The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Friday, April 07, 2006

It's The Benefits Stupid 

Whether big government liberals want to admit it or not, they are the cause of the backlash against immigrants. Asymmetrical Information has been blogging on illegal immigration a lot lately. Her posts, as always, are very insightful, and have caused me to think a lot about the subject. And of course, now Congress is trying to pass an amnesty program for these illegals (and has failed). For my part, I've blogged on the subject numerous times.

One of the main points that Megan at Asymmetrical Information makes, which is true, is that most of our families come from a history of immigration. We are, as so many like to point out, a nation of immigrants. Some of my family came from Germany and Poland in the early 1900's, though I have a strong tie to this country through family that came here before here was called the United States. That branch of the family, while not coming over on the Mayflower, was on the next boat. But that's getting away from the point.

The idea is, how can so many people who can trace their lines to immigrants, tell these people now that they can't do the same, in an effort to better their lives from the destitute conditions they suffer through. After all, if you were in their place, living in squalor, what are a few laws to break if it means you are providing a better life for your family? And she has a point. What is the difference between what my family did a few generations ago, and what many of these illegal immigrants are doing today, besides the fact that my immigrant relatives came here legally through Ellis island, not illegally across the southern border?

As the title of this post gives away... the difference is the benefits. We live in a welfare society today that simply did not exist back then. Government provides services to the poor today, at taxpayer expense (read our expense), that my immigrant relatives never had access to, nor even dreamed of. When they came to this country, they had a couple suitcases, a little money, their families, and a dream. That's it. They found a place to live, they found a place to work, they built up a life, and they did it mostly on their own, and with the support of immigrant communities. When they had kids, those children were citizens, but that didn't entitle them to anything from the government, other then a place to live, and the rights guaranteed us all in that document.

Compare that with what an illegal immigrant has access to today. From education, to health care, to welfare for illegal mothers who happen to have a child on this side of the southern divide. We pay for illegal immigration in a way that we never did before, and that is the difference. They aren't merely coming over here to work and support their families. They're coming over here and telling us to support their families too.

One of the primary arguments for amnesty is that there are far too many illegals here right now, and it would be impossible to put them all in trucks and deport them. Of course, amnesty will do nothing to prevent more illegals from coming over later, thus forcing us to revisit this exact same problem in a few years.

Why does nobody ever suggest getting rid of these benefits as a way to get rid of some of the illegals? Why don't we ever suggest tweaking the Constitution to close the loophole that allows any old someone born on this side of the border to be considered a citizen? If we get rid of some of the benefits, then there will be less of a draw for illegals to cross. I say less, because there will always be some sort of draw. But at least then, they'll actually be making it on their own.

Something to think about.

Comments:

You make some good points, and I agree with getting rid of the benefits, and just a few of them for citizens as well (yes I'm a mean bitch).

I would also stop the incentive by increasing the penalty many fold on anyone who employs them. That should dry up their employment resource.

Not only would that discourage them from comming, but would likey send a few illegal immigrants home who can no longer get work.

  Posted at April 07, 2006 9:03 PM by Anonymous Sandi  
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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

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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