Doesn’t the anti-immigration lobby find this curious? Under their theory of immigration these people should still be coming to the United States at the same pace as before. The anti-immigration crowd argues that immigrants are only coming to America to “get on welfare” and “live off the taxpayer.” Did someone abolish the American welfare state when I wasn’t looking?
Nope, it’s still there. What has changed is that lots of jobs have disappeared. With fewer and fewer jobs the immigrants are not coming in. Since welfare remains, since the “free” health care remains, since the public schools remain, then the this sharp downturn in immigration is a very, very strong indication that most immigrants come to America to work, not to live off welfare. I fear that the tendency to sponge off the state is a habit that is indulged in more by the native born than by migrants.
This is not proof, of course, but it is a logical first step in exposing the xenophobia embedded in most arguments against immigration.