There’s a little flap in the Sunshine State over an email and illegal imigration.
What surprises me about this is not the email, or the fact that we have illegal immigration in this country, but what people perceive is the cost of illegal imigration to us – the legal residents. So I started a little research project. It turns out there is quite a little debate going over just how many illegals there are. The 2000 census estimated it at just under 9 million. Other researchers put the number closer to 20 million. For the purposes of this entry I decided to split the difference… so I’ll call it 15 million (give or take 500 thousand or so).
Now, playing to everyone’s worst fears… we’ll assume that they’re all receiving the maximum amount of SSI per month… or $623. Holly crap… that’s $112,140,000,000.00 PER YEAR. One hundred and twelve BILLION dollars! That’s some serious coin dude! Why… if we could cut off SSI to all 15 million illegal imigrants, our yearly federal budget deficit… would still be $130 billion (per year).
DAMNATION! You mean to tell me IF all illegals were savy enough to get a fake social security number, false documentation, and successfully apply for SSI (which is harder these days than finding a sperm whale in the Chicago River… for LEGAL residents), and IF we managed to round them all up at no additional cost to the tax payer (or we all volunteered the labor and supplies necessary to build and guard a wall on our borders – free of charge) we’d still have a yearly budget deficit? Well punch me in the face and call me a liberal!
Well what about all those primo jobs those illegals are taking away from Americans? Why just the other day I saw a guy speaking a slavic language in the kitchen at McDonals. You can’t tell me a legal resident would speak Russian of all things (everyone knows we’re barely smart enough to speak the Queen’s language… let alone another one to boot). What’re ya going to tell me next… that red-blooded americans are too lazy to work the kitchen at McDonals?
No, not lazy. Decadent may be a better word – but not perfect.
I challege you to walk into a court room (the easiest way to find poor people in this country), offer them a minimum wage job, and see how long they stay. If you think that’s tough, imagine trying to find someone to work under the table on a farm – for considerably less than minimum wage. I’ll wager there are segments of the economy that would collapse overnight if illegal residents disapeared en masse. What do you suppose THAT would cost the tax payers? Are you willing to pay $15 for a union shop orange? Maybe you’d like to pay $5 per pound for sugar? (The average price of sugar was around 40 cents in the U.S. in 2005.)
I’ve said nothing new here. I’m just sick of imigration serving as the villian for every populist on TV (I’m talking to you, Lou). That’s right, I don’t think much of populists. Why are liberals bad and populists good? Since when was it better to have NO convictions of your own, save for what the masses think at the moment? Illegal immigrants are an easy target. Because there are so few reliable statistics on illegal immigrants (when your research results range between 9 and twenty million – you’re safely outside the range of “reliable”) you can blame them for almost any societal ill with impunity.
So let’s call a spade a spade… picking on illegal immigrants is nothing short of a bully picking on the short kid… the privileged getting their licks in on the most vulnerable members of our society. Cast in that light, it doesn’t seem so noble, does it?