Some of the Big Issues with Illegal Immigration
“Illegal immigration is crisis for our country. It is an open door for drugs, criminals, and potential terrorists to enter our country. It is straining our economy, adding costs to our judicial, healthcare, and education systems.”
– Tim Murphy
“There should not be a question of legal or illegal immigration. People came and immigrated to this country from the time of the Indians. No one’s illegal. They should just be able to come.”
– Linda Ronstadt
Let’s take a closer look at the business implications of illegal immigration in the United States. Before we do, though, I want to clarify that the quotes at the beginning of this article do not necessarily reflect my opinion, but merely illustrate the diversity of opinions on this subject. According to a 2015 article published by the Pew Research Center, Unauthorized Immigrant Population Stable for Half a Decade, U.S. government data suggests that approximately 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the U.S. in 2014. The article points out that “this population has remained essentially stable for five years after nearly two decades of changes.” The number of illegal immigrants that enter the country is roughly equal to the combined total number of those who are deported, become legal immigrants, leave on their own terms, or, in some cases, die. However, as you might suspect, it’s hard to obtain accurate data because these immigrants are undocumented. Some sources believe there are closer to 20 million illegal immigrants in this country. Various sources estimate that between 350,000 and 700,000 illegal immigrants enter the country each year.
According to Pew, there has been a recent influx of illegal minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The center released another study indicating that children under 12 are the fastest growing group of unaccompanied minors at the border. In May and June, an astounding 10,000 kids traveling alone were taken in by the U.S. border patrol. In a recent report to Congress, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said, “Although most children pouring over the border now would not qualify for ‘amnesty,’ some reports state that drug smugglers have used misperceptions about the program to entice kids with the promise of permisos, or a pass to stay in America. Republicans blame President Barack Obama for exacerbating the problem. They say the policy of temporarily deferring deportations of children sent a signal to thousands of kids fleeing poverty and violence in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador that they could stay in America.”
Then there’s this CNN report from July 7, 2014: “In a White House meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Obama said the Mexican government had committed to help ‘send a very clear message’ that the executive action does not cover new immigrants. The new legal status would only apply to those who entered the country before 2010. Peña Nieto pledged that Mexico would ‘be doing everything it can’ to prevent ‘misinformation or abuses—especially of the organized crime groups, groups that are doing human trafficking.’”
Nieto continued, “For Mexico, there’s significant incentive to help support the president’s new immigration action. Some two-thirds of those eligible for the deferred action program are Mexican, and the deportation protections and work permits should allow Mexican citizens to access higher education and better paying jobs. That, in turn, could increase remittances, which represented $22.4 billion in the Mexican economy in 2012, according to the Inter-American Development Bank.”
“But the biggest reason this is celebrated by the Mexican government is they feel a responsibility to protect their citizens abroad,” says Chris Wilson, who leads the study of U.S.-Mexico border affairs at the Wilson Center. “When Mexican citizens are in the U.S. without immigration papers, they’re vulnerable. They don’t have the same access to the police, to public services.”
My guess is that this is all about votes. This is truly insanity. We are talking about people who are in this country illegally. However, the Hispanic voting population has significant sympathy for undocumented immigrants. The non-enforcement policies around illegal immigration look like some form of pacification, and anyone talking about this risks being labeled as a racist.
Illegal immigrants are taking jobs from U.S. citizens, and they are breaking the law.
So what is the economic cost of illegal immigration in the United States? According to the National Research Council, the roughly 11 million individuals who are in the United States illegally cost American taxpayers $346 billion annually. The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that the current cost to all levels of government of treating uninsured illegal immigrants—primarily at emergency rooms and free clinics—is $4.3 billion a year. “This doesn’t take into account the billions being absorbed by in-patient care delivered by hospitals,” the report states. The report continues, “For instance, it may surprise you to learn that immigrants who entered this country illegally, who have not paid one dime into Medicaid, are receiving Medicaid benefits.”
My recommendations are: (1) double the number of H-1B visas per year. (2) fund more border patrols, especially along the U.S.-Mexico border, (3) if needed, build a better fence, and, finally (4) increase funding of courts that prosecute illegal immigration cases. The insanity needs to stop.
This Border Wars Promo from the National Geographic Channel doesn’t say it all – but it says a lot.
This is Patrick Henry with The Real Deal…What Matters.
This article originally appeared in The Consulting Masters.