Some thoughts on immigration

Below is a copy of an online discussion I recently had with a friend. Context: we were discussing immigration in passing and I stepped up on my soap box.

To me, the illegal nature of the matter doesn’t matter as much to me as perhaps it does to others. Have you ever got a speeding ticket? You broke the law. We all break the law. So this “it’s illegal” part just doesn’t cut it with me. I need more then that in order to make a position on the issue.

Issue 1: They are taking our jobs. Perhaps. But Ronald Regan and I would argue that they are doing the jobs that other’s won’t. Perhaps not all the jobs, but definitely some of the ones that many Americans think are menial. Come on, when you think of chicken gutting, painting, restaurant workers — you think Mexicans. Right or wrong, there is a reason for that.

Issue 2: They suck from the teet of our social services. It’s a red-herring to complain that people aren’t paying for taxes when, in actuality, they aren’t allowed to pay due to their given status of “illegal”. Regardless, everyone pays sales tax. What is in question is income tax, social security, and medicare. Let’s get it out of the way that not all illegals claim things such as social security or medicare. They pay everything by cash. Interestingly, some even pay taxes on their fake SSN’s, or pay legally with a government-issued identification number (TIN). Immigration and Social Services departments are separate, so many illegals pay taxes because they feel it is the right thing to do without worry that Immigration will come after them. So, It’s not so clear that we are taking more than they give.

Issue 3: Maybe it’s a complex, but I’m still stuck on the teet thing. They are costing American’s millions of dollars!. Let’s not forget the simple fact that the impoverished will always be the ones most likely to utilize social services. Is it illegal status that makes them utilize social services more, or the fact that they are the poorest population? You decide.

Issue 4: They have no right to be here. What right do *you* have to be here? Because you were born here? Because your parents had you in the US? For every 20,000 people born in the world, about 1 will have the fortune of being born in the US. Perhaps you can be a little bit more humble about your fortune in location of birth. Interestingly, much of the reform going on in immigration is centered around production rather than birth-right. That is, it doesn’t matter where you were born; it matters if you are a productive member of society — paying taxes, holding a job, even doing community service! I have some rich white friends whose parents paid thousands of dollars for them to delay maturity for 4-5 years in college and still don’t have a job. Apparently chicken gutting is even less desirable than being in debt $20,000+ while you find yourself? In the meantime, thank goodness they are white and speak English and have a wealthy relative funding their self-actualization!

I need to work on not getting so worked up about this.

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