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Dori: Want to unclog roads, lower rents? Stop attracting illegal immigrants

Traffic and gridlocked roads are common headaches in the Puget Sound. (Matt Pitman/KIRO Radio)

What if I told you that I could virtually eliminate gridlock in this region? That I could lower housing prices, especially for the poor and working class? And that I could raise wages, especially for the poor and working class? What if I told you I could do all of that, and it wouldn’t cost one penny in tax dollars?

If you would just have the wisdom to put me in charge, I could do all of that. What is this magic formula, you might ask? I’m willing to say things that people aren’t willing to say in this politically correct region.

You may have seen the Seattle Times article stating that the immigrant population in King County has topped 500,000. I think there is a distinction between legal and illegal immigrants. My grandparents were legal immigrants who came through Ellis Island.

Immigration is part of the fabric, the tapestry, the diversity of America, and one of the many things that makes America a great nation. We are still incredibly generous in our legal immigration process; we allow an incredible number of people to come here. So I wondered when I saw that story, how many of those 500,000 immigrants have come here illegally?

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We don’t know. We’re not allowed to ask that question. The U.S. Census doesn’t ask that question to determine who is here illegally. Local government, including law enforcement, won’t ask the question, because we’re a sanctuary state.

But here’s what I do know — according to Respect Washington founder Craig Keller — who made a public records request with the state Department of Licensing — we had 350,000 people in this state who had a driver’s license without a social security number eight years ago.

Are all of them here illegally? Not necessarily. But most probably are — this is one of the easiest states in which to get a driver’s license if you live here illegally. If it was 350,000 back in 2011, who knows how high that number is now?

If you put me in charge, I would put in place things like E-Verify, so that employers must determine citizenship status before they hire people. I also would cut off most state taxpayer benefits that go to illegal immigrants.

I wouldn’t try to do anything unconstitutional, like end education for them. But I would cut benefits such as housing and food, benefits on which our taxpaying legal residents spend billions. Not only would my plan not cost you a dime — I would save you billions a year.

I hear our politicians talking about the gridlock on our roads — especially this week with the viaduct closure — saying, “We have too many people and not enough roads, so you’d better start riding a bike or taking buses and trains.”

Or, maybe, instead of becoming the magnet destination in the nation for illegal immigrants — and we are one of the states with the highest population of undocumented immigrants — if we provided disincentives to immigrate here, we could save taxpayers billions and reduce the number of cars on the road by a couple hundred thousand.

You think that might make a massive impact on the gridlock?

“Is it really good that we have all our highways crammed, packed, and not moving in Puget Sound?” Keller said during our interview. “No. That’s why we have legal immigration systems — so we can manage that.”

Additionally, pricing is a result of supply versus demand. If there were fewer people streaming into this area looking for apartments, rates would come down, and the free market would provide cheaper housing for the poor and working class.

A lot of illegal immigrants take the lowest paying jobs. Due to supply and demand, wages would rise for the poor and working class.

“It’s not sustainable — [Democrats] want to talk about sustainability, the cost to run public transit, housing, up-zoning that destroys people’s views,” Keller said. “All these things we want to control and have some management over, those Democrats that want unconstrained entry do not want that.”

We’ve got politicians telling us that all they can do is raise taxes. We’ve got politicians telling us to change our lifestyles.

“Get on trains, get on buses, get on bikes. And give us more money,” they say.

That’s a lie. You can eliminate gridlock, lower housing prices, and raise wages if you do what I told you just now. Let’s simply try to provide disincentives for illegal immigrants to come here. And really, what’s wrong with that?

The legal immigrants, God bless them, are welcome. The illegal immigrants are taking quite a toll on our society. That is my brilliant plan to save you money and make the region better.

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