As Tony Snow recently pointed out, over 60% of illegal immigrants pay social security and income taxes. How do they do it? They use false social security numbers. That means that the majority of illegal aliens are contributing to a system that will never give them back a dime of the money they put in.
Most illegal immigrants are men who have left their families behind in order to build up money here and send it back to their wives and children. As a result, less than 10% of illegals have children in the public school system, while only 5% receive unemployment or food stamps.
Illegals Don’t Pay Taxes
But, as none of the conservative commentators have pointed out, while nearly 40% of illegals don’t pay any taxes, that really doesn’t make them much different from most Americans. Let’s connect a few unconnected dots.
Bruce Bartlett and Thomas Sowell frequently point out that the tax bite on Americans is disproportionate. In 2003, for instance, the top 1 percent of taxpayers, ranked by adjusted gross income, paid 34.3 percent of all federal income taxes that year. The top 5 percent paid 54.4 percent, the top 10 percent paid 65.8 percent, and the top quarter of taxpayers paid 83.9 percent. And this despite the fact that the top 10 percent only earn 43 percent of the money.
Seventy-five percent of Americans paid less than seventeen percent of all taxes. The bottom fifty percent of Americans paid just four percent of income taxes, although they make 14 percent of the money. Indeed, the Earned Income Tax Credit gives many low-income workers a negative tax rate -- that is, they pay no income taxes but get a "refund" from the government anyway. Fully 30 percent of Americans fall into this category. When these facts are recalled, illegals begin to look like a cross-section of America.
And they aren’t the only ones. Walmart manages to keep prices low by effectively getting a subsidy from the government for their workers. A disproportionate number of Walmart workers are on food stamps, medicare and medicaid.
Illegals Are, By Definition, Criminals
Crime rates along the border are lower than in comparably sized non-border cities. Indeed, as Snow points out, California saw its crime rate halve while its Hispanic population more than doubled.
But they are breaking the law simply by entering the country, aren’t they? That makes them criminals, right?
Well, yes and no. Yes, they are breaking the law, but no, it doesn’t rise to the level of criminal court. As Linda Chavez points out, entering the country without proper papers is a misdemeanor civil offense. Similar civil violations are committed by people who don’t put the lids on their trash cans tightly enough or don’t keep the weeds in their yards properly cut. If we wish to reign in this level of lawbreaker, then let’s do it up right.
In Tucson, it is illegal for women to wear pants. In Alabama, you may not play Dominos on Sunday. In Pueblo, Colorado, it is illegal to let a dandelion grow within city limits. In Connecticut, it is illegal to dispose of used razor blades. In Hawaii, it is illegal to appear in public wearing only swimming trunks. (queue Frank Sinatra singing “I Did It My Way”) This rampant lawlessness obviously undermines America’s world-renowned reputation for refusing to break the rules in order to live as we please: we should not and cannot tolerate it!
Illegals Take Our Jobs
Well, what of the Hispanics flooding into New Orleans? Illegals are rebuilding the city!
They are! And do you know why? Because no one wants to do the job they are doing or live in the conditions they have to live in to earn that money. Illegals are living a half dozen and a dozen to a room, working 12 hour days, seven days a week for $8 an hour. That’s assuming the contractor doesn’t refuse to pay, that’s before they pay out the income tax and social security that is docked from the majority of their paychecks.
Everyone is crying that non-Hispanic minorities are being cut out of jobs. Local residents should be doing this work!
Well, perhaps they should, but they refuse to come back and do it. Some complain they can’t find living quarters in the city. Really? How is it that people who walked those streets their whole lives, many of whom were given thousands of dollars of government aid, don’t have the means to travel home? How is it that such fine, upstanding citizens fail to find rooms once they get there? The illegals can barely find the state on a map, much less the city, and they certainly aren’t getting government relocation subsidies for travel expenses, yet they manage not only to get there but they seem to be glad to work.
So, yes, illegal immigrants are displacing Americans born and bred here. But that’s to be expected. We embraced contraception and abortion – they didn’t. We don’t have the people we need to do the jobs we want done. Even if we had the people, we don’t have the stomach.
The Great Wall of Texas
The Great Wall of China was a monumental undertaking, so enormous it can be seen from space. It was never taken by military force. It didn’t have to be. The Mongol invaders simply bribed the gatekeepers. Walls don’t work.
The Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain across Eastern Europe was likewise a testimony to the desire to keep populations apart. Ultimately, those walls were crushed as people mined below them, climbed over them, wriggled through them, and vaulted above them in every conceivable way. Barbed wire and machine guns don’t work.
Well, what about a moat?
The enormous moat which is the oceanic strait between Florida and Cuba has been equally successful in keeping immigrants out. Ninety miles of shark-infested water hasn’t stopped men, women, children, even infants, from seeking out a better life. Moats don’t work.
Now, Congress is considering the construction of the Great Wall of Texas. Apart from its utility as a make-work project for government-funded contractors, what, exactly is the point?