Friday, July 18, 2008

The cost of illegal immigration

For those of you who only read me here I thought I would let you know that I sometimes use the blog to stoke the creative fires for my column, which as I'm hoping most of you know, appears every Monday in The Times Herald.
I'm not sure how to approach a future column I've been kicking around so let me know what you think. Maybe your comments will give me a little direction. We read a lot about the outlandish amount of money this country is spending on the war in Iraq. In fact, we had state Rep. Daylin Leach on Behind The Headlines a few months back and he was talking about all of the good we could do right here at home with the money we spend in Iraq. I didn't tell him then, but Daylin, that's exactly what scares me about Democrats, if you think there's some extra money out there you'll find a way to spend it. But that's not where I'm going today. We spend roughly $10 billion a month in Iraq. That's a huge chunk of change. But, just to provide a little perspective, do you have any idea how much we spend dealing with illegal immigration each month? No? I didn't either, but apparently it's more than three times that much. About a year ago I made another analogy to the war with the number of people who are killed on our city streets. I'm still waiting for the outrage. Look, I don't think anyone will argue that war is a good thing. It is, however, a necessary evil and we need to support our troops in every possible way. But we need to start paying a little more attention to what is going on right here at home. Where is the outrage against illegal immigration?
I'm telling you right now it is destroying our country. But that's just my opinion, what's yours?


Anonymous said...

Agreed, but what to do about it? Denying automatic citizenship to children of illegals is a good start. Denying public education and any other public benefit is another.

Then we can pursue those who employ illegals with some stiff penalties...and actually enforce them.

When those who govern decide to make it less comfortable to stay here than to go home, your immigration issue becomes less of a problem.

Riggstad said...

You know me as a republican. But as long as the nation is a capitalist nation, illegal immigration will always be an issue.

The benefits are to great for business owners. And not only a benefit, but it allows some business owners the ability to actually have a business. Our labor laws make it almost prohibitive for some businesses to even operate.

That is where we start right there. If it weren't for those businesses, immigrants would have no reason to come here. Without work, there would be no reason at all.

That of course is an unrealistic approach however, because as long as business owners see an opportunity to boost profits, or even just the ability to operate a business, they will continue to hire illegals.

Also, we really need to revamp out tax system. I know you are an advocate of taxes for goods and services instead of real estate taxes. This method would would reach everyone, including illegals and share the cost of taxes for every person living in the US, including those who aren't here legally.

It becomes a very vague issue when most don't even consider illegal immigration an economic issue rather than a human rights issue.

Anonymous said...

Our Country is out of balance...By that I mean "In the Beginning"...a famous start in the Bible... Everything was in know two by two. Well since the industrial age, we have succeded in over producing in all areas and now we are paying for it. Who said we need to feed/cloth the other countries,except if there is a Natural Disaster? If you live in a certain climate your body becomes use to the food grown there and the temperature also. It seems to me that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, so we become greedy. The environment is out of balance too, because of Industry and Human needs. The other countries have noticed that we, the USA, will pay for our over indulgence and away we go...illegals...the short cut...immigration since WWII has taken the back seat when it comes to enforcement of the law, and unless we stop companies from hiring illegals by shutting them down and fines...more and more young men/women will come here to our country and hide and use false identity. Have you gone shopping at various stores and asked a question regarding the material used in the production or if it comes in various sizes/colors?? I have and the sales person just smiled and got another person who spoke broke English (American English). What to do? Ask to see her "Green"? Not too sure, because there are quite a few older citizens, after living here for over 50 years, that still can not speak English very well and so goes for their children. Hope someone out there has an answer. If you come into our country without permission from our Government you are breaking the law...

Anonymous said...

You should have asked Daylin what we could have done localy with the staff bonuses that the PA House and Senate gave away for campaign help. How about the money wasted on his illegal pay raise?

Bill Shaw said...

Any person in our country without a visa or a green card, who is not here on vacation or as a student is, essentially, a criminal.

They need to be brought in, arrested, and deported.

I don't care how many of their children were born here. If you fail to emigrate legally, you and your family go back.

Only when our weenie federal government gets tough, will this problem be solved. It's the lib-tard mentality in our congress right now that is holding any anti-illegal legislation up.

In the meantime, it costs more to educate our kids, our taxes go to fund programs to put up signs in English and Spanish.

Enough already! In our schools, they have a program called "ESL" (English as a Second Language). In our great nation, we forget too quickly that English, in fact, is our first language.



Anonymous said...

Comparing the cost of the war in Iraq to the costs of immigration is a false comparison. The WAR and the related military support, inflation, waste of lives and destruction of labor, effect on trade and so much more may cost us a Trillion dollars a year.

The subject of the cost to us of immigrants is a red herring intended to obscure the damage done to our nation by conducting a war against an ever increasing number of religious adventurers who hate us from everywhere to a gathering place of the already ravaged lands of Iraq and Afghanistan.

There will always be terrorists. We don't need to organize them.

Meanwhile, there is a positive side to the immigrants. They have jobs or leave. They produce more work each hour than non-immigrants and set standards for production. They don't collect unemployment. Many meat packers, landscapers, hotels and restaurants would close without them.

Our Federal Government says they are illegal or not documented, but don't lift a finger to either remove them (an impossible task), or enable legislation to legalize them, in effect providing them with the means to stay and enjoy their labor and the whole of our nation to benefit from their productivity.

So we should stop complaining about the immigrants or elect a congress and president who know the meaning of commitment.

Anonymous said...

This is such a complex issue.

I think Jay Leno put it best in one of his monologues.

"I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that all of the illegals have been shipped back to their county of origin. The bad news is that lettuce is $200 a head."

Anonymous said...

Change! That is truly what is needed here in our country. Our Country was built on laws set down so that we could live in a peaceful way. One law of course was how you became a lawfull citizen. That has not been changed. So, our Next President and our Next Congress needs to stop sitting on their hands and enforce the laws that are now on the books. The reasons many companies in this area went out of business were not because they could not secure more help here - it was because mfg. jobs were contracted to other countries (cheaper labor)and since we are a people who like to sport "Names" on all our clothing/products we support the mfg. company. Now, since mfg. jobs are not available we have employees that have no background to equip them for various other jobs and they do not want to work in the fields, like many of our parents did. An opening for unskilled, low wages and seasonal jobs are now available. Who do you think fills these jobs?? Companies hiring illegals need to be held responsible and there is a way if they cooperate with other companies by having a hiring area and return area (transporting to and from) in the country of origin. It's called "Responsibility". If any company does not follow these rules they will be fined and closed down. It may hurt for a little while, but two illegal acts does not make right.

nsibility" ..

Anonymous said...

But both who could be come a citizen and the way a person became a citizen has changed over the years.

For example, before the era of Social Security, parents who were not citizens, could be naturalized and their non-citizen children under the age of 21 WOULD become citizens at the same time.

A trip to Ellis Island and an excursion through ever changing immigration rules to suit our national moods is an enlightenment.

What offends many U.S. citizens is the refusal of young foreign born adults to adopt the local customs and our English language, while benefiting from employment and the education of their children. It's like thumbing their noses at America and its laws, while filling their pockets because of it. All the time, flying and flaunting the flags of their home country.

Its like being laughed at by some guy wearing your own false teeth.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if we hadn't been militarily and economically repressing everything below our southern border for the last 200+ years, we wouldn't have a flood of people who think it's a step up to come here illegally, live in fear of arrest, and work in miserable conditions that they dare not complain about for pay that would make any of us laugh.

Our government has been real keen on "solving" problems in other countries (that, incidentally, have or stand directly in the path of fossil fuels), but can't spare anything but illegal weapons sales and support for murderous dictatorships for South and Central America. In the process, this policy of alienation has made powerful figures of the likes of Castro and Chavez. These are boogeymen of our own creation, just like the illegal immigration problem. I guarantee that it would be cheaper to help ensure economic and humanitarian stability in those countries than it will be to try to round up all of the undocumented workers here and try to keep new ones from coming in.

Of course, it's such a great political issue, isn't it? Screaming about illegal immigration certainly whips the rank-and-file conservatives into a frenzy year after year, but doing nothing about it ensures a steady stream of contributions from the businesses that would be hurt by actually taking action.

But that's how our parties work, isn't it? Ban abortion and outlaw homosexuality, and people might stop voting Republican. Ban guns and get our education system in fine working order, and people might stop voting Democratic.


Joe The Nerd said...

Let me know when you will start giving serious jail sentences to the employers who are paying these illegal immigrants.

The immigrants are just trying to make better lives for themselves.

It is the people offering the incentive for these folks to come here who are the ones blowing off the law.

Those who are employed by them are simply following the example of their sponsors in disrespecting the law.

It is a cycle being started further up the chain.

Anonymous said...

You are correct Joe and Anonymous. Companies have been crying POOR ME my crops will wither on the vine, etc. if we do not hire illegls. Why not go to the source country and hire, transport and return these workers? Check with your Federal & State Reps. on their thinking - if they believe it is OK to hire illegals and not be responsible for their return to their homes in whatever country they are from - the Reps. are helping to break the law of our land. Take a stand, contact them and have their take published in newspapers.

the truth said...

Come on Stan,

This blog is a little stale, with all the stuff going on, one would think that you could get something going here. The immigrants are here to stay, who would do all the yard and house work of our Senators and Congressman if we stopped them from comming up here. Who would pick the lettuce, cabbage, strawberries, cucumbers, grapes, and the rest of the migrant worker pickins. We would all starve to death.

Anonymous said...

"The Truth Said" - Who will pick the various crops??? Well, I did when I was in 7th & 8th Grade - it was a daily thing for only a few pennies per basket, but it did add up and taught us what we did and did not want to do for the balance of our life. Hard work never hurt me or my siblings. We all found funds to further our education using "Hard Work" and also the reminder of what could happen if we do not prepare for tomorow.

Anonymous said...

If the County and Norristown want to do something about the illegal aliens, they need to start on the West side of Norristown and work their way through to other towns. Those people don't care about obeying any laws at all. There is always some crime being reported, usually with someone that is a "Mexican National" or Hispanic, whether it is identity theft, drunk driving, hit and runs, murder, rape, drugs and prostitution. These people need to be locked up until the time comes to deport them. Those two that killed a man right on a usually busy street were caught, thank goodness, but there are so many others running around and you don't know who they really are. The incentives of free school and medical/welfare benefits have to stop. If they aren't citizens, they shouldn't be able to live off our taxes. So, legal beagles need to get to work to get them out of here.

Anonymous said...

I am also fed up with the immigration issue....Rumor has it that there is a big sign in a mexican town that says," go to Norristown, Pa." The other day I had occasion to call Sears and was told to "Push TWO for English".Isn't that a bunch of hooey?

Anonymous said...

Did you read about or view the illegals on TV in NM being shown the door back home - Mexico. Maybe more attention should be given to a few states at a time showing their courage in deporting illegals.

Anonymous said...

Push 2 for English! I tried to get a straight answer regarding a medical bill and after telling the young lady "I can not understand what you are saying!" I got another lady with a thick accent but I did get everything accomplished. Hospitals need to clean up their act and become more professional when it comes to treating their patients' billing.

Anonymous said...

I know this is a very OLD POST but after a few weeks away from this local area I'm trying to catch the gist of what's happening because it is THE ELECTION of our Feds and some State Offices that need my/our attention. An "E" I received concerned Immigration so here is two (2) comments--- California has BIG PROBLEMS- Short on Cash and English is the Second Language partly because there are Twenty-on (21) Radio Stations in LA County that are Spanish Speaking and as for the shortage in the Treasury - 40% of Workers work for CASH and pay NO TAXES (LA County has 10.2 Million People) Any child can figure the problem in LA and if the proper figures are given PA probably runs approx. the same %. Now, how many have GREEN CARDS?? Our State/County/Townships need to get off their Butts and check the local businesses and the renters. There needs to be NO FREE RIDE.