Skip to comments.Debunking the Myths Surrounding Illegal Immigration
Posted on 05/12/2006 6:25:43 AM PDT by John Jorsett
On May 1st, Stanford students and employees rallied to support immigrant rights in the face of Senate Bill H.R. 4437, legislation aimed at cracking down on the United States 12 million illegal aliens. On this Day Without Immigrants, the supposition that xenophobia is at the root of anti-illegal-immigration legislation mutated bill H.R. 4437 into an attack on basic human rights of immigrants everywhere. Cries of no human is illegal smothered the truth: that the fiscal consequences of a massive undocumented population necessitate an immediate response to illegal immigration in the United States.
The notion that the Day Without Immigrants was a defense of human rights is founded upon a false presumption that xenophobia is the only possible explanation for anti-illegal-immigration sentiment in the United States. Protestors justified the Day Without Immigrants as a human rights initiative by asserting that the native-born American population is incapable of drawing the line between illegal and legal immigration, but rather views each with equal animosity. This is simply wrong. According to a national poll conducted in March by The Pew Research Center, only 22% of Americans say that legal and illegal immigration are equally problematic, while 60% say that illegal immigration is a bigger problem than legal immigration. A whopping 80% of Americans believe immigrants from Latin America work very hard, and 80% believe immigrants from Latin America have strong family values. These figures are up from 63% and 75%, respectively, in 1997. It would be an understatement to say that the United States is tolerant of its immigrant population. Anti-illegal-immigration opinion is rooted in legitimate fiscal considerations, not xenophobia.
The United States government simply cannot afford a population of 12 million illegal aliens. The IRSs Individual Tax Identification Number program does allow some undocumented residents to pay some taxes. However, this limited tax collection does not nearly cover education, healthcare, and welfare services. In August 2004, the Center for Immigration Studies released a landmark study on the tax behavior of illegal immigrants. The study revealed that, in 2002, households headed by illegal aliens received $26.3 billion in government services, while paying a total of $16 billion in taxes. It doesnt take a budget analyst to comprehend the significance of a $10 billion loss over one year. And with the rate of illegal immigration increasing from 2002 to 2005 to virtually no change in government policy, federal losses are inflating rapidly.
Fiscal disaster deriving from the inherence of tax evasion to illegal immigration is not confined to the federal level. In 2004, the Washington Times reported that Californias 3 million illegal immigrants sap the state government of $10.5 billion annually. The largest contributor to this sum is the $7.7 billion cost of educating the children of illegal immigrants, who make up 15% of Californias total student population. Undocumented aliens pose a greater budgetary threat to state governments, which do not employ expansive methods of illegitimate resident tax collection such as the Individual Tax Identification Number system.
It is clear that the burden of providing education, healthcare, and welfare services to undocumented aliens is a serious impediment to our state and federal governments. To this, the pro-illegal-immigrant bloc would retort that the tax burden is easily outweighed by the strength that undocumented aliens grant to our overall economy. The bloc would probably employ the old standby, Illegal immigrants do the jobs that we are not willing to do. This ubiquitous catch phrase, the illegal immigration debates most popular fall-back, is also its most blatant fallacy.
The fact is that we, Americas legal immigrants and native-born workers, are indeed willing to do the jobs that illegal immigrants do. Proof of this requires looking no further than the simplest of economic statistics, unemployment. According to analysis the Center for Immigration Studies released in March, in 2005 there were an average of 4,568,000 unemployed legal residents with a high school degree or less, including 723,000 legal immigrants. This statistic doesnt jibe with the superstition that the illegal alien population has single-handedly adopted the burden of unskilled labor in the United States. Four and a half million legitimate residents of the United States, including many legal immigrants who joined in the May 1 protest, are competing with illegal immigrants for work, and losing. In short, illegal immigrants are doing the jobs we are willing to do.
At this point, the only way to claim an economic boon due to illegal immigrant labor is to contend that illegal immigrants, because they are undocumented, are not necessarily subject to the minimum wage and can therefore work for less than legitimate residents. However, this is an impossible outlet for defenders of illegal immigration with a human rights credo. It is preposterously self-contradictory to promote illegal immigrant rights because the lack of illegal immigrant labor rights fuels the economy.
Undocumented resident labor can offer no significant economic compensation for the disastrous toll illegal immigration wreaks on federal and state budgets each year. Given this conclusion, debating legislation such as H.R. 4437 as a matter of human rights is unsatisfying. Regardless of whether a human can be illegal, undocumented immigrants cost American taxpayers billions of dollars annually. Holding illegal immigrants accountable for this deficit is a matter of fiscal responsibility, not human rights.
A costly illegals invasion....# The estimated 1.1 million illegal immigrants currently in the nation's public school system cost taxpayers $9.6 billion every year in an attempt to educate them (despite the illegal immigrant community's epidemic-scale dropout rates)
# The 2.2 million children of illegal immigrants in America, often referred to as "anchor babies" to ensure the parents can stay, add an additional $20 billion to that tab
# In California, the 2004-05 state budget spent $9,811 per pupil in the classroom. An estimated 425,000 illegal immigrants in the state's classrooms during that period cost taxpayers more than $4 billion -- a figure that does not include the "anchor baby" population in the classroom
# More than 40,000 illegal immigrants jammed California's prison system in 2004, costing taxpayers $1.5 billion in tax dollars not reimbursed by the federal government
# In one of the cruelest jokes played on the American taxpayers, illegal immigrants are allowed to claim children living back in Mexico and qualify for the earned-income tax credit, which traditionally has helped the American poor.
My state, Texas, is trying to figure out how to keep the schools open. If it were not for educating Mexico, we would have plenty of money. In the race for Governor, only one candidate, an independent, is talking about the problem.
Fiscal concerns are certainly there and not insignificant but if this author truly believes this is about money he has missed the boat.
Agreed. This is about the law being broken in broad daylight, without any penalty. This corrodes society like acid.
I guess it depends on who you ask. The money issue is secondary to me. American sovereignty and way of life for me, my family, my community and future generations of Americans is what is paramount in this discussion to me and I'm pretty sure many other Americans. Having money be the most important thing is partially why we are here in the first place.
That should be the end of the discussion right there. Anyone breaking the law, or conspiring to break the law, is guilty of a crime. Regardless of if they are elected to public office of not.
That does not appear to apply to Kennedys or illegals
We the People are in charge here. If our government servents won't do the job we tell them to, then we need to do it our selves until those servents can be replaced with those who can read their employment contract and understand what it says quite clearly.
I have made the financial and moral argument for illegal immigration since I took up the defense. Please point to ONE "fanatical" post of mine.
#1 - only vigilantes take the law into their own hands.
#2 - Jim Robinson has already said he will not be a party to anything that gets the Democrats back in power.
You'd better be careful.
Even if households headed by illegal aliens received $26.3 billion in government services, while paying a total of $16 billion in taxes, that doesnt necessarily = $10 billion loss if the costs of sealing the border, rounding up everyone and deprting, etc. are more.
Please point out the "fanaticism" in my post # 16 then.
Sounds like a threat to me. Do you always start off your conversations by threatening people?
Did you mean a ten billion dollar gain?
Since it is not a threat, but a helpful suggestion (i.e. yf you were crossing the street against a red light, I'd say the same thing), no.
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