“Where Were You?” 9/11 and Migrants

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This morning as I parked my car the Alan Jackson song “Where were you” came on the radio. I had to listen to it to completion realizing what we all have gone through that day and every day since.

It was a reality check due to my decision to get involved in the discussion regarding the pressure to accept more and more Syrian migrants escaping from their countries tragedies.

First, why are we being pushed, encouraged, coerced to accept more and more migrants. We are already having difficulty controlling our own immigrant problems to our southern borders and we are going to be coerced into bringing in between 70,000 to 100,000 migrants.

Again, we can’t even clear and vet the Hispanic immigrant population “invading” our southern borders. How many ISIS members, Al-Qaeda terrorists will slip through the southern borders totally undetected due to the overwhelming numbers and the lack of adequate agents and judges to evaluate each case?

If you now add the immigrants coming from Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, will this situation be any better?

I think not!

Why am I so concerned and why am I including this in my healthcare and strategy post?

My main issue here is something that is being missed in the confusion. Has anybody noticed the reemergence of diseases that have been so well controlled until just a few years ago? Think about the measles outbreak, the concern of new cases of tuberculosis, leprosy, whooping cough and other diseases like small pox, which have been so well controlled in the U.S.

The problem is these immigrants are crossing the borders without health clearance, no documentation of vaccinations or documentation of disease exposure or pediatric health histories. Worse is that the children are mandated to go to our schools without clearance and they expose our children, some of which because of the stupidity of a large group of delusional parents to not vaccinate their children are at a real risk to contract these diseases and the potential complications, Also, we have a large population of immunosuppressed children and adults secondary to transplants and a enlarging number of immune deficient diseases affecting our population.

We saw what happened to the State of California with the huge measles outbreak.

What is next and what diseases are we going to expose the American population to over the next few years as we accept more and more immigrants?

I understand the humanitarian argument and remember my grandfather relating his entrance into this country through Ellis Island in broken English and Italian. The politicians romanticizing Ellis Island, when in reality it was a real hole, which today we wouldn’t allow a dog or cat to live in. But that was what they had to do to enter and be vetted. Also, they had to speak the language and wanted to pursue citizenship, the pride of being in our country. Also, remember that it was one of the largest hospitals in the country. The immigrants had to pass the health evaluation or be hospitalized for their ills, sometimes for weeks, months or years. Then they had to have the finances to cover the expenses for treatment, otherwise the shipping company would be charged or they would be sent back to the country from which they came.

Today, what a different situation! We are supposed to teach schools in multiple languages, instructions on our signs and directions have to be printed in multiple languages. Where is the pride in coming here to become Americans and integrating into the culture and lifestyle of the adopted country?

Why are we responsible? Our poor inadequate leadership wants to appease everybody and no one country can be counted on to help us or step up to fight the horrors seen in Syria, Iraq, etc.? When they do they assist, mostly in minimal ways? Even the United Nations, which is powerless and should probably be dissolved, there is a lack of leadership and no real strategy. Guess who is the major financial supporter of the UN? Yes, we the U.S. where they have kept the UN building etc. in NYC for decades at our expense.

The UN is useless. Even with the Ebola out break who was the major factor in controlling the disease? You guessed it, we Americans supplied the money, supplies and man/women power installing isolation tents, new vaccines, doctors, nurses, etc.

And now we are being pressured to accept more and more immigrants from countries that we know hate us and want to “kill the Americans.”

Let us look at the effect on our economy. Census Bureau data reveals that most U.S. families headed by illegal immigrants use taxpayer-funded welfare programs on behalf of their American-born anchor babies. Even before the recession, immigrant households with children used welfare programs at consistently higher rates than natives, according to the extensive census data collected and analyzed by a nonpartisan Washington D.C. group dedicated to researching legal and illegal immigration in the U.S. The results, published this month in a lengthy report, are hardly surprising. Basically, immigrants, both legal and illegal, head the majority of households across the country benefitting from publicly funded welfare programs. States where immigrant households with children have the highest welfare use rates are Arizona (62%), Texas, California and New York with 61% each and Pennsylvania (59%). The study focused on eight major welfare programs that cost the government $517 billion the year they were examined. They include Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for the disabled, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), a nutritional program known as Women, Infants and Children (WIC), food stamps, free/reduced school lunch, public housing and health insurance for the poor (Medicaid). Food assistance and Medicaid are the programs most commonly used by illegal immigrants, mainly on behalf of their American-born children who get automatic citizenship. On the other hand, legal immigrant households take advantage of every available welfare program, according to the study, which attributes it to low education level and resulting low income. The highest rate of welfare recipients come from the Dominican Republic (82 %), Mexico and Guatemala (75%) and Ecuador (70%), according to the report, which says welfare use tends to be high for both new arrivals and established residents.

Here is the conclusion of the report. “This report has followed the standard practice of examining welfare use by household, focusing on Medicaid, cash, food, and housing programs. My major concern is the use of Medicaid, which will impact the health care picture. The findings show that a large share of immigrant households with children access at least one major welfare program. Based on data collected in 2010, which asked about use of welfare in the prior calendar year, 57 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) with children (under age 18) used at least one welfare program, compared to 39 percent for native households with children. Immigrant use of welfare by household tends to be much higher than natives for food assistance programs and Medicaid. Use of cash and housing programs tends to be very similar to native use. A large share of the welfare used by immigrant households is received on behalf of U.S.-born children, who are American citizens. But even households with children comprised entirely of immigrants (no U.S.-born children) still had a welfare use rate of 56 percent in 2009. Thus the presence of U.S.-born children does not entirely explain the high overall use rate associated with immigrants.

Immigration table6.2

Table 6 shows that the overall high welfare use rate for immigrant households with children is not simply due to legal status. Both legal and illegal immigrants tend to make use of the welfare system. Illegal immigrant households with children primarily use food assistance and Medicaid, making almost no use of cash and housing programs. In contrast, legal immigrant households with children tend to have relatively high use for every type of program. In addition to legal status, Table 6 also reports welfare use for different types of legal and illegal households. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that more than half of all illegal immigrants come from Mexico. The table shows that households with children headed by Mexican illegal immigrants tend to have somewhat higher welfare use rates than do illegal immigrant households with children from all countries. As for legal immigrants, Table 6 shows that the inclusion of refugee-sending countries in the data does not make much difference to overall welfare use rates for legal immigrant households with children. Use rates for households headed by legal immigrants from non-refugee-sending countries are very similar to those for legal immigrant households when refugees are included. Refugee-sending countries are a small share of the total and, as we have seen, their use rates are not different enough from non-refugees to impact the overall results in a meaningful way.”

Another interesting table from the report shows

Immigration.1

that immigrant households with children use welfare at much higher rates than natives for food assistance programs and Medicaid. Look carefully at the last column set showing almost a 15% increase use of Medicaid for the immigrant population surveyed.

The report goes on to point out that “vast majority (95.1 percent) of immigrant households with children had at least one worker in 2009. In fact, immigrant households with children are slightly more likely to have at least one worker than native-headed households with children (93.3 percent). But the relatively low education level of a large share of immigrants means that more than half of working immigrant households with children still accessed at least one major welfare program in 2009. Of immigrant households with children, 31.9 percent are headed by an immigrant who has not completed high school. In contrast, high school dropouts head 8.9 percent of native-headed households with children. This very large difference in education levels is an important reason for the findings.

One way to describe what happens in regard to welfare is to recognize that most immigrants come to America to work, and most find jobs. However, many of those who have children earn very low wages because of their education levels. As a result, many immigrants with children qualify for welfare programs, primarily food assistance and Medicaid. Put a different way, the nation’s welfare system is designed in part to assist low-income workers with children. A very large share of immigrants who have entered the country both legally and illegally are low-income workers with children. This has a predictable impact on the nation’s welfare system.

Based on socio-demographic characteristics, we estimate that 51.8 percent of households with children headed by a legal immigrant used at least one welfare program in 2009, compared to 71 percent for illegal immigrant households. Illegal immigrants generally receive benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children. Illegal immigrant households primarily use only food assistance and Medicaid, making almost no use of cash and housing assistance. In contrast, legal immigrant households tend to have relatively high use rates for every type of program. The relatively high overall welfare use rates for both legal and illegal immigrants with children indicate that the inclusion of illegal immigrants in government data does not explain the high overall welfare use rate of immigrants. Rather, both legal and illegal immigrant households with children have high overall welfare use rates.

The issue of immigrant use of means-tested programs is not likely to go away anytime soon. The discussion of what to do about this problem should be conducted with the recognition of its complexity. On the one hand, it is not enough to say that welfare use by immigrants is not a problem because illegal immigrants and newly arrived legal immigrants are barred from using most welfare. While advocates of expansive immigration often make this argument, it does not reflect the way the welfare system actually works. Moreover, it is not enough to point out that most immigrants work. Work and welfare often go together as our welfare system, particularly non-cash programs, is specifically designed to help low-income workers with children. On the other hand, it is a mistake to see high use of non-cash welfare programs by immigrant households as some kind of moral defect. It is also a mistake to compare today’s immigrants with those that arrived 100 years ago during the prior great wave of immigration. Welfare simply did not exist in the same way in 1910. Thus prior immigration is not relevant to the issue of current welfare use.

When thinking about this issue, it makes more sense to acknowledge that spending on welfare programs is a part of every advanced industrial democracy, including ours. Moreover, we have to recognize that less-educated workers will earn modest wages in the modern American economy. A longstanding part of U.S. immigration policy has been to admit persons for humanitarian reasons. As these individuals are fleeing persecution, they are likely to be the immigrants least prepared for a new life in this country. Moreover, refugees have somewhat more generous welfare eligibility than other legal immigrants. Thus, those admitted on humanitarian grounds would be expected to have the highest welfare use rates. Therefore, our immigration policies simply need to reflect these realities.” (Camarota, Steve. Welfare Use by Immigrant Households with Children. A Look at Cash, Medicaid, Housing and Food Programs. April 2011. Center for Immigration Studies).

Reviewing the use of welfare programs by immigrants is important for two primary reasons. First, it is one measure of their impact on American society. If immigrants have high use rates it could be an indication that they are creating a net fiscal burden for the country. Welfare programs comprise a significant share of federal, and even state, expenditures. Total costs for the programs examined in this study were $517 billion in fiscal year 2008. Moreover, those who receive welfare tend to pay little or no income tax. If use of welfare programs is considered a problem and if immigrant use of those programs is thought to be high, then it is an indication that immigration or immigrant policy needs to be an adjusted. Immigration policy is concerned with the number of immigrants allowed into the country and the selection criteria used for admission. It is also concerned with the level of resources devoted to controlling illegal immigration. Immigrant policy, on the other hand, is concerned with how we treat immigrants who are legally admitted to the country, such as welfare eligibility, citizenship requirements, and assimilation efforts.

The second reason to examine welfare use is that it can provide insight into how immigrants are doing in the United States. Accessing welfare programs can be seen as an indication that immigrants are having a difficult time in the United States. Or perhaps that some immigrants are assimilating into the welfare system. Thus, welfare use is both a good way of measuring immigration’s impact on American society and immigrants’ adaptation to life in the United States and in this blog post emphasizes the further impact as we open our doors to a fairly new type of immigrants, where we also have to be aware of possible or potential terrorist status. Consider the medical and financial burden of an “in-country” terrorist attack on medical facilities whether bombs or anthrax, plague, small pox, cyanide or worse….ricin.

Therefore, we must learn from our southern border experiences and our Ellis Island policies and set up policies to control immigration and health care policy otherwise we will see the thin economic balance and health care system become overburdened with the resulting changes coming in tax increases and a health care system overburdened to the point that waiting periods for doctors visits and treatment matching what we now see in Canada, or worse.

First, Thank you all who responded that day that shall live always in our memories.

Again I now shout out…….Wake up America!!!!!

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