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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Jim Camp
Bio: Jim Camp
Date:  July 31, 2008
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Topic category:  Other/General

Saying No to Unlimited Immigration

It strikes me as disturbing that both of the presidential candidates have similar positions on immigration that run contrary to the vast majority of voters in both parties

As a negotiation coach it is natural for me to view election campaigns conducted between the two candidates for president and voters as a negotiation with multiple agendas, adversaries, and intense decision making.

That is why it strikes me as disturbing that both of the presidential candidates have similar positions on immigration that run contrary to the vast majority of voters in both parties. Other than the war in Iraq and concerns about the economy, the issue of immigration, both legal and illegal, and the need to bring immigration reform into our society is likely to emerge as a deciding factor.

In a new book by Dr. Joseph H. Boyett, a political science scholar, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, the author warns that, “We’ve used up our stupid quotient. It is time to get it right,” adding that voters should “treat every person who presents himself or herself to you as a potential leader with the utmost suspicion.” This is particularly true in a political campaign in which “many people are working hard right now to orchestrate your choice of leaders. They are employing sophisticated psychological techniques.”

A healthy level of caution is critical to every successful negotiation.  After all negotiation is 100% emotional until a decision is reached.  You will find yourself in a very good position in this election negotiation if you say no until a vision is created that allows you to say yes.  The object is not just to get the deal done, but often to know when to walk away from a bad deal, so for goodness sake only embrace a good deal.

The June 30 results of a Rasmussen telephone survey concerning American’s views on immigration are instructive. Fully 63% of voters view gaining control of the border as a high priority, a result that bears out earlier surveys. Moreover, 32% of those surveyed identified themselves as “angry” about the immigration issue.

Why then does neither Sen. John McCain, nor Sen. Barack Obama show any indication of wanting to take action consistent with the vast majority of Americans?

My view is that immigration is seen quite differently by national politicians fighting to govern the nation.  Even though a majority feels strongly that immigration is a great threat, our candidates keep quiet. Why? They want the vote of those who sponsor and support illegal immigration. They are quiet because they don’t want to attack illegal immigration and lose votes.

Consider, however, the massive outcry against the most recent effort by Congress to grant amnesty to the estimated twelve million illegal immigrants that derailed the legislation. Congress was forced to back off because “the consent of the governed” is critical to re-election!

Voters paying attention to this issue know that since 2000 an estimated 10 to 12 million immigrants have arrived, representing the highest seven-year period of immigration in U.S. history! If immigration was to continue at this rate, the nation’s population would increase from 301 million today to 468 million in 2060, a 56% increase!

One in eight U.S. residents is now an illegal or legal immigrant.

Research on the impact this is having on the U.S. economy reveals that Americans are spending between $11 and $22 billion on welfare to illegal immigrants each year by state governments. Of this, $2.2 billion a year is spent on food assistance programs such as food stamps and free school lunches.

An estimated $2.5 billion a year is spent on Medicaid. The demands on some American hospitals have forced some to close emergency rooms as illegal immigrants crowd them and the law requires their care despite their inability to pay for it.  

Approximately $12 billion is spent on primary and secondary school education for children that are here illegally, many of whom cannot speak English.

It costs Americans $3 million a day to incarcerate illegal aliens and 30% of all federal prison inmates are illegal immigrants. The crime rates of illegal immigrants are estimated to be two-and-a-half times higher than native-born Americans for crimes that include illicit drugs, rape and murder.

Native-born Americans are losing an estimated $200 billion in wages that have been driven down by the influx of illegal immigrants. This particularly hurts minorities and the young seeking part or fulltime employment.

Meanwhile over the past five years illegal aliens sent home remittances estimated to be between $25 and $45 billion to their countries of origin.

We are a critical moment in our nation’s history when a moratorium on virtually all immigration is needed. We have had such a moratorium in the past following the vast immigration of the late 1800s and early 1900s. At that time America needed immigrants to help build the nation’s infrastructure and participate in its industrial growth. Today major industries such as automobile manufacture are on the brink of declaring bankruptcy.

What America needs now is a period of stabilization and a period in which to either reduce through deportation the current population of twelve million illegal immigrants and to slow the entry of legal immigrants. If we do not we risk so overburdening our economy, our schools, and our health justice systems that we do grievous harm to present and future generations of Americans.

The failure to stem the tide is to literally import poverty. As a share of the population, one in eight residents is now an illegal or legal immigrant. It is the highest level in 80 years.

Voters need to pay close attention to the immigration policies of the two candidates for the next President of the United States. There is simply no excuse for an unsecured southern border. There is no excuse for the profligate granting of visas to people whose presence in the nation cannot be tracked.

In the 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson said, “The days of unlimited immigration are past.” He was right. The next President and the next Congress must close the borders and must reduce the number of legal immigrants until assimilation and integration of those already here can be achieved.

It is a negotiation in which the voters must loudly say “No!”

Jim Camp

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Notes:  Jim Camp is CEO of The Jim Camp Group and the author of two best selling books on negotiation. His website is

Biography - Jim Camp

Jim Camp, best-selling author of negotiation books Start with No and No: The Only System Of Negotiation You Need For Work and Home, is chairman of The Jim Camp Group, founder, CEO.

Camp and his negotiation training have been featured on CNN, CNBC, numerous radio shows, and in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Inc., Cosmopolitan, San Francisco Chronicle, The Columbus Dispatch, The Christian Science Monitor, and San Jose Mercury News. Knight-Ridder Publications declared his negotiation book "must reading." Camp has lectured on negotiation at many prestigious graduate schools, is a frequent conference keynoter on negotiation, and has taught his negotiation training methods in nine countries on three continents.

Camp served his country for seven years. He is a Vietnam Veteran and Air Force pilot. He holds a degree from Ohio State University in Education, Biological Sciences, and Health and Physical Education.

Camp lives in Austin, Texas, Vero Beach, Florida and Dublin, Ohio with his wife Patty. They have five children and six grandchildren.

Read other commentaries by Jim Camp.

Copyright © 2008 by Jim Camp
All Rights Reserved.

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