The new health care bill that was passed excluded any and all illegal immigrants from purchasing health insurance from the government exchanges, even if they paid the full price without any government subsidies. So what illegal immigrants are left with with respect to health care services are emergency rooms, health clinics or they pay full price for a doctor's visit and any other medical procedure that is necessary. The president, in a bid to win over conservative Democrats have left out the option of allowing illegal immigrants with their own money, pay full price for insurance in the government exchanges. Immigrant activist groups have been strangely silent about this revised mandate with some going so far to say having easy and affordable access to health care may encourage even more people to illegally immigrate to this country. This is one area where activists exercised some restraint.
The debate of illegal immigrants and what to do with them have reached fever pitch politically, with people taking very strong views and some with more moderate views. The people on the left believe that the United States was a country founded on immigrants and so it would be hypocritical to keep them out now, the very far right believe that being an illegal immigrant equals being a criminal and don't deserve any mercy from the system, legally or otherwise. But most take a more moderate view, as any pragmatic person would know that it would be near impossible to deport every single illegal immigrant, as some undocumented people have lived in the United States for 20 or 30 years, they have worked and raised families here and consider themselves to be American except on paper. They propose earned citizenship or amnesty, they would have to pay taxes for a number of years, pay a fine for living illegally in the United States and have a clean criminal record, a process that could take 5 to 10 years.
Regardless of how one views this issue, the fact remains that illegal immigrants are here at the mercy of the United States government and law enforcement. For a long time, the government and law enforcement agencies have looked the other way with respect to enforcing existing laws against illegal immigrants, whether it's cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants or cracking down on people who provide false documentation to illegal immigrants so they can get a job etc. In short, the US government has made life easy for illegals and their cohorts. Illegal immigrant activists say that illegals do pay taxes just like legal aliens, they contribute to the local economy and the most important point they like to drive home: they do work that no one else would do at low wages. The first two claims may be true but the third is only a supposition. It is true that some illegals pay taxes, but they leave out one important fact, they are able to file tax returns because they are using a social security number that does not belong to them. In short, they are using a deceased person's social security number or they have stolen another person's identity and by every standard, those are crimes that can be punished by law. And yes, they do contribute to the local economy, but that goes without saying, if you live anywhere you have to buy things and consume products, even tourists contribute to the local economy for the duration of their stay. The main question is do their contribution to the local economy equal or exceed what they may take from the system? Finally, the claim that illegal immigrants do work that no legal alien or citizen would do at a low wage, many studies have been done on this and the results can point either way depending on how one chooses to read the numbers, but what is known for sure is that most people will do almost any job to feed their families, no matter how menial, low wage or dirty the work is-especially in this economic climate.
Many illegal immigrants claim that they just want to work and earn a living wage and that they are not criminals so they should be allowed to live in this country not harassed and with dignity, but the United States of America is not running a charity, it's not a haven of economic stability for people who originate from poor countries. The United States government does not have endless resources to support the illegal immigrant population. When an illegal immigrant comes to America, he or she does not come alone, they have families or they create families and they continue to expand their families while they are living illegally in United States because they know this great nation will provide for any child, regardless of the situation. These children will eventually grow up and have to go to school so school budgets will have to be appropriated to accommodate them, and yes the children are American citizens and deserve the same benefits that any underprivileged American citizen gets, with one exception, their parents are not American citizens or legal aliens therefore they are not obligated to contribute to the system, there are no federal and state tax withholdings from their earnings.
Not to go into a crash course in American civics, but the way the system is set up is people pay taxes and those funds are then appropriated to certain social programs that are designed to temporarily help the underprivileged people-it's not a meal ticket and more importantly, it is sustained proportionately by the people paying taxes and the people that receive services and that ratio has been very out of balance in recent years. Unlike some of the European socialist governments, our system is not designed nor is it able to support someone on benefits for the long term. Barring any extraordinary circumstances such as the current recession, Americans are expected to provide for their families to the best of their abilities and the government would prefer that one would know one's economic limits and design the size of their family accordingly. To date, illegal aliens have been granted many benefits and rights that are accorded to a legal aliens and citizens. Illegal aliens on criminal trial have a right attorneys and legal interpreters all free of charge to them. Many illegal aliens were able to apply for government assistance if they have children that were born in the United States. In states hit hard by the recession, where many people will be needing assistance from the government, it is the perfect potion for xenophobic and anti-immigrant sentiment to bubble to the surface.
The immigration debate has moved from a human rights issue to an economic and feasibility issue. With the federal government's debt and state budget deficits are spinning out of control, many states have difficulty taking care of their own, thus voters will not be opposed to tougher sanctions on illegal immigrants and the employers who hire them. In Arizona, they have passed and enacted the strictest illegal immigration laws, from preventing an illegal alien to request for public services and assistance, barring undocumented children from applying for educational grants and scholarship and severely punishing employers who knowingly hired an illegal alien, and for those who unknowingly hired an illegal alien, they will be given a very stern warning and a fine. The new law is designed to turn Arizona into a big brother state when it comes to illegal immigrants, they want people to be on the look out for people who might be illegal and report it to the authorities. Even a casual mention of someone who is an illegal alien that comes up in normal conversation-as is most cases with social workers, is grounds for knowing someone is an illegal alien and is subject to reporting to authorities. Some believe that Arizona is a testing ground for enacting tough immigration legislation, a model if successful other states may adopt. Many challenge the constitutionality of this sort of legislation, but they forget that we are talking about illegal aliens, who are not protected under the constitution to begin with. Yet in light of this, illegal immigrant activists are becoming more brazen in their protests for the rights of illegal aliens, from forcing a moratorium to ban illegal workers holding signs in town centers in Costa Mesa to demanding amnesty because they feel they've earned it. Right now would be one of the worst times to advocate immigration reform that includes amnesty and earned citizenship, many states where the recession hit the hardest have the highest population of illegal aliens, which includes California and voters may not view this favorably.