FAIR Op-ed: Dan Stein Responds to George Will

In a recent nationally syndicated column, George Will urged the House to pass an amnesty and immigration increase bill along the lines of the legislation approved by the Senate last June. In an op-ed appearing in the March 6 edition of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, I refute Will’s assertions. Not only is mass immigration not the key to “restoring America’s economic vigor, it would irreparably undermine what remains of America’s middle class.

The entire op-ed can read at the Commercial Appeals’s website.

About Author


Dan is the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s President after joining the organization in 1982. He has testified more than 50 times before Congress, and been cited in the media as "America's best-known immigration reformer." Dan has appeared on virtually every significant TV and radio news/talk program in America and, in addition to being a contributing editor to ImmigrationReform.com, has contributed commentaries to a vast number of print media outlets.


  1. avatar

    LEGAL immigration needs to be CUT. That’s where you start.

    George Will has been an open borders “conservative” forever. I’ve literally said that for 20 years. So long as he’s fat and happy, he doesn’t care if the middle class is destroyed.

    And where are the so-called “environmentalists” and “liberals” on this national question (immigration is much larger than a mere issue)? How will the future of America look when we have over 450 million people living here?

  2. avatar
    Lawrence Schreiber on

    Most of the commentary make reference to illegal immigration. While that is a problem needing a lot more attention my concern is that of legal immigration. We have chain migration. We have immigration for underrepresented. We have etc. etc. etc. The easiest immigration fix is legal immigration. Determine who we need by way of credentials, education, etc. Allow those with the correct attributes who will improve the country and S. disallow all others. Next, fix the anchor baby rule of the Fourteenth Amendment to consider any baby born to a U.S. citizen or anyone here with the intent of becoming a citizen is a citizen. No others are citizens even if they are born here. Deportation issues disappear. This is not being cold hearted. Legal immigration can be fixed with the stroke of a pen by politicians with guts. Illegal immigration is a lot harder.

  3. avatar

    The Statue of Liberty may say, “Send me your tired and poor” , but it does not say “Send me your tired and poor ILLEGALLY’.

  4. avatar

    Can’t understand why we should reward those who have brazenly broken our laws. What all the advocates for “immigration reform” choose to ignore are the REAL economic and social consequences of what they really want, i.e. blanket amnesty.

    The vast majority of the illegals are poor, uneducated and have large families. Bringing them into citizenship en masse would create enormous burdens in the form of welfare, food stamps, education, healthcare, etc. etc.
    And for all Obama’s b.s. about “income equality”, many studies have confirmed that wherever there are a lot of illegals, income inequality only increases.

    All those pushing for amnesty are doing so for their own selfish purposes, incl. the Chamber of Commerce (cheap labor), Big Business (same), Catholic Church (filling their empty pews), and most of the all the Democrats, who stand to realize 15 million new voters if amnesty is pushed through.

    This is the biggest and worst fraud ever perpetrated on the American public, and if amnesty does pass, it will change irrevocably the face of America in a very negative way.

  5. avatar

    Why is the U.S. rewarding law breakers.? It’s not the American people as a majority, they kdo not want amnesty for illegals. This comes down to one conclusion: The illegals are a great future voting bloc for Obama. And the Democrats. They can’t win elections legally so they do it by lying and cheating.

    • avatar

      And what office is Obama going to run for? It’s cheap labor, union breakers. the President is out of step with the silent majority, which in this case is made up of Democrats and Indies. Hopefully, Republicans can convince their leaders not to listen to Mr. Will, Mr. Bush, the Reagan leftovers like Larry Kudlow and others.

  6. avatar

    Since 1990 my son was killed by an illegal Mexican (according to the mortician receiving the bodies) driving without driver’s license, driving an unlicensed vehicle, driving without auto insurance, driving without headlights on after midnight, and driving drunk. I contend that equals enough laws ignored in one incident that aliens have zero , nil, no interest in respecting American laws and/or customs!

    However, my home was broken into twice, two different incidents perpetrated by two different hispanic individuals. These events have been perpetrated upon me, my property since 2006. Combination of these incidents have convince me that aliens are not honest people here “just to make an honest living for their family,” as I’ve been told by hispanics and Americans. Strike three, you are “OUT!” Now, Americans cannot even find jobs to support their families. Thanks to them I do not have descendants. It is very much past time to enforce vigorously immigration and deportment law! Deport, deport, deport, and then deport agaain to be sure that we have cleaned house!

  7. avatar

    For years, I listened to President GW Bush tell me that I am not an American because I do work Ämericans won’t do” According to him and others, only illegal aliens can clean windows, pressure wash buildings, plumb, pick fruit, sheetrock, etc. Yet I have been in business as a window cleaning contractor for more than 35 years. I am not an American according to him though I was born in Morristown, New Jersey. And my other fellow non Americans living in the shadows also have janitorial, window cleaning, etc. jobs and businesses, also are not Americans though born in the USA according to the likes of George Will, the Bushes and yes, most Democrats.

    But I refuse to let these leaders tell me I am not an American any more. I have come out of the shadows to expose the hypocrisy of both Republicans and Democrats pushing amnesty for all, based on the idea that only low educated menial workers from abroad can do my job! Shame on you George Will, GW & Jeb, Ryan & other hypocrites.

    • avatar

      I agree.Go to a day labor temporary agency that opens @5:30am.Americans are in line for work doing jobs that supposedly they won’t do.I’ve done this for over 8 years.

    • avatar

      You say you have been here for 35 years. During that time there have been many tear jerking amnesties . My question to you is *with all the opportunities you have had for amnesty in the past, why are you still illegal;? How, many years did you live off the dole before getting a legitimate job How much have you paid into Income Tax over those years? How much have you contributed to the Social Security fund? How many of your illegal kinfolks have you brought into the country?

  8. avatar

    It’s 2014 Mr. Will, not 1914. Technology and outsourcing have reduced the numbers of workers needed. Call centers in India did not exist 30 years ago. And the big government type programs that Will disapproves of did not exist when the ancestors of most Americans came here.

    The Statue of Liberty may say give me your tired and poor, but the unspoken part of the lamp beside the golden door was that you HAD to work to support you and your family. Were those people an asset? Yes, because you had to be motivated to leave your relatives, cross an ocean on a ship for weeks, and then wrest a living from the soil or a menial job when you got here.

    It was NOT come here, have children who are US citizens, and then let the taxpayers support them through various welfare programs. It’s absurd on the face of it to pretend it’s a positive to let in masses of poor undereducated people to a modern social welfare society.

  9. avatar
    spacecowboymi on

    I’m glad my parents didn’t live to see what our country has become. Granted cheap labor was no fault but our own. It was a win win, situation. Regardless of what the progressives may say. Hispanics come here worked the fields with family members. My wife (a native american) worked the potato fields as a child in Alamosa. Taking the kids out of school the seasonal work would allow the family to get through the better part of winter. The summers in Illinois the truck farms would house migrants. I worked with individuals that in the 60’s made over $1000.00 a week working the family in the fields. Now the resorts have hired migrants to take citizens jobs cleaning rooms. It isn’t a matter of income. It is a matter of saving. The progressives hire undocumented citizens, pay them less than minimum wage. There bonus to the workers is taking them to social services and educating them on how to apply for entitlements. We as a culture have created this monster. My fear isn’t undocumented immigrants, it is terrorists, (I don’t mean the T party). Undocumented citizens are not here to become citizens, be it Polish, Russian, or Hispanic. If one is here to become a citizen follow the law. If one is in america is to exploit the culture and entitlements they are law breakers. When a sub culture is allow to take advantage of a system why pay taxes, insurance and out of state tuition, housing, file dependents on income tax, health care, why become legal when the money saved can go to family members living in the undocumented citizens homeland. My answer is annex Mexico and pay them to stay in Mexico. If we are going to be ridiculous let’s take it to the absurd. Let Mexico do the dirty work. Jail, kill, assault immigrants coming up from south america. The irony is, the Mexican economy is doing better than ours.

  10. avatar

    Tell George Will and Congress members pandering to the illegal aliens and their lobbies – no amnesty, enforce our immigration laws, deport! Wake up George Will, you too Congress!

  11. avatar
    David Roberts on

    Enforce current immigration laws. If we end up with a shortage of workers, employors will pay higher wages to get workers. We don’t need more latch key children from the illegals on the welfare rolls.
    True immigration reform would be to uphold the current laws and only modify the ability for the LEGAL immigrants to obtain green gards.
    Make ENGLISH a requirement. NO printing of our government documents in anything BUT ENGLISH. They can use their language in their own homes or with friends but they need to communicate with the American peopls.

  12. avatar
    lori garrison on

    Dear friends,

    I wanted to let you know about a new petition I created on We the People,
    a new feature on WhiteHouse.gov, and ask for your support. Will you add your
    name to mine? If this petition gets 100,000 signatures by March 29, 2014,
    the White House will review it and respond!

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    Here’s some more information about this petition:

    Deport Illegal Invasion of our country. Stop using taxpayer
    dollars to fund Illegal Invaders of our country.

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  13. avatar
    lori garrison on

    Mexicans can now bail out the country it has forced its illegal aliens on for decades. It is not like they can’t afford it!!!
    The following is a Forbes list of Mexican billionaires is based on an annual assessment of wealth and assets compiled and published by Forbes magazine on March 10, 2012.[1]
    Mexican Rich List 2012[edit]
    1. Carlos Slim – US$ 74 billion – Telmex, INBURSA, América Móvil, CompUSA, WorldCom and Telcel
    2. Ricardo Salinas Pliego – US$ 17.4 billion – TV Azteca, Iusacell, Unefon
    3. Alberto Baillères – US$ 16.5 billion – Peñoles
    4. Germán Larrea Mota-Velasco – US$ 14.2 billion – Grupo Mexico
    5. Jerónimo Arango – US$ 4 billion – Founder of Aurrerá (currently part of Wal-Mart Mexico)
    6. Emilio Azcárraga Jean – US$ 2 billion – Televisa, Univision, Club América, Necaxa, Club San Luis
    7. Roberto González Barrera – US$ 1.9 billion – Maseca, Banorte
    8. Carlos Hank Rhon – US$ 1.4 billion – Bank
    9. Roberto Hernandez Ramirez – US$ 1.3 billion – Banco Nacional de México (Banamex)
    10. Alfredo Harp Helú – US$ 1 billion – Banamex, Red Devils Baseball Team
    11. Joaquín Guzmán Loera – US$ 1 billion – Sinaloa Cartel

  14. avatar

    The MSM Reports Recently/Correctly [IMO] Reports That Millenials Aren’t Interested in Buying Homes Anymore

    If true, why?

    IMO a main culprit is the demise of the Middle Class. The Baby Boomers generally can’t afford to be “Helicopter Parents”, rescuing their young adult kids with free college, cars and sweetheart house deals like the heydays. Hence college loans, underemployment and high rents in the overpopulated Sanctuary cities have created a new slave society [4 to a bedroom in SF] for the open border pundits to smile at. Its all too much immigration overpopulation, with legal American avg birthrates at a “depopulating” 1.7.

    Adding more foreign people in America with a stagnant domestic total labor force the last 5-10 years means one thing:

    More Middle Class destruction, assuming there’s any left to destroy anymore.

    And you higher paid [for now] double incomes aren’t out of the overpopulation woods either, you’ll need twice the approx $100K/yr decent nursing home liability [or possibly wind up in a Medicaid stink hole] singles need. That approx $3000/yr/capita you’re doling out for longterm care insurance is a joke too…..thgink about it, if you pay for that insurance its only gonna cover ya for about a year…..then you’ll need cash you likely don’t have….and if Social Security and Medicaid is mostly “butcher axed” anyway, you’ll need about a million in cash to replace it, per capita too…

    Perhaps the best the old middle class in America can hope for is a quick death, after theoretically working without retirement in our overpopulated future.

  15. avatar

    It is amazing that someone as respected and influential as columnist George Will is so ignorant and just plain wrong about the issue of immigration. Legal and illegal immigration levels historically are joined at the hip for obvious reasons. Setting aside the issue of enforcement, If the U.S. has an immigration policy allowing 200,000 foreigners to immigrate to the United States every year you are going to have a much smaller illegal immigration level than if you allow the legal immigration of 1.5 million foreigners per year to the U.S. It is a big lie that high legal immigration levels result in lower illegal immigration levels. The truth is just the opposite. The GANG OF EIGHT immigration bill passed by the U.S. Senate in June of 2013, has nothing to do with ending massive destructive and costly illegal immigration (true immigration reform). It has everything to do with politics and ending the power of the middle class in America. Here is a question for George Will: How is radically increasing an already incredibly high legal immigration level of 1.5 million per year and guest-worker programs already bringing in hundreds of thousands of foreigners every year to compete with unemployed Americans for scarce jobs….not going to depress wages of Americans and not going to INCREASE illegal immigration?