Crime At The Time But The Laws Have Changed Now

April 12, 2006 at 8:58 pm (Uncategorized)

Did you know that it is against the law in Pueblo, Colorado to knowingly allow a dandelion to grow inside city limits? It is.

I doubt anyone’s been cited for this recently.

Rather, I think that the law possesses a certain amount of comedic potential. The law is funny. What makes it so humorous is that there’s nothing too serious about it. Allowing a dandelion to grow would seem to have little potential to be a malicious act committed by one human in violation of another’s rights, property, or safety. Allowing a dandelion would seem to not pose a risk to the general welfare or security of a populace, either.

It’s a silly law. It isn’t enforced, and reasons behind it are lost to history.

This probably isn’t a popular sentiment coming from someone possessing zero Latino or Hispanic heritage…but it’s high time we treated our current immigration laws with the same gravity as Pueblo’s anti-dandelion statute.

By now you’ve seen the protests and marches from Monday. More protests are coming on May 1st (which is a sort of “Labor Day” in Mexico.) Despite the fact that the Senate effectively killed the illegal alien legislation that would make illegal entry/living in this country a felony and make helping these scofflaws a felony as well, this is a subject that isn’t going away.

And it shouldn’t. What happens in this country with regards to immigrants from Mexico (legal or otherwise) is a farce. I think we all have some romantic notion of a modern version of Ellis Island where patient well-intentioned folks from Latin American countries willing to exercise patience and willing to abide by certain restrictions can earn legal status as Resident Aliens in the United States with about as much difficulty as you or I have in making a trip to the DMV. That’s a fallacy. The reality is, if you are a Latino–especially a Mexican–you can expect to spend between $3,000 and 5,000 in fees to an immigration lawyer, can expect to spend hundreds of hours in lines and talking to bored and swamped INS officials over the course of nearly five years attempting to gain status to work legally here in the US. If you’d like to become a citizen, go ahead and double (or triple, or even quadruple) those numbers.

Now ask yourself this: if you lived in abject poverty in a Latin American country, and if you were ready, willing, even happy to work for even subsistence wages, but there were still no jobs for you, would you 1.) follow the example above and spend the time and money (no, I don’t know where people living in indigent squalor in third-world settings come up with that kind of money without indenturing themselves) or would you 2.) pay $300 for a fake Permanent Resident Alien card (the “green card” of myth and legend, which is actually sort of pink) with accompanying fake social security card? Because option number one there really isn’t any more of an “option” than is flapping one’s arms and flying to the moon, we have a country with 12-14 million illegal aliens right now, most of whom are Latinos.

I’m told that this is a problem. I’m saying right here and now that this is the most non-problem problem our country has had in a long time. There is as much logic to not granting a general amnesty to gainfully employed illegal aliens as there is to Pueblo’s anti-dandelion law.

See, there used to be reasons postulated for punishing illegals…but now that we’ve had a large illegal worker population in this country for the better part of a decade, those reasons have been completely shot to shit. Let’s take a look:

1. Illegal alien workers don’t pay taxes. Like hell they don’t. Fully 80% of the 12-14 million illegals in this country work “on the books”. That means that they’ve presented their employer with their faked identification, and their employer pays them under the same payroll laws as they pay native-born workers. So, if you’re a native born worker, take a look at your last paycheck stub. See that chasm between your “gross wages” and “net pay”? Yeah, those are withholding taxes. Federal, state, Social Security, Medicare…all withheld. Thing is, lots of us native-born workers are either paying exactly what we owe in withholding taxes, or we’re getting a nice little refund at the end of the fiscal year.

Alien workers don’t get tax refunds. There’s no way they can file, because the IRS is much more diligent about whom they send a check to than the INS is in cracking down on fake green cards. Then there’s Medicare and Social Security taxes. Aliens never get social security, while us native-born workers certainly do if we’re lucky to live long enough.

And did I mention that in addition to the taxes these folks pay through withholding taxes, that their employer also pays taxes? Any employer pays a payroll tax on all “on the books” workers.

The result of all this? Well, the General Accounting Office has the scorecard, and it debunks the whole “Aliens sponge off our tax system” myth. Turns out that the GAO found that illegals pay in $80,000 per capita more for government services than they ever take out. The General Fund of the Social Security Administration currently has upwards of $400 billion in funds from illegal workers that will never be claimed. Pay taxes? Hell, for what they take out, they’re paying more than you, me, or any legal native-born or naturalized worker in this country.

2. Illegal Aliens overrun our health care systems and schools. Again, myth, debunked by current government studies. First off, on healthcare, the government has found that the biggest drain–by far–on our healthcare system is the 40-50 million native-born Americans who have no appreciable health insurance or ability to pay for inflated medical care. The AMA not only agrees with this assessment, they even go so far as to say that it isn’t close. As for schools, what pays for those? Taxes. Property taxes, primarily. Hey, anyone who pays rent or drives a car is paying property taxes. Illegals work on the books overwhelmingly, and pay all those taxes for schools. Then too, there’s the fact of the matter that the overwhelming number of children of illegals were born in this country. That makes them US citizens. That gives them the same rights to a public school education as the rest of us.

I have yet to see one good or rational reason why gainfully employed “on the books” illegal aliens should not be granted a general amnesty and be given Permanent Resident Alien status. About the best the militant opposition to this problem that doesn’t exist can come up with is that “they broke the law by entering the country illegally.” Yes, and the citizen in Pueblo Colorado who allow dandelions to exist are breaking that law. The logic and reason behind either statute is antiquated and silly.

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