13 November 2005

Another View On Immigration

My post on immigration from several weeks ago fomented much more discussion than I had anticipated. Though several good comments were attached to that post, some of the best dialogue was had with people I ran into on campus and in my American Heritage labs. Among the several emails I received on the topic was one from my aunt, Laura Wright, which I think warrants an independent post.

I will readily admit that one of the difficulties associated with problem solving as a student is that we are so far from the problems themselves. It is all too easy to look down on the world from the "ivory tower" of academia and presume to have all the answers. I guess its a natural fallacy accompanying the idealism of the college years. For this reason I encourage and appreciate the insight of those who actually live where the problems exist. As a long-time resident of Southern California, my aunt has ample experience on which to base her opinions.
I don't have a problem with legal immigration. I can understand someone looking at the average American lifestyle and wanting it. That is the American Dream. What really ticks me off is all the illegal immigration going on. Living in CA, we see the effects of all the illegal immigrants streaming into our state. They sneak over the border, move into a slum, and get a job that pays less than minimum wage. The employers love these workers - they pay them next to nothing, don't have to provide benefits, and they don't have to claim them. Of course, there are no taxes being paid anywhere in this arrangement. And yet, the immigrants take complete advantage of our state-supported school system, medicare, food stamps and other welfare, without contributing a red cent toward keeping the system intact and running. Therefore, the system is bankrupting itself. We have hospitals closing all over Los Angeles county. The school system is a mess. Even our traffic is affected - the roads are in terrible condition, and there is very little money to fix them. Where does the money come from to keep it all running? The tax rates on small business owners in the state of California make it almost not worth being in business. (If we didn't have student loans and a few other deductions, we would be paying out more than 50% of Chad's income in taxes) But that is a whole different story...related, but different.

I have watched the current administration to see what they would do about this problem. What a disappointment. Obviously, the changes are not going to come from the government. The only thing I can see that may have any effect on it is for all of us to stop employing illegal immigrants, and to stop supporting businesses that employ illegal immigrants (Home Depot and Walmart, to name a few). This will be a toughie. People like the prices that illegals charge. Employing a legal immigrant will inevitably cost more. But if you take into account the additional taxes we are all paying to cover the cost of these illegal immigrants, it evens out.

And don't even get me started on the national security aspect of this mess...

Well, you probably aren't too worried about this matter from the taxpayer's perspective yet, but you will be. Especially if you end up in CA.
Point taken. Depressing though it may be, eventually I will have to get a job.

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