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Immigrants pay off big for Texas' economy
. San Antonio Express-News ^ | 12/07/2006 | R.G. Ratcliffe

Posted on 12/08/2006 8:17:53 AM PST by Graybeard58

AUSTIN — Undocumented immigrants have boosted the state's economy by $17.7 billion and haven't been a drain on state government — but they did cost local governments $929 million in 2005, the Texas comptroller's office reported Thursday.

The report by Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn is the first comprehensive effort by the state government to calculate the benefits and costs of having 1.4 million to 1.6 million undocumented immigrants in Texas.

Overall, the survey found undocumented immigrants pay more in taxes than they receive in state services.

But the report's results quickly became part of a brewing legislative debate over whether it is right for people who are in the country illegally to receive services paid for by citizens and legal resident taxpayers.

Most of the undocumented immigrants in Texas are from Latin America, predominantly Mexico. They are the working poor, doing service and construction jobs. But they also will send $5.2 billion home to their native countries this year, according to the Inter-American Development Bank.

In her recent unsuccessful campaign for governor, Strayhorn said the federal government needs to halt illegal immigration. On Thursday, she said her report showed the need for federal immigration reform to make sure needed workers are in the country legally.

"It certainly demonstrates that you need a guest worker program, but you also need a fair immigration plan," Strayhorn said.

The Strayhorn report used a model that was built on how much undocumented immigrants earn as well as the return on capital from their labor to produce an impact on the gross state product. The $17.7 billion positive impact on the state's economy does not factor in any effects of the immigrants sending money home.

The report estimated there are 135,000 undocumented children in the public school system, costing the state $957 million a year. Another 3,792 are in state colleges, costing about $11.2 million.

The cost for the state supplying health care programs for undocumented immigrants was set at $57.9 million.

The state prison system on an average day held 8,931 illegal immigrants, costing a total of $130.6 million a year, the report stated.

The total cost for state services was $1.15 billion, but undocumented immigrants, through sales and property taxes, provided $1.58 billion in taxes for the state. That was a net positive impact to state finances of $424.7 million, Strayhorn said.

But there was a negative impact on local governments.

The total cost to incarcerate immigrants who commit crimes was estimated to be $49 million for counties statewide.

Strayhorn's office estimated the cost was $18.9 million for Harris County, the highest in the state. Hidalgo County in the Rio Grande Valley was second at $5.2 million.

Bexar County was fifth in the state, with an annual cost of $3.9 million.

Another $92.9 million is being spent on courts and probation systems to handle undocumented immigrants.

The biggest local cost was for indigent health care provided by counties and local hospital districts, estimated at $1.3 billion statewide.

But undocumented immigrants in 2005 paid $513 million in local sales and property taxes, leaving a $929 million gap payment gap for local services.

State Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, who has introduced controversial legislation to end birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants, said he believes the costs are much higher than those in Strayhorn's report.

Citing a study done by the conservative Lone Star Foundation, Berman said the total cost to the state is $4.5 billion a year to provide services to immigrants, but he said they pay just $1 billion in tax collections.

"This is the net loss to the taxpayers of the state," he said.

Berman said he also supports a guest worker program because the immigrants are needed for the economy. But he said he does not want them to receive any state or local services that are not mandated by federal law.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Mexico; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: aliens; illegalaliens; immigrantlist; invasionusa; propaganda; texas
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1 posted on 12/08/2006 8:17:57 AM PST by Graybeard58
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To: Graybeard58

I'll say it again; Just think of how rich we'd be if we had another 40-50 million illegals.


2 posted on 12/08/2006 8:19:32 AM PST by umgud (I love NASCAR as much as the Democrats hate Bush)
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To: Graybeard58

I wonder how much pedophiles or car thieves contribute to the economy?


3 posted on 12/08/2006 8:19:55 AM PST by kerryusama04 (Isa 8:20, Eze 22:26)
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To: Graybeard58

battle socialism, not immigration...

http://www.neoperspectives.com/Amnesty_From_Government.htm


4 posted on 12/08/2006 8:19:59 AM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/optimism_nov8th.htm)
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To: Graybeard58
1.4 to 1.6 million illegals.

It's and army.

But not an army that needs weapons to take over America.

But and army than only needs to wait patiently and let the socialists in government and the media hand it to them.
5 posted on 12/08/2006 8:21:25 AM PST by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: Graybeard58
How much of that money gets sent to Mexico via Western Union?


6 posted on 12/08/2006 8:22:01 AM PST by darkwing104 (Let's get dangerous)
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To: Graybeard58

I don't pretend to know much about return on capital and stuff like that, but I find it hard to believe that for every $1 in services the cost, the illegals boost the economy of Texas by $19. Particularly since they aren't typically in great-paying jobs anyway.

I'm more than willing to be shown where I'm wrong...nicely.


7 posted on 12/08/2006 8:22:55 AM PST by perez24 (Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap.)
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To: Graybeard58

Please pile on the negative comments, this shows a slight positive aspect of immigration - which is unacceptable.


8 posted on 12/08/2006 8:23:12 AM PST by SF Republican
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To: Graybeard58

I simply don't believe these numbers. There was an agenda, from the get go, to demonstrate how much immigrants "benefit" the state.


9 posted on 12/08/2006 8:24:40 AM PST by 3AngelaD (ic.)
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To: Graybeard58
The $17.7 billion positive impact on the state's economy does not factor in any effects of the immigrants sending money home.

Given that there is a business on every other block and a Western Union in many grocery stores doing this it must be HUGE. The Western Union in Randalls on Hwy 6 in Sugar Land has forms in Spanish to be used for money going to Mexico in front of every other form.

10 posted on 12/08/2006 8:26:24 AM PST by TWfromTEXAS (We are at war - Man up or Shut up.)
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To: Graybeard58
I don't trust the report. Here's why, the government benefits from the illegals (cheep labor to constituent donors/future voters) and it is in there benefit to convince us that we need them. Its like a circular argument.
11 posted on 12/08/2006 8:26:50 AM PST by chaos_5
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To: Graybeard58; Eaker; humblegunner; thackney; TheMom; pax_et_bonum; Allegra; Xenalyte; dasher; ...

Well holy sheep-pucky Batman!!!

I guess this makes it ok for them to be here anyway...

Never mind it still cost "US" 929 million dollars...

And that it "BENEFITTED" our "GOVERNMENT" 17.1 BILLION dollars...

Thats just seems like a "do nothing about it" boon to our elected elite...

Makes total sense now...

Pretty soon I see us being told that "spanish" will be our second language...We'll have to attend classes, take tests, be ready to conduct business in it as well...

All in the need to be inclusive, sensitive, and friendly to those who have (and will soon be pardoned) for breaking our law...

Ohhhh, I just can't wait.../big-time sarcasm


12 posted on 12/08/2006 8:27:30 AM PST by stevie_d_64 (Houston Area Texans (I've always been hated))
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To: 3AngelaD
"I simply don't believe these numbers. There was an agenda, from the get go, to demonstrate how much immigrants "benefit" the state."

I am not going to argue either way but do keep in mind that Texas does not have a State income tax and therefore most taxes come from sales tax which the illegals do pay. California on the other hand is in a very different situation by having a State income tax which the illegals do not pay into.

13 posted on 12/08/2006 8:27:43 AM PST by avacado
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To: darkwing104
How much of that money gets sent to Mexico via Western Union? --------------------- Didn't WU get smackd down for wire transfers to S. America recently? I thought I read about that somewhere.
14 posted on 12/08/2006 8:28:35 AM PST by roostercashews
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To: Graybeard58

I didn't see an estimate on how much it costs a family who had a child molested by an illegal immigrant.Did it mention the cost of car insurance or the injuries and death caused by non insured illegal drivers?Maybe they should add the costs that come from all the drugs that cross our border with the illegal aliens.I don't even want to think about the price we will pay when a few terrorist mingle in with the illegals crossing our border.



6 posted on 12/07/2006 11:04:12 PM CST by peeps36


15 posted on 12/08/2006 8:28:58 AM PST by Rakkasan1 ((Illegal immigrants are just undocumented friends you haven't met yet!))
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To: traviskicks

The economic issues are not the crucial ones, in my view. The real issue is one of assimilation. When immigrants come to the US because they believe this is the greatest nation on Earth, and they are grateful for the opportunity to become 'American', they strengthen our country. On the other hand, if they are here only to make money, do not identify themselves as Americans, and do not have allegiance to this nation, they weaken us, irrespective of the sum total of their economic contributions.

Regarding the battle against socialism, I would like to see statistics delineating what percentages of these immigrants are pro or anti-socialism. I firmly believe that radical changes in voting/political demographics that can occur as a consequence of insensible immigration policy can destabilize this, or any nation.


16 posted on 12/08/2006 8:30:58 AM PST by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: Bigh4u2
"But and army than only needs to wait patiently and let the socialists in government and the media hand it to them"

Exactumundo! Like the housing bubble bursting at any second, with dims now in control the MSM's attitude has done a 180.

And now the Dixie Chicks are all the rage...

17 posted on 12/08/2006 8:31:08 AM PST by 100-Fold_Return (I'll Never Be Broke Another Day in My Life!)
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To: SF Republican
Yes it is TOTALLY unacceptable - and on many levels!

Just for starters this report makes no mention, nor does it factor in, the negative impact of suppressed wage rates in many jobs - i.e. as caused by swarms of new "ILLEGALs" that come in and agree to work for even lower wages.

The argument that most of these jobs are ones that Americans would be unwilling to do is a false argument
18 posted on 12/08/2006 8:31:44 AM PST by VRWCTexan (History has a long memory - but still repeats itself)
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To: darkwing104; Graybeard58; All
How much of that money gets sent to Mexico via Western Union?

Don't know where I found this, but here's one take

An estimated 11 million Mexican citizens are in the United States, about half of them illegally. Last year, Mexican migrants sent home more than $20 billion in remittances, the country's second leading source of foreign income after oil. In the first eight months of 2006, remittances rose by nearly 20 percent over the same period last year, according to figures released by the Mexican Central Bank on Mond

19 posted on 12/08/2006 8:32:32 AM PST by beachn4fun (Don't forget the deployed troops during the Holidays.)
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To: Graybeard58

As far as I can tell, they don't factor in the cost of providing "free" public education to illegals and their children, and providing bi-lingual classes, translators, special remedial services, "free" breakfasts/lunches, etc.


20 posted on 12/08/2006 8:33:42 AM PST by teawithmisswilliams (Basta, already!)
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To: stevie_d_64

Let's do another study to see how valuable rapists and murderers are to our economy!


21 posted on 12/08/2006 8:34:44 AM PST by GulfBreeze (Working Together for Lower Taxes - www.YoutTaxCut.com)
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To: 100-Fold_Return

"And now the Dixie Chicks are all the rage..."

Yeah. They've been running them on PBS repeatedly.

I don't care how many times they show them, it's not changing mine, or others opinion towards them.


22 posted on 12/08/2006 8:35:30 AM PST by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: SF Republican
Please pile on the negative comments, this shows a slight positive aspect of immigration - which is unacceptable.

Your wish is granted.

Here are my comments to an similar article posted yesterday.

government spends almost $11,000 per child in education

If $50,000 is an accurate number for each prisoner today,

23 posted on 12/08/2006 8:36:26 AM PST by mountn man (The pleasure you get from life, is equal to the attitude you put into it.)
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To: avacado
I am not going to argue either way but do keep in mind that Texas does not have a State income tax and therefore most taxes come from sales tax which the illegals do pay. California on the other hand is in a very different situation by having a State income tax which the illegals do not pay into

I'll up the ante on that one, in Oregon, we have NO sales tax, but a hefty state income tax.

24 posted on 12/08/2006 8:39:46 AM PST by momfirst
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To: Graybeard58

Factor the cost of educating the children of illegals, health care costs, state and local crime, and I'm afraid the Strayhorn report is nothing but Karl Rove talking points.


25 posted on 12/08/2006 8:40:00 AM PST by GolfHacker
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To: Rakkasan1

Should have made a link to yesterdays article.


26 posted on 12/08/2006 8:41:12 AM PST by mountn man (The pleasure you get from life, is equal to the attitude you put into it.)
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To: momfirst
"I'll up the ante on that one, in Oregon, we have NO sales tax, but a hefty state income tax."

That situation would be the most difficult burden on a State to have illegals.

27 posted on 12/08/2006 8:42:27 AM PST by avacado
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To: kerryusama04
I wonder how much pedophiles or car thieves contribute to the economy?

I'm sure it's a positive amount according to this report. Think of the police officers, prison guards, bail bondsmen, lawyers, and judges that are kept employed.

28 posted on 12/08/2006 8:46:53 AM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: Graybeard58
"But they also will send $5.2 billion home to their native countries this year,"

And that's NOT a drain on the American economy????

29 posted on 12/08/2006 8:47:21 AM PST by BenLurkin ("The entire remedy is with the people." - W. H. Harrison)
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To: Graybeard58

Texas and California are case studies in right and wrong immigration policy.

They both field millions from Mexico. Texas does a better job of assimilating and YES it does improve the economy.

Texas has one of the best economies in the nation and it is a popular immigration spot for Americans in the 50 states.

How can immigration be so wrong when Texas is so right? Texas ought to be a disaster if anti immigration advocates are even one percent right.

They are not correct. We are constantly told that immigrants will vote Democrat and swing the system. Really? There is no evidence of that in Texas. In fact, over the past 10 years of massive immigration, the Republicans have strengthened their hold on the state.


30 posted on 12/08/2006 8:48:26 AM PST by lonestar67 (Its time to withdraw from the War on Bush-- your side is hopelessly lost in a quagmire.)
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To: SF Republican
No positive, slight or great, is worth the loss of our nation's social, political and cultural identity, nor does any positive justify the craven relinquishment of our sovereignty or our right to secure borders.

Just my opinion.
31 posted on 12/08/2006 8:49:44 AM PST by BenLurkin ("The entire remedy is with the people." - W. H. Harrison)
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Related article:

"The give-and-take of illegal immigration"

32 posted on 12/08/2006 8:49:51 AM PST by DumpsterDiver
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To: 3AngelaD; Graybeard58
I simply don't believe these numbers. There was an agenda, from the get go,...

Find the irony in that statement!

33 posted on 12/08/2006 8:52:05 AM PST by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: lonestar67

I differentiate between legal and illegal immigration. I embrace and am in awe of people who respect our system, as flawed as it is, and spend thousands of dollars and man hours to come here legally. I haven't anything positive to say about people who spit on our laws and way of life by sneaking in and living in the shadows. The gubament bears much blame for ignoring the border and not enforcing current law, but in the end, there is no excuse for breaking the law.


34 posted on 12/08/2006 8:55:44 AM PST by kerryusama04 (Isa 8:20, Eze 22:26)
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To: Graybeard58
I don't know why, but my meter is pegging after reading this.


35 posted on 12/08/2006 8:56:37 AM PST by Arrowhead1952 (The terrorists have many allies in the United States, especially in the democrat party.)
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To: sam_paine

Go back and read the stories when they announced this "study." Of course I have an agenda, but I am not a government, nor am I purporting to be unbiased. They proved what they set out to prove. Bad scientific method.


36 posted on 12/08/2006 8:57:32 AM PST by 3AngelaD (ic.)
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To: avacado

You forgot to mention the property tax.


37 posted on 12/08/2006 8:59:31 AM PST by 3AngelaD (ic.)
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To: 3AngelaD

BIG time property tax.


38 posted on 12/08/2006 9:00:20 AM PST by bonfire
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To: BenLurkin

I heard a phrase here in California: "We want everyone to stop moving here, the day after I arrive."


39 posted on 12/08/2006 9:01:44 AM PST by SF Republican
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To: 3AngelaD
"You forgot to mention the property tax."

Illegals rent apartments and part of their rent goes to the owner to pay property taxes. So, in this case, illegals do pay property taxes.

40 posted on 12/08/2006 9:04:02 AM PST by avacado
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To: traviskicks

YAY! Great link. Amen & alleluia,somebody gets it!


41 posted on 12/08/2006 9:06:26 AM PST by leilani (Dimmi, dimmi se mai fu fatta cosa alcuna!)
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To: SF Republican
Ah yes: "Welcome to California -- now go home!"


However, I myself did not sneak in from some foreign land speaking a foreign language and intent on maintaining that foreign identity --- was born an American and was raised an American.
42 posted on 12/08/2006 9:06:32 AM PST by BenLurkin ("The entire remedy is with the people." - W. H. Harrison)
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To: 1_Inch_Group; 2sheep; 2Trievers; 3AngelaD; 3pools; 3rdcanyon; 4Freedom; 4ourprogeny; 7.62 x 51mm; ..

ping


43 posted on 12/08/2006 9:06:33 AM PST by gubamyster
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To: bonfire

Yes indeed. Several years ago I lived in El Paso, population at the time around a half million. Its one public hospital, Thomason, is supported by county property taxes, and under the Texas Constitution has to provide care to everyone who walks through the doors, including any and all of the 1.5 million living in Cd. Juarez across the river in Mexico. County taxpayers pick up the bill at enormous cost. Also, every pregnant woman in Juarez would wait until she was going into labor, cross the border and have the taxi take her straight to Thomason so her new baby would have birthright citizenship and all its entitlements, while she moved to the front of the line to immigrate because of her relationship to her new citizen baby. There was no accounting done. The County Commission one time tried to sue the federal government because of the burden of maintaining Thomason for an entire Mexican city, but had no luck.


44 posted on 12/08/2006 9:11:18 AM PST by 3AngelaD (ic.)
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To: Graybeard58
Overall, the survey found undocumented immigrants pay more in taxes than they receive in state services.

What taxes are they talking about? The "poor" do not pay taxes. This is an outright LIE, IMO.

45 posted on 12/08/2006 9:11:55 AM PST by Last Laugh
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To: Graybeard58; All

"Cost of Illegals to California $10.5 Billion":

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1750476/posts


46 posted on 12/08/2006 9:14:29 AM PST by BenLurkin ("The entire remedy is with the people." - W. H. Harrison)
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To: SF Republican
Please pile on the negative comments, this shows a slight positive aspect of immigration

There is no positive aspect to illegal immigration. Illegal immigrants DO NOT pay taxes. How can they with no SSN or a false SSN? They simply suck off of the system and provide big business the means to evade taxes as well, that's why we are getting fed this FALSE data.

47 posted on 12/08/2006 9:16:24 AM PST by Last Laugh
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To: darkwing104

If I had to judge by the line at our local HEB on payday, a whole lot of money flows south.


48 posted on 12/08/2006 9:16:46 AM PST by voiceinthewind
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To: 3AngelaD
I simply don't believe these numbers.

Right on. When facts contradict what I believe, ignoring the facts is the way to go.

49 posted on 12/08/2006 9:16:49 AM PST by staytrue
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To: Graybeard58

This study left off the cost of their crime: lives, property stolen, etc.

In Texas alone, the cost of stolen pickups by illegal smugglers is most likely in the millions of dollars. Smugglers take them out of parking lots in big cities and then drive them for 20,000 to 30,000 miles over the course of a few weeks as they course back and forth the border. The trucks are stripped insides and ruined by the time they are caught by the Border Patrol.

Then add in the cost of their drunk driving damages. Then add in the cost of lost lives from murder or manslaughter. If we ignore the cost of crime then we could say that murderers and thieves add to the economy as well.

But in all cases, the effect of these illegals come up NEGATIVE. It's a question of how big this negative amount is. Are we going backward slowly, or quickly?

Strayhorn misses an important point: 'the rule of law.' If we don't protect our borders (and our citizenship) then we create anarchy within and without our borders because we become a lawless country. With citizenship comes rights as well as responsibilities. With citizenship comes our destiny because demography is destiny. The Mexican laborors that sneak across the border do not add to our economy, but Mexican doctors and engineers would. We need those type of people, not the bottom of Mexican (and Central America's) society. Our legal immigration was (before Kennedy) designed to encourage this. We need to return to a strong enforcement of immigration based on contribution to our economy (like New Zealand). And we need to do it very quickly, before the boomers start pulling down Social Security and before Asian countries start to buy up our country.

We will become a Mexico if Bush goes through with another amnesty.


50 posted on 12/08/2006 9:17:23 AM PST by Hop A Long Cassidy
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