Posted by: bridget | 8 June 2007

Immigration Myths

In2theFray has a great post about sovereignty and taxation.  A few comments from the elephant:

The Left uses the argument that illegals don’t receive many social services as a way to justify their drain on society.  The argument is: “Illegal immigrants pay taxes but don’t always receive benefits, like unemployment and social security.  Therefore, they are a net gain for our society.”

Not true.  As previously blogged, they are a drain on American resources to the tune of $10 billion/year.  Moreover, the argument is lousy: it assumes that the only “services” provided to illegal immigrants by the government would be welfare.  It ignores the fact that most of our services are rendered to anyone who lives here: a military; a police force; a triparte system of government; agricultural subsidies which reduce the cost of food; mandatory ER care, regardless of ability to pay; highway maintenance; public transportation; public schools; the EPA; firefighters; etc.

In fact, most Americans don’t pay enough in taxes to cover the cost of services received.  The top 1% of taxpayers pay 29% of the income taxes (although they earn 15% of all income).   Illegal immigrants, who are certainly not among the top 5% of taxpayers (who share 50% of the tax burden), certainly don’t pay enough in taxes to cover the cost of benefits received.  If we are to allow illegal immigrants into America, we will either have to reduce our governmental services or pay more in taxes.

Those who force themselves upon a host and live off its property oft find themselves with a disastrous end: such is our sense of justice.

There is the idea running about that America is a “melting pot” and a “country of immigrants.”  First of all, the Pachyderm doubts that anyone who says that America is a “country of immigrants” will really go for the idea that America was also founded on Christian principles, so such principles should permeate our government.  More importantly, for those who missed the memo, America fought a war to be a sovereign nation.   It then created a system of government that explicitly allows its legislative branch to determine who may be a citizenLittle has changed over the years; foreigners are not allowed to determine when they are citizens.

If 12 million people went into a country, against the will of the government and the people who empower the government to provide for its defense, it would be considered a hostile invasion.  The country would be within its rights to command its military force to vanquish the sackers.  Its moral obligations are limited to its citizens (those who surrender both property and rights to that government in exchange for its protection); the need of the invaders does not constitute a moral claim upon its intended victim.



  1. theo…..totally right. As I said on my blog “Making Taxes Pay (for Illegals)” that an illegal family with 2 kids that is legalized making $16,850 per year pay zero income taxes and still get a refund of $5,385. They can even earn 41,849 and still pay zero Federal Income taxes, so if they utilize a dollar in benefits, it is still a net cost to the USA.

    ……… Next Stop Lauderdale

  2. My wife taught 4th grade for 5 years in a town north of Houston (she’s headed to be a librarian now). I assure you that the illegals consume a disproportionate amount of school resources. It is amazing the accomodations that must be made.

  3. I read someplace about illegals and migrants being needed to help the poor farmers harvest their crops.

    I don’t know how it works in other parts of the country, but where I live poor farmers can’t afford migrant labor, they have to do the work themselves.

    The principle user of migrant labor that I know personally would suffer without them I suppose. He would have to spend less time in his pool, and polish his collection of corvettes himself. Obviously we can’t inflict that kind of suffering on him.

  4. Thanks for the tip. All the stats you show that so many look away from, deny or “forget”.Thank goodness an elephant never forgets and let’s hope many others remember. HAGWE

  5. Sunday School Teacher,

    Sounds about right. I’m not sure how poor, overworked family farmers could afford to pay people, legal or not, to help them harvest. Furthermore, we don’t have 12 million illegals working on small farms; they work for the large ag businesses who could afford to pay legal wage.


    Yeah, it’s easy to ignore the stats and to change the scope of the argument. It’s even easier, with many social-science debates, to theorise: we could assume that one factor (i.e. taxes paid into the system) outweighs another (benefits received), but the position becomes untenable if you crunch the numbers.


    Great insight. I assumed, pretty much for the sake of the argument, that illegals consumed the same amount of services as a citizen would. (Occasionally, this becomes obviously untrue: ER services jump to mind.)

    You don’t happen to have any studies, stats, or even articles about that phenomenon, do you?


    Great point. That actually runs into a new post that I’ll have up in a few – the issue that the rich in the country truly support everyone else. (It really bothers me because the “wealthy” have a middle-class work ethic, while the other classes are generally adopting a leisure ethic. An “upper class” family consists of, these days, a working couple with professional degrees, hundreds of thousands of educational debt – hello, $50,000/year tuition – and 80-hour work weeks each.)

  6. […] process. That is the cost when immigrants fail to assimilate. The costs of the illegal immigrants ? here. A couple of thoughts on the legal latinos on a path to citizenship here and here parent to this […]

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