Thursday, April 19, 2007

Facts About Illegal Immigrants?

The following “Facts about Illegal Immigrats” appeared in the April 19, 2007 issue of The Modesto Bee newspaper.

“1. They fill important gaps in the labor market: 96 percent are employed, a higher rate than U.S. citizens. They do jobs older and more educated Americans won't.”

The mere idea that there are jobs Americans won’t do is just plain false. The U.S. labor market is based on the principles of free market and supply and demand. When the supply of unskilled labor is lowered because more Americans are becoming educated and moving to higher paying jobs there is supposed to be a natural upward pressure put on employers that encourages them to increase wages in order to attract more “educated” laborers to fill unskilled jobs or to find new means of mechanization in order to eliminate their need.

When there is a free flow of unskilled labor being introduced into the American market from an outside source, such as Mexico, this upward wage pressure is removed. As a result, wages for the unskilled have declined over 8% (according to a recent Harvard University study). This makes it even more difficult for the American poor to find ways to make ends meet.

“2. They are not eligible for welfare or food stamps; only emergency treatment through Medi-Cal.”

This again is false. A 2002 study by the Center for Immigration Studies found that households headed by illegal immigrants cost the federal government more than $1.9 billion in food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches. In addition, the study found that illegal alien households created a net fiscal deficit of $10 billion annually for just the federal government.

“3. More than two-thirds have U.S. citizen children. “

This may be an accurate statement, though I have been unable to find any data to confirm it. If anything, this points to more of a problem with our current immigration laws than it does to a reason to maintain the current status quo on immigration.

The immigration law that guarantees citizenship to those born on U.S. soil was not intended as a means to enable immigration into this country. As an ever growing number of American military personal began serving on U.S. bases throughout the world, this law was enacted so that any child of an American citizen born on a military basis outside of this country would still be granted the same citizenship rights as those born inside it.

“4. Pay property taxes by owning homes or paying rent. Immigrants, no matter their status, on average pay $80,000 more in taxes than they use in government services over a lifetime. “

Again, statistical data does not support these claims. In addition to the CIS study that shows that illegal immigrants cost the U.S. government $10 billion more than they contribute, a report by the Heritage Foundation found that low-skilled families cost the government (federal, state, and local) $32,138 each in 2004. In that same year, those same low-skilled families only paid in an average of $9.689.

“5. According to the Social Security Administration, about three-fourths of the undocumented immigrants pay into the system. It holds $420 billion from earnings that will never be claimed. Baby boomers are retiring in droves and unless Americans start having eight-plus kids, we will need immigrants to support the system.”

Again, this statement is drawn from falls facts and assumptions. The IRS reports that 7.9 million W2’s were filed last year with Social Security Numbers that did not match the name. However, they also reported that 1.5 million illegal immigrants filed for new ITINs (individual income identification numbers) last year alone. These ITINs can be used to file an end of year tax return in order to take advantage of various tax credits and refunds. If an illegal is willing to falsify W4 information in order to obtain employment, it’s not a stretch to assume they would also falsify their dependent claims in order to minimize the impact of FICA and Medicare on their pay checks.

“6. Within 10 years, 75 percent of immigrants speak English well. Demand for English classes far exceeds supply; 100 percent of children of immigrants eventually learn English, like myself. They want to learn English so they can vote and defend themselves against xenophobic people and their biased beliefs.”

These numbers appear to be simply made up. All the statistics show a dramatic increase in public school dropout rates where illegal immigrant populations are growing. There is also a massive movement by proponents of illegal immigration to provide bilingual educations and print more and more government documents in both English and Spanish.

In February 2006 the California Legislature released a report about Hispanic students. The report found that Hispanics of Mexican decent accounted for a greater percentage of high school dropouts and teen pregnancy. With more American businesses, the federal government, and public schools moving more and more towards catering to non-English speaking Mexican immigrants, there is less and less of an incentive for them and their children to learn English.

So while I am sure George Medina believes the supposed “facts on illegal immigration” he printed in his paper, the real facts, say otherwise.

This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let us know at what level you would like to participate.