NumbersUSA Offers a Free, Simple Opportunity to Take Action on Immigration

A while back in Washington, I was approached modestly by a man named Jim Edwards, who asked if he could tell me a little about his organization, NumbersUSA. I soon realized that this was a group I had supported and whose emails I still regularly receive, so I was happy to find out more about it.

Jim, also known as Dr. James R. Edwards, Jr., I found out later, is a leading consultant of NumbersUSA, adjunct fellow at the Hoover Institute, author, and prominent public policy expert whose writings have been published by the New York Times, National Review Online, the Washington Times, and (my absolute favorite magazine) Human Events. For one with such an impressive resume, I found Jim to be astonishingly humble, good-natured, and approachable.

Jim explained to me that NumbersUSA, organized in 1997, is a “grassroots, nonpartisan organization that organizes around the issue of immigration.” With over half a million activists throughout the country, the group has been making an increasing impact on both local and federal legislation. In fact, NumbersUSA “played a large part in stopping McCain-Kennedy,” and since then has grown significantly.

Currently, a major goal of the organization is to help pass the Secure America with Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act through Congress, which was introduced, surprisingly, by Democrat Congressman Heath Schuler from North Carolina. The SAVE Act is a fair and practical response to the problem of illegal immigration which, as Jim stated, “is geared at closing down the jobs magnet” that attracts foreigners to enter the U.S. illegally by targeting the employers who hire them with firm penalties. Employers would further be mandated to confirm that all their workers are legally eligible for their jobs.

Most recently, NumbersUSA is asking concerned citizens to learn about the SAVE Act, call their Congressmen to get this bill on the floor, and send them a free fax to stress your concern. Jim emphasized that the issue of illegal immigration has become a “bipartisan issue,” and the bill has been “picking up cosponsors from both parties,” such as Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and David Vitter (R-LA).

Offering some statistics that should raise an eyebrow or two, Jim then revealed that

Our immigration flow, historically, has been an average of 250,000 per year from 1776 to 1976. Now, however, we’ve taken in over a million immigrants each year, and this accounts only for legal immigration.

Futher, he cited Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation:

When you take into account all the taxes that immigrant -legal and illegal – households pay vs. the entitlements/public benefits they receive, the average is a subsidy of $20,000 a year.

Cause for concern, anyone?

Nonetheless, Jim and the rest of NumbersUSA seem hopeful about their efforts.

The best strategy to do something about this issue by small, incremental steps; change incentives so more illegals leave on their own, and fewer enter.

He explained that while the group is pro-immigration, it believes that immigration should be legal and regulated in a way that could still be handled by Americans and our government. I whole-heartedly agree with him here, as the U.S. is a sovereign nation that – like any other nation – has every right to decide who it allows to reside within its borders; clearly, it should do this in a way that our communities can accommodate and that doesn’t overburden our society. And perhaps mostly importantly, it should do so in a way that is fair and just, in keeping with our laws and sovereignty.

If Americans are smart, we will care enough to educate ourselves about the issue of immigration and take action to protect our nation’s borders. Thanks to NumbersUSA, “taking action” can now even be accomplished with the click of a button – literally. With the ingenious system they’ve set up, which they call the “Action Buffet,” anyone interested can set up a free, personal account where they have the opportunity to contribute in multiple ways:

  • Stay informed with the latest news and legislation about the issue
  • Send free automatic, pre-written faxes to your legislators
  • Call your legislators about specific items of action
  • Locate and/or attend town hall meetings and public appearances by legislators
  • Donate to the cause

The Action Buffet, which can be customized by its users, makes it almost inexcusable for concerned citizens not to take action. And it has been impressively successful thus far. Through the system, according to Jim, supporters “have delivered incredible numbers of faxes and even shut down the phone lines at Capital Hill last summer.” But the goal of NumbersUSA is still far from being achieved; more help is needed and more support from Congress is vital if we are ever to significantly impact this critical issue.

I, for one, am grateful to NumbersUSA and activists like Jim Edwards for making my job a few steps easier. And if Americans in favor of immigration the lawful way were all to spend a few minutes a week sending faxes or making calls, there is no question that Congress would have to her our voices and legislate accordingly. Is this too much to ask of America’s citizens and their representatives?

Cross-posted from Conservatives with Attitude!

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