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.
14 thoughts on “Immigration Reform: What’s Next?”
Odd post for you Kb. I guess that I want to give the kids a chance that were born to be here legally. The sins of the father should not be revisited on the child but on the other hand I think this move is purely a political move by Obama. I have been a democrat my whole life but Obama has me shaking my head on many issues and this is one of them. Romney isn’t any better. I guess that is the problem they are all the same.
I had no idea about the cost. Thanks for the information Odd friend of Kb’s.
What was I suppose to eat today?
Oh Crap–I forgot to publish El Mono!! I will be right back.
The cost boggles the mind. How can we afford this? The IRS loop hole is insane.
I’m delighted that kids will now be able to stay here legally. However, I get what Carolee is saying and the cost to American’s and the American worker is very high–can we afford it? I also think not teaching English in schools as a primary language is ridiculous–how can you contribute and thrive as a citizen of a country if you are not taught or refuse to learn the language.
It’s bad enough to look at the billions we spend on people we litterally pay to stay home and have babies. I have NO problem with Welfare and believe that people with special needs should get all the help they need. However 3rd and 4th generation Welfare families get my dander up. A woman in the doctor’s office I work in was denied aid. She was working 2 jobs trying to stay even. She was told in order to qualify for aid she would have to quit working, stay home and have another baby. WTF! These are the same people who teach their children not to stand to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in school but to be sure to eat on the free lunch program. Enough already. Either come legally, work and learn English or stay the Hell where you came from! I don’t even want to get into the billions spent on medical treatment and hospitalizations. Aren’t you glad you work middle Americans! I have a bumper sticker that states “if I have to work to support them, I want to name them!”
Carolee and Jill, you are absolutely right about illegals..I could go on and on about what I see here living on the border..giving illegals all these benefits at the taxpayers expense is ridiculous..we can not afford it…my grandparents came here through Ellis Island, legally, and I am not against legal immigration, so I say to all these people (illegals) wanting to come to the United States, GET IN LINE !!! In the meantime, they should all get the hell out of my country !
President Obama said that illegal immigrants who came here as children could stay without fear of deportation, if the following conditions are met: They’ve been in the country for at least five years. They’re in school or high-school graduates, or have served in the military. They are under 30 and have committed no crimes. More than 1 million people may qualify.
The children were brought to America by their parents as children. These kids grew up us American and it America is all they have ever known.
They should be allowed to stay in America. Let’s face it nobody is going to deport them so they might as well lose the status illegal and have a chance at a good future.
What’s next? That is the billion dollar question…
President Obama clearly chose the timing of his immigration reform based on the upcoming election. He needs to win over Latino voters, who will play key roles in several swing states this November. The Obama administration has been going after employers who hire undocumented workers. Deportations during his administration have exceeded 1 million, the most since 1950. Enforcing immigration laws has caused him grief with the Hispanics while it is hardly noticed by those more to the right. This policy is meant to win votes plain and simple. I saw a poll where the Hispanics are not buying it because they see it as a way to win their vote but not move real reform forward.
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Excellent post, Carolee! I lived in Texas several years before moving back to the Midwest, so I understand and appreciate what you’re saying. Well spoken, Kb’s friend!
Most intelligent piece of writing I have seen on this subject. The real question is ‘CAN WE AFFORD this kind of reform’ not do we want to help some kid have a better life. American citizens should be our #1 priority.
When I first came to America as a tourist, I thought it was cool that US also caters to Spanish speaking. Kinda like Europe with multiple language instruction in public places. Then I got married to someone who is US Citizen and my journey continue to live in this wonderful country I now call home. One of my 1st job I held was assistant branch manager for Chase bank. It was a small branch inside grocery store. It was kind ain a ghetto too (if I can call it that). There I started seeing this illegal immigarnt issues with my own eyes and I cringe. I’m not a racist by any means, how can I when all the minorities list combine in me? But, I have to be honest that I find it upsetting when someone got mad at me for not having staff that able to speak spanish. I find it upsetting when someone cashing their food stamps for their 4 kids and they are illegal and not working and just use that free money. I also find it upsetting when there’s someone yelling me for his son unable to find work because people like me “steal” his jobs – American job. I don’t believe I steal anybody jobs, I’m a very educated woman who came here to this country legally,, I follow the law, the process, I learned the language and I work my ha – ha off everyday! I pay taxes, I went on an interview just like anybody else. But I can understand the frustration. Because I got frustrated myself. It is very upsetting to see some people who took advantage of the system and use it well. I might say that it does not represent the whole immigrant or even the whole illegal immigrant, but the # are growing and it getting overwhelming. I don’t think it’s fair for someone to come here illegally, refuse to learned the language and demand some type of equality. Are you kidding me? On teh other hands, there are people who came into this country escaping horror but once they got here, they work hard and do whatever it takes to become legal and to basically improve their life.. so I don’t know the solutions to this and glad that I’m not in a position to figure this out.
Well done. Bravo Carolee for your insightful, thought provoking post. I concur simply by saying if you desire to live in our country, go through the proper channels, pass the immigration tests, learn our language, then you are welcome to partake in our bounty. No other country on the world allows illegal aliens to live, and take advantage of its services but the U.S.A.
Thank you all for your replies. It’s a very convoluted subject that needs to be boiled down to basic points that can be acted on. I support our President – I voted for him in 2008 and I’ll vote for him again in 2012. However, I don’t think he should buckle under pressure for immigration reform. Just to clarify the current executive order, it is not directed toward children born in the USA, they are automatically citizens and will never be deported. Neither will their mothers, who obviously need to care for their children. Thousands are born each year in the County hospital in El Paso after their mother’s cross the bridge in various stages of labor. They then proceed to live in public housing, apply for WIC, food stamps, Medicaid, and the list goes on. I watched it happen for 40 years. I have no problem with public assistance for people who need it and deserve it. Not people who make a living off of it. I got many of the statistics stated in my post from the publication from FAIRUS, Federation for Immigration Reform, entitled “The Cost of Illegal Immigration to Marylanders” published in 2009. The link to that publication is http://www.fairus.org/site/DocServer/md_costsw.pdf?docID=4001%20
Education is powerful – investigate the facts and stand up for what you believe in.
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