Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Legal vs. Illegal

Illegal immigration has become the hot issue of the day, due in large part to the new Arizona law forcing cops to demand proof of citizenship or legal immigration status. It’s such a big deal that even the half-wit, half term governor of Alaska said, “We’re all Arizonans now.”

That reminds me of when her patron Johnny “Bomb Bomb Iran” said, “We’re all Joe the Plumber now”.

Well, guess what? We’re not. But speaking of ridiculous blather, I received another “enlightening” forwarded email. The title was Legal vs. Illegal. I was hoping this message was written by a lawyer. After reading it, I decided it probably was not, at least by an ethical lawyer.

First came the “reasonable disclaimer”.

I highly support LEGAL aliens. But I have a major problem w/ my taxes supporting ILLEGAL aliens. America has enough "poor" that need help but don't qualify for it because of this situation. Please read this...it made lots of sense.

Well, since they said, “Please”, here we go again.


You have two families: "Joe Legal" and "Jose Illegal". Both families have two parents, two children, and live in California . Joe Legal works in construction, has a Social Security Number and makes $25.00 per hour with taxes deducted. Jose Illegal also works in construction, has NO Social Security Number, and gets paid $15.00 cash "under the table".

Ready? Now pay attention... Joe Legal: $25.00 per hour x 40 hours = $1000.00 per week, or $52,000.00 per year. Now take 30% away for state and federal tax; Joe Legal now has $31,231.00. Jose Illegal: $15.00 per hour x 40 hours = $600.00 per week, or $31,200.00 per year.

Jose Illegal pays no taxes. Jose Illegal now has $31,200.00. Joe Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited coverage for his family at $600.00 per month, or $7,200.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $24,031.00. Jose Illegal has full medical and dental coverage through the state and local clinics at a cost of $0.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for food stamps or welfare. Joe Legal pays $500.00 per month for food, or $6,000.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $18,031.00. Jose Illegal has no documented income and is eligible for food stamps and welfare. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00. Joe Legal pays rent of $1,200.00 per month, or $14,400.00 per year.

Joe Legal now has $9,631.00. Jose Illegal receives a $500.00 per month federal rent subsidy. Jose Illegal pays out that $500.00 per month, or $6,000.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $ 31,200.00. Joe Legal pays $200.00 per month, or $2,400.00 for insurance. Joe Legal now has $7,231.00. Jose Illegal says, "We don't need no stinkin' insurance!" and he still has $31,200.00. Joe Legal has to make his $7,231.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, etc.

Jose Illegal has to make his $31,200.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, and what he sends out of the country every month. Joe Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job after work. Jose Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with his family.

Joe Legal's and Jose Illegal's children both attend the same school. Joe Legal pays for his children's lunches while Jose Illegal's children get a government sponsored lunch. Jose Illegal's children have an after school ESL program. Joe Legal's children go home Joe Legal and Jose Illegal both enjoy the same police and fire services, but Joe paid for them and Jose did not pay.

Do you get it, now? If you vote for or support any politician who supports illegal aliens...You are part of the problem! It's way PAST time to take a stand for America and Americans! What are you waiting for? Pass this on.
And so I just had to hit "reply to all".

Grrrr. This makes me want to HATE illegal aliens. But wait, why hate just them? Why not hate the wealthy (and usually white republican) cheats who hire them? Could THEY be at all to blame?

This all makes me very skeptical.

Maybe it’s time for a real “balanced and fair” look at this.

First of all, none of the assertions in this rage piece are referenced to any fact-based source. Some of the blatant lies leap out, like the one about “full medical and dental coverage” and food stamps and welfare for illegals. And “Jose” better have some “stinkin’ insurance” on his car, or he’s out of here if he’s pulled over.

Someone said, “It made lots of sense”. Or maybe it just happens to fit his prejudices. I bet he didn’t do any fact checking.

Let’s start with this one fact. The entire point of this classic right wing hate mongering is to get people angry, and to vote for republicans. Note this little dig, “If you vote for or support any politician who supports illegal aliens...You are part of the problem”.

This could be straight from Limbaugh Land. Let’s take minute and have a look at Reality Land.

Here’s one source (Reason Foundation) that completely contradicts this rant.

Illegal Immigrants are Paying a Lot More Taxes Than You Think

The fact that illegal immigrants pay taxes at all will come as news to many Americans. A stunning two-thirds of illegal immigrants pay Medicare, Social Security and personal income taxes. Yet, nativists like Congressman Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., have popularized the notion that illegal aliens are a colossal drain on the nation's hospitals, schools and welfare programs — consuming services that they don't pay for.

In reality, the 1996 welfare reform bill disqualified illegal immigrants from nearly all means-tested government programs including food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid and Medicare-funded hospitalization. The only services that illegals can still get are emergency medical care and K-12 education.

This is from an article from USA Today:

Many illegal immigrants pay up at tax time

Illegal immigrants are paying taxes to Uncle Sam, experts agree. Just how much they pay is hard to determine because the federal government doesn't fully tally it. But the latest figures available indicate it will amount to billions of dollars in federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes this year. One rough estimate puts the amount of Social Security taxes alone at around $9 billion per year.

Paycheck withholding collects much of the federal tax from illegal workers, just as it does for legal workers.

The Internal Revenue Service doesn't track a worker's immigration status, yet many illegal immigrants fearful of deportation won't risk the government attention that will come from filing a return even if they might qualify for a refund. Economist William Ford of Middle Tennessee State University says there are no firm figures on how many such taxpayers there are.

"The real question is how many of them pay more than they owe. There are undoubtedly hundreds of thousands of people in that situation," Ford said

Illegal immigration is a complex problem with no easy solution. Even Arizona’s “Your papers, please,” law will not fix it. All it takes is a healthy sense of curiosity to learn a little bit about this issue. But apparently curiosity must be one of those anti-American liberal “values”.

I guess what I’m saying is if you only “pay attention” to right wingers, you’ll never really know the answer to, “Do you get it now?”

The author asks one final question, followed by a demand, “What are you waiting for? Pass this on.”

I answer, “What’s the hurry? Why would someone write this, and urge you to spread it like a virus?”

It would seem to me THEY are, “part of the problem”.


Tom Harper said...

Aside from all the ignorance and bigotry, that forwarded e-mail gets a few facts wrong.

The part about Joe Illegal going on food stamps and "welfare" because he has no documented income -- bullsh*t. In order to qualify for food stamps, you have to have an income already. At least that was true in 1979 when I spent a brief period on food stamps (but fortunately I didn't own a Cadillac).

Secondly, "welfare" is a general term for public assistance; there's no specific program that's called "welfare." There's AFDC, food stamps, housing vouchers, etc., but nothing that's just called "welfare."

But aside from those two mis-statements, that whole e-mail was pretty much just pushing all the hate and fear buttons, with zero facts or logic to back up any of it.

Dave Dubya said...

"Hate and fear buttons, with zero facts or logic," sounds like it's directly from the Reich Wingers' operating manual.

I couldn't be bothered to pick every lie apart. It was riddled with 'em. I needed to go after the malevolence behind it.

libhom said...

The right is scapegoating illegal aliens, who can't vote, instead of holding the wealthy and corporations responsible for what is being done to the middle class and the poor.

Nan said...

It's the old divide and conquer - use someone powerless as a scapegoat to get the masses to ignore who's really screwing them over.

Kulkuri said...

I've been saying all along that we need to go after those who hire the illegals. Put management in jail and fine them enough to make it unprofitable for them to hire illegals. But the law says prosecution has to prove the employer "knowingly" hired illegals. Also enforcement of immigration has taken a nose-dive since 2001. Now it is going back up to deporting the numbers they deported in the 90s. But whenever they raid a large employer and haul off hundreds of illegals, nothing happens to the employer, in fact they get praised for helping the investigation. Hell, they'll just hire a new bunch of illegals at lower wages than they paid the previous bunch. ICE did them a favor by cleaning house.

Tim said...

Hey that kind of shit worked so well in the past for the haters,they just can't let go of it. Their whole premise on life is us and them.
Of course now they have a whole other group to lop up their lies (teabaggers)

Dave Dubya said...

Libhom, Nan, Kulkuri and Tim,
It really is the wealthiest of the radical right that fuels the scapegoating to take the focus off their own guilt.

I just heard someone refer to the authoritarian and bigoted 20 percent of the population as the "Frightened Fifth". I kinda like that description.

TomCat said...

It isn't as complicated as it seems. Illegals come here primarily for one reason: to find work. If we crack down on the companies that exploit them for cheap labor severely enough that hiring illegals costs them more money that exploiting them saves, they will stop hiring them. If illegals can't find work, they well seek to come legally. We can provide a way for them to do so.

Dave Dubya said...

Yes, the idea is simple enough. Getting corporate politicians to clamp down on their own kind is the tricky part.

Naj said...

I have been outside of the Americas for a while and came here by way of Bet's blog. Interesting conversation, which taps into some of my recent experiences in Europe--where I have been living recently.

Today, I made a visit to a doctor to subscribe myself with her practice. I had to show my passport; my insurance card; my social security number. I did.

I pay close to 50% of my salary in taxes.
I receive medical insurance from where I work, but I MUST (legally bound) supplement it with self-insurance (1200 Euros per year.)

On this medical insurance I have 200 euros of deductibles. (i.e. I will have to pay 1400/year for medical insurance, on top of what is deducted from my salary.)

So, I assumed that with all this, I will be able to get a yearly checkup (which I received on a yearly basis from my family physician in Canada--for FREE (all medical care covered by 42% income tax.)


Because this so-assumes socialist country, unlike Canada or the US doesn't care for "preventative medicine". If I want to check myself up to make sure , I have to pay extra! And things weren't like this some 20 years ago. 20 years ago everything was offered to everyone in an abundant way; until well the system ran out of money!

The right wing conservative claims that the system ran out of money because the poor (who happened to be these foreigners who brought with them their highly familial social networks) drained it.

When you are a middle class person with a house mortgage and a car loan, you can't help getting annoyed at the fact that the 'poor' in your society are given the fancy new apartment next to you by the social housing program; you will also get annoyed at all those insurance premiums and costs they will forego should their health be in danger; moreover you will find it pretty annoying that while you have to pocket out money to learn a god damn nordic language spoken by a few million people in the universe, and pay through nose for childcare, there are people who are foreigners like you, only less educated and unemployed, who receive the same course and get paid for it as well, and who bring their mother, father, sister, and etc to care fro their children in their native language and culture.

Of course, at the end of the day, you can tap yourself on the shoulder and think this is how human societies need to operate, taking care of the less fortunate--unless you are raised in a Darwinian philosophy that has beat the drums of the "survival of the fittest" in your ears since day one!

I think this is the dilemma that the western societies need to address "survival of the fittest" or "you are the keeper of your brother" ?

Dave Dubya said...

Wow. It sounds like they have you jumping through some hoops. It seems like insurance companies have a bit of a hold on the government there as well. I don't understand their reasoning on preventive care at all.

It always ends up that the middle class pays the most. The wealthy have their loopholes and the poor have next to nothing.

With the choices of survival of the fittest or brother's keeper, it is clear that too many humans would rather spend resources on killing each other than on healing each other.

If we could keep health care money out of the pockets of those who do not provide health care, we can make some progress. Sadly that money is used by insuramce companies to buy our politicians.

Weaseldog said...

You can't go after businesses that hire illegals, for two reasons that the Tea Party commonly brings up as a core piece of their platform.

1. You can't tell businesses who they can hire and how much they can pay. This would would be socialism or communism depending on who in the Tea Party you're talking to. So it would be wrong to tell them that they can't hire illegal workers.

2. It would drive up the cost of goods. Cheap merchandise is a sacred tenet of the Tea Party Philosophy. If you slowed illegal immigration, costs would go up and the Tea Party would demand that costs come down.

Dave Dubya said...

Hmm. Cheap labor, cheaper costs, unrestricted power for management...I GOT IT! The answer to all this is simple. The Teabagging Reich Wingers want to bring slavery back! After all, it's about THIER freedom, not anyone elses.

Anonymous said...

New Immigration Laws: Read to the bottom or you will miss the message...

1. There will be no special bilingual programs in the schools.

2. All ballots will be in this nation's language..

3.. All government business will be conducted in our language.

4. Non-residents will NOT have the right to vote no matter how long they are here.

5. Non-citizens will NEVER be able to hold political office

6 Foreigners will not be a burden to the taxpayers. No welfare, no food stamps, no health care, or other government assistance programs. Any burden will be deported.

7. Foreigners can invest in this country, but it must be an amount at least equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage.

8. If foreigners come here and buy land... options will be restricted. Certain parcels including waterfront property are reserved for citizens naturally born into this country.

9. Foreigners may have no protests; no demonstrations, no waving of a foreign flag, no political organizing, no bad-mouthing our president or his policies. These will lead to deportation.

10. If you do come to this country illegally, you will be actively hunted &, when caught, sent to jail until your deportation can be arranged. All assets will be taken from you.

Too strict ?
The above laws are current immigration laws of MEXICO.... Not Ours! !
These sound fine to me. NOW, how can we get these laws to be America 's Immigration Laws?

Dave Dubya said...

Who translated this list for you, Michael Weiner Savage?

Let's just pretend this is accurate. So, what you're saying is, the US should imitate Mexico?

That sounds downright un-American to me.