That a sovereign nation should be able to control people coming into it is a no-brainer. So is the idea that in setting criteria for entry by immigrants a nation should consider what sorts of people will be good for the nation and its citizens.
The United States is under no obligation to let anyone come here; it is a completely voluntary thing that we can do or not do as we choose.
The United States has benefitted greatly from immigration in the past, and if we are smart about it, we can benefit from immigration now and in the future.
As the most generous nation on Earth we can help people from other countries that really need help, but only under circumstances that are beneficial to us, or at least that are not harmful to our country and its legal residents and citizens.
We should not allow those to come here who carry disease, who are violent, who wish to undermine our way of life, or in other ways will do harm of some kind to the country. That such standards must exist is not even arguable.
Right now, and for many years, our immigration system has been a mess. The southern border is dangerously porous, and is routinely breached by persons wanting to come here illegally.
Despite Border Patrol efforts, people routinely cross into the country. Others get visas to come here legally, but stay beyond the expiration date. These people by their very existence inside our borders are lawbreakers, and some of them commit crimes.
Answers for how much illegal aliens cost the country cover a broad range, depending upon whose numbers you use and exactly what kinds of things comprise the total.
Estimates range from a bit over $100 billion to $338 billion annually.
A 2017 cost analysis by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) puts the figure of illegal immigration costs to U.S. taxpayers at $155 billion annually. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, however, that cost is much higher: $338.3 billion.
Some estimates of particular elements of illegal immigration costs are: $22 billion on social services; $2.2 billion on food assistance; $2.5 billion on Medicaid, $29 billion on education; $3 million per day to incarcerate illegal immigrants who comprise 30 percent of all federal prison inmates; $90 billion for welfare; $46 billion for deportation; and $200 billion in suppressed American wages.
Townhall.com reported in October that the U.S. is currently spending more to cover costs of illegal aliens having children here than for President Trump’s border wall this year.
A new report tells us that illegal alien women had 297,000 children in 2014 at a cost of $2.4 billion.
Technically, illegal immigrants are not eligible for welfare services. But the report explained, “Medicaid will pay for a delivery in almost all cases if the mother is uninsured or has a low income. ... Illegal immigrants and most new legal immigrants are ineligible for Medicaid, but the program will still cover the cost of delivery and post-partum care for these mothers for at least a few months.”
Forbes magazine’s Chris Conover ran the numbers in November and determined that at least $18.5 billion of tax money is spent on health care for illegal immigrants.
And there’s this from CNS News: “The federal government spent more money on the food stamp program in October, which was the first month of fiscal 2019, than President Donald Trump now wants the Congress to approve for the border wall for the entirety of fiscal 2019,” according to Editor-in-Chief Terence P. Jeffrey.
Dollar costs are not the only price Americans pay for our sloppy immigration control; crimes committed by illegals are a serious problem. One assault, one robbery, one rape or one murder is one more than we should accept.
Figures provided by Customs and Border Patrol as of August 31, one month before the end of FY 2018, include convictions of illegal aliens for:
• Assault, battery, domestic violence — 506
• Burglary, robbery, larceny, theft, fraud — 322
• Driving under the influence — 1,062
• Homicide, manslaughter — 3
• Illegal drug possession, trafficking — 816
• Illegal entry, re-entry — 3,637
• Illegal weapons possession, etc. — 98
• Sexual offenses — 78
• Other offenses — 1,298
These 7,820 convictions are approximately half the number for fiscal year 2016. However, assuming the last month of fiscal year 2018 saw the average convictions of the first 11 months, the total for fiscal year 2018 would be 8,531. Fiscal year 2017 also saw numbers significantly lower than fiscal year 2016, so things are moving in the right direction.
However, the fact that more than 8,500 people in the United States were direct victims of illegal aliens is inexcusable.
We desperately need immigration reform and the first step is to secure the southern border so that the only people who enter the country are those who ask permission by coming to an official entry port, and after vetting receive permission to enter.
The people who work on the border say, “Walls work!” We need to listen to them and erect walls/fences in places where they are most needed, to keep immigrant numbers under control, and to maintain the security of our people and our nation.
James H. “Smokey” Shott, a resident of Bluefield, Va., is a Daily Telegraph columnist.