I came across this phenomenal debunking of idiot anti-immigrant rhetoric today via Redneck Mother, via Super BabyMama (hey I did her template!). Everyone should memorize these facts the next time you're arguing politics with the in-inlaws (highly summarized - check out the link for a much more thorough analysis):
B.S. Point #1: They* place increasing demands on an overloaded healthcare system by going to ER's where they cannot be turned away.
Alisa's response: "Far and away the biggest strain on our emergency health system are the 45 million American citizens who are uninsured, not the illegal immigrants. 45 million is a number larger than the entire elderly population of this nation, larger than the entire African American population of this nation, larger than the entire LEGAL Latino population of this nation and larger than the entire country of Canada, and more than four times the entire population of Greece. Under Bush, the number of uninsured Americans has GROWN by over 5.2 million since 2000. Right wing pundits are pushing this b.s. to distract you from the real issue: More American citizens are sinking into poverty & losing health insurance than ever." If you're truly worried about an overextended emergency health system, push for universal health coverage.
Sally's Addendum to Alisa: The total estimated population of illegal immigrants is what: 7 Mill? And thanks to tougher laws that require E.R.'s to report the citizenship status of all patients, IME illegals only come to the ER when they have absolutely no other choice, for fear of deportation.
B.S. Point #2: They pay no property taxes to support the schools, which they overwhelm.
Alisa's response: No, but they pay rent and the landlords sure as hell pay property taxes. And you can be damned sure those owners are getting enough rent to cover those property taxes. So yeah, they pay property taxes.
Sally's Addendum to Alisa: Dude, does this mean we get to throw every child of apartment-dwelling American citizens out of our school districts, too?
B.S. Point #3: They do not register for selective service and do not serve in the military - forcing legal Americans to defend them.
Alisa's response: "All male immigrants – legal and otherwise – are required by U.S. law to register for selective service. Five percent of those serving in our military are illegal immigrants. The first soldier to die for the United States in the current war in Iraq was Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala. He died for you. You are not in Iraq fighting for anyone . You are home, sending lie-riddled missives to strangers at 3 a.m. on your computer."
B.S. Point #4: The only tax they're likely to pay is sales taxes which they cannot avoid and can remain anonymous
Alisa's response: Due to their extremely low wages no, they don't pay much in sales tax. But that tax cut Bush gave the wealthiest billionaires in the country? Thanks to it, we're losing $69 Billion a YEAR in tax revenue. For that kind of cash, we could have paid for 40 Million of the above-noted Uninsured Americans to have health coverage. "Sixty-nine billion dollars PAID BY OUR GOVERNMENT AS A GIFT TO THE RICH OF THIS NATION is many, many times more than anything 11 million illegal immigrants working for $4 an hour could contribute." You worried about people sucking the country dry of services and doing nothing to contribute to those services? Start with Bush's billionaire buddies.
Sally's Addendum: Let's not forget the corporate thieves who incorporate in Grand Caymen to avoid their federal tax burden.
B.S. Point #5: They refuse to assimilate, learn English, and send much of what they earn back to Mexico.
Alisa's response: Studies show "that by the third generation all immigrant grandchildren – no matter where they are from or the legal status of their ancestors are completely assimilated English speakers. There is not a single third-generation Hispanic in the United States whose primary or dominant language is Spanish. NOT ONE. This is precisely the same assimilation pattern followed by the Germans, Italians, French and every other linguistic minority immigrant group to this nation."
And regarding remittances: "The same argument should be held against US foreign investments abroad. After all, the amount of corporate transfers of capital is greater than the amount of remittances sent by low-paid workers. Moreover, if the US is to oppose the money remittances of "migrant workers" - should the reverse argument be held? That is, should US corporations abroad NOT be allowed to remit profits to the United States?"
Sally's Addendum: My grandmother (2nd generation immigrant on one side) actually only spoke German until she was in grade school. Nobody is suggesting we throw her out. Well, except my Mom & the Uncles when she's being a bit cranky. And re: money going offshore and depriving our economy? Dude..... the Saudi's & citizens of other oil-rich countries own half the stock in just about every major bank/financial institution in the country. I'd be happy to see some of those profits stay here.
* They being illegal immigrants, of course.