David Glubetich: So where will all the immigrants go?
In the past 12 months approximately 1 million illegal immigrants crossed the border into the U.S., surely at least some bringing COVID-19 and even Fentanyl with them. While some have been sent back, most are now spreading out throughout the United States.
Another very large number of Afghan refugees are entering our country. It’s great we are welcoming Afghans who assisted our troops in trying times. However, it’s turning out that many were never vetted at all in the ill-planned emergency evacuation.
The big question, however, is where will they go? One thing for sure is they won’t be purchasing $1 million homes or even a California medium value home of $654,629, which by the way has increased 12.5% in one year.
They’ll be competing for inexpensive, subpar homes and apartments. The kind that aren’t being built anymore. These marginal properties aren’t just sitting there waiting for new tenants. They are occupied by low-income residents that in many instances are barely hanging on, some months behind on their rent.
Where will they go? I fear many may go into the streets and join the ranks of the homeless. Not all homeless have substance abuse or mental issues. Many just have incredibly bad credit or simply can’t afford the rent, which is constantly increasing as demand is outpacing supply. It’s the law of supply and demand.
So why is California so generous in welcoming the poverty-stricken from central America and other impoverished nations? While we don’t know how many illegal immigrants end up homeless, we do know they add to the pressure for low-cost housing. The side effects of this generosity is especially affecting California, where we have been experiencing skyrocketing home prices, along with vast increases in homelessness.
A single night count of homeless throughout the nation in January 2020 found California had 161,548 homeless, which is 28% of the nation’s homeless population. California also had the largest increase in homelessness from 2019 to 2020.
Homelessness is an ever-growing problem. In far too many places they are ruining our beaches, city streets, parks, riverbanks and bringing crime, toxic garbage, filth and very serious health issues to our communities.
The big questions are why and what are we going to do about it? The why is the easiest to understand. The really hard part of the questions is when will we ever solve it, if at all? How much of our homeless problem is because we have been too generous to immigrants who are under-educated, poor and without skills or a trade?
San Jose expects to house 1,134 people in 861 units that some experts say will cost between $750,000 and $800,000 per unit. That is absolute madness. It doesn’t stop in San Jose, either, as Gov. Gavin Newsom has already issued $3.2 million in housing grants and is making $2.75 billion more available to cities to convert hotel rooms and other buildings into homeless housing. This isn’t what will end the homeless blight, only encourage it.
Does not Gavin Newsom see the correlation between welcoming new and impoverished immigrants and the rise in homelessness? He’s been very generous, even offering new arrivals money, health care and most of the rights enjoyed by California citizens.
On top of that, they will never be turned over to ICE for deportation, as the Democrats have made the entire state a huge sanctuary. So, of course, why wouldn’t they want to come here? California treats them as first-class citizens.
It’s common sense. Because of their generosity to everyone and anyone who wants to partake in our golden bounty, the Democrats and Gov. Newsom are at least in part responsible for our homeless crisis. Yet they will never admit it or take any responsibility, as won’t the typical California voter. But actions have consequences.
Spending billions to build tiny overpriced homes isn’t the solution. We have to look at the root causes, which perhaps first and foremost is the generosity of our state leaders, which makes us a magnet attracting hundreds of thousand new immigrants, adding to the pressure for affordable housing.
Our housing supply isn’t keeping up with demand, largely because of increasing prices, skyrocketing construction costs, and way too many people competing for the least expensive housing.
Throwing billions of dollars of taxpayer money at the problem won’t solve it.
David Glubetich lives in Penn Valley.
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