Immigrants: New Jersey’s Secret Sauce

Headed into 2024, our news narrative has been hijacked by right wing social media that champions white Christian nationalism that energized the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol and is now working for the restoration of Trump to the White House.  This faction looking for “the restoration’ of a Christian nation continues to control the House of Representatives despite the historical fact its current Speaker continued to press for overturning the actual results of the legitimate 2020 election even after the violent attack.

This element is still in power by the thinnest of margins despite their betrayal of their oath of office to “support and defend the U.S. Constitution.” They’ve fixated on generating as much fear of immigrants as they can as a way to control a population informed by the Fox News echo chamber that has remarkable pull even in so-called Blue states like New York and New Jersey.

The void created by the demise of local authenticated news that was once delivered via a daily newspaper, has been replaced by aggregated unverified social media content used to not inform the public, but to drive internet traffic that feeds off conflict and fear. Indeed so much of the remaining quality news gathering is behind what can be curated behind a steep paywall.

In our region, Mayor Eric Adams bought into the Trump, NY Post, 770 WABC, and Fox News propaganda that the 175,000 plus sanctuary seeking immigrants sent over 18 months from Texas was going to “destroy  New York City.”

Earlier this year in Edison, Mayor Sam Joshi, a Democrat, took a hardline, telling Fox News he had a charter bus on standby to send the migrant back to the U.S. Mexican border. On other broadcast outlets he painted a perilous picture of imminent danger to his local citizens that echoed the language used by former President Donald Trump.

“Edison Township police officers did not know if any of those 40 individuals were carrying weapons,” Joshi said. “They couldn’t be identified and that is a major problem—that’s a major security risk. It’s a health risk and we just not going to tolerate that.”

While politicians on both sides of the issue have framed it as a crisis, Amy Torres, the executive director of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, a non-profit advocacy group, says that such an assessment ignores history observing that during the early 20th century immigration officials were processing 10,000 new comers a day in Ellis Island.

This fearful distortion of reality that casts Americans as the hapless victims of an invasion of Black and Brown “illegals” has shaped our national situational awareness as to what the real risks are  to our collective well-being. Lost in this panic is the vital role immigration plays in our country where there’s been a 23 percent drop since the Great Recession in our birthrate a recent mass death event that killed 1.1 million people.

This worldview of an ‘invasion underway’ permeates our tri-state airwaves and distracts us from the grim reality of our predatory for profit healthcare system that’s the most expensive in the world with the poorest outcomes that’s caused our global ranking in average life expectancy to plummet. It obscures America’s role in the flow of migrants after we’ve either bombed their country or profited off of predatory trade deals and illegal drug traffic that fed our insatiable appetites.

Here’s a thought, you want folks to stay where they were born? Don’t bomb their countries.

Now polls suggest voters rank immigration as a top concern in 2024.  Yet, ironically here in New Jersey in the real world, you won’t see depicted on Fox, without immigration our state would have lost even more representation in Congress which is based on our population no matter what its legal status.

In 1970 our state had 15 seats in the House, with the population per district averaging 480,536. Today, we are down to 12 seats, with each member having to represent on average 774,541 constituents, according to the U.S. Census.

According to the National Association of Realtors, New Jersey’s rate of out migration ranks in the top three of the states with only New York and California with more households headed for the exits.

“Thirty-two out of the 50 states had an inbound moving rate higher than 50 percent  in 2022,” the National Association of Realtors. “Inbound moving rate is defined as the number of people moving into a state as a share of the state’s total number of movers. Connecticut (62.09 percent) had the highest inbound moving rate, with most people moving from neighboring states, such as New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. The data shows a different case for large states by population, like Florida (60.13 percent), where the largest share of people moved from New York, California, and New Jersey.”

According to the trade group while nine states, including the District of Columbia “had an outbound rate higher than 50 percent, states like New York California and New Jersey and Illinois “had outbound rates higher than 60 percent.”

Meanwhile, the CDC reports the entire nation over the last several years has been experiencing a decline in its fertility rate and a few years back New Jersey had the distinction  of having 47 percent of close to two million 18 to 34 years still living at home with their parents, the highest percentage in the country.

Peter Woolley, founding director of FDU’s School and Public Affairs, told InsiderNJ that without immigration New Jersey “would be in worse shape” in terms of lost clout in Congress.

“Most people probably don’t realize that one in four New Jerseyans speak a language other than English at home,” Woolley said. “New Jersey is a destination for immigrants. It’s good jobs, there’s housing, there’s access to New York City and Philadelphia.”

Woolley continued. “Immigration is a very complicated phenomenon and I think with all the attention focused on the border people often have a one dimensional view—they see the most problematic and perhaps the lost chaotic part of it but there are so many other dimensions to it.”

“The one I am thinking of is the thousands of medical doctors we license here in the United States every year from other countries to the point where one in every four practitioners is a foreign-born doctor,” Woolley said. “The question we should ask is why we are not providing doctors ourselves. Why don’t we have more medical schools?”

Woolley was quick to point out that the fact that Congressional apportionment is based on the entire population, regardless of citizenship status, was “not a conspiracy by the Biden administration” but actually the original “agreement by  the framers of the U.S. Constitution.”

In 2020, Donald Trump’s hard core anti-immigrant message resonated with a lot of New Jersey voters helping him to carry Ocean, Cape May, Salem, Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex counties while adding to his vote totals from 2016 in Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Gloucester, Hunterdon, and Mercer counties.

And if a recent Monmouth University national poll is accurate, it maybe an even more potent issue this election with more than 8 in 10 Americans perceiving illegal immigration as either a very serious (61 percent) or somewhat serious (23 percent) problem.

“Specifically, the view that illegal immigration poses a very serious problem for the country ranged between 43 percent and 49 percent  from 2015 to 2019,” according to a press release from Monmouth University. “Concern about illegal immigration has increased among all partisan groups. This rise is most notable among Republicans, from 66 percent very serious in 2015 to 77 percent in 2019 and 91 percent in the current poll. Among independents, 58 percent say this is a very serious problem, up from just over 4 in 10 who said the same in both 2015 (42 percent) and 2019 (43 percent ).

The Monmouth poll flags “a similar level of concern among Democrats now stands at 41 percent, after dipping from 33 percent in 2015 to 26 percent in 2019.”

What this polling indicates is the same well-oiled right wing propaganda machine that helped to fracture our response to the COVID pandemic, cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 election, has convinced millions of Americans there’s a massive crime wave set off by an invasion of illegals promoted by the Democrats.

Despite the right wing political handwringing over New Jersey’s immigrants, regardless of their status, are making “significant contributions to their local communities and the broader economy through their labor, entrepreneurial endeavors, and tax contributions,” according to a report issued by New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) and the Immigration Research Initiative (IRI).

“As a result, each 1,000 new immigrants can be expected to earn a combined $21 million in annual wages, enhancing the economic vitality of their communities where they work and amplifying local spending power where they live,” according to the NJPP and IRI report. “After five years, the same 1,000 immigrants can be expected to increase their wages by about 57 percent, totaling $33 million in aggregate wages.”

There’s Fox, and then there’s reality where we already rely heavily on hardworking immigrants that have always been America’s secret sauce.

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12 responses to “Immigrants: New Jersey’s Secret Sauce”

  1. Mr. Hennelly,

    I ‘d like to give credit where credit is due. This is one incredible spin job. You have ignored the fact that illegal immigration has depleted local governments, and has given American citizens second class preference in the country of their birth.

    New York is giving out pre-paid credit cards to migrants and housing them in hotels.

    https://apnews.com/article/fact-check-nyc-migrants-credit-debit-cards-prepaid-240335300869

    Chinese nationalists are buying up all available farmland.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-01-18/china-is-buying-up-us-farmland-but-just-how-much-isn-t-clear

    We do not know what terrorists we have let into the country.

    Mexico is now ruled by gangs because of sex/human/fentanyl trafficking.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/immigration/4465411-bidens-open-border-is-a-boon-for-human-traffickers-we-must-stop-them/

    This is just a few examples of thousands.

    And to top it off …

    How dare you talk about Covid and the “divisiveness” that Republicans brought to the table, when we all know that the mainstream media is the strong arm of the Democratic party, and with their help, Democrats spun a web of lies about a cold virus. (A coronavirus is a cold virus.)

    The Democratic party (in collusion with the mainstream media) acted shamefully (like communist China) in shutting down America. Then they sold a sham of a story about vaccines and masks, which do not work. And anyone who questioned “the science” of masks and vaccines was a pariah.

    At this point if you still refuse to believe that the media is not in bed with Democrats I will give you two very valid examples of why they are:

    According to Walter Isaacson in his book Elon Musk, when Musk took over Twitter two years ago, 96% of employees were donating to the Democratic party. No wonder they banned the satirical Babylon Bee.

    And just last week we found out NPR had 87 Democrats on their editorial board and not 1 Republican.

    How is anyone supposed to refute evidence on Covid or illegal immigration, when one party controls the media so much so that they can shut down the country, while keeping our borders dangerously open?

    The Democratic party is a host within itself, and media personalities like you “do thy bidding.”

  2. Bob Hennelly is the consummate Left-Wing Communist “useful idiot” spewing the Communist apparatchik propaganda by calling Americans “white nationalists” if we question anything about why we are being forced to pay taxes to support illegal aliens ($4-$5 BILLION/YEAR) who contribute nothing to the state or nation, and who are stealing our money for free education, free healthcare (hospitals are reaching the breaking point for not being paid in full by illegals and the government), free housing, free legal services, free food stamps, free cash ($6,000 per month), etc.

    Hennelly tries to gaslight the readership here that the influx of illegal aliens is not a “crisis” and is only considered a “crisis” caused by the Republicans and Conservatives. He then goes on with his journalistic malpractice and falsely represents the following: “Amy Torres, the executive director of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, a non-profit advocacy group, says that such an assessment ignores history observing that during the early 20th century immigration officials were processing 10,000 new comers a day in Ellis Island.”

    What stands out with crystal clarity in that statement is that 10,000 newcomers a day were going through Ellis Island, the common denominator to allow “newcomers” into this country. Those “newcomers” coming through Ellis Island and other immigration intake centers in the U.S. had to have a sponsor, a job and a skill, a place to live, and were held in quarantine if they even had an inkling of being sick or diseased.

    Not like the current crop of illegal “invaders” storming our borders en masse, with no controls, no sponsors, no jobs, no skills, no place to live, and bringing diseases back into America, that we eradicated decades ago. The current crop of illegal aliens are being told to crash our borders and escape into the country in order to get free entitlements without working or having skills, so they can be used as the next generation of Democrat-Communist voting bloc.

    Hennelly’s fake statistics are laughable. According to the FEDERATION FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRATION REFORM (“FAIR”) 2023 Annual Research Report on illegal immigration, illegal immigrant parasites are draining NJ taxpayers of between $4-$5 BILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR in entitlements (free healthcare, free education, free housing, free legal services, free food stamps, free cash in thousands per month, etc.), while contributing less than $150 MILLION dollars per year in taxes. Most of the money illegal aliens make in New Jersey is sent back to their families in their respective countries. The money doesn’t stay in N.J. or the U.S. And, most of their money is CASH!!!!!

    The HARDWORKING IMMIGRANTS that Hennelly calls the “secret sauce” are LEGAL IMMIGRANTS. Not the crop of illegal immigrants that have been pouring over the borders under the Obama and Biden Racketeering Crime Administrations. The illegal immigrants coming over the border aren’t here to work. They’re hear to glom on to free entitlements. And, there are illegal immigrants coming from 160 countries, including from the African continent, Southeast Asia, young military-aged men from Iran and Communist China, Venezuela, and South America. Those immigrants, with skills and degrees that can offer the nation their expertise are NOT WANTED!!!!!! They are told to stay home, are blocked from immigrating to the United States, or if here on visas, are kicked out of the country. Less than 30% of illegal aliens invading our borders are women and children (with many brought in by Mexican Cartels). So, tell me why most of the illegal alien parasites who are young men of military age being allowed to invade our borders????? And, tell me why these same illegal alien men are bringing with them firearms, illegal drugs like the poison fentanyl and other opioids, and are diseased??????

  3. Once again Hennelly misses the point by writing a massive dissertation. He must be paid by the word.

    We are spending 4 BILLION DOLLARS/YEAR on people that have entered the country illegally. We give illegal aliens free education, free healthcare, free housing, free legal services, free food stamps, free cash.

    We should apply this towards other purposes such as property tax relief, education of legal citizens, aid to poorer legal citizens, veteran assistance, roads, bridges, police, fire, hospitals.

    Anyone entering the US illegally is just that, an illegal alien. They are not migrants. They are not asylum seekers. They are not coming here to be American.

    Further, this is not about white people looking to stop a flow of black or brown people. It is about national security. Many of the illegal entrants are from terrorist countries, China, Iran and other mid east countries that hate America. Many are know on US terror watch lists. Many are criminals from their country of origin.

    Perhaps Mr. Hennelly would take some of these people into his big, fancy home. I wonder if he would back up his words with action.

  4. As a healthcare worker who has been hard left my entire life, this has fully swung me. Everywhere I look I see one. Hospitals are inundated, teachers are burnt out because these children’s’ parents do not care. Their children are incredibly entitled, do not follow direction, and do not care about anyone but themselves. There is a weekly soccer game in a park near my house; hundreds and hundreds of illegal aliens show up and park up and down the street turning it into a one lane road. They litter, play extremely loud music until the latest hours of the night, and drive extremely high emission and LOUD vehicles. They are completely crowding the roads, as if traffic was not bad enough already, yet driving like their time is more valuable than everyone else’s. Look up how much money New York state has spent accommodating these people, but they raise taxes on NY residents and tell them they can’t afford to change anything for them, but have no problem spending upwards of 15 billion dollars to support the immigrants. It is disgusting, and knowing the democrats and politics, it is my opinion that mega corporations are doing this as a speedy segway to erasing America’s middle class and (i know it sounds crazy but hear me out) reinstating some form of slavery. Think about what a $15 minimum wage is to a company that nets billions of dollars in profit every year, only to sell their stocks to themselves and produce more billions. All the immigrants are doing to this country is ruining it and increasing our taxes. Very sad, but it is very unlikely that i ever vote blue again.

  5. I wonder when Mr. Hennelly is going to write about the REAL issues which have nothing to do with Right or Left but about illegal migrants or “invaders” being paid for by the United Nations and other NGO’s to come here to become our replacements? How about the human trafficking going on paid for by OUR tax dollars, trafficking not just for work or sex, what about specific groups with much needed organs? How about NGO’s that are aiding kidnapping of children against their will from Central American countries? Nothing on that right? I am an unaffiliated voter and for once I would like the “press” to report the truth, you people are disgusting and the people of the US deserve the truth. Seriously, what difference does congressional representation make when they do not return letters, calls or emails? This whole system is a joke, they are in it for themselves and the almighty (failing fiat dollar). Try reporting on that.

  6. It’s not just high taxes that are making people flee New Jersey. They are fleeing to states where LEGAL citizens are treated better than ILLEGAL invaders!

  7. Well, this article was the “secret sauce” to creating controversy and perhaps that was the authors intent.
    Most agree, that a free- for-all illegal immigration flow into the country is unsustainable. In addition it has opened the doors to some of the most notorious groups and some of the most heinous activity . This is not right nor left, it is just inhuman and wrong.

  8. The answer is to vote the liberal democrats out of office. Unfortunately in NJ this will likely never happen.
    We will stupidly continue to vote democrats in.

    Nationally 50% or more will sadly vote for Biden, which means we will have president kamala someday. Guys like Hennelly will push for this. God help us.

  9. Elizabeth

    It is a right – left matter. Not one democrat in Congress opposes the Biden open border policy. The goal is to allow illegals to vote, knowing that they will vote democrats in.

    You can thank Biden, Schumer, AOC, Mickie Sherrill and many others.

    To be honest, some Republicans are useless as well, siding with democrats.

    Here in NJ all we have is a never ending democrat majority on a state level and federal level.

    We will have another liberal democrat governor and liberal representation with the likes of Raz Baraka, Mikie Sherrill, Andy Kim. They are all supported by a one sided liberal media, including InsiderNJ.

  10. Seriously we have more than enough bean pickers , gas station attendants , dollar store’s , 7-Eleven’s , drug dealers and child traffickers in NJ already !
    Keep the ILLEGALS OUT Of NJ !!!!!
    Send the Trash to Canada

  11. That said, we need to vote out all democrats and some liberal republicans.

    We also must hold news media, town mayors, local municipal leaders, DA’s, judges accountable.

    The general public must research candidate voting records in depth. Get news from multiple sources.

    Unfortunately many today only get the “news” from google, facebook or tik tok.

    Elections have consequences. Informed voters are a must. Your get what you vote for.

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