|The World According to Nick|
|My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.|
Monday, September 13, 2004
A couple weeks ago I read an article on TechCentralStation by Stephen Green (VodkaPundit) entitled Culture Shock Goes Both Ways. While overall I thought it was an excellent article on some cultural issues relating to immigration, there was one thing that he mentioned off hand that I have to firmly disagree with.
Personally I think that reducing the economic considerations of immigration to simply employment is wrong. Illegal immigration is extremely costly, even if not through lost jobs or direct income. So what is the cost of illegal immigration if they are actually contributing to the economy? And I do believe there is a contribution there. The problem is that I think the negative economic impact outweighs any positive contributions. So what are the negative impacts? The most glaring one is the cost of health care in border states because of illegal immigrants.
Hospitals are required to give emergency medical care to anyone who comes to their door, whether or not they have ability to pay. With just a brief Google search, I found this study from New Mexico State University:
In fact, some hospitals in the area have been forced to shut down because they simply cannot stay afloat given the cost. And there is plenty of other information out there on the same topic. Then there is welfare, federally subsidized food stamps, and Medicaid for children of mothers of illegal immigrants. Wait.. benefits for illegal immigrants? How does that work? A citizen is considered to be anyone born within the borders of the United States, or a child of a United States citizen. That means that an illegal pregnant woman can come to the U.S., give birth, and tada... you are now the parent of a U.S. citizen. Not only does the mother get to stay in the country, but her child gets benefits (and the mother by proxy), and can even be enrolled in public schools. Although being a citizen is usually not even a requirement to be enrolled in public schools in many states.
Of course, part of the problem is just bureaucracy too. In the case of legal immigrants, some local governments aren't even asking companies to reimburse for costs when they should:
Now then... we haven't even gone into the cost due to an increase in crime that is generally seen in lower income areas where many illegals live. Well, let's face it. They're being here breaking the law all by itself. And personally, that is the hardest thing for me to accept. I've worked with several different people from China and India who have come over on H1-B visa programs, two of which eventually got their citizenship. One of them was laid off, and ended up being sent back to India. They worked hard to come over, and they followed the rules once they got here. When my friend was shipped back to India because he couldn't find a job in 30 days after being let go, it was extremely hard on him and his family (he ended up selling most of the stuff he had here for much less than it was worth just because he didn't have time), yet he went. That is the law. Then to see so many others who thumb their nose at the law, seemingly without a care, is just plain insulting to all those who work within the rules.
So - is it worth the cost?
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I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.
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