If 20 million people were to be deported the consequences would be millions of homes sitting empty, unsold or unrented. Millions of shops and factories closed, and every industry facing the most serious ever downturn. The unemployment rate among American citizens would be the highest ever recorded. The hard times of the 1930s would seem like a mere hiccup compared with the result of 20 million hard-working, law-abiding people being deported.
This lot should be allowed to land,
but after that definitely no more
I leave the final word to the American Immigration Council:
This report has been updated. Please see The Criminalization of Immigration in the United States for the latest information.
Anti-immigrant activists and politicians are fond of relying upon anecdotes to support their oft-repeated claim that immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants, are dangerous criminals. This mythical claim is usually based on rhetorical sleight of hand in which individual stories of heinous crimes committed by immigrants are presented as “proof” that we must restrict immigration or “get tough” on the undocumented in order to save the lives of U.S. citizens. While these kinds of arguments are emotionally powerful, they are intellectually dishonest. There is no doubt that dangerous criminals must be punished, and that immigrants who are dangerous criminals should not be allowed to enter the United States or should be deported if they already are here. But harsh immigration policies are not effective in fighting crime because—as numerous studies over the past 100 years have shown—immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or be behind bars than the native-born, and high rates of immigration are not associated with higher rates of crime. This holds true for both legal immigrants and the undocumented, regardless of their country of origin or level of education.

The problem of crime in the United States is not caused or even aggravated by immigrants, regardless of their legal status. This is hardly surprising since immigrants come to the United States to pursue economic and educational opportunities not available in their home countries and to build better lives for themselves and their families. As a result, they have little to gain and much to lose by breaking the law. Undocumented immigrants in particular have even more reason to not run afoul of the law given the risk of deportation that their lack of legal status entails. Public policies must be based on facts, not anecdotes or emotions. And the fact is that the vast majority of immigrants are not criminals.