Cutting the Crap on Immigration Nonsense

There is a reason this blog is called “Please Cut the Crap.” There is just so much bullshit floating around out there, someone has to cut through it and tell you the truth.

For example, there’s the hysteria – for the second year in a row! – surrounding the massive “caravans”of migrants who are making their way through Mexico and are supposedly heading straight for our border. The “conventional wisdom” is that they’re all going to come straight for the United States and bully their way across our southern border and live off our massive social safety net, which means we the people will go broke taking care of them.

There is almost too much bullshit in that scenario to cut through. Let’s start with the fact that the “caravan” is an annual event. It is planned ahead of time, and it’s essentially a protest of conditions in Central American countries – the conditions that force thousands to flee in our direction. Another words, it’s not a spontaneous thing at all.

It’s also not the case that they swarm over our borders. In fact, very few of them come over our border at all, and the few that do legally ask for asylum. People see to have really short memories for this sort of thing. Earlier THIS YEAR, the same thing happened, and Lord Donny made a huge deal about it for months, until most of the “caravan” dispersed. Then, he dropped it. He and others seem to forget that perhaps dozens of refugees tried to come over our border to ask for asylum.

Here is a history of the “caravans” and their motivation. As you can see, the destination for most of them is MEXICO, not the United States. Only, you won’t be afraid if they told you the truth and the GOP wants you scared to death. (Source)

Those in the last “caravan” who did come all the way to the United States did so over a legal border crossing and presented themselves for asylum. None of them tried to force their way into the country at gunpoint.

The image I am constantly presented with is that they “illegally” come here and make us “take care of them.” It’s a constant refrain by people who don’t want to seem racist, but who really don’t want more “brown people” here. Well, let me disabuse you of that, too. The people who come here for asylum face massive oppression in their homeland, and they are coming here for the same goddamn reason our grandparents and great-grandparents came here, my fellow white people; to make a better life for themselves and their families. They work their asses off and they pay taxes. They’re not like immigrant Donald Trumps, who scam people and then scam the government to get out of paying taxes. They work and they pay taxes and they produce more than they take, just like most of the rest of us.

The fact of the matter is, everyone, immigrants pay a lot more in taxes than they cost taxpayers. Here is a study showing just that. (Source) Not only that but you can save your bullshit about how much they get in “free healthcare,” too. (Source) Yes, that’s right; immigrants also pay insurance premiums, yet rarely use it, sometimes out of fear of being caught.

What did you think; that the undocumented immigrant working in your workplace had nothing taken out of their paycheck?

And what about those who think we “take care of them” once they get here? For chrissakes, people, our system doesn’t take care of anyone, let alone people who just come here from another country. Perhaps you haven’t heard, but there is no “welfare,” any longer; the Republican Party made that extinct back in 1996. Right now, states get to do whatever they want with their welfare block grant and most states don’t use it to provide subsistence for families. As a result, in most states, especially red states, have no cash assistance available for anyone. More than three-quarters of those living below the poverty line get ZERO cash assistance from the government, and they have slashed SNAP benefits (Food Stamps) so much, the average family gets about $1.60 per meal to make due. (Source)

So, if we don’t provide basic food and housing to poor people who have been citizens all their lives, how do you imagine we’re “caring for” immigrants. I know some of you imagine there’s a huge social safety net and that poor people are buying porterhouse steaks with their Food Stamps, but you don’t get out much if you think so. The GOP has been ripping the social safety net to pieces for a generation now.

Immigrants to not come here and suckle off the government teat because that teat shriveled up and died many years ago. What we are doing with our immigration policy is unimaginably cruel and heartless. We are denying people who want to come here to have a better life – the same reason my white grandparents came here from Ireland, Germany and Poland – the opportunity to do so. We are violating our sacred oath to the rest of the world; that anyone who was suffering from oppression could come here and find safety and security here. Trump has dropped the number of refugees allowed to come here from the already-pathetic 110,000 per year to 30,000 per year, even though refugees go through a daunting vetting process and even though no refugee has ver come here and hurt or killed anyone here.

And please shut up about the money. We’re BY FAR the richest country in the world. (Source) Just because we’re cheapskates when it comes to paying taxes doesn’t mean we don’t have the money to pay for immigrants to come here and be granted asylum. We have plenty of wealth. We have the wealth we need to become the nation we once were – the nation that allowed our white grandparents to come here with every few restrictions.

Yes, that’s the other line of bullshit I hear all too often. “My grandparents came here legally” is a load of crap. Our grandparents generally hopped on a large ship that docked somewhere on the east coast and they were run through a process that included registration and health screening. That’s it. Now, when someone comes here legally, the process to stay here costs thousands of dollars. Where is that money supposed to come from? Our grandparents didn’t have it, and people escaping oppression right now don’t have it.

Last thing; immigrants are not scary. Immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than citizens. (Source) Most immigrants come here legally and simply overstay their visas. The image of Mexicans “swimming over the Rip Grande” or “sneaking over the desert border fences’ is the exception, not the rule. (Source) I live less than an hour from the border and I know very few people who are scared to death of immigrants coming here because most of them just want to be left alone. The fear seems to grow the farther people get from the border, which is why the admonitions I get from people in North Dakota that their new voter laws, which disenfranchise people who live in rural areas, will “keep non-citizens” from voting is so laughable.

No one wants an open border, but we also don’t want to be cruel. Is that too much to ask?


Also published on Medium.

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