loren Eric Swanson: Unwelcome and unwanted immigrants and the economy

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Unwelcome and unwanted immigrants and the economy

Americans and Mexicans have a symbiotic relationship when it comes to the economic rules and principles that we live by. We really need each other to be at our best. Although a popular talk radio conception is “those Mexicans from Guatemala and El Salvador, come here, take our jobs or live off of food stamps our welfare role.” Like the factual backlash to The DaVinci Code, here are a few things I've run across that we can add to the discussion:

Illegal immigrants are not on welfare
“The 1996 welfare reform bill disqualified illegal immigrants from nearly all means-tested government programs including food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid and Medicare-funded hospitalization. The only services that illegals can still get are emergency medical care and K-12 education.”[1] Though one could build a case for our schools bearing the lion’s share of the economic burden, consider the alternatives. If children are going to stay here, don’t we want them to be part of the educated labor force?

The majority of illegal immigrants pay taxes
"Close to 8 million of the 12 million or so illegal aliens in the country today file personal income taxes using these numbers, contributing billions to federal coffers. No doubt they hope that this will one day help them acquire legal status — a plaintive expression of their desire to play by the rules and come out of the shadows.
What's more, aliens who are not self-employed have Social Security and Medicare taxes automatically withheld from their paychecks. Since undocumented workers have only fake numbers, they'll never be able to collect the benefits these taxes are meant to pay for. Last year, the revenues from these fake numbers — that the Social Security administration stashes in the "earnings suspense file" — added up to 10 percent of the Social Security surplus. The file is growing, on average, by more than $50 billion a year.
Beyond federal taxes, all illegals automatically pay state sales taxes that contribute toward the upkeep of public facilities such as roads that they use, and property taxes through their rent that contribute toward the schooling of their children. The nonpartisan National Research Council found that when the taxes paid by the children of low-skilled immigrant families — most of whom are illegal — are factored in, they contribute on average $80,000 more to federal coffers than they consume."[2]

“Using data from the Census Bureau's current population survey, Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, an advocacy group in Washington that favors more limits on immigration, estimated that 3.8 million households headed by illegal immigrants generated $6.4 billion in Social Security taxes in 2002.”[3]

Undocumented immigrants bolster the economy of Mexico
Every week Mexican nationals who reside in the US send money back to their families in Mexico in the form of “remittances.” The BBC reports that in 2004 “Mexicans abroad sent back $16.6b, making it the second largest source of income after oil.”[4] (The estimates for 2005 are closer to $20b.) Monetary assistance in the form of foreign aid pales by comparison. In 2004 we gave Mexico $33m for “development assistance, child survival and health, and economic support funds.”[5] Is economic assistance in the form of productive labor a better way to help a country? What new economic pressures would drive illegal entry were remittances to cease flowing?
Undocumented immigrants bolster US economy.
Everybody has to buy their goods and services somewhere.

3 Comments:

At Sunday, May 21, 2006 10:11:00 PM, Anonymous realitycheck said...

Boy do you need a wake-up call. Hello!! Illegal immigrants are only eligible for emergency medical care?? Not quite. We legal American citizens foot the bill for just about everything. They become pregnant, we pay their doctor visits, labwork, ultrasounds,prenatal vitamins, complications, deliveries, newborn care for well and sick babies, all post-delivery care (Postpartum care) and complications and included in this post partum care would be birth control and surgical sterilization services. All hospital charges and medical/surgical supplies. Along with their pregnancy care they get comprehensive counseling services ala another government program including such things as nutrition childcare/rearing classes. We pay for their WIC programs which issues them food stamps during and after their pregnancies. We even pay for their damn support panythose during pregnancy and their breast pumps. If they miscarry, we pay for the D&C. Multiply that by the 4,5, or 6 children each they have on medi-caid. And IT IS Medi-caid that is used for this. If they want pap smears, birth control, breast mammograms, yearly exams, we also have a program to pay for that. Hell, we'll even pay for their partners semen analysis if they're having trouble getting pregnant. I KNOW, I worked in OB/GYN office where we have these state/federal programs, and I submitted the billings. Unfortunately, if you accept medi-caid from and treat legal americans, you have to accept it and provide to the illegal aliens too. Anyone illegal who walks into an emergency room (and they use er's like they are the corner free clinic) and doesn't have medi-caid can't be turned away, so who do you think pays for their care???? Illegal aliens don't get welfare... Who are you kidding????? The sales tax they pay doesn't even begin to cover THESE costs. We pay the food stamps of these children who by mere virtue of being born to an illegal alien here are now eligible for all the welfare programs out there including well-care as well as emergency care. We pay for their preschooling, their school lunches, their educations, and then they drop out of high school, and those that go on to city college we pay for that too. Are you aware millions of illegals come here and are paid their slave wages under the table in cash while they drive down the wages of legal working Americans??? And when these children of illegals are barely 20 years old, we get to pay for their illegitmate children born using the medi-caid system too. And the cost to Californians to pay for illegals is in the BILLIONS of dollars. And that's just in this state.

 
At Wednesday, May 24, 2006 10:46:00 PM, Blogger Andy McCullough said...

Boy did you ever strike a cord with realitycheck! He almost choked on the beans picked by migrant workers and on his beef cut at Mumford by the only workers they can find who will work there.

Eric, I appreciate your posts. The question will be will we as the body respond in the way scripture teaches us to respond to the poor, aliens and widows?

 
At Friday, July 09, 2010 10:06:00 AM, Anonymous Erica said...

I'm confused Andy. What does "scripture" have to do with US citizens and legal residents not wanting to continue to take care of millions of illegal immigrants? Also, why would you completely ignore the fact that what Realitycheck said completely shows that what Mr. Eric here wrote is full of misinformation and lack of truth. It is unfortunate that people like yourself and Eric are walking around the country thinking that everything is all OK and peachy with illegal immigration, that they aren't receiving welfare assistance. Illegal immigrants are and they definitely know how to tweak the system if they aren't legally able to get money and services. People like yourself Andy, who hide behind passive attitude about illegal immigration, are just assisting illegal immigrants in continuing these effects on us. You need to see it from a different perspective. I have knowledge from both ends. I know that they are poor and come here to work, but I also know what people who they are taking work from and who feel the effects of their coming here already impoverished are going through. Wake up. RealityCheck, thank you for coming and shutting down Eric's horribly misinformed post.

 

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