“Texans against Amnesty- Stop Illegal Immigration NOW!”
Immigration and immigration policy have been an integral part of the American polity since the early years of the American Republic. During the 1880’s until World War II, the United States entered into an era of immigration restriction of increasing severity. The diplomacy of immigration became increasingly concerned with the consequences of keeping some people out and after 1924, Congress made the diplomatic establishment partially responsible for immigration selection and its control, with keeping some prospective immigrants out. Since 1945, after only seemingly minor changes in policy during World War II, and partly due to the shift in American foreign policy from quasi-isolation to a quest for global leadership, our immigration policy has become less and less restrictive to the point that the U.S. and states such as Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico are being overrun by illegal aliens and make no mistake about it, there is a high monetary cost to pay by U.S. taxpayers and a cost that can never be measured monetarily. Few people can deny that illegal immigration is the cause of much debate in the United States and so let’s take a look at illegal immigration and its cost on the U.S. society.
In recent amnesty proposals, approximately 12 million or more illegal aliens, a very conservative census, would be legalized and this is most likely a very conservative estimate of exactly how many illegal immigrants are in the U.S. These amnestied lawbreakers would tie up the already broken immigration bureaucracy; they would introduce through chain migration millions of relatives into an already clogged system; they would qualify for scarce public resources such as Medicaid, welfare, and other public assistance; and the costs of all these things would be borne by American taxpayers. Furthermore, the scale of such “mercy” would do harm too many Americans and communities, and lead to more illegal immigration by the signal such policies would send and indeed have sent with previous amnesties. We need only take a look at the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. This is also known as the infamous Regan Amnesty Bill. The law was supposed to put an end to illegal immigration. Did it? I can answer this question this way…..watching all that happens regarding the costs of illegal immigration is like watching a Reality TV Show and the reality that I am seeing is making a great statement that says we have failed! Make no doubt about this!
Under this Bill, amnesty was granted to millions of undocumented immigrants, security was supposed to be beefed up along the U.S.-Mexican border and, for the first time, the Feds were to punish employers for the hiring of unlawful workers. The rationale was that illegal immigration would stop for good if the job magnet was cut off. But in reality what happened was, employer sanctions never really materialized, and the numbers of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. soared. Today, Congress and American citizens across this nation still remain torn, seemingly hopelessly divided over what a solution to the countries illegal immigration problems should accomplish as a law. An accurate accounting or what we might call a perfect picture of what illegal immigration numbers are actually costing us will continue to be impossible as long as state bureaucrats intentionally refuse to collect appropriate data on the numbers of illegal immigrants using Texas government services, particularly education, the study said. A group calling themselves the Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas, an Austin based company, which has estimated that illegal immigration costs the state $4.5 billion to $6 billion a year, most of which they say, goes to cover the cost of education for the illegal immigrant population. Personally, I believe the dollar figures put forth by James Bernsen, a consultant who has also done a study for the, Lone Star Foundation are very conservative numbers, albiet, through no fault of his own. Though Mr. Bernsen agrees that “poor statistics hamper all studies on the costs of illegal immigration, Immigration Reform Coalition spokeswoman, Rebecca Forrest and Maria Grace Martinez defend his study as “a good place to start when looking at these costs and possibly finding a solution.”
The financial burden on taxpayers occurs in many ways. One study shows that low-skilled immigrant families receive, on average, $30,160 in government benefits each year. Two researchers conducting a study for the Heritage Foundation showed that an average low-skilled immigrant household costs federal, local, and state governments $19,588 per year more than it pays in all taxes. Other cost we must continually monitor has to do with crimes committed by illegals and the ever expanding cost of incarcerating these criminals. Recognizing that the cost of incarceration was growing unbridled and with no solution in place, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for nearly $350 million dollars to cover the costs.We doubt that DHS will pay any of the cost associated with the incarceration costs that the taxpayers incur.
In one area, however, an entitlement program meant for all Texans has become almost the exclusive domain of immigrants: the Children with Special Health Care Needs program.
CSHCN is a supplemental health care program designed to help indigent children with extraordinary or chronic health care problems that are too expensive to treat in traditional Medicaid. Although the program does not distinguish between legal residents and illegal residents, the number of non-citizens in the program is dramatic. In December of 2005, there were 1,452 non-citizens in the program – 68.8 percent of all clients enrolled. Furthermore, more than three-quarters of the cost of the program – 78.9 percent – is spent on these non-citizens. These cost that we as taxpayers are paying for seem to never end. These costs have come very close to bankrupting states such as California and Texas. Next, in Part 3 of this series, we will take a look at some solutions that can help solve some of the monetary adversity we face and we will look at some solutions viewed as “out of the box” remedies. Until next time, peace and love.