Illegal Immigration and the Welfare State

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Composition and Rhetoric
23 April 2010
Illegal Immigration and the Welfare State
“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. 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...
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