Illegal Immigration and My Perspective

Filed Under (Current Events, Musings) by on 12-24-2006

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I’ve noticed that ever since I started cross posting my blogs or bulletins I’ve started taking a lot of heat from people. I seem to get it most when I post about illegal immigration. I know it is a heated topic throughout the US, however I felt it might be beneficial to post something that backs my standing on why illegal immigration bothers me so much.

First off let me stress that I am not anti-immigration. I am simply anti-ILLEGAL immigration. I don’t think that it’s right for law breakers from another country to reap rewards provided by tax paying legal citizens. I recently had the opportunity to write an argumentative essay in my English class and though it would be fitting to repost it here. The topic I chose was the negative effects of illegal immigration here in California. Maybe after reading this you’ll all understand why I have such a huge issue with illegals.

Illegal Immigration: A California Crisis

Illegal immigration has become a serious problem in the United States as a whole. Right now many legal and illegal immigrants are fighting to provide illegal immigrants with certain rights and privileges because they are now here living in our country. What many people don’t realize is that illegal immigration has many negative effects. Many of those effects are felt most in California, where the number of illegal immigrants is the highest in the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship & Immigration Services, an estimated 2,209,000 unauthorized immigrants resided in California in 2000, which made up about 32 percent of the entire estimated unauthorized immigrant population in the United States. This number alone made up for 6.5 percent of California’s population in the year 2000. As you can see illegal immigration into California is a serious issue and with it comes significant negative effects on California’s economy.
According to a report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform there are three major areas in which Californians are made to pay for illegal aliens. One of the highest costing effects of illegal immigration on the California economy is in education. According to the report, the annual cost for illegal immigrant children and their siblings not covered by their families is $7.7 billion annually. With that they found that fifteen percent of the K-12 public school students in California are children of illegal aliens. Because of the high number of illegal immigrants in the California school system there is also a need for additional services such as Limited English Proficiency programs, school-based nutrition programs, and the School Breakfast program, all which include impoverished illegal alien students. All of which are not included in the initial $7.7 billion dollar annual price tag.

In addition to education there is the cost of illegal immigration in the area of health care. The cost of illegal immigrant healthcare in California adds up to $1.4 billion a year. This is usually caused when an alien’s health is affected while illegally entering the state or when illegal aliens residing in California turn to emergency medical facilities for treatment. Other costs also include things like Medi-Cal well-baby maternity care, child delivery expenses, and long term care. It is reported that in 1994 California’s tax payers paid for 74,987 child deliveries. Dan Stein President of the Federation for American Immigration Reform has voiced his opinion regarding this atrocity stating, “Nineteen ninety-four was the same year that California voters rebelled and overwhelmingly passed Proposition 187, which sought to limit liability for mass illegal immigration. Since then, state and local governments have blatantly ignored the wishes of the voters and continued to shell out publicly financed benefits on illegal aliens”. Proposition 187 banned the use of tax money to provide for non-emergency care to illegal aliens, however the proposition was later overturned by a US District judge in 1999. With the ballot being overturned California tax payers now pay for both legal and illegal aliens to receive Emergency Medicaid, pre-natal care, and nursing home care. All of which increase annual medical costs.

Equal to the costs of health care is the area of incarceration. California pays up to $1.4 billion for incarcerated illegal aliens. These costs are accrued by people who were either captured while entering the country illegally, or those who have committed serious crimes while living in California. The costs of incarceration include investigation, prosecution, interpreter services, judicial management, incarceration, deportation and possible parole costs. Not included are the costs of related law enforcement and judicial expenditures or the monetary costs of the crimes that led to their incarceration. It is also important to note that many of these immigrants start their lives in California by breaking the law just by entering illegally. Here they have already shown that they do not have acceptance for laws that inconvenience them, which cannot be seen as a positive outlook for their stay in California. Contrast this behavior with immigrants who come through official channels to become citizens and thus demonstrate a respect for those laws that ensures the foundation of a successful and safe part of our society.

Finally with illegal immigrants there comes poverty. In California, poverty has increased more than anywhere else in the US in the past decade. It was reported in the May 18, 2003 San Diego Union-Tribune that “most of the new pockets of poverty are in areas with large immigrant populations.” The California based research corporation RAND finds that “a declining demand for low-skill workers combined with a continuing influx of low-skill immigrants has increased competition for low-skill jobs within the state and has hurt the earnings of some low-skill workers.” It has been found that fifty percent of wage-loss among low-skilled Americans as a whole has been caused by the immigration of low-skilled workers. All of these aspects have serious effects on not only Californians and the California economy, but also the United States economy. If people become impoverished their average purchasing power is lowered, in turn purchases from businesses and retailers are lowered, which in turn lowers the profits of businesses. Companies who lose business risk going bankrupt and in turn will have to fire employees. Many workers who lose their jobs may then require assistance from taxpayer funded programs such as unemployment. Donald Huddle an economist from Rice University calculates that the cost for benefits paid to natives displaced by illegal alien workers is around $1 billion. “California’s addiction to ‘cheap’ illegal alien labor is bankrupting the state and posing enormous burdens on the state’s shrinking middle class tax base,” stated Dan Stein, President of FAIR.

Clearly immigration poses a serious threat the California’s economy. The cost of illegal immigration is much too high and the illegal immigrants are not the ones who are suffering for it. The total cost for the three areas of state expenditures, education, health care, and incarceration for a native-born California resident amounts to $1,183 per household per year. This cost would be even higher if we included things such as special English instruction, school feeding programs, law enforcement costs, and welfare benefits for Californian workers who are displaced by illegal immigration. California’s economy is in serious trouble because of illegal immigration and I am not the only one concerned. In 2006 the Field Research Corporation polled 500 Californian adults by phone at random. Of that, three out of four Californians were concerned to some degree about the issue of illegal immigration, with 43% of the being extremely concerned. It is clear that illegal immigrants are reaping the benefits of legal citizen tax dollars from almost all major public institutions and California tax payers are fronting the bill.


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