Illegal immigration

A friend of mine sent me a link to some site called The Revolution, called What if Illegals Left. It’s sort of gone viral on social media and certain conservative sites. I’m not going to link to it here; don’t have much interest in driving traffic their way. I will quote a bit of it, though.

In California, if 3.5 million illegal aliens moved back to Mexico, it would leave an extra $10.2 billion to spend on overloaded school systems, bankrupt hospitals and overrun prisons. It would leave highways cleaner, safer and less congested. Everyone could understand one another as English became the dominant language again.

In Colorado, 500,000 illegal migrants, plus their 300,000 kids and grandchilds would move back “home,” mostly to Mexico. That would save Colorado an estimated $2 billion (other experts say $7 billion) annually in taxes that pay for schooling, medical, social-services and incarceration costs. It means 12,000 gang members would vanish out of Denver alone.

Colorado would save more than $20 million in prison costs, and the terror that those 7,300 alien criminals set upon local citizens. Denver Officer Don Young and hundreds of Colorado victims would not have suffered death, accidents, rapes and other crimes by illegals.

Denver Public Schools would not suffer a 67% dropout/flunk rate because of thousands of illegal alien students speaking 41 different languages. At least 200,000 vehicles would vanish from our gridlocked cities in Colorado. Denver’s 4% unemployment rate would vanish as our working poor would gain jobs at a living wage.

I’m not going to quote any more; honestly, I feel like I need to take a shower. This entire viral post is nothing more than ridiculous nativist nonsense.  None of it’s true, and none of it contributes helpfully to the debate. May I also urge you to not to post anything disagreeing with it on social media. I’m about to do just that, and I’m already dreading the response. A friend of mine did, and 4000 replies later had to shut it down. The anti-illegal radicals are not reasonable people. They’re conspiracy theorists, basically. And you can’t argue with conspiracy theorists.

And don’t be misled by these ridiculous ‘statistics.’ It doesn’t take much fact checking to realize how phony these numbers actually are. Denver Public Schools don’t have a 67% drop-out rate, for example. It’s closer to 23 percent, for graduation within 4 years of completing eighth grade. But the actual drop-out/flunk rate drops to less than 3% if you count students who finish their degrees a year after their graduating class finishes. And Hispanic students do just fine; track about the same as Caucasian students, a few points behind, which vanishes if you project the numbers out a year.

In fact, every econometric study of the issue of immigration has concluded that Hispanic immigration, legal and illegal, has been a net positive for the US economy. Expel ‘illegals,’ for example, and say goodbye to 2 million entrepreneurs. Illegal immigrants have a much lower crime rate than any other category of Americans, and illegal immigrants pay taxes, earn wages, spend money, all of which boost the US economy. Those are the facts, and they are not in dispute.

Plus, honestly, I have no idea why illegal immigration is an issue in this campaign season. Illegal immigration has slowed to a trickle. In part, this is because the economy of Mexico has been growing. In part, it’s because the US has started issuing more green cards, around a million a year. As for the ‘we need to close the border argument,’ it’s difficult to see how much more could be done. The Obama administration spends 18 billion on border control, more than it spends on any other federal law enforcement agency.

In other words, when people in bordering countries are desperate enough economically that they decide to come over to the US, they first apply to do it legally, through a green card. If they lose that lottery (and many do, of course; it’s basically a matter of luck), some risk their lives to come over illegally. Once here, they are far more likely to start a business and hire other people than any other American ethnicity. They commit fewer crimes than most people. They can’t collect ADC, food stamps, unemployment, social security, the EIC, Medicaid, or most other social services. They pay taxes, and do not consume tax dollars. And their numbers are dwindling.

And I’d do it. So would you. If I were desperate to feed my family, if I couldn’t find any gainful employment where I lived, and if a fantastically wealthy country was close by, to my north, I wouldn’t care about immigration laws. The moral thing to do isn’t to obey some persnicketty rule, it’s to feed your kids. I’d Jean ValJean it. So would you. Be honest with yourself, and you know that’s true.

So yes, I can totally see why stopping illegal immigration needs to be a major national priority, or an issue in a national election campaign. Not.


One thought on “Illegal immigration

  1. Alex KZ

    Thank you for this blog. I’m an Iranian-American and have never been the target of racism or any other form of prejudice, however since I joined the LDS church over 20 years ago, I’ve witnessed so many of our members say the exact things in your blog. Since I’m an immigrant I feel for those people who sell their lifetime savings to come here only to be treated so badly, especially when those treating them badly are the followers of Christ. Honestly, I’m sick of it.


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