Amnesty – The Issue That Refuses To Die (it will kill our economy)
With the passage by the Senate for amnesty for illegal immigration, I have read/heard of much nonsense about same. Here, I will take aim squarely at economists, columnists, and business writers who continue to assert that this will be a powerful plus for our economy.
I shall attempt, once and for all, to put this myth to bed.
STOP SCREWING UP THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
“Reform” is the watchword here, and it is total nonsense. This issue has 2 entirely separate aspects, and never the twain shall meet. Yes, legal immigration is all screwed up and needs fixing. No, illegal immigration has nothing to do with the latter. “Fixing” one will not help the other. Many economists, some of whom should know better, consider these both as one in the same. For my next magic trick, I will unscramble an egg.
LEGAL IMMIGRANTS, si
Yes, we need more doctors, civil engineers, sysops, and production managers. These shall surely improve our country, not to mention our GDP. However, none of these are sneaking over our borders in the depths of night. These are not the people who will benefit from amnesty. Our visa, green card, and legal immigration systems are pitiful and inadequate, and need fixing, sooner rather than later.
ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS? Nope
They will be a net drain on our social welfare and economic machinery.
THEY WILL PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE
They already do. The IRS already has a mechanism for illegals to file/pay income taxes, not to mention gaining access to goodies like the EITC. It is called TIN, or “taxpayer identification number”, and is assigned to anyone (including illegal immigrants) who are otherwise not eligible for an SSN. You can always tell such a taxpayer, because the first three digits of their TIN is "999".
SAVING THE HOSPITALS
Nope. There are myths that cities with large numbers of illegals put a strain on hospitals, knowing that legally the latter cannot deny the former. This behavior, however, is not unique just to Mexican illegals: it is common in all areas (and not just San Jose) with large numbers of poor. Unemployed, poor, and elderly all use this legal loophole, using hospitals for ordinary medical care. Making illegal Mexicans legal will not change this behavior.
SAVING THE SCHOOLS
Nope. The California Supreme Court has ruled that children of illegals are entitled to free schools, regardless of what the voters have decided on a particular Proposition. In this state, schools are financed by property taxes, which all property owners must pay, whether legal or not. Making Mexicans legal will not change this financial calculation.
COMING OUT OF THE SHADOWS
What nonsense. Illegal Mexicans are at the bottom rung of the economic ladder and will always be so until they die. This is not because they are illegal or Mexican, but because they have no skills that are economically valuable: all they offer is a pair of hands, a strong back, and a willingness to work for below-legal wages as unlicensed contractors. They have no advanced skills and do not speak English. Amnesty will change none of this. Being given amnesty will not entitle them to a raise, nor will it suddenly qualify them for a single job that is more advanced with a higher pay rate, or make them more economically valuable. Kudlow, in his radio show, killed his own argument: yes, they are already here, so get used to it. So what? Are they suddenly going to increase their family income under amnesty? Yes? By how much? How and why? Outside of relieving the paranoia of uninvited guests, what benefit is there to our country, keeping in mind that I am referring to illegals, and not the Irish computer programmer who is on the legit list for a decade, still waiting for final approval? Nugatory at best?
MILTON FRIEDMAN WAS CORRECT
He stated that illegal immigration (which is what we have) is inconsistent with a welfare society (which is what we have, for better or worse). I heard Rubio on Levin's radio show that under his plan, illegals would be ineligible for state or gov't aid. This is flatly not true. Here in California, anyone applying for Medicare, Medicaid, or food stamps is never asked about their immigration status under any circumstances: this is an administrative fiat.
IT'S DEJA VUE ALL OVER AGAIN
The idea is: let's give illegals a “get of jail free” card right now, and we will “build the dang fence” later. We have been down this road before, twice:
Simpson–Mazzoli Act (1986-Reagan)
Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (Bush the Son)
(you young 'uns might not of heard of these before: Google them).
NOTE TO THE GENTLE READER
I did my best to sanitize this blog of politics and concentrate on economics of the matter, but, as you can tell, I failed miserably. I have come to the conclusion that this issue is not economic, but rather ethical, moral, emotional, and racial. Anyone who claims otherwise IMHO is simply wrong.