“Interesting… If you cross the North Korean border illegally, you get 12 yrs. hard labor. If you cross the Afghanistan border illegally, you get shot. Two Americans just got eight years for crossing the Iranian border. If you cross the U. S. border illegally you get a job, a drivers license, food stamps, a place to live, health care, housing & child benefits, education,& a tax free business for 7 yrs…No wonder we are a country in debt. Re-post if you agree”
I don’t agree, at least, not completely.
More of the national debt is due to ‘entitlement programs’ than to military spending. In 2011, for example, military spending made up 16% of the US expenditures, while Health and Welfare programs constituted 29%, pensions were an additional 16%, and education only got 14%. If it were true that only illegal immigrants benefitted from these programs, then that statement might be true.
Illegals do indeed benefit from some programs, but not to the extent some would have you imagine. Some benefits are not possible to obtain without breaking numerous other laws (stealing personal information, creating counterfeit documents, etc). Some benefit by living under the protective umbrella of a friend or family member with legal citizenship. Many, however, do not benefit. believe it or not, there are mostly honest and hard-working illegals. (I have to say “mostly” because they did, after all, break laws by entering or staying in the country in the first place).
Americans of all shapes and sizes benefit from government spending. Our militaries and law enforcement agencies keep us safe at home and abroad. Whether or not you trust our military’s objectives or the integrity of our police, it is their work (and therefore the spending to fund them) that lets you go shopping, blog your hatred or love of whatever suits your fancy, march in protest, get fat on the sofa in front of The Real Desperate Housewives of Jersey Shore Makeover – Island Edition Extreme, keeps bad guys from climbing in your window while you are passed out drunk on the floor, etc.
Some people do need welfare support to stay afloat long enough to stand on their own. Those are the people who, embarrassed, accept a couple utility bill payments or a few months of food stamps while they search for a new job. They are those who apply for a college grant to get marketable skills because their old job went away and they need a new one. These programs are good for the people who use them as a crutch – not those who use them as a chrome-trim electric wheelchair to get their fat butt to the local slurpee mart to buy some lotto tickets and a carton of cigarettes.
America is the land of opportunity. The promised land. A melting pot. It seems that many of us get so wrapped up in a desire to destroy those who follow in our own footsteps that we forget the core of what our forefathers were trying to build this land to be: a welcome home from the imperfect nations elsewhere in the world.
Most of America is here as a result of an invasion of some sort. Native Americans (cousins of native Mexicans, right?) were over-run by invasive Europeans. In my own ancestry there was a native man who wandered up into (what are now) the states from Mexico. His children and grandchildren made agreements with European settlers which eventually paved the way for a more accepting colonization of this land by those of the other.
America wasn’t ever meant to be a reward without price, though. You had to work hard, pull your weight, and be a value to this land. Throughout most of its existence, Ellis Island – the gateway to American citizenship – turned away the sick and other undesirables. We did not want, nor could we afford, to allow those who were incapable of or unwilling to work. While this position may seem harsh today, it was a matter of fact at the time. Eventually this hard line softened to be fair – a median position. Unfortunately, with the adoption of Socialist programs, we’ve swayed to a new extreme of unfair – we welcome, pull in and incubate worthless people. We do indeed provide free food, school, housing, clothing, money and other benefits.
The problem with the popular view is that it always points to South American immigrants (in the West and Southwest) or Blacks (in urban areas). While these stereotypes do have a very real genesis (as awkward as that is to admit), a third faction of abusers is often overlooked: Whites.
The leeches on the welfare system are not bonded by race: they come from all genetic and ethnic backgrounds. A discussion on welfare which centers on race is a waste of time and allows the problem to continue. The common bond between those who milk our nation for free sustenance is an individual ideal of entitlement, supported and directed by leftist politics and the very teat of the system that is being sucked dry.
A MORE ACCURATE PICTURE
It is important for all to remember, acknowledge, and use correct usage of the word “Illegal Immigrant”. The word “Illegal” is put there by unbiased true definition, not by some hateful agenda. People who cross the borders of a country in which they are not citizens, and in a way that is not officially recognized by the laws of that country are breaking the laws of their destination are, by obvious definition, breaking the law. That means they are criminals, regardless the reason they chose not to abide by the laws. Do we let vigilantes brandish weapons and shoot at targets they believe are bad guys? No, even if their prey are indeed out for no good. Intent does not usually relieve us of the penalty of a crime.
That said, many of the people who broke our laws to enter our country are not the kind we’d think of as “bad guys”. Some of the people who are in our country illegally
- are harder, more trustworthy workers, and for less pay, than most Americans. They come here seasonally to work the jobs we’re “too good’ for. It is because of these hard working “migrant workers” that we pay $1.99 for a bag of apples instead of $15.99. many of these immigrants have come to our country legally, but when they are unable to afford the trip back, or don’t want to miss out on next season’s work, they let their paperwork lapse.
- many come into our country after paying a year’s wages to a smuggler called a “coyote”. They’re trying to get here to seek medical treatment, to make more money in a few months than they would at home in a few years … often to support a needy family back home. Some are trying to reunite with family who are here legally. Some, unfamiliar with our complex red tape, think they can start a thriving business or go to a university. After the coyote gets them across our border, additional debts are sprung on them. They become slaves, drug traffickers, prostitutes or other criminals to satisfy those new demands.
- some enter the country on temporary visas. because of the complexity of our laws and the cost involved in navigating the system, their visas expire and they are supposed to leave. they don’t, as they try to find a way to stay in the country legally. Some have children or spouses who are citizens or who are not from the land to which they will be deported.
- Some come here to escape the drug cartels. I know of an attractive and intelligent young lady who can’t attend college here because of her “illegal” status. She’s lived here most of her life, but wants to go “home” to live with her father so she can go to college. He doesn’t want her to come back to Mexico because in their town the drug dealers will forcibly take attractive women and force them to be their girlfriends. If the woman refuses, the cartels will kill her family. If she accepts, she is eventually forced into prostitution.
Our jails and prisons are filled with illegal immigrants who lived the ways of their country (public intoxication, beating women) and were arrested in ours for breaking our rules. Even these people are not the immigrants we need to focus on. Those who are a danger are those who come here to commit crimes, to traffic drugs, to murder and slip away. The illegals we need to be hard with are those who are here to commit acts of terrorism on the American people. How do we know which is which?
GET THE BALANCE RIGHT
We cannot sway to either extreme in the illegal immigrant issue. It is wrong to forbid others to enter our country simply because they cannot afford the paperwork or lack the education to understand the process.
At the same time, the United States is far more accepting of newcomers than most other countries. It’s harder to gain citizenship in England, Japan or Germany. As the opening paste-it described, in many countries you can be shot and killed or jailed in terrible conditions for such a trespass.
We should not entertain the antics of vigilante border patrol groups, but we also need a presence on that border to slow the flow of drugs and crime into our country. There is a very real border war going on, yet we choose to ignore it.
We ought to have assistance (information, not cash) for those who legitimately seek to improve themselves and contribute to our society. We should make it easier for the useful to participate in our country, while making it harder for the useless – the criminal and the lazy – to survive here. That should apply to all people, not just our immigrants, not just certain races, ethnicities, education levels or economic statuses.
In this, and other areas, I advocate a “Socialist” approach to the equality in application of the law to all persons, while also advocating a “Capitalist” approach to the receipt of rewards and the necessity of work. We all want equality and fairness, but we should not demand that the bar be lowered to accommodate that standard. We should instead find ways to help the weak condition and strengthen themselves to rise to the bar. There should be access to education, not money. Access to work, not food stamps. Our doors should be open to those who want to be a part of society, but closed to those – including those who are already born – who wish to undermine and abuse our system. If an activist wants a Red America, let them go to a red country.