One particularly brilliant legal mind wrote in, responding to my column of Nov. 2: “List of lies in this column: … Illegal immigrants are barred from receiving federal welfare benefits, and even legal immigrants cannot receive those benefits for the first five years after they immigrate. See title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and subsequent amendments.”
Wrong, Fan of Big Government. Hundreds of thousands — probably millions — of illegal immigrant children attend “public schools” in the United States, at no direct cost to the children or their parents. These institutions are funded with tax dollars, INCLUDING vast sums of FEDERAL tax dollars. There is NO waiting period to sign up and attend — let alone "five years."
Not only are the so-called “public schools” classic redistributive welfare programs, even serving free MEALS to “the poor,” they are likely our LARGEST source of redistributive “welfare benefits.” And local school officials in cities including Las Vegas WON’T EVEN ATTEMPT, as a matter of policy, to determine the number of illegal inmates they succor. Though they certainly know — from the number of kids in largely useless “bilingual” and “English Language Learner” classes — that it’s more than 25 percent of the student body in many Southwestern cities.
And we haven’t even gotten STARTED on the cost to taxpayers of de facto "free" care for illegals in the emergency rooms and maternity wards of our public hospitals, running into the billions of dollars in the states of Arizona and Nevada alone. To merely state this "threatens hospitals with bankruptcy" doesn’t quite capture the extent of the hemorrhage. They WOULD be bankrupt if citizen taxpayers weren’t considered a bottomless well of funds to prop them up. How on earth is this "not tax-funded welfare" — with no "five-year waiting period," bub — especially when hospital administrators in fear of lawsuits (what if that tummyache turns out to be appendicitis?) interpret a federal law barring them from turning away anyone in need of EMERGENCY care, as a mandate to allow their ERs to clog with illegal aliens seeking ANY kind of care, at all?
My fellow Libertarians say we should open the borders "and then we can get rid of all these freebies." How about we do it the other way around?
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