Explain to Me Why We Tolerate Illegal Immigration, Again?

Yes, I'm in a rotten mood today! Wanna make something out of it??

My cranky Saturday continues with an issue that I increasingly find bewildering: the tolerance, denial, and enabling by so many Americans of illegal immigration, although its unethical character cannot be denied or argued away. I know why Democrats support it—pure electoral cynicism—and I know why the business community encourages it—greed. What I don’t comprehend is why anyone else with a modicum of logic, fairness, and common sense isn’t confronting both of these self-serving institutions and demanding real enforcement of anti-illegal immigration measures. Instead, we get outrageous legislation like the Maryland Dream Act, which institutionalizes incentives for aliens to defy our laws.

What provoked my latest wave of nausea over this problem is a recent report that hospitals across California absorb roughly $1.25 billion a year in uncompensated care for illegal immigrants, according to a state hospital association. The association, being from California and hence demented, is citing the figures to demand more federal funding for uncompensated care. How about citing the figures as proof positive that the U.S. immigration non-policy is irresponsible and destructive beyond belief? Well, they don’t have to do that, really. The figures speak for themselves, except for pro-illegal immigration advocates who are sticking their fingers in their ears and humming.

Why should citizen patients and their insurance companies be forced to pay increased costs for hospital services that include the added costs of caring for other nations’ sick? Why should American taxpayers? By what Bizarro World reasoning is it appropriate for the individuals who violate laws and forge documents to reach and remain in America to have free health care, paid for by law abiding citizens?

Go ahead La Raza, take your best shot. Tell us.

U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, (R- California) contends the answer isn’t in providing more money for hospitals, but rather in reducing the illegal immigrant population. What a remarkable concept! Who would have thought of such a thing? This position, of course, makes him a xenophobe, a racist…and sane. Rohrabacher has sponsored legislation that would require hospitals receiving federal money to care for illegal immigrants to report those patients to immigration authorities. Naturally, it was voted down: it makes too much sense.

“As long as we’re providing benefits, more and more of them will come to get the benefits. You can’t blame them for that,” Rohrabacher says. Yes, they have a dream.

Leaders of the American Hospital Association and California Hospital Association said the law allows hospitals to ask patients about immigration status, but few, if any, choose to do so.”Most hospitals feel it is their mission to take care of anyone coming through the door. They don’t want to discourage anyone from care that is needed,” said Carla Luggiero, senior associate director for federal relations at the American Hospital Association. “We do not feel it’s our job to be pseudo border patrol agents.”

Fine. Then don’t come crying for government funding when the costs of caring for immigration cheats getting a free-ride from the health care system keep growing, which they are. Yes, hospitals shouldn’t turn anyone away. But making an honest admission of citizenship status an absolute requirement for free care is neither unfair nor inhumane. If you want hospital care you can’t pay for, then fine—you’ll get the care, but your next hospital visit is going to be where you are a citizen. What is inhumane, unfair, or unjust about that?

Oh, right. They have a dream. Well, so do a lot of American citizens, and their dream isn’t going to be helped by hospitals having to cut the quality of service to paying patients because the are losing billions taking care of scofflaws.

Will requiring full disclosure of immigration status as a condition of care discourage illegal immigrants from seeking heath care at American hospitals? I hope not, but if it does, it is their choice. Will such a policy make illegal immigration less attractive? I hope so.

If California, and any other state, are all misty-eyed about illegal immigrants and feel they should have a right to free education, free use of the roads and infrastructure, jobs and health care, let their taxpayers pay for the results of their destructive and foolish beliefs. The federal government should not help one bit.

It has enough of its own destructive and foolish beliefs to pay for.

Thus ends Cranky Saturday at Ethics Alarms.

I’ll be in a better mood Sunday.

I hope.

26 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Business & Commercial, Citizenship, Education, Government & Politics, Health and Medicine, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, Public Service, Philanthropy, Charity, Research and Scholarship, U.S. Society

26 responses to “Explain to Me Why We Tolerate Illegal Immigration, Again?

  1. Peter

    Q.E.D., and bravo for that.

  2. Marlene Cohn

    I have to be honest, this is one area where I have great difficulty removing my emotions from the equation.

    I’ve been volunteering for years with voter registration at naturalization ceremonies, and next week I’m helping at a NALEO forum to assist LPRs with filling in their citizenship applications. I hear so many stories from people who have gone to Hell and back to get their naturalization certificate, and it infuriates me when people game the system and the rest of us have to deal with the negative consequences. (Even so, I still wholeheartedly support amnesty for those illegally brought into the country as minors in exchange for a form of service in one of the armed forces.)

    But that doesn’t help our hospital problem. Doctors can’t turn away someone in need of medical care; that would just violate a whole other branch of ethics. And it’s a given that we can’t support a system where a chunk of the population doesn’t pay back in to it. However, I can see how some health care professionals may feel that checking immigration status may actually violate their call to do no harm. For example, sending a diabetic back to a country where he or she will have no access to medical care could be a potential death sentence. I can’t deny a doctor the right to be ethically conflicted about that. And withholding funding, which will affect everyone, because doctor’s face an ethical quandary hardly seems right either.

    Sigh…this calls for a conflicted smiley. :-S

    Jack, I genuinely like your blog because it allows me exercise my Vulcan logical skills, but I’m failing miserably at this one. Mr. Spock would not be pleased with me…sad smiley. :-(

  3. crella

    I live in Japan, and make sure my alien registration card (which I must have on me at all times or be fined) is up to date, as well as my re-entry permit. In Japan there was a certain faction of the ex-pat community calling those in Arizona racist and draconian….ridiculing the cost burden of this many illegals, stating that the value the illegals provide the farming community outweigh what they cost the community. I suggested that they all let their visas for Japan expire in a show of solidarity and unsurprisingly I had no takers. They know what would happen to them in Japan if they overstayed……detention of up to 23 days before charges are heard and then most likely deportation. Immigration law isn’t being enforced in the US, people are taking advantage of it.

  4. Bill Aitken

    I use to be on the other side of the immigration issue until when the economy took a dive a local plumbing company sprung up where only two of the employees speak english and have plumbers licenses and the other ten employees are a rotating mess of non licensed non english speakers who work for minimum wage. I’ve lost a lot of jobs to this company but on the bright side I had an owner contact me to come out and fix the mistakes this company had made. Luckily we have a lot of work now so I good him to get bent.

  5. Tom

    My grandparents were immigrants: all of my family became citizens, learned the language, and fought and gave our lives in this country’s wars.
    Several of us are in law enforcement, so we see the problems caused by illegals such as identity theft, fraud, and other crimes where the criminal just crosses the boarder to escape prosecution.
    As for health care, I was in NoCal last summer and my Eastern European cab driver was mad. He was in an ER the night before, doesn’t have insurance (he’s self employed) and was chastised by the Hispanics in the ER for giving his correct name and address at admittance. He didn’t like the fact they were telling him to steal.

  6. Like you said, Jack; dementia rules in California… and beyond. How else can you explain a system that rules against states that try to uphold the law and protect their citizens while, at the same time, turning a blind eye to its open defiance elsewhere? I can only assume that states like California- with terrific deficits in their budgets- play politics in this manner with the expectation that they’ll be bailed out of the federal government.

  7. Tim LeVier

    Here’s a sidebar, if I can get anyone’s opinion:

    Why do US Citizens get to call themselves “Americans” while other citizens of the Americas don’t?

    Is it because we’re the only country to put the name of the continent in our country name? United States OF America?

    Are Canadians also Americans just like the French are Europeans?

    Should writers and speakers strive to use a more correct term such as US Citizens as opposed to Americans? And when did this terminology really take off? WWII? 1800s? 1700s?

    • The term goes back to the 18th century and even earlier. There are two reasons. 1) “United Statesians” doesn’t work very well. Canada has “Canadians,” Mexico has “Mexicans,” Brazil has “Brazilians.” US citizens are called “Americans,” and everyone knows, when a perosn is called an American, what country they come from, not because of the possible interpretations of the word in theory, but because of the way it is used. Similarly, we called the citizens of the Soviet Union “Russians’ when in fact they might be Ukrainians or Lithuanians. 2) We started using the term as a self-descriptor before anyone else did.

      I know this rankles other American coutries,but it’s not changing. I get a little ethics “ping” every time I use the term, but there’s no convenient substitute, and with the American Revolution (which could refer to any of 1000 South American revolutions, but doesn’t) and the American Civil War, (ditto) and “American Heritage” and “the American Flag” and “America the Beautiful” and “America, America” and God Bless America”, the battle is lost, lost, lost, and Canada better just get used to it.

      • Tim LeVier

        Thanks for the response. I’ve never heard of another country trying to use the term for themselves, or usurp the term. I’ve only ever heard them complain of our right to use it.

        They don’t want it, but they don’t want us to have it either.

  8. Tim, you’ve inadvertantly repeated an old theme of the pro-illegal immigrant wonks. As I’ve often said, what better way to bring down a nation than to deny it it’s very name? This is what many have attempted to do over the last few decades.

    I’d reply like this. North and South America are continents. But when we refer to this country, it’s America proper. That’s because this is the name by which we went for many years before independence. The American colonies. Therefore, upon gaining independence, we became the United States of America.

    Note that the term “United States” is NOT this nation’s name. It’s a term that describes our form of government; a prefix such as “Republic”, “Kingdom” or “Federation”. Nor is America the only United States. Both Brazil and Mexico use this prefix as well. As the first independent nation of the post-Columbian era, we took the name… and not unjustly.

    • Tim LeVier

      Interesting. I knew about “The United States of Mexico”, but it was my understanding that they actually changed their name about 10 years ago.

      • Nope. I’ve seen “Estados Unidos de Mexico” on their peso coins for decades. Of course, it’s been “Estados Unidos do Brasil” ever since they overthrew Emperor Dom Pedro II! There was also a United Provinces of Central America which broke up to form the present small countries of the region, minus Belize and Panama. The Netherlands and Belgium were once collectively known as The United Provinces as well. Other variations of these titles have existed or been proposed in other regions.

        • Tim LeVier

          Mental footnote: According to CIA World Factbook, they translate it as “United Mexican States”, which contradicts the fact that if you were to say United States of America in Spanish, it would be “Estados Unidos de America”.

  9. It could translate either way from the Spanish, Tim. That’s quibbling. Also: The Mexicans- as a part of their policy- refer to us as “Norteamericanos”. North Americans… despite the fact that Mexico exists on the North American continent as well. As I said, they seek to deny us our national identity by denying us our name.

    • Tim LeVier

      Wait…. are you accusing me of quibbling?

      • Tim… I’m saying that Estados Unidos (United States) de Mexico (of Mexico) means just what it says. United States is a prefix describing a form of governance and is one not unique to America. We often refer to ourselves merely as The United States as we were the first to use that particular term. But it’s merely an update of United Colonies following the Declaration of Independence, where it was stated that “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States…”. So we owe the term- indirectly- to Thomas Jefferson.

  10. Lianne Best

    I have issues with illegal immigration because there but for the grace of God go I. What if I was born in a country with no real opportunities for education and advancement? What if I was living in a one-room, dirt-floor shack, with big-eyed, hungry children, and I knew that just across the desert was the magical land of Beverly Hills 90210 and Friends? These people risk everything to improve their lots, and when they come here they still live lives that I find appalling; multiple families crammed into squalid housing, 12- and 14-hour days of poorly paid, exhausting labor, no insurance, few rights, constant fear. That could be me! Except I happened to be born in the USA, in the DC Metro area, even!, to educated parents who believed in education for their daughters. I am humbled and grateful and can’t bring myself to judge based on imaginary lines in the dirt. I have more than I need, though my materialistic side doesn’t always agree, and when I make myself think about it, my heart breaks for those unfortunate mothers who are willing to take huge risks for their children … and can still be returned to their one-room, dirt-floor shacks at any time. I know it’s illegal, and I know it sucks money from other programs and jobs from other US citizens (please note my careful choice to NOT use “Americans”), but I wish everyone could live as comfortably as my family and I do.

    • One of Clarence Darrow’s favorite poems:

      Life is a game of whist.
      From unseen sources
      The cards are shuffled, and the hands are dealt.
      Blind are the efforts to control the forces
      That, though unseen, are no less strongly felt.

      I do not like the way the cards are shuffled,
      But still I like the game and want to play;
      And through the long, long night, will I, unruffled,
      Play what I get, until the break of day.

      It doesn’t say anything about having the right to cheat if you get a lousy hand.

      I got a good hand too, Lianne, but not a perfect one. Our human obligations are to play the game of life, by the rules, the best we can. I can’t cheat to get an edge on someone with a better hand—all I can do is learn to play the game better.

      • Lianne Best

        I know, I know … but still, it’s hard to actively not help others. I have to change the channel when the ASPCA runs their long-form ads, and hold my hand over the print pieces of children with cleft palates. I only have so many resources; though I probably squander what I do have. Nobody can solve everything, but I wish I could.

      • Tim LeVier

        That’s interesting. If you want to look at life as a game, then I think the game is more closely related to Survival, and I’d say there are no rules.

        Take for example an uncontacted tribe of Brazil. Suppose they somehow guided their way to a river and boated out to the ocean and headed north and hit an American shore and disembarked. The idea of Societies to these people would be completely new, let alone the idea of Laws, let alone immigration laws. In our history (people, not Americans) people have been nomadic, following herds. Then someone got the bright idea to build walls around the herds and claim them as his own and the nomads were kept out.

        One might argue that the idea of borders goes against human nature and were designed to keep the rich, rich; the poor, poor. And if we’re talking about a game or even competition laws, I’d say it might constitute an unfair competitive advantage.

        Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. It would only be a high level, macro view of humanity that ignores the reality.

        • Dwayne N. Zechman

          Then someone got the bright idea to build walls around the herds and claim them as his own and the nomads were kept out.

          One might argue that the idea of borders goes against human nature ….

          Or to put it another way: Without the concept of private property, everyone is eternally remains poor–no one owns a thing but what they can gather on that particular day. Walls are the enforcement mechanism for private property rights. We can argue over someone’s claim to a particular piece of property, but walls and borders are hardly antithetical* to human nature.

          All over the world, humans formed civilizations, largely characterized by a shared set of laws, or at least cultural norms. The walls were used to protect those who accept and participate from those who don’t.

          This is not an unreasonable position to take, unless you want to argue that civilization is somehow inferior to nomadic hunting & gathering.

          –Dwayne

          *an·ti·thet·i·cal
          adjective /antəˈTHetikəl/
          1. Directly opposed or contrasted; mutually incompatible.
          2. Connected with, containing, or using the rhetorical device of antithesis.
          [For the benefit of ABC viewers….]

          • Indeed. People are territorial by nature and the concept of the settled nation-state came about as soon as irrigation and agriculture allowed it. Even nomadic people, however, claim ownership of grazing lands and water rights- fighting for them as they will. Private property is also a key factor in any free society.

  11. HOW MANY ILLEGAL ALIENS ARE REALLY HERE?

    In all the talks and discussions about cutting back on the US treasury deficits, both parties are refusing to consider in these antagonistic debates, the fact that illegal aliens are compounding this major issue; the dollar amount to the $14.5 Trillion dollars, in this miserable meltdown we are facing. The Department of Homeland Security estimated in 2003, that 8 million to 12 million illegal aliens had settled in America and 700,000 new people enter illegally and stay each year. That’s across borders, by lying at entry ports as tourists to the official. These administration statistics are somewhat suspect and may represent major under counting, as they are fashioned by the very people accountable for the tsunami of illegal aliens entering our country. An alternative method is used here to estimate a range of numbers of illegal’s that is probable more levelheaded.

    The precise number of illegal’s entering the United States and the exact rate at which they cross our borders are unknown. Official government numbers are often hard to come by, remain intentionally concealed and are habitually sanitized, in the federal sector and states. This directed (CAPS) California for Population Stabilization to seriously question officials at the Census Bureau and (DOF) California Department of Finance, population figures on these numbers. As an alternative of the 8 million to 12 million illegal aliens these agencies and the liberal progressives claim to be here, there may actually be 20 million to 30 million or more? Nobody truly knows?

    The cost of harboring illegal immigrants in the United States is a staggering $113 billion a year; an average of $1,117 for every household in America and that’s just at the federal level. More truth and Statistics requested? Go to NumbersUSA or Judicial Watch.

    Freshman Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) added his name to 14 different bills on Thursday that would reduce overall immigration levels and work to end illegal immigration.

    * H.R.152 – a bill introduced by Rep. Ted Poe’s to improve border security
    * H.R.310 – a bill introduced by Rep. Sure Myrick that would prohibit federal funding to institutions of higher learning that provide in-state tuition to illegal aliens
    * H.R.691 – a bill introduced by Rep. Phil Gingrey that would prevent mortgages from going to illegal aliens
    * H.R.692 – a bill introduced by Rep. Phil Gingrey that would end Chain Migration
    * H.R.693 – a bill introduced by Rep. Phil Gingrey that would require all businesses to use E-Verify within 60 days
    * H.R.800 – a bill introduced by Rep. John Carter that would require all businesses to use E-Verify within 2 years
    *
    * H.R.1091, introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter that would require DHS to construct 350 additional miles of border fencing
    * H.R.1134 – a bill introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter that would prohibit federal funds being sent to sanctuary cities
    * H.R.1196 – a compilation bill introduced by Rep. Gary Miller, the LEAVE Act, that would end birthright citizenship, require nationwide use of E-Verify, improve interior enforcement, and discontinue rewards to illegal aliens
    * H.R.1459 – a bill introduced by Rep. Sue Myrick, the Scott Gardner Act, that would increase penalties for illegal aliens caught with a DWI
    * H.R.1698 – a bill introduced by Rep. Sue Myrick that would increase fines for employers that hire illegal aliens
    * H.R.1764 – a bill introduced by Rep. Charles Boustany that would end sanctuary cities
    * H.R. 2000 – a bill introduced by Rep. Heath Shuler, the SAVE Act, that would require all employers to use E-Verify and strengthen interior and border enforcement
    * H.R.2164 – a bill introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith, the Legal Workforce Act, which would require all employers to use E-Verify.

    American cannot afford anymore to support the poverty of other countries. The final straw was learning from the (FAIR) Federation of American Immigration reform that a volume amnesty would cost to process everybody with all the FBI background checks, health checks and the occupied paperwork over $2.5 trillion dollars. This is incorrigible when 13 million Americans are seeking work and this country, is still in a recession and unlikely to climb out of this $14.4 Trillion dollars financial chaos for years. Every American needs to rethink his vote for 2012. Not for Democrats, not for Liberals and not for Republicans, but for this Nation’s People under the banner of the TEA PARTY.

    This is the time to empty the overcrowded classrooms, full with the children of illegal aliens. Give hospitals breathing space saving billions of dollars from uninsured illegal immigrants, who knowingly enter by foot, vehicle, aircraft or boat into the United States. Entering illegally in a violation of our national sovereignty and should be a felony, for illegal aliens and those who knowingly break the rules, including businesses. Start the Attrition by enforcement programs such as E-Verify, Secure Communities and support Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Utah and States nationwide who have no choice but to restrict illegal immigrants through police laws as their welfare programs are being sucked dry.

    Fearful illegal nationals are bypassing Arizona and loading their possessions, heading for Sanctuary States as California, Nevada, Illinois, Washington state and many counties within particular States.

  12. It comes down to this: Man is a territorial and competitive animal. This holds true from the family level up to that of federations and empires. America is an independent nation, as is Mexico. We’ve largely succeeded as a nation while Mexico has not. Yet both countries are rich in population and natural resources. The disparity is societal. America has proven a more efficient entity than has Mexico. As is natural among failed states, Mexico blames American “oppression” as the cause of its troubles, being unable to face the fact that those problems are ro0ted in themselves. Thus, they remain “failed”. It’s an old story! No one blames poor Mexicans for wanting to come to America, but it’s impossible for this country to become the dumping grounds for the world’s poor and still maintain its culture and prosperity. Failed states like Mexico have to reform themselves and become competitive. It comes with their responsibility as independent nations.

  13. William Field

    Honestly people, I have read much of what is said here and I can only say one thing.
    This is America and the jobs are for Americans, I do not support Illegals and believe they should all be rounded up and sent back after being incarcerated for a stretch to pay off the cost to the American people for deportation, and a major fine for entering illegally and of course no possibility of becoming an American citizen EVER all because they did what they did, and NO I don’t care why they did it.

    Any American employer caught hiring illegals for the first time should be fined $ 5000.00 per person and a 1 week shutdown for ALL operations and no revenue. 2nd offense $ 10,000.00 per person and a 2 week shutdown.
    3rd time is a closure and can never own a business in their name again.

    As for anchor babies they can go home with their illegal parents back to where they came from till they are of age then they can apply with proper paperwork like the rest of us.

    On top of this America should fine the country from which they came from for not controlling their borders properly.

    Just 1 question for all of you,
    WHY DO YOU SUPPORT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, it is purely un-American

    You liberal sympathizers are killing America, just saying; you’ll get it when the illegals effect you somehow, just remember that.

    Sincerely,
    DCM

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