Legal immigration built this country. Immigrants from Europe, China, and the rest of the world fled tyrannical governments or utter destitution for a new start in the United States. These immigrants worked hard, saved their money, educated their kids, and helped make the United States the leader of the 20th century.
But the 21st century looks less promising. Illegal immigrants are negatively affecting our country in myriad ways—in both the short term and long term. Nothing in this article is intended to denigrate the desperate human beings pouring into our country. This article is about the impact of illegal immigrants on the ability to sustain our society — not about vilifying people fleeing from utter poverty and a Mexico drowning in drug-related violence.
Unless the US government enforces immigration laws and secures the border, life in America as we know it could change.
Short-Term Impact: Destruction of the Middle Class and Government Bankruptcy
America is deep in debt. We owe trillions of dollars to the Chinese, Dutch, Japanese, and other creditors worldwide. We cannot afford the expansive social experiments of the 20th Century — Social Security benefits, welfare, food stamps, unemployment benefits, and of course, the nightmare that is Obamacare. Not only will America in the future be unable to meet its social welfare commitments for its citizens and legal residents, but attempting to do so for the 12-15 million illegal immigrants imposes severe hardships on the middle class.
The middle class, unlike the poor or wealthy, is in danger of disappearing. While the poor receive the benefit of the government’s social welfare, and the rich don’t feel the pinch of moderate increases in prices, the checkbook-balancing middle class does. Let’s examine a few examples of price increases that may destroy the middle class.
How is grade school and secondary education paid for? Generally, local counties or the states administer the education system that is funded by state tax dollars. Who pays state taxes? — the middle class and the wealthy. However, the parents of illegal immigrants likely aren’t paying taxes because it’s unlikely they’re legally employed. So in areas of the country where there is a large influx of illegal immigrants’ children (like in California, Arizona or Texas), taxes are subsidizing the education of children whose parents don’t pay taxes. The result is higher taxes for less benefit. These increases in taxes shift some people out of the middle class. Other families, abhorred by the deplorable state of public education, go into debt so their children can get a decent education at a private school.
While some state programs exist to provide health care for illegal immigrants, the most glaring inequality in society is that tax-paying citizens must pay for their emergency room care, while hospitals are legally obligated to provide emergency care to illegal immigrants who can’t pay for it. In other words, emergency care for illegal immigrants is subsidized through higher health insurance premiums paid by citizens and legal residents.
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This is a big deal. Nothing destroys a middle class family’s budget like skyrocketing health insurance premiums.
Over the past decades, many middle class families have transitioned from having one spouse working full-time to support the family, to having the other spouse (and perhaps older children) taking part-time jobs to supplement the family budget. For example, one of the spouses works as a grocery clerk on the weekends or one of the kids busts tables at a restaurant in the evening.
Despite some claims that illegal immigrants don’t take lower-paying jobs away from citizens or legal residents, rational observers acknowledge it happens. When a spouse or older child can’t find work to supplement the family’s budget, that family may fall out of the middle class.
Faced with higher taxes, higher insurance premiums, and loss of budget-supplementing jobs, the middle class may shrink or disappear altogether. If this happens, those formerly in the middle class will become dependent on the government, and our already debt-laden government will lose its largest tax base and could fall into bankruptcy. Under bankruptcy, and being at the mercy of foreign creditors, our American society as we know it will have ended.
If America survives the short-term effects of illegal immigration, there are additional challenges associated with a longer-term view. It is anticipated that the US population will increase by 138 million, with 90 percent of the growth due to both legal and illegal immigration.
Although population is good for the economy and drives growth, overpopulation of the United States is becoming a concern. Our country’s natural resources can’t keep up with the sustained population growth projected.
In 2012, the southeast and southwest faced dire water shortages. In 2014, California is in the third year of a crippling drought. With droughts, overconsumption and pollution of water supplies, it is becoming ever more difficult to provide potable water for people, and yet have enough left over for agriculture and protection of our depleted fish populations.
No one knows for sure when our oil supply will run out, but with Obama’s war against oil exploration and our failure to seek feasible, efficient alternative energy supplies, it will be sooner rather than later. Life as we know it will drastically change if average Americans can’t afford gas for their cars, and industry can’t afford oil to produce goods.
America as we know it could end if the government does not reign in illegal immigration. American society has high standards for health care, education, social welfare and drinking water. It demands the conveniences associated with cheap, abundant energy. But these high standards come with a cost, and illegal immigrants don’t contribute to this cost, straining a society already near its breaking point. The United States must control its borders and illegal immigration. Otherwise, the United States as we know it will no longer exist.
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