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Illegal Immigration & Social Security 31 March 2007

Posted by Todd in Capitalism & Economy, Inequality & Stratification, Politics, Race & Ethnicity.
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My mother forwarded an email to me today about how illegal immigrants may be granted social security benefits in the near future. It really pushed some of my buttons (this anti-immigrant hysteria is getting irritating in the extreme), so I wrote a detailed response and committed the internet faux-pas of replying to all. Here’s the original email my mother sent:

RE:  Soc. Sec. benefits:

Mom was a homemaker and Dad worked all his life and paid into SS.  Dad  has  passed away and now Mom can barely make ends meet.  While the possible  “illegal” alien in front of her at the grocery store buys the name brands, Mom goes for the generic brands, and day old breads.  She doesn’t have  out of state calling on her phone, because she can’t afford it and shops at the thrift shops and dollar stores.  She considers having a pizza delivered once a week “eating out”.  She grew up during the depression,  watched her husband go overseas to fight in WW II a year after their marriage,  and then they went on to raise,  feed and clothe 5 children, struggling to pay tuition for parochial schools.

The Senate voted this week to allow “illegal” aliens access to Social Security benefits. (Benefits they themselves don’t contribute to, but use nonetheless.)  I’m sorry, but how can the Senate justify this slap in the face to born and bred, or naturalized citizens.  It is already impossible to live on  Social
Security alone.  If they give benefits to “illegal” aliens who have never contributed, where does that leave us that have paid into Social Security all our working lives?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Attached is an opportunity to sign a petition that requires citizenship  for eligibility to receive Social services.  If you do not wish to sign the petition yourself, please forward on to anyone you think might be interested.

And here’s my response:

That email was so full of factual mistakes I don’t even know where to begin. But I’ll just give you the two big ones:

1) the vast majority of illegal workers in American work in SWEAT SHOPS and AGRICULTURAL STOOP LABOR, usually making (if they’re lucky) minimum wage and living in third world standards. They are not living high on the hog while grandma buys generic mac-n-cheese and can’t make long-distance phone calls. The rest of them are in non-skilled labor, such as washing dishes or pulling up weeds or raising middle class people’s children or cleaning their homes. Most of them send a large portion of their pay home to support their families in their sending countries. They live multiple individuals and sometimes families to every housing unit because they cannot afford anything else. They also on average WORK more hours a week than the average american. These are well documented and extensively studied phenomena, so such alarmist, nativist nonsense does nothing to help the real social problems caused by illegal immigration, but simply stirs up hate and fear. [It also may interest you to note that Latinos in the U.S. are the LEAST LIKELY to apply for welfare benefits, even when they qualify. WHITE PEOPLE are the MOST LIKELY to receive welfare when they qualify.]

2) If undocumented laborers are not employed in domestic labor (i.e., childcare and housecleaning for middle class people), they are actually receiving a wage and THEY PAY FICA TAXES. Contrary to the alarmism of the email, illegal migrant workers PAY social security BUT DON’T COLLECT the BENEFITS.

Let me end by saying that I’m firmly in favor of LEGAL immigration and *not* ILLEGAL immigration. However, the issue is a complex one, requiring FACTS, research and cool heads instead of punditry and alarmism. Americans today are feeling economically insecure (with good reason) and feeling the pressures of globalization, and instead of looking to the economic and trade policies of their government, they are blaming the migrants who are ALSO victims of those same global processes. For example, United States’ economic policies have decimated the economy of Mexico, destroying local markets (especially agricultural) and displacing millions of peasants in central and southern Mexico. (For example, our *subsidized* corn is allowed under NAFTA, but Mexico is NOT allowed to subsidize its corn production.) Displaced, unemployed peasants have migrated north over the past 15 years seeking jobs to feed their families. Meanwhile, U.S. industry loves and supports illegal immigration because it is cheap labor. In the low end of the U.S. labor market (i.e., unskilled jobs), the flood of workers has had two effects. First, it has dampened wages, but only on the low end of the market (that is, it doesn’t effect middle class wages at all).  Second, it has created new job markets: for the middle class, it has changed their lifestyles, allowing them for the first time to have access to cheap child care and housekeepers, luxuries that used to only be available to wealthy people.  Finally, “illegal” labor adds billions of dollars to the economy, through productive labor and through consumerism and yes, through TAXES; losing that would be a major blow to the U.S. economy and to the budget of governments around the U.S.

SOLVING the illegal immigration problem is not a matter of grabbing your lawn chair and your shot gun and going and sitting on the border with your fellow scared white retirees; NOR will punishing people who are doing their best to feed their children by denying them the benefits they have earned with their hard work do anything to help the problem.

Instead, it requires 1) fixing NAFTA, which has done nothing more than enrich a few hundred American and Canadian businessmen (with no consumer benefit in the U.S. or Canada, and with devastating effects in Mexico), so that Mexico can expand its economy and raise the standard of living of the 50% of its population who live in poverty; 2) being a good neighbor by helping the Mexican government fight corruption, gang wars (which have flourished as the Mexican economy has foundered) and establish a more open, more democratic society (historically, our policy has been to keep mexico unstable so they remain weak); and 3) addressing the business culture of U.S. firms who reap enormous economic benefits through illegal immigration and addressing the lifestyle culture of the middle class who are growing accustomed to having a vast pool of underclass brown people from Mexico to do their shit labor for them for substandard wages.

[I’ve focused only on Mexico here—although many asian countries and guatemala and nicaragua are also major sources of illegal immigration—mainly because Mexicans receive the brunt of nativist hysteria at the moment.]

Take home message: Illegal immigration emerges out of nexus of multinational economic and social relations and problems. It is not about individual evil immigrant actors coming “here” to “take your mother’s social security.” Please.

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Comments

1. Al Ferguson - 31 March 2007

Check the original e-mail against Snopes.com

2. Nailing it on immigration « Greg Prince’s Blog - 31 March 2007

[…] by Greg on March 31st, 2007 Great piece at Todd’s Hammer on immigration.  Read the whole thing. My mother forwarded an email to me today about how illegal immigrants may […]

3. Don Paine - 1 April 2007

You have to be kidding. You obviously don’t live in San Diego. You say that the majority of illegal aliens work in sweat shops and work on fields. Thats not the way it is here. I’ve lived and worked in both Tijuana and San Diego for decades. I speak Spanish like a Mexican. I can prove that here there are more illegal aliens working in businesses from fast food, construction, car washes to store clerks and managers. Many using fake SSN’s. I know that Arab convenience store and food market owners enslave illegal aliens and pay them the bare minimum to manager salary. They treat their employees like crap and pay NO overtime. When my daughter was in High School she hardest time finding a job in fast food, the illegals took the jobs that an American Citizen can do. Now that she works for the Border Patrol, I hope she don’t forget this. Many of these illegal and falsly documented workers qualify for SS and many file state work comp claims. Many receive WIC and other give-aways at the taxpayer’s expense. HUD Housing is way for the illegal alien to save money on rent. I can prove this too. HUD pays guaranteed rent to te landlords. So what do the landlords do here? They boost the rent BECAUSE THEY CAN and HUD will pay it. $250 for a $1,100 per month apartment, what a deal. The tenant brings in their extended family and charges them rent (Escondido). Three families in a one family three bedroom apartment. There are just a handfull of investigators in San Diego. They can’t enforce the HUD violations. The investigators for welfare, HUD and Work Comp are overwhelmed. The illegals will multiply and drain the taxpayers down here. We’ve had hospitals shut down because of freeloaders.

I have no idea where you are, but this is the way it is here in San Diego. Yes you’re right, they do send much of their earnings back home.

Happy Cesar Chaves Day

4. Scot - 1 April 2007

I’m not April Foolin’ when I say a sincere THANK YOU for your response to the Anti-immigrants e-mail. You articulated very well some of the problems with these gross generalizations that are factually incorrect and are circulated by modern day Nativists. I get such rants sometimes being circulated by conservative acquaintances and relatives, and these bigoted tirades depress the hell out of me. Your response, however, cheered me up!

5. oaklandchloe - 2 April 2007

BRAVO TODD. Ignore those other dorks, I LIVED IN SAN DIEGO. And believe me, the solution, much like “illegal drugs” is to make them legal. More people die of abuse of pharmaceutical drugs than illegal drugs, make em all legal, tax them, the gangs dwindle, etc. OPEN THE BORDERS 100%, let whoever wants in-in, out-out and hey while were at it, free capitalism (for all those capitalists) would supposedly mean that supply and demand would eventually make the system adjust. And finally, more people go back south than enter. oh, and final finally, FREELOADERS, all those white folk from 1776-1865.

6. Todd - 2 April 2007

Chloe,
I’m not in favor of totally open borders. The social problems (economic, labor, legal, constitutional, law enforcement, etc.) caused by such a situation would be overwhelming. Societies’, I believe, really do need a measure of control over their population. Capitalist economies are volatile and devastating when unchecked, so a “let supply and demand work its magic” approach could end up emiserating millions of people.

HOWEVER, I am actually in favor of open borders with Mexico and Canada. In general, I’m against NAFTA mainly because it removes local control and more problematically it makes policy decisions in an UNDEMOCRATIC process. But if NAFTA could be worked more along the lines of the EU, I think it could be really effective. If it were done right, and if Mexico were made a fully EQUAL partner, and if the U.S. treated mexico as a full independent nation, and if the economies could be more closely linked, I think it would have the same effect that the EU has had: it would push the end of corruption in Mexico and would boost the Mexican economy. Let’s have a North American Passport and a currency for the three countries; let’s equalize any subsidies among the three nations and allow free movement among them; let’s encourage mexico to keep more accurate citizenship records and empower its citizens to participate in its democracy, etc. It would stabilize immigration but would also liberalize the process so people could live where they choose.

The borders between the U.S. and Canada and between U.S. and Mexico have historically always been porous and have been de facto open borders anyway. I’m Whitey McWhite and the culture I live from day to day is highly influenced by Mexican culture. Middle class people from the U.S. and Canada are starting to buy property in Mexico and move there. People are moving around all the time and have been from the beginning. Why not make it official and work to stabilize the entire North American continent and let the U.S. start acting like it’s a member of a global society instead of King of the World?

As for the legalization of drugs: Hear! Hear! [Although with meth and heroine, I’m a little sanguine because they are so destructive; but hell, even there, just legalize it, regulate and tax the hell out of it; but the fucking drug cartels and gangs out of business and reclaim the democracies of latin america from them.]

7. chloe - 3 April 2007

what happens to Central America in that plan?

8. Todd - 4 April 2007

One step at a time. By that logic, Europe should be asking “What about kazakhstan?”

However, I would argue that the best way to help central and south America is for the U.S. and Canada to start behaving correctly (especially the U.S.) and treat those nations as if they actually were sovreign nations, to stop interfering in their local politics, to stop the policies that support the drug cartels, to withdraw support of despots in some fucked up ongoing cold war / manifest destiny bullshit. I think the U.S. with its power and influence could actually aid its neighbors in the hemisphere to stablize and raise their standards of living. This could/should also involve bringing in the more successful democracies, esp. Brazil and Chile for help.

9. ted - 4 April 2007

I live in San Diego. I study illegal immigration, and illegal immigrants. Don Paine is full of it. What he describes is how the system is abused by businesses that prey on illegal immigrants. His daughter couldn’t get a job at a fast food restaurant because she had to be paid above the table, while the illegal could be paid under the table, below minimum wage. Todd is correct; the vast majority of illegals do unskilled work–like work at fast food restaurants.

Oh, gee, I just responded to troll comment. Sorry.

10. Dan - 4 April 2007

Very well said, my friend.

And, my favorite line in rebuttal to your very poetic synopsis – “the illegals took the jobs that an American Citizen can do.” This cracks me up – as if “Americans” (really meaning we in the U.S.) can’t pick strawberries or wash dishes or babysit. Too good for hard labor are we? It’s sad how priviledged we’ve become – where are our entitlements??

11. Hellmut - 5 April 2007

Great post, Todd.

People are being squeezed by declining real incomes. It is no wonder that they would lash out against perceived competitors. However, that anger is unproductive because they direct it against the wrong people.

It’s time to end trickle down Reagonics. It just does not work. Instead of sharing their benefits with working Americans, the super rich are keeping more and more income for themselves while everyone else has a harder and harder time making their bills.

At the same time, our infrastructure is crumpling and our schools are failing two out of three American children.

We have to demand real solutions from our political leaders. That has to include holding global marketers responsible for their labor and environmental practices abroad, fixing health insurance, and making sure that the rich are doing their part.

They benefit the most from America, they have to contribute to America. Picking on immigrants won’t make anyone better off.

12. Belaja - 7 April 2007

Oh, man, Todd, I cannot tell how this post did my heart good! I worked, as you know, for almost 8 years as an ESL/bilingual instructor (DON’T even get me started on Newt Gingrich’s latest) to Mexican migrant workers’ kids (ages K-4). I used to have some statistics about tax-paying and social security contributions from illegal workers that I used to whip out when I the “Don Paine’s” of the world (most of whom I knew and had grown up with) would start in with similar rants. I don’t have those figures handy anymore (I used to have them all typed up and sourced) but even the most rudimentary google of issue will bring up all kinds of facts and figures about the issue–the vast majority of them demonstrating that illegals contribute a great deal of tax money of various kinds to this country. Not to mention the fact, that in the process they are more often than not shamefully exploited by their employers and are essentially powerless to do anything about it.

Here’s an anecdote to counter your “fast food” story–when I was teaching we didn’t get paid for the summer months, so we could choose to have our salaries divided in 10 or in 12 month chunks to make it through those months. Problem was, those of us in uncertified positions (all the bilingual instructors) got paid so little we had to do the 10 month thing in order to live and then scramble for summer jobs to get through those two months. One of my co-workers–born and bred in Mexico City and a very street-smart, sophisticated guy in lots of ways (and a naturalized citizen, btw)–decided he would get a job in the orchards to supplement his wife’s low-wage job and they could just about make it through the summer. Pickers were paid by the pound, but the problem was he was very aware that if he didn’t pick enough to make minimum wage, the employer was required by law to make up the difference. Of course, not being used to hard farm labor (his father had been a bull-fighter and he was just a bohemian at heart) he made much less than minimum wage on his first day out. He made the mistake of insisting on his right to make minimum wage and the employer refused. So he trotted down to the Employment Security Department and turned them in. They went out and talked to the orchardist and with very bad grace he cut him a new check for the proper amount. When he got to work the next day, he was told that they didn’t need pickers and they didn’t have work for him and he should just be on his way.

This kind of thing, frankly, is the norm from what I have seen in my dealings with the immigrant/migrant community. It all works very well to the ends of the employers and by extension the consumers (us) in the States. But we get our cheap food and goods on the backs of those people and their tax money as well.

And right on to your call for an EU-style union for the NAFTA nations. It would be great if we could look at reality for a change and work from there instead of from the usual xenophobic hysteria.

Thanks for a great post! (Can I link to it on my blog? Well, I’m gonna anyway…)

13. Open Vein » Blog Archive » Check out Todd’s Hammer. I mean it… - 7 April 2007

[…] just put up a great post about immigration that did my little old heart good.  It’s good to hear some REASON on this subject for a […]

14. wry catcher - 8 April 2007

I don’t know the right erudite language for this (or, frankly, for most of what I think), but I totally agree with your post, and it’s (in my mind) totally related to that whole ‘paying a price that actually reflects what things are actually worth’ thing. I abhor the notion of, as bel put it, getting “cheap food and goods on the backs of [poor/immigrant/sweatshop/virtually enslaved] people.”

15. Mark - 9 April 2007

I don’t need to go into the details very much regarding this article. There’s no point to getting in to who pays what and all that. Here is the point: If someone is working illegally in this country, they are breaking the law. I don’t want to hear about how they take all of the crap jobs because Americans won’t. That is a cop out. They are illegally working in this country. It makes no difference if money is taken away from them to pay FICA – it is an illegal action, PERIOD!

And as for their hardships working in this country, if it’s so tough and so oppressive, they could always return home.

Hello people, illegal means against the law. If you think that these folks should be able to come into this country so they can do the work that supposedly nobody in this country (legally) wants, then work to change the laws.

16. Todd - 9 April 2007

Mark,

I never argued that people in the U.S. don’t do those jobs (they in fact do those jobs in the interior). That is actually a specious argument made by employers who want cheap(er) labor.

My point is, if you can breathe for a moment, a more subtle one: The process of migration, that is, of leaving one’s country to take up residency in another, is a hugely complex social process, with “multivalent causality”–in plain speak, it’s caused by all kinds of different things.

If it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy to jump up and down and say scream that it’s illegal, knock yourself out. I don’t think anyone argues that point on any side of the issue.

But if you want to talk about the actually social problems (i.e., multivalent causalities) behind migration (and I’m guessing you’re mostly thinking of Mexicans here), and if you really want to fix the system that creates “illegal” migration, then you MUST stop jumping up and down and start carefully examining all those things that cause people to leave their home countries, and the forces that draw them to other countries, and the sources of the problems all around.

In the case of Mexican migration to the U.S. and Canada, it boils down to an economy decimated by NAFTA, a corrupt government enabled by the U.S. tacit acceptance of a weak state to our south, and a business culture in the U.S. seeking minimum labor costs, an out of control concept of fiduciary responsibility to share holders, and global market competitions that demands subsistence-wages in the production of consumer goods to maintain razor thin profit margins.

These are complex, multinational, economic and social issues that will not go away no matter how illegal the people are who picked the food you ate today.

17. Adam - 11 April 2007

The fear around immigration has always pointed to a disturbing lack of facts all the way around. The conflation of “immigration” and “illegal immigration” has been harmful to the discussion. The lack of any systems analysis hurts as well.

For all its hamfistedness, the connection made in the film “Children of Men” between immigration hysteria and societal infertility strikes me as an apt metaphor. The more energy we put into xenophobic fear, the less we have available to create.

I applaud any effort to lead/educate about non-zero-sum opportunities, which I believe is the true arc of evolution. An informed (as opposed to Pollyanna-ish) abundance mentality seems to accomplish more than myopic dithering over smaller pieces of what is erroneously construed to be a shrinking pie.

18. Hellmut - 17 April 2007

If corporate leaders felt fiduciary responsibility to stock owners that would be progress. However, management renumeration is taking shameless advantage of share owners.

It seems to me that the financial markets fail to capture information about the negative impact of the underlying economic activities. You can pollute and exploit but the value of your stocks continues to go up. No wonder many people are worse and worse off.

Sometimes I wish that we would take capitalism a little more seriously. According to Adam Smith, capitalism means that if you break it then you have to pay for it.

PS: I know, I know. Smith did not use the term capitalism. But since that term has positive connotations among its defenders, my interpretation of Smith is sufficiently accurate.

19. Averagejoe - 1 May 2007

Excellent post.

As an economist, I have to agree with everything you’ve said. The restructuring and reform of NAFTA has to become a matter of urgency but the mid-west, the corn belt relies on those subsidies and any change would be deeply unpopular and potentially political suicide for whichever party pursued the logical course you outline.

As an economist I see immigration as an absolute necessity for a well functioning economy. Generally as an economy matures the indigenous population will become less and less likely to participate in low paid or menial occupations. Many western european countries had to import workers in the 60’s and 70’s to take jobs that could not otherwise be filled. The key difference is that these were gov’t sponsered schemes. In the US the gov’t has failed to take any action, but even if there is gov’t and regulatory failure capitalism will go on. Gov’t failure is not market failure.

The real problem that need tackling is the insecurity among certain parts of the indigenous population. Median incomes have been falling in the US for more than a decade. That is the REAL issue. Immigration is not the cause, indeed it has helped the situation.

So what we need to see is not a crack down on immigration, legal or illegal. We need to see action to tackle the economic problems that are causing median incomes to fall and the middle classes feel insecure.

– Joe

20. Jus Thinking - 20 May 2007

Look at the big picture in the long-term this land was Mexican and will be again. White interlopers like me are here on vacation from our home Europe and we need to be kind to our hosts whom we’ve kicked out of the bedroom. If we invite them back in and open the kitchen they may even invite us to sit at the table! The true measure of fairness is to put yourself in the other fellows shoes, the real enemy here is the NWO, we can only kill it by treating our neighbors as ourselves and sharing the true treasures of our Euro-centric civilization – the Constitution. Can you imagine the freedom we’ve lost since HW Bush killed JFK? Lets plan a revolt, take over Washington, crucify the NeoCons and reestablish the people as the Sovereigns they were given by God to be.

21. Todd - 20 May 2007

I agree with your ideas about fairness, but I think you rest your argument on some racist assumptions.

I’m no more European than a Mexican is. The color if my skin does not make me a European; indeed, Mexican culture is itself as much Spanish (i.e., European) as anything else (let alone the millions of immigrants Mexico has absorbed from other European countries (e.g., Mexican corridos are based on German polka music)).

All this to say that real human beings are hybrid culturally, race is not real and a marker of virutally nothing real (despite all our efforts to make it meaningful), and history is history.

“We” didn’t fight the Mexican war, and Mexcians are as likely to be descended from genocidal Spaniards as they are Aztecs. The immigration issue will not be solved by appeals to history or race (see: Israel/Palestine for how fucked up such historical/racial projects can be).

We must deal with what we are NOW and our values NOW and the kinds of societies we want to create and live in in North America NOW.

22. criminyjicket - 23 July 2007

you kind of miss it too. Many illegals are working in varying “tradesman” and artisan positions. This drives the wages for these jobs down across the board. I work in a factory where several arem aking over $20.00 an hour. Thats not the issue though. Welcome to the American dream. Now go home and come back legally. It’s not really asking a lot that they be expected to obey the law. Citizens are.

23. Bonnie - 27 September 2007

Hello Everyone,
I have enjoyed reading your thoughts on this subject. Many of you have raised valid points.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* CAPS USED FOR EMPHASIS PURPOSES ONLY, AND NOT MEANT AS SHOUTING
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I FEEL THE MAIN REASON WE OBJECT TO THIS WHOLE MESS IS THAT WHILE WE AMERICANS ARE STRUGGLING TO SURVIVE, WITH JUST THE VERY BASICS, OTHERS ARE COMING INTO THE U.S AND REAPING THE REWARDS OF “OUR” LABORS. IT IS NOT RIGHT TO IGNORE AND MISTREAT OUR OWN FOLKS, WHILE LETTING OTHERS RUN ROUGH-SHOD OVER THE SYSTEM.
Did you know that if a Mexican mom-to-be goes to certain hospitals in Texas, she gets the baby DELIVERED FOR FREE?
WHO DO YOU THINK THESE PLACES GET THE MONEY FROM TO PAY THE BILLS? THEY GET IT BY OVERCHARGING THOSE OF US BLESSED ENOUGH TO HAVE EVEN BASIC INSURANCE.
WHEN was the LAST TIME YOU GOT THAT KIND OF MEDICAL CARE?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now let me tell you how it is from the place where I reside, NOT by choice.

I am a disabled widow,age 57. I am disabled due to over 40 surgeries. I can not work anymore. My husband passed away four yrs. ago, and it has been hell for me financially ever since.
My husband began working legally when he was 16. He paid into the Social Security system from then on, till his passing – due to an instantly fatal coronary rupture..his heart literally burst. I was told it was an indirect result of the chemo he’d received 4 yrs. previously. The drugs weakened his heart muscle, aand it was a matter of time, before this “bomb” went off. He was only 61.
To get back to where I was headed:
I am collecting disability,in the amount of 400. a month. I get this because I had worked enough quarters to qualify. I was denied TWICE by Soc. Sec. Administration,and was only able to obtain it through an attorney. It took me 2.5 yrs.
My husband payed into the Soc. Security system for FORTY-FIVE YEARS, and DIED BEFORE HE GOT A SINGLE DIME BACK.
Thus I can get another $800 per month from his contributions. THAT IS ALL I QUALIFY for.
I was offered FOOD STAMPS IN THE AMOUNT OF $10.00 PER MONTH. TO GET THAT, I COULD HAVE NO SAVINGS AT ALL. THEY REQUIRED MY BANK ACCOUNTS, AND PROOF OF MY INCOME,and the cash value of my life insurance policy. I drive a 7 yr. old van,with 96,000 miles on it.
I have had to purchase supplemental health insurance at 165.00 a month, as Medicare does not pay all thre expenses I have. I am on 5 medications per day,and thankfully, I get a little help with the costs. If I DIDN’T, I would have to go without them. It is a monthly choice of meds or food.
I do NOT eat out, and limit myself to ONE TANK of gas per month. This gets me to church, the doctor, and food shopping.
I do NOT qualify for any other assistance whatsoever from the government. They say I make too much.
After heat, utilities, and the property taxes, I have a grand total of 49.00 per month for food.
There is nothing left,for any emergency events, such as leaky pipes,etcetera.
I am behind on the taxes,and worry what will happen should major repairs need to be done.

THIS is why I OBJECT SO STRONGLY to these immigrants,who HAVE NOT PAID into the system, receiving help from Soc. Security.
PERHAPS WE SHOULD PUT THE POLITICIANS,WHO LIKE THE IDEA OF FREELOADING FOLKS GETTING PAID, ON OUR LIMITED INCOMES,WITH NO FREEBIES, FOR A MINIMUM OF TWO YEARS EACH, TO SEE HOW THEY LIKE IT?
I SERIOUSLY DOUBT THAT THEY COULD MAKE IT,WITH SUPPORTING THEIR FAMILIES ON THE AMOUNTS THEY EXPECT US TO DO IT ON…

24. Darlene - 29 October 2007

Just a quick note, you’re obviously living in a box, with no illegals as neighbors. I applaud the email. My husband is currently overseas fighting for a country and their people…where they should stay and live their life according to their morals and values. Too many times we have people come here and want to change the American institution of Christianity…the foundation upon which this country was born. LIKE IT OR NOT….fine come here, but do it legally, learn the ENGLISH language, PAY into services before EVER receiving them,and abide by “IN GOD WE TRUST.” Anything less is not AMERICAN….whoever you are.

25. Amanda - 30 March 2008

After reading these comments, I feel like everyone can agree that changes in the immigration system need to be made. I just ask that you think about the petitions you sign and the votes you make. I agree that illegal immigration should be dealt with but not by making legal immigration more difficult. My fiancé and I, who I met while studying in England, have been waiting for a visa for over a year now. He can not leave England to come see me, the visa and green card costs have more then doubled, and let me tell you, they charge you for everything! The US no longer allows dual citizenship, so as far as I know he will never see the social security benefits that he’ll pay into. And to be honest I don’t even what to think about the issues that will come up when we have a family to think about. I love him and I wouldn’t change my situation for the world, but please know that when you talk about reforming immigration, it’s affecting both illegal and legal.

26. DON - 17 September 2009

IM STILL TRYING TO FIND THE BILL NUMBER THAT IT IS SAID HAS OR WILL BE PASSED INTO LAW AND WILL GIVE PARASITIC ILLEAGAL ALLIENS OUR SS MONEY…HAVEN,T FOUND IT YET….LOOK AT ALL THE TIME EVERYONE SPENDS BEING LEAD AROUND BE SOME INSTIGATER OF DISTRESS AND MIS-INFORMATION…..WE ALL COULD HAVE HAD A V-8


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