Hey, I have an idea! Let’s make some gross generalizations about Immigration!

I’ve seen this meme on Facebook a few times and I’ve dismissed it as something I would rather ignore.  I guess that I just finally saw it one too many times and I think that it is time to really parse out what they are saying to understand the point this meme is trying to make.

Let’s start with what I must assume this means:

Shooting illegal immigrants is a better solution than allowing them into our country.  I mean, look at what they do in North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran.  Now those are some countries we all want to emulate!

Right?  Isn’t that what this is saying?  The immigrant problem in the U.S. could be solved with a whole shit ton of bullets?

It is also saying something else, though….it is saying that illegal immigrants coming into our country, using our services and taking our jobs is why we have a multi trillion dollar debt.

I didn’t want to go through the hard work of proving why this is the most ridiculous assumption that I can imagine one would make about immigration but I guess I’ll have to because holy crap is it wrong.

Let’s start with the really “basic” question – how much of our country’s debt could realistically be caused by illegal immigrants?  Here’s a pie chart I found on usgovernmentspending.com:

That's a lot of numbers

Let’s just look at what is relevant here, which is the amount of the budget that could be directly impacted by immigrants.  That would be Education, Health Care (sort of – we’ll get to that) and Welfare.

We can assume the other government functions are offered to everyone and immigrants don’t really make those numbers fluctuate by any measurable degree. Defense spending stays the same because the number of illegal immigrants doesn’t impact the number of tanks or MRE’s produced.

Let’s also look at the federal budget deficit for 2011, which was, according to USA Today, 1.3 trillion dollars.

So…according to usgovernmentspending.com, the cost of the three things that are relvant here (Welfare, Health Care and Education) are as follows:

Welfare: 451.9 Billion Dollars
Education: 153.1 Billion Dollars
Health Care: 846.1 Billion Dollars
Total: 1.6 trillion Dollars

Holy shit!  That is 300 billion dollars more than our federal deficit!  The Immigrants are the problem after all!

Hold on.

Let’s start with Health Care, shall we?  Most of that (over 400 million) is senior health care (Medicare).  In fact, the only part of that budget that conceivably can be used by immigrants (legal and illegal) is Public Health Services (4.7 B).  There is also 323.9 Billion in welfare payments on the books.  I don’t think that is all because of health care for the children of illegal immigrants but let’s assume that it is.

Drilling down on Welfare, we can immediately eliminate 101 Billion for unemployment benefits as illegal immigrants aren’t going to be able to collect those.

I can’t cut anything out of education.

So at this point, the amount we spend is less than our complete deficit.  Whew!

If all of that money was going to illegal immigrants, though, it’d still be a lot of money.

But here’s the thing….it isn’t.

In fact, here is a link to a lengthy article by factcheck.org explaning just how much illegal immigrants cost this country’s welfare system.  The numbers are staggering-ly small.   Especially in comparison to our national debt.

1.3 trillion, my friends, is a gigantic pile of money.

So the idea that immigrants are responsible for our nation’s debt isn’t just wrong – it is laughably wrong.

Now, what about those jobs they have?  They come into our country and they steal our jobs!!!

Really? Do you want to pick strawberries in a field? For $4.00 an hour?

I’m guessing you don’t because you know what happned when Georgia passed draconian anti-immigrant laws recently?  They couldn’t find enough people to pick watermelons!

You know what else happend?  The price of watermelons went up.

So…our food was more expensive and tons of food rotted in the fields because we didn’t want to give jobs to illegal immigrants even though those jobs didn’t pay well enough for us to do them.  Also, we don’t want to pick watermelons. By “we,” I mean “almost everyone else in this country.”

All this anti-immigrant rhetoric wastes time and money on a problem that not only isn’t that bad but also provides a whole lot of benefits (like cheaper produce) that we’d like to pretend don’t exist.

So the next time you see this particular meme on Facebook, please remember that nothing is that simple.

And if you honestly believe that shooting illegal aliens is a better solution, you scare the piss out of me.

About Petsnakereggie

Geek, movie buff, dad, musician, comedian, atheist, liberal and writer. I also really like Taco flavored Doritos.

3 responses to “Hey, I have an idea! Let’s make some gross generalizations about Immigration!”

  1. Dave Francis (@lostintaxes) says :


    For many years Americans have been financially haunted by unfunded mandates, forced on them by the courts–taxed into paying for illegal aliens who managed to slip through the border or travel on an international jet with no intentions in returning to their country of birth. The most expensive payout is illegal females who are carrying a fetus within her womb, who know if they reach American soil they will get free delivery, post natal care and every conceivable extra that should be the exclusive rights of birthright and naturalized citizens.

    The fourteenth amendment has been overreached by the courts and as there is very little chance of changing the law. But the American voters can at least alter the statute, which grants only immediate citizenship to a newborn infant of where at least one family member has actual citizenship status. The “foothold” baby is probably the most expensive unfunded mandated law, which states have to pour out their pockets from U.S. taxpayers. Billions dollars could be saved from bringing commonsense to this section of the law, by passing an amendment. The majority of European nations have passed laws, which are designed to change this insane law we are held accountable too?

    I assume that Presidential contender Mitt Romney is aware that illegal immigration is causing fiscal suffering specifically to the working class Americans. Romney also better understand he needs to gain the trust of the TEA PARTY and the women voters. American citizens and legal resident females have no such escape from aggressive debt collectors, while illegal pregnant foreigners are not subject to paying their bills and walk away with no claim. That is why many hospitals in the border states of California, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico have been forced to close their doors, because of unpaid fees. This is why many states are on the edge of bankruptcy, because they cannot arise from the red ink the federal government has created. Same with the children of illegal aliens by the millions that have registered, which have drained our school budgets and so teachers are forced by shortage of educational materials, to buy them for their classes.

    This is a new alliance that not just the Republicans, but disheartened Democrats, Liberals, Independents and other party members. The TEA PARTY is sustaining its growing numbers into the millions, who are frustrated with the reluctance of the main leaders in considering the illegal alien explosive growth and the costs of support.

    NumbersUSA, a non-profit organization whose dedication is to lower immigration and enforcement of immigration laws, that unless them two parties start by securing the border and have remained inert to increasingly alarmed public of their deteriorating quality of life due to sprawl, congestion, overcrowded schools, lost open spaces and increasing restrictions on their individual liberty caused by the new population explosion! Stop this travesty that is being deliberately bypassed by the Senate and House. Close all the loopholes in the law, which is pandering to the illegal alien invaders.

    To learn more about the Obama Socialist agenda, illegal alien invasion and many other social issues, the observer should go to “American Patrol” for in-depth daily articles and reports that should be assessed by all readers. On this website you will find the true facts and not lies, that is distributed by the National Liberal media. A few of today’s subjects are:

    World News daily: Obama eyes rebuilding business – in AFRICA!
    Jim Kouri, CPP — The Examiner: Lawmaker: White House bends immigration laws
    Dave Gibson — The Examiner: India now trying to dictate terms of H1B Visa program
    WJLA-TV — Washington: Usual suspects whine about deporting criminal illegal’s
    Dave Gibson — The Examiner: Deportable illegal aliens now getting free dental care
    New America Media: California immigration ballot initiative hit from left, right
    Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press: Immigrants experiencing quicker job growth than native-born Americans
    Cynthia E. Ayers — Family Security Matters: How the enemy uses political correctness to divide and conquer America
    Michelle Malkin — Family Security Matters: Don’t do business with progressive appeasers
    Kevin McGinty — Topeka Capital-Journal : Eric Holder: There’s no such thing as voter fraud…

    Punish the Politicians, Governors, Mayors and the whole mix of elected officials that are harboring foreign nationals, who have implemented Sanctuary cities ordinances, who have driven policies of Dream Acts, Chain migration and other catastrophic Comprehensive Reform packages. Even citizen voting privileges are not safe anymore, from groups like ACORN involved with voter fraud. The U.S. citizenry must step forward and adjoin with the TEA PARTY “THE PEOPLE’S PARTY” to stop the erosion of legal rights, which are being reduced by this administration. Both parties have abused immigration enforcement, by neglecting the fence and the incompetence of acknowledging that ID theft is out of control, that every foreign worker is committing a felony by using U.S. victim’s Social security number and identity in the majority of cases. The illegal alien occupation are racking up over a $100 Billion dollars a year, with no end in sight. Additionally, illegal foreign workers are estimated to wire over $40 Billion dollars annually outside this country to foreign banks.

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