Illegal Immigration and the Welfare State Essay

“We must end welfare state subsidies for illegal immigrants. Some illegal immigrants—certainly not all—receive housing subsidies, food stamps, free medical care, and other forms of welfare. ” In this statement by Ron Paul, a Texas congressman, it is obvious that this subject needs a serious look into modifying our current guidelines. He also states, “Illegal immigrants place a tremendous strain on social entitlement programs. Under a proposed totalization agreement with Mexico, millions of illegal immigrants will qualify for Social Security and other programs-programs that already threaten financial ruin for America in the coming decades. (1) They come here illegally, take our jobs, and undermine our welfare system. Illegal aliens should not be allowed the benefits our social welfare systems. The immigrants that cross our borders illegally and work for low wages are depriving American citizens of the chance to seek the employment opportunities that are no longer available. Many of these immigrants work under the table and deprive the governments of the tax revenue they generate.

In an article by Barbara Anderson of the American Chronicle, she states, “Low paid illegal aliens cannot feed their families on those wages any better than a citizen can and must use our social welfare benefits to make ends meet. ” In the article she made a comment on a Bear Sterns report that of the twenty million illegal immigrant workers in the United States, five million do not pay taxes, social security or insurance. The report states, “Those five millions cheat the government out of over thirty five billions dollars a year.

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At the same time they receive thirty billion a year in government largess. ” Reducing overhead costs with low wages and no benefits, employers are able to outbid competitors and effectively put legitimate companies out of work. Besides losing revenue for taxes, American’s also wind up paying for the social programs supporting the illegal immigrants. Barbara also states that Los Angeles County, California reported in 2006, “that illegal aliens cost L. A. county about one billion dollars a year in healthcare, criminal incarceration, and public education. (1-2) A survey taken after the Immigration Reform and Control Act explains that IRCA was “enacted in November 1986 included major provisions in the areas of employment and legalization for persons residing in the United States without government permission. ” This libertarian approach does nothing except encourage more influx of illegal immigrants. Three million illegal immigrants nation wide took advantage of this, over one and a half million people in California alone. The survey report goes on to say, “Not enough is known about this population who illegally immigrated to the United States for a variety of reasons.

What is known is the 1. 6 million Californians who previously lived here in fear of discovery and deportation have stepped forward to take part in the IRCA legalization program. ” With their new citizenship status, the use of government social economic programs was also granted. Although the program prohibited cash assistance, there are others, “The five programs of highest reported use were the Women, Infant and Children Program (WIC), Unemployment Insurance (UI), Food Stamps, Worker’s Compensation, and government assisted housing. ”(16-19).

Most of the people that come here illegally have little knowledge, if any, of the English language or the societal cultures they must adopt. This prevents most immigrants from achieving a status other than a low wage earner. As noted by Steven Malanga of the City Journal, “Many may wind up stuck on our lowest economic rungs, where they will rely on something that immigrants of other generations didn’t have: a vast U. S. welfare and social-services apparatus that has enormously amplified the cost of immigration. ”(1-2) Although many illegal aliens cannot file for federal welfare, they have found loopholes that enable the family’s eligibility.

While living illegally in the U. S. , their children that are born here are considered citizens and are eligible for social economic programs. According to a report from the Federation for American Immigration Reform, “Many immigrant families get welfare through the eligibility of their U. S. citizen children. It is also important to realize that even when immigrants are ineligible for federal welfare programs, the burden of their support is simply shifted over to state and local welfare agencies. ”(1-2). Trying to solve such a widespread problem has been a major goal of the U.

S. congress since before the welfare reform bill of 1996. In his column, Ron Paul says, “Amnesty for illegal immigrants is not the answer. Millions of people who broke the law by entering, staying, and working in our country illegally should not be rewarded with a visa. Why should lawbreakers obtain a free pass, while those seeking to immigrate legally face years of paperwork and long waits for a visa? ”(1). In an article by Edward Sifuentes, staff writer for the North County Times in Southern California, surmised a report issued by FAIR in December 2004.

His article reports that, “California’s nearly 3 million illegal immigrants cost taxpayer nearly $9 billion a year. ” These costs were based on education, healthcare and housing for the prison population of illegal immigrants and their children. The report goes on to say, “Illegal immigrants cost the federal government $10 billion more than they pay in taxes. ”(1). With these kinds of incentives there are no doubts that the influx of illegal immigration will continue until something is done to stop them. A more recent article shows that the costs of supporting illegal immigrants keep rising as the population grows older.

In a 2008 news release from The U. S. News Service, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonvich reported that, “Nearly twenty-five percent of Los Angeles County’s welfare and food stamp benefits go directly to the children of illegal aliens, at a cost of $36 million a month. ” This is just one county in the third largest state in America. As a taxpayer, the feeling of being taken advantage of is overwhelming. Mr. Antonvich goes on to report that, “The total cost for illegal immigrants to County taxpayers exceeds $1 billion a year – not including the millions of dollars for education.

Illegal immigration continues to have a devastating impact on Los Angeles County taxpayers. ”(1). This type of misuse within our social programs will likely get worse if nothing is done to curb the invasion of the illegal aliens. With recent actions towards healthcare, Jason L. Riley of the Wall Street Journal explains, “Only hours before House Democrats voted on March 21 (2010) for a federal takeover of the U. S. health-care system, thousands of demonstrators led by liberal activists gathered on the National Mall to demand more open immigration policies and “Legalization Now! ” for undocumented aliens. The libertarians need to realize the economic impact that illegal immigration has on our country, the use of our welfare and social programs is helping to deteriorate financial resources that are built upon by the taxpayers. As these people protest for reforms, Mr. Riley’s comments on Obama-Care and the welfare state continued, “A larger welfare state is not conducive to comprehensive immigration reform. If foreigners start coming for handouts instead of opportunity, tighter restrictions will be justified. ”(1-2). There are no beneficial rewards for allowing illegal immigrants any form of citizenship status in the United States.

With these kinds of figures attached to healthcare and housing of the immigrants, it is no surprise that our systems are in need of alteration. The only ones who might benefit from this incursion are the aliens themselves. As a taxpayer, I personally do not relish the idea that our resources are being used to house and feed the illegal newcomers. The situation in Los Angeles is just a sample of what is happening all around the nation, most of which is closely related to our southern border. While our border to Mexico is sparsely guarded, we have armed soldiers guarding borders for far away countries.

It seems quite obvious that securing our own borders would be a priority for the safety of the nation and its citizens. The farmers say that the immigrants are necessary to plant and harvest their crops, but we end up supporting them in the off seasons. As long as the immigrant is properly documented and provides the skills necessary to be self-supportive, I would not perceive repercussions towards the issues that are related currently towards immigration. For a foreigner to enter the country illegally and take advantage of our social systems, they should be considered criminals and returned to their country of origin.

The cost of sponsoring the illegal immigrants surely outweighs the cost of maintaining border security. Libertarians are just that, liberal. If they are so adamant about loosening immigration policies, let them also pay for the support of the newcomers. We must find a way to end the intrusion of the illegal population that has overwhelmed our society and governments with their presence.

Works Cited

Barbara Anderson “Illegal Immigration: Fool Me Once, Shame on You…” American Chronicle 23 Mar. 2006 <http://www. americanchronicle. com/articles/view/7158> Web. 15 Mar. 010 Edward Sifuentes “Cost of Illegal Immigration in California Estimated at Nearly $9 Billion” North County Times, Ca. 06 Dec. 2006 <http://www. nctimes. com/news/local/article> Web. 23 Apr 2010 “Immigration and Welfare” Federation for American Immigration Reform, July 2003<http://www. fairus. org/site/News2/> Web. 23 Apr. 2010 Jason L. Riley. “ObamaCare and Immigration Reform; You can’t have open borders and a generous welfare state. ” Wall Street Journal (Online) 27 Mar. 2010,ABI/INFORM Global, ProQuest, Evans Library Database 25 Apr. 2010 Ron Paul “Immigration and the Welfare State” Texas Straight Talk, <http://www. ouse. gov/paul/tst/tst2005/tst080805. htm> 2005 Web. 29 March 2010 Steven Malanga “How unskilled Immigrants Hurt Our Economy” City Journal <http://www. city-journal. org/html/16_3_immigrants_economy. html> 2006 Web. 23 April 2010 “Survey of Newly Legalized persons in California” Electronic Journal Article 1989 Evans Library Database. 25 Apr. 2010 “WELFARE COSTS FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IN L. A. COUNTY OVER $36 MILLION IN MARCH. ” Us Fed News Service, Including US State News 2 May 2008, General Interest Module, ProQuest, Evans Library Database, 25 Apr. 2010