Letter to the Editor: Illegal immigration cause for concern

Perhaps the next time Bessie King writes an All Hail (“Immigration mindset needs change,” March 23), she can provide us with facts regarding illegal immigration rather than relying on her emotions and calling the other side “hateful.” Her views, like President Bush’s, are out of touch with America. Illegal immigrants are severely hurting America’s working class, destroying our health care system, and are an enormous security threat.

Unregulated immigration does anything but stabilize the economy. The only ones benefiting are corporations who dish out low wages and poor working conditions to illegal aliens to cut costs. This in turn lowers wages to such a level that America’s working class cannot survive on such pay. This is contrary to what Ms. King claims, which is that Americans refuse to do the type of work involved. Since 10 to 12 million illegal aliens in the United States lack high school degrees and have low incomes, they generate low tax revenue for the government. That’s problematic when, according to a 2002 report at the Center for Immigration Studies, 28 percent of welfare recipients are illegal aliens who feed off our social services. Illegal immigrants cost the federal government more than $10 billion dollars a year, the report notes. Granting amnesty, it warns, would only increase the eligibility of social services to these low-income workers, creating a federal deficit of $29 billion. Meanwhile, such overabundance of unskilled labor leaves America’s working class in the dust.

Our healthcare system is becoming bankrupt by illegal aliens. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act requires emergency care regardless of patients’ visa status or their ability to pay for it. This is causing massive closures of U.S. hospitals, as illegal aliens exploit our goodwill and the act’s broadly defined eligibility to receive free health care. In 2002, the government lost $4.7 billion providing uninsured health care and Medicaid to illegal aliens. Hospitals along the Mexican border are closing en masse. According to a 2005 report by the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, 84 California hospitals have recently closed their doors as a direct result of free care given to illegal aliens.

America’s security is put in jeopardy as well. Illegals routinely steal social security numbers, make fraudulent driver’s licenses and find new illegal ways into the United States. Aside from the damage caused by such disregard for our laws, these loopholes provide terrorists and drug smugglers with the means to easily enter and blend into our society. In 2004, a top al-Qaeda lieutenant met with leaders of the violent MS-13 gang in Honduras to discuss smuggling terrorists into the United States via Mexico.

Any foreigner who comes here must respect our laws or face deportation. Greedy employers hiring low-paid illegal workers should be prosecuted for tax evasion. We should build a fence to keep the terrorists and freeloaders out. The choice is very simple: stop the destruction of our nation, or continue to let politicians and corporations sell out our country and security for cheap labor.

– Christian Shoemaker is a middler international affairs major and managing editor of the Northeastern Patriot.

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