Right wingers and yes, some centrists keep raging on about immigrants taking jobs and being a burden on our society. The fact is, none of them are capable of doing math and are completely disinterested in learning facts.
First, let’s consider the claims. They claim that 11 million undocumented immigrants are destroying the job market and the economy in a country of over 330 million people. None of this holds up to rational scrutiny.
Only a certain percentage of those immigrants are of working age. Many are too young or too old to work. If we are generous, let’s say half are of working age and condition. That leaves us with 5.5 million workers. Then consider most take jobs at wages which most Americans will not take. Like harvesting crops. Let’s face the fact that many of these immigrants are conditioned to more harsh conditions than your average American. They are capable of tolerating labor in heat which leave Americans softened by air conditioning, driving and watching TV cannot handle. Yet they often accept these jobs at wages less than minimum wage.
It has happened more than once that Southern states have ejected immigrants and wound up with crops rotting in the fields because of it. The result has been small farmers losing profits, possibly to the extent of losing their farms. It also impacts local communities because the farming communities lose revenue. If those immigrants are not present and spending money to survive, local businesses suffer and may fail. So that eliminates legal small businesses.
There is always the claim that illegal immigrants qualify for public assistance. There is no state in the US where illegal immigrants are eligible for food stamps or welfare. If they obtain any assistance, it is local assistance, possibly up to the state level but even that is rare. Most of their support comes directly from the private community. Most of the resources spent go right back into the same community. Give them money and they spend it locally. Pay their rent and some landlord/lady is getting paid. If they lose that rent, they may lose the property because they cannot afford the mortgage and property taxes.
Some complain that immigrants may get medical care in some instances. Typically, if illegal immigrants get medical care, it is emergency care or provided by community-funded clinics that cater to indigent populations. Only a fraction of the cost of that care is paid by taxpayers.
In truth, the medical care aspect is a reflection of the inadequate care available in this country, along with our own lack of humanity. This would not even be a discussion if we had universal healthcare. In most countries with universal healthcare, an American can access medical care at little or no cost. Here, even our own citizens are dying from lack of care. (If you missed it, I wrote a three part series on why universal healthcare is the best system. It costs less, creates living-wage jobs and improves the economy in numerous ways. I explain HOW in clear language.)
I still find it the utmost hypocrisy that the majority of those who are okay with denying asylum to immigrants and medical care to their own neighbors call themselves “Christian”. Maybe they need to pick up their own religious texts and read again.
The biggest problem with bigot math is that they fail to realize or at least recognize the fact that we pay thousands of times more for corporate welfare as opposed to all social support programs combined. We pay subsidies to oil and gas companies. 90% of our “defense” budget goes to corporate contractors. Our federal, state and local governments subsidize even further when you consider maintenance contracts, vehicle purchases, oil and gas purchases, along with other contracts for infrastructure construction. Even then, we typically reward contracts to the lowest bidder, resulting in them offering lower pay and lesser quality work and materials.
We subsidized Amazon’s low pay to employees for years. That recently changed, yet Walmart has not responded to the public criticism of the fact that we subsidize their low pay. Walmart has been guilty of such low wages for many more years than Amazon has been. We have no idea how many other corporations we subsidize through public assistance so they can pay poverty wages.
Those poverty wages limit our economy in ways we cannot measure. It impacts quality and length of life for millions of Americans. It has direct correlation to what we eat, how many hours we work, our ability to take vacations, whether we can afford needed medications, emergencies.. In effect, it directly or indirectly affects every aspect of our lives.
When you hear of record profits and increased stock values, stock buybacks, realize that you pay for that by sacrificing your wages and benefits. It does not matter whether you share in any of those profits, you pay far more than you get back. All day, every day of your life.
Thanks to the war on drugs coupled with US policy of regime change in other countries, we have caused violent, unlivable conditions in numerous countries. Including the orchestrated coup against the democratically elected president of Honduras which resulted in the widespread violence in that country which the people are fleeing. Right this moment, the people from Honduras are not immigrants but refugees from yet another US-created humanitarian crisis.
On this side of the border, we pay for the largest prison population in history, ever-increasing border security measures and the militarization of the police. On both sides of the border, these conditions cause poverty, illness, injury, incarceration, corruption and deaths.
You cannot blame immigrants for these conditions. They would happily take your Walmart pay if only so they and their children can survive.
Learn what math is.