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The Mexicans Are Coming! The Mexicans Are Coming!

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Message Larry Sakin
The people of Arizona spoke loudly against illegal immigration on November 7. And it's pretty clear the electorate doesn't want illegal immigrants reaping the benefits of tax dollars, even though most illegal aliens pay revenues to the state and federal governments through Immigrant Tax Identification Numbers. And if voters have to give their money to someone, they'd rather give it to a bureaucracy before giving it to illegal immigrants. This is hardly representative of the Republican ideal of "small government."

Four out of the twenty ballot propositions in the Arizona mid-terms addressed issues concerning illegal immigration. Proposition 100 denies bail to illegal immigrants who commit a felony in Arizona; Proposition 102 denies punitive damages in lawsuits brought by illegal aliens against citizens; Proposition 103 makes English the official language of Arizona; Proposition; and the infamous Proposition 300 denies state tuition and childcare benefits to illegal immigrants and also guts state funding for Adult Education programs that help aliens learn English.

Considering the extra costs that will be handed off to Arizona citizens as a result of passing these proposals, I find it incomprehensible that people who think this way prefer to spend more money incarcerating immigrants for their actions, on government bureaucracies to check immigration status, and on aide programs for same instead of allowing them access to the same things all residents of our state have at a lower cost.

Some Arizonans have said that they're in favor of paying what is necessary in order to keep the country secure and safe. How does denying benefits to people who've lived in this country most of their lives keep the country "secure and safe?" Others argue that the denial of benefits will give a reason for illegal immigrants to apply for citizenship. But they do not take into account that a federal amnesty plan would have to be enacted before such application took place, something they're dead set against. So it sounds like they're creating a standard- national citizenship as a path to residency instead of the other way around. It's an impossible situation, because illegal immigrants know they'll be packed up on buses heading towards the border if they apply for citizenship without some kind of amnesty.

Conservative commentators have crowed that providing subsidies to illegal immigrants rewards them for committing a criminal act. If that's the case, then lets apply this standard equally. Anyone who has committed a criminal act should be denied state benefits for college, childcare, learning basic adult education, etc. because of that act for the rest of their lives. And if we really want to be equal, let's drop subsidizing lives altogether. That means no more subsidies for gas, food, and energy because after all, how do we know illegal immigrants aren't receiving benefit from those programs?

Indeed, illegal immigrants have chosen to enter the country unlawfully, mostly because they are searching for a better life for themselves and their families. Believe me, if the voters who approved these measures had the choice of being paid 75 cents an hour in Mexico shucking corn for an American farming conglomerate, or make $6.00 an hour working a meat packing plant in America, they'd choose the latter as well-- anyone would. And as long as that situation exists, immigrants will cross the border no matter how many fences we build or patrol agents we hire.

Arizonans probably believe they don't want people here illegally because of their criminality on a surface level. But on visceral level, I think they fear illegal immigrants because their increasing presence will diminish the power of the white majority and they might become economically viable, gaining more political status and access to the middle class. Proponents for these initiatives might accuse me of 'playing the race card' here, that my position is biased against white people. Well, they're right; I am biased against white people. For far too long, we've spread horror, poverty and death throughout the nations of the world for our own self-aggrandizement. It's about time we start realizing how much we've looted from others as a race and share the wealth instead of constantly looking at ourselves as victims.

So the question Arizonans needed to ask themselves is this: do we want to make an investment with subsidies to illegal citizens in order to reap future rewards; or deny such subsidies, potentially increasing our own future tax burden? Obviously, Arizonans have chosen the latter. And while they won't feel the hit to their wallets immediately, they will. And they'll wonder how it was all of the measures they voted for didn't make a diddly-damn's worth of difference.
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Larry Sakin is a former non-profit medical organization executive and music producer. His writing can be found on Mytown.ca, Blogcritics, OpEd News, The People's Voice, Craig's List and The Progressive magazine. He also advocates for literacy and (more...)
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