UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS: IMPLICATIONS FOR U.S.
POLICY IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
S B OR TH .
'-: SUBCOMMITTEE ON
O TH "
S; HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
,"- i ? ) -
, '' /'
", 'f ',
S MAY 17, 18, 23, 24; J NE 1, 20, 221 JULY 26; AND AUGUST 3, 1978
PriAted for thbe ise of thi Committee' on Internatipnal Relationd
N, *4 '
--" '^ l
\ *14 '
S -I N i'
4~ Iii. (*4 3
i' j Nr~ ~ 4' "
WORKERS: IMPLICATIONS FOR U.S.
THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
MAY 17, 18, 23, 24; JUNE 1, 20, 22; JULY 26; AND AUGUST 3, 1978
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
32-006 WASHINGTON : 1978
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
CLEMENT J. ZABLOCKI, Wisconsin, Chairman
L. H. FOUNTAIN, North Carolina
DANTE B. FASCELL, Florida
CHARLES C. DIGGS, JR., Michigan
ROBERT N. C. NIX, Pennsylvania
DONALD M. FRASER, Minnesota
BENJAMIN S. ROSENTHAL, New York
LEE H. HAMILTON, Indiana
LESTER L. WOLFF, New York
JONATHAN B. BINGHAM, New York
GUS YATRON, Pennsylvania
MICHAEL HARRINGTON, Massachusetts
LEO J. RYAN, California
CARDISS COLLINS, Illinois
STEPHEN J. SOLARZ, New York
HELEN S. MEYNER, New Jersey
DON BONKER, Washington
GERRY E. STUDDS, Massachusetts
ANDY IRELAND, Florida
DONALD J. PEASE, Ohio
ANTHONY C. BEILENSON, California
WYCHE FOWLER, JR., Georgia
E (KIKA) DE LA GARZA, Texas
GEORGE E. DANIELSON, California
JOHN J. CAVANAUGH, Nebraska
WILLIAM S. BROOMFIELD, Michigan
EDWARD J. DERWINSKI, Illinois
PAUL FINDLEY, Illinois
JOHN H. BUCHANAN, Ja., Alabama
J. HERBERT BURKE, Florida
CHARLES W. WHALEN, JB., Ohio
LARRY WINN, JR., Kansas
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York
TENNYSON GUYER, Ohio
ROBERT J. LAGOMARSINO, California
WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania
SHIRLEY N. PETTIS, California
JOHN J. BRADY, Jr., Chief of Staff
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTER-AMERICAN AFFAIRS
GUS YATRON, Pennsylvania, Chairman
DANTE B. FASCELL, Florida BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York
CARDISS COLLINS, Illinois ROBERT J. LAGOMARSINO, California
ANDY IRELAND, Florida
E (KIKA) DE LA GARZA, Texas
GENE FRIEDMAN, Subcommittee Staff Director
J. EDWARD Fox, Minority Staff Consultant
JASON COOKE, Subcommittee Staff Associate
DONNA GAIL WYNN, Staff Assistant
Wednesday, May 17, 1978: Page
Hon. Leonel Castillo, Commissioner, U.S. Immigration and Naturali-
zation Service, Department of Justice-------------------------- 2
Hon. Arnold Nachmanoff, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Developing
Nations, Department of the Treasury ------------ 11
Charles B. Knapp, Special Assistant to the Secretary, Office of the
Secretary, Department of Labor-_--_---- ------ ---------- 18
Thursday, May 18, 1978:
Sally A. Shelton, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau for Inter-Anieri-
can Affairs, Department of State------------------------- 27
Hon. Marshall Green, Ambassador, Coordinator for Population
Affairs, Department of State-------------------------------- 34
Tuesday, May 23, 1978:
Terry L. McCoy, associate director, Center for Latin American Studies,
University of Florida, Gainesville -__ ______------ 51
Virginia R. Dominguez, Society of Fellows, Harvard University, Cam-
bridge, Mass --------_---------- --- 55
Pierre-Michel Fontaine, Ph. D., associate professor, Department of
Political Science and Center for Afro-American Studies, University
of California, Los Angeles ---..__------ ----------------- 61
Wednesday, May 24, 1978:
Roy S. Bryce-Laporte, Ph. D. Research Institute on Immigration and
Ethnic Studies, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C----- 70
Vernon Briggs, Jr., Ph. D., professor of economics, University of
Texas at Austin ------------ ------------------------ 84
Robert Bach, Ph. D., assistant professor of sociology, State University
of New York at Binghamton_ --------------------------- 92i
Gilbert Cardenas, Ph. D., assistant professor of sociology, University
of Texas at Austin --------------------------- 104.
Thursday, June 1, 1978:
Hon. Abelardo L. Valdez, Assistant Administrator, Latin America and
the Caribbean, Agency for International Development----------- 115
Tuesday, June 20, 1978:
Hon. Ralph A. Dungan, U.S. Director, Inter-American Development :
Bank, Washington, D.C ----------------------------------- 131
Thursday, June 22, 1978:
David North, director of the Center for Labor and Migration Studies,
New Transcentury Foundation, Washington, D.C_----- ------- 147
Hilbourne Watson, Ph. D., Department of Political Science, Howard
University, Washington, D.C ----------------------------- 153
Wednesday, July 26, 1978:
Hon. Frank Shaffer-Corona, member-at-large, District of Columbia
Board of Education, representative of the La Raza Unida Party-- 167
Thursday, August 3, 1978:
Alejandro Portes, professor, department of sociology, Duke University_ 172
Caesar Sereseres, Ph. D., assistant professor of political science, School
of Social Sciences, University of California, Irvine------------ 199
David F. Ronfeldt, Ph. D., Rand Corp., Santa Monica, Calif_---- 205
1. Prepared statements of witnesses: Page
Virginia R. Dominguez, Society of Fellows, Harvard University 215
Pierre Michel Fontaine, Ph. D., associate professor, Department
of Political Science and Center for Afro-American Studies,
University of California, Los Angeles ---------------- 226
Vernon Briggs, Jr., Ph. D., professor of economics, University of
Texas at Austin ---.-------------- -------------- 245
Robert Bach, Ph. D., assistant professor of sociology, State
University of New York at Binghamton --- __------ --- 256
Gilbert Cardenas, Ph. D., assistant professor of sociology, Uni-
versity of Texas at Austin------------------------------ 272
Hon. Abelardo L. Valdez, Assistant Administrator for Latin
America and the Caribbean, Agency for International De-
velopment ---------------------------------------- 301
Hilbourne A. Watson, assistant professor, Department of Political
Science, Howard University ----- ---------325
David F. Ronfeldt, Ph. D., Rand Corp., Santa Monica, Calif.,
and Caesar Sereseres, Ph. D., assistant professor of political
science, School [of Social Sciences, University of California,
Irvine---------------------- ------------------- 359
2. Joint statement of Oscar Fuentes, director, Centro De Immigracion
and Joseph Billings, assistant director, Georgetown University Law
Center_---------------- ------------------------ 383
3. "The Chicano/Illegal-Alien Civil Liberties Interface" by Arturo
Gandara, November 1977--------------------------------- 402
4. Responses of David S. North to additional written questions submitted
by Subcommittee Chairman Yatron ------------------ ---- 418
5. Responses of Pierre-Michel Fontaine to additional written questions
submitted by Subcommittee Chairman Yatron ------------- 423
6. Responses of Hon. Abelardo L. Valdez to additional written questions
submitted by Subcommittee Chairman Yatron-------------- 430
7. Responses of Roy S. Bryce-Laporte to additional written questions
submitted by Subcommittee Chairman Yatron ------------- 450
8. Responses of Virginia R. Dominguez to additional written questions
submitted by Subcommittee Chairman Yatron --------------- 454
9. Responses of Terry L. McCoy to additional written questions sub-
mitted by Subcommittee Chairman Yatron --------------- 458
10. Responses of Vernon M. Briggs, Jr. to additional written questions
submitted by Subcommittee Chairman Yatron _-------- --- -- 459
11. Responses by Hilbourne Watson to additional written questions sub-
mitted by Subcommittee Chairman Yatron _------- ------ 462
12. Article from Los Angeles Times, June 6, 1978, entitled, "Colby Calls
Mexico Bigger Threat Than Russia to U.S." written bp Robert
Scheer ---------------------------- 467
13. Responses by Hon. Ralph A. Dungan to questions submitted by Sub-
committee Chairman Yatron ------------------------ 468
UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS: IMPLICATIONS FOR U.S.
POLICY IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
WEDNESDAY, MAY 17, 1978
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS,
SUBCOMMrITEE ON INTER-AMERICAN AFFAIRS,
The subcommittee met at 2 p.m. in room 2200, Rayburn House Office
Building, Hon. Gus Yatron (chairman of the subcommittee),
Mr. YATRON. The subcommittee will come to order.
Today, the House Subcommittee on Inter-American Affairs opens a
series of hearings entitled "Undocumented Workers: Implications for
U.S. Policy in the Western Hemisphere."
The illegal immigration of people from other countries in the West-
ern Hemisphere into the United States is of vital concern to this sub-
committee. The growing scope of this phenomenon has wide-ranging
implications for the American economy, the economies of the source
countries, and for our relations with those countries.
The Chair has called these hearings because of our concern that the
executive branch as well as other interested parties should thoroughly
consider the foreign policy dimensions of this problem. I.would wel-
come any evidence which these hearings might produce, indicating that
foreign policy considerations are receiving the high priority they
I feel that two important points should be emphasized at the outset.
First, the Chair believes this is an international problem, requiring in-
ternational solutions. Second, the subcommittee does not seek to single
out any one source country. Attention recently has focused primarily
on Mexico because of the extensive border it shares with the United
However, illegal immigration from source countries in the Carib-
bean and South America must receive greater scrutiny. In terms of ab-
solute numbers, Mexico may be the most significant source country. But
as a percentage of source country population, illegal immigration from
the Caribbean is of major significance for the Caribbean economies,
and therefore, for U.S. policy.
The purpose of todav's meeting is to provide the administration the
opportunity to help the subcommittee define the dimensions of the
problem. The President's proposals and alternative approaches will be
considered by the subcommittee at a later date.
At this time, I would like to welcome our distinguished wit-
nesses, Hon. Leonel L. Castillo, Commissioner of the Immigra-
tion and Naturalization Service, Hon. Arnold Nachmanoff, Dep-
uty Assistant Secretary for Developing Nations, Department of the
Treasury; and I believe Charles B. Knapp, Special Assistant to the
Secretary of Labor may arrive at a later time.
It is my understanding Commissioner Castillo has a plane to catch
shortly after 3 p.m. So, Commissioner, would you like to begin with
STATEMENT OF HON. LEONEL J. CASTILLO, COMMISSIONER,
IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE
Mr. CASTILLO. Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to be here and would like
to commend you for helping us to shed some light on this very difficult
I have with me today Mr. David Crosland who is General Counsel
for the Immigration and Naturalization Service and Dr. Gullermina
Jasso who is special assistant and an expert on numbers that we use.
Let me briefly address a few areas that you indicated you would like
to have covered.
First, the undocumented aliens come predominantly from the less
developed countries in Latin America and Asia. The data from INS
and the Department of State seem to imply that the major source
countries are Mexico, Haiti, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic,
Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, the Philippines, Korea, Thailand, Greece,
India, Iran, and Nigeria.
It is noteworthy that these are the same countries which exhibit the
greatest demand for legal immigration, as evidenced by their relatively
: high volume of applications for immigrant visas.
The reasons why undocumented aliens come to the United States are
numerous and varied. Most illegal immigration, however, is a response
to social and economic factors in both the source country and the
This phenomenon has been described as a "push-pull" factor:
Within the source country, economic characteristics and social factors
push people to migrate. At the same time, pull factors in the United
States act as a magnet and draw many of these migrants here.
The major pull factors are availability of work at relatively higher
wages and lack of penalties for hiring undocumented aliens. In ad-
dition, undocumented aliens are drawn by better living conditions and
greater educational opportunities for themselves and their families.
The "push-pull" factor will continue as long as there exists the great
differences in economic opportunities between the developed and un-
In addition to the operation of these "push-pull" factors, the de-
cision to illegally immigrate to the United States is influenced by the
fact that undocumented aliens know that once here, they can count on
acceptance and support from their established ethnic group and from
other conditions in the United States.
The number of undocumented aliens in the United States is difficult
to estimate accurately. Apprehensions have been increasing steadily
and has surpassed 1 million this past year. We know, however, that an
undetermined portion of this figure represents undocumented aliens
who have been apprehended more than one time. Moreover, our ap-
prehension statistics do not reflect the net nflow of undocumented
aliens and are directly related to the level and deployment of INS
For these reasons we have been unable to determine the relationship
between the total number of apprehensions, and the number of undoc-
umented aliens who come to stay in the United States.
By definition, undocumented aliens are not registered with INS, and
they tend to minimize or avoid completely any contact with Govern-
ment entities through which their illegal status may become known.
In addition, just as a portion of lawful residents abandon that status
each year and leave the United States to return permanently to their
original country, we can assume that a portion of the undocumented
alien population does likewise. This phenomenon further frustrates
attempts to accurately assess the size of the undocumented alien
Despite problems such as these, however, some promising meth-
odologies for estimating the size of the undocumented alien population
in the United States have been developed.
The Social Security Administration, for example, has used one such
method to estimate the undocumented population in the 18-44 age
group at roughly 4 million with a range of 3 to 6 million, based on
1973 data. The Bureau of Census currently plans to use similar pro-
cedures to determine the completeness of coverage, by nativity, of the
While the total number of undocumented aliens in the United
States cannot be accurately estimated at this time, continued growth of
the number is certain. Alleviation of the factors that spur illegal im-
migration does not seem likely in the foreseeable future. Using just
one example, Government sources estimate that the flow of undocu-
mented aliens into the United States from the Caribbean areas alone
is 100,000 per year, and that this trend will continue into the 1980's.
Undocumented aliens in the United States tend to be young, between
17 and 30 years of age, unmarried, unskilled and male. As such, they
are probably very active in the labor market. Traditionally, it was
thought that the educational level of undocumented aliens was less
than that of their countrymen. However, recent evidence indicates that
the undocumented alien comes with an educational level somewhat
higher than that of the persons who stay behind. Further, the majority
of undocumented aliens speak little or no English, and those who have
a reasonable command of the language tend to have better jobs.
To a significant degree, outmigration is a response to economic and
social pressures within the source countries. As a result, it helps to
somewhat mitigate the implications of factors such as rapid popula-
tion growth. But outmigration does not significantly improve eco-
nomic and social conditions in the source countries. The population
growth minus outmigration in many of the source countries still ex-
ceeds the rate of economic expansion and the creation of jobs.
Moreover, those undocumented aliens who migrate are of the type
which the source countries would otherwise want to retain. They are
young, productive and, in some instances, somewhat better educated
than the general population.
Many of the source countries show signs of rapid economic growth
and expansion. But in less developed countries much of the wealth
generated by industrial and other economic expansion is of necessity
put back into the capital formation. This results in a continuing mal-
distribution of wealth to the point that many groups in the source
countries are not benefiting from the economic growth. This problem
is compounded when the rise in the expectations of the people of these
source countries outstrip the capacity of the countries to fulfill them.
Some countries such as Mexico, however, are attempting to reverse
this phenomenon. Mexico is striving to develop as quickly as possible
its oil and gas reserves, and to channel revenues generated from re-
sources into the further development of the country.
The source countries also have relatively high rates of population
growth, with a majority of the people in the younger age categories.
This trend means that large groups of workers are, and will be, seeking
employment in the future. Population growth rates of up to 3.3 per-
cent for Ecuador, for example, hamper any strides made toward the
creation of sufficient number of jobs. While emigration acts as some-
what of a safety valve for these sending countries, it also takes from
them many many people of productive age and leaves behind the
relatively less productive people-the aged, very young, the infirm,
and so on.
The social and economic impact of this undocumented alien popula-
tion on the United States is difficult to assess. This is because the
present state of valid research on undocumented aliens is generally
insufficient for a meaningful evaluation of their effect on the United
Some of the impact factors can be assessed independently of exact
data. We do know, for instance, that many undocumented aliens are
also taxpayers and contributors to social security. The taxes they
pay include income, payroll, sales, property, and excise taxes. To the
extent that they pay taxes, the undocumented alien population offsets
the additional cost to society of providing them services. It also al-
leviates the possible extra costs they place on the school, health, and
criminal justice and other systems.
In terms of the labor market, as more undocumented aliens enter
the United States to seek work and thereby increase their labor sup-
ply, their relative wages decline. This causes the wages of legal resi-
dent workers similarly employed to also decline. Prevention of this
decline would require increased enforcement of the Fair Labor Stand-
ards Act and Occupational Safety land Health Act to put a floor under
wages and working conditions.
This action would ostensibly heighten the competition between legal
residents and undocumented aliens. Those undocumented aliens who
possess greater skills and knowledge marketable in the American
labor market, however, are more competitive with more skilled U.S.
In conclusion, I would like to state that these factors, the "push-
pull" factors, are the main reasons for illegal immigration. They act
in concert and generate great pressures for migration to the United
States. Under the present circumstances, the forces behind this migra-
tion 'are much stronger than those which attempt to contain it.
I will be delighted to answer any questions you may have, Mr.
Mr. YATRON. Thank you very much, Commissioner Castillo, for an
You indicate in your statement that source countries would prefer
to retain those undocumented aliens who migrate. Is this particularly
true of any specific source countries as opposed to, say, Mexico ?
Mr. CASTILLO. Most of the source countries right now are using im-
migration to the United States as a safety valve for their economy.
They have too many unemployed people. One way to reduce the unem-
ployment problem is to not have them there. The people they are giving
up are persons who in the European experience have found to be
persons on whom that society has spent a great deal of money.
That is, it costs many thousands of dollars to have a young person
ready to become a machinist. You have to send them to school, pro-
vide a health system and all the other services. When they are finally
ready, say, you spent $60,000, then they leave to work in someone
else's economy. Source countries would like to take advantage of that
investment in their own people, but they are not able to at this time.
So, I think it would be true for all of the source countries that are
losing persons who could be very productive, if they had jobs.
Mr. YATRON. To what extent do these people constitute surplus
labor in their countries of origin?
Mr. CASTILLO. We would have to look on it by a country-by-country
basis. But we know, for example, just to name one country, that
Mexico, 2 years ago, had more babies born than were born in the
United States, even though Mexico is one-third the size.
We know that they will have approximately a quarter of a million
persons entering the labor force this year, but will do very well to
find jobs for 300,000. That situation could be paralleled in a number
of Caribbean countries and some Latin American countries.
Mr. YATRON. Are they more of a drain on needed human resources
in some countries than in others ?
Mr. CASTILLO. We do not have any direct evidence, but most of the
sending countries do not have social services systems. That is, they
do not have welfare, unemployment compensation, so on. So, it has
a very severe impact on most of the source countries.
They try to feed the people, but, of course, as best we can tell, the
source countries who are the poorest have the most trouble supporting
surplus labor forces.
Mr. YATRON. How important are the push-pull economic factors as
opposed to the sheer proximity of the United States to the source
Mr. CASTILLO. Some interesting research in that regard, and Dr.
Jasso has work that she started on that. It appears that proximity
is not as critical a factor as we thought at first, although it certainly
is very important.
A lot also has to do with the range between the income groups in
the source country; that is, people feel deprived because they cannot
move uD in the economic structure, so they will leave.
So, it has to do a lot with economic justice at home or feeling of
lack of opportunity at home that drives people as well. It is not
simply that they are poor.
The definition of an immigrant almost includes a lot more people
that are not poor because that is who can make it, that is who can
afford a coyote, a smuggler who will charge $1,200 from Ecuador.
There are not that many people who can come up with $1,200, even
I think it is not only proximity, it also is relative economic status.
Mr. YATRON. You cite data from INS and the Department of State
which suggests the major source countries. Could you tell the sub-
committee to which data you were referring?
Mr. CASTILLO. We used two major sources within INS 'at State. We
believe the source countries can be related to countries from which
we have apprehended the most people. So, we apprehended the most
people from those countries that we named.
And also, that it is related to the number of people that are apply-
ing for legal immigrant status. So, we relate it to that ,as well.
Then further, the Department of State, we use their figures on a
number of visa applications or visa turndowns as well.
So, using those, we come up with this list of approximately 10 or
Mr. YATRON. Mr. Commissioner, would you agree that the number of
illegal aliens increases proportionately with the rate of refusals of
visas to our country ?
Mr. CASTILo. I could not say. I think it would depend on where
you have the refusal. If you have a refusal in Mexico, the proximity
will have something to do with it. But, the fact is they can still come
one way or the other. If you have a refusal in India. or Indonesia or
somewhere else, it would be a little different.
Mr. YATRON. But specifically in Latin America ?
Mr. CASTILLO. In Latin America, I think it would have some impact.
I do not know if it would be that dramatic an impact. In the Caribbean,
it would be different. In the Caribbean, there still would be a way to
get here, whereas if you were in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, it would be a
Mr. YATRON. Thank you, Commissioner.
Mr. GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Commissioner, it is good to have you before us. Some of us on the
committee had the opportunity to visit the border between the United
States and Mexico not too long ago and had the opportunity to go out
on border patrol with some of your people. We recognize the com-
plexities of your problem.
How many illegal aliens do you estimate are coming across the
border each night? I think at that time they told us 1,000 a night were
Mr. CASTILLO. At our busiest point, which is San Diego, Calif., that
area, on a Sunday night, we apprehend more than 1,200.
Mr. GILMAN. You apprehend 1,200 individuals in one night?
Mr. CASTILLO. I must tell you, 'sir, sometimes our border patrol of-
ficials apprehend the same people three times in the same night and
are getting to the point where they want to hold the person until the end
of the shift so that the next shift will apprehend that person.
Mr. GILMAN. Your answer leads me to the next question.
Do you think apprehension or incarceration might be of any benefit ?
They all recognize that we put them on a bus and walk them across
the border and there is no penalty involved.
Mr. CASTILLO. Apprehension is just one more obstacle that they have
to put up with if they are trying to enter without documents. Very
clearly, it is in and of itself not the major deterrent. We could, of
course, by increasing our resources, and will over a period of years, by
increasing resources at the border make it more difficult for people to
cross, maybe they will have to come across 10 times or 20 times or pay
more money to a coyote or a smuggler.
Mr. GILMAN. Am I correct there is no penalty now or no period of
Mr. CASTILLO. The majority of the people we apprehend at the
border, what in effect occurs is a voluntary return or departure, and
we only are able to return them to the border. They have freedom of
travel within their own country, specifically in the case of Mexico.
We can take them to the border, let them off at the border and there
they are in Tijuana, exactly where they started a few hours ago.
Mr. GILMAN. You say 1,200 illegal aliens are apprehended a night
in the San Diego area ?
Mr. CASTILLO. Sunday night.
Mr. GILMAN. How many are apprehended along the entire border
each week ?
Mr. CASTILLO. I do not have the figures by week, but had 1 million
apprehensions last year. We will exceed that figure this year; 1 mil-
lion total apprehensions for all countries at all points in the United
Mr. GILMAN. That total is for all countries. How many apprehen-
sions along the United States-Mexican border ?
Mr. CASTILLO. About 900,000; a little better than 900,000. I will give
you an exact figure for the record.
Mr. GILMAN. I cannot understand why we have such difficulty in
trying to get a little more accurate estimate of what this problem con-
sists of. I realize how difficult it is to apprehend all of them and to con-
trol the flow, but it would seem to me we should have a little more
information on just how extensive the problem is.
For example, we are about to hear a statement from Mr. Nachmanoff
of the Department of Treasury, and I note that in his statement he
estimates the total number of those coming in from Mexico to be be-
tween of 300,000 and 700,000 persons annually coming in. You say
we are apprehending close to a million.
Mr. CASTILLO. Excuse me, sir, maybe that is my fault. We make a mil-
lion apprehensions. That is not a million people.
Mr. GILMAN. You have some who are repeaters ?
Mr. CASTILLO. Yes, sir.
Mr. GILMAN. How many do you estimate are repeaters ?
Mr. CASTILLo. The Border Patrol indicates that at least 30 percent
Mr. GILMAN. That still shows a vast difference. We hear all sorts
of figures, 2, 3 million, 12 million, I guess it is open hunting season on
what the estimate is of illegal aliens.
Is there any department that has a fairly realistic figure of what we
are confronted with?
Mr. CASTILLO. The figures relating to immigration are at best soft.
The word I think that best characterizes it is swishy. We do not know,
quite frankly, demographers are beginning to agree between 3 million
and 6 million.
It also has to take into account the fact in some countries it is becom-
ing a seasonal cycle. They come here to work so many months and then
return to the country of origin. So, in December, we have more traffic
going south at our southern border than coming north as people return
for the Christmas holidays. Some of that also happens at other exit
points of the United States.
Mr. GILMAN. Do you find organized crime playing any role in il-
legal aliens that are coming in, smuggling of illegal aliens?
Mr. CASTILLO. We have intensified our efforts to deal with the smug-
glers. Wre have made a number of incidental arrests, apprehensions,
persons involved in cocaine dealing, heroin, persons involved in prosti-
tution or smuggling in of prostitutes, persons who at the very least you
would call them the fringes of organized crime.
Mr. GILMAN. There is some organized criminal effort to bring in
Mr. CASTILLO. Yes, sir.
Mr. GILMAN. And they pay a fee for that ?
Mr. CASTILLO. Yes, sir.
Mr. GILMAN. Is that practice extensive or is that a small smattering
of the total number coming ? How would you define it ?
Mr. CASTILLO. We organized a unit, the Immigration Nationalization
Service, called the Antismuggle Unit.
Mr. GILMAN. IS that a new unit ?
Mr. CASTILLO. Yes, sir. It has generated over 100 cases that show net-
works that extend from the east coast of the United States into Latin
Mr. GILMAN. IS that for smuggling of illegals?
Mr. CASTILLO. Yes, sir, they smuggle people through several coun-
tries and bring them here with documents, with jobs, with references,
and have everything ready for them for a fee. They also, in many cases,
abuse them and misuse them as they bring them over.
Mr. GILMAN. How profitable is the smuggle trade ?
Mr. CASTILLO. We have apprehended some people who work as week-
end smugglers. That is, they drive from Los Angeles to San Diego to
pick up a station-wagon load several times, and they can make $200
a person on a weekend.
Mr. GILMAN. Are there any narcotics involved in the smuggling of
Mr. CASTILLO. We have some narcotics, but most of the people in-
volved in the narcotics, at least the hard drugs, tend to use much more
sophisticated techniques. That is, they do not want to entrust a million-
dollar load of narcotics to someone that they do not know.
Mr. GILMAN. Do you find there is any politically motivated smug-
gling, where they are taking exiles out from other countries and bring-
ing them here ?
Mr. CASTILLO. We have had a few instances. I do not know if they
were politically motivated, but there were a few cases where someone
managed to smuggle someone out of their country and end up at a U.S.
port, U.S. airport. Several people have come through the Mexico in-
terior and, after they arrived in the United States, asked for political
asylum, but that is not very common.
Mr. GILMAN. What are your recommendations by way of deterrence
that Congress should be considering?
Mr. CASTILLO. I think there are some efforts that would have great
results, substantial results. One is, of course, the U.S. Border Patrol
is a relatively small unit. We have approximately 2,200 officers for the
whole United States. And when you break that down into 7 days a
week, 3 shifts a day, vacations, leaves, so on, it means we are look-
ing at possibly 300 people at any one time along a 2,000-mile southern
border, and fewer than 100 at any one time along the northern border,
and then a few others scattered in the rest of the United States on all
the other borders, so it really is not one of the largest; one of the obvi-
ous answers is a few more people, even to regulate the number of peo-
Another answer, I think, is to concentrate on smugglers, to put even
more emphasis on it. In that regard, I think the Congress would be ex-
tremely helpful if it would pass a law making it possible for us to im-
pound the vehicles used by smugglers. Right now we may impound a
vehicle used by a smuggler who is bringing in contraband, but not if
he is bringing in people.
So, there are some specially designed vehicles that have been used by
smugglers to bring people in as many as 24 times. They hope they can
catch a new inspector who won't see it. They have special springs that
won't show it has an extra heavy load, or they have false bottoms or
Legislation has been introduced several times, but it never has been
passed. We think we can do a better job with our documents; that is,
the control of the materials. We think a lot can be done to approve
the issuance of the documents in the United States. Everything from
birth certificates to death certificates-all of those documents that
people use. Of course, while we do not want to build a big wall between
the United States and other countries, and I mean not only a physical
wall, but an electronic wall, we have to balance that enforcement with
The President has proposed, of course, an Alien Adjustment Act. We
think that includes a number of efforts in enforcement. There is a limit
to how much you can do with enforcement because you still have the
question of all of the people already in the United States who are here
in undocumented status and who are very difficult to apprehend be-
cause of many reasons, but essentially it is hard to stop people and ask
them if they are U.S. citizens without entering into a lot of questions
of privacy and civil rights of U.S. citizens and so on.
I do not want to go on too long in mentioning things we could do. I
believe a great deal could be done in terms of regulating entry.
Mr. GILMAN. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. YATRON. Mr. de la Garza.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. Do you want to go and come back ?
Mr. YATRON. What time do you have to leave, Commissioner? You
must leave by 3.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. There is no problem. I just want to welcome the
Commissioner here, Mr. Chairman. I believe he read his statement,
and I think it is concise and to the point. I appreciate his efforts. I do
not necessarily agree with this administration's recommendations on
a possible solution, but as far as knowing the Commissioner and his
efforts, I have no doubt about that.
I would like to emphasize something that the Commissioner has
said and which I have been working on for quite a while, and that is
about the Border Patrol.
The Border Patrol has basically the same number of people it had
30 years ago. They were not even a line item appropriation process.
Not that you can stop all of the entries by beefing up the Border
Patrol, but I think we should do more along those lines because they
do not have the personnel, they do not have the equipment, and they
certainly need more help and probably they could do a lot more.
They do above and beyond, I am sure, with what is available to them,
but I think that would be one of the areas we could cooperate to work
in this respect.
I would like to ask you one question, Commissioner. You mentioned
that the typical illegal alien would be about 17 to 19. Did you say
from Mexico or just the alien ?
Mr. CASTILLO. The persons we apprehend tend to fall in that age
group. Since the majority of the people we apprehend are Mexicans,
this would be more likely to be a Mexican, yes, sir.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. Because the legal entries do not fall into that cate-
gory, it seems like. They would probably be a little older and a little
Mr. CASTILLO. That is true.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. And married because they are bringing in children.
Mr. CASTILLO. That is true, sir. The legal immigrants are older, and
because of the way the immigration law is set up, many of them will
Mr. DE LA GARZA. And you mentioned briefly something that I have
some disagreement with. The trend is that because he is an alien, be-
cause he is here illegally, automatically he gets paid less, and he de-
presses wages and he is abused by the employer. Anyone who must pay
minimum wages has to pay them, and it is between him and IRS, and
whether his workers came from the Moon, Timbuktu, or Mexico has
Now, there will be the exception of the one who cheats, but the one
who cheats will cheat regardless of where his employees came from.
I do not adhere to the theory that because he is an alien automati-
cally he is paid less when his employer has to deal with IRS, entirely
with IRS, with the wage and hour people and his books are audited,
his premises are inspected by OSHA, you have EPA people coming
in and out, you have State EPA people, and I think unless it can be
verified without question that we should not give the American em-
ployer that characteristic, that because he has an alien, automatically
he pays him less, because it is between him and IRS. It has nothing
to do with where his worker came from.
Mr. CASTILLO. What we are learning, I think, is that the evidence
is mixed. In some specific industries, in some specific parts of the
United States, where, for example, the workers are all unionized
at a job site and where the union has difficulty organizing the workers
who are here from another country, there the workers from the other
country, because they do not join the union, because they have a little
different status, sometimes will work for less money and depress the
wages in that skill, in that place.
In some other parts of the country, of course, in some other skills,
we find that is not as true. We have some studies now that are begin-
ning to be developed that indicate that there are some jobs the U.S.
citizens really do not want to do very much unless the pay would
change drastically, at which point the employer would have a problem.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. I am sure this is correct. My contention is the em-
ployer who has to pay minimum wage, it is between him and IRS-
where his employees came from has no bearing.
Mr. CASTILO. Part of the problem, Congressman, is that in some
industries, for example, in Los Angeles, when we visit an employer,
we can apprehend 50 people. We deport the 50 people. A month later
we visit that same employer and we deport the same 50 people. Several
months later we deport the same 50 people again. That employer,
nothing happens to him. There is no problem as far as him breaking
the law because it is not illegal to hire these workers, but those workers
that he has hired from another country are not as likely to be orga-
nized and to claim benefits as are U.S. workers, or to make a claim
for higher wages.
I think there is a real problem in terms of just exactly measuring
the displacement of U.S. workers. What is the actual displacement
of U.S. workers? We know that it is not 1 to 1. We know that un-
employed U.S. workers on the east coast will not flock to, let's say,
west Texas to take some jobs.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. To pick onions ?
Mr. CASTILLO. In 100-degree heat ?
Mr. YATROX. We are going to recess to answer this rollcall.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. I have no further questions. The Commissioner
has to leave.
Mr. YATRON. We will come back for Secretary Nachmanoff.
Commissioner, we thank you very, very much. I am sorry we had
to cut it a little short.
We will return in about 10 minutes.
[Whereupon, a brief recess was taken.]
Mr. YATRON. The subcommittee will resume the hearings.
Now we would like to welcome Secretary Nachmanoff. Mr. Secre-
tary, you may proceed.
STATEMENT OF ARNOLD NACHMANOFF, DEPUTY ASSISTANT
SECRETARY FOR DEVELOPING NATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF THE
Mr. NACHMANOFF. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
It is an honor to appear before you today to discuss the subject of
undocumented aliens and its implications for U.S. policy in the West-
I would like to introduce Jack Sweeney, Latin American Coordina-
tor, the Office of Developing Nations at the Treasury who is accom-
My remarks will focus primarily on source areas of undocumented
aliens, economic conditions which induce people to migrate, what can
be done in these countries to promote economic development and re-
duce the push factors and the role of external assistance, particularly
from the multilateral development banks.
Western Hemisphere countries account for an estimated 90 percent
of all illegal immigration into the United States. It is estimated that
60 to 65 percent of all undocumented aliens entering the United States
today originate from Mexico with an estimated total of 300,000 to
600,000 persons annually. That estimate, incidentally, Mr. Chairman,
comes from the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Most come from the rural areas in the North Central States of
Mexico. Many of those who come to the United States from Mexico
do so with the idea of remaining only temporarily to earn money and
return to the areas from where they came to buy farms or set up small
businesses. Frequently they must come to the United States several
times over the course of many years before their goals are realized.
The second largest source of illegal immigrants is the Caribbean
region, notably the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Haiti. Approxi-
mately 100,000 Caribbean nationals enter the United States each year.
Unlike their counterparts from Mexico it appears that most of the
Caribbean illegals come with a view to remaining for long periods of
time or permanently and enter either with forged papers or a legal
nonresident visa. Much of the migration from this region, particularly
from the English speaking countries formerly was to the United King-
dom. However, since the mid-1960's, when the United Kingdom altered
its immigration laws, most of the flow has been redirected toward the
Other important source areas in the hemisphere include Guatemala,
Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador. Most migrants from these countries
gain entry to the United States in the same manner as those coming
from the Caribbean, although the numbers coming from these coun-
tries probably are much fewer.
Although there exists a wide diversity in size, resource endowment,
level of economic development and cultural and social characteristics
of the principal source countries, there are a number of common eco-
nomic characteristics. All of these countries have per capital incomes
that are only a fraction of that in the United States with recent esti-
mates as follows: Mexico, $1,100; Jamaica, $1,150; the Dominican
Republic, $720; Haiti, $190; Guatemala, $570; Peru, $760; Colombia,
$580; and Ecuador, $590. To further aggravate this problem income
distribution is heavily skewed with most of the income earned by a very
small segment of the population. All have serious unemployment and
underemployment problems, in some cases as high as 40 percent.
Despite the fact that most of them have grown at an acceptable or
even a rapid rate over the past two. decades, say between 5 and 8 per-
cent, this exchange has been partially offset by rapid population
growth which is as high as 3.6 percent in some countries.
The roots of the undocumented alien problem in all source coun-
tries are principally economic in nature. Income levels and general
living conditions for many of the people in these countries, particu-
larly those in rural area, are much lower than those in the United
States. For example, in the Latin American and Caribbean region 66
percent of all dwellings lack running water and almost half have no
electricity. Only 36 percent of the population receive any secondary
school education. Furthermore, their prospects for improvement are
relatively limited in most cases. These conditions are the factors which
"push" individuals to leave their home areas.
Some go to the urban centers in their own countries while others
migrate across national borders. It is not entirely clear why the latter
group choose to leave their homelands. However, the prospect of earn-
ing wages 6 to 10 times higher or more is a strong drawing force. This
combined with the attraction of living in an urban or industrial en-
vironment with its social amenities, services, and infrastructure com-
bined with the perception of greater opportunities for employment, a
higher standard of living and upward mobility seems to "pull" many
of these individuals to the United States.
One of the basic causes of the undocumented aliens problem is the
very substantial gap which exists between unemployed workers and
available jobs in source countries.
Their economies have not been able to generate sufficient employ-
ment opportunities to close that gap even during periods of rapid eco-
nomic growth. When growth rates fall as they did in the mid-1970's
new job opportunities are further reduced. Thus, the level of unem-
ployment has increased, and pressures for outward migration have
continued to mount.
A fundamental factor in the persistence of the problem is the growth
rate and composition of the population in many of these countries.
For example, the rate of population growth in Mexico is estimated
at between 3.2 and 3.6 percent per year, which is one of the highest
in the world.
The population growth rate in the major source areas in the Carib-
bean and Guatemala is about 3 percent. In many of these countries
population density is high. Furthermore, a 'high concentration of
the population is under 15 years of age. Even under the most opti-
mistic assumptions, new entrants into the labor force will continue to
grow at a rapid rate for many years to come.
Given the economic problems they face most governments in source
countries support, at least tacitly, outward migration. They view it
as a necessary safety valve to cope with potentially explosive problems
of unemployment and overcrowding.
The solution to overcoming these economic difficulties and address-
ing the "push" factors of the illegal alien problem will depend largely
upon the success of domestic measures undertaken by governments in
the source countries. In general, these governments have taken a more
vigorous role in the economy over the past two decades and the trend
probably will continue in that direction.
If they are to be successful they must intensify their efforts to raise
living standards and insure a more equitable distribution of income.
They must pursue policies which will reduce population growth. They
must undertake measures to increase the flow of private and public
investment into productive agricultural and industrial activities, par-
ticularly those which create employment opportunities. They need
to strive to implement more labor intensive development strategies
and to adopt appropriate technologies for their individual needs.
Serious efforts are being made by source country governments to
address these problems. They have generally increased public sector
spending substantially to strengthen their capital base and improve
living conditions in the rural areas. These outlays have helped but for
the most part public sector revenues have not expanded apace, result-
ing in increasing public sector deficits in many of these countries. A
number of them have had to cut back on these deficits and imports to
help stabilize their economies.
Nevertheless, their efforts continue. For example, all of these coun-
tries are accelerating their rural and agricultural development pro-
grams. The Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Jamaica, and Peru have
large irrigation and land reclamation projects. Colombia, Ecuador,
and Peru have begun major agricultural credit programs to improve
productivity and incomes on small farms. Haiti has undertaken a
program of special vocational training aimed particularly at agricul-
tural employment. The Mexican Government will begin a new program
which could have a significant impact on the unemployment problem
over the longer term. Last week President Lopez Portillo announced
the creation of a national employment plan under which the Gov-
ernment will orient public spending toward the specific objective of
employment. Agriculture and construction will be particularly em-
phasized and the goal is to create nearly 4 million new jobs by 1982.
This will help to offset the 2.8 million new entrants to the work force
between now and then and absorb many of those who presently are
The development and expansion of these economies is linked to con-
tinued access for their exports to external markets and to continued
capital flows to help finance domestic investment. Given our geographic
proximity and the size of our economy, these nations will continue to
depend heavily on the United States as an outlet for their products
and a key source of external financing.
External development assistance both bilateral and through the
multilateral development banks can be helpful in the efforts of these
countries to strengthen their economies, create new jobs, improve
living conditions, and expand family planning efforts. Development
assistance can contribute to the general growth of the economy, both
by directly providing additional resources for investment but perhaps
more importantly by acting as a catalyst for increased investment
from the private and public sectors.
The governments and the international development banks are giv-
ing increased attention to the development of rural areas and projects
which are employment generating. This includes not only basic agri-
cultural projects but also small- and medium-size industry, infrastruc-
ture, and social services in rural areas.
Programs to create jobs and improve living conditions in those areas
probably will have the most direct effect on reducing unemployment
and thereby help alleviate the undocumented alien problem. Rural
projects, moreover, could produce significant multiplier effects, since
the expanded income of lower income groups would result in increased
demand, which in turn would stimulate other productive activities
having secondary employment and investment implications.
Development assistance can also provide additional support to help
slow population growth. For example, Jamaica, the Dominican Repub-
lic, and Mexico recently have initiated family planning programs.
This, of course, is a sensitive area involving changes in cultural and
social attitudes, and change cannot be accomplished overnight. The
development banks can provide additional resources and expertise.
However, leadership must come from the governments themselves.
At the present time the World Bank and the Inter-American De-
velopment Bank are lending about $1.8 billion annually to major
source countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Bilateral assist-
ance to all major source countries in the hemisphere, with the excep-
tion of Mexico, totals about $150 million per year with heavy emphasis
on reaching the poorest segments of the population.
This support for economic development undoubtedly has helped
ameliorate the pressure for outward migration. The increased atten-
tion which the banks are giving to the development of the rural sector
should increase the direct impact of their programs on the problems.
Moreover, the banks clearly are disposed to increase substantially the
resources to be made available to these countries provided that viable
projects can be developed. We believe that they have an important and
constructive role to play.
In concluding my remarks, Mr. Chairman, I would note that the
undocumented aliens question is a complex issue and our data and
understanding of it are far from complete. However, it is an issue
which will not disappear overnight. The key factor in reducing pres-
sures for outward migration is how rapidly the countries themselves
can solve the structural problems which they face, namely employment
generation, increasing incomes, improving living conditions, and re-
ducing population growth rates. External development assistance can
play a helpful role.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. YATRON. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary, for a very fine
Which is more significant in the case of each source country, lack of
jobs or the relatively higher standard of living in the United States.
In other words, do most undocumented aliens come to the United
States in search of a better job or in search of any job ?
Mr. NACHMANOFF. Mr. Chairman, I do not think anyone really has
the answer to that question. I do not think we know enough about the
motivations of the people who do come here, and much study really
needs to be done.
There appears to be some evidence that many of the people who do
come to the United States are not the poorest of the poor, but rather
are upwardly mobile, ambitious, perhaps have had some employment
in their own country and do see the opportunities for vastly improv-
ing their opportunities and their income level by coming to the United
But, again, I think our data, our information is so squishy, as Com-
missioner Costillo noted, that I would hesitate to offer any definitive
opinion on that.
Mr. YATRON. But it would appear they are trying to upgrade them-
selves and improve themselves.
Mr. NACHMANOFF. I think that is definitely an important factor.
Mr. YATRON. In testimony before the House Subcommittee on In-
ternational Development, Institutions and Finance, you said many of
these who come from Mexico do so with the idea of earning substan-
tially more than they can in Mexico. Doesn't it suggest that creating
jobs will have a limited impact on the problem ?
Mr. NACHMANOFF. Creating jobs alone would have a limited impact;
however, creating jobs as part of an effort to genuinely improve devel-
opment and growth in the economy and jobs which can provide higher
levels of pay would certainly have some impact. But that would in-
volve the nature of the employment to be created.
Any job, as you state, would not necessarily be a deterrent to out-
Mr. YATRON. Can you provide the subcommittee any indication of
the scope of remittances which flow to each source country? How
significant is the impact of this flow to the United States?
Mr. NACHMANOFr. We have, again, no hard data on remittances
which flow from the undocumented workers back to the source coun-
tries. There have been rough estimates. I would imagine that they are
very substantial. Some of the studies have suggested that many of
these people send back a major portion of the wages they earn in this
country to their home countries.
This, indeed, is very important to the source countries as a source
of foreign exchange.
Mr. YATRON. Can you tell me what kind of an impact it would have
on the source country ?
Mr. NACHMANOFF. If those remittances were cut off or cut down ?
Mr. YATRON. Yes.
Mr. NACHMANOFF. I think it would have an adverse impact in terms
of their requirements for foreign exchange, but just how much of an
impact, it would be very hard to estimate. But for some countries, un-
doubtedly remittances are a significant factor.
Mr. YATRON. We have another rollcall.
Would you care to ask a few questions, Mr. de la Garza ?
Mr. DE LA GARZA. NO; thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would, but I do
not want to get started and then not finish them.
Mr. YATRON. Suppose we recess for 10 minutes, and we will come
back and resume the hearing at that time. We have to answer a rollcall.
I am sorry for the interruption.
[Whereupon, a brief recess was taken.]
Mr. YATRON. We will again resume our hearings.
Mr. Secretary, you said in your statement that most governments
and source countries support, at least tacitly, outward migration. Can
you cite any specific policies or absence of policies which contribute to
Mr. NACHMANOFF. It would be difficult to cite specific policies. I
think I would note, however, the concern that has been expressed by
some governments over prospective tightening of access to the United
States as a reflection of their concern about the problem.
This is not to say that governments actively encourage people to
migrate under illegal circumstances to the United States, but that they
certainly recognize this as a safety valve for their own problem and are
concerned about the U.S. tightening up.
Mr. YATRON. In the case of Mexico, are you saying in your testimony
that Mexico is taking adequate steps to reverse this phenomenon by
developing as quickly as possible its oil and gas reserves ?
.Mr. NACHMANOFF. The Mexican Government certainly is deeply
committed to rapid development and to greater efforts to share more
equitably that development among the various parts of its population.
That is to say, it is giving much greater emphasis to rural development,
to small and medium industry, to employment generation projects.
The new employment plan which the Mexican administration has
announced certainly suggests that they will use some of the earnings
from their oil and gas exports for investment in these kinds of pro-
grams. That certainly is an encouraging and desirable step.
As to whether that will be adequate, I certainly think they have a
very large problem which is going to take a long time to deal with. You
have a situation where you have 40 percent, perhaps, unemployment
and underemployment in Mexico, where you have population growth
at a level of 3.2 to 3.6 percent. It will be at least a generation before you
see a substantial effect, even from the programs they are undertaking
now to reduce population growth and to absorb many of the new
entrants into the work force.
So, I would characterize my statement as commenting on the con-
structive direction, I think, of Mexican Government policies in at-
tempting to deal with the problems which result in pressures for out-
ward migration, but I think we have to recognize it is going to be a
long-term process, and it is a long-term problem.
Mr. YATRON. You mention in your statement the role of population
growth in the undocumented alien's problem. Is there any direct re-
lationship in the source countries between economic well-being and
Mr. NACHMANOFF. In virtually all of these countries, you have high
rates of population growth, and that makes it extremely difficult to
generate enough employment to keep up with the growth of popula-
tion and the new entrants into the labor force. So, this is very definitely
an important factor and a contributing factor to the outward
You also have in some countries a problem of population density. It
is simply overcrowding; not enough land, really, even if you had land
reform and improved distribution, to accommodate the population.
You also have a very young population in most of these countries,
which means that you are getting more and more people entering the
So, all of these factors do contribute to the pressures for outward
Mr. YATR~N. Thank you, Mr. Nachmanoff.
Mr. de la Garza.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. I will pass up on the questions, Mr. Chairman,
Mr. YATRON. If economic well-being increases, what will be the
effect on population growth ?
Mr. NACHMANOFF. Generally, there has been a correlation between
economic progress, economic development, higher income levels, and
a lowering of population growth rates. One cannot make any precise
predictions, but certainly that has been a historical correlation.
Mr. YATRON. I believe you mentioned Caribbean immigration shifted
from Great Britain to the United States when the United Kingdom
altered its immigration laws in the mid-1960's. Can you tell us what
this change was ?
Mr. NACHMaANOFF. I believe that the United Kingdom began to en-
act a series of more restrictive immigration laws beginning in the
mid-1960's, which resulted in a restriction on immigration from some
of the Commonwealth countries, particularly in the Caribbean. Of a
total average annual outmigration of 75,000 persons from the Car-
ibbean, less than 5,000 have gone to the United Kingdom per year
during the 1970's.
Mr. YATRON. I have no further questions. We may submit some to
you in writing if we have any additional ones.
We thank you for appearing today and having Mr. Sweeney with
you. We are very grateful.
Mr. NACHMANOFF. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. YATRON. Our next witness is Mr. Charles B. Knapp, Special
Assistant to the Secretary of Labor.
Mr. Knapp, we welcome you here this afternoon. You may proceed.
STATEMENT OF CHARLES B. KNAPP, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE
SECRETARY OF LABOR
Mr. KNAPP. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Congressman. I am pleased
to have the opportunity to appear here today to discuss with you some
perspectives on the problem of illegal immigration. These hearings are
an integral part of what we hope will emerge as a comprehensive na-
tional debate on this important topic.
As you know, President Carter made recommendations to the Con-
gress last August to deal with the problem of undocumented aliens
living and working in the United States. These recommendations were
introduced in the Congress last fall in the form of the Alien Adjust-
ment and Employment Act of 1977.
The Department of Labor strongly supports this bill and hopes that
the legislation will be considered and passed in the near future. Hear-
ings are currently being conducted on the bill before the Senate Judi-
I might add, Mr. Chairman, when the President announced this
program, he thought of the program just as a beginning point for the
debate in hope that the Congress will get involved with it and work its
will on the legislation.
The administration claims no monopoly on wisdom in this area. To-
day, however, I have not been asked to testify on the administration's
proposals in particular, but rather on the broader implications of the
illegal immigration process. Most of what I have to say will deal with
the impact of illegal immigration on domestic employment. I take
this approach for two reasons.
First, my expertise and generally that of the Department of Labor
lie more in this area than in the international aspects of the problem.
Other witnesses can discuss international perspectives better than I
Second, and I think more importantly, this is a problem whose com-
ponents are not easily separated along domestic as opposed to interna-
tional lines. In discussing the domestic implications, I hope to shed
some light on the international aspects of the problems as well.
It is not possible to specify precisely the effect of undocumented
aliens on the economy. It is, however, possible to trace the broad con-
tours of the problem. For example, it has been noted here today that
exact information is not available with regard to the number of un-
documented aliens who are currently in the United States. The most
widely cited estimates are from 3 to 12 million, although the method-
ologies used to determine the numbers at either end of this range are
open to question.
The result of this uncertainty has been that individuals with vested
interests on either side of the issue have tried to take advantage of the
situation. Those who wish to play on the fears of the American people
have cited huge numbers ranging up to 20 million. Those interested in
minimizing the extent of the problem have argued that since an exact
number cannot be specified, the problem ought to be ignored.
It is known that the Immigration and Naturalization Service, in the
fiscal year that ended last September, made over 1 million apprehen-
sions of undocumented aliens. While the relationship between this
number and the total number of undocumented aliens currently in the
country is not known, because an apprehension is an event that could
include any person more than once in any given period of time, this
figure is illustrative of the magnitude of the illegal immigration
Even adopting the most conservative estimates of the number of
undocumented aliens successfully entering the country per year, one
is led to the conclusion that this process has important economic and
social consequences. One of the most important issues raised in this
context has been the question of whether undocumented workers take
jobs that U.S. workers could fill or whether they take jobs for which
U.S. workers are unavailable. The answer to this question is crucial
in determining whether the process of illegal immigration is beneficial
to the United States. If domestic workers are displaced, the process
causes unemployment. But if they are not displaced, the process brings
about economic growth.
It is certainly true that some undocumented aliens take jobs that
would be attractive to U.S. workers. The number of apprehensions of
both student and tourist visa abusers has risen in recent years. Not
coincidentally, there has been an increase in the number of cases cited
by the INS where undocumented aliens have been found holding rela-
tively highly skilled and paid jobs that would clearly be attractive to
The total number of these "direct" displacements is not known.
However, it is likely that the more important question from the quan-
titative standpoint is the impact that undocumented aliens have on
the low-skilled, low-wage labor markets where most of them find
It is certainly true that many of the jobs that undocumented aliens
take are jobs that U.S. workers, for one reason or 'another, will not
take. But it is important to go beyond the characteristics that these
jobs have at a given moment and ask whether or not the jobs must
necessarily be bad jobs. In some cases the unattractiveness of the job
may be part of a self-fulfilling prophecy brought about by the fact
that undocumented aliens have filled the jobs in the past.
Employers will generally react to a situation where undocumented
workers are in surplus supply and are exploitable in the sense that
they cannot be protected by labor standards by structuring jobs in
an inefficient manner. Subsequently, the jobs can only be filled by
undocumented aliens because they are in fact bad jobs. But they are
also bad jobs because they have been filled in the past by undocu-
The overall impact of this process is to put downward pressure on
labor standards. It may in fact be that this pressure spills over to
markets not normally thought to be associated with the process of
illegal immigration. It is not possible to capture the impact of this
process quantitatively, but the overall consequences for the U.S. labor
market, especially for those geographic areas where undocumented
aliens tend to concentrate, are certainly important.
The effect of illegal immigration on the social fabric of the United
States must also be carefully considered. If unemployment in the
United States continues to stick at high levels, it is possible to con-
clude that a failure to get illegal immigration under control could
lead at some time in the near future to increased pressure for
Such deportations of undocumented aliens have taken place in this
country in the past during periods of high unemployment, and
massive violation of the civil rights of U.S. citizens, especially those
of Hispanic background, occurred. It is in the best humanitarian
interest of this country to keep this from happening again.
A persuasive argument could also be made that by allowing the
process of illegal immigration to continue we are in effect creating
in this country an underclass of people who do not have the rights
and privileges of U.S. citizens.
Although the illegal immigrants themselves may be willing to
accept their circumstances, because they use as a reference point the
even worse conditions from which they came, it is unlikely that their
children will be willing to accept these same conditions. There are
obvious parallels between this situation and the explosions that fol-
lowed the mass immigration of rural Southern blacks to the urban
North after World War II in this country. Inaction at present may
result in a civil rights struggle 10 to 15 years from now.
From the above discussion it is evident that there is much we do
not know about the process of illegal immigration. There is hope that
in the future solid research will be able to answer many of the ques-
tions that we are currently uncertain about. Well-structured and
innovative research in this area should be encouraged.
The discussion, however, also makes it clear that we can ill afford
to wait for such research before taking action. The spillover impli-
cations of this domestic process into the international sphere are
evident. Since illegal immigration acts as a safety valve for the
employment problems of the sending countries, domestic policies de-
signed to slow the flow will adversely affect the economies of those
Such an occurrence could clearly cause a strain on bilateral rela-
tions. Although the administration has spent considerable time inves-
tigating how those strains might be minimized, the only conclusion
reached thus far is that there are no quick fixes. Other witnesses will
discuss these issues in more detail.
Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before the
subcommittee today and will be glad to answer any questions you
Mr. YATRON. Thank you very much, Mr. Knapp, for your presen-
If the flow of undocumented workers is slowed with downward
pressure, would U.S. labor standards be reversed?
Mr. KNAPP. I think that is clearly not the only thing that affects
the level of labor and working conditions in the United States.
As I said in my statement, Mr. Chairman. I think it is one of the
important factors in that process. I think the process is especially
efficient in those geographic areas where you tend to get a concentra-
tion of undocumented aliens. I think we have to do what we can, since
we made a national decision to protect our labor markets, to make sure
that that process is minimized.
Mr. YATRON. Would not improved labor standards make it more
difficult to keep the undocumented workers out of the United States?
Mr. KNAPP. I think that is a fair point. As Commissioner Castillo
mentioned earlier, the model that best explains this process is the
push-pull model. You can break it down even further and talk about
wage differentials between the two countries. If the wage differentials
widen, the pull factors, push factors, whichever side you want to look
at, are going to be increased.
If the relative wages between the United States and any of the
major sending countries widen, I would be hard pressed to argue that
would not be a further cause of illegal immigration.
Mr. YATRON. Why doesn't the exportation of undocumented workers
in the United States serve as a disincentive for further illegal immi-
Mr. KNAPP. I think the answer to that is, as bad as the situation may
be in some cases, it is probably a lot better than the wages and working
conditions that are available to source countries. So in a relative sense,
it is still a better deal.
Mr. YATRON. I am concerned that this problem will generate ill feel-
ing among the American public toward various sources countries.
Would you agree that the real impact on the American labor market
is not that important as long as people believe the undocumented aliens
are taking jobs away from U.S. citizens ?
Mr. KNAPP. Mr. Chairman, there is one thing I learned in the last
16 months. There is a lot of difference between perception and reality.
Sometimes the perceptions that people have are, in fact, more impor-
tant than the realities, I believe, and it is an issue I know reasonable
people can disagree on, the displacement phenomena and effect on
labor standards is significant and does have an impact on our economy.
One of the things I think is very important to note, is that the time
to act, it appears to me at least, is at present, to try to take some sort
of action that would ameliorate the push-pull model, and if you do
not do that, I think what you are doing is running a real risk that
you do get a hysteria developing.
The initiation of a roundup, I think, is something that most of us
would really like to avoid. You are not really talking then about
Border Patrol. You are talking about internal, you are talking about
Chicago, Kansas City, and Des Moines and places like that in going
in there and trying to find people that are in the country illegally.
I do not think that process would be something we really want to go
through. That is one of the purposes behind trying to grasp this issue
right now, to try to avoid that sort of thing in the future.
Mr. YATRON. Thank you, Mr. Knapp.
Mr. de la Garza?
Mr. Dr LA GARZA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to commend
Mr. Knapp for a well-balanced statement. I do have some questions
related to labor's part in this overall process.
One of the problems that we have, the illegal alien worker, not the
family, one of the reasons I would say, is from Mexico is because we
did not or the Congress did not extend what was known as a Bracero
program where you got Mexican workers to come under contract.
You may not agree that is one of the reasons, but I say it is one of
Mr. KNAPP. I would agree that it is one of the reasons we have more
of a flow of undocumented aliens than we would otherwise, the merits
of the Bracero programs put aside.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. We will leave the merits aside. But that is one of
the reasons. When that law was not renewed, there remained, none-
theless, a part of the law that allows the Labor Department to give
a work permit-what number does it have, H-2 ?
Mr. KNAPP. H-2.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. This, to my knowledge, is not used to any great
extent. I do not know that you came prepared, but could you supply
us numbers for how many last year ?
Mr. KNAPP. Sure.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. How many were allowed ?
Mr. KNAPP. I cannot give you an exact number.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. Do you have any ballpark figure ?
Mr. KNAPP. Yes. The figures last year, I think it was 16,000, plus or
minus a thousand. So the numbers were very, very small relative to
the total work force certainly.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. For what length of time? Could you break it
Mr. KNAPP. We can give you those figures exactly. The largest user
of the H-2 program has traditionally, at least in the last few years,
been the east coast apple harvest. There last year, I believe, were about
4,000 workers that were admitted. There is sugarcane in Florida, irri-
gation pipelayers in Montana, sheepherders in Idaho, and assorted
other smaller groups.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. Under that law, you have a list, which I assume
you change periodically, in these categories we will not allow in be-
cause we have domestic workers?
Mr. KNAPP. No; there is, in fact, a case-by-case test. There is a proc-
ess, a set of regulations. This is not really a law that the Labor De-
partment is charged with enforcing. It comes from the Attorney
General through the Immigration Nationality Act, and by agreement
with the Attorney General, we provide a certification of whether or
not there is an adverse impact on U.S. workers by admitting alien
workers, it is not a person-by-person but a case-by-case.
For example, it may be the east coast applegrowers that would ask
Mr. DE LA GARZA. You have a list though that says sheet-metal
Mr. KNAPP. That is the permanent certification process. I am talking
about the temporary ones.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. You have no list for the H-2 ?
Mr. KNAPP. No, that is a case-by-case determination.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. That is one of the areas where I think we could
exert some control over this problem. To my knowledge, the Labor
Department has been very slow in granting these applications. At
least the people that have come to me for assistance at the Labor
Department has been very slow at the insistence of organized labor
groups, whoever, I don't know.
I am going to switch into a statement, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. YATRON. Mr. de la Garza, may I interrupt.
Nick in the Vice President's Office wants Mr. Knapp to call before 4.
It gives you about 4 minutes.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. I yield for the Vice President.
Mr. KNAPP. Excuse me. I am sorry.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. I want to make a little bit of a statement.
Mr. YATRON. We will resume.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. And make it part of a question, I guess.
I know you did not testify on the President's program, but you
mentioned, so it is fair to mention, part of the President's program is
that someone who is here illegally and part of the working force, they
are going to or they propose to give him, in effect, a work permit.
You can stay here and work, you accrue no rights for citizenship or
for permanent residency; you cannot go back to your home country;
you cannot bring your family or children; we are just going to let you
stay here and work as part of the work force falling into all of the
pitfalls that everyone mentions about depressing wages and whatever.
My contention is I could not support that, one, because I do not
think it is moral to tell someone we are going to let you stay here.
You came illegally; you are breaking our law; we are going to look
the other way and let you stay here and work; but we are not going to
legalize you as a regular citizen.
We are going to keep you from getting together with your family
or your children. We are going to keep you from going back to your
country, but you can stay here and work.
I think it is almost inhumane or unhuman and immoral. Leave that
off to the side.
My contention is that under the existing law that the Labor Depart-
ment has the tools with the Attorney General's office to allow work-
ers 'and who better than the Labor Department knows -whether they will
cause an adverse impact or not, whether they would be competing or
not, whether they would really be needed or not,. and I do not think
you have used that law to really implement the intent of the law for
whatever reasons keep you from doing it.
I think that would alleviate a tremendous 'amount of this pressure
if a worker from Mexico knows he can get this work permit, he is not
going to risk running across the river or swimming across the river or
paying $1,000 or whatever he will pay to get smuggled across.
I do not think we need too much law. I think that under this law
you can work, but and I say this with due respect, but I say it only be-
cause it is fact, that I have been told by a number of the Labor De-
partment in a specific region in the United States, "We are just not
going to let anyone in, Congressman. You just might as well stop ask-
ing." But this fellow has asked for our assistance, I know he needs the
help, I know he needs the workers, they are not competing-"Well,
we are just not going to let them in, period."
I think that attitude has caused part of the problem that now we
have so many. I bring this out to you for whatever it is worth to take
Mr. KNAPP. Can I respond to what you said ?
Mr. DE LA GARZA. Yes.
Mr. KNAPP. I think in principle, I agree with what you say, that the
current law is sufficient. We have been conservative in the past with re-
aspect to admitting the workers because we have taken the charge that
is in the Immigration Nationality Act seriously.
That is, you are supposed to make sure there are no adverse impacts
on U.S. workers. You cannot do that in a couple of days. So, what
we are asked is for the growers in various situations to cooperate and
give us advanced notice that would allow us to do a labor market
I do not know of the specific instance that you are talking about.
I assume that would be the Dallas regional office. I would assure you,
if there is a reasonable case under the law to admit alien workers, and
we can establish that there is not any adverse impact, that nobody
in the regional office is going to stop that.
If you have a situation like that, if you contact me, I would be glad
to see what I can do about it. We think that that law, the H-2 process
right now, is structured so that it can legitimately respond to employer
and employee concerns in the area.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. For legitimate needs. We agree. There is no ques-
tion on that.
You say you have been conservative. I think there are legitimate
areas and needs that could be filled, but Labor's position, I guess, has
been, if we have to give the benefit of the doubt, we will give it to the
Mr. KNAPP. I would add, Mr. Congressman, making the case we are
not without sin in this whole situation, that there have been occasions,
I think, where employers have, in fact, preferred to use foreign work-
ers for whatever reasons and perhaps have not done the labor market
search that was appropriate, and that has caused some frictions, too.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. The law is the law, and yet we had a case in Texas
where the President had to intervene with labor.
Mr. KNAPP. I'rmemeber that situation.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. So you are quite conservative to have the Presi-
dent intervene ?
Mr. KNAPP. As soon as he intervened, we changed our mind.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. The thing is that I think you could fairly protect,
all of us have the basic interest of protecting the domestic workers,
but I think you could fairly protect them and yet allow more in the
area of needs for specified periods of time.
Otherwise, what is going to happen is, if this is used in the areas
where need is proven, the odds are that people will be channeled to, this
avenue rather than to come illegally.
Mr. KNAPP. I think that is right.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. If this is continued and it is proven that legitimate
needs, if this is used, the odds are someone who is here illegally might
tend to swing over and legalize his position using that program. Other-
wise, not leaving it conservative as you are, you still have this no one
knows how many are here than under the President's program would
be legalized to work, and if all of this group is legalized to work. there
will be no enticement for anyone to use the H-2 because knowing the
mentality of the Mexican compesino or the Mexican worker that
the laws says you have to have been here x years or xa months, all
he is going to hear is rumor down in his village, they are all owing you
to work under a permit in the United States now, and he is going to
h,.0,1l nr,,thi. '
As a matter of fact, the first time this appeared in the newspapers
that countless Mexicans went to the immigration office, "Where do I
get my work permit," because the rumor was that you are going to be
I think one of the avenues we have to help with this problem is for
labor to be, to use a word, I guess, to be more liberal in the justified
circumstances in the 'areas where either the domestic citizen or resident
alien would not take the job or where they really do not have the
I do not know, I guess it is a paradox like here in Washington, you
see "Help Wanted" in every restaurant and every McDonald's. Every-
where you go you see "Help Wanted." We know there are countless
thousands of aliens illegally in the Washington area, apparently all
I do not know that I have ever seen an unemployed illegal alien that
is apprehended. Oh, maybe there is an exception here and there, but
usually he is apprehended at a job; he is not apprehended sitting in a
So, they are getting the jobs for some reason. I cannot agree to the
general categorizing that they hire for less wages and they hire for
jobs that are unsafe and so on, because other agencies have control of
that. OSHA is in and out of the restaurants regardless of whether the
workers come from Mexico, China, or anyplace.
The minimum wage people are in and out of the business establish-
ment, and where the worker comes from is immaterial. So, I think the
controls are there in that respect, and you could channel some into the
H-2 rather than have all this mass of illegals.
Mr. KNAPP. Let me just respond to a couple things, Congressman.
One is the Labor Department also does minimum wage violations and
OSHA. Both of those agencies are in the Labor Department. I think
there is general agreement that to the extent we can enforce minimum
labor standards that are on the books, that that would have a good ef-
fect on the labor market in total and would be a good way to redress
some of the problems that may be caused by it.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. You are supposed to be doing that regardless of
where the workers come from.
Mr. KNAPP. I agree.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. You have that responsibility.
Mr. KNAPP. I agree. But, in fact, what happens is, there are only
1,100 OSHA inspectors in the country.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. You would not know it from the complaints you
get. They stay active like busy little bees.
Mr. KNAPP. We figured it out one time. If they worked real hard, it
would take 50 years for them to inspect every business establishment in
Mr. DE LA GARZA. Why are they concentrating in my district then ?
Mr. KNAPP. It is a plot.
Mr. YATRON. Thank you, Mr. de la Garza.
Mr. DE LA GARZA. I have no more questions.
Mr. YATRON. Mr. Knapp, the committee thanks you for appearing
here today. We are very grateful. We are sorry we are going to have to
conclude the meeting because we have a rollcall vote.
Mr. GILMAX. Mr. Chairman, before you conclude, I regret I was not
here in time to hear all your testimony. I did read your testimony.
Mr. KNAPP. If you have any questions, I will be glad to submit
Mr. YATRON. The subcommittee stands adjourned until tomorrow.
[Whereupon, at 4:10 p.m. the subcommittee adjourned.]
UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS: IMPLICATIONS FOR
U.S. POLICY IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
THURSDAY, MAY 18, 1978
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITrEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTER-AMERICAN AFFAIRs,
The subcommittee met at 10:15 a.m. in room 2200, Rayburn House
Office Building, Hon. Gus Yatron (chairman of the subcommit-
Mr. YATRON. The subcommittee will come to order.
The House Subcommittee on Inter-American Affairs today will con-
tinue its series of hearings on "Undocumented Workers: Implications
for U.S. Policy in the Western Hemisphere."
As previously stated, the Chair wants to consider the foreign policy
dimensions of illegal immigration. I welcome any evidence which these
hearings might produce, indicating that foreign policy considerations
are receiving the high priority they deserve.
I want to reemphasize that the Chair believes this is an international
problem requiring international solutions.
Also, that the subcommittee does not seek to single out any one
source country. Illegal immigration from source countries in the Car-
ibbean and South America will receive as much scrutiny as illegal im-
migration from Mexico, where much of the attention has been focused
in the past.
I would like to welcome at this time our distinguished witnesses,
Hon. Sally A. Shelton, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau for Inter-
American Affairs, Department of State; and Ambassador Marshall L.
Green, Coordinator for Population Affairs, Department of State.
Ms. Shelton, would you like to begin with your presentation ?
STATEMENT OF SALLY A. SHELTON, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SEC-
RETARY, BUREAU FOR INTER-AMERICAN AFFAIRS, DEPART-
MENT OF STATE
Ms. SHELTON. Good morning, Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much.
I am very pleased to be here today to appear before you to discuss with
you some of the foreign policy implications of illegal immigration to
the United States.
From the outset, I would like to point out that while the major
source countries of undocumented migration are located ini Latin
America arid the Caribbean, the phenomenon is by no means limited to
the Western Hemispliere. Other major sources of undocumented im-
migrants are clearly Asia and Africa and the problem has important
foreign policy implications for these regions as well.
The fact that Latin America and the Caribbean represent the major
source of undocumented results less from any strictly regional charac-
teristics of culture, society, or economics, than from the simple truth
that Latin America's geographical proximity to the United States both
enhances the attraction of our economic "magnet" and makes the phys-
ical journey just that much easier.
Immigration is not a new phenomenon. It has been central to the his-
tory of this hemisphere. It is a complicated matter, the product of basic
social and economic forces and is an element in the continuing evolu-
tion of the world's economy and our social order. But today, new fac-
tors have given rise to an increase in uncontrolled migration.
In many countries population growth continues to outstrip economic
growth. Industrialization and urbanization lead to migration within
nations and to migration across national boundaries. A revolution in
communications makes people in the most isolated rural areas today
aware of disparities in economic opportunities that were less evident
in the past. And a revolution in the means of transportation makes dis-
tant countries more accessible than ever before.
The United States is, of course, a land of immigrants. And today, as
in the past, the United States is the single most favored destination for
the world's immigrants.
Historically, we have been and we continue to be the land of free-
dom and opportunity, where work can be found and where enterprise
and initiative are rewarded at probably higher rates than in most
Legal immigration probably now averages about 400,000 persons an-
nually. These legal immigrants are either relatives of U.S. citizens and
permanent residents, or they are workers with needed skills, or they
We are proud of our history as a land of hope and a place of refuge,
but at the same time we recognize our responsibility to our citizens and
our legal residents to regulate the flow of immigration into the United
States in order to insure that the common good is upheld.
We also recognize that our actions in this area can have a major im-
pact on other countries. We must be aware of the interests of other
nations and insure that the decisions that we take that impact on immi-
gration are taken in the context of our overall foreign policy objectives.
There has been a flow of immigrants to this country outside legal
channels ever since the Congress first established controls over immi-
gration. But in recent years the, what I will call, push exerted by
rising expectations and slow or stagnant economic growth in poor
countries, plus the attraction exerted by the United States as a place to
live and work, has markedly increased the flow of illegal migration.
And particularly since numerical limitations were imposed on West-
ern Hemisphere immigration in 1968, the size of the problem has
grown dramatically. Several million of these people have come to the
United States over the years and have settled permanently without
complying with our immigration laws.
Undocumented aliens, as I indicated initially, have come from many
nations, Mexico has traditionally been and remains the major country.
of origin. But as I indicated, the nationals of other countries in Latin
America and Asia and Africa are now part of the increased flow of
May I just point out the major sources of illegal migration in this
hemisphere. They are Mexico, El Salvador, Dominican Republic,
Haiti, Jamaica, Guatemala, Belize, Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador. Be-
cause of the very nature of the problem as an illegal, underground phe-
nomenon, any figures on the total number of undocumented aliens in
this country are only rough estimates.
The fact is that we simply do not know with any certainty precisely
how many are here. Immigration and Naturalization Service appre-
hension figures are now running at more than 1 million a year, but
many undocumented aliens are apprehended several times annually as
they come and go, while many more escape arrest altogether. Estimates
of the total number of illegal aliens in this country have ranged in re-
cent years anywhere from 2 million to 12 million, with probably the
best current estimates ranging from 5 to 7.
Despite the almost inevitable lack of hard data, there seems little
doubt that the undocumented population is sizable and growing.
The countries of origin share some key characteristics that I would
like to spend a few minutes pointing out. Nearly all are developing na-
tions. All have young and fast-growing populations. They all have
economies with the labor force far in excess of current local job op-
portunities. Many aliens who are employed find their salaries and their
advancement possibilities unsatisfactory. Each of those characteristics
is a strong push factor that impels emigration.
Much attention has been paid to Mexico as the single largest source
of both legal and illegal immigration to the United States. I think this
attention has led to an undue characterization of illegal immigration in
the United States as being essentially a "Mexican" problem. And this
is unfortunate, because the root causes of illegal migration are not par-
Let me just illustrate. I would like to present a description for you
of the economic causes of migration from the Caribbean, but I suggest
that the basic economic problems in the Caribbean are similar to those
of many developing regions of the world, and because of that we could
substitute the name of virtually any source country for the word
"Caribbean" in the analysis I would like to put forth to you.
Most Caribbean economies, particularly the small ones, lack the
physical resources that are adequate for rapid economic development.
They require substantial inflods of foreign capital just to sustain their
present living standards. But in the last decade, the inflow of foreign
capital has slowed at the same time as inflation and oil price increases
have driven up import costs.
This has led to a buffeting by external economic forces beyond their
control, including the limited world market for their exports and the
soaring prices of critical imports such as machinery and, of course, oil.
Much of what these countries can produce for the U.S. market is
of intense concern to, competing U.S. domestic producers. They are
especially concerned with items that have been historically produced
such as sugar, rum, and citrus. But there are strong U.S. protectionist
measures against these products.
In addition, expansion of offshore assembly industries such as cloth-
inkg faces stiff opposition from U.S. organized labor.
The proximity of the Caribbean to the U.S. market-and obviously
this applies to Mexico and other Western Hemisphere sources as well-
greatly affects the region. There are important economic benefits from
this proximity, such as tourism and extensive trade. However, the
easy access to North American goods hampers Caribbean countries'
efforts to achieve local self-sufficiency, and since development of the
region ultimately depends on the ability to create export markets, this
dependence on imports from the United States is detrimental to eco-
Structural problems are important. For example, unemployment
rates ranging up to 25 percent and higher come into play. In Jamaica,
for example, there has. been a decrease in real wages since the early
part of this decade on the order of 19 percent. This is expected to
increase a further 25 percent over the next year as a result of the eco-
Snomic stabilization measures recently announced by the,Government
Public policies frequently have favored capital intensive investments
in both the' urban and rural sectors, rather than maximizing the use
Sof available labor.
The proximity of our labor market, where Caribbean workers can
earn up to 10 times their local salaries, exerts a powerful draw on
-the region's laborers.
As I indicated earlier, in many parts of the hemisphere population
grows at a faster rate than, the local economy's expansion, and these
are, may I emphasize, very small economies that even at. present do
not provide sufficient employment opportunities for their existing
One traditional Caribbean response to these problems has included
large-scale emigration of workers to foreign labor markets. Workers
move from the smaller-islands to the larger ones and from the larger
ones to the mainland. Remittances from these workers sustain many
Caribbeafi families at or just above the poverty line, and they now
represent a large part of the hard currency earnings of many Carib-
This pattern is duplicated within Mexico and other Western Hemi-
sphere source countries as.workers move from rural areas to the cities
in search of greater opportunities, from the interior to the border
towns, and eventually move on to the U.S.:job market.
The emigration of workers to the United States and to other metro-
poles does earn substantial foreign currency income for the source
countries, enabling them thereby to pay for imports.,
Unfdrtunatelv, this short-term foreign exchange income has.serious
long-term costs. Often the imports it brings are consumer or consumer-
rplated products which do little to raise the productive capacity of
the source country and, worse, migration depletes the stock of talented
human capital. In many cases the illegal migrants are the very people
who would be the cutting edge of economic development, who leave
in search of greater professional advancement opportunities, thereby
reducing the local potential for eventual self-sustaining economic
One critical factor then. Mr. Chairman. for the people who come
or stay here illegally is the disparity between the job advancement op-
portunities and wages in the United States and in less developed
nations. Their migration is the net result of the interaction of "push"
factors in the countries of origin and the enormous "pull" factors
exerted by the U.S. economy. The relationship between the sets of
economic circumstances is not likely to change dramatically in the near
future since they are rooted in the histories, the cultures, the societies
and the natural resource supplies of our respective nations, and these
are determinants that change only slowly in response to a great number
As we have seen, the outmigration of surplus labor has become tra-
ditional in many areas of the hemisphere and the economies of many
countries are, to some degree, dependent on remittances from their
nationals who work illegally in the United States.
In the case of Mexico, for example, it has been estimated that re-
mittances from undocumented workers in the United States may reach
as much as $3 billion a year. This is clearly an important contribution
to Mexico's balance of payments, but many Mexicans recognize that
Mexico is losing to the United States temporarily, or, in some cases
permanently, large numbers of their most industrious and ambitious
workers and in some cases, in occupations or skill categories that are
in short supply in Mexico.
It has also been noted that Mexican society bears the cost of educat-
ing and training these workeTs in their formative years only to see
them leave for the United States when they finally reach their most
useful and productive stage.
President Lopez Portillo has said that Mexico wishes to export its
products, not its people, to the United States, and the Mexican Govern-
ment has been cooperating with us in efforts to break up the activities
of smugglers of illegal aliens. Yet these best of intentions are up
against some very sobering statistics on the unemployment rate in
According to senior Mexican officials, last year nearly 50 percent of
the Mexican work force, roughly 81/ million Mexicans, were either
unemployed or underemployed. To reduce this unemployment and to
keep up with the regular expansion of the labor force, Mexican offi-
cials have estimated that Mexico must create at least 700,000 new jobs
a year. They have not, however, been able to create new jobs at this
rate as of yet, particularly during 1976 and 1977, when economic
growth was unusually slow.
Because of the large proportion of the population that is 15 years or
younger, the number of new jobseekers entering the labor force each
year is expected to remain high for a number of years to come.
With the recent discoveries of oil and gas in Mexico, the economic
picture there has brightened somewhat. We understand the Mexican
Government plans to use oil and gas revenues to meet foreign exchange
'needs and to stimulate needed econoinic development. Based on an-
nounced plans, oil exports, by 1982, would provide gross foreign ex-
change receipts of over $7 billion annually, at today's prices.
Export of natural gas could add as much as $2 billion annually, or
more, depending on price. The government already has announced the
formation of a national employment fund which would utilize excess:
revenues from oil and gas to create new jobs.
But ll this lies very much in the future, with a pattern of illegal
migration to the United States already established. And Mexico is al-
most unique among the sending nations of the hemisphere in having
located a potential economic bonanza within its borders.
In the majority of cases-and may I emphasize particularly in the
Caribbean-there appears to be little prospects for timely improve-
ment in the economic circumstances that underlie unauthorized migra-
tion to the United States.
Development assistance efforts, both bilateral and multilateral-and
I understand the subcommittee will be looking at our aid programs
during the next sessions of hearings-these assistance efforts can have
some ameliorating effects, but the magnitude of the problem of poverty
and underdevelopment has, to date, challenged all efforts to overcome
The subcommittee, I think, can play a very useful role in probing
our relationship between the aid strategy and the unemployment
problems during the course of these hearings.
For the present, I can certainly confirm that undocumented migra-
tion poses serious foreign policy questions for this country. As the
subcommittee is undoubtedly aware, States, municipalities, and private
groups have been acting separately on this issue. Some 13 States and a
number of cities have passed statutes to penalize employers who hire
undocumented workers. School districts are redefining the term "resi-
dence" and taking other measures to exclude the children of undocu-
mented aliens from free public schooling, and some private vigilante
groups have been attempting to police our borders.
In the absence of a strong and well-coordinated national effort, these
local activities can greatly complicate our foreign relations and under-
mine the image of the United States abroad.
Most undocumented aliens live on the fringes of our society. There
they fall easy prey to the employer who refuses to pay the minimum
wage; to the foreman who mistreats them and who knows they are
afraid to seek legal resource; and to the smuggler who extorts a per-
centage of their wages on threats of turning them over to the authori-
ties. Allegations of mistreatment and abuse of undocumented aliens
are a continuing irritant between the United States and countries of
origin. So long as undocumented aliens remain outside the law, it is
extremely difficult to avoid their exploitation.
Undocumented migration is an issue in our bilateral relations with
a number of countries in the hemisphere; most notably Mexico and
several Caribbean countries. Last summer I made a trip through the
Caribbean and parts of Latin America with Ambassador Young, and
one of the two or three issues which was brought up in every single
country in the Caribbean as an issue of great concern to the country
in question was the problem of illegal migration and the concern over
steps that the United States might take to restrict the flow of illegal
Because of the social and political needs that are served by the
present pattern of migration from the Caribbean, the governments of
that region fce some very difficult choices. Their sensitivity to the is-
sue. which directly relates to economic and consequently to political
stability, has made them reluctant to engage us in direct examination
of the problem.
President Lopez Portillo has stated that Mexico recognizes the right
of the United States to establish immigration laws and to punish those
who violate them, but not to implement them unduly in the case of
those persons who are only looking for work.
Mexico has made very clear to us its deep concern that enactment
of the illegal alien proposal might result in deportation of a large
number of undocumented aliens, thus causing a massive disruption of
the Mexican economy. We agree that this would be seriously disruptive
as well as inhumane and, therefore, not in our own best interests. A
general deportation of this kind is administratively impossible in any
case, but Mexico's fears have not been totally quieted on that account.
We are also sensitive to the Mexican Government's concerns that in
the short run, a substantial reduction in the flow of undocumented
workers will aggravate Mexico's economic and social problems. The
elimination of remittances from undocumented would have an im-
mediate effect on many rural areas of Mexico. We are currently dis-
cussing with the Mexican Government ways in which we can be
Before the President announced his undocumented alien program
on August 4, 1977, officials from the White House, the Department
of State, and other departments of the executive branch were in touch
with officials of the various countries of origin concerning the pro-
posed U.S. action. A very high level delegation from the United States
visited Mexico last July to outline for the Mexican Government the
main features of the President's proposed plan. We informed the
Mexican Government that President Carter recognizes that the
problems of Mexico's economy are directly related to the outflow of
migrant labor. Mexico was assured that the United States would take
this into account as we sought a solution to the problem of illegal
We are continuing to work closely with the Mexican Government
on this matter. In January, during his trip to Mexico, Vice President
Mondale discussed the issues involved with President Lopez Portillo.
The Vice President, at that time, expressed our willingness to support
increased lending by the World Bank and by the Inter-American
Development Bank for rural development in Mexico if the Govern-
ment of Mexico would give it due priority.
And just 2 weeks ago, during Secretary Cyrus Vance's trip to
Mexico for a session of the United States-Mexico consultative mecha-
nism, the matter was again part of a series of wide-ranging discus-
sions with Mexican officials.
I understand that the subcommittee does not intend to address
possible solutions to the problem in today's session, but I would like
to mention, just in passing, that we are engaged with several source
countries in an exploration of cooperative ways in which to solve our
In keeping with our premise that the problem cannot be solved by
unilateral U.S. measures, we are committed to helping the govern-
ments of countries of origins in their efforts to ameliorate the eco-
nomic problems that contribute to illegal migration,
To encourage these governments to give special consideration to
fostering labor-intensive industry in rural areas, we are funding
programs toward this end in the English-speaking Caribbean coun-
tries, largely through the Caribbean Development Bank. Also, a
number of interested countries have come together under the auspices
of the World Bank to form a Caribbean Group for Cooperation in
Economic Development, which is devoted to accelerating the develop-
-ment of participant Caribbean countries.
'The governments of the area are deeply concerned and have stated
-their commitment to undertake the structural reforms necessary to
promote growth with equity.
Mr. Chairman, having outlined in brief some of the causes of
undocumented migration to the United States and some of the foreign
policy implications of the problem and of its possible solutions, I will
stop now and address myself to any questions you might have, or
perhaps you may want to have Ambassador Green continue.
Mr. YATRON. Thank you very much, Ms. Shelton, for an excellent
and well-balanced presentation.
Now we will have Ambassador Green.
:STATEMENT OF HON. MARSHALL GREEN, AMBASSADOR, COORDI-
.NATOR FOR POPULATION AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. GREEN. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I appre-
ciate this opportunity to appear before your committee. As Coordi-
nator of Population Affairs in the Department of State, I have been
:asked to testify today on the role of rapid population growth in
generating pressures for migration.
I recognize this is but one particular aspect of a broad problem
under discussion by this subcommittee and my views are to be seen
within the context of the presentation just made by Deputy Assistant
Unlike Ms. Shelton, I might add, I am not an authority on Latin
America, having spent almost 'all of my 33 years in the Foreign
Service in East Asia and the Pacific.
For a broader view of this problem, we must bear in mind that
-although people emigrate because of poor living conditions in their
homeland, nobody emigrates without a perception of greater economic
or political opportunities in the country of designation.
In view of the scantiness of hard information on causes of illegal
migration to the United States, it is difficult to sort out all of the
aspects of this complex problem in precise quantitative terms.
This fact, however, does not limit the validity of my conclusion
that, generally speaking, high population growth rates in the devel-
oping world retard the rate of economic development and cause the
number of entrants into the job market to soar beyond the number
of jobs available. For these and other reasons, pressures for migration
to the United States will increase.
The world's population passed the 4 billion mark in 1976, and is
likely to hover about 6 billion by the year 2000. There are some
hopeful signs that population growth in a number of rapidly grow-
ing developing countries is beginning to slow down. Because of the
youthful age of developing countries' populations, however, it is vir-
tually inevitable that the world's total will, at some point early in
the next century, pass the 8 billion mark and may not stabilize before
reaching 10 to 11 billion. Perhaps as much as 90 percent of the future
increases in population over the present level will take place in the
currently less developed nations, where population growth rates now
average about 2.5 percent per year-excluding People's Republic of
China, for which there are no reliable data-as opposed to the annual
average growth rates of about 0.7 percent for the developed countries.
Population growth rates in Latin America are still among the high-
est in the world, despite recent reductions in fertility in countries
like Costa Rica, Colombia, as well as Mexico and a number of Central
American countries. In 1950, the population of North America-
largely the United States and Canada-outnumbered the whole of
Latin America. By 1975, Latin America's population was almost
90 million greater than North America's and growing three times
more rapidly. According to the slightly outdated, but still broadly
useful, U.N. population projections that are currently under revision,
by the end of this century Latin America may contain twice the
population of the northern subcontinent which, of course, is the
United States and Canada.
Such high population growth rates in developing nations have many
adverse effects, but for purposes of the work of this subcommittee, I
would like to focus on three aspects which have particular relevance to
generating pressures for both internal migration and for migration to
other countries. I refer specifically to (1) the adverse impact of high
population growth rates on economic and social development, (2) on
unemployment and underemployment, and (3) on deteriorating
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
The high population growth rates in developing nations adversely
affect prospects for economic and social progress.
Lower per capital living standards;
Require the allocation of large amounts of resources for.consump-
tion, thereby decreasing the funds available for investment in
Contribute to the income disparity between the country's rich and
Reduce family savings and domestic investment and generate a
need for foreign credits;
Absorb large amounts of scarce foreign exchange for food imports;
Intensify unemployment and underemployment in many develop-
ing countries where not enough productive jobs can be created to
absorb the annual increments to the labor force.
It has been argued that modernization and development produce
lower fertility rates. But this process is likely to require many decades
in most developing countries. During that time, rapid population
growth slows development and widens the gap between rich and poor
nations and between the rich and poor people within nations.
Improvement of the agricultural sector is the key to economic de-
velopment of most developing nations. Yet it is in the agricultural
areas of these nations that human fertility is usually the highest. The
result is either outmigration or more and more people on the land,
usually a combination of the two, further subdivisions of family hold-
ings, lower productivity per worker, and a perpetuation of poverty.
It is in these and other ways that high population growth rates
counteract the development process.
To the extent that excessire population growth frustrates economic
development, it is a fundamental factor in -perpetuating and even
widening the gap between the per capital incomes of rich and poor
nations. The politicization of international economic relations and
their polarization along "North/South" lines are, in themselves, creat-
ing new challenges and obstacles for increased cooperation between
nations. These trends will be reinforced along with mounting popula-
Taking developing nations as a whole, excluding China, the popu-
lation in working ages-15 to 64 years of age-will be growing at an
annual average of about 2.9 percent for the remainder of this century.
This figure rises to a high of 3.5 percent in the countries of Central
America. In the next 25 years, the working-age population of develop-
ing countries will more than double, even with the built-in assumption
of moderately decreasing fertility.
Unemployment and underemployment are on the rise in almost all
developing countries today. In Mexico, for example, open unemploy-
ment increased between 1970 and 1976; in addition, more than one-
third of the labor force may be underemployed, reaching totals, I
would gather, equaling that cited by the previous witness.
It is difficult to see how these phenomena will soon be reversed in de-
veloping countries, given the fact that large cohorts of potential work-
ers, already born, will be coming on the job market every year, and
given the fact that creating jobs for these workers will involve enor-
mous costs beyond the means of the developing world to finance, even
with outside assistance and loans.
For example, when I was recently in Egypt, a top-level official in-
formed me that his government had just estimated that there are,
every year, 350,000 to 400,000 more workers in the job market and that,
on the average, it was estimated to cost about $10,000 to create a new
job. He gave me to understand that these facts and figures, more than'
anything else, had convinced his government of the need to institute
effective programs to stabilize population growth.
Unemployment and underemployment in rural areas is a principal
cause of urban overcrowding. Where there is not enough work in the
countryside for burgeoning populations, masses of people, mostly
young men and women, swarm into already crowded cities looking for
jobs, often in vain. It has been estimated that, while -developing coun-
tries' populations are doubling about every 25 to 30 years, their cities
are doubling every 10 to 15 years; and their urban slums or shanty
towns, about every 5 to 7 years.
Some cities can no longer be called cities, but rather vast urban ag-
glomerations with extensive shanty towns in which living conditions
are deplorable; agglomerations where people other than the urban
elite and middle classes are without adequate water supply, sanitation,
health, education, and other social services; where young people are
often living five or six in a room, acutely aware of the great disparity
of wealth and poverty about them. All this contributes to alienation,
frustration, unrest, as well as pressures for emigration.
In the last analysis, it is people who are the victims of high popula-
tion growth rates. Hundreds of millions of women in the developing
world are caught up in a cycle of repeated childbearing, wasted health,
drudgery, illiteracy, and limited life expectancy. Vast numbers of chil-
dren are born into the world to face a future of poor nutrition, physical
disabilities, and little prospect for a better life. Millions of men are to
be without jobs or greatly underemployed.
REMEDIAL iEEASURE .
Fortunately, the nations of the world are coming to recognize the
gravity of this problem. More and more countries are taking steps to
control excessive population growth, although the degree of national
commitment to carry out such programs and the efficiency of those
programs may vary widely. The strongest national commitment is to
be found in Asia, which contains over three-fourths of the people of
the developing world. Few countries of sub-Saharan Africa have fam-
ily planning programs. In Latin America, especially inMexico, Central
America, and the Caribbean, there is growing interest in and support
for, programs that are designed to slow down population growth
and/or make it possible for people to plan the size of their families in a
May I, at this point, Mr. Chairman, focus briefly on the population
issues and programs of four key countries close to the United States
and from which there is sizable flow of migration to the United States.
I refer to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica.
In 1973, President Echeverria reversed the traditional pronatalist
policy of the Mexican Government and initiated a population program
with' emphasis on information and education programs designed to
commend the advantages of small families. In early 1977, the new ad-
ministration of President Lopez Portillo invigorated and broadened
Mexico's population program, setting a national goal of reducing the
rate of growth of Mexico's 64 million people from the current level,
estimated at between 3.2 and 3.5 percent, to 2.5 percent in 1982, and 1
percent by the year 2000. The Government's new plan calls for expan-
sion of services by all elements of the health care system, particularly
in rural areas, provides for continued efforts in population education,
for expanded family planning services made available to the entire
population and research activities. The Mexican Government has in-
dicated its desire to carry out this national plan to the extent possible
with its own resources with a budget of $250 million over the next 5
years, a figure, by the way, which is very high for commitment of funds
to family planning programs amongst all the developing nations of the
External support is expected from the United Nations Fund for
Population Activities and from Sweden, together to amount to about
$10 million during this period, as well as some assistance from various
nongovernmental organizations in the population field. Private family
planning activities continued to receive some support from the Inter-
national Planned Parenthood Federation. The United States is a gen-
erous supporter of UNFPA, IPPF, and of various nongovernmental
organizations, including those with programs in Mexico.
The Dominican Republic's population of 5.1 million is currently
growing at an annual rate of 3.1 percent. In early 1967, the Govern-
ment of the Dominican Republic incorporated family planning serv-
ices into the maternal and infant care program of the Secretariat of
Public Health and Social Assistance. During the latter part of the
same year, the Government endorsed family planning as a basic human
right and with this commitment set the stage for the implementation
of the broad programs which were to follow. Since the inauguration
of the first Government clinic in 1969, the Dominican Republic has
witnessed a substantial increase in the availability of family planning
The Dominican Republic is currently receiving population program
assistance from the UNFPA, IPPF, and several nongovernmental or-
ganizations. As earlier stated, the United States provides funds for
USAID is not, at Dominican request, funding direct bilateral
family planning assistance to the Government. In October 1975, a $4.8
million maternal and infant care loan was signed with AID for the
construction and remodeling of medical facilities and the training of
personnel. Some 2,000 village health workers have been trained and
are now providing mothers and children with basic inoculations, treat-
ing simple illnesses, and dispensing family planning services.
Haiti is the only country in the Western Hemisphere on the U.N.'s
list of least developed countries. It is one of the poorest countries of the
world. Although its population of 5.2 million is growing at a rate of
2 percent lower than that for most developing countries, this is prin-
cipally due to high death rates. They run around 17 per thousand as
opposed to 7 per thousand in Mexico. Population has outstripped the
land's carrying capacity, and erosion is a serious problem all over
Haiti. In 1971, on assuming the Presidency, Jean-Claude Duvalier ex-
pressed concern over Haiti's population growth and was interested in
developing a strong maternal/child health family planning program.
The UNFPA, the major donor, has been extending assistance to the
Haitian FP/MCH program since May 1972. The objectives of the pro-
gram are to create an infrastructure within the Family Hygiene Di-
vision of the Ministry of Health and to expand MCH services both in
the rural and urban areas with the opening of new clinics, training of
staff, information and education, and population research. The long-
term objectives are to decrease maternal and child mortality and im-
prove family health and welfare.
It needs to be noted that, in the short run, a decrease in the rate of
infant mortality, currently a high 200 per 1,000 live births, will result
in an increase in Haiti's growth rate, but in the long run should prove
helpful in reducing fertility rates. The estimated total UNFPA con-
tribution is $5.million.
Between 1975 and 1978, AID provided in execess of $1 million in
family planning assistance to Haiti as part of a multidonor effort to
develop a nationwide health service to deliver maternal child health
services to a significant percentage, of the population. AID assistance
helped to strengthen: (1) the administrative capacity of the GOH in
delivering these services to facilitate the economic and social develop-
ment of Haiti; and (2) the expansion of supplies of contraceptives for
the family planning activities of the Division of Family Hygiene. In
fiscal year 1978, AID began a 4-year, $3.9 million project designed
to bring family planning services to 90 percent of Haiti's population.
Jamaica, with a population of over 2 million, is currently growing at
a rate of 1.42 percent. Were it not for heavy emigration, especially to
the United States, the growth rate would be 2.4 percent.
Jamaica's family planning efforts began in 1963 by officially encour-
aging the dissemination and information and methods for the spacing
and limitation of families. The present government's commitment to
family planning as one of Jamaica's highest priorities was given offi-
cial recognition by Parlament in April 1974. The Government's goal is
to lower the crude birth rate from 30 per 1,000 to 25 per 1,000 by 1980.
Outside support for Jamaica's program is received from the UN-
FPA, IPPF, and various nongovernmental organizations. The World
Bank has provided a $2 million loan to expand the Victoria Jubilee
AID has provided $4.7 million of family planning assistance to the
government through fiscal year 1977. AID supports the national fam-
ily planning program and the commercial distribution program by
providing funds for participant training, consultants, workshops, and
commodities, including contraceptives and medical equipment. Pri-
mary beneficiaries have been men and women in rural areas, and family
acceptors numbered 196,000 through fiscal year 1977.
Two major points should be stressed. First, access to knowledge and
means for deciding freely and responsibly the number and spacing
of children is among the most basic of human rights. At the same time,
population programs, to be successful, involve not just family plan-
ning programs, essential as they are, but programs to expand education
and literacy; to extend the rights of women and their involvement in
decisionmakmng; to expand health services, importantly including the
lowering of infant mortality rates; and programs for community de-
velopment and for insuring a more equitable distribution of income.
All these points were recognized in the World Population Plan of
Action, endorsed by the consensus of 136 nations at the Bucharest Con-
ference in 1974. The United States, along with other nations and in-
ternational organizations, is supporting programs in many of these
fields in the developing world. They are programs that have their own
intrinsic merit, but population stabilization also benefits from them.
Second and finally, despite the growing attention to population is-
sues all around the world, we must, nevertheless, bear in mind the fact
that even if countries pursue more effective measures to cope with this
difficult, complex problem, the world's population is bound to at least
double and that countries with high growth rates today may even
triple or quadruple in population.
It would be only correct to conclude from these basic demographic
facts that pressures for migration, especially to the United States, will
;grow and that we would be well advised to take adequate measures to
deal with this reality.
Mr. YATRON. Thank you very much, Ambassador Green, for an ex-
Ambassador Green, what is the relationship between internal migra-
tion and outmigration?
Mr. GREEN. Internal migration, of course, means from overcrowded
rural areas, where there are no jobs, to the cities. The cities now, as I
just described, are becoming more and more congested; jobs are not
available; social services are lacking; and this situation, in turn, tends
to make people migrate out of the country altogether.
Oftentimes, the first step is migration to the city, and the second step
is from the city to overseas or out of the country.
Mr. YATRON. Ms. Shelton, is it accurate to characterize the Depart-
ment's approach to the problem as coupling reductions in population
growth rates with the stimulation of economic growth ?
Ms. SHELTON. Yes, Mr. Chairman, that is an accurate description of
our goals. When the AID witness comes before your subcommittee, I
believe next week, he will give you a description of our AID policies
as they relate to economic development and will go into some detail
in addition to what Ambassador, Green has described for you in terms
of our support for population control programs.
Mr. YATRON. Would you tell the subcommittee how the State De-
partment deals with the problem of illegal immigration ?
Ms. SHELTON. We have, for some time, been concerned about the
presence of large numbers, somewhere probably between 5 million and
7 million illegal aliens in this country and indeed, the entire executive
branch has become increasingly concerned about the impact on our own
economy of the presence of so many aliens.
We have put the very highest priority within our policy toward
Mexico, as well as the Caribbean, on an effort to emphasize to the
-governments in question that we are not able to tolerate the continuing
presence of such large numbers of illegal migrants in this country and
that we are prepared to assist them to the extent of our capability to
expand their productive sector. We are prepared to assist them in their
family planning programs and in other areas of economic develop-
May I emphasize that this is one of the very highest priorities in our
policy toward the entirety of Latin America, but particularly toward
Mexico and the Caribbean.
Mr. YATRON. How does the Department's approach reflect recogni-
tion of the importance of source countries other than Mexico?
Ms. SHELTON. As you, Mr. Chairman, are very well aware, this ad-
ministration has placed a very high emphasis on the Caribbean. We
attempt to keep you and your staff informed of various initiatives that
we are taking in the Caribbean. We have been particularly concerned
about the deteriorating economic situation of the Caribbean which
clearly, as both Ambassador Green and I pointed out in our testimony,
is the root mcuse for illegal migration,
As a consequence, we have been able to increase our budgetary re-
quest for bilateral assistance to the Caribbean by some 33 percent over
this past year and, indeed, our bilateral assistance to the Carribean
accounts for one-third of our overall assistance programs in this
In addition, we have urged the World Bank, the Inter-American
Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank and the Inter-
national Monetary fund to set up a Caribbean Group for Cooperation
in Economic Development. The Group was set up last December. It
will have its first full meeting beginning on June 19.
The Group is, in brief, a major effort to increase aid flows from the
United States as well as other donor nations into the Caribbean and
with the major thrust of the aid going into the productive sector. In
other words, we are trying to increase aid in order to increase jobs,
in order to stem the flow of illegal migration.
Mr. YATRON. Ms. Shelton, both you and Deputy Secretary Warren
M. Christopher have said, we must be 'aware of the interests of other
nations and insure that immigration decisions are taken into context
of our overall foreign policy goals.
That is a little vague. Would you clarify that statement for the
Ms. SmLroN. Yes; I will try to.
The countries of the Caribbean and Mexico, within the hemisphere,
are the major source of illegal migration; are very well aware that
we, as a sovereign power, have the right to shape our immigration
policy, and they accept that. However, they point out to us that illegal
migration is an international problem.
In an effort to be responsive to the concerns of our neighbors in
the hemisphere, we have, on a number of occasions over the course of
the last 10 months, had a series of very high level consultations with
the countries of the Caribbean as well as with Mexico in order to out-
line for them, both prior to the 'announcement of the President's
proposal as well as since, how the phenomenon of illegal migration
affects our own economy and our society and to outline for them what
your thinking was and how we intend to implement the President's
program. assuming that it was passed by the Congress.
In addition, we have had a constant series of consultations with
both the Caribbean nations as well as with Mexico to discuss ways in
which we might be able to be helpful.
The Caribbean countries have, in general, been supportive of the
World Bank initiative, which I just very briefly outlined for you,
which they also view as an important way of getting at the root prob-
lem in the Caribbean. We have ongoing consultations with the Mexi-
can Government to discuss ways in which we might be able to be of
some assistance in their own impressive efforts to increase employment
opportunities at home.
Mr. YATRON. Thank you.
Mr. IRELAND. Thank vou, Mr. ChlRirman,
Secretary Shelton, if I may address a question to you. The con-
siderable farmers, vegetable farmers in the United States are very
disturbed about the Mexican dumping of, for instance, tomatoes.
They are concerned about a number of things. First of all, it seems,
to them, the State Department and other agencies of our Govern-
ment for the interest of policy, it is stated, turn their backs on such
things as packaging, fair competition, use of insecticides and such,
and the standards that the American farmer has got to maintain are
ignored by various Government agencies as these products are im-
ported into the United States, the very low wage rates in Mexico
could lead to this dumping, and we are very clearly putting American
farmers out of business, regardless.
What we are told here is that just as you have answered the chair-
man's question and also as you refer to the President of Mexico
saying we want to export products, not people, this is all well and
good. But we are creating an additional problem, obviously, in the
United States while we are, in our naive way, trying to solve it in
somebody else's country.
What really concerns me is that any analysis-I am sure you are
aware, and the people in Florida in particular are aware, how tomato
farming, as an example, takes place in Mexico. No one in our depart-
ments of Government doesn't realize that the profits of this operation
go to, at the most, 23 operators or families; they don't go to the very
people that you are trying to lift up. So they do not migrate. As
Mr. Green said, nodding his head, the system is just not working
along that line.
What really concerns me and what I would like you to address,
if you would, it would seem that one of the definite cures to this is
a structural change in the country, so that instead of these workers
working at almost nothing and the profits, substantial profits, as they
have saturated American markets going to, say, 20 people at the
most, that some -of this economic benefit be shared by the people;
hence the jobs, hence the economic development that would want to
make them stay in Mexico.
At each step of the way, as I inquired of our administration, there
is, No. 1, nothing going on along this line. The usual, answer is that
we can't tell the Mexicans what to do. But why can't we take a
position, saying All right, nothing is coming into these United States
until you solve that problem down there instead of putting our Amer-
ican farmers out of business.
Ms. SHELTON. Mr. Ireland, I can make several comments which I
hope will be responsive to your statement and to your question.
We had a constant series of consultations with the Mexicans:,about
this very problem of fruits and vegetables.-We established a United
States-Mexico consultative mechanism a-year ago. The United States-
Mexico consultative mechanism- is the framework within which we
deal with the Mexicans. It is broken down into three groups, one of
which is an economic group which is further broken down into sub-
groups. We have a subgroup on trade, which has been in constant
consultation with the Government of Mexico and indeed was in
Mexico City last week to have a further round of discussions oni the
very issues that you have raised, among others.
You are quite correct when you point out that the executive
branch-I should perhaps limit my remarks to this particular ad-
ministration; the administration of President Carter-is very sup-
portive. It is a free trade administration and is opposed to efforts
to restrict free trade, which we believe is the best way to benefit both,
ourselves through increased growth as well as other countries.
Yes; we do believe, the State Department believes, that Mexico's
development strategy must be decided upon and shaped by the Gov-
ernment of Mexico and the people of Mexico itself.
We have had and will continue to have discussions with the Mexi-
cans, as I indicated, about how we can be of some assistance. We have
been briefed by them on their development strategy and, as I sug-
gested in my remarks-I am not sure you had come in at that point-
I am impressed by the steps that the Mexican Government is begin-
ning to take to expand industrialization of the countryside, particu-
larly in the agro industry effort.
There are some serious efforts underway to put to effective use the
income from Mexico's oil and gas revenues, to which I also referred.
You emphasized your concern about wage rates in Mexico. That, I
simply cannot comment on since that is an internal matter of the Gov-
ernment of Mexico. However, we are very sensitive to the concerns of
the Florida and the Texas fruit and vegetable producers.
We have had a number of consultations with the members of Con-
gress from these two States, and if I may just, to sum up, indicate that
we are engaged in discussions with the Mexicans on tomatoes as well
as other areas.
Mr. IRELAND. I am aware of that. My real concern in the laundry list
of conferences is that in my considered view and I think of many
Americans, we are so busy conferring and getting up little conferences
that we are not getting anything done. We are planning the worth to
the nth degree. i wish you would elaborate a little further.
I, too, agree with the free trade operation and that goal. At the same
time, you have also articulated a goal that the way to help these people
is-and again addressing free trade vis-a-vis tomatoes and economic
helping agriculture, you switched into industrialization; but forget in-
dustrialization-is to bring vast numbers of these people up in eco-
nomic stature through the free trade so they are able to sell the toma-
toes, in this case, all the way along the line.
However, you-have a twin goal then to do that. But while you are
saying free trade is your goal you are also saying, well, we are not
going to do anything to implement and see that it is implemented; our
economic goal and that is, as Mr. Green has so ably said, if those people
do not participate-in the results of the free trade, you are just back in
the suit that you were in to start with.
Why are you not doing something? Why are you not putting pres-
sure oh the Mexicans to say, Now, look, we know very well that the
economic fruits of this free trade activity are going to a very, very few
people. All that comes back-I know what is coming back: Well, that is
an internal thing. We have an internal thing, too. To use our market-
place and perhaps a restriction to our marketplace to bring about an-
other goal is not necessarily a defeat for free trade. We have twin prob-
lems, and you are solving neither.
Ms. SHEITON. Let me say, Mr. Ireland, that I am quite optimistic
about the future of the Mexican economy. During the 1960's, the econ-
omy of Mexico was growing at one of the fastest rates of growth in the
hemisphere; at times even higher than our own. Then Mexico went
through a very difficult period in the early seventies. They do have a
stabilization plan underway. It is working; the Mexican Government
is adhering to the stabilization plan.
As a part of that stabilization plan there has been restraint on wage
increases. We believe that the stabilization plan is working so well and,
in addition, there have been some important discoveries of oil and nat-
ural gas, which I alluded to, that within a couple of years we believe
the Mexican economy is going to start taking off again.
Assuming this happens-and I am confident that it will-the living
standards in Mexico should increase
Mr. IRELAND. If I may interrupt-
Ms. SiELToN. And the wage levels may increase, also.
Mr. IRELAND. What has happened here, we have demonstrated over
a period of the last 10 years that that does not happen; the living stand-
ard does not increase for those who are involved in the tomato indus-
try. It goes to a very few individuals; the economic rewards of that.
If, perchance, that same thing is going to happen in the gas and
oil industry, you still haven't brought up the standard of living and
the jobs available to those that are the very problem of why we are here
today, and you have not yet touched on that part of my question. How
do you address--or perhaps you do not agree that the economic results
of this are going to a very few.
Ms. SHELTON. I must say I very much agree with you, in general
terms. I share your concern over the maldistribution of income in a
number of countries in the hemisphere.
In our discussions with all governments in developing countries
which suffer from maldistribution of income, we have made it very
clear--and Mexico and the Caribbean are no exception-that a part of,
indeed, our human rights policy is not just protection of the integrity
of the person, but also economic rights.
Mr. IRELAND. Using the end of our tools of the trade to bringing
about the changes, or are we just having another conference with
Ms. SHELTON. I don't want to underestimate the importance of con-
sultations, because that is the way of getting our views across; that is
the way of emphasizing our support for measures to improve the stand-
ard of living of the people and to insure the basic economic human
Mr. IRELAND. You wouldn't consider an American policy of with-
holding some goody on this side until they did something; you
wouldn't consider that?
Ms. SHELTON. I think we can go much further. We can go much fur-
ther in dealing with other governments through working together on
a cooperative basis to work out our common problems than by with-
Mr. IRELND. You can see my point. Too often it appears to the
American people it is a one-way street going the otherway.
Ms. SHELTON. I can see your point very well. May I just reemphasize
a point I made in my testimony.
We have told the Mexican Government-Vice President Mondale,
when he was in Mexico in January, told the Mexican Government that
we would be prepared to support increased lending for industrializa-
tion efforts in the countryside, increased lending by the World Bank
and Inter-American Development Bank, if the Mexican Government
itself gave due priority to improving the employment conditions and
the standard of living in the countryside.
Mr. IRELAND.. Mr. Chairman, I know I have gone over my time.
Mr. YATRON. Without objection.
Mr. IRELAND. I have another comment.
One of the important things involved in the tomato problem is the
almost lack of inspection as these tomato trucks come into the United
States from Mexico. Sometimes not even the back of the truck is
opened. In a number of hearings and gatherings, various parts of the
Government acknowledge it. It is widely believed this is one of the
greatest sources of the drug traffic coming into the United States; these
vegetable trucks are just not inspected. There obviously are not very
many people down there to inspect them. We are all aware of that.
What is the State Department's role in this, or do you see a role,
in discussions with Mexico or in our own Government? Just generally
speaking, are you even concerned about that ?
Ms. SHELTON. Let me answer that-in two ways, Mr. Ireland: The
State Department technically does not have a role in monitoring our
borders. Of course, that is up to Immigration, Customs and other
agencies of the Government.
The State Department has, for some years now, placed the very high-
est priority on urging the Mexican Government to develop and to
cooperate with us in efforts to control the illegal drug problem. That is
very broadly known. And I must say we are very gratified with the
Mexican Government's cooperation with us in eradication and inter-
On the particular issue that you raise of drugs possibly coming in
in trucks carrying tomatoes, I cannot address myself to that because I
do not have the information. I have heard rumors that it is a problem,
but I do not know to what extent.
If you would like, I will be happy to look into it and provide the
information to you.
But on the broader question may I just say, to reiterate, we are very
pleased with the Mexican Government's cooperation with us in this
area and we have been assured that they, themselves, are totally com-
mitted to continuing efforts at eradication and interdiction. It is becom-
ing something of a problem in Mexico as well as in the United States.
Mr. IRELAND. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. YATRON. Ambassador Green, you note the impact of high popu-
lation growth rates on economic and social development. Let me turn
that around for a minute.
Does the present state of economic and social development in the
source countries contribute to the high population growth
Mr. GREEN. Yes; they interact. It goes around in a circle, because
the higher the population growth, the less social and economic develop-
ment, the greater the poverty, the lower the literacy rates, the lower
the status of the individual, particularly women. This, in turn, all
tends to create pressures for high population growth because people
want to have a number of children much more than we do, say, in the
developed countries of the world. They want to have children to gather
fuel, firewood; to haul water from wells, to take care of the farms, to
do all the household drudgery, that type of thing. Oftentimes the girls
are forced out of school at an early age-they don't even go through
the first and second grade-so they can take care of their younger
brothers and sisters. This contributes to their illiteracy; it lowers their
All of these things seem to produce higher population, and it goes
right around in a vicious circle.
Mr. YAThON. What impact would rural development in source
countries have on human fertility in these areas?
Mr. GpmN. Rural development, in general, is part of the type of
development that I think Mr. Ireland was referring to. I assume he
was. That tends to benefit the masses of people. The old idea that the
benefits of industrialization would trickle down to the masses has been
We have now come to a recognition that our aid program should
be directed toward meeting human needs; getting to the people through
rural development programs because basically, any development has
to be based on agricultural development, as well as on education,
health, family planning, the status of women, and that type of thing.
Mr. YATRON. Ambassador Green, can you tell us how much U.S.
assistance goes to population planning in Mexico through multilateral
Mr. GREN. I would have to guess around maybe $5 million to
$10 million. That may be a:high figure. That is just a guess.
Mr. YATRON. Can you give the committee a similar figure for the
Dominican Republic and also Ecuador or Colombia ?
Mr. GREEN. $2 million for the Dominican Republic and Colombia
is $5 million.
Mr. YATRON. Thank you.
Secretary Shelton, do other countries in this hemisphere restrict
immigration in a way which forces these people to come to the United
Ms. SHELTON. No, Mr. Chairman, I am not aware of 'any Govern-
ment-supported efforts to restrict emigration which forces them to
come, here illegally. On occasion a government, for balance-of-pay-
ments purposes, will restrict the amount of money that a citizen of
a country may spend. abroad., For example, the Government of
Guyana, which is experiencing at the present time some rather severe
balance-of-payments problems, is looking for ways to restrict the
amount of money an individual can spend abroad.
The impact of that is if the individual, is allowed only $100 to
spend abroad, the person obviously has to stay at home. So that does
happen from time to time. It is the rare exception.
It is really when countries experience a balance-of-payments prob-
lem when that happens.
Mr. YATRON. I was referring to immigration.
Ms. SHELTON. Immigration into those countries?
Mr. YATRON. Yes.
Ms. SHELTON. Most countries have immigration policies which
restrict immigration. The quotas, I understand, are so large that the
net effect is virtually not to restrict it. But there are legal quotas set
up in many countries, yes.
Mr. YATRON. The impact of economic problems on immigration is
important, but what impact does immigration have on development,
particularly, in the Caribbean?
Ms. SHELTON. The impact of migration on development is one that
has not been thoroughly studied. As I suggested in my remarks, from
the Caribbean migration tends to be from the more highly skilled
economic sectors, and this results in a kind of a brain drain of those
skills which are precisely most needed at home to assist in the develop-
Mr. YATRON. Is there any way of estimating the source country
investments in human capital which are lost when the undocumented
workers come to the United States?
Ms. SHELTON. That, I think, would be a very difficult thing to try
to quantify. As I indicated, there has been relatively little work done
by either scholarly institutions or the government in terms of the
problem of a brain drain. I just cannot answer that any more specifi-
cally, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. YATRON. Do those in whom the source country invests the most
usually come to the United States through legal immigration
Ms. SHELTON. It happens both ways. They come through the legal
immigration process as well as through the illegal immigration proc-
ess. I cannot tell you which handles more skilled labor, because of our
inability to come up with concrete numbers on illegal migration. But
it is definitely happening through both channels. .
Mr. YATRON. Is there a relationship in the Caribbean between the
tourist rate and illegal immigration to the United States? For ex-
ample, when a country tourism stagnates, do more people, usually
involved in the industry, illegally immigrate into the United States
in search of work?
Ms. SHELTON. Yes, sir, there is a correlation. The tourism industry
isn't particularly a labor-intensive industry, but it does provide im-
portant sources of employment. In addition, a number of the Carib-
bean countries, if not most, are resource poor, and far and away, their
major source of foreign exchange comes from two areas: sugar
exports and tourism.
So tourism is one of the few areas where jobs are readily available.
The importance of the tourism industry in terms of job creation is
not the tourism industry, per se, so much as it is the related industries
that grow up to support the tourist industry.
We have seen a correlation, for example, when tourism fell off
within the last year or two in Jamaica, there was in increase in illegal
immigration from Jamaica. Yes, sir.
Mr. YATRON. Mr. Ireland.
Mr. IRELAND. Nothing further, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Yatron. We have a few more questions. We will continue.
Is the Department exploring trade reciprocity agreements with
other source countries similar to the Tropical Products Agreement
Mexico signed last year?
Ms. SHELTON. NO, sir, we are not. This was a unique agreement we
reached with Mexico. We are continuing, of course, the multilateral
trade negotiations in Geneva, and we have been encouraging the
countries of the area to table their proposals as quickly as possible
so we can move ahead expeditiously. We are pleased with the way those
negotiations are going.
Mr. YATRON. What are some of those products that were signed in
Mexico? Can you name some of the products, please?
Ms. SHLTON. A whole range of tropical fruits and vegetables, such
as mango, papaya; mamai was another one, which is virtually un-
known in this country, and some vegetables. On our side, it was
primarily light industrial items.
Mr. YATRON. Would you explain what you mean by the social and
political needs served by the present pattern of migration from the
Ms. SHELTON. Yes, sir. The major source countries, because of, in
many cases, deteriorating or poor economic circumstances, are suf-
fering very serious rates of unemployment and underemployment.
As I suggested, in Mexico, the two together come pretty close to 50
percent, and this pattern is repeated throughout the Caribbean in the
major source countries and in South America.
The concern of these countries is that if this, what is popularly
called an escape valve is closed to them and the migrants are forced
to stay at home, that this will create some pressures through a lack
of sufficient jobs, which will then in turn have an impact on the
political system through possibly the rise of extremist political move-
ments, who will take advantage of the social unrest.
Mr. YATRON. To what extent are these needs met by illegal as op-
posed to legal immigration ?
Ms. SHELTON. Legal migration also is an important kind of escape
valve. The importance of that should not be underestimated.
Mr. YATRON. Getting back to Mexico, last year there were discus-
sions on plans for development in northern Mexico. What happened to
those plans ?
Ms. SHELTON. The Government of Mexico is in the process of plan-
ning an impressive rural development, not just for northern Mexico,
I must say, but for other areas of Mexico, although their focus is in the
northern States, which are the prime sources of illegal migration and
where unemployment rates are fairly high.
Plans are underway and are being developed on a kind of inter-
agency basis within the Government of Mexico. We are not fully privy
to those plans, but to the extent we have been informed of them by the
Government of Mexico, as I say, we are pleased and impressed with
Mr. YATRON. On page 13 of your statement you indicate that the
SInited States is discussing with Mexico ways in which we can be help-
ful. Would you please expand on that ?
Mr. SHELTON. Yes, sir.
We do not have a bilateral econorpic assistance program for Mexico
and we have not had one for many, many years. We have, however,
supported World Bank and Inter-American Bank lending for Mexico
and, as I suggested, when the Vice President was in Mexico in Janu-
ary, he told President Lopez Portillo that we would be prepared to
support increased international bank lending for development of
Mexico's rural areas if Mexico itself would give priority to those areas.
In addition, we have discussed other ways of being of assistance to
Mexico, such as various ways of supporting increased investment, both
private investment as well as U.S. investment in Mexico.
Mr. YATRON. Will freer hemispheric trade itself create more jobs in
the source countries or will employment increase indirectly with rein-
vestment of export earnings?
Ms. SELTON. I think both. I think it is fair to say both. I am con-
vinced free trade will rebound to the benefit of all countries by expand-
ing investment opportunities and employment opportunities.
At the same time, I believe that there has to be a certain amount of
reinvestment of earnings from exports to be reinvested, and this has
been a problem in some countries in the hemisphere where there has
been a drying up of domestic investment.
Mr. YATRnO. You cite the implications of the flight of human re-
sources for future economic development. Isn't this more important in
the Caribbean than in Mexico?
Ms. SHELTON. Yes, sir, generally it is. The immigration from Mexico
does differ from the illegal immigration from the Caribbean. The im-
migration from Mexico tends to be from the rural areas and to involve
somewhat less skilled labor than immigration from the Caribbean,
which primarily comes from the urban areas and generally tends to be
Mr. YATRON. How does South America fit into the picture ?
Ms. SHELTON. A combination of both. The characteristics of the il-
legal migration from South America probably adhere more closely to
the Mexican characteristics than to the Caribbean. It is largely a com-
bination of both.
Mr. YATRON. Thank you, Ms. Shelton.
Mr. LAGOMARSINO. I am sorry I was not here to hear your testimony.
I have one question I would like to ask. I would like to have your com-
n-ents on it.
The Bracero program under which farm labor primarily was
brought into this country under contract from Mexico terminated in
1964. Could you comment on the effectiveness of that program; why
:it was terminated and the current stance of our Government and the
Mexican Government either toward that program or some variation
-of it at the present time ?
Ms. SHELTON. Yes, sir. That was somewhat before my time, but the
-program came into existence because of a need by U.S. ranchers and
agricultural producers for rural labor. It was in very, very scarce
supply at the time. The program was terminated because of a percep-
tion that rural labor, in the early to midsixties, was no longer in short
supply and that sufficient domestic labor was available.
This administration is opposed to a renewal of the Bracero pro-
gram, and President Carter himself has stated his opposition to any
renewal of the program.
We do have what is called an H-2 program, which is a program by
which workers are brought in on a temporary and a seasonal basis.
It is roughly in the range of about 17,000 a year, if I am not mistaken.
It primarily is to assist in picking crops in the southwestern part of
the United States, although we have even had them up as a close as
Virginia, picking apples.
Mr.: LAGOMARSINO. What is the difference between that and the
Ms. SHELTON. The Bracero program was of a much broader scale.
The workers stayed for a longer period of time than in the H-2 pro-
gram, which is smaller in nature, much more limited in numbers of
workers, who come for much shorter periods of time.
Mr. LAGOMARSINO. I would dispute the part about domestic labor
being available, unless you include illegal aliens or undocumented
workers. I do understand the political realities of it.
I have no further questions.
Mr. YATRON. You mentioned the 13 States and cities that have their
own rules and regulations or laws dealing with the immigration prob-
lem. Can you tell us how do uncoordinated State and local efforts that
deal with the illegal immigration problem affect our foreign relations?
Ms. SHELTON. The State and local efforts to piecemeal impose their
own restrictions complicate our ability to deal with this problem. We
would very much prefer to have one clearcut national position rather
than a series of different and differently structured piecemeal positions.
Mr. YATnoN. I have one final question. I believe we have a vote, so
we will try to conclude the hearing, unless one of the other members
have other questions.
Could you cite some examples, aside from Mexico, where allegations
of mistreatment of undocumented aliens is an irritant between the
United States and source countries ?
Ms. SHELTON. Mr. Chairman, I am not aware of there having been
allegations of mistreatment of any other citizens. For example, from
the Caribbean, the allegations might have been made, but they have
not been made in recent memory. I am aware only of the allegations
being made in relation to Mexican workers. That is not to say there
might not be problems with other countries.
Mr. YATRON. Thank you very much, Secretary Shelton, and Ambas-
sador Green, for giving us the benefit of your views and appearing
here this morning.
The subcommittee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 11:40 a.m., the subcommittee adjourned, to recon-
vene subject to call of the Chair.]
UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS: IMPLICATIONS FOR
U.S. POLICY IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
TUESDAY, MAY 23, 1978
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
CoMMIrEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTER-AMERICAN AFFAIRS,
The subcommittee met at 3:13 p.m. in room 220, Rayburn House
Office Building, Hon. Gus Yatron (chairman of the subcommittee),
Mr. YATRON. The subcommittee will come to order. Today the House
Subcommittee on Inter-American Affairs continues its series of hear-
ings on undocumented workers, and the implications for U.S. policy
in the Western Hemisphere.
We are considering the foreign policy dimension of illegal immigra-
tion, and taking into consideration that legal immigration plays an
I would like to welcome at this time our distinguished witnesses,
Dr. Terry L. McCoy, associate director for the Center for Latin
American Studies, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.; Dr. Roy S.
Bryce-Laporte, Research Institute on Immigration and Ethnic Studies,
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Ms. Virginia R. Domin-
guez, junior fellow, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.; and Dr.
P. Michel Fontaine, associate professor, Department of Political Sci-
ence, University of California at Los Angeles.
Dr. McCoy, would you like to begin with your presentation?
STATEMENT OF TERRY L. McCOY, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, CENTER
FOR LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA,
Mr. McCoY. Thank you, Congressman. I would like to begin by
thanking the subcommittee for this opportunity to testify and to
commend it for examining the implications of illegal immigration
from the Caribbean for our relations with nations in that part of
Up to now, concern over illegal aliens has focused overwhelmingly,
both inside and outside of Government, on their domestic consequences,
but by its very nature, the movement of people across international
borders and proposals to alter this movement constitute a foreign
While it will surely not be possible to satisfy all of the domestic and
foreign interests involved in the illegal alien issue, it is important
that we consider all aspects of the problem before revising our policy
In my testimony, I hope to point out some of the foreign policy
implications of illegal immigration from the Caribbean basin. Before
turning to these, however, I would like to raise several relevant points
concerning the domestic consequences of illegal aliens, especially those
from the Caribbean.
As has been pointed out, the debate on illegal aliens has thus far
been framed in terms of their impact on the United States. In evaluat-
ing the arguments regarding the threat posed by such migrants to our
society, it is pertinent to keep in mind several facts.
First, because the migrants are illegal, no one knows for certain the
magnitude of the problem. Estimates on the number of illegals in the
United States vary from 2 to 12 million. Second, aside from the ques-
tion of numbers, the experts are not even certain that illegal aliens
constitute a problem. Certain assumptions advanced about their nega-
tive effects on the job market, public welfare services, and even crime
remain to be proven. In fact, the evidence seems to indicate that illegal
aliens from the Caribbean take jobs that American workers do not
want, avoid welfare, and are carefully law abiding.
To do otherwise would contradict the purpose of their migration
and risk detection and deportation. Third, the fact that illegal aliens
so readily find employment suggests that there are a number of domes-
tic U.S. economic interests which are well served by their continued
Fourth, the recent concern with controlling illegal migration would
hardly seem to result from a massive public outcry against the alien.
To the contrary, most of the public seems, or at least until recently
seemed, unaware of the phenomenon while the major source of concern
has come from within the Federal Government itself.
Under a former Commissioner, Leonard Chapman, the Immigra-
tion and Naturalization Service of the Department of Justice mounted
a systematic campaign to educate Congress and the public on the di-
mensions and implications of the illegal alien problem.
Even recognizing the legitimacy of Federal agencies engaging in
such tactics, it behooves Congress to carefully examine the case for
revising immigration policy.
Fifth and last, the problem has been defined almost entirely in terms
of illegal Mexican migration. Whereas Mexicans do dominate numeri-
cally, the Caribbean is the second most important source of illegal
aliens, and there are a number of important differences between the
two groups which are frequently ignored.
Because he or she cannot simply slip across an extensive land
frontier, the Caribbean migrant almost always enters the United States
with a valid nonimmigrant visa. Such migrants become illegal when
they abuse their visas by overstaying and working.
The point to be emphasized here is that, because he or she must
obtain a visa and buy a ticket to the United States, the Caribbean
illegal alien tends to be better educated, of greater economic means,
and of higher socioeconomic status than his or her Mexican counter-
To such people, the United States offers the promise of economic
security, social mobility, and often, freedom from political oppression.
Clearly, the difference between Caribbean and Mexican migrants has
implications for their impact on the United States.
The purpose of the foregoing remarks is to emphasize that the
domestic case for restricting Caribbean immigration into the United
States is hardly airtight, especially when the characteristics of Carib-
bean migrants are given their due weight. Now let me briefly examine
some of the explicit foreign policy implications of Caribbean migration.
My remarks are based on the assumption that the United States
has a legitimate foreign policy interest in fostering socioeconomic
prosperity and political stability in the Caribbean.
A preoccupation with the stability of the Caribbean was tradi-
tionally a hallmark of U.S. foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere.
And now, after several years of neglect, both the President and Con-
gress seem to be redirecting official attention toward this region.
Well, they should, since, as a whole, the Caribbean is both the most
explosive area and the most dependent on the United States in the en-
tire Western Hemisphere. To the extent that emigration to the United
States is an integral component of contemporary reality in the Carib-
bean, it must be considered in any revision of our immigration law.
External migration is part of history and life in the Caribbean.
There is virtually an indigenous population. The region was populated
by successive waves of Europeans, Africans, East Indians, and other
Subsequently, return migration to Europe provided its residents
with education, employment, and, at times, political exile. Until 1965,
the United States placed no quantitative restrictions on Caribbean
immigration, and as Europe closed the doors to migrants, the United
States assumed greater importance. Today, emigration to the United
States is even more important to several Caribbean nations than to
For instance, it is estimated that the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and
Jamaica, with small but rapidly growing populations of 4.8, 4.6, and
2.1 million respectively, each have several hundred thousand illegal
residents in the United States.
While we can debate the feasibility of this migration as a long-term
solution to the problems of these societies, there is little doubt that
to shut off this demographic escape valve precipitously would provoke
hostility toward the United States and, possibly, serious internal
difficulties in the Caribbean.
In addition to helping to alleviate chronic unemployment, migrants
employed in the United States remit enough of their earnings to help
offset large balance-of-payments deficits.
Beyond the larger socioeconomic and political consequences of ef-
fectively closing off emigration to the United States, such action would
also cause serious deprivation for hundreds of thousands of Caribbean
families who are part of a well-established migration stream.
Since our immigration policy has always valued humanitarian con-
siderations, we also cannot overlook the fact that a significant number
of Caribbean migrants come to the United States for political reasons.
For the United States, which has welcomed several hundred thou-
sand Cuban political refugees and which is currently engaged in a
laudable defense of human rights throughout the world, to appear to
refuse entry to people who are fleeing political repression would seri-
ously tarnish our image.
If, as I have indicated, migration to the United States is important
to the stability and well-being of the Caribbean, then proposals to re-
vise the immigration policy should be carried out in light of these
facts, and in consultation with the governments in the region.
The latter suggestion, however, will not be particularly easy to im-
plement. Caribbean officials prefer to define illegal migration as a
U.S. problem. To do otherwise would be to admit that their govern-
ments have been ineffective in providing the education, employment,
and social services necessary to hold potential migrants at home.
Furthermore, they are quick to point out, when pushed on the
immigration question, what they perceive to be the duplicity in the
U.S. immigration policy.
On the one hand, we urge local governments to help stem the illegal
immigration of relatively unskilled workers while, on the other hand,
our policy encourages the highly skilled and educated to migrate to the
United States. This suggests that there might be more sympathy for
our illegal alien problem if we also look with favor on changes in our
laws which might discourage a continued "brain drain" from the
Now I would like to make a few remarks about the administration of
U.S. immigration policy. Proposals to tighten up policy cannot ignore
recent changes in the implementation of existing legislation.
From a brief study which I made of four consular posts in the
'Caribbean, there is no question that the screening process for non-
immigrant visas, the first step in entering the United States, is con-
siderably more rigorous than it was several years ago. This means that
fewer visa abusers, or potential abusers, are getting into the country.
Furthermore, consular officers are confident that, given the resources
and, more importantly, a clear mandate, they could tighten up the visa
issuing process even more.
Among the resource constraints facing the consular service are not
enough issuing officers and insufficient investigative capabilities. Then
there is the confusion caused by the multiplicity of Government
agencies with overlapping jurisdiction in controlling the entry of
people and goods into the United States.
Finally, the consular corps continues to suffer from an inferiority
complex vis-a-vis the rest of the Foreign Service.
Although it is attracting bright young officers now largely due to
the fact that there is a lack of openings elsewhere in the Foreign Serv-
ice, they rather quickly become bored with their work, and discouraged
at the lack of mobility into other positions.
But the most important constraint operating within the visa issuing
process is political. Visa officers are under constant pressure from their
colleagues in the Embassy, local officials, and from friends and Mem-
bers of Congress to make exceptions, to reverse decision to refuse visas,
or to show favoritsm.
Consular officials recognize the validity of many of these requests
in the larger context of U.S. relations in the Caribbean, and they are
the first to admit that turning down visa requests does not win friends
for the United States. As a result, even those charged with protecting
the United States from illegal entry are sensitive to the foreign policy
implications of their work.
Any country has the right and responsibility to control access across
its borders. It would appear likely that some actions will be taken to
reduce the presence of illegal aliens in the United States.
How this is done, and what actions accompany it are not unimpor-
tant for the Caribbean or our foreign relations with the countries of
this region. At the very least we should not act without consulting the
governments of the Caribbean. U.S. financial and technical assistance,
which is increasing, might also help offset the reduction of migration.
Even more important, in my opinion, would be a U.S. immigration
policy that legalized some of the illegal migration which is mutually
.beneficial, preferential trade legislation to encourage the development
of manufacturing industries which could export to the United States,
and strong U.S. support for internal socioeconomic reform and more
-open political processes.
Mr. YATRON. Thank you, Dr. McCoy, for your excellent statement.
I would like to suggest at this time that we take a 10- or 15-minute
recess so that I can go answer the rollcall. I will be back. I am sorry
that we have to work under these conditions.
[A brief recess was taken.]
Mr. YATRON. The subcommittee will reconvene now. Ms. Dominguez,
will you give us your presentation at this time.
STATEMENT OF VIRGINIA R. DOMINGUEZ, HARVARD UNIVERSITY
SOCIETY OF FELLOWS
Ms. DoMINGUEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The statement that I
prepared would take too long to read. I would like instead to outline
the main points.
Mr. YATRON. Without objection.1
Ms. DOMINGUEZ. First of all, I would like to thank you for inviting
me to share with you some of my ideas on this important problem.
I feel that an undue emphasis is often given today to the problem of
illegal aliens as opposed to the general phenomenon which I think is
more important-the fact that there are thousands and thousands of
Caribbeans coming to the United States today both legally and
I would like to focus on the whole phenomenon, to try to give you
a more complete picture of the phenomenon of Caribbean migration.
My main point is that the Caribbean has almost always been a migra-
tion-oriented region. It is important to keep this in mind since I do not
think that this pattern will change.
There is what I call an endemic historical pattern within the region.
If the Caribbean people cannot come to the United States, then they
will have to find another outlet, and there will be detrimental con-
sequences in the region itself.
Let me give you some of the historical background. We know that
the British West Indians were instrumental in building the Panama
Canal, laying miles of railroad tracks through Central America, and
building with their own labor an economic empire in Central America
for the United Fruit Co.
Between the early years of the 1900's and the Depression, an esti-
mated 100,000 Jamaicans alone migrated to Cuba, Panama, and Central
America, and some 46,000 came to the United States.
1 See appendix 1, p. 215.
Though the Depression temporarily reversed the tide with more
Jamaicans returning to the island from abroad than those emigrating,.
the age-old pattern surfaced again during the war years.
Between 1952 and 1964, some 300,000 British West Indians emigrated
to Great Britain where there was high demand for labor in the postwar
While the United States has also always attracted Caribbean
migrants in great numbers, most of these migrants have, of course,
come in the last 15 or 20 years. Nearly half a million Caribbean people
entered this country legally between 1900 and 1960.
This does not include the Puerto Ricans who migrate to the main-
land, because I am not including here the people who are citizens, and:
Puerto Ricans have been American citizens since 1917.
We are talking about half a million Caribbean nationals entering this
country during this period-amounting to just under 2 percent of the
total number of immigrants accepted by the United States at this time.
By comparison, some 900,000 people from the Caribbean have come
to the United States as legal immigrants in the last 17 years alone.
This figure of 900,000 amounts to 15 to 20 percent of the total volume-
of immigration into the United States from around the world.
I want to stress here the obvious conclusion that an enormous propor-
tion of all Caribbean peoples in the world lives in the United States,
In fact, by my estimates, roughly 10 percent of all the people who
would be considered to be either Caribbean born, or children of Carib-
bean people, today live on the U.S. mainland.
In the statement I show some of the figures. Some of these, of course,.
are just estimates-from the Inter-American Development Bank and:
from my own research.
Briefly, there are 45,000 people from Barbados in this country today
as opposed to 250,000 living on the island of Barbados.
We have between 400,000 and 425,000 Dominicans in the United
States, and slightly over 5 million in the Dominican Republic.
There are 300,000 to 325,000 Haitians in the United States compared
to 4,700,000 in Haiti today.
Again, in my estimate, 450,000 Jamaicans live in the United States:
compared to slightly over 2 million Jamaicans on the island.
The Cubans I included here even though, because of their official
refugee status, they should not even really be included. There are prac-
tically no illegal Cubans in the United States today, but still, to give
the general picture of the situation, let me note that there are 700,000
Cubans in the country, and 10 million in Cuba.
And finally, Trinidad and Tobago: I estimate about 130,000 of whom
70,000 have entered as legal immigrants compared to slightly over
1,100,000 in Trinidad and Tobago.
I also included in my statement my estimates of the numbers of
Caribbean people who live in the United States illegally. Since it would
be very difficult to discuss the numbers question right here, let me sim-
ply refer you to the estimates I included in the statement.
My point, basically, is that the social field of Caribbean peoples very
much includes the U.S. mainland, and that of the United States neces-
sarily also includes the Caribbean. Therefore, I think it is less than
useful to focus simply on the illegal alien phenomenon. The phenom-
enon to note is the total penetration of the United States by Caribbean
people-by the people who live here the people who migrate back and
Some interesting figures might give you an idea of how important
this is for the Caribbean itself. In a recent study of a Jamaican village
by Glen Hendricks, he found that only 10 percent of the households in
the village did not have close relatives in the United States.
Moreover, 60 percent of the households in the village regularly re-
ceived remittances from friends or relatives in the United States.
Hendricks also reports that according to the Central Bank of the
Dominican Republic the Dominican Republic annually receives $12
million in remittances from Dominicans living in this country.
I would like now very briefly to outline some interesting and impor-
tant differences between Caribbean illegal aliens and Mexican illegal
aliens in the country. And I think, as I outlined in the statement, that
these differences have interesting implications for U.S. foreign policy.
First, there is the obvious difference in sheer numbers. When
referring to Mexicans who are illegally in the country, we speak in
terms of millions of people, while the total number of illegal workers
in this country from the Caribbean region almost certainly does not
exceed 1 million. Even my projections for 1980 would put them at
about 1 million.
The vast majority of Caribbean illegals in this country entered the
country as tourists. This has been mentioned already. It is a very
interesting fact since it means that the United States has to deal with
the problem of tourists who really do want to come here for a visit,
for a variety of reasons: To attend a conference, to visit relatives, go
shopping, or whatever.
A number of Caribbean .people complain about what they consider
to be harassment from U.S. consular officers who have become ex-
tremely cautious in what is otherwise the very simple act of granting
tourist visas. Since Carribbean illegals enter the country as tourists,
U.S. consular officers feel they must carefully screen all applicants.
But there is a very, very fine line between careful screening of visa
applicants and poor public relations.
Third, well over half of all the Dominicans who come here do so by
flying first to San Juan, P.R. This is a fact that not too many people
know, and it is one that creates a number of internal, domestic, and
foreign policy problems since there is increasing tension, especially
in the New York area, between Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. Many
Dominicans fly to San Juan with the intention of then flying to New
York, and passing for Puerto Rican in the United States.
They feel that most U.S. immigration officials cannot tell either by
looking at a Dominican, or by listening to his Spanish accent, whether
he is Puerto Rican or Dominican. This gives Dominicans the benefit
of the doubt.
This makes many Puerto Ricans uneasy as they fear that any crack-
Aown of the illegal alien problem in Puerto Rico and/or the New York
metropolitan area will prove to be a harassment to large sectors of
the Puerto Rican population.
.'Fourth, connected with the problem of Dominicans passing for
Puerto Ricans is the general question of inter-Caribbean relations.
While people of Mexican birth or ancestry now living in this coun-
try may not form a perfectly homogeneous group, they perceive them-
selves, nonetheless, as being far more homogeneous and emotionally
united than people of Caribbean birth or ancestry living in this
Mexico is, after all, just one country. The Caribbean consists of more
than 30 identifiable politics. Cultural, political, and economic fragmen-
tation has plagued the Caribbean since the beginning of colonial times,
and is not about to disappear as a result of the meeting of Caribbean
peoples of the various islands in the United States.
Migration to this country has facilitated contact between people of
different parts of the Caribbean. But this greater degree of contact has
heightened rather than dissolved certain tensions which exist between
Caribbean groups. Competition for jobs and housing, and the struggle
to regain or maintain a sense of social worth often challenged by the
receiving society are factors which help to perpetuate this Caribbean
psychology of social fragmentation.
I have argued in other publications that there is a gradual emer-
gence of ethnic divisiveness among Caribbean peoples in this country,
and I think that this will have negative repercussions on inter-
Caribbean relations. This, in turn, will have to be taken into account
when formulating U.S. policy toward the region.
Fifth, I will just mention this briefly, as it will no doubt be discussed
later. This is the question of the "brain drain." It has been a problem,
of course, in the Caribbean for some time, and it is interesting to look
at it from the point of view of illegal migration as well since here, too,
there is a difference between the Mexican illegal and the Caribbean
It is my understanding that very few of the Mexican illegals would
fall into the category of the well educated or the middle class, whereas,
it is not uncommon to find Caribbean illegals in this category.
There are many reasons for this. A number of people come to the
United States on student visas, and stay long after completing their
courses of study. Many have political reasons for living in this country,
and cannot afford to wait for the INS to approve their applications for
permanent resident status, and others in this category find it relatively
easy to obtain tourist visas as it is easier to convince consular officers
that one is trustworthy if one is well-educated.
So many come here on the tourist visa, and they, too, stay beyond the
Finally, there is the question of the quasi-political refugees. Most of
them are from Haiti. Dr. Fontaine will, no doubt, discuss that.
Most of these Haitian citizens, in one way or another, oppose the
Duvalier regime. Many have sought asylum in the United States, but
few, if any, have been awarded such asylum.
They complain that this kind of blanket political refugee status has
been awarded to hundreds of thousands of Cuban exiles, and that for
political reasons the United States has not treated the Haitians in the
Can the U.S. Government, after all, systematically parole Haitians
into this country and yet, maintain diplomatic relations with Haiti ?
That is a crucial question.
Finally, I want to speak a bit about the effects of changes in U.S.
immigration policy on Caribbean countries themselves, and what I per-
ceive to be potential problems for United States-Caribbean relations.
I suggest that in the unlikely event of a relaxation of U.S. immigra-
tion laws, there would probably be little increase in the flow of Carib-
bean illegals to this country. After all, what really checks the flow, as
far as we know, is the demand for labor in the secondary labor market
in this country, and not the U.S. immigration laws themselves, or the
implementation of those laws.
On the other hand, there is the question of what would happen if
the United States began to enforce existing laws to a much greater
extent, or if it enacted new laws that would severely restrict economic
opportunities available to illegal migrants.
I think that the United States will have to consider seriously some
of the negative effects such restrictions may have both on the U.S.
domestic scene and on United States-Caribbean relations.
Many illegals, for instance, come to this country really intending
to stay for a couple of years. We have evidence, from recent research,
that suggests that most of them only stay for 2 or 3 years on the
If the United States passed a more. restrictive immigration law
such as the "two-tier" amnesty plan proposed by the current admin-
istration, I think, many illegals who intended to return to their home
countries would probably now choose to remain here instead, for
fear that they would be unable to return to the United States in the
From a different angle, there is the question of the effect of such a
tightening on the social, economic, and political systems of Caribbean
Let's assume, first of all, that new enforcement practices are effec-
tive. The implications I will discuss herein will be based on this as-
sumption. The effect on Caribbean countries could be disastrous,
especially for the smaller Caribbean countries where overpopulation
and unemployment have reached critical levels.
I mentioned earlier in this statement that the Caribbean has always
been a migration-oriented region. To close off the release valves of
many of these islands is to provoke social turmoil and widespread
Consider what happened in the British West Indies during the
1930's and early 1940's. The depression prevented many Caribbean
people then residing in the United States from earning their own
living. As a result, large numbers returned to their countries of origin
on the assumption that it is better to be among relatives and friends
when one is poor than to be frustrated and lonely as well.
This return migration, combined with the lack of emigration on
the part of others, aggravated social and economic conditions at home.
Unemployment soared; housing conditions deteriorated as a result of
inevitable overcrowding; food became scarce; and the cost of living
These conditions undoubtedly were not all the effect of the closing
of the migration valve, but there is no question that they were severely
aggravated by it. The well-known riots of the 1-930's were anunam-
biguous expression of the total dissatisfaction of the population with
the social and economic conditions of the time.
Mexico may have considerable potential for economic- growth, but
the situation seems rather grim for many Caribbean islands, which
have lower rates of economic growth. There is also the whole question
of whether or not the industries that would be encouraged to grow
through government incentives could utilize the country's labor force.
The Dominican Republic, in the last decade, and Puerto Rico,
early in the fifties, are prime examples of this problem.
Recent economic data from the Dominican Republic are very re-
vealing. High rates of economic growth have been achieved in the
Dominican Republic since the advent of the Balaguer regime in 1966,
but this is also precisely the period of intensive Dominican migration
to this country. This was almost predictable since these high rates of
growth were basically achieved through incentives to industries that
do not utilize the labor force very well.
Obviously, there is the problem of unemployment. Barbados has an
unemployment rate of about 15 percent; about 20 percent or higher in
the Dominican Republic; 15 to 20 percent in Guyana; about 21 per-
cent in Jamaica; over 18 percent in Puerto Rico. It was estimated in'
the early seventies that urban unemployment in Haiti was as high as
50 percent. These rates are among the highest in the world, and not
just among developing countries.
The 1976 Statistical Yearbook of the United Nations lists only four
other countries-Chile, Denmark, Ireland, and Yugoslavia-with un-
employment rates close to those found in the Caribbean. Mexico's rate
is considerably lower, as are those of Spain, Portugal, Italy-all coun-
tries with high rates of labor emigration. To aggravate the situation
even more, rates of population growth in the Caribbean are still too
high, although they are lower than in Mexico. But take into account
the difference in population density.
Mexico's rate of population growth in 1975 was 31/2 percent, but
its population density was only 30 persons to the square kilometer.
By contrast population growth rates in the Caribbean range from a
low of 0.6 percent in Barbados to a high of 3 percent in the Dominican
Republic. But note the population density of Barbados: 579 per kilo-
meter. Note that this is slightly higher than the population density of
Just to put it in perspective, Cuba. with the lowest density of the
islands still has a population density of 87.3 per square kilometer. The
United States, by contrast, has about 22 to 25 persons per square
So there is enormous pressure. This point has been made before by
other people and not just at these hearings. Sending 100,000 people
back to Barbados could be disastrous for the social conditions of the
Needless to say. for social as well as economic reasons, any tighten-
ing of current U.S. immigration laws would be very poorly received
by Caribbean people.
I have spoken with a number of people who have reacted intuitively
and emotionally to these suggestions, always bringing up two problems
which I think should be discussed here.
One is that they believe the United States is very insensitive to the
problems of Caribbean societies because the United States is more
willing to give Caribbean countries direct foreign aid than to absorb
the excess labor and population of Caribbean societies which many
feel is more important.
Second, there is the problem that many of the proposed changes in
U.S. immigration policy are thought to have racist undertones, since
the two groups most directly affected by such changes are groups of
people generally perceived to be nonwhite in American society. Wheth-
er or not this is true, the mere fact that some Caribbean people already
think this may be the case is something to be kept in mind.
So altogether, I think that that is an issue which is as important
for the foreign policy of the United States, especially in the Western
Hemisphere, as the Panama Canal question has been in recent months.
Whatever gains were made in the public relations of this country in
the hemisphere by the signing of the Panama Canal treaties may be
quickly lost by the tightening of the U.S. immigration laws.
Mr. YATRON. Thank you very much for your very fine statement.
We will now hear the statement of Dr. Fontaine.
STATEMENT OF PIERRE-MICHEL FONTAINE, DEPARTMENT OF PO-
LITICAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES
Mr. FONTAINE. Thank you very much for inviting me to appear in
the hearing. I will also try to summarize my statement since it is
Mr. YATRON. Without objection.1
Mr. FONTAINE. Thank you.
First of all, I want to emphasize that when one is talking about
illegal aliens, it is becoming the trend to use the phrase "undocu-
mented alien" I think that one of the points that this expresses is
that we are dealing with people, the vast majority of whom are per-
fectly law-abiding persons, notwithstanding the fact that they are in
violation of the immigration laws of this country.
And therefore, when one uses the term "undocumented", I suppose
that one is trying to emphasize that being "illegal" is not a personality
trait, or a physical characteristic, or a moral quality, or an ethnic or
One wants also to point out that the illegal alien is only different
from the legal alien in the sense that one has certain documents which
the other does not. By and large, they have immigrated to this country
for the same reasons, and have pretty much the same objectives. Fur-
thermore, undocumented aliens do sometimes become documented. It
may also happen the other way around.
This is not to deny that the differences between the two types of
aliens are significant. They certainly are, to some extent, from the
public policy point of view, but from most points of view such dif-
ferences ought not to be exaggerated.
I also want to underline the fact that the undocumented workers
are more likely to be confined to those jobs that the natives find re-
pugnant because they are low-paying, unprestigious, physically de-
manding, or generally inconvenient.
However, even though there is this type of economic difference, most
of the differences are more of intensity than of kind.
Now I also want to emphasize that the illegal aliens are pretty much
the creation of the law in the sense that the statutory clauses on
I See appendix 1, p. 226.
residence and work permits make some aliens legal and others illegal
in a country that has been correctly labeled "a Nation of immigrants".
But more than that, I want to suggest that the legal restrictions on
entry and their bureaucratic implementation actively encourage for-
eign nationals to achieve by illegal means the objectives that they
would have pursued legally in the absence of certain legal dispositions
and bureaucratic delays.
One could say in that respect that in the case of the Caribbeans,
rather than facing the uncertainty of acceptance of their visa applica-
tion compounded by the long delay that follows such acceptance, pro-
spective immigrants have found it generally easier and more expedient
to enter the country illegally, and then adjust their status while they
Similarly, it might also be indicated that the differential difficulty
of entry between Caribbean and Mexican undocumented aliens explains
the greater average length of stay of those revolving Caribbean un-
documented aliens who are found to spend an average of 22 months
here, as opposed to 6 months for the Mexicans. This is to say, in effect,
that the undocumented aliens did not come here with the intention of
staying, but rather in order to work temporarily, save, and return
home to achieve certain socioeconomic objectives: Buying a house,
starting a business, buying land, and whatever it may be. Certainly,
that has been found to be the case for the Mexican undocumented
However, the difficulty of returning to the United States eventually
after the return home makes them stay here longer, and sometimes, of
course, they stay here forever.
By and large, this is to preface the point that I want to make which
is that the whole issue of the undocumented aliens has to be looked at
in a certain context, in a certain perspective. That perspective includes
several contexts. The first one is the historical context.
I think that if one looks at the historical record beginning with the
labor migration to this country that started with the slave trade and
slavery, which was the first major wave of labor migration-forced
migration in that particular case-and the later migration of the
Chinese and others, one sees a pattern. Whether one is talking in terms
of the African Colonization Society, the creation of the State of Li-
beria, or the Chinese Exclusion Act, the tendency is actively to recruit
immigrants during times of prosperity, and then later on, to send
them home. In essence, in times of depression or recession, the his-
torical record seems to point in the latter direction. It is important to
keep this in mind.
The economic context would suggest that perhaps it might be useful
to match the vagaries of the business cycle in the country to the evo-
lution of immigration legislation and practice.
Perhaps an even more important socioeconomic factor is the dynamic
generating of specifically immigrant-type manpower needs in this
country. And it happens even in times of recession, once the society
reaches a certain level of development or at least a certain standard of
living. The idea of standard of living is crucial here, inasmuch as the
Bahamas, which is hardly a developed country, has faced the same
situation, although its geographical proximity to the United States is
a major factor in this.
When a certain standard of living is achieved, then there are cer-
tain necessary tasks that most natives do not care to engage in. Unless
these tasks are upgraded through a more egalitarian application of the
minimum wage laws and of labor safety and health regulations, or
through mechanization and other technological means, these jobs will
tend to be left to those who have no other choice, whether in terms of
alternative employment, unemployment compensation, or welfare sup-
port, that is, the undocumented workers.
Moving on to the political context, we notice that there have been
various measures, various trends, whether one is talking about work
fare, which had been tried a few years ago in places like California,
New York, and Massachusetts, or the DeFunis and Bakke cases in-
volving charges of alleged reverse discrimination. These measures,
proposals, and court cases are symptoms of a tendency toward arterio-
sclerosis in the body social.
This is complicated, of course, by the fact that the victims of this
are likely to belong to nonwhite racial groups. There is a tendency
to block off social mobility, and part of it is this concern with undocu-
mented aliens. That leads us to the racial context.
The case of the undocumented aliens in this country is complicated
in that they, as well as other recent immigrants, are overwhelmingly
brown, Hispanic, black, and Asian. This is a matter which needs to be
considered, because of the need to insure that adverse racial attitudes
do not influence public policy and its implementation with respect
to people of non-European descent.
Next is the international context. If we look around, we find that
the problem is not only that of the undocumented workers, here but
also that of the temporary workers in countries like Great Britain,
France, Switzerland, and even, as I suggested earlier, in the Bahamas.
And they have been accompanied, in some of these cases, especially in
Great Britain, with the racial issue. Also, it is particularly keen in
the case of Great Britain where the Conservative Party leader Mrs.
Margaret Thatcher, has made immigration/race an election issue this
In Canada also, the problem of undocumented aliens arose a few
years ago. And the issue of expatriate workers was very intensively
debated around 1974 in the Bahamas. There is indeed an international
malaise which perhaps one should keep in mind when discussing the
issue of undocumented aliens.
One who is talking about the undocumented aliens should also con-
sider the normative context. This is the value framework within which
the problem is posed. One such value is that of legality: the need to
insure respect for the laws of the land, including those laws that
relate to entry into the country and eligibility for employment.
On this question, there is-no doubt that respect for the laws should
be subscribed to. I want to point out, however, on the question of
legality, that it is often alleged that undocumented aliens tend to
engage unduly in criminal behavior. This assertion is, as I indicated
earlier, fundamentally at odds with the undocumented aliens' need to
go unnoticed. Furthermore, there is no hard evidence to suggest that,
as a group, they are any more prone to criminal behavior than other
groups in American society.
Another principle is that of the primary responsibility of the Gov-
ernment of the country to its citizens and to their welfare. This
principle is important. However, it must be considered in the light
of the absence of serious evidence that undocumented aliens con-
stitute really an undue burden on employment and on social and
public services. The little hard data available on the subject indicate
that in fact, these people pay their tax share without getting full
services in return. As for employment, as I have already indicated,
it tends to cluster around menial, low paid and generally undesirable
jobs, which the natives indeed reject.
Inasmuch as this is the case, the undocumented aliens' contribution
to the welfare of the natives; in terms of doing their unpleasant work
and keeping down the prices of certain goods, such as agricultural
products, especially in the Southwest, and the prices of certain services,
such as gardening and housekeeping, by performing them at low wages,
is far from negligible.
A third value of relevance here is that of the protection of human
rights and civil liberties. Under the Carter administration, this has
been elevated to a very important tenet and guiding force of American
foreign policy. This is why this concern must be integrated into our
perspective. This is a matter of considerable salience in view of the
possible enhancement of discrimination that both documented and
undocumented aliens, as well as citizens resembling them, would face
when and if a legal campaign against illegal aliens were to be
This is why it has been suggested to extend to those so-called illegal
aliens who have been here before January 1, 1977, the immediate
eligibility for permanent residence contemplated for those who have
resided in this country continuously since prior to January 1, 1970.
An important problem is that of the refugees. It is real and acute
because thousands of Haitians have braved the ocean in small, crowded,
and leaky boats to escape the harshness and deprivations of the
Between December 1972 and August 1974, some 1,158 refugees
arrived in Florida to claim political asylum. Others have landed in
Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and so forth. Many have drowned
on the way to their idestination-sometimes, ironically, upon arriving
at their destination.
Now, the experience of these Haitians is very similar to that of the
so-called "boat people" of Southeast Asia. And if we looked at the
papers in recent days, we saw Vice President Mondale going to South-
east Asia and promising that the United States would accept thousands
more of these refugees in addition to the 150,000 that had been absorbed
already as of then.
According to the New York Times, the United States has com-
mitted itself to accepting 25,000 refugees a year additionally. The
United States will raise the money to help Thailand set up programs,
and get other countries interested in raising millions of dollars to
absorb these refugees.
This is commendable and should be encouraged. It is also remi-
niscent, though on a much quieter scale, and with a lesser show of
national enthusiasm, of the very friendly and favorable reception
given the Cuban refugees in the wake of the advent of Castro's
revolutionary government in 1959. A similar earlier example of the
enthusiastic welcoming of political refugees was that of the Hungar-
ians in 1956. But this is the crux of the problem: Whether the refugees
are from the right-wing or left-wing regimes. Although thousands of
refugees of all sorts of oppressive regimes and situations have found
asylum in the United States over the years, the official U.S. policy on
the subject limits the status of refugees primarily to those fleeing from
Communist oppression. And one can even find that this is the official
position of the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965.
This brings us to the more direct discussion of the foreign policy
context. The primary consideration in the foreign policy aspect of
this is that the possibility of large-scale emigration is essential to the
political, social, and economic stability of several Western Hemisphere
countries, especially countries of the Caribbean, and particularly in
the case of Haiti which is at the bottom of the scale for any kind of
economic growth, development, or standard of living index.
One can imagine that, considering that during the period of the
last two decades, during which this particularly nonrepresentative
regime has been in power, about a million Haitians are estimated to
have fled the country, including several hundred thousand who came
to the United States.
The total number of Haitian emigrants amounts to about 20 percent
of the population. That is equivalent to the exodus of more than 40
million people from the United States on a comparative basis, if you
can imagine the effect of 40 million people leaving the United States
to go and reside abroad.
The reasons why the Haitians have left their country are obvious:
A ruthlessly tyrannical government and the general hopelessness of
life that this Government has brought about in the country, including
an excessively high rate of "nonemployment." Here, I am using a term
which you may not be accustomed to. I am not talking about unem-
ployment. I am talking of "nonemployment," the situation of people
who have never worked in their lives, and have no hope of ever working
in the future.
So there is the nonemployment problem, famine and a bleak eco-
nomic future. American authorities have tried to establish a standard
with respect to the Haitian refugees in terms of whether they should
or should not be granted asylum in the country, depending on whether
they are political or economic refugees.
Under the circumstances just described, the difference between eco-
nomic and political refugees is merely academic, or rather, bureau-
cratic, and has no meaning in real life.
This is why Haitian refugees and others in similar conditions should
be accorded the official status of refugees and be welcomed the way that
anti-Communist refugees of various countries have been welcomed.
Unfortunately, this is where the foreign policy dilemma lies. To do
so would go counter to the official U.S. position that the Duvalier
regime has been liberalizing significantly since Jean-Claude Duvalier
succeeded his father upon the latter's death.
On the other hand, to deport all these refugees would show a great
deal of callousness and insensitivity in view of the fate that awaits
them if deported. If this were to be compounded by the deportation
or "voluntary" departure of all undocumented Haitians, the destabi]iz-
ing effect on the polity and the economy would be staggering.
Economically, while there has been some industrial growth since
1970 in Haiti, it has been in the sector of the assembly and packaging
industry employing a few thousand workers to take advantage of some
of the lowest wages in the world.
This economy, which is already burdened by an excessively high
unemployment and nonemployment rate, is incapable of generating
the kind of massive employment that could absorb even a fraction of
this returned labor force.
Also, it has been reported by Dr. Terry L. McCoy, who is here today,
that the remittances sent back home by undocumented Haitian workers
have been cited by consular officers as canceling out the deficit in the
balance of payments, though I think that this should be checked out.
On these points, I have some figures from Inter-American Bank
statistics, and some from the Economic Commission for Latin
When you compare the figures, you see that in 1970, the net private
transfer payments to Haiti, which include a large part made up of
the remittances, were 153 percent of the gross national savings. In
other words, quite possibly, the amount of remittances sent to Haiti
by Haitians living abroad was higher than the gross national savings,
and although the percentage has declined over the years, it is still high.
It was still 34 percent in 1974.
Politically, there were already food riots in Haiti a few months ago,
and one can imagine the effect that the massive reentry of undocu-
mented Haitians into the country would have. It might be argued that
this is precisely what is needed to revolutionize the country, but this
does not seem to be the thrust of American foreign policy for anti-
Communist government 50 miles away from Cuba.
The economic and political situation may not be so bleak for other
source countries, and their political regimes vary to a greater or lesser
degree from that of Haiti. However, the result would be similarly bad
for these countries if they were to be subjected to a massive return
home of their undocumented citizens residing in this country.
The countries that have been identified as major Western Hemi-
sphere sources of undocumented aliens, aside from the biggest one,
Mexico, are the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Guatemala, and
Colombia. What all of them have in common is the fact that they are
all plantation, or former plantation, societies. Now this, I think, is
pretty much the crux of the Caribbean immigration matter because
plantation societies, by their very nature, are externally oriented so-
cieties. The plantation system, by its very nature, generates a depend-
ence on the external world. It tends to produce agricultural scarcity
(of locally consumed crops) in the midst of agricultural plenty (of
exportable crops, such as sugar, bananas, or cotton). People cannot
use sugar as a staple food; they cannot eat cotton. Countries that ex-
port massive amounts of sugar do not produce enough food for their
In addition, the plantation society, by its very nature, has to create
a vast landless rural proletariat to provide it with the cheap and
abundant labor that it needs.
Hence, the tendency of the people from the plantation to migrate,
when they can, into the industrial centers of their country, in the
case of larger countries (such as going north in the United States, or
going south in Brazil), or migrating abroad as in the case of the
smaller, island countries (such as Haiti, the Dominican Republic, or
Thus for those societies that I have mentioned here and for other
Greater Caribbean countries, emigration is as essential as agriculture
or industry. To renounce that safety valve would entail major re-
structuring, and even revolutionizing of these societies. This is why
even Trinidad-Tobago, which is a comparatively prosperous country
at the present time with all of the currently high revenues that it is
obtaining from its exports of oil products, still maintains emigration as
a major element of its economic policy to deal with the problem of
Throughout the Carribbean, emigration is a major item of public
policy. It is not something that just happens. It is an item of policy
aimed at dealing with perennial economic problems. High unemploy-
ment is indeed one of the most enduring characteristics of the Carib-
bean economies, with the exception of Cuba.
Here again, it might be argued that U.S. policy should force these
countries to face the problems of blocked emigration, of repatriation,
and of their revolutionary potentials, but this is probably not con-
sistent with U.S. foreign policy objectives.
It is necessary to remember the factors of importance here: unem-
ployment and remittances of immigrants as transfer payment. Another
thing that I did not-mention before is that some researchers have
discovered that emigration tends to reduce the growth of the birth
rate in those countries, simply because the people who emigrate tend
to be of reproductive age. So it may, in the long run, help with the
high rate of the population growth.
The administration's proposals on undocumented aliens envisage
economic cooperation with source countries in making their eco-
nomies more viable for their own citizens.
The President also recognizes, and I am quoting, that "This objec-
tive may be difficult to achieve in the near future." I sometimes wonder
whether the real difficulty of such an undertaking and its complex
implications are really understood, because the implications are truly
revolutionary, as full implementation will require, at the very least,
giving in fully to the demands for a new international economic
order. That means opening up the United States to industrial im-
ports from these countries. That means liberalizing imports policies.
That means injection of resources, of financial resources at lower rates
of interest, and so forth and so on. It means a whole lot, a set of eco-
nomic policies that simple trade cannot come to terms with.
And finally, I am suggesting that perhaps the ideal would be one
where there is a truly worldwide and mobile labor market, but we
cannot even begin to consider this at the present time.
Mr. YATRON. Thank you very much, Dr. Fontaine, for your excel-
We have, again, a vote on the floor on the rule and defense bill. Then
we will come back and reconvene.
If any of you have to catch a plane and cannot wait, we would
like to submit some questions in writing to you, and you will provide
the subcommittee with the answers.
Mr. McCoY. I would be happy to do that. I do have to catch a plane.
Mr. YATRON. I apologize that we have to operate under these cir-
cumstances today. I would suggest that we take a 10-minute recess
to answer the call.
Thank you. [A short recess was taken.]
[In an off-the-record discussion, Ms. Dominguez 1 and Dr. Fontaine2
agreed to the submission of written questions, and Dr. Roy S. Bryce-
Laporte agreed to appear tomorrow afternoon as the first speaker.]
Mr. YATRON. We thank you very, very much. I apologize for the
circumstances. The subcommittee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 4:50 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned, to recon-
vene at 2 p.m., Wednesday, May 24, 1978.]
1 See appendix 8, p. 458.
2 See appendix 5, p. 423.
UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS: IMPLICATIONS FOR
U.S. POLICY IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
WEDNESDAY, MAY 24, 1978
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
CoxMMrrrTE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS,
SUBCOMITTEE ON INTER-AMERICAN AFFAIRS,
The subcommittee met at 2 p.m. in room 2200, Rayburn House Office
Building, Hon. Gus Yatron (chairman of the subcommittee), pre-
Mr. YATRON. The subcommittee will come to order.
The House Subcommittee on Inter-American Affairs today will
continue its series of hearings on "Undocumented Workers: Implica-
tions for U.S. Policy in the Western Hemisphere."
We are considering the foreign policy dimensions of illegal immi-
gration, focusing our initial attention on the root causes and dimen-
sions of the problem.
Although today's testimony, except for one witness, will center on
Mexico, I want to reemphasize that the subcommittee does not seek
to single out any one source country. Yesterday's testimony focused
on illegal immigration from source countries in the Caribbean and
Due to votes on the floor and a meeting of the full committee, we
weren't able to complete testimony yesterday. One of our witnesses,
Dr. Roy S. Bryce-Laporte, Research Institute on Immigration and
Ethnic Studies, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., gra-
tiously agreed to return today for his presentation.
Another witness listed for today, Hon. Abelardo D. Valdez, As-
sistant Administrator and Deputy U.S. Coordinator, Bureau of Inter-
American Affairs, Department of State, agreed to reschedule his
appearance June 1, 1978.
Our distinguished witnesses today are Dr. Vernon Briggs, Jr.,
professor of economics, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Tex.;
Dr. Gilbert Cardenas, assistant professor of sociology, University of
Texas at Austin, Austin, Tex., and Mr. Robert Bach, assistant pro-
fessor of sociology, State University of New York at Binghamton,
Dr. Bryce-Laporte, would you like to begin your presentation,
followed by questions so you won't be delayed further?
STATEMENT OF ROY S. BRYCE-LAPORTE, RESEARCH INSTITUTE ON
IMMIGRATION AND ETHNIC STUDIES, SMITHSONIAN INSTITU-
TION, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Mr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. I will attempt to summarize when possible and
engage in some ad-lib elaboration ndl corrections on .my own paper
and also, to the point that it'may be necessary, make reference to some
of the comments that 'were: m~de -ytsterday that would strength iren or
contest my import.
By way of preliminary reiarkts, I want to express my pleasure in
having been invited here, and. this is reallyabout the third time that
I have been graced with 'the privilege '6f testifying before a House
committee on the matter of immigration policy, with special emphasis
in the Caribbean area. .
And I am particularly pleased with the committee in terms of
certain choices of concerns which is explicated, and I speak of two
in particular; one of them having to do with the fact that in the
wording of the invitation you spoke of the phenomenon of illegal
immigration rather than the issue per se; and also that you. have
been concerned with foreign policy implications.
I think it is important for legislators, especially when,they enter
into responsibilities having to do with international issues or problems
of projects, whatever they may be, that they in fact be able to make
a sharp distinction between phenomena and issues, that is to at least
have some sense of what is the distinction between that which is
manipulated for attention as compared to that which is really occur-
ring, and also the dynamic relationship between the two.
And, of course, I also sympathize with the fact that given the
explicit acclaims of this particular political system as represented in
this country, that the legislators are quite often caught between being
very responsive and sensitive to issues created or expressed or felt by
their local constituencies or powerful interest groups as compared to
many times objective, more detached, or apparently detached prob-
lems which are national or international in their character and which
many times are to be answered not simply in terms of felt or created
needs on the part of pressure groups or local constituencies but in
terms of other types of objectives, explicit or implicit, which the
country would seek to maintain vis-a-vis the rest of the world.
The matter of international immigration-especially "illegal"-is
increasingly being disproportionately cast as a domestic issue, and as
a prime cause of domestic problems to the detriment of its being
understood also as an international phenomenon and, as such, as a
symptom or consequence of a broader set of international or world
conditions in which the United States-and this is an opinion, a strong
opinion on my part, actually a position-plays a significant role by
way of certain domestic and foreign realities and policies of its public
and private sectors.
The consequence has been for shortsighted and narrowly focused
domestic interest groups and issue creators who lobby for the termina-
tion of immigration, and to scapegoat illegals as a prime cause or,
even more cynically at times, to pose and present them as if they were
the only victims of serious domestic problems, set of problems, which
in fact when understood, would likely have existed in this country with
or without the presence of the so-called illegal immigrants.
And therefore there is need for courageous statesmanship-like lead-
ership and serious scholarship on the matter of international immigra-
tion. And I am hoping this committee finds it appropriate therefore to
exercise such leadership and that my colleagues of yesterday and today
would, prove helpful, particularly those who are of Caribbean/Latin
American ancestry, which means that in addition to the trained and
studied opinion, that they also: have some sentimentality and insight to
contribute in their presentations.
It is indeed unfortunate, in my opinion, that the politics of the situa-
tion or the political reality of the illegal makes it possible for you to
have in fact a representative of the illegals themselves here; perhaps
even a potential immigrant, illegal or legal, and perhaps further some
scholarly or government representative from the source countries so as
to broaden the scope and to give the committee a chance to also be able
to get closer to the problem than normally can be done by way of the
exercise carried on by pressure groups or by scholars and American
Government officials themselves.
We at the Smithsonian-Research Institute of Immigration and
Ethnic Studies-of course, are a small unit, but we have attempted at
times to see whether we could make some contribution in that way, and
have sponsored a number of seminars, small research publications-
some of which we have identified at the back of the presentation-as
attempts to try to introduce into the debate a scholarly input and also
to pull both insiders and outsiders into some confrontation by which
the issues may be fleshed out and some sort of synthesis, some sort of
meaningful synthesis and direction of policy, could be obtained.
Let me speak a bit about illegal immigration or undocumented aliens
in general. And then I will try to focus more particularly on the
Immigration to the United States can be divided into five basic
legal categories-legal, illegal, extraterritorial, parole/refugee, and
nonimmigrant. While the emphasis here, of course, is on the illegal or
undocumented alien, but I do not think that a full understanding, a
real understanding of this category of immigration, its immigrants
or foreign policy can be analyzed appropriately or acted upon without
relating to the larger immigration phenomenon and policies.
Similarly, I do not think that any adequate comprehension of im-
migration as a process or as a total phenomenon can be understood,
certainly not even its domestic implications, without appropriate at-
tention to the illegal or undocumented aspects. And more so I think
also the question of issues themselves need to be studied, but I would
suggest that issues and phenomena ought to be separated for at least
conceptual reasons so that one knows what he is responding to and
what it is he is assessing.
In some cases one finds himself confused between responding to a
definition of a situation by a group with a particular interest, you see,
when the situation may be quite different when separated from that
In addition to that, quite often when one responds to it as an is-
sue per se, then one gets himself caught into a situation of an aura of
what I call "creative urgency" and many times leading therefore to
making decisions which may be counterproductive in the long run.
Immigration in itself is a behavior not necessarily a purely mecha-
nistic one. It refers to human movement across boundaries of nation-
state for purposes of establishing prolonged or permanent residence.
Whether it is legal or illegal behavior is really a consequence of legal
definition. Technically, this category per se emerges only with the
legal proclamation of categories and restrictions as to when and under
what conditions persons will be admitted into the country with eligi-
bility for permanent residence. That is, at the moment that one starts
to say who is a legal immigrant, one has developed a category called
illegal. Prior to that or outside of that consideration, you are speaking
of immigration period.
Yet these legal categorizations have consequences on the subsequent
rights and modes of behavior of the migrants as well as on the atti-
tudes of the host population, and institutions toward them. While in
general laws restricting-or even facilitating-immigration tend to be
responses rather than anticipations of public or special group pres-
sure, public commotion on the presence of illegal immigrants also tends
to be in reaction rather than anticipatory of such presence. That is, in
most cases you are dealing with ex post facto type of situations.
Illegal immigration tends to develop into a public issue when either
the magnitude or change in economic role or ethnic presence of il-
legal immigrants begin to threaten the status quo or aspirations of
other sectors of American society than those who most directly benefit
and even recruit such labor. And so what you get is a conflict between
various segments of its society in terms of who is going to benefit.
What I am suggesting is that this becomes an issue only at a point
where the illegals start to be threatening in one way or another. Prior
to that, there is generally no anticipatory behavior and no concerns. It
also becomes an issue when the status quo or economic situation of the
country as a whole changes for reasons not caused by these immigrants
themselves, and certain affected sectors come to believe or feel that the
immigrants are competitors and/or a cause of the problem. And there-
fore you get into very conscious, opportunistic, vendictive, or uncon-
And actually if one were to go historically, the whole question of
illegal immigration could be traced back to the main ethnic group of
the United States itself in terms of having come into this country or
this area of the continent certainly without invitation.
One could see this again in terms of the slaves who were brought in
following the denouncement of the slave trade. One sees it later, of
course, being more specific relative to the oriental immigrants on the
One sees it more recently in terms of certain political groups which
may or may not have been European as well as particular persons who
may be threatening or seem to be threatening in terms of their health
or criminal or some other sort of record and, of course, now presently
to a group which is largely non-European.
In most cases when it becomes an illegal situation as compared to
when it may have been illegal, but there was no host group strong
enough to have made that point or to have emphasized it, in most of
these cases the greater bodies of people affected by it tended to be non-
European, with, of course, some modifications.
Whatever, illegal immigration is not only a legally contrived cate-
gory, but it has always coexisted with legal immigration whenever this
latter began to be governed by legal situations, but the saliency of il-
legal immigration, changes in the law or even in its application, and
it varies in response to (1) the magnitude and saliency of illegals
themselves; and (2) the intensity of public reaction-that is by way of
I think it is important to consider as you deal with the question of
illegal immigration as a phenomenon, to deal with the question of con-
ditions relative to scapegoating. If in fact the real conditions leading
to scapegoating the illegals prevail in the absence of illegals, then I
propose the scapegoating would turn to temporary workers such as
braceros, to legal immigrants if there were not sufficient temporary
workers to be targeted upon, and then to marginal classes or minori-
ties in the native-born population.
I am suggesting that the problem exists outside of the presence of
these people, and it is a structural type of problem which generally
creates a certain set of people who are viewed not only as a sort of
pariah group at times, but at times are viewed as a threat by certain
segments of the society for one reason or another and therefore will
always be a target group relative to the kind of charges being made.
The point is not that illegals in fact may not exacerbate existing
socioeconomic problems faced by the country but that (1) these prob-
lems would exist without them; (2) other groups would have become
the victims of the scapegoating; and (3) the problem is fundamentally
structural, with evolutionary patterns of saliency.
At certain points it becomes very obvious and very pragmatic and
felt, and at other points it is not.
There are points in time and sections within the American economy
which by their evolution creates underclasses of unemployed, while
other sections find cheap labor more economically profitable than meet-
ing the demands of the local labor force. And, there are overseas coun-
tries with which the United States exercises economic hegemony
whose economic role, development, and distribution cannot absorb or
support underclasses of unemployed/underemployment and are
marked therefore by export of labor, raw goods, and capital back to the
United States or to other industrial-metropolitan states.
The answer then as I see it lies in not simply altering the systems
or attacking them in isolation but more with the consideration for
reconstructing the national-and international-systems of political
economic relations so that less immigration will be induced in those
source countries, and less labor immigration will be necessary in this
It is a broad one which, of course, requires some specific kinds of
purposeful study to be able to deal with, first, its validity and later its
application: issues that I am perhaps not prepared at this time to
specify. But I think that it is a question of leading, directing the pos-
ture and the orientation, the approach which the committee should
take relative to the phenomenon.
At present, the United States is said to be faced by an impending
crisis due to illegal-and for some circles even legal-immigration.
Illegals are often identified as causing a rise in unemployment, strains
on welfare or public services supply, strains on population and ecologi-
cal balances, ethnic and cultural homogenity, urban problems, class
structure, and national security.
Studies and opinions of the phenomenon either do not corroborate
these claims or at best do not yield any conclusive patterns. And I
think Mr. McCoy made some comments to the same effect yesterday.
I personally am very bothered that some, perhaps not all, but that
some of the anti-illegal positions tend to convert the phenomenon into
an issue and also tend to attack the least defensible segment of the
society, which indeed then becomes an underclass in a very classical
way; the very same underclass as they seem to be trying to present as
their ward which they are trying to protect.
To the extent-and which is quite similar to the position taken by
Mr. Dominiquez yesterday-to the extent that I believe that illegal
immigration if part of a larger immigration process and that illegal
immigration is just one of the complements relative to legal immigra-
tion, I think that one understands that what he is dealing with in this
particular period is as much a consequence or an outgrowth of the
legislation of 1965 as happens to be true for legal immigration per se.
I have in my paper sort of reviewed very quickly the law of 1965,
the Ford amendment and the Carter considerations. I have also men-
tioned in a sort of summary fashion some of the consequences such as
increased volume of legal immigrants shift in source countries, and
positions of the leading source countries vis-a-vis each other, changes
in ethnic and cultural and occupational and sex balance and so on, and
finally, of course, the problems we now face relative to the issue of
By its very nature-invisible, exclusive, and perhaps ambulatory-
the volume and rate of the illegal immigrant population is very dif-
ficult to determine, and therefore the presently used data are generally
unreliable, or at least questionable. They run from very reasonable
like numbers to rather elaborate and inflated ones, and they are ques-
tions of methodology, adequacy of data, and so on, which in many
cases are problematic because one has to consider even the medium
which is making the presentation and what kind of interests that
While the White House Domestic Council, Mr. Chairman, sought
to utilize some of this information while demonstrating its awareness
of the limitations of that kind of information, it proceeded to pro-
pose some changes and direction for Government action relative to
I was somewhat surprised within the context of time that it was
presented that the Domestic Council's presentation was as candid and
revealing as it was. And a colleague of mine, whom I regret not having
been able to attend yesterday's session, Frank Bonilla, made a very
reasonable and balanced critique of that report. I regret it because I
think Mr. Bonilla would have been able to give us some position rela-
tive to Puerto Rico as a source as well as a target of immigration, as
well as some issues relative to pressures that Puerto Ricans feel as
compared or in contrast to the Chicano population in the United
The top 15 source countries of illegal immigration reported by the
Domestic Council included: Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti,
Jamaica, Colombia, the Philippines, Korea, Greece, Guatemala, Thai-
land, India and also Nigeria, Iran, Ecuador, and Peru. Several rea-
sons and admissions are given by the Council for the illegal movement
toward the United States. And among them were: rapid economic ex-
pansion, high population growth rates and internal movements, and
cultural and historical linkages with the United States.
In large measure these countries were said to be experiencing popu-
lation increases beyond their present capacity while their populations
are moving to the United States because of historical-cultural link-
ages-including precedents of legal migration-and also disparities
in economic relations between these countries and the United States.
Such movement has taken on clandestine characteristics insofar as it
is pursued by unauthorized means. And quoting the Council:
Illegal immigration is a result of international push-pull forces which are
stronger than the law or systems currently in operation to control it.
Mr. YATRON. Doctor, excuse me, I would like to request a 10-minute
recess so I can answer a rollcall on the Department of Defense au-
thorization bill. I will come back and hopefully bring some members
with me. We will take a 10-minute recess. I am sorry.
[Whereupon, a short recess was taken.]
Mr. YATRON. The committee will reconvene.
Dr. Bryce-Laporte, you may resume your testimony.
Mr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. I will try this time to comply to the time re-
quest as best as I can.
My own view of the report which I just mentioned was that despite
its general candor, that there was some distortion and suppression
which left the picture of immigration, especially illegal immigration,
as if it were some mechanistic process or legacy and/or at best the
consequence of ineffective police and legal restrictive systems.
And I think the most important aspect which should have been in-
cluded, and I would like to have the committee maintain it as part of
your consideration in dealing with the question of immigration, is the
fact of the list of allegedly leading source countries of illegal im-
migration, that is included only four countries-Iran, Nigeria, Peru
and Guatemala-that were not also among the 10 leading sources of
legal immigration; moreover that most of the countries involved-in-
cluding those four-are countries which are the sites of intensive
American economic and political investment. Some of these countries
have in addition military or undemocratic governments that are
propped up for one reason or another by American military assistance.
And all of these countries have national populations that are dis-
tinctively visible and would be viewed along such terms as "inferior"
or threatening to the prevailing ethnic and cultural modality of this
And I think it is generally overlooked that these people, these ille-
gals come from societies where there is heavy U.S. investment, influ-
ence, and exploitation via industries characterized as primary labor
intensive but population displacing operations, service but labor re-
strictive enterprises and accompanied by finished exports, luxury
items, and American consumption standards to countries whose eco-
nomic and employment situations can ill afford the cost or dependence
on importation from an economy as high priced as that of the United
In other words, this relationship puts the people in those countries
in the ill position of being oriented very much the same as Americans,
depending very much on things American in an economy or society
that can hardly support it. And many times it is not obtaining the
kind of support or relationship relative to the United States to be
able to accommodate half of the desires that they have acquired.
I think that it may be instructive also to look at the extraterritorial
immigrants, at least those coming from Puerto Rico and the Virgin
Islands so that one gets some idea, using those islands-even though
official ports of the United States-as cues of what is really happening
in terms of immigration in general.
I also think that one should consider how much more problematic
and magnitudeinous the so-called illegal immigration population
would have been if in fact they were not those particular sets of people,
Indochinese and Cubans, etc., who are viewed as refugees and parolees,
simply because they happen to come from countries overtaken by Com-
That is to say, many of these countries have relationships that are
not very different from the leading source countries with the United
States. And, it is likely that under normal circumstances they too
would also be producing massive inflows of people into the United
States who then would have been viewed as "illegals" providing their
governments were not communistic Haitians, Dominicans, et cetera.
I think relative to the illegals themselves one has to bear in mind
that many of them or most of them tend to be caught in sites, in work
places. And in many cases the raids are made repeatedly into the same
kinds of work places, suggesting something about (1) economic needs
and practices of certain U.S. business needs, and (2) the orientation
and purpose of the coming of such people. Outside of violations of
residences and work illegals are generally not criminally inclined. In
fact, they are quite disposed to what Americans call the Protestant
ethic and are impressed with the American dream.
A characteristic of the present immigration is the extremely high
number of women, sometimes women being the only legal, the only
person and the first person in the family to come. This in fact, there-
fore, suggests some other socioeconomic problems, but also suggesting
something about the desperation which moved those persons to come,
as well as the kinds of selected factors and recruitment factors that are
directed to them and to their countries in terms of the kinds of workers
With respect to this reported bill by the President I made some
review of it and point out that the report seemed to have been con-
cerned (1) with short-run gains and the absence of a single solution;
(2) also identifying certain factors as stubborn social-economic forces
without specifying from whence or where they came. And 13 therefore,
in a sense begging an out in terms of moving in terms of short-run
solutions, rather than long run ones as well-with the former being
more control-oriented than anything else.
There were some other features to it, but I am saying that the
thrust of it, in a sort of implicit way, was toward a short-run control-
I suggested that there are some domestic implications that follow
the bill as presented by the President. And, I think that I will not
deal with those at this point save for one. And that is that to the ex-
tent that you are dealing with people who are crossing international
boundaries or who are transnational linkages, that even the control
features that are being suggested have indirect international implica-
tions. So that some of your domestic policies that would be made rela-
tive to them, even though stated explicitly as "domestic" will even-
tually have international implications.
But one could go to the foreign or international level and look at
some of the implications or criticisms of the bill as such.
Among the most serious for me was for one the failure to do with
the U.S. territories which are caught in the dual roles of recipient and
interim conduit of illegals; that is, they receive illegals to stay there.
They are used as stepping stones by the so-called illegals coming into
the United States.
In fact, one could go to the third point: That they are also produc-
ing their own immigration. And on the other hand that neither their
economies nor their laws are able to cope with the problem as com-
plex as it is; but quite often as in this bill there is no specification as
to the particular problems of the U.S. territories.
Second, the bill by the time it was completed had become unclear as
to the application of the proposals to Mexico per se, that is, relative
to what had been said in a Domestic Council's statement. And I do
think that Mexico deserves special attention for a number of reasons.
But as I said in a previous presentation in the House, that I think
one has to be careful that one does not create of Mexico a substitute
target for the same movement from surrounding Latin American and
Caribbean countries or, on the other hand, even create of Canada a
So there is need to deal with the specificities of Mexico and Canada,
but bear in mind that those should not be merely ways of resolving the
problem of the United States to the detriment of these two countries.
There is also an absence, in my opinion, of any true concern with
issues of national equality as a complement to development and em-
ployment opportunities in the source countries.
So they speak about the ability of improving these countries to create
jobs and improving the productivity of these countries so as to reduce
the gap on that level between the United States and these particular
source countries, but in fact many times the problem may not be solely
the distance between country and country in economic terms but also
the intervention on the part of the governments of those particular
countries in terms of the distribution of wealth, the distribution of
opportunities, and in some cases political repression rather than
Finally, I think the bill as stated, it fails to concern itself with
role and guidelines for private sectors; I speak particularly of inves-
tors, multinationals, et cetera, as compared to government. That is,
it is not only necessary to speak about policy of the U.S. Govern-
ment but the U.S. Government has got to be somewhat responsible
for the practices of private enterprises of multinationals in those
countries, which in many cases represent in small scale maybe jobs, but
in large scale may be disgracing, may be disrupting, may not be con-
tributing to certain changes that are necessary in that economy to
sustain the larger population.
I turn specifically to the Caribbean where there may be some modi-
fications of what I have said before. The Caribbean to meis important
for a number of reasons, and one of them I think you hear very well
by my accent. I am an immigrant in the sense that I was not born here.
I was born in the Republic of Panama and came here for reasons of
study and with notions of perhaps staying for a while as a resident
and then returning. I never really returned. But my presence in Pana-
ma is explainable also in terms of migration; that is, my great-grand-
parents were from the Caribbean Island proper. And all of these
movements are not isolated from American economic activities which
either attracted or induced that family, as well as a number of families,
to move from the islands to the mainland, from the mainland to the
And if one wanted to get rather historical, those people who are
not located in the majority of the Caribbean Islands are in fact immi-
grants of an order not very different from the blacks of the South
who for labor reasons also had been moved from Africa to the new
world. So that I have some special interest in this issue. And I think
my interest is not one that is alien to the basic underlying factor
that was mentioned by Mr. Fontaine yesterday, and that is that a good
deal of what we are speaking about is really the movement of nonwhite
labor. And the United States has now come to play a particular role in
that movement at this time of its history comparable to similar roles
played by the older metropolitan states at an earlier period. What role
the United States may play later, of course, is partially in the hands of
committees like yours.
I think that my paper makes characterizations of the Caribbean
which need not be repeated here beyond the fact that at this time the
Caribbean is undergoing serious political rearrangements both in-
ternally and vis-a-vis the rest of world; that they have started to
take a much more nationalistic attitude toward the operation of in-
dustry, toward the utilization of natural resources, toward control of
prices and so on. And that these may eventually result in changes on
the part of governments toward the question of migration and mi-
grants, or immigration and immigrants, or even migrants. That is,
we have already had some clues. I mean that given the fact that in the
case of Cuba a significant number of people left before the Castro gov-
ernment, we know now there is not a massive emigration, unless one
wants to speak of troops, out of Cuba. And of Jamaica, which has now
moved into a somewhat Socialist direction, it is said that difficulties
are being imposed not by massive or general laws, but difficulties are
now being imposed to reduce the outmigration of the more productive
and potential segments of the population.
So that they, either by political change, or as in the case of Barbados,
Puerto Rico, and others, by serious attempts to deal with population
control in terms of birth control and family planning, the Caribbean
governments have tried to face this question of migration.
At one point, migration, I would say, was not only the ethos in the
West Indies, but was, as Mr. Fontaine and others have suggested, an
implicit part of their government policy. At some points it is looked
upon as a brain drain, and at some points it is looked upon as a safety
valve. Sometimes it is looked upon as something favorable, and at other
times it is looked upon negatively.
And I think the Caribbean region certainly needs to work out, either
individually or as a region, and certainly at times with cooperation
from the United States, some definition of the meaningfulness of
migration at different times in its development.
I point out that Caribbean emigrants have come to this country. They
-have proved in general to be very mobile people. Many have attained
leadership within nonwhite communities of the United States. On the
other hand, many have suffered low positions of power, visible ethnic
status even after having high degrees of acculturation and achieve-
ment. And I in an earlier article spoke about them being therefore sort
-of dually invisible; that is, they suffered the invisibility of blacks per
se, and within the black segment they suffered the invisibility of being
Therefore, when policies are made, they are made without con-
sideration of the complexity of the Asian American, the so-called
Asian American, the so-called Latin-American or black-American
segments. But not understanding that in many cases you have varia-
tions within that situation; that is, that a Samolan and a Japanese
would be viewed as Asian American, which sometimes becomes prob-
lematic for the eyes much less in terms of just making certain decisions
and cultural priorities on a local level.
I would say as of 1960, therefore, if one wanted to characterize the
immigration from the Caribbean, one would view it as a concomitant
of such things as changes in the political status or situation of some
:states in the region; the closing of European target societies and open-
ing of the United States by way of the bill of 1965-and also Canada-
shifts in the base of manpower recruitment for marginal U.S. indus-
tries and places of operation and expansion of U.S. primary and
tertiary industries; increasing imbalance between population growth
and economic development/redistribution of opportunities, wealth,
et cetera; and, of course, a large body of illegals who follow their
colleagues and relatives.
With respect to the countries that are viewed as the major sources of
illegals, in the circum-Caribbean area there is, of course, Mexico. And
I think there are some significant differences between the Mexican and
Caribbean so-called illegal in terms of the frequency or opportunities
to cross the border, the frequencies of crossing that border, their loca-
tion, et cetera. The Caribbean immigrants, or the so-called illegals, are
likely to be located where there are also legals; therefore, you have
used them largely in the eastern metropolis or perhaps where they will
not easily be viewed in ethnic terms. Therefore, you have a large black
or mixtures of black populations or something of that sort. And, of
course, many more Mexicans are apprehended than those of the
Aside from Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala are other mainland
countries of the circum-Caribbean region which are listed among the
.alleged leading sources of illegals in the United States. I think Mexico
and Colombia are important for a number of reasons.
In a previous presentation before a committee, I was asked a ques-
tion as to how do you explain Colombia, with a relatively or compar-
able low birth rate compared to many of its neighbors, would have
been responsible for so much outmigration to these countries and the
United States. And I would suggest that there are at least two reasons:
One is that a significant part of the Colombian population has always
been engaged in outmigration to places like Panama in particular, you
.see in response to American activities; second, that despite the fact
.that Colombia might in fact have a comparable or lower birth rate to
the others, its economics has not been generally as good as its surround-
ing neighbors and therefore you have had movements of people from
Colombia into these other countries, and in many cases moving
Therefore, in some ways the Colombian situation as far as its neigh-
bors is concerned is quite similar to that of Mexico. Relative, of course,
to the United States, you have a long distance and, of course, a be-
havior by Colombian illegals here would be very different from that of
Colombian illegals in Venezuela. Illegal Colombian presence here
simply demonstrates the strong pull and the strong push of American
activities vis-a-vis the hemisphere, so that people come from areas as
distant as Colombia to enter.
Regarding the other leading circum-Caribbean sources of illegals/
legal immigration. There are three islands per se. I think the islands
pose a problem very different to the mainland. That is, ,n ecological
terms they are more restricted and sometimes in resource terms they
are more limited. So that they can sustain x number of population
and no more unless they are going to have significant economic devel-
opment or external holdings and hegemony, say, as has been true of
England. I don't think it is simply they are islands per se, but that
they are islands plus certain other concomitants which are different to
those that England enjoyed and still enjoys relative to them.
These three are the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica. And
they are distinguishable by their large nonwhite populations, even
though among them there are cultural differences. They are also dis-
tinguishable in terms of serious political crises which they have under-
gone prior to or around or since 1965. And I will not go to the details
I attempted to look at these three countries relative to the other
countries, independent countries, of the Caribbean. And I looked at
them along certain measures which are mentioned in the report.
The conclusion, after looking at them, was that there were certain,
measures along which you had significant differences between these
three main forces of illegal immigration and the rest of the independ-
ent countries of the Caribbean, including Guyana and Surinan. One
was balance of payments. They were significantly negative to the
Second, they were highly relative to the others in United States-
Third, they were high in nonimmigrants.
In terms of population growth and population size, even though
they were larger than the others, they were not as significantly-
In addition to that-well, they were not significantly dramatical. In
addition to that I looked at the question of the kinds of people who
were being deported or asked to leave the United States from these-
three countries. And that also provided what I considered some inter-
To begin with, I think that the data, even though difficult to sup-
port any sophisticated comparisons, tended to suggest at least imply
that it is not merely the internal dynamics of population or popula-
tion growth or even internal economic indices like GNP and so on
which seems to have related to closely to illegal immigration, but rather
.things like balance of payments, U.S. economic assistance, and
This suggests, therefore, some sort of positive relationship between
the illegal immigration and external economic trade relationships and
total legal-demographic movement, (meaning the sum the non-immi-
Sgrant and immigrant).
If you combine not only what is stated or called INS "legal immigra-
tion" but what is stated by INS as nonimmigrantt" entrance into their
*country, you would find that these countries outdistanced the rest in
total non-illegal immigration. So that there is a significant number of
people coming into the country not as immigrants per se, but as nonim-
migrants and, therefore, represent a significant flow from these coun-
tries relative to their peers. It is also when you investigate the nonim-
migrant that you see that a significant number of the nonimmigrants
-are people such as students, dependents, vacationers and temporary
migrants. And therefore, that much of the illegal immigration in the
case of the Caribbean is not so much-at least in terms of those appre-
-hended-a reflection of people crossing the boundaries in fraudulent
ways either with fixed documents or by way of some surreptitious
-means, but really people who come here under the guise of utilizing
certain legal categories of temporary stay and subsequently violating
The fact that a significant number of these people are dependents
also introduces something to be considered: that the family relation-
ship, the neighborhood relationship is important. And also that some
of these are students implies something about the kind of motivation
that brought them here to begin with and the difficulties of maintaining
themselves as students or their families as students while remaining,
while adhering to the limitations of the nonimmigrant status.
And I think that these are important to get some idea of what dis-
tinguishes, first the Caribbean illegal immigration from perhaps Mexi-
can illegal immigration, but also to get some idea of the relationship
:between illegal immigration and legal immigration. They imply as
well that within the phenomenon of illegal immigration the United
.States is an active force motivating, embracing, rejecting these people.
I would like to go quickly to my conclusions. The conclusions are not
particularly new. Some of these comments have been made before in
other documents of mine. However, there are one or two points I think
ought to be made clear. And I would just read the first and perhaps the
It is obvious then that foreign policy implications dealing with il-
legal immigration from the Caribbean-even though it must not be
wrenched out of the larger world and historical context of movement
-of labor and capital in which it occurs-must deal with particularities
of the region and its leading source countries as well.
Emphasis on more institutionalization of massive anti-immigration
control measures is simply inappropriate, and inadequate when relied
upon solely. Any intelligent effort to confront the illegal immigration
must see it as symptom and consequence of a larger set of relations
between the United States, or certain classes within it, as an active,
self-interested entity vis-a-vis the Caribbean region, as well as of
course a cause or condition.of domestic problems of both political and
'economic dimension within this country itself. That is, you cannot see
it only as a source of problems and you cannot inflict as a cause of
problems: It may be a cause of issues more than a cause of problems
in fact on the domestic level.
Whatever shortrun measures are pursued should be adjusted to avoid:
creating greater adversity for these countries, their .simple replace-
ment by other source countries or their becoming target states in them-
selves in relief or postponement of what would have been a U.S.-
oriented movement. Shortrun policies would have to be directed not
so much to border crossings, but nonimmigrant violators in the United
States and its territories-a move pregnant with foreign or interna-
tional relations implications in itself. And perhaps it should not be
simply-and I will ad-lib this-should not be simply control measures,
but in fact it suggests something about receptive levels, measures of
reception or assimilation both directed to the immigrants themselves
as well as to the institutions. That:is to say New York should be pre-
pared to view itself as indeed a bilingual city. In fact stressing
bilingualism is important rather than having New York seem largely
as an English-speaking city which wants to convert all of these people
into monolingual English speakers. There is nothing wrong with being
bilingual. In fact, it is advantageous and befitting to the United States
to be, well, multilingual.
But this only testifies to in fact a larger issue, which I think the
committee must bear in mind. And that is to the interlink between
domestic and foreign policy (or relations) inherent in the present
world migration process.
The Caribbean situation also suggests that what is normally shunted
off as a longrun problem; that is, restructuring of U.S. internal and
international economic order must be viewed with greater urgency and
pursued with greater study and cooperative research and deliberation,
if shortrun and longrun approaches are not to run into cross-purposes
or operational conflicts.
Basically it seems to be that the mandate is that changes have got
to be made to create an economic order which minimizes the need or
advantages of cheap alien labor in the United States and the other
industrial states or the need for alien labor, which I think the indus-
trial states and the United States happen to have some responsibilities
for, the need for alien labor in their own countries to want to im-
migrate or find it necessary to immigrate to other lands to obtain basic
This is particularly true when one understands, at least as the statis-
tic shows, that the countries which are producing the significant num-
bers of people coming into the United States are countries that are sup-
posed to be closely allied with the United States. They are not countries
that are adverse to the United States or even in competition with it.
I have suggested, therefore, that there is need for some sort of philo-
sophical position which the United States must start to be concerned
with how a peace-time economy can accommodate these two-both na-
tive and labor forces and alien labor forces-within its boundaries at
least now; its willingness to tolerate additional nonwhite aliens; its
willingness to participate in a reshuffling of international economic
order; and its willingness to cooperate with or at least those progres-
sive governments in the Caribbean and other areas which seek to
achieve meaningful political and economic independence, that is, to
control their resources, production and marketing systems, and estab-
lish internal structures of opportunity geared to equal distribution of
wealth and political rights within them.
Therefore, I will conclude that current United States immigration
represents a key problem of interrelated multilateral, multifaceted
and multilevel propositions. And this consciousness must accompany
even the most isolated and obtusely related policy decisions which im-
pinge on the movement of aliens into and within the country.
Eventually new efforts to resolve the problems related to new immi-
gral ion, whether from the Caribbean or other such areas must be pur-
sued within a worldwide frame of reference. It is a world phenomenon,
not simply a local one, not simply a national one, not simply an inter-
national, transnational one: it has become a world phenomenon.
And the key objective of any such negotiations and deliberations
should be to arrive at agreeable levels of complementarity in migration
policy, development programs and international [political-economic]
relations between the industrial metropoles and the peripheral/de-
pendent or developing nations.
Yet, on all these levels the efforts must be sensitive, comprehensive
and profound; they must involve the deliberate interplay of relevant
research, analysis, planning, policy, public service and administration,
civil rights, education, public opinion and morality.
And I terminate with the plea that a sincere and sympathetic and
sophisticated American input is a requisite for success in such an effort.
And I hope the committee finds it possible to at least begin that
Mr. YATRON. Thank you very much for a thorough statement. How
important is proximity to the United States a factor in Caribbean
Mr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Relative to Mexico, it certainly isn't. Relative-
to Argentina or Africa, it certainly is. That is, the movement of people
or of labor is not only to the United States at the present time, it has
also been to parts of Europe, and it has been to parts of Africa-some-
times even parts of Africa which, in political and human terms, the
immigrants themselves would have chosen not otherwise to go.
The reason that you have this distinction, that is in these particular
movements, can be explained largely in economic terms. However, the
choices that people make are in part a consequence of proximity. Con-
sequently, if Africa, I would suggest, happened to be closer and if, in
fact, the possibilities of travel and cheap travel tended to be more-
heightened, then likely you would have had a significant African input
here as well. It is because of proximity standard other related factors
that Africans make choices to go north or go south rather than cross
the ocean. You do not have a heavy middle eastern movement either
for the same reason, that many tend to go to Europe, Iran or Saudia
So proximity is important in terms of understanding the Caribbean
relative to those other areas. It is less important relative to Mexico or
Mr. YATRON. You note that Cuban refugees act as a restraining fac-
tor in U.S. attitudes toward the Castro government. Do you foresee a
similar role for other Caribbean immigrant communities in this
Mr. BRYCE-LAPORTE. Well, I think one of the consequences of migra-
tion-and that is where I think the intellectual concerns must be played
with-is that you know it is not only a matter of whether people have
jobs or not have jobs; it is also a question of understanding that, really
in intellectual terms, you are having a play between people and states.
You have two different entities at play here and what this migration
perhaps more than any-but what all migration does is that many
times it blurs, reduces, confuses, or depresses the meaning of bound-
aries-in contiguous terms more sharply so, of course, than others. So
that you have ideas coming across and identities coming across and
ideologies coming across.
I think that what role Caribbean immigrants and communities will
play will be-first of all, I do not think they will play a role that is
any more distinct to the role of other ethnic groups in the United States
relative to their own lands. With respect to your question, the Cuban
case was cited because I was talking about the Caribbean, but one could
speak in terms of the Middle East or Europe and see the same thing in
I think, in fact, relative to most of the others, that the Caribbean
immigrants are less in a position to make that impact, with the ex-
ception of perhaps the possibilities with Haitians and Dominicans
who are large in numbers enough to their home islands. But for most
of the others, the Caribbean as a single political entity is not even a
reality; the Caribbean is not a reality in terms of political operation.
It is like saying Asian-American.
When you say "Caribbean," you have to speak about Jamaicans who
may, in fact, be in contest with Trinidadians and do not always think
of themselves in terms of "Caribbean" in political terms when seeking
to manipulate the United States.
So I am saying one might be overplaying the importance of those
groups, the impact of those groups, when viewed as a single political
comment rather than national groups, in the United States. On the
other hand, one cannot overlook the fact that migration obscures
national boundaries. And questions of remittances and a number of
other issues could be institutionalized in fact if one were able to either
obscure the notion of national boundaries or if the two countries-the
sending and recipient countries-would cooperate as if the lines were
Mr. YATRON. Thank you very much, Doctor.
With your permission, the subcommittee would like to submit ques-
tions to you in writing so that we might have time for a discussion
with the other three witnesses. We appreciate your appearance here
today. We will see that you receive 'additional questions for you to
Thank you very much.
And now we will begin with the next gentleman, who will be Dr.
STATEMENT OF VERNON BRIGGS, JR., PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS,
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN
Mr. BInGGS. Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity also to speak
before the committee.
1 See appendix 7, p. 450.
I am not going to read my testimony but just summarize a few
points of it and just make a few introductory remarks, if I might.
I tend to be associated with the position that illegal immigration
is a serious problem in this country, and consequently, I always like
to say a few things in an introductory way.
My feeling is one of not trying to make illegal immigrants the
scapegoat, but at the same time to realize that illegal immigration
does have an impact.
Now, my training is economics. I am not in sociology or political
science or a historian. Speaking as an economist, when you increase
the supply of anything, it has to either drive down the price or slow
down prices from increases. And that is just a truism in economics.
Now, I can't say that there are not political reasons for violating
the laws of economics. But I am simply saying that I think in this
issue. I have backed into the issue of illegal immigration because of
a sincere interest in efforts to unionize low-wage workers, which has
been almost impossible, and which I find illegal immigrants to be
an increasing factor-not the total factor but they are one factor.
I find illegal immigration to be a factor perpetuating poverty and
low wages in this country: not "the factor" but "a factor."
I cannot say much about the numbers of illegal aliens involved.
No one can. But to me, the numbers' issues is irrelevant. As long as
everybody with whom I am familiar with-all the literature, people
I have spoken with, scholars-agree that the numbers are large to
begin with, it does not make any difference what the actual number is.
If everyone agrees the numbers are large to begin with and that they
are increasing annually, it makes no difference that we cannot speak
On the other hand, I believe the lack of numbers is one reason why
there are so few economists dealing with this question. Economists
almost by definition follow the numbers these days. And if there are
no numbers, they will not get into it. I am one of the few that will
Consequently, I am open and fair game to a lot of criticism deal-
ing with a subject that is quite intangible. On the other hand, I am
also impressed by the fact that there is no major social issue in this
country that I know of in which there is any good data. We can start
right with energy. There is no data on the availability of energy
supplies in this country. We can go to mental health, crime, youth
I am also working and studying youth unemployment in this
country. The data on youth unemployment is terrible. Despite this,
everybody believes it is a serious question. But when you get into
local labor markets, the data is almost nonexistent.
So I understand the dangers in working in areas where there is
poor data, but I also want to be sure that my perspective is clear:
that I do not want to blame the illegal immigrants for all the prob-
lems of this country. Many of the problems would exist if they were
not here. On the other hand, I think they are a factor and becoming
a more prominent factor in certain areas.
As far as labor economics is concerned, their impact is that they
tend to be concentrated in certain labor markets. If they were dis-
persed among all occupations it wouldn't be a particular issue; or
if they were dispersed among all regions, it wouldn't be a particular
issue. But because they do tend to be concentrated in selected local
labor markets and in certain operations, they are a serious issue in
those localities and those occupations, especially low-wage occupations
and especially certain parts of our country.
I also sincerely believe that if illegal immigrants were coming into
white collar occupations in this country, coming as lawyers, doctors,
college professors, and business executives, we wouldn't be here today.
This issue would be stopped and stopped fast. And it is only because
the illegal immigrants are largely coming in to low-wage occupations
and blue collar occupations and service occupations-groups that are
notoriously inadequate in terms of being able to represent themselves
politically-that this issue is allowed to continue and fester.
And I am also impressed by the fact that quite often people who
minimize the problem of illegal immigration are quite often tenured
professors and people who do not have to worry about job competition.
But I say that I think there is a real issue here and that there are
,citizen workers who are adversely affected.
Now, without going into a lot of other things, I know you asked me
to talk about the international aspects. And I would say this. That as
I look at this issue, it is essentially an evolving one and developing
one because our current immigration policy is absolutely unenforce-
able. It is an unenforceable system. And I think that is the premise
from which we must begin. We simply have to ask ourselves whether
or not as a Nation we wish to have an immigration policy. And if we
wish to have one, it ought to be enforceable whatever it is. I do not
care what it is. but whatever we say in writing should relate factually
to what actually happens. And our policy currently is not that way
at all. We write one thing as being our immigration policy, which in
fact is quite different from what it is in actuality.
And I think that is largely due to the fact that illegal immigration
is making our legal system a mockery. And I think that is dangerous
for the short run and very dangerous for the long run.
We are having mass immigration into this country. And as I am
sure more knowledgeable people have indicated, mass immigrations of
people always take place when you have push and pull factors. They
both have to be there.
You can have pioneer immigrants who just move for the devil of it,
or because of the challenge or what-have-you. But when you have
mass movements, which is what we are experiencing today, there has
to be both push and pull factors.
Now, I think in the past perhaps the pull factors have been more
dominant. And we can find plenty of examples in our history, especial-
ly in the Southwest. in which the pull factors have been very powerful
and maybe the dominant factor of the two. But the push factors have
generally been there as well.
My own feeling is that the push factors are today perhaps the more
important of the two forces. That is why I welcome the opportunity
to speak before this committee, since your concern is international re-
lations which takes us into the push factors a lot more than the other
congressional committees which are largely dealing with legislation
to restrict the pull factors.
I think we need to realize these two work in tandem and the policy
remedies have to work in tandem. We have to have policies directed
.at both push and pull factors if we are going to have an effective
Now, the pull factors are very briefly those that stem largely from
the differences in economic development between the various coun-
tries, especially between the United States and Mexico-but between a
lot of other countries as well. Certainly in the past the pull factor in
the Southwest has been affected by the tendency of our system to ac-
-centuate labor-oriented rather than settlement processes, that is, ac-
centuating the use of the braceros or commuters, or illegal aliens as
workers but not looking into the longrun consequences as to the
:settlement aspects that might come from continuing those endeavors.
Third, I think part of the strength of the pull factors is derived
from the current immigration law. We have a policy today that is
totally unforceable policy. In fact we are saying, we welcome illegal
immigrants into this country. And that is because the current state of
this law is really a script for a Keystone Cops comedy. If it were not
for the human tragedy involved, it is a perfect script for a farcical
comedy. When you don't put a penalty on employers for hiring illegal
:aliens, when essentially voluntary departure is the only method of
dealing with people who are apprehended, when the INS force is so
small that it is a fraction of the Capitol Hill police force, it is a
But, on the other hand, that situation is one in which, as I say, the
current status of the law has implicitly said that illegal immigration is
to be welcomed despite all our formal overtures that we do not want
illegal immigrants in the country. I think that is partly due to short-
run labor policy again having dominance over other long-run
There are a few other things in my paper, but I would like to say
as the push factors are concerned, that I think that these are extremely
important and, perhaps, even more important explanative factors
today than pull factors.
In other words, if you addressed just the pull factors alone, you
could not resolve this issue at all. The push factors would still be
With respect to Mexico, the Mexican economy, as I indicate in my
testimony, is growing very rapidly. And on paper, in fact, the Mexi-
can economy is one of the most lively and most rapidly growing and
prosperous economies in the world, and certainly in Latin America.
On the other hand, we have learned only so well in dealing with ag-
gregate statistics, that aggregate statistics cover a great deal of varia-
tion and that much of the benefits of economic growth in Mexico and
its rapidly increasing levels of income and gross national product are
lost because the benefits are not distributed very well at all. In fact, the
distribution of the gains is extremely unequal. And consequently there
is a great deal of unrest within Mexico and there is a great deal of
legitimate concern about the fact that these aggregate data do not
really describe the lives of so many people.
There is also, of course, the population issue which we are quite
familiar with and the rapid growth of the labor force in Mexico,
which is rapidly outruning the ability of the Mexican economy to
provide jobs. For many who do work, the wages are very poor and
the hours are quite irregular and the days of work are quite irregular
especially in northern and central Mexico. There is massive poverty.
We could elaborate more on those and I have done so in my paper.
I do think that in terms of addressing the push factors-and again
I know my recommendations will be a little bit naive because agaia
I am a domestic labor economist who has backed into an international
issue over the past years--but I do think we need to talk seriously
about increasing direct economic aid to many countries who are send-
ing illegal immigrants into this country. Mexico has a great adversity
to accepting direct economic aid, but they are quite willing to accept
economic aid that goes through international agencies. And I should
hope that that route could be pursued: Whether it be the World Bank
or the Export-Import Bank or whatever other international entity
might be involved.
I sincerely wish that we could reduce tariffs on Mexican imports-
into this country. Mexico is a leading importer of American goods-
The Mexican economy needs to be able to export more freely into this
country-especially agricultural products, light industry manufactur-
ing, et cetera. I realize that there will likely be some domestic impacts
to such increased imports but I think in many cases the benefits of free
trade from Mexico would far outweigh the cost. I think we have got
to give Mexico a chance to develop its own economy.
In my paper I try to go through some of the precise numbers in
showing how dependent Mexico is to our country in buying our ex-
ports, in creating a lot of jobs for U.S. citizens, but I think at the same
time we should be welcoming a lot more trade from Mexico which
would also create jobs for Mexicans.
I also think the same thing should be said for most of the Caribbean
countries. I think a Caribbean common market of some sort is long-
overdue; giving special concessions for all countries in this area as-
Europe is doing for its regional neighbors. This region should be
doing the same.
I think we need to increase technical assistance, which is something-
the United States has been fairly good at in the past either in terms.
of population control measures or technical aid for industrial develop-
ment. I think much greater attention should be paid to providing
The last policy issue I think we need to address from an interna-
tional standpoint is the restriction placing Mexico under the 20,000
legal limit of immigrants to the United States. It is totally unrealistic..
I think Mexico should be returned to the privileged position it had
before. It was not covered by any quota restrictions from 1924 to,
1965. Beginning in 1965, Mexico was included in a total hemispheric
of 120,000 persons but no specific country quota. Between 1965 and!
1976, we were accepting on the average of about 50,000 Mexicans a
year as legal immigrants. The range was from 40,000 to 70,000 persons
but averaging about 50,000. There is no magic in that number. But I
think the most important thing to do is eliminate illegal immigration.
And I think the 20,000 limit on Mexico is totally unrealistic.
Consequently, I think that specific quotas should be altered to, say-
50,000 a year.
In conclusion, I would say that I think it is way past time to begin
acting on this issue. I feel that this issue is mushrooming. I don't think
the urgency is shared yet. I think people are beginning to sense it here,
in Washington. But I think the urgency of this issue is still not ap-
preciated enough. I fear that within a few years it is not going to be
possible to discuss this issue in terms of these types of political rem-
edies and recommendations.
I think you can see some symptoms of that. For example, I only need
to remind you about last week's decision of the Texas Supreme Court
which upheld the State law requiring illegal alien children to pay tui-
tion to go to public schools. I think this is the beginning of signs of
punitive legislation that is going to, in the long term, hurt this country
terribly. And those kinds of remedies I will never support even though
I am very much in favor of restricting illegal immigration. However,
I am adamantly opposed to something like this development that has
happened in the State of Texas, but I am afraid it is going to happen
elsewhere. I fear that punitive legislation will institutionalize a sub-
class. We have had subclasses before, but we are in the process of doing
something now that we have not done since slavery and that is to per-
manently institutionalize a subclass by denying them all kinds of social
privileges, forcing them into lives of fear or detection and deportation.
The long-run consequences of these developments are as ominous as the
long-run consequences of slavery were a generation before.
In the past When slavery was an issue in this country nobody ever
thought about the long-run because they were looking at the short run
gains. The long-run consequences, however, have been terrible in this
-country to both the former slaves and to the country as a whole. I think
.the same thing is going to happen here with illegal immigration.
So I would urge a sense of urgency in addressing this issue.
Mr. YATRON. Thank you very much for your testimony.
I would like to ask you this: You indicate that U.S. borders should
remain relatively open because of domestic labor policy. Would you
refute for the subcommittee the argument that movement across the
border remains fairly free because of foreign policy considerations?
Mr. BRIGGS. Well, I am not sure. You say "refute the argument that
the border remains open because of foreign policy implications?"
Mr. YATRON. Foreign policy considerations.
Mr. BRIGGs. Well, I am not sure that it remains open for foreign pol-
icy implications. As it is I think in the Southwest this issue has existed
for a long time. And it has become a major part of Southwest labor
policy; that is, using Mexico as a source of cheap labor. And I think in
some sense it is only because it is now recognized that there is a sub-
stantial flow from other countries of the world, that it is not just a re-
gional issue, that we are beginning to talk about it on a national level
and then raise some of its international consequences.
Basically in the past the movements in the Southwest have been a
way of trying to find cheap labor and take advantage of Mexico as) a
source of that cheap labor, looking only at the short run and not at the
long run. The braceros program is one instance and illegal immigrants
is another. And I think in some sense it has been more a response to
employer interests in the Southwest to forestall efforts to unionize, to
keep wages low and to keep them significantly lower than they are in
many other regions of the country. And I think that that has been a
-conscientious part of regional public policy.
Now, I don't know that I can lay too much of the emphasis on for-
eign policy other than the fact that foreign policy has permitted it to
Mr. YAT ON. Could you provide the subcommittee with an estimate
of the proportion of Mexican undocumented aliens who are repeaters ?
Mr. BRIGGS. I would have no idea. I would say there is a substantial
flow back and forth. I think, though, that there is a tendency nowadays,
to downplay the immigration from Mexico; saying essentially it is.
just a short-run phenomenon. I think that is a mistake. There is the
Cornelius study at MIT, which has gotten a great deal of publicity re-
cently, and as you know, the Cornelius study was done entirely in Mex-
ico and only interviewing returnees.
And if I were to stand before this committee and say, let's discuss.
the impact of Californians on the labor market of Washington, D.C.,
and I am going to conduct all of my research out in San Francisco,.
you would laugh at me. Obviously you would talk to some people com-
ing back from Washington and didn't like Washington or liked it but
are back visiting relatives, but, of course, the place to study the im-
pact of Californians on Washington is in Washington.
And I think basically the Cornelius study is excellent in discussing
the push factors and the problems of local rural development. But it is-
totally useless as to what the impact of immigration is in the United
And I would say even if they were moving back and forth on a 6-
month basis, which I don't think is the case-some do; many do, but
even if it were the case, most of the illegal immigrants coming into the
Southwest from Mexico, tend to be in industries that are seasonal to
begin with. And if they are seasonal for the illegal immigrants, they-
are also seasonal for the full-time citizen workers. And their presence
is just as significant as if they were here the year round; that is, they
are in the construction industry, the service industry, agriculture,.
which are seasonal to begin with.
Mr. YATRON. To what extent are Mexican undocumented aliens seek-
ing higher incomes as opposed to just plain jobs ?
Mr. BRIGGS. Well, there is no doubt in my mind that when you have
mass movements of people, I would say there are push and pull fac-
tors and that people are coming here for a reason because people do
not leave what they know and go to what they do not know unless-
both of those things are operating. And I think the people are coming-
for higher incomes and the jobs that go with it.
And so in many cases the jobs. even though by U.S. standards ap-
pear to be low wage or undesirable compared to the alternative wages,
but the minimum wage along the Mexican border, although it varies
from city to city, is no more than one-third the U.S. minimum wage.
And that is where it is enforced. And it is not enforced very well to,
So there is a tremendous difference in even the lowest wages in this-
country from what the alternative wages are for many Mexican
workers. So I think the income is paramount but it related to the jobs.
Mr. YATRON. You suggest that Mexico should be granted an excep-
tion to the 20,000 persons per year quota imposed by the 1976 Immi-
gration and Naturalization Act amendments. Can we single out
Mexico without doing the same for other source countries in the,
Mr. BRIGGS. Well, I think we can. I mean the only two contiguous
borders are, of course, Canada and Mexico, Canada has a population
of about 16 or 17 million and is not even using anywhere near its
20,000 limit now. I think it is using about 8,000 a year, something
along that line. So they are not even making use of what it is. The eco-
nomic differences between Canada and the United States are not that
great and the poverty and population pressures are not that great, and
the numbers of people are not that great in number.
But with Mexico, there is a population of 60 or 70 million and
expecting 100 million by the end of the century as well as a region
of our county which, we must always recall, once was a part of Mexico,
so that there are long family ancestories in the region. Well, Mexico
is an entirely different situation than is the case with Canada. And I
think that even compared to most of the Caribbean nations, that none
of them have a population anywhere near the size of Mexico.
I think clearly Mexico is an exception by every standard one could.
impose. And I would have no hesitancy whatsoever to recommend a
significant increase in the number of legal immigrants from Mexico.
And it does not bother me one bit that would be a special case because
I think it is a special circumstance.
Mr. YATrON. I have one more question to ask. And then we will sub-
mit additional questions to you in writing also.
What impact would raising the legal quota have on illegal im-
migration from Mexico ?
Mr. BRIGGs. Well, I think it will reduce some of the pressure. The
U.S. immigration system is basically something we should be proud of..
There are virtually no other countries in this world that are accept-
ing legal immigrants in any significant number-I understand that
there are only six countries accepting legal immigrants in any sig-
nificant number in this world, and none of them is accepting anything
close to what the United States is accepting.
Now, of the other six countries virtually none of them are accept-
ing on a totally nondiscriminatory basis. And almost every one of
them also is accepting people on the basis of their ability to contribute
to job and labor shortages.
Under the U.S. system, 72 percent of the people who came into this
country legally last year came in under family reunification. And I
think that is an issue where the same thing will happen with Mexico:
that the overriding number of people who take advantage of the sug-
gested 50,000 limit will come in under family unification. I think that
will diminish some of the pressures for illegal immigrants. Obviously
that has got to be a factor. I mean brothers and sisters wanting to get
together again and uncles and brothers wanting to get together again
is a powerful influence.
Reunification of families is a powerful drive. And the fact that this
country does give such overwhelming sanction to that practice is.
something that we should be proud of.
And that is the irony of this whole situation. Our immigration
policy is something about which we should be, boasting of to the rest
of this world. In most of the rest of the world people are trying to get
out of countries. But in this country they are trying to get in. And we
should be proud of it. But, unfortunately, something we are proud of
is being perverted by the illegal immigration movement.
Mr. YATRON. I would suggest we take a 10-minute recess and come
back and resume with Dr. Bach and Dr. Cardenas.
[Whereupon, a short recess was taken.]
Mr. YATRON. The committee will reconvene. We would like to have
Professor Bach proceed with his testimony.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT BACH, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF SOCI-
OLOGY, STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT BINGHAMPTON
Mr. BACH. First, I would also like to express my gratitude for the in-
vitation to address this subcommittee on the crucial issue of undocu-
mented immigration into the United States.
I will try to express this gratitude in real terms by limiting my dis-
cussion to 15 minutes or so.
At present there seems to be two distinct ways of conceptualizing
Mexican inunigration to the United States. The most popular view
sees the problems of Mexican immigration from the point of view of
the presence and absence of certain characteristics of each economy.
Thus this popular view holds that Mexican immigration is fundamen-
tally a flood of poverty-stricken peasants fleeing underdeveloped Mex-
ico and coming to the rich, developed economy of the United States.
That is, the Mexican immigration occurs because of the lack of develop-
ment of the Mexican economy.
The image of a flood if appropriate for this position: two separate
pails of water standing side by side, one full and overflowing, and other
half full. The policy implications emerging from this view are rela-
tively clear cut. If we assume a U.S. point of view, we must surely
place a lid over our half-filled pail in order to prevent or, at least, regu-
late the inflow of new water. The various policy proposals presently
floating around call for just this action; increasing the size and budget
of the border patrol, "guestworker" labor programs, tightening access
to social security cards, and employer liabilities.
Foreign policy alternatives, our relationship to the overflowing
pail, also seem clear. We can either contribute to buying or building a
larger water pail or siphon extensions, capital investment and popula-
tion control programs are among such policies.
The view to be advanced here is different. It is based upon the more
challenging claim that Mexican immigration is caused by successful
development, not underdevelopment. According to this view, economic
relations in the United States and Mexico are expressions of a single
economy, fully integrated and complementary.
The economic determinants of the migration become a social problem
only as the target of political challenge.
The domestic and foreign policy implications of this view are much
more complex than the popular view. Since the two countries "share"
economic relations, domestic policy is, by definition, foreign policy.
For example, the decision to redirect labor migrations by restrictive
U.S. border practices creates and exacerbates unemployment and,
therefore, overpopulation problems in Mexico. In this case, restrictive
domestic policies are repressive foreign policies.
Similarly, foreign policy is also domestic policy.
The crucial point of this view is that Mexican and U.S. policies do
not reflect a concept of aggregate "national interest" but, instead, re-
flect the long-range interests of those. social groups-Mexico and
United States-who benefit disproportionately from the current struc-
ture of successful development. At the same time, subordinate social
groups-again Mexico and United States-consistently bear the brunt
of migration and development policies, either as the target groups or
as the bearers of the costs. Therefore, the question of domestic or for-
eign policy is not one of the presence or absence of characteristics of
a country, but which social groups are benefited, how and why.
If we adopt this second perspective, then policymakers face, it
seems to me, a major dilemma to maintain and promote the current
development of Mexico and the United States means to perpetuate, if
not stimulate, the migrate labor system. However, attempts to prevent
Mexican immigration may well require such measures that fundamen-
tal economic relations upon which contemporary development-and
the advantages for certain groups-rests would be threatened.
Now, what I have specifically to contribute to this subcommittee
involves two parts.
First, I will provide recent evidence on the origins, characteristics,
and motivations of a group of 822 Mexican legal immigrants. The
importance of this documentation for the subcommittee lies in the
fact that these immigrants, a majority of whom had extensive prior--
that is, illegal-experience in the United States, come from urban,
employed origins in Mexico.
Second, in response to the subcommittee's task of inquiring into
the foreign policy implications of current inmnigration proposals, I
will discuss the limitations of various proposals in light of the alterna-
tive conceptualization outlined above.
The description of the sample is related to the discussion of foreign
policy because these data provide evidence to support the view that it
is not necessarily underdevelopment, overpopulation, and poverty that
causes the migration but the very processes that account for the suc-
cessful post-World War II development of Mexico.
The sample consists of 822 adult male legal immigrants and was
taken at the border stations of El Paso and Laredo, Tex. There are
some qualifications about the data, but they are in the written report,
and I will skip over them.
It is well established that most immigrants are of working age.
Eighty-nine percent of the immigrants sampled were between the
ages 18 to 44 upon their legal entry. About half of the sample was 25
to 34 years old, indicating some degree of potential occupational
experience in Mexico.
Although the immigrants were born primarily in the rural areas
at the border states of Mexico, the important point is that their fam-
ilies did not stay in these rural areas very long. A majority moved to
and spent their childhood years in urban communities of substantial
Living in urban areas of the border region provided access to edu-
cational opportunities not found so generally throughout Mexico. The
sampled immigrants had attained, on the average, a little more than 6
years of formal education, twice as much as their fathers and more
than the Mexican population in general.
A comparison of father and son's occupational experiences shows
that sons are concentrated less in agriculture with a greater concentra-
tion in manufacturing, construction, and, most of all, services. The
proportion of the immigrants out of the labor market was also less
than their fathers' joblessness.
Of the sample, 61.5 percent had lived in the United States prior to
their legal entry. The majority of these migrants lived in the United
States for a year or more. Even the other 38.5 percent who reported
no former U.S. residence seem to have had substantial experience in
the United States. Many gave the United States as their last or next-
to-last residence, and many had spouses waiting for them.
The overwhelming majority planned to settle, in fact did settle, in
urban places of 100,000 or more in the United States.
Most of these immigrants have concentrated in low-income urban
sectors of the economy, with most of their jobs found in manufactur-
ing, transportation, and sales, not agriculture. Unemployment. levels
for these immigrants tend to be extremely low in comparison to the
civilian labor force of the United States.
The image that emerges from this brief sketch of the sampled legal
immigrants is not the popular view of unemployed peasants fleeing
rural Mexico. These immigrants come from the service sectors of the
urban economy in Mexico, have been employed, are better educated
than the average Mexican, and have lived in the larger cities of the
border region. In addition, their legal entry is a mere legitimation of
previous undocumented residence, suggesting substantial involvement
in the U.S. economy and society as well as in Mexico.
Now, what sense can we make of these data beyond their importance
in descriptive documentation? Their importance is that they reflect the
general trends of the Mexican population shifting in response to the
post-World War development strategy in Mexico.
The question then is, what is the structural nature of this develop-
ment, how does it promote the migration to the United States, how do
current U.S. policies influence this pattern of development, and, thus,
how do they affect the migration ?
The written report goes on to summarize some history. I will skip
to the post-World War II period.
Mexican developmental efforts in the post-World War II period
have been successful in achieving the highest sustained growth rates
in Latin America.. But a many people have noted, this development
continues a historical patter of aggregate economic growth involving
rapid. eanital-intensive industrialization with silbstanti'al foreign in-
puts. Wealth and power rewards are distrilfuted disproportionately to
foreign and local capital and. as a result, there has been an intensifica-
tion of the extremes of wealth and poverty. Income inequality is of
ma.ior proportion and continues to frrow worse.
A .crucial part of this development strategy is to maintain the politi-
rel stability required to attract and maintain foreia-n investments.
Mexican stability reonires working class and peasant acquiescence
to the pervasive inequality.
The strategy of rapid, capital-intensive industrialization has driven
shape and direction to the flow of labor off the land. Capital location in
the larger cities, particularly tlrne of Noarth and Centra] Mexico. has
stimulated a growth of labor and population, placing additional de-