What To Do About Illegal Immigration?
The lone deniers of America’s illegal immigration problem are those who choose to ignore the security ramifications and negative economic impact of allowing waves of undocumented immigrants across our borders, and liberals who are posturing for the Latino/Hispanic vote.
To establish the fact that illegal immigration is a problem and not simply another hot knife slicing through partisan come-togetherness butter, one need only look at the massive cost to taxpayers that ignoring this reality amasses.
A recent study by the Heritage Foundation revealed that up to 60% of illegal immigrants are low-skilled, meaning without a high school diploma. “Individuals without a high school degree impose significant net costs (the extent to which benefits and services received exceed taxes paid) on taxpayers.” To that end, Heritage points out that, on average, low-skilled immigrants receive $3 in government benefits for every $1 they pay in taxes. This creates a net loss of $89 billion a year, a noteworthy burden on taxpaying citizens. Says the study, “Over a lifetime, the typical low-skill immigrant household will cost taxpayers $1.2 million.”
Unless you’re a liberal who thinks that outspending revenue year after year is the key to fiscal lollipops, this is a problem. Low estimates have the total number of illegal immigrants in America at about 12 million. Higher estimates put the number at closer to 30 million.
It costs over $2.1 billion dollars a year to educate the children of illegal aliens in public schools, almost $6 billion in government-funded (read: taxpayer) medical costs, and nearly $5 billion in public assistance benefits.
Illegal immigrants aren’t supposed to have Social Security numbers, but what many do have are ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number) cards, which allow them to file taxes. Through a major loophole, illegals are claiming additional child tax credits for children who live in Mexico, don’t exist, or aren’t even their own, sometimes up to 10 or 12 on one form. This is costing citizens millions of dollars.
Not only is illegal immigration illegal, it’s inequitable, immoral, fraud.
Our nation cannot continue supporting those who aren’t citizens and don’t contribute to the system from which they benefit.
The first and quintessential step to resolving this problem is to secure our borders. Without that, all other discussion is a waste of time. Besides the financial implications, it doesn’t take a genius to recognize that documenting information about the people who enter this country is safer than not doing so. Don’t you want to know who enters into your house? While there is healthy debate about how this could be done, sadly there is still argument about if it should be done at all. It unequivocally should.
Build a wall, a fence, a moat; utilize foot patrols, dog patrols, lasers, tasers, electric barbed wire, or pictures of Rosie O’Donnell. Whatever turns back illegals and causes them to stand in line with law-abiding immigrants. The feds should put a team together to investigate which security measure is the most practical and feasible, and get to work. It will require significant time and money, but far less of both than suffering the constant consequences of refusing to secure the border.
The second step is an aggressive crackdown on businesses who knowingly hire illegal aliens to minimize overhead costs. Executed well, this will dramatically shrink the number of people who risk their lives and families to come here illegally. If they know no jobs will be granted them, most won’t try.
Provably, reducing the incentive does reduce illegal immigration. Currently, and for the first time since the Great Depression, there are more illegal aliens crossing back into Mexico than entering America. We have President Obama’s economic policies to thank for what certainly cannot be the long-term fix for illegal immigration, but does serve as a precedent for non-incent illegal immigration reduction.
When the border is secure and the illegal jobs magnet is eliminated, the problem of illegal immigration will largely take care of itself, or at the very least be substantially curbed.
So why aren’t we making the necessary adjustments to remedy what ails us?
For two reasons. The first is because liberals don’t want to fix the problem. They’ve made great political strides by pretending it is no problem and pandering to the Hispanic and Latino voters. Just this week President Obama issued an Executive Order to stop deporting illegal aliens between the ages of 16 and 30. This is an obvious play to Hispanic and Latino voters from whom Obama desperately needs big turnout numbers, especially in swing states.
Investor’s Business Daily described Obama’s ploy like this: “Politics trump all other factors that a responsible president would consider, such as the wisdom of dumping nearly a million new job seekers onto the market to compete for jobs with America’s 26 million unemployed at a time of sky-high unemployment.”
Obama’s Executive Order (a legal gray area, and outright refusal to enforce the law, by the way) is de facto amnesty, and is a slap in the face to those who honored the system and went through the legal immigration process. This policy rewards the criminal and punishes the just, not only legal immigrants but taxpayers already hurting in this economy. But when Democrats believe something will bring them votes, neither Hell nor high water – and certainly not some measly weasly checks and balances – will deter them.
(As we speak, the media is quickly shifting from defending Obama against “outrageous” charges that his policies are pro-amnesty…to defending his pro-amnesty policies).
As Richard Lamm put it, “Amnesty is a big billboard, a flashing billboard, to the rest of the world that we don’t really mean our immigration law.” That’s why Democrats support it; they frequently have very little regard for the law.
Yes, liberals have a vested interest in playing to the minority immigration communities. But what of the second reason? What else is dissuading meaningful immigration reform?
Republicans consistently fail at messaging. Conservatives have allowed liberals to pin them as anti-immigration instead of anti-illegal immigration. This contributes to the problem in that it enables liberals to continue their incessant pandering and pitting minorities against Republicans, whom illegal immigrants now believe dislike them.
Republicans bungle the messaging, Democrats bungle the policy.
America has always been a nation of immigrants, and will rightly continue to be as long as we are the most appealing destination for those who desire the freedom of opportunity and all of the other benefits wrought by living in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
The Republican Party has always been strongly supportive of legal immigration, safe and secure entry into this country, and encouraged citizenship. Lincoln sent troops to NYC in order to protect arriving immigrants from the violent mob of “native” nationalists (Democrats). It was Republicans who fought for citizenship rights for freed slaves after Republicans freed them.
While Republicans support legal immigration wholeheartedly, nothing steams them more than illegal aliens reaping the benefits earned by taxpaying citizens. Republicans are infuriated to learn that illegal immigrants are having abortions, plastic surgery, and “transgender therapy”, all on the taxpaying citizens’ dime. Democrats defend this.
Republicans have always been pro-immigration. “Let them come!”, we say. After all, we’ve got room. It’s been 250 years and still nobody’s touched the western half of Kansas. Republicans don’t want to stifle immigration, but they also don’t want to pay for Juan’s surgical transformation to become Juanita.
Secure the border, eliminate the black market incentive, and allow this issue to shrivel itself away before serious discussions of deportation (necessarily) occur. This is most beneficial both to taxpayers and those who will self-deport with their families when they can no longer live here free of charge.
God bless those who aspire to live in this country legally, and go through the necessary legal process to do so. Immigrant-Americans are some of the most enthusiastically patriotic souls this nation boasts. They appreciate America, perhaps more than many natural-born citizens, because they don’t take for granted the prosperity to which many of us feel entitled.
As the encryption mounted inside the Statue of Liberty proclaims,
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Liberty and freedom can only be protect by insisting upon safe and secure borders and upholding the law. President Obama refuses to ensure these necessities, and in fact circumvents Congress, enabling the law to be broken. The federal government, at the direction of Obama and Eric Holder, sued Arizona for striving to simply enforce their immigration laws. We must expect and receive more from the next President of the United States.
We have a legal immigration process. Respect it. Enforce it. Encourage it. That’s the American way.