Odd usually stays away from politics; however, sometimes you can’t discuss a subject on Facebook as well as you like and the President’s recent changes to immigration reform have certainly been a hot topic. So my dear odd friend Carolee, wrote a guest post for My Odd Family expressing her opinions on the subject.
Carolee currently lives in Washington, DC, lived in El Paso, Texas for over 40 years and has family in law enforcement. I share Carolee’s views and hope for a workable solution that benefits the American citizen and offers opportunity to those who enter this country legally.
Immigration Reform. Two words that have sparked fiery debate giving voice to both groups interested in helping the unfortunate, and in those protecting the rights of all people living legally in the United States. I don’t think that the people opposed to the Dream Act and all of the related initiatives are interested in promoting undue hardship on “children” living here illegally. Despite using a social security administration locator and filing for a social security card, not all the immigrant’s requests are being accepted due to the new immigration reform. I think it boils down to a “what’s next” situation. If we make an exception for this group of illegal immigrants, what is the next exception that will be demanded of us? A policy conveying the message that the country or any state or local government will tolerate and reward foreigners who ignore our immigration law invites the rest of the world to see illegal immigration as an accepted route to seeking a better life in our country, and thus perpetuates the problem.
A huge issue is what does it truly cost the country to accommodate these illegals and their families? No matter which side you choose to take, the facts are that an enormous amount of tax dollars are being spent on education, Medicaid, food stamps, public housing assistance… and the list goes on. Arguments are made that “they” take all of the jobs that Americans won’t do. Yes, many menial labor jobs are held by illegals. In Maryland the construction industry has been saturated with cheap labor performed by undocumented workers. One result is that many small businesses have been put out of work because they cannot underbid the companies using illegal workers. You can’t stay in business if you want to pay a fair wage, and the taxes that go along with them, when the next guy is happy to pay someone $5.00 an hour under the table. Any effort at enforcing legal status to work is met with claims of discrimination.
For those living far from the border who don’t think this affects your life, spend some time looking into what comes out of your tax dollars in your community to accommodate illegal residents. After living on the Mexican border for over forty years, I was surprised to learn the impact of illegals on the State of Maryland. In 2009, Maryland’s illegal immigrant population cost the state’s taxpayers more than $1.4 billion per year for education, medical care, and incarceration. The annual fiscal burden amounts to about $790 per Maryland household headed by a native-born resident. When the County I live in has a budget deficit of $13 million dollars, I have a problem with tax dollars being siphoned to support people living here illegally.
I choose to homeschool our son but I don’t begrudge our tax dollars that go to public education. We get no consideration on our taxes for taking the financial burden of schooling our child off of our local community. However, I strongly oppose tax dollars being spent on educating children in a foreign language. Learning English should be the first requirement of all children in our education system. This is done in Maryland. Children in El Paso are being taught in Spanish, with teacher/student ratios of 1:16, with no requirement (or incentive) to ever learn the English language. English-speaking students are in classrooms with 22-28 students. These are facts that I have lived—I didn’t read this in someone’s blog.
Another huge issue is the amount of American dollars sent out of the country to families of illegal workers. The Inter-American Development Bank estimated that remittances from Maryland just to Latin America and the Caribbean amounted to $921 million in 2006. The numbers increase every year. If this amount had been earned by American workers, it would have been spent locally, and it would have generated sales, production, and jobs in the state as well as increased tax collection.
The people who immigrated legally should be—and many are—as up-in-arms at the suggested amnesty programs as those of us born in the USA. Immigrate legally. Learn the language. Don’t ask for special treatment. Do your very best to acclimate to life in this great country rather than sit and demand that the country acclimate to you.
Don’t put your hand out, put it to work alongside ours.
Thank you Carolee! Please feel free to leave your comments on Odd, and Carolee will be happy to try and respond to your questions (yep, Carolee we get older but I don’t change… Love you OX!).
This link ‘IRS Loophole’ was also shared by my Odd family friend, Stan: It has been uncovered that fraudulent Tax Refunds in the amount of $4.2 Billion per year have been filed based on children who have NEVER lived in the United States.