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Location: Ames, Iowa, United States

Monday, April 03, 2006

Numbers USA Has It Right, Again

Here is a series of arguments and talking points from Numbers USA, about illegal immigration. You can find their site at: www.numbersusa.com
What follows is from communications sent to members of their grass-roots effort.



"Federal law mandates that hospital emergency rooms treat any person who seeks care. The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) found, in 2004, that annual costs to treat uninsured illegal aliens run to approximately $2.2 billion. Recent Federal efforts to reimburse hospitals for uncompensated care notwithstanding, recovering unpaid costs has been exceptionally difficult and has caused the ruin of numerous healthcare facilities. According to a report in the Spring 2005 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, 84 hospitals in California alone are closing as a direct consequence of the rising number of illegal aliens and their non-reimbursed tax on the system.


According to the Pew Hispanic Center, only five percent of illegal aliens from Mexico were unemployed before they unlawfully came to the United States, so gainful employment doesn’t appear to be the driving force behind illegal immigration. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the level of unemployment among the 12 million American adults who do not have a high school diploma – most of whom are competing with the illegal aliens for low-wage, low-skill jobs – at nearly nine percent.


In 2004, an estimated 27 percent of the federal prison population was comprised of illegal aliens, though illegal aliens account for about 4 percent of the overall U.S. population. GAO found the cost to the federal prisons is an estimated $1.2 billion for 2004.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, THE CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES FOUND THAT ALL OF THE INCREDIBLE COSTS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS WOULD SKYROCKET BY TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS A YEAR IF THE ILLEGAL ALIENS WERE GIVEN LEGAL STATUS.

The reason is that once illegal aliens become legal, they have access to far more government services and benefits.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is under fire following news reports that fraud is rampant and that the rules governing eligibility for immigration status are being ignored. And these are the people we expect to keep tabs on who stays – and takes jobs, money, and resources away from American citizens – and who goes?


The Social Security system will worsen, not improve, under an amnesty. These low-income workers are unlikely to pay enough in payroll taxes to support current beneficiaries. When amnestied workers retire, they will collect far more in Social Security payments than they ever paid into the system.


Estimates suggest it would cost $5 billion to install triple fence covering the entire 2,000 miles of the Southwestern border. That cost is much less than the economic cost of illegal immigration to California alone for one year. When Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) recently asked Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) how effective the fence has been in California, she said it was so effective that it forced most of the illegal aliens to cross through Arizona.


Past amnesties for illegal aliens have facilitated terrorism. Mahmud Abouhalima, a leader of the 1993 Trade Center bombing, was legalized as a seasonal agricultural worker as part of the 1986 amnesty. After legalizing he was able to travel abroad, including several trips to Afghanistan, where he received the training he used in the bombing.


More than 600,000 state and local law enforcement officers already come into contact with illegal aliens every day so we must make greater use of them in this crisis. The problem is that many are unsure of their authority and hence do nothing. Plus, the officers who do arrest such aliens, and then contact federal immigration officials, are frequently told to release the aliens because of a lack of federal personnel to process them or facilities to detain them.


The House-passed bill does not target churches and aid providers as some have claimed. Broad language prohibiting the encouragement of illegal immigration has always existed in the alien smuggling statute and these amendments do not change that. The same is true of transportation. Prosecutorial discretion has always been exercised to avoid any gray areas, and the Department of Justice is unaware of any effort by federal prosecutors to use the statute in the manner claimed by some critics.


Temporary-worker programs are often portrayed as a legal and humane alternative to unauthorized migration. But they fail to acknowledge that the last major Mexico-US temporary worker program, the so-called Bracero program, actually was the initiator and accelerator of today's large-scale unauthorized migration. 4.9 million Mexicans were apprehended during the Bracero years.


The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 made it illegal for an employer to knowingly hire or employ illegal aliens. Employers also must check the identity and work eligibility documents of all new hires. Unfortunately, the Department of Homeland Security rarely enforces this law anymore and, when it does, imposes minimal penalties. By way of illustration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued only three Notices of Intent to Fine employers and made only 159 worksite enforcement criminal arrests in fiscal year 2004 (down from 417 and 2,849, respectively, in fiscal 1999).


Most current proposals involve some form of "legalization" to "clear the slate" of about 12 million unauthorized residents, usually via a gradual process by which unlawful residents can earn legal immigrant status by doing farm or other work. Such policies have a dismal recent history. In 1987-88, 2.8 million unauthorized migrants obtained US legal status. Yet despite this massive legalization, the farm labor market in California again is dominated by unauthorized workers.


H.R. 4437 would finally mandate that every employer in the United States use the federal Internet/phone verification system that quickly and easily determines if a new hire is legally eligible to work here. Currently called the Basic Pilot program, this system for verifying Social Security numbers would prevent most illegal aliens from getting jobs with legitimate employers. While no single enforcement measure would stop all illegal immigration, this is the single-most important solution to rectifying our nation’s half-hearted effort to tackle the problem.


There are clear ways to get illegals to go back home without mass deportation. We must focus on interior enforcement, rather than amnesty.


The Senate Judiciary Committee bill will entice millions of people to come to America illegally knowing that eventually we'll give in and let them stay. This is exactly what has happened with amnesties and guest worker programs in the past.


Proponents of the Senate Judiciary Committee bill claim it doesn't reward illegal aliens for breaking the law, but that is exactly what the bill does. It's almost like a get-out-of-jail-free card. They have to wait a few years and pay a fine. And they don't even have to leave the country. That's a big-time reward.


14 Million Americans cannot find a full-time job. Why are Senators pushing for a massive guestworker program?


The US Citizenship & Immigration Services of DHS has not yet dealt with the 500 claims of criminal misconduct against its employees, including espionage and acceptance of bribes. I think most Americans would agree that this is not the right time to create a massive guestworker program to help illegal aliens gain legal status.


I understand all non-citizens are supposed to pass through an exit-entry system anywhere in the US but that it hasn't been put in place yet. How can the government run a guestworker program if it doesn’t know who is entering and leaving the country?


Here are some additional talking points that our Capitol Hill chief legislative analyst Mark Wills sent over to me:
There is no such thing as a “temporary” worker.


Without significant immigration reforms, not only will the population grow, but stores of nonrenewable resources – like wildlife habitat and open space – will diminish.


Reducing current immigration levels range would be a dramatic step toward a stabilized, sustainable population for there would be less pollution, less sprawl, less congestion, and with a tighter job market, affluence would be more widespread throughout all levels of society.


The Federal Trade Commission reports that approximately 12 million Americans have been the victim of identity theft. Although there are no firm estimates on how many cases involve illegal aliens, it is assumed that hundreds of thousands of Americans have unknowingly “loaned” their Social Security numbers to illegal aliens. Experts believe that the average victim of illegal alien-based identity theft sees his/her Social Security numbers shared approximately 30 times.


Most visitors from Mexico and Canada – not surprisingly, the two nations from which the lion’s share (about 78 percent) of visitors come (as well the highest and fourth-highest numbers of illegal aliens, respectively) – are exempted from enrolling in either the entry or exit components of the US-VISIT tracking system – and DHS has shown no intention to ever require that these visitors be enrolled.


The misguided policy of “catch-and-release” allows “Other Than Mexicans” (OTMs) apprehended near the border being released on their own recognizance pending a deportation hearing, provided they have no felony convictions and are not considered to pose a threat to national security. However, only about 15 percent of these OTMs show up for their hearings. In most of these cases, unfortunately, DHS has no further contact with the alien and does not ensure that the person leaves the country, which then allows the alien to blend into his/her community as they feel little fear of being found out by a hapless DHS.


By creating a new “temporary” guestworker program and artificially increasing the supply of workers, big business has no incentive to raise wages, enhance benefits, or better working conditions for such workers. This artificial inflation of labor supply also tends to remove much of business’ incentive to innovate, whereas a tighter labor market is more likely to modernize as to be more efficient and effective."

Read this and get active

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