Thursday, May 15, 2008

No Rebate for Who?

I guess it's just going to be a forever-thing that the NYT editorial board and I disagree. It's pretty much gotten to the point where if I agree with something they say, I feel I need to rethink my position. Their editorial "No Rebates for You" published May 15th is further evidence that they are completely out of touch with most of American society. 

See, while most Americans are genuinely concerned about illegal aliens, the NYT consistently celebrates them. Many people have national security concerns, many have concerns about illegals getting a free ride, and some people just want to communicate in English and it frustrates them when they can't. I happen to be a person who fits into each of those categories. 

But the NYT has no such concerns! No, siree... They start out by saying, "Hard-liners were so intent on keeping the cash out of the hands of undocumented workers that they restricted the rebate to people with Social Security numbers." Now, I do agree that if I'm going to get a rebate check, then the other folks who would qualify but for the fact that they're married to someone with a green card should get theirs, too. According to the NYT, that's not the case - and I agree that's not right. Woo-hoo! We agree on something!

But they go a step further and say, "But why shouldn't undocumented immigrants with taxpayer numbers get the cash too? The checks are not rewards for good behavior; they are taxes returned as a means to an end. Illegal immigrants constitute about 5 percent of the work force and earn much less than the native-born. They are just the sort of group the stimulus should be aimed at if the purpose is to get the most economic bang for every rebate dollar." 

Why shouldn't they? Well, because they're breaking the law, for one thing. The checks may not be "rewards for good behavior" as a purpose, but that doesn't mean that we should be rewarding the bad behavior with a check, does it? 

After reading the NYT editorial on this subject, I decided I must not understand "undocumented immigrants." So I did some research. I must say, for being "undocumented," there's a surprising number of statistics out there!! According to my research, there are about eleven million undocumented immigrants living in the US, with that number increasing by approximately 500,000 per year. Since 1995, the average number of undocumented immigrants arriving in the United States every year has exceeded the average number of arrivals of documented immigrants. What in the world? Are we just documenting them on different paper or what?? If they're undocumented, how can we possibly know? This reminds me of the commercial I used to hear about diabetes... about how millions and millions of people in the United States are diabetic and don't even know it. I remember listening to that commercial and saying to myself, "If they don't even know, how do YOU know about it?" Seemed really stupid to me. 

But no... with these statistics, I'm thinking that either someone knows how to simply pull things out of their rear end (totally possible, I guess) or there's some sort of documentation. According to this same publication, 57-70% of undocumented immigrants come from Mexico. 23-24% come from Latin America. 9-10% come from Asia, and 5-6% come from Europe and Canada. Further, they supposedly know that more than three million undocumented immigrants arrived in the U.S. between 2000 and 2004. 3.5 million arrived between '95 and '99. And 3.5 million arrived between '80 and '94.

So here's what I'm thinking. If they want a stimulus check, they need to get legal. This doesn't seem like rocket science to me. We start passing out checks, they're REALLY going to start coming over here!! And not that there's anything wrong with immigration... people coming here from other countries and having that hard working, entrepreneurial mentality is what makes this country great. But do it legally - so that you can hold your head up. And so that you can get your check.

1 comment:

Liz Norman said...

I agree totally!!! I am glad I am online now so I can tell you that I agree as well. :-)