Here's an excerpt from my new VDARE.com column:
The real issue posed by Obama’s massive public works proposal: will he follow the precedent set by the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) in limiting employment on his public works projects to United States citizens?
The WPA started in 1935, a period when there was little immigration because of the 1921-5 cut-off and the Depression. When the economy turned down again in 1937, the Democrat-dominated Congress restricted it to American citizens (n.b. citizens, not even legal residents):"In 1937 Congress, following a trend already established by the states, declared that all programs of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) would be closed to aliens. The "citizens-only" policy of the WPA extended even to companies that fulfilled government contracts; corporations such as General Motors fired those whom they perceived as foreigners to keep from losing lucrative government business."
Otherwise, Obama’s public works spending will merely draw in millions of foreigners, just as the late Housing Bubble did. ...
Moreover, during the Housing Bubble, blue-collar Americans in dying cities like Detroit and Cleveland largely missed out on the chance to move to places like Las Vegas for construction jobs—the illegal aliens would work for less.
During the Bubble, huge sums of money flowed out of the United States as remittances. The Washington Post reported in 2006 at the peak of the Bubble:"A report released yesterday by the Inter-American Development Bank estimates that immigrants living in the United States will send $45 billion to family members this year ..."
Remittances to Latin America shot up during the Housing Bubble, both because so many immigrants were employed in construction, and because so many took out dubious mortgages that they have since defaulted upon.
Remittances finally started falling early this year. The Dallas News reported:"Other Mexican officials said the decline is a reflection of the worsening U.S. economy, particularly in the area of construction. The U.S. construction industry accounts for about 20 percent of jobs for Mexicans living in the country, according to the [Mexican] central bank."
These remittances deprived the American economy of the celebrated Keynesian "multiplier effect" on construction spending that you will hear so much about from the Obama administration this week as they rationalize their spending plan. ...
What you likely won’t hear from Obama, however, is that if you pay an American to fill potholes, he’ll spend the money in America, where other Americans will then spend it some more. If you pay a Mexican, however, he’ll send a lot of the money back to Mexico.
Mexico, with its population of 110 million (just counting those still resident within its borders), is unquestionably going to go in the tank economically in 2009 because it depends upon remittances, oil, and American tourists. So if Obama fails to close his infrastructure jobs to non-citizens, there will be another rush to America by unemployed Mexicans.
Obviously, the highest priority way to reduce unemployment in the United States is to encourage non-citizens to go home, as America did during the Great Depression. (There was actually net emigration in the 1930s.)
I'd like to thank commenter StephenT, among others, for the idea.