Many of you know my passion for the illegal immigration issue that we have in United States. It affects all of us, but the crumbling California budget is evidence that California is in big trouble. What does that have to do with illegal immigration, you ask? Well, that is the focus of this blog.
The Center for Immigration Studies reported that it is estimated in the five year span between 2000 and 2005, 680,000 people came to the US illegally each year. This amounts to 3.7 million illegal immigrants in the US just between those years. That's half of the entire immigrant population in those five years. This was the highest percentage in eight decades. They estimate the total amount of illegal aliens in the U.S. to be between 9.6 and 9.8 million. This only accounts, of course, for those that actually answered the questions on the census. The report said that if the trend continued, the immigrant population within a decade, would surpass 14.7 percent which was reached in 1910 and continues to be the highest percentage to date. California's illegal population alone is estimated to be two-and-a-half million.
How does that affect you? Well, let me tell you some other statistics that The Center for Immigration Studies found.
-"Of adult immigrants, 31% have not completed high school, three-and-a-half times the rate of natives."
-"The proportion of immigrant-headed households using at least one major welfare program is 29%, compared to 18% for native households."
-"Immigrants and their children account for almost one in four persons living in poverty." 63% of California's illegal immigrants and their U.S. born children live in or near poverty, and we are paying for it, as you will see later in the blog.
-"One-third of immigrants lack health insurance -- two-and-one half times the rate for natives."
-"Immigration accounts for virtually all of the national increase in public school enrollment over the last two decades." And we wonder why our schools are over-crowded and have no money. Not to mention the time it takes to bring non-English speaking children up to speed.
The study went on to say that "it is well established that illegal aliens do respond to government surveys such as the decennial census..." So, in responding to the census and other surveys put out by the government, this is what they found.
Post-1990 immigrants along with their 700,000 U.S. born children accounted for 73 percent of the growth of those without health insurance. The report then went on to say, "It is reasonable to say that the nation's health insurance crisis is, to a large extent, being driven by its immigration policy." In addition, because they do not have health insurance, they use medicaid. Even illegal immigrants can use medicaid if they have U.S. born children. They also use other parts of government funded programs, one is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). If you qualify for this program, you pay no federal income tax and receive cash assistance from the government. Think about this for a moment -- This is someone in the U.S. who has broken a law and they are receiving cash assistance!!! Whoever said crime doesn't pay didn't immigrate illegally to the U.S.
The report has tables with percentages of the immigrant population compared with the native population broken down by state for Education level and Welfare use. The percentage of immigrants without a High School degree in California is 38.9% compared to the natives at 6.6%. Immigrants in or near poverty is near 50% compared to 25% of natives. This is important when you consider the welfare use in California. 35% of immigrants use at least one major welfare program and 50% are either uninsured or on Medicaid, compared to 26% of natives. This does raise questions, "Use of welfare programs by immigrants does raise the question of why we have an immigration policy that admits so many individuals who are not self-sufficient." Australia requires that you have 1 million dollars in savings and in a certain age group (younger) in order to live there permanently. What a concept!
In California the percentage of illegal immigrants on a Welfare program is 45% and those without insurance coverage is one million eight hundred thirty-six thousand.
It is asinine for us to continue to ignore this problem. California is suffering to a large extent because the federal and state governments have their heads in the sand. Neither Governor Schwarzenegger nor the state Congress have spoken about illegal immigration playing a part of California's deficit, not once. There has been no news stories or anything. The state Congress just wants to raise taxes on those of us who have paid into the system since we began working, and for some of us, that's a long time!
We must not be silent any longer. I'll leave you to ponder a quote from one of America's greatest founding fathers, Thomas Paine in his book Common Sense written in 1776.
"As parents, we can have no joy, knowing that this government is not sufficiently lasting to ensure any thing which we may bequeath to posterity: And by a plain method of argument, as we are running the next generation into debt, we ought to do the work of it, otherwise we use them (the next generation) meanly and pitifully. In order to discover the line of our duty rightly, we should take our children in our hand, and fix our station a few years farther into life; that eminence (great achievements) will present a prospect, which a few present fears and prejudices conceal from our sight."
Center for Immigration Studies