Sorry Mom: Illegal Immigration isn’t Crippling our Nation

Before she got her current job teaching the children of soldiers in Okinawa, my mother worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist in a school district near Dallas, Texas. As you may remember from your geography classes, Texas shares a crapload of border with Mexico. 16% of the people here weren’t born in the United States, and it’s probably fair to say that a majority of those foreign-born residents are ‘illegal’. Or ‘undocumented’. Or whatever term you want to use.

Whatever you call them, they’re the entire reason eating in the Lone Star State is awesome.

Not surprisingly, my mom has a BIG problem with illegal immigration. Her main talking points focus around the catastrophic drain the children of illegals make on our educational system. To hear her tell it, we’re hemorrhaging billions of dollars to educate foreign kids while their parents skip out on taxes and laugh all the way to their bank. Which is probably in Mexico. And it doesn’t stop at the schools- ‘undocumented’ citizens leech money from health care and law enforcement. They get paid under the table and use up precious resources that tax-paying citizens scrimp and suffer to provide.

We Americans have an extremely developed sense of fair play. When we hear about athletes using performance enhancing drugs or politicians making shady deals to ensure their election, we get pissed off. So it’s easy to see why the problem of illegal immigration would get so many people up in arms. At first glance, it looks like we’ve got millions of freeloaders cheating their way to a good education and first-world healthcare. Writing that big yearly check to the IRS is even harder when you just know the suspiciously Hispanic family across the street isn’t pulling their weight.

Wait, what’s that?

The Social Security Administration estimates that about three-quarters of illegal workers pay taxes that contribute to the overall solvency of Social Security and Medicare.

And while the total they contribute, somewhere around $9 billion, isn’t a huge percentage of the cost of these programs, it’s worth noting that illegals don’t benefit from tax refunds. So not only are the vast majority of extra-legal residents paying their taxes, many of them are paying more than they should. This seems crazy- until you think about things from the employer’s standpoint.

If you pay your employees less than minimum wage, under the table, you can’t claim you didn’t know you were using illegal labor. But if you pay at least the legal minimum and make sure to withhold money for the IRS, you’ve got a reasonable defense to prosecution. But hey- that’s an example of employers doing the right thing. If it was up to the immigrants, the government surely wouldn’t see a dime of that mo-

“…the IRS estimates that about 6 million unauthorized immigrants file individual income tax returns each year. Other researchers estimate that between 50 percent and 75 percent of unauthorized immigrants pay federal, state, and local taxes”

That quote comes from those infamously unreliable loony left-wing propagandists, The Congressional Budget Office. You know, the budget office of the United States Congress. God, facts are a pain.

Source, Source

I’ve taken the liberty of stacking these two graphs together, because that’s something people do when they want to make a visually arresting point. Yes, it’s kind of a cheap trick. But it also illustrates that both the government’s income tax revenue AND the number of illegal immigrants doubled in the period from 1996 to 2008-9. Does that mean illegal immigration is responsible for doubling our nation’s tax revenue? Of course not. But it’s worth keeping in mind as we roll along.

Now illegal immigration is, obviously, illegal. Which is why it’s extremely difficult to get any sort of precise data on this stuff. Many of these people want to hide. And all of them are wary of answering any questions from government officials because, hey, a whole bunch of government officials want them deported. In the interest being super careful I’ve gone to a few different sources in order to determine the Total Cost of Illegal Immigration to the United States.

The Center for Immigration Studies, a rather conservative think-tank, estimates $10.4 billion as the net cost to the US for illegal-immigrant headed households. Other institutes estimate as little as $1.9 billion and as much as $19 billion. If we take $19 billion as the accurate number we pay $66 bucks a year, per American. ($34.66 bucks per person with the CIS estimates.)

So about sixty beers, if you don’t have expensive tastes.

Of course, that’s wildly unfair when you consider how these costs actually bear out. We aren’t splitting the burden across every person in the country. It falls, largely, on the schools and hospital systems and police departments of the American Southwest and heavily populated supercities of the Eastern Seaboard. So what is the actual cost of these sorta-freeloaders on our public services? Thankfully the Congressional Budget Office spent twenty years trying to learn just that.

“Over the past two decades, most efforts to estimate the fiscal impact of immigration in the United States have concluded that, in aggregate and over the long term, tax revenues of all types generated by immigrants—both legal and unauthorized—exceed the cost of the services they use.”

In the majority of the estimates they studied, less than 5% of state and local spending went towards providing for illegals. California, the state known for having more Central American citizens than most countries in Central America, still spends less than 10%.

There is one thing my conservative relatives tend to get right about illegal immigration: It increases the cost of law enforcement. But not because it increases violent crime or drug usage or anything. Researchers from Rutgers have actually found that “…in general, immigrants are less likely than native-born citizens to be incarcerated”. Despite the fact that they aren’t really committing any crimes (other than existing), illegal immigrants do add “significantly” to the cost of law enforcement.

Hell, that’s easy enough to see by looking at how the cost of border protection has skyrocketed since the Clinton years. In 2006 alone our cops spent $7.2 BILLION keeping out people who are statistically less likely to commit crimes or use illegal drugs than the white ‘majority’. It’s worth noting that, by incarcerating these generally law-abiding citizens, we’re depriving ourselves of the income taxes and social security taxes that 75% of them would pay. And the sale taxes that all of them would pay.

But hey, if the police weren’t spending all that money keeping illegals out of here our hospitals would be completely bankrupt by now. We just can’t afford to pay for these people’s healthcare. And while that may be true (depending on your opinion of the deficit) there’s another equally true fact that tends to get lost in this debate. Uninsured illegal immigrants sure as hell cost us money, but not nearly as much money as our own uninsured citizens.

Arizona’s Udall center found that more than half of illegal immigrants in the USA pay for health insurance. “41 percent of unauthorized adults, 47 percent of unauthorized children, and 75 percent of native-born children of unauthorized parents” are no more of a burden on the state than you or I. Assuming we’re insured. One in six Americans- more than fifty million of us have no health insurance of any kind.

Does it seem ridiculous to anyone else that the (estimated) 7.2 million uninsured illegals are apparently collapsing our healthcare system, while the fifty million uninsured citizens are entirely supportable? From a purely financial standpoint, we’d be way better off with fewer uninsured citizens and MORE uninsured illegals. Why? Because they tend to be healthier and thus require less care than ‘legit’ Americans. Despite making up about 10% of the total population, they only account for 7.9% of our medical expenses.

Undocumented residents use about $6.4 billion a year in medical services. But they pay for most of that themselves- the government only ends up footing around $1.1 billion. Which is about 1.25% of the healthcare costs born by public funds. But hey, that $1.1 billion in uncompensated costs does suck. Just not nearly as much as the $34-38 billion we spend every year on providing healthcare to those 50 million uninsured citizens. Let’s go back to the Udall Center’s big report for a moment-

“Unauthorized immigration is not the major cause of increases in uninsurance or uncompensated care costs in the United States.”

In other words: the illegals aren’t bleeding our hospitals dry. We’re bleeding our hospitals dry.

So- last item on our list, the schools. Illegal immigrants may not be sending the crime rate up, and they aren’t that expensive from a healthcare standpoint, but they’re still stretching our educational system to the brink. Right?
Well not in immigrant-heavy New Mexico, where the government sees net profits of $1-2 million per year thanks to sales, income and property taxes paid by immigrants. That’s $1-2 million dollars more in New Mexico state schools thanks to illegal immigrants. And things look even better in Texas! In 2006 our comptroller added up the cost of healthcare, education and law enforcement for illegals and found that we make a net profit of $424 million thanks to their presence.

So yes- illegal immigration DOES cost us money. $10.4 billion per year, net, is a fairly reasonable estimate. While that number is a pittance compared to our total national budget, cost-conscious voters are right in noting that every bit we can save helps. But before we start throwing all our undocumented neighbors out of the country, it’s probably worth looking at the total cost of border security. We spent $7.2 billion in 2006, and in 2012 the Obama Administration plans to spend more than $14 billion to keep the guard towers manned, the blimps flying and the 110,000 national guardsmen deployed.

But hey, we only need to keep throwing that much money out the door until our awesome border fence gets finished. All that will take is another $22.4 billion. See guys? If we just spend a few tens of billions of dollars more than illegal immigration costs us, we could really save some money in a few decades. Y’know, maybe.

If we don’t just blow it all on dune buggies.

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45 Responses to Sorry Mom: Illegal Immigration isn’t Crippling our Nation

  1. Fourat J says:

    Amazing post, well said, well documented. Would hate to be in your family, hehe :). Keep it up.

  2. PDR1987 says:

    I don’t know much about immigration effects over the world or in my country (how bad or good is it, how it affects economy, etc), but I overall never trusted the overly xenophobic tone of proponents of prohibiting it at all on the matter. Good article.

  3. Can I just bring you home to my family? You’re amazing at explaining this stuff!

  4. Jack says:

    this blog is awesome, always pumped to see a new post in my news feed

  5. Meaghan says:

    The racism inherent in the immigration debate really upsets me. I run a database for missing persons in the United States (it’s here: ) and read a lot of web boards and stuff about missing people as part of my research. In one board thread about a missing man, a police officer posted to say the person had been found. The man was from Russia. The police officer concluded his post saying something like, “It turns out he’s here illegally, but because he’s not Mexican and he’s not an Arab, they’re not going to deport him.” So a civil servant was openly, and publicly, saying that the only reason this man, who was just as illegal as someone still soaking wet from the Rio Grande, wasn’t being deported, was because he was white.

  6. Miguel Velazquez says:

    Nice article, congratulations.

  7. jared says:

    Crippling, no, but it is hurting. My brother in law used to run a construction clean up business, fairly large. Basically he was responsible for the dumpsters you see at construction zones, as well as some cleanup of the general area. He went out of business a few years ago. While he was still operating, some of his competitors at a small business convention flat out admitted they kept their prices lower by employing primarily illegals. He wanted to stay on the right side of the law and refused to do the same.
    Despite this, my only real complaint is that it isn’t that far off from slavery. No negotiation on wages, no legal recourse if they’re mistreated, etc. As the article states, “If you pay your employees less than minimum wage, under the table, you can’t claim you didn’t know you were using illegal labor. But if you pay at least the legal minimum and make sure to withhold money for the IRS, you’ve got a reasonable defense to prosecution.” There is no other purpose to paying using illegal workers, if you’re paying the minimum. You may as well just hire a legal worker.

    • Paulo Rocha says:

      I’m not denying your claims, but when a problem of this size is the issue, someone’s isolated example is hardly an argument. Evans uses data from nation-wide surveys, that include hundreds of companies, not his own personal experiences.

      I really am sorry for your brother, but it’s not only lower prices that make a company keep going; probably your brother had many other issues. Immigration simply is not a major contributing factor on economical decline, and if all data on the matter is accurate (and certainly it is) is not even a factor. Those are the facts.

      • Jefrey Giron says:

        I absolutely agree with Paulo Rocha and in my opinion the employer should be the one blamed, its this kind of thinking that makes the country spend tens of billions on “border security” if no employers employed illegal immigrants there wouldnt be an illegal immigration problem id also like to say that i highly doubt the illegal immigration alone was honestly the only reason other businesses stayed afloat theres only so much you can pay a guy for his time and in all actuality an employer would have to literally hire an all illegal work crew do you honestly believe that if some white dude were to work with an immigrant getting paid half what he does that someone was not gonna get reported? and if they didnt report then its clear the AMERICAN CITIZEN just got greedy. The illegal immigration problem isnt just gonna disappear you cant just deport 12 million people most of whom consider america their home and some of whom dont even speak spanish look how well that whole crackdown went through entire families destroyed

      • MeryllB says:

        Jared was also addressing the fact that it’s morally wrong to exploit people by giving them working conditions that a legal worker would not stand for, fully knowing that they will have nowhere to complain to. It is a form of slavery.

    • James says:

      As a person who has worked alongside illegals several times i’d just like to say that ive never felt any ill will towards them or the folks that hire them due to one simple fact, ive never seen a white person (myself included), stack up to a mexican worker in terms of efficiency or quality of labor. Hell at one of the cannerys I worked at the mexican workers literally had higher standards than the management.

    • jason says:

      While you might not see this as being far off from slavery you must realize that from the illegal immigrants point of view it is an opportunity of a lifetime and far far better than anything they would have got at home

  8. Well written, that summed it up nicely!

  9. Jorge says:

    Fantastic article, loved it

  10. el beaner says:

    I enjoyed this article a lot…..
    Nice, my fellow beaners shall read this.

  11. StateOfConfusion says:

    “So not only are the vast majority of extra-legal residents paying their taxes, many of them are paying more than they should.” Actually they are all paying more than they should since they should be paying ZERO. Don’t work illegally, don’t pay taxes, don’t pay too much.

    There. That was easy.

  12. joyannaadams says:

    Mmmmm…slave labor…but they pay taxes? I’m a bit suspicious of those stats.

    Most of their money goes back to Mexico, so even if they pay taxes, they are not spending their little wages here. Even though you did a lot of work tring to prove you mother wrong, I still agree with her. And you are not measuring in the child care, food stamps, school lunches, extra bi lingual teachers…all that adds up.

    America will become a Spanish nation in about 60 years. Our govenment wants the old geisers to die off and to be replaced with the more cheaper, and uneducated, cheaper working class of Spanish. THEY plan to remain English for the ruling class. But the majority of the people will speak Spanish, as will your children. And we WILL become a third world country.

    The invasion will continue, simply because it’s all about the money, and globilizaton. .

    It’s a done deal. NAFTA, CAFTA, and the North American Treaty was made without the American people’s consent. AND, most of the Spanish will take over the Southwest..(They already have in many places…good thing you love the food.)

    And THAT makes me very sad. Not that I don’t like the Spanish people, I do…much better than the Muslims…we share at least a Christian religion.

    But…our leaders gave our own country away. And it’s history will be replaced.And if that doesn’t make you sad…then someday when you have children…it might..

    Or something tells me…you’re not really upset about it.


    • Way back in the day, the British Empire was the dominant power on earth. Before them came the Romans, and the Han Chinese, and a whole laundry list of other great empires. Their people believed they had reached the pinnacle of civilization. When each ancient empire started to fail, you’d better bet her people moaned the loss as the end of the world’s golden age.

      But they were all wrong. And so are you.

      Now I could go into the fact that I already accounted for the food stamps and the extra teachers and such. The total cost of illegal immigrants to our nation is about 10.4 billion. Which, if you’re keeping track, is about half as much as we spent in a single year on air conditioning for our soldiers in Iraq. I could also get into the fact that the flow of immigration has slowed immensely in the last few years, due to fading opportunities here.

      But I won’t. Because that isn’t the core of your issue. And it isn’t the core of my mother’s issue either, which is why I suspect my hard-researched facts won’t impress her any more than they impressed you. You are afraid because you can clearly see the impending death of the culture you were born and raised in. You see it as the end of everything good about that culture. As a cessation of the best values it embodied.

      And make no mistake- the America you and I both knew in our earliest youth is dying. It will be dead within our lifetimes. I recognize this too. The difference between us is that I don’t see it as a negative. There’s a lot wrong with our ‘civilization’. Just as there’s a lot wrong with Mexican ‘civilization’ and Guatemalan ‘civilization’ and French ‘civilization’ and Chinese ‘civilization’ and every other flavor of ‘civilization’ there is. But there’s something I’ve noticed through a mixture of traveling and keeping informed on world events:

      When two cultures collide, both tend to get just a little less shitty.

      It isn’t a fast process or a clean process or always a pretty one. But it’s the only way we moved forward as a species. So you’re welcome to fear the Mexicans and the Muslims and everyone else you regard as ominous and inferior to our status quo. I’ll keep looking forward to a brighter future where we’re all a little less shitty.

      • rob says:

        Well said. What Joyannadams fails to recognize is the privilege (and perhaps racism) inherent in her assumption that her opinion about the “Spanish” vs “the Muslims” is relevant. As if because of one’s heritage/melanin level, one is entitled to judge the relative merits of those groups. She says “…our leaders gave our own country away.” Whose country? White people’s? Citizens? What did any of us do to earn our citizenship — the vast majority of those concerned about losing what is “ours” just got lucky and were born here. If you didn’t earn it, it seem to me that your moral right to own it or run it is pretty flimsy…

      • Cousin J.D. says:

        We’re never gonna be less shitty until we get past the sapiens stage. We’re certainly not gonna get any better with chips&salsa messing up my ‘MERICA! genetics.

        As a past-present-future employer of illegals, I am happy some of them get here however that may be. What I don’t like, as I’m sure is an underlying issue for our parents, they are cheating people going through the proper channels who don’t get my money right away… they have to learn English, the Constitution, and the cast of the Kardashians.

        You know what grinds my gears? The federal reserve has devalued my currancy to the point I don’t even save money anymore like I was taught, I just buy assets as soon as I have enough for them.

        Dude Matt you have to come play with my ACR I just got at the gun show last weekend.

    • Nayef says:

      Are you high or just incredibly stupid?

    • Miguel says:

      joyannaadams sounds like a typical ignorant natural born American Citizen. I on the other hand am a Naturalized American Citizen. My family immigrated, yes that’s right immigrated from El Salvador when I was only 4 years old. From then, my father and mother did everything they could to be a productive member of society. They paid their taxes, without ever receiving a refund because your not entitled to a refund if your not at least a resident. Yet your supposed to file with a Tax Identification Number every year. They never once requested or accepted any type of public assistance. And after being in the country for over 18 years we were able to finally, after jumping through all of immigration laws (some silly, why would i need a work authorization card when I am 5) become residents,…not only did we contribute to the overall economy of this country and never took anything back from it we also paid immigration thousands of dollars through out our life time to become U.S Citizens. After being raised in the united states and being in our nations immigration system for over 23 years I can finally say I am a naturalized citizen. Ignorant Natural Born Citizens such as jorannaadams don’t understand how much an immigrant family normally contributes to the united states and how little they actually take. Just to give an example of the cost…do you know how much it cost to get a Green card replaced if lost? Not including lawyer fees which many of us normally get just in case immigration wants to find an excuse to play hard ball…$450 dollars…do you know how much it cost to file to become a citizen about $680..keep in mind these are just application and bio-metrics fees that regardless of the outcome are none refundable. They can deny you due to a simple typing error or whatever else excuse that they can come up with. Employment Authorization cards…$380…per person..keep in mind that my family(2 of us children and 2 parents) had to pay this $380 per person every year. $1520 just to stay in the immigration system. Over our lifetime my family paid over $27,000 in immigration fees, paid their income taxes and never received refunds and never took any type of public assistance or support. Before you ask how we went to school…my parents owned a house so we paid property, hospital and school taxes every year…so yes my school was not free either and we don’t owe any hospitals a dime. I hate hearing comments from U.S Citizens such as jorannaadams that just talk to talk without knowing any of the facts. In my Naturalization ceremony the director of the ceremony said “I wish that every U.S Citizen had to go through what you all have gone through to get to this point. We would be a much better country for it because every one of you has shown and proven to be a good standing and contributing citizen of the united states. You are here because you want to be here and some of our nations most contributing citizens have been immigrants. After all the United States of America was founded by Immigrants that wanted a better future and will continue to be a place where immigrants that want a better future can come and have a better future.” The total amount of countries represented were 32 that day. Some people even bearing the colors of our U.S Army, U.S Navy, U.S Marines, and U.S Air force. Immigrants, not only contributing to our society and economy but also fighting for our freedom.

  13. Samuel Evans says:

    Hey Matt It’s Sam here. Just so you know, and I’m not saying Mom and Dad are Right and that you are wrong, but I really don’t think they appreciate they way you describe them. They might have opinions that differ from yours, but they are always respectful and I don’t think they deserve the kind of trashing that you’re giving them here. Just some thoughts from your little brother.

    • I don’t think I’ve trashed anyone here. Can you give me any specific examples? I’ve tried to keep this factual and free of attacks.

      • Samuel Evans says:

        It’s just that the way you portray them in such a negative light, perhaps it is just because the conservative viewpoint is placed in such a negative light aND Mom and Dad are your conservative examples. I’m not saying that your facts aren’t true, but they dont look on Mom and Dad as conservatives. I’m sure your point is completely valid, but maybe leave the Family out of it.

    • Jack says:

      what you mean is, don’t be telling people they might be wrong. Even if, um, they are. Just let them carry on, say invading the wrong countries, burning down economies, because you know, it’s just wrong to hurt somebody’s feelings. It’s disrespectful, & only delusional people deserve respect. You smarty pants folks who read TFM, you think you’re so smart because you don’t screw EVERYTHING up ALL the time.

      Well, Sam, I’m a lot more comfy if you just go secede & solve your own issues. Before we need to communicate with 32 oz bats. Don’t forget your therapists.

  14. Carl says:

    Back to basics. When you have a game, busness, school, or a country you establish rules for conduct. You can call them laws too. If one group deceids to use a different set of rules you will have a state of chaos. There are rules to follow to enter this country, so that people can come live here, if you don’t follow the rules there are penalities. Therefore you are an “illegal” in this country for not following the rules. Doesn’t mean that you are a mean or morally corrupt person, it means that you didn’t follow the rules and will have to pay the concequences. How would you like it if this afternoon you went to your car and it was gone. Someone walking along deceided that his need for transportation superceeded your right of ownership. The the two of you are playing by different rules, he is not a bad guy, just tired of walking. So now you get to walk a mile in his shoes.

  15. Sam says:

    The reply to joyannaadamms: So true that I got goosebumps

  16. John says:

    There’s one glaring hole in all of this. It’s still illegal. You are defending an illegal activity.

    Ok, you want open borders. Great. So vote for it. In the mean time, why not have some respect for the laws of our country (even those that don’t fit your liberal world view)?

    • People deserve respect. Laws do not.

      Laws exist to serve the public good. They have no other purpose in a just society. If a law does not serve the public good, say by costing vastly more than the illegal activity does and leading to thousands of deaths and arrests, that law does not deserve to be respected.

      It was once illegal for a black man to marry a white woman. Should those interracial couples in violation of the law have held back from their passions because THE LAW said their relationship was not allowed? Should our respect for those laws have overwhelmed our respect for those human beings?

      • John says:

        “Laws do not [deserve respect]”

        Are you a neo-con posing as a liberal to make liberals look bad?

      • Jefrey Giron says:

        @john a law should be respected if and when that law continues to serve the public good ,
        Obviously the dramatic deportation of millions of “PEOPLE who work harder to earn their place than the rest of natural born citizens, is not serving anything other than the propaganda

    • Jack says:

      Here’s your fallacy – there are all sorts of laws, with all sorts of penalties, and there are good reasons DAs often decide the cure is worse than the disease. You are equating serial murder with a fix-it ticket, and life doesn’t work that way.

      You should be able to see how we make errors of judgment, but If you are as worried about a broken taillight as you are about Manson murders, you probably won’t.

  17. Kelly says:

    First, I’d like to say that I love your stuff on Cracked, Mr. Evans.

    Second, as the child of undocumented citizens, I’d like to thank you for providing such a clear statement on illegal immigration. It’s funny, you know, how so many conservatives absolutely love to talk about how important family and children are, and use those concepts to push their own politics – but then, ironically enough, turn around and accuse undocumented families that they’re not worthy of the opportunity present in this nation.

    On a personal note, I was raised in a fairly conservative state (Georgia) and always taught to love and be proud of my country because it was a land where anybody could achieve anything. I took this to heart and applied myself in school, and now I’ll be going to NYU in the fall despite the fact that my parents are a couple of a couple of impoverished, uninsured, laboring “parasites”.

    I guess I just don’t get the hatred that is directed to people like my mother and father. I really don’t. If so many people think that illegal immigrants do nothing but mooch off the government all day long, I’d like to see them switch places and try to raise a family of six on less than 15 grand a year like my parents did for over twenty years. I know I sound bitter – I kinda am, but that’s what happens when you get told all your life that your country is brimming with hope and possibility, but only if you got all the right papers. I just can’t imagine why anyone would be so pissed off about educating children, no matter what their official citizenship is. It feels like our priorities as Americans are so totally out of whack.

  18. Just someone who believes laws need to be judged on their merit, not on their status as laws.

    • James says:

      Maybe you should address this kind of branding that political parties have engaged in for so long. Seriously why are so many americans so obbsessed with the labels and jargon that “there” side throws. Examples liberal, republican, left wing, right wing, neo con, conservative, liberal media, right wing media blah blah blah blah! All designed so that people close there minds to the “other sides” opinions and evidence and act as if there rooting for a high school football team, people are so gullible and stupid its incredible, they never seem to notice that the guy on “there side” is just as full of shit as the guy on the “other side”. I think its a bookworthy subject.

  19. Matt; There is a guy walking down the street passing by your car. He is tired and has a long way to go, so he takes your car and you get to walk home in his shoes. He deceided your law of ownership was superceded by his need for transportation. Looking at the merit of the law he found it lacking. Hope that you enjoyed your walk home (that was filled with illegal home invaders, who also ate your dinner).

  20. Kaspar says:

    John, learn the difference between breaking a law, and criticizing a law. One is a crime, the other is free speech.

  21. Judy Moore says:

    Dear Son: Sorry it has taken so long to reply to your post. Surely you knew I would.
    First of all, whenever I read your work, I am struck anew by how bright (if misguided) you are, and unlike so many of the students I work with, you can actually express yourself coherently in your writing. It makes me proud. I wish I could reply with stats to support my point of view, but unlike you, I don’t sit around all day in my underwear surfing the net for research (your words), and really don’t have the time to put into that. I must say I agree with Joyanna Adams in that I am somewhat suspicious of your stats, and suspect that if someone with my viewpoint had the time, they could come up with figures to dispute yours. I believe that is the nature of statistics – you can generally find whatever you want to support your point of view if you just look hard enough.
    One point of argument – your claim and supporting data about the taxes that illegal immigrants actually pay. In order to have taxes withheld from your paycheck and to file federal or state income tax, you must have a Social Security number. In order to obtain a Social Security number, you must either be a U.S. citizen and have the supporting documentation to prove that, or you must be a legally documented alien. In all circumstances, you must be documented to obtain a Social Security card, This means that all these illegal immigrants are somehow obtaining false Social Security numbers, thereby continuing to break laws, and causing additional expense to the government. I’m sure there is some branch of our government that exists to investigate these bogus Social Security numbers, or go after the criminals who are in the business of providing them. You need to add those costs to your $10.4 billion.
    My question after reading your article is this: What is the solution? I am a solution oriented person – I like to fix things. Your arguments are impressive and persuasive. So if the costs really are relatively insignificant, and the fences/barriers are going to be very expensive – what are the alternatives, what do you suggest we do about this problem?
    Your Conservative Mom

  22. Cornh says:

    This was a really pleasing read, and in fact, I agree with you, not only laws, but people has to be judged on their individual merit.

    Immigration law is only one of the many laws in both sides of the border that are rally damaging what could be a fruitful relation among not two, but dozens of ethnic groups that could really learn a lot of each other.

    I’m pleased to see there are Americans who are thinking the progressive way, as I know there are Mexicans that are as well leaving all that hate and trauma behind, some people can’t even conceive the facts with a little perspective of the land they are standing on, that belonged to natives before them and to one or another country, these people didn’t had a constitution yet I would not think of their communities as illegal, if anything, I would not think of law as an “allays on the moral side” force, we’re all prone to failure.

  23. Eddy Lane says:

    I used to work for the IRS and I have to agree with your position.
    There is a program dated from 1997, that allows non residents or someone who is not a permanent resident to pay income tax, this is based on a tax ID number. One benefit is they can use it for commercial transactions, bank accounts, loans , anything related with money.
    Still numbers show they would expend less if they had a SSN, because they would be entitled to benefits. Note only Permanent residents can have social security benefits.
    It’s funny when you heard in Fox news that Illegals can get benefits when it’s impossible without an state ID, valid SSN and unexpired Visa.

  24. Crazylarry says:

    To be honest with you all, I accidently stumbled upon this website. I found it to be very interesting. I have NO political views, and no affiliations with any churches. I have always believed that Religion, and politics are the evil that keeps HUMAN BEINGS from being civil to one another. When it’s all said and done, when you and I are gone, the same problems are going to exist. Money and power aside, what really is Illegal immigration? In a perfect world people would except and enjoy other peoples cultures. A good human being is a good human being. No matter the color. I for one am a 4th generation American Mexican.Yes, I said American Mexican. I pay taxes, I don’t harm anyone or anybody. I live and let live. I wish people could just see the good in other people.

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