Newslash: Racist anti-immigration “thinktanks” lie with statistics

Est Reading Time: 4 min

[CN: White supremacy, eugenics etc]

Roy Beck

Anti-immigration groups/politicians have always been trying to intellectualise their views. Behind the veil it’s just the same old but if they put on a mask they can get more people than just their base to think they “have a point”. This is what happened when this 1996(?) video by founder of anti-immigration NumbersUSA Roy Beck recently went viral. It was misleading enough for someone I know to voice initial support, only realising after that it was not credible. Here it is:

Video link

The most misleading thing about this video is its existence – it has no reason to. It starts with a claim: “some people say immigration to the US helps alleviate world poverty” and tries to refute that. Who the fuck says that? There are many impacts of immigration but I doubt anyone prominent is saying that a major reason to have immigration is to reduce global poverty. And even if immigration doesn’t reduce world poverty, would that somehow mean it should be reduced? If so, we should first ban meat production and fireworks; those definitely doesn’t reduce world poverty either.

Beck claims that people earning under $2/day are “too poor, too sick, too disconnected to make it here as immigrants”. It’s true that they’re too poor to become immigrants, but it’s pretty racist to assume they wouldn’t “make it”. If anything they’re probably more resourceful than most of us reading this post — after all they are managing to survive on that meagre amount.

One of his few claims that’s correct is that rich Western countries tend to “import” the better-off poor. Yes, because so much of immigration intake is skills-based. If anything, the people who immigrate to Western countries may not be considered poor at all in their home countries. But then he does a dodgy statistical trick that makes it seem like 5.6 billion people (3B+2.6B) are poorer than “even” Mexico. This despite Mexico’s average PPP income only being about $2000 higher than world average. I’m no scientician but I think he’s conflating people’s individual income with the earning power of the country as a whole. By saying how many people live in countries with an average income below Mexico (and not how many people have incomes below Mexico’s average) he’s inflating the scope of poverty to make it seem insurmountable.

“What is it the elites are telling us?” Oh no no no, go fuck yourself. This video went viral before the US presidential election but hopefully by now everyone attached to reality should understand the disingenuousness of the “elites” label.

Next, he says that the US’s immigration policy stands “regardless of the effect on our unemployed, the working poor, the most vulnerable members of our society”. So he smuggles in the core premise of his entire organisation’s being: the assumption that immigration [of brown people, make no mistake about that] is a net negative for the “host” country. That’s extremely wrong and reaches Nazi levels of racism (compare The Jews Are Our Misfortune!). He says a higher immigration intake would need to be implemented “regardless of the effect on our natural resources,” and taking in 2M/year would “totally overwhelm” the infrastructure. More fears of POC hordes at the door.

He picture of immigrants being a drain on resources contradicts his earlier complaint that Western countries takes people who are too resourceful. They’re too entrepreneurial to be removed from their original country AND too much of a burden for the US. This could only be true if that joke about New Zealenders moving to Australia raising the IQ of both countries was true, but for the US vs any developing country. In other words, it would require Nazi/eugenicist-levels of racial theory to be true.

But where the eugenicism get taken up a notch is the population projections. OMG brown people breed! “And these countries unfortunately will be adding another 80M people” to “the impoverished population” (emphasis mine). No mention of the fact that there’s a significant net decline in poverty levels every year with 50M people crossing above the [extremely low] bar of extreme poverty. He hides all this because in his model THESE COUNTRIES are static containers not complex and changing environments.

The climax is the spilling of the gumballs — a global disaster caused by too many of THEM. But is his talk telling us to make the world more ecologically sustainable? Does he want to expand funding for international family planning: education, contraception and abortion? Is he for stepping up the efforts to combat climate change on a global scale? Nope, he just wants to keep brown people out of the US. The tragedy for him is not that his vision will come true, it’s that it might impact his comfortable US lifestyle.

His conclusion: people in poor countries “have to be helped where they live”. Again is he arguing for a dramatic increase in foreign aid? The funding of a basic income for everyone living at $2PPP/day or below? Maybe even fund it with some of the economic growth that migrants bring to the the US economy? Didn’t think so.

His entire talk is against a point nobody’s making that’s used as a vehicle to fear-monger about THE HORDES while smuggling in the utterly false (and extremely racist) premise that immigrants are a net negative. This is not too different to the racism of Pauline Hanson and any other “populist” (ie. fascist) right-winger. That he can make the argument using respectable words and put on a bow tie means he should be rejected even more.