Some of the Big Issues with Illegal Immigration
“Illegal immigration is crisis for our country. It is an open door for drugs, criminals, and potential terrorists to enter our country. It is straining our economy, adding costs to our judicial, healthcare, and education systems.” – Tim Murphy
“There should not be a question of legal or illegal immigration. People came and immigrated to this country from the time of the Indians. No one’s illegal. They should just be able to come.” – Linda Ronstadt
Let’s take a closer look at business implications of illegal immigration in the United States. Before I get into that, I want to say that the quotes at the beginning of this article are not intended to reflect my opinion, but to show the diversity in opinion on this subject. In an article written in 2015 by Pew Research Center titled Unauthorized Immigrant Population Stable for Half a Decade, it states that “An estimated 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the U.S. in 2014, according to a new preliminary Pew Research Center estimate based on government data. This population has remained essentially stable for five years after nearly two decades of changes.” According to the article, this number hasn’t fluctuated much. The amount illegal immigrants that enter the country is roughly equal to the combined amount that are deported, convert to a legal immigrant status, leave on their own terms, or in some cases, die. However, it is really hard to get data on this, as you might suspect, because these immigrants are undocumented. Some sources believe there are closer to 20 million illegal immigrants in this country. Various sources estimate that there are between 350,000 and 700,000 illegal immigrants entering the country each year.
According to Pew Research Center, most recently there’s been an influx of illegal minor children cross the (U.S.-Mexico) border. They released a study that show that children under 12 are the fastest growing group of unaccompanied minors at the border. In May and June, 10,000 kids traveling alone were taken in by the US border patrol. This is astounding to me! In a recent report to Congress, Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, stated “Although most children pouring over the border now would not qualify for “amnesty,” some reports state that drug smugglers have used misperceptions about the program to entice kids with the promise of “permisos,” or a pass to stay in America. Republicans blame President Barack Obama for exacerbating the problem. They say the policy of temporarily deferring deportations of children sent a signal to thousands of kids fleeing poverty and violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador that they could stay in America.”
CNN reported in July 7, 2014: “In a White House meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Obama said the Mexican government had committed to help “send a very clear message” that the executive action does not cover new immigrants. The new legal status would only apply to those who entered the country before 2010. Peña Nieto pledged that Mexico would “be doing everything it can” to prevent “misinformation or abuses — especially of the organized crime groups, groups that are doing human trafficking.” Nieto stated “For Mexico, there’s significant incentive to help support the president’s new immigration action. Some two-thirds of those eligible for the deferred action program are Mexican, and the deportation protections and work permits should allow Mexican citizens to access higher education and better paying jobs. That, in turn, could increase remittances, which represented $22.4 billion in the Mexican economy in 2012, according to the Inter-American Development Bank. “But the biggest reason this is celebrated by the Mexican government is they feel a responsibility to protect their citizens abroad,” said Chris Wilson, who leads the study of U.S.-Mexico border affairs at the Wilson Center. “When Mexican citizens are in the U.S. without immigration papers, they’re vulnerable. They don’t have the same access to the police, to public services.”
My guess is that this is all about votes. This is truly insanity. We are talking about people that are in this country illegally. However, there is significant sympathy toward undocumented immigrants amongst the Hispanic voting population. The non-enforcement policies around illegal immigration look like some form of pacification, and the risk of talking about this is called racism. Yet illegal immigrants are taking jobs from U.S. citizens, and they are breaking the law.
So what is the economic cost of illegal immigration in the United States? According to the National Research Council, the migration of the roughly 11 million individuals that are in the United States illegally costs American taxpayers $346 billion annually. The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that the current cost of treating uninsured immigrants who entered this country illegally at all levels of government is $4.3 billion a year, primarily at emergency rooms and free clinics. The report states, “This doesn’t take into account the billions being absorbed by in-patient care delivered by hospitals. For instance, it may surprise you to learn that immigrants who entered this country illegally, who have not paid one dime into Medicaid, are receiving Medicaid benefits.”
My recommendation: Double the number of H-1B visa per year. Fund greater border patrol, especially along the U.S.-Mexico border. If needed, build a better fence. Increase funding of courts that prosecute illegal immigration cases. The insanity needs to stop.
This Border Wars Promo from the National Geographic Channel doesn’t say it all, but it says a lot.