Great article exposing the negatives of illegal immigration.
Stop Illegal Immigration!
Illegal Immigration Hurts Our Country
Illegal immigration is causing gross harm to our nation and it's time we do whatever it takes to put a stop to it. It is estimated that there are over 10 million illegal immigrants residing in the United States. That is more than the combined 2003 resident population of the following 11 US States: Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Here's a sampling of how illegal immigration hurts all residents of this country:
Suppresses wages and standards of living
Weakens our economy
Overwhelms social, educational, and medical services
Increases crime and weakens the rule of law
Let's cover these items in more detail.
Illegal Immigration Suppresses Wages and Lowers Our Standard of Living
In a capitalist economy, under true free market conditions, the cost of labor is simply a matter of supply and demand. This is theoretically how the United States' economy was designed to work. If there are more workers than jobs, all jobs pay less. If an employer cannot easily find employees with the skills they need, they offer more money to attract them. In a closed system, this works fairly well as population and economic growth are usually in equilibrium
Unfortunately, this is not how it works in this country. With the amount of illegal immigration that is allowed to occur, there are more low skilled workers than there are jobs. Thus, as illegal immigration increases, wages for those jobs decrease. If an unethical employer doesn't want to pay minimum wage, the employer can easily find an illegal immigrant willing to work for less because illegal immigrants are abundant and often desperate for even the smallest of incomes. By employing the illegal immigrant, the employer gains a number of advantages:
Lower cost of labor
No benefit costs
Unlimited hours, meager working conditions, etc.
In cases where employees are paid in cash and without records, the employer pays no money for Social Security, IRS, state disability insurance, etc.
Employers can get away with these practices, because their illegal employees stand to lose more if discovered. The employee won't dare complain for fear of being deported, and nothing will happen to the employer if they are caught. Criminal prosecutions of employers who use illegal immigrants are virtually non-existent and usually involve minimal punishment. As a result, employers who need unskilled laborers are encouraged to break the law and use illegal immigrants.
For every illegal immigrant that is employed for meager wages, there is a person who could legally perform that job that is not being employed. No matter how menial or undesirable that job is, there is a citizen or legal immigrant who would be willing to do the job at some price. If no illegal immigrants are available to work for a low rate of compensation, employers will have no choice but to offer more money until they find someone willing to do the work. Thus, the concept of minimum wages would be unnecessary because employers would have to use money and benefits to attract workers. Gardening, house keeping, manual labor and other low skill jobs would suddenly become more desirable to legal workers.
Let's assume that an employer is forced to hire a legal worker as a ditch digger, and in so doing must pay more to get someone to take that job. This raises the bar for people in that line of work and gets them a higher standard of living. Ditch diggers become more capable of buying goods and services, and become less dependent upon various types of government aid. They get medical insurance through their employer instead of the government. They buy their own food instead of getting food stamps. They place less demand on social programs, which should mean that less taxes are needed to support social programs. As less taxes are needed, legal workers are able to keep more of what they earn and use it to better themselves and our economy.
Now that the legally employed ditch digger is making more money, people with more marketable skills and credentials will need to get paid more money. After all, why go to college and pay up to $100,000 for an education if you will not make much more money than the ditch digger? Skilled labor will become a more valuable commodity because the value of labor in general is increased when the least skilled workers are well compensated. Thus, employers will have to offer even higher wages to educated/skilled laborers in order to provide an incentive for people to acquire education and skills necessary to perform those jobs. As a result, everyone makes more money. Since taxes are based on income, the government can maintain the same level of tax revenue while taking a smaller percentage of each worker's income since each individual income will be greater.
It is estimated that 44% of the decline in wages from 1980 to 1994 for unskilled workers and high school dropouts was directly caused by illegal immigrants depressing the cost of labor.
Illegal Immigration Weakens Our Economy and Currency
A huge number of illegal aliens come to this country for the purposes of getting a job that pays better than what is available in their own country. They then take a large portion of their earnings and send it back home to relatives. According to Time Magazine, the third largest source of income in the Mexican economy is money that is sent to Mexico from Mexican immigrants working in the United States. (Mexico is by no means the only country to receive this type of money. Immigrants from all over the world send US dollars back to their home countries).
As a result of this, money that should have been paid to a legal worker in the US and that would have presumably been used by legal workers to build a future for themselves in this country is instead sent out of this country. This means that the money is not being used to sustain and fuel our economy but instead subsidizes the economy of other countries.
Whenever a country loses more hard currency than it takes in, its economy suffers. Issues such as trade deficits are matters of great importance. If, for example, the United States buys a large number of goods from Japan and Japan buys few goods from the United States, Japan prospers and the United States weakens. Japan takes our money and pays it to their workers, who in turn spend it in the Japan and strengthens their economy. When illegal aliens send money to their home countries, they are in effect creating a severe trade deficit.
Illegal Immigration Overwhelms Social Services
The Federal Government requires health care providers to offer care to those who need it, even if they can't pay for it. As a result, health care facilities in areas with high populations of poor people often cannot make a profit because they spend so much of their resources treating people who cannot pay for these services. In general, illegal immigrants tend to be quite poor as they work for very low wages. They tend to not have health insurance and usually can't afford routine preventive medical care. When they do need medical care, it is often when they have become seriously ill or injured so the cost of their treatment is higher than an insured person who receives regular preventative care. Illegal aliens usually take their problems to a trauma center or hospital emergency room, where they are treated for free. Since the treatment facility gets no money for the treatment they render, they cannot afford to hire more workers. As a result, waiting rooms fill up, and some emergency rooms have announced that people should expect a minimum wait of 6 hrs before they can see a doctor, unless they have an urgent life threatening problem. As a result, everyone in that community suffers and gets less medical care as the medical facility loses it's ability to cope with the demand and lack of revenue.
This same problem happens in the public education system. Over the past decade class sizes have increased in American schools. A teacher told me that most districts in my area have more than 30 students per elementary school teacher. Can you imagine how hard it must be to teach 30+ 10 year olds anything, especially if a significant number of them don't even speak English? As a result of this problem, children of tax paying legal residents get less personal attention and a worse education because the public schools are spending their time and resources on people who aren't entitled to be here and who aren't paying into the system. That is grossly unfair.
This same problem affects our transportation system. Tax revenue governs our ability to maintain public roads and highways. Population growth estimates and census information contribute to our ability to predict the demand for transportation corridors. If people are sneaking into this country, avoiding many common forms of taxation and are avoiding being counted by census takers, we end up with too many cars for our transportation networks and not enough money to solve the problem. As a result, people who have played by the rules and live here legally find themselves spending more and more hours of their lives stuck in traffic rather than at home with their families.
The typical illegal alien household costs our nation about $7,000 more in aid than they pay in taxes. Since illegal immigrants are entering our country at an estimated rated of over 4,000 per day (specifically referring to the Arizona/Mexico border and not counting illegal entry in other places), the costs of illegal immigration are likely to keep growing at an incredible rate.
Here's a breakdown of some of the annual costs to the Federal Government (i.e. this doesn't count State and local government costs) of illegal immigration according to the Center for Immigration Studies:
Medicaid paid to illegal immigrants: $2.5 billion
Medical care to uninsured illegal immigrants: $2.2 billion
Food assistance programs for illegal aliens: $1.9 billion
Federal Prison and Court Costs for illegal aliens: $1.6 billion
Federal aid to local schools for illegal immigrants: $1.4 billion
Grand Total: $10.4 billion every year and growing rapidly
Other sources estimates the costs of illegal immigration to be greatly higher than the above conservative numbers. A recent study of Census Data estimated that illegal immigrants cost tax payers $7.4 billion dollars a year just in increased education costs. Yet another study finds the cost of educating illegal alien children to be between $29 billion and $36 billion dollars.
A recent study on the impact of illegal immigration to the State of California revealed that illegal immigrants in CA pay about $1.6 billion in taxes, and cost $10.5 billion in tax dollars, creating an annual $9 billion drain. And that's just one state!
The term "illegal alien" refers to someone who's very presence in this country is a violation of our laws. Tax paying legal residents receive worse health care, pay more taxes, get less education for their kids and have more crowded freeways because our government allows these criminals to exist in our country. We should be deporting people and closing our borders, not providing them public services at the cost of reducing services to law abiding residents.
Illegal Immigration Increases Crime
People who come here in violation of our nation's laws are criminals as the very act of coming here illegally is a crime. Often, in order to enter this country, illegal immigrants damage private and public property. Fences are cut at borders. Piles of litter and human excrement are found at commonly used rest stops near busy illegal border crossings. Dogs are poisoned at homes near the border to prevent them from calling attention to illegal immigrants traveling over their owners' property.
To make matters worse, some of the illegal immigrants crossing our borders have a history of far more serious crimes, including things such as theft, drug dealing, rape and murder. 95% of all outstanding murder warrants and 65% of all fugitive felony warrants in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens! (That's about 11,000 of the total 17,000 outstanding warrants). As of 2004 over 17% of our Federal Prison population consists of illegal aliens. Our border patrol and immigration workers constantly encounter dangerous criminals that have long rap sheets and are wanted by both foreign and US authorities.
That is not to say that all illegal aliens are drug dealing rapists and murders, but rather that we as a nation have a right to control who we let in and that we should be stopping such people from entering our country. By allowing illegal immigration to take place, we are shirking our responsibility to keep our nation safe and are not even trying keep such dangerous people from entering our country.
For those of you not inclined to believe my facts and assertions, go to a search engine, such as Google, and enter the following search terms or simply click on the links:
cost of illegal immigration Annual cost of illegal immigration
Another great source of information is Time Magazine's Sept 20, 2004 special investigation piece on America's Border