Goshen News, Goshen, IN

May 22, 2013

Why do immigrants come to the U.S. illegally?

— With the current increased interest in fixing our broken immigration system both political parties are putting forth legislation. The system is broken only because our current laws are not being enforced. “Comprehensive” reform is not required but rather a few tweaks here and there would suffice. Comprehensive equals amnesty pure and simple. We are constantly bombarded with the number of illegals in the country as being 11 million. Strange that a year or so ago the numbers were 15-20 million, which is probably more accurate. I guess the numbers vary depending on your stance on the issue.

What’s troublesome with today’s illegal immigrants is how they factor into today’s social scale. Many of those here today are on the low end of the income scale. They are at that level because of limited education, low skill levels and are not proficient in the language of success, English. Fifty-seven percent of today’s immigrants, both legal and illegal, with children under the age of 18 are on some sort of public assistance. Households with the highest rates are from the Dominican Republic (82 percent) and from Mexico and Guatemala (75 percent), according to a Center for Immigration Studies report in 2011.

I would hate to think what this country would look like today if the immigrants who came here in the last century, many through Ellis Island, came here looking for a handout rather than freedom and opportunity. Many of those immigrants had similar limitations as today’s immigrants, except they came here legally and didn’t come here looking for government entitlements. Today, our government advertises and promotes our food stamp program in Mexico. I guess our government will continue to drain the taxpayers of this nation until the well runs dry or until we get some responsible leadership in Washington and I’m not holding my breath for the latter.

— Bob Schrameyer