Good sports writer unfortunately delves into illegal immigration with incomplete, sympathetic column

It’s disappointing to see one of the best sports writers to come to the Triangle in several years write a supposed sports article that is sympathetic toward illegal immigration and ignores its impact on North Carolina citizens.

Sunday, in a nearly 2,000 word column – which is double his articles’ normal length – Luke DeCock of the News & Observer matter-of-factly talks about “immigrants” coming to Siler City for jobs and deciding to stay even when the jobs dried up. Of course, he meant “illegal immigrants” but that doesn’t fit the template.

The word “illegal” doesn’t pop up in the column until the last few paragraphs and only to indicate that members of the high school soccer team eight years ago were here illegally and couldn’t play college ball due to the higher cost of out-of-state tuition. That’s sounds like a little promo for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, doesn’t it?

DeCock implies there have been few, if any, other illegal immigrants on the team since that 2004 team. Not only is that very unlikely, if not impossible, it is very likely that the parents of nearly all the Hispanic players came to the country illegally.

The dependents of illegal immigrants cost North Carolina taxpayers much more than what the average citizens’ children cost. Specifically, educating the average student in the state costs $8,414 a year but those disadvantaged low-skilled immigrants with limited English proficiency could cost an additional $5,000 or so to taxpayers. And if there are any other learning issues, it could cost thousands more. In fact, the Department of Public Instruction reports that a child from a low-income family living in a small, low-wealth area (such as Siler City) and with limited English proficiency and special learning issues, would cost taxpayers $18,492.98 – that’s more than $10,000 over the cost of the average citizen’s child.

Illegal immigration costs Americans billions – at least $100 billion a year by two separate accounts. Plus illegal immigration costs Americans jobs and lowers citizens’ salaries but none of that is addressed in the article. No, it’s basically a kumbaya article which transparently attempts to normalize illegal immigration and encourage readers to accept the resulting change to our culture.

Pressure is on in Siler City to forget about baseball fields and build soccer fields to accommodate this growing demographic, which may or may not be permanent – depending on whether or not politicians decide to enforce immigration laws or give amnesty to those who came here illegally (or some convoluted combination).

DeCock writes, “The migrant workers who came to Siler City to work in those plants provoked a dramatic demographic swing in the town beginning in the mid-’90s, making it 49.8 percent Hispanic by the 2010 census. The children of those workers would, in 2004, make up the first predominantly Hispanic high school soccer team to win a state title in North Carolina.

“Eight years later, the economy may be withering, but the Jordan-Matthews High School team is thriving. More than 40 athletes tried out for 26 spots. Twenty-five of the players are Hispanic; one, a freshman goalie, is white.”

This is something we should be celebrating? Twenty-five spots are being taken up on a public school team by children who are either the kids of illegal immigrants or illegal immigrants themselves. And this is something to be joyously reported? Since there is no negativity toward illegal immigration, or opposing views, presented in the column, I suppose DeCock thinks so.

Could you imagine if American citizens illegally entered Mexico and their children took up 25 of 26 open slots on a sports team? First of all, it wouldn’t happen because other countries’ governments don’t tolerate illegal immigration. But, even if they did, Mexican citizens wouldn’t stand for it. We would undoubtedly be understanding to their concerns.

From the tenor of the article, we aren’t just supposed to tolerate it, we are supposed to accept it, even embrace it. DeCock calls the high school soccer team “a beacon of promise for a Hispanic community trying to find its way in its new home.” Isn’t that special? We wouldn’t want illegal immigrants to feel bad, would we? Nor would we want them to follow the law and return to their old home.

Look, all humans deserve basic decency and respect, and while those athletes should be proud of their accomplishments, we should be looking into how to stop illegal immigration rather than acclimating, accepting and even glorifying illegal immigrants and ignoring the negative affects illegal immigration has on our communities.

To read DeCock’s article, please click here.

Some facts about illegal immigration:

* Illegal immigration is a federal crime.

* You can’t really discuss immigration and Hispanics in North Carolina without talking about the illegal component. North Carolina and Mexican officials estimate that between 40-50 percent of all Hispanics living in the state are here illegally. If you added the number of anchor babies, who are born on U.S. soil as American citizens but who wouldn’t be here except for their illegal immigrant parents, the numbers would be higher.

* A Rasmussen poll shows that 72% of likely voters believe parents should be required to prove they are legal residents when registering their child for public school while only 21% oppose such a requirement. Only 32% believe that children of illegal aliens should be allowed to attend public school in the U.S. as opposed to 53% who disagree.

* The Center for Immigration Studies reports that 71 percent of households with children headed by an illegal immigrant use at least one welfare program such as Medicaid or WIC.

* It is estimated that illegal immigration costs North Carolina taxpayers $2.3 billion last year – a year where there was a $3 billion shortfall in our state. In other words, if not for the illegal immigration problem in our state, the budget would be close to being balanced.

* African-Americans are disproportionately affected economically by the influx of illegal immigrant Hispanic labor. A study by Augustine J. Kposowa found that a 1-percent increase in the immigrant composition of a metropolitan area increased unemployment among African-Americans by 0.13 percent. That’s particularly bad considering that low-paying occupations – including construction, landscaping, agriculture, restaurants, hospitality – are now estimated to be an average of 20-25 percent illegal immigrant. That means if our jobless rate is 10 percent, it would be 7 percent if not for illegal aliens taking jobs that Americans have done, can do and will do – but perhaps not at the lowest wage possible that some employers want.

* The same study indicates that a 1 percent increase in the immigration composition of an occupation reduces the wages of Americans in that occupation by 0.8 percent. That means today that illegal immigration may reduce the wages of the average native in a low-skilled occupation by perhaps 16 percent or more than $2,500 a year.

* A report on CNN indicated that about 30 percent of federal prison inmates are criminal illegal aliens. This does not include illegal immigrants in state prisons and jails or other similar facilities.

* In North Carolina and in June alone, NC Fire reports that there were 4,661 cases of drunk driving by suspected illegal aliens. To find out about crimes committed by illegal aliens in North Carolina in August, please click here.

* Since the passage of a tough anti-illegal alien law in Alabama last year, that state has seen its unemployment rate decrease from 9.8 percent to 7.7 percent.

* While much of the immigration talk revolves around agriculture workers, fewer than 15 percent of the illegal immigrants in North Carolina work in the low-desired agricultural field. The other 85-plus percent are doing jobs that Americans do and have done for decades – perhaps not at the low wages illegal immigrants are willing to accept however.

* It’s a myth that there is some major labor shortage as a result of a lack of illegal immigrants available to work in the fields. CNBC recently did an article on the phony labor shortage. To read it, please click here.

* Giving amnesty to the estimated 11-13 million illegal immigrants in the country, would end up costing the United States 70 times more than it would cost to simply enforce the law. To learn more about that, please click here.

* 65% of Mexicans who have a member of their immediate household in the United States said that amnesty would make people they know more likely to attempt to illegally migrate to America.

* Another Rasmussen poll finds that fully a quarter of voters are “angry” about “the current immigration situation,” with 74 percent of the total saying the government isn’t doing enough to secure the nation’s borders, and by more than 2 to 1 saying that gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing illegal aliens.

* The 14th amendment was passed to make sure that blacks who were born into slavery would be considered U.S. citizens. It is being misinterpreted to include that children born to illegal immigrants on American soil would be U.S. citizens. 61% of likely American voters “believe that a child born in the United States to a woman who is here illegally should not automatically become a U.S. citizen.”

* 87% of U.S. voters believe that anyone receiving federal health care subsidies should be required to prove they are in the United States legally.

* 85% of likely voters say that individuals should be able to prove that they are in the country legally before they receive any federal, state, or local government services while only 8% disagree.

* 82% think that businesses should be required to use E-Verify to determine a potential employee’s legal status while only 12% oppose such a requirement.

* This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, or at least it shouldn’t be – this is an American issue. Even 67% of liberals and progressives believe that the level of immigration into the U.S. is too high.

To see current results of a new poll which asks “How concerned are you right now about the issue of illegal immigration in the US?” please click here. On the morning of Oct. 1, 87% said they were concerned with 57% of them saying they were very concerned.

For more information on illegal immigration in our area, and what you can do, please click here.