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The Immigration Debate
Posted by: Jon Henke on Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The immigration debate in full swing, and I'm not entirely sure where I come down on it. Generally speaking, I accept that immigration is a net economic positive for us in much the same way that technology is a net positive. Granted, the influx of low-cost labor will tend to depress the wages in the areas in which they work, but so does any addition to the labor pool. That's how supply and demand works — even in labor markets.

And while we fuss about foreign labor displacing US labor, I don't see us making similar complaints about foreign technology that displaces US labor. Some people are going to be dispaced by new, lower-cost sources of productivity, but that frees them up for more valuable work and provides all of us with "more for less". The same argument applies to new technology or lower-cost human labor.

On the other hand, I see the validity of the anti-illegal immigration arguments regarding the welfare state subsidies of illegal immigrants and the uneven playing field we get from under the table, off-the-record illegals competing with on-the-record immigrants and citizens.

I'm not sure how ultimately persuasive those arguments are, though. Consider the study "Health Care Expenditures of Immigrants in the United States", linked at TAPPED and synopsized by Ezra Klein...
  • Immigrants receive an average of $1,139 worth of care per year, compared with $2,564 for non-immigrants.

  • Immigrants, both legal and illegal, consumed 8% of our nation's health care, when they make up 10% of our nation's population. That means they're underconsuming health care, not using an excess amount of it.

  • Health care costs for poor immigrant children are 84 percent less than those for native born kids. 84%!

  • Immigrants, on average, receive half the health care that native born Americans get, saving the system hundreds of dollars per user. If we all used like immigrants do, we wouldn't have a cost crisis.

  • Immigrants are also 200% more likely to be uninsured than the rest of the population.

  • They account for 18% of the costs associated with the uninsured.
(here's a Washington Post story on the study) Bear in mind, the study included immigrants both legal and illegal, though I tend to doubt that restricting it only to illegal immigrants would indicate more health care usage. I would think the opposite would be true.

If all immigrants, legal and illegal, only account for 18% of the costs associated with the uninsured, that's a relatively small number. On the other hand, it doesn't tell us what they (in aggregate) contribute in economic growth and tax revenue to offset that cost. But even if they contribute little — something I tend to doubt — they don't appear to be breaking the bank, either.

Divider



Finally, the "secure our borders" argument seems rather poor to me. Currently, terrorists could slip across the lightly-defended Mexican border with relative ease. But would increased border security really make it significantly harder for terrorists to enter the country? Aside from the fact that the 9/11 hijackers were here legally, there's also the Canadian border. Poliblogger Steven Taylor points out...
We tend to consider the Canadian border to be innocuous and safe–yet it is longer than the border with Mexico and it is essentially unguarded along huge swaths of real estate. If a terror groups was truly interested in infiltrating the US via illegal border crossings, surely the Canadian border would be more appealing.
The whole "security" issue is, as Taylor writes, largely "a red herring", and "the notion that we can “control” our borders is largely a fantasy."

Divider



At the end of the day, I'm not really convinced that the illegal immigration problem can be stanched — or, really, that it is a net problem at all. As Daniel Griswold testified to the Senate, a "study by National Research Council in 1997 concluded that immigration delivers a "significant positive gain" of $1 billion to $10 billion a year to native-born Americans." Every year.

There are certainly some problems with our current policies, but I suspect that government action to "solve" the "problem" of cheap labor may only serve only to make things worse. It may be that — like poverty and inequality — illegal immigration from a destitute country (Mexico) to a wealthy country (USA) is an insoluble fact of life.

In that case, perhaps less government intervention is better than more, and the optimal solution is simply to dramatically streamline and increase immigration such that illegal immigration becomes almost unnecessary.
 
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Comments
Nice post, but there’s more to the debate than the economic angle (though that is a pretty important one)

The whole social and societal aspect- assimilation and allegience to this country and what sort of messages are sent by allowing rampant illegal immigration, etc etc are just as important- maybe more important than the economics of the situation.

Again, when you see thousands of unwanted guests waving the flag of another country while demanding we accomodate them- that’s a serious problem.

It’s getting to the point where it’s no less an issue of our future sovereignty.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Yeah, I worry about the cultural problems, too. Not the day-to-day cultural problems, or even the language barrier problems. Pluralism and diversity is a good thing. But I’m not sure how we can hold an individualist society against an influx of people raised on socialism.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
As I have said in a post in another thread, a decision was made by both parties and at every level of government that America should be transformed into a Northern province of Mexico. Every time the American people speak they call for a crackdown on immigration. Prop 187 passed with overwhleming support yet a single judge ruled it unconstitutional
and refuses to write an opinion so that her decision
can not be appealed. Similar propositions have passed in New Mexico and Arizona but the respective Governors refuse to impliment them. An unholy alliance between business interests Republicans and open borders Democrats are subverting the will of the American people. So at a time when the American people are asking for a crack down on immigration what does the Senate do, they propose legislation that actually increase both leagal and illeagal immigration.The Mexican government for all intents and purposes controls America’s immigration policy. They incourage and send their surplus population north and get the benifit of remittance to the tune of 18 billion a year. In return the American taxpayer gets to subsidize illeagals education, medical care, welfare and incarceration. The government of Mexico incourages dual citizenship and Mexican politicians actually campaign in America.
In some schools in southern California, history books that a provided by the Mexican
government teach Mexican children history from the Mexican perspective and further re-inforcing their Mexicanness and to hate America. Massive illeagal immigration hurts the lower income classes and now is squeezing the middle class blue collar worker. More and more plant workers and construction workers are being squeezed out by the lower wages employers can offer these illeagals. In my neighborhood their are currently 5 or 6 home construction and renovation jobs underway, without exception all of the workers are Mexicans, most likely here illeagally. So I guess construction work is work that Americans don’t want to do. I am so sick and tired of the trope that America is a nation of immigrants and these illeagals do the work Americans don’t want to do. First, every country is a nation of immigrants, I know of
no instances of people popping up out of the ground to form a country. For most of Americas history immigration has been very low. Their were spurts of LEAGAL IMMIGRATION, but not
massive unchecked illeagal immigration. Second, their is not a single job an American would not perform, there are jobs that Americans won’t do because of the wage being offered.
 
Written By: Radical Centrist
URL: http://
What about the fact that illegal immigrants account for 29% of the prison population. That is a significant human cost in terms of money (to apprehend, judge, and detain) and human suffering (i.e. the victims of the crimes).

Also, why can’t a fence be built on both borders? Sure, the cost will be high initially, but the reduction of border patrol officers and the decrease in risk of a terrorists smuggling in dirty bombs or nukes would more than make up for the cost. Hey, America already has an image problem and it always will - with liberals, socialists, Islamofascists, and communists.
 
Written By: Nuclear
URL: http://
# Immigrants, both legal and illegal, consumed 8% of our nation’s health care, when they make up 10% of our nation’s population. That means they’re underconsuming health care, not using an excess amount of it.

# Immigrants, on average, receive half the health care that native born Americans get, saving the system hundreds of dollars per user. If we all used like immigrants do, we wouldn’t have a cost crisis.
I wonder if these and other health care cost stats are flawed. If immigrants receive free and reduced cost care, then how are these costs summed up?

0+0+0+0 is always less than 99+99+99+99
 
Written By: coffee
URL: http://
There’s also the argument that plugging up the southern border would encourage those specific neighbors (rather than Canada, where this isn’t as much of an issue) to deal with their own problems and develop their own country. As long as their people have the option to quit their country and head north at the first sign of trouble, they won’t sweat out their own fevers. That keeps Mexico from developing as fast as it should.

That, and the existence of such widespread illegal immigration undermines the process of legal immigration.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m very much in favor of immigration, but it’s our sovereign right to determine who does and does not get to come here, and there are more responsible ways of importing people. I think we should dramatically expand the number of people we allow to enter legally, but make sure we count heads and get names when people do cross the border. Then the only reason we should catch someone jumping a fence somewhere is if they have some reason why they don’t want their head counted and name taken.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
It occurs to me that the first and last paragraphs there are contradictory. Suffice it to say, I recognize the first argument but care more about the last.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
I’m not sure how we can hold an individualist society against an influx of people raised on socialism.
That dosen’t seem to be a huge problem. By their very nature, those who opt to relocated to another country probably tend to be a bit more individualistic than your average Juan. As far as political breakdown goes, Latinos are not dominated by either political party.
The whole social and societal aspect- assimilation and allegience to this country and what sort of messages are sent by allowing rampant illegal immigration, etc etc are just as important- maybe more important than the economics of the situation.
I’m not hugely concerned about this, though there is some matter for concern. My understanding is that in most cases, the children of Latin American immigrants integrate in much the same way as every other mass American migration has. There certainly is no lack of elders complaining that their children are acting ’too American’ and not learning to speak English. Just like with every other immigrant population.

The only difference is that, in this case, geographic proximity allows immigration to come in steadily rather than in discrete waves that can be assimilated one at a time. It isn’t so much that latino immigrants aren’t assimilating, they are, but that the new immigrants are arriving faster than the old ones are assimilating.

The real solution to the immigrant problem is, of course, to address the economic problems of Mexico itself. Easier said than done of course. It would require greater effort not only on our part, but the more difficult part, on the part of the Mexican government.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
I accept that immigration is a net economic positive for us in much the same way that technology is a net positive
Who is "us"?
On the other hand, I see the validity of the anti-illegal immigration arguments regarding the welfare state subsidies of illegal immigrants and the uneven playing field we get from under the table, off-the-record illegals competing with on-the-record immigrants and citizens.
Well, that’s it, isn’t? For some of us, illegal immigration is a positive. For others, it is a negative. It is a class issue. What incenses me about Bush and others is that they attempt to gloss over this class cleavage by saying that illegal immigrants are taking jobs no American would want to do. Which is of course not true. Why don’t they just come out and tell it like it is? There are winners and there are losers when it comes to illegal immigration.

Any plan that calls for amnesty, or a guest worker program will only exacerbate the class cleavage. Think we have a permanent underclass now? Look at the Senate legislation:
Under the proposal, participants in the temporary worker program would have to work for six years before they could apply for a green card. Any worker who remained unemployed for 60 days or longer during those six years would be forced to leave the country. (Employers could petition for permanent residency on behalf of their employees six months after the worker entered into the program.)
So how does this solve the problem? Work six years? Can’t you hear a typical boss? "Oh, you want a raise? Well, I guess I will have to fire you - better hope you find a new job in 60 days. Oh, you don’t want that raise? That’s what I thought. And what’s that about not getting overtime pay? Go ahead - report me. Do it and I will fire you."
At the end of the day, I’m not really convinced that the illegal immigration problem can be stanched — or, really, that it is a net problem at all.
Illegal entry into the United States is a crime. If you don’t think that’s a problem, why have criminal laws at all?

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Illegal immigrants s are "Stealing American Dreams.”

The president and his co-aristocratic scion of moneyed family, Ted Kennedy, both assert that a guest-worker program fulfills the goals of both the employers – who seek low-wage workers from Mexico – and the workers – who only want to earn our relatively higher wages. Such workers use the wages US jobs to send remittances back into Mexico; to raise families there, and to invest toward relatively luxurious retirement in Mexico at the end of their productive employment in the US. Tp the extent we accept that description, we must recognize that all these are jobs, wages, and families that are obtained at the expense of legal workers – migrant citizens from Puerto Rico or New Orleans -and legal immigrant who choose to pursue citizenship. These workers want instead to raise their families here. They want to invest in homes and businesses here. They want to build nest eggs of wealth toward luxurious retirement in this local economy. A home, a family, luxury – this is what we always called “The American Dream.” This goal – a public policy goal, not limited to either employers or workers – a goal all Americans traditionally wanted for each other; the “rising tide” that “lifts all boats” — this goal is being ignored. As if neither currently illegal immigrants, nor President Bush’s / Senator Kennedy’s decriminalized “guest workers” are expected to even understand it, much less pursue and achieve it.


What a giant step back from Emma Lazarus.
 
Written By: pouncer
URL: http://
The health care thing is a bit of a canard. The immigrants might not be using up a lot of the healthcare in the country but they are absolutely destroying the health care in some areas, like my town of Houston. We have two major hospitals in bankruptcy here because of the costs of treating illegals. If the rest of the nation wants to cover our costs then I wouldn’t feel so bad about all the illegals. I’ll be waiting for you all to cut me a check.
 
Written By: Kyle N
URL: http://
True, that $1,139 a year is still something like $23 billion a year extra. And then remember that its concentrated in border towns and big cities near the border (like my hometown which is also Houston) and it does begin to be felt.
 
Written By: Chris
URL: http://
I question the figures on immigrant health care based upon the fact that the states with the largest number of immigrants, Ca, NM, etc., are complaining that all these non-healthcare-using immigrants are bankrupting their states. They may use less care, but they pay for even less. So does this mean that immigrants in other states use no health care at all? Another factor that may skew the statistics is that the elderly use a large share of health care resources, and immigrants are mostly not elderly. I also question why, according to this article, immigrant children are much healthier than native born children.
Or, since immigrants are much more likely to be uninsured, they do not use as much health care, thus not incurring any costs. No doctors visits for colds, for example.
How are immigrants identified? Are there now check boxes on forms for "immigrant" as there are for "race"? Not at my doctors’ offices, or any medical facility I have used.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"Immigrants" is the whole set. What subset do illegal immigrants make up? And do the numbers track for them as well?

My guess is there is no breakdown in that regard which differentiates between the two.

The debate isn’t about legal immigrants who must pay their way and pull their weight. It’s about illegal immigrants who don’t.

Unless there are figures that differentiate between the two and assign the proper amounts to each set, they’re not worth very much. For instance:
Immigrants, both legal and illegal, consumed 8% of our nation’s health care, when they make up 10% of our nation’s population. That means they’re underconsuming health care, not using an excess amount of it.
What may actually be true is legal immigrants may be vastly underconsuming while illegal immigrants may be vastly overconsuming. But since there is no breakout of each, we don’t know for sure. That makes the numbers useless since the debate is about illegal immigrants.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
The debate isn’t about legal immigrants who must pay their way and pull their weight. It’s about illegal immigrants who don’t.
Yes, I’d actually made that point in the post: "Bear in mind, the study included immigrants both legal and illegal".

However, I also suggested that, while there’s no direct evidence that I’ve seen yet, "I tend to doubt that restricting it only to illegal immigrants would indicate more health care usage." I find it very difficult to believe that illegal immigrants consume more health care than do legal immigrants. I can’t think of any particular reason to think they would consume more, and — lack of health insurance, lower wages, fear of deportation, temporary location status — I can think of good reasons why they might consume less. I’d be interested to see solid data to the contrary.

I’ll readily concede the likelihood that the benefits of illegal immigrants and the cost of illegal immigrants are often accrued by different groups. That’s a good argument for changing our policies, but I have trouble believing that a policy that increases intervention would either be more economically efficient, more libertarian or more effective.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I find it very difficult to believe that illegal immigrants consume more health care than do legal immigrants.
Why? Legal immigrants can be billed for the health care they consume. That may be why they underconsume. And there is legal recourse to collect.

There is no such recourse for illegals. Hence, when an illegal uses the emergency room, knowing full well they can’t be refused care nor made to pay, they can walk out and never look back. And we all know when something costs you nothing, you have a tendency to overuse it, even if its use is a hassle.

Legal immigrants, otoh, risk their very status if they don’t pay their bills. That would tend to see them underconsume.
I’d be interested to see solid data to the contrary.
I’m sure it’s out there, although I haven’t looked for it (and unfortunatly don’t have the time at the moment) but anecdotally, a review of those border hospitals which are shutting down their trauma care (emergency room) units is a good indication. The main reason I’ve seen cited is they aren’t being paid for the services rendered (and it is driving them toward bankruptcy). The primary reason I’ve seen cited in the past is the overuse of the facility by illegal aliens.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I GOT IT!!! THE PERFECT COMPROMISE. A compromise is the only thing that is going to pass through the Senate in the next few years. Given that premise...

[drum roll please]

...give the mean Conservatives their fence and give the roll-over Liberals their amnesty.

Hey, whaddaya think? I’d go for that!
 
Written By: Nuclear
URL: http://
Everyone seems to be taking it as a given that illegal immigrants are paying no taxes, but is that really a substantiated claim? Has anyone really tried to figure out just how much illegals are paying in the way of taxes?

Consider sales taxes. It is highly unlikely that illegals are dodging the sales tax more than anyone else, and presumably they are spending their income on taxable goods just like everyone else.

Then there are income taxes. Those working under the table, being paid in cash and so forth, are obviously not having taxes withheld from their income. What about all of the illegals giving up fake social security numbers and such, and attempting to pass themselves off as legal workers? Their employers are withholding all of the same taxes from their paychecks as from anyone else, and sending those to the federal government. In this case, illegals are likely paying MORE since they are not filing and getting a refund check every year.

Then, we need to compare the taxes that illegals pay compared to American citizens in similar income brackets. As everyone here is probably well aware, low income Americans pay essentially nothing on income taxes, and usually get a full federal return. Sometimes, they get back more than what they put in. They also often receive some form of welfare or other government assistance, that illegals may not be eligible to collect.

So I’m not sure it is fair to say that they contribute nothing whatsoever to the system. They very well may contribute more than many American citizens of similar incomes.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
Again, when you see thousands of unwanted guests waving the flag of another country while demanding we accomodate them- that’s a serious problem.
I found the protests that were abundant in many cities coast to coast (although, strangely absent here in Houston, Tx) fascinating. People wanting to be U.S. citizens all the while waving the flag of another country…, that’s very odd.

Another thought I had while watching the half-million people in L.A. marching along was the mess that 500.000 people would leave in their wake.
That’s gotta be a huge mess.

I wonder who’s going to clean that up.
…oh wait,
Nevermind.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
People wanting to be U.S. citizens all the while waving the flag of another country…, that’s very odd.
Do they want to live here? Do they want to live in Mexico? There is a 3rd alternative... they want to turn the US into México; they don’t want to assimilate. Why else does one wave a foreign country’s flag, shout "Viva El México" while protesting the US’s immigration laws?
 
Written By: coffee
URL: http://
Why do people go around wearing green and proclaiming that they are Irish every March? What is with all of those Slovakian and Polish street festivals where they sell food and wave around flags that arent American? What’s up with all those Italians and their restaurants, anyways?

You people are paranoid.

I expect this kind of ’cultural protectionism’ from the French, and other countries who are uptight about preserving their traditional culture from the influence of pervasive American/Western culture.

We’re doing fine guys, relax. Our ideas are doing quite well in the cultural free-market. We’re better at assimilating immigrants better than perhaps any other nation on Earth, and Latinos are no different. You just have to accept that along with making them Americans, they make us a little bit of themselves too. Just sit back, enjoy the ride, and have a taco.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
Why do people go around wearing green and proclaiming that they are Irish every March? What is with all of those Slovakian and Polish street festivals where they sell food and wave around flags that arent American? What’s up with all those Italians and their restaurants, anyways

If you can’t see the immense difference between legal citizens celebrating their ethnicity on a designated day for that celebration (ie: St. Patricks Day) or holding a street fair and ILLEGAL aliens demanding policy changes while waving the flag of the country they hold allegience to.....

We’re doing fine guys, relax. Our ideas are doing quite well in the cultural free-market. We’re better at assimilating immigrants better than perhaps any other nation on Earth, and Latinos are no different. You just have to accept that along with making them Americans, they make us a little bit of themselves too. Just sit back, enjoy the ride, and have a taco

LOL, yeah, lets all enjoy the ride....right down into the f*cking gutter.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Sorry Jon. No dice. The only studies that assert a fiscal benefit (in health care or otherwise) from illegal immigration conflate legal immigration with illegal immigration. I know you acknowledge this above, but it still distorts the study and reduces its findings’s relevance to illegal immigration.

I have lots of questions and skepticism about the AJPH study (you can’t access it without paying). Most importantly, however, the conclusion it reaches is being misconstrued. It found that, on a per capita basis, "immigrants" and their children consume less health care than "US born persons". That may or may not be true for illegal immigrants, but the question is inapposite to this debate and fails to address the real economic problem (as opposed to the social problems which are manifest) with illegal immigration. The relevant question is whether the value of health care, education, and other social services consumed by illegal immigrants exceeds the tax proceeds they contribute to federal and state treasuries. The AJPH study doesn’t answer that question but the two studies referenced below do, and the answer is no.

According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, on an annual basis, illegal immigration results in a 9 billion dollar net loss to the state of California’s coffers (here is the actual study). Furthermore, this study by the Center for Immigration Studies found that illegal immigration results in a fiscal net loss at the federal level as well (although interestingly, not in regard to federal health care outlays). For skeptics, we can stipulate that FAIR and CIS firmly oppose illegal immigration, but I don’t believe they are any more biased than our liberal friends at the AJPH and their studies actually address the issue at hand.

As for Jon’s friend Ezra, he shows where he’s coming from by prefacing his statement with the following trope:
We’ve all heard, I’m sure, that our rise in health costs and the difference between us and other societies is our enormous immigrant population, which is to say that the goddamn Mexicans keep stealing over the border solely so they can get sick and charge it to America’s Express card.
He doesn’t provide any quotes and he’s be able to. I don’t know what kind of bigots Ezra hangs out with, but I haven’t ever heard anyone make that argument. The argument against illegal immigration is that social services, public education and the penal system are struggling to meet demand for their services and the problem is exacerbated by the added burden of illegal immigrants and their native born, naturalized progeny.

As someone who has worked along side latino "immigrants" at several summer jobs during high school and college, I can say first hand that they work their a***es off. I don’t know anyone who seriously challenges that. Dr. Cammorata, director of the Center for Immigration Studies referenced above, ackowledges that illegal immigrants don’t come here for the social benefits. They come here because the jobs pay better than those in their country of origin. The problem, however, is that they aren’t just another input to production, they are human beings and they need health care, education etc. They also happen to be overwhelmingly low skilled/unskilled and their very participation in the job market depresses the already low wages paid for the kind of labor they can provide. The aggregate value of their labor to the public treasury is less than the aggregate cost of social services they consume.

Liberals have already trotted out their tired accusations of racism. However, despite the liberal straw man argument, this debate has nothing to do with illegal immigrants’ value as human beings. It is about the cost born by Americans for the failures of their home countries’ governments and economies. Also, let’s be honest, if Democrats thought that the majority of these illegals would vote Republican when naturalized (which they obviously won’t) Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid would already have their shovels ready for the ground breaking ceremony at the new border wall. Democrats pretending to have "compassion" for illegal immigrants is disgusting.
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
If you can’t see the immense difference between legal citizens celebrating their ethnicity on a designated day for that celebration (ie: St. Patricks Day) or holding a street fair and ILLEGAL aliens demanding policy changes while waving the flag of the country they hold allegience to..
Of course I can. One group is in the country illegally, and the other is not. What does that have to do with the cultural reprecussions?
LOL, yeah, lets all enjoy the ride....right down into the f*cking gutter.
Exagerate much?
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
Of course I can. One group is in the country illegally, and the other is not. What does that have to do with the cultural reprecussions?

Because at the end of the day, Shamus and Sean hoisting a St Paddy’s brew and Vito eating ravioli still consider themselves AMERICAN, as opposed to Juan and Teodore, who consider themselves MEXICAN. Big difference there, eh?

LOL, yeah, lets all enjoy the ride....right down into the f*cking gutter.


Exagerate much?


Not a bit in this case....
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Consider sales taxes. It is highly unlikely that illegals are dodging the sales tax more than anyone else, and presumably they are spending their income on taxable goods just like everyone else.
That, at least, is demonstrably untrue. In point of fact, illegal immigrants send so much of their incomes back to families in Mexico that currency repatriation is second only to petroleum sales as a source of foreign cash income for Mexico.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Why do people go around wearing green and proclaiming that they are Irish every March? What is with all of those Slovakian and Polish street festivals where they sell food and wave around flags that arent American? What’s up with all those Italians and their restaurants, anyways?
Quite apart from anything else, they aren’t claiming that a large portion of the United States belongs to Italy, and should be returned in a reconquista.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Why? Legal immigrants can be billed for the health care they consume. That may be why they underconsume. And there is legal recourse to collect.
Good point, and that would certainly explain the visibility of their health care costs. Since the inability to bill them would only apply to emergency care, they would necessarily consume more of that than they would normal doctor or drug consumption. Of course, the other side of that is that illegals would dramatically underconsume in the non-emergency areas.

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to see a good breakdown of this that takes the broad economic impact into account. (the studies cited by anonymous are interesting, but don’t get into the economic activity issue)

I’m perfectly willing to believe that illegtal immigrants consume more in taxpayer money than they contribute in tax revenue. But that’s true of most of the lower income percentiles in our country. People who work at minimum wage at, for example, Wal-Mart will probably consume more taxpayer money than they contribute, too. While they may possibly — but not certainly — be a net tax negative, I’m just not sure that illegal immigrants are a net economic negative to the US.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Then there are income taxes. Those working under the table, being paid in cash and so forth, are obviously not having taxes withheld from their income. What about all of the illegals giving up fake social security numbers and such, and attempting to pass themselves off as legal workers? Their employers are withholding all of the same taxes from their paychecks as from anyone else, and sending those to the federal government. In this case, illegals are likely paying MORE since they are not filing and getting a refund check every year.
Rosensteel, you need to become familiar with the requirements of a 1099. The taxes to be paid are left up to the receipient, not the issuer. Or said another way, the employee is liable for paying taxes when they(the illegals) work as an independent contractor, not the employer. Hence all the fake SS number does is give the employer cover. It doesn’t at all ensure any taxes are ever paid.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
LOL, yeah, lets all enjoy the ride....right down into the f*cking gutter.
Exagerate much?
Rosensteel, you are correct when suggesting that there is a paranoia among some regarding the immigration, illegal or not, of those from south of the border. But you must admit it is odd that protesters hoist colors of a foreign nation when attempting to convince the people of the Estados Unidos that they belong here.
And shark is correct about Seamus and Sean hoisting a St. Paddy’s Day brew in honor of their cultural and ethnic heritage. Seamus and Sean see themselves as Americans with an Irish heritage. That is a big difference.
You see, I expect to see Irish flags paraded across the streets of Anytown, USA on St. Patrick’s Day, I expect to see Italian flags draped proudly on the wall of my local deli, and I expect to see Mexican flags on Cinco de Mayo. But I also expect to see the Stars and Stripes elevated by those who wish to join us.

I am of Irish descent (with a little Scots thrown in for good measure), but I am definitely American first. I love Ireland. I’ve been there many times. I love the people, the land, the culture, the music, the whiskey, the beer, and the beer. I have an Irish flag hanging in my shop, visitors will notice it as the smaller flag hanging just below Old Glory.

I obviously can’t speak to the motivations of any particular individual holding a Mexican flag when protesting immigration policy. Maybe they’re just trying to convey their pride in which from where they come. I dunno. But it wouldn’t hurt to carry the American flag, as well.
I might do the same if the U.S. government were trying to expel twelve million Paddy’s. I dunno.
After all, I see it as my hereditary duty to,
eolas níos fearr a chothú ar oidhreacht chultúrtha na Éirinn.

Sláinte.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
The whole "security" issue is, as Taylor writes, largely "a red herring", and "the notion that we can "control" our borders is largely a fantasy."


Taylor is right only because we make no efforts, and his theory banks on the idea that the American taxpayer isn’t willing to pay for border security. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy along the lines of "man can’t fly a heavier-than-air machine because nobody has done so, therefore it’s futile to try".

Can we make our borders air-tight? Not without considerable cost, both financial and political (anybody REALLY want minefields, guard dogs, and machine guns on our borders?), but we can certainly take some easy steps to make it more difficult for people to get into our country uninvited.
 
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
Me and my wife work construction and you are right, about most of the workers being illegal. Our employer currently has about 40 employees, there are 6 American citizens. Last fall there was 80 employees, 6American citizens. Been in construstion since 1973. I am The second oldest employee. It puts me and my wife on a unfair playing feild, you dont move as fast when you get older. There are too many young illegal immigrants. They work too cheap. Too many of them. We barely pay in enough social security taxes. We have no penison or health Ins., make the same wage as 25 years ago. This job use to pay good. My generation of workers got lost in the [un-wanted] jobs. Thanks Mr. Bush.. If you could sue the Federal Gov. I WOULD!. They let this happen on purpose to keep inflation low.
 
Written By: C.B.M.
URL: http://

 
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