How Mass Illegal Migration is Killing Young People’s Home Ownership Dreams

Commentary

June 7, 2024

By Brian Lonergan

Following a spring punctuated by campus protests and canceled commencement ceremonies, a spotlight has been put on our jaded, cynical youth. Why are they so angry? Volumes could be written to address that question, but the short answer is that many of them see dark storm clouds in their futures.

And why shouldn’t they? We are bombarded with depressing news for them: unpopular wars, soaring inflation, and the declining connection between a college diploma and a high-paying career.

Of all the symbols of “making it” in America, few rank higher than the ability to own one’s own home. On that front, the outlook for young people may never have been this bleak. Recent data show that roughly 45 percent of people ages 18-29, citing a lack of money and an inability to live on their own, are living at home with their families.

The reasons usually given for this housing crisis are high interest rates, lack of inventory, and a lack of earning power from potential buyers. Conveniently dismissed is one of the most glaring contributing factors: the influx of millions of foreign nationals as a result runaway illegal migration.

It is a universal law of real estate that when there too many buyers and not enough homes, the price of those homes is bound to rise. When millions of new people entered the country—either legally or illegally and in just a few years—the demand for housing became greater than ever.

The obvious, common sense remedy for this problem would be to more tightly manage the flow of new people into the country. But this is where partisan politics clouds the logic. A borderless America is the goal of some of the most powerful people in the country, so controlling the border in a meaningful way isn’t happening. These plutocrats—politicians, donors and captains of industry among them—are happy to sell out the futures of our children to achieve their goals.

Instead of helping put the dream of home ownership within reach of more Americans, our government throws roadblocks and instead makes accommodations for illegal aliens.    

Instead of helping put the dream of home ownership within reach of more Americans, our government throws roadblocks and instead makes accommodations for illegal aliens.     

Colorado lawmakers in 2021 enacted a law that provides state housing assistance to illegal aliens. The act eliminates the requirement for people to show paperwork to confirm they are legally in the U.S. and qualify for housing assistance.  

The Biden administration is also acting as a benefactor for the housing, allocating more than $770 million for New York, Chicago, and other large sanctuary cities through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That number pales in comparison to the more than $150 billion price tag America pays under the burden of illegal migration annually. If our government insists on spending it, how many assistance and incentive programs could have been created for U.S. citizens to afford homes with even part of that money?

Defenders of the current kamikaze migration policy will deflect when confronted with arguments about how our border lawlessness is a source of housing problems. Instead, they point the finger at insufficient housing supplies and market interruptions caused by the pandemic. Experiments with greater immigration controls, however, have demonstrated the connection to housing availability.

In a 2016 Moody’s Analytics report on wage increases caused by President Trump’s immigration plans, analysts noted that due to Arizona’s 2008 E-Verify law, which led to a big reduction in that state’s illegal alien population, some areas of Phoenix saw price declines of a whopping 63 percent; a result “attribute[d] partly to financial pressure on owners who had been renting homes to immigrants who departed.” Imagine the home ownership dreams that could be realized for more Americans if those policies were implemented nationally.

The idea that simply building more housing is a better alternative to controlling illegal migration also doesn’t square with stated concerns for the environment. For years we have been told by public interest groups that suburban sprawl is a major contributor to climate change and increasing a community’s carbon footprint. A glaring example of this is the notorious Colony Ridge housing development outside of Houston. Occupied primarily by migrants, the project’s developers built cookie-cutter housing on about 33,000 acres of undeveloped land. This sort of land transformation would normally make environmental activists livid, but the response was mostly crickets.

For parents wondering why junior can’t move out of the basement to live on his own, the answer is connected to the waves of illegal aliens being imported here by our “inclusive,” “compassionate,” and anti-borders politicians.  

Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) in Washington, D.C, and co-host of IRLI’s “No Border, No Country” podcast.

Also published at Chronicles, June 6, 2024.

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