By Tom DeWeese
Illegal immigration is about much more than fighting terrorism. The fact is, illegal Mexican’s are pouring across our borders and as a result, American tax-paid services like education and healthcare are being pushed to the brink of collapse.
It is an incomprehensible arrogance exercised by both Mexican and American officials who, while promoting illegal immigration, see no problem in letting U.S. taxpayers foot the bill. Each new report of activities along the Mexican border appears to be more outrageous than the last.
The Mexican government of President Vincente Fox has basically demanded that the United States accept and care for citizens of his country who are sneaking in illegally. Fox has become increasingly vocal in demanding that the United States create an amnesty and work-visa programs to legalize more than three million illegal Mexicans now living in the United States.
In addition, apparently President Fox has decided to use his own version of Fidel Castro’s Muriel Boat Lift to rid his country of riff-raff he no longer wants. In 1978, Castro purged his prisons of murderers, thieves and drug dealers and put them in an armada of boats headed for America’s shore. The resulting crime wave flooded jails, overworked police and community budgets made living in Miami, Florida, almost unbearable for a time, and still inflicts the community’s culture. Much the same is now happening in Mexican border states, as crime rises and quality of life diminishes.
Meanwhile, American leaders seem to be encouraging such activity. As more than 10,000 illegal Mexicans flood into the nation every day, there is little concern on Capitol Hill and virtually no legislation pending to deal with the issue. Those like Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado, who vocally oppose the open border policy, are ignored. President Bush has again called for the amnesty that President Fox seeks. New U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Tony Garza, assured Mexico that reaching an accord legalizing the status of Mexican immigrants – without giving them citizenship – continues to be a top Bush Administration priority.
The Fox Administration now appears to be working a strategy to recruit local American officials that will all but dissolve the border between the two nations, even before Congress can take legislative action.
Consider these actions by the Mexican government inside the United States in just the past few months.
Item: The Mexican government has issued more than 800,000 slick, pocket-sized identification cards to both legal and illegal immigrants. Those cards are being distributed through Mexican consulates all over the United States.
The cards list the holder’s birth date, place of birth, U.S. address and encoded information to prevent fraudulent duplication. Over the past year, Mexican officials have been openly lobbying local police departments, banks and local government agencies in the United States to accept the cards, making it easier for the holders to get jobs, open bank accounts get government services. The strategy is to work the system from the bottom up, making the cards acceptable on the local level before Congress can pass any legislation concerning the activity. That way, Mexico believes, the Congress will have no choice but to simply rubber stamp approval of the practice.
As a result of Mexico’s efforts, today more than 800 U.S. police departments, 15 cities and 13 states now accept the cards as valid ID. At least 66 U.S. banks, led by Wells Fargo and Bank of America, have also agreed to accept the cards, opening tens of thousands of new bank accounts in states across the country, from California to Georgia.
Why would Mexico spearhead such a program, losing its own citizens? Mexico is reaping a bonanza as immigrants send more than $10 billion per year back to relatives at home. That figure equals what Mexico earns in annual tourism dollars.
Item: Mexican ambulance drivers are transporting hospital patients unable to pay for medical care in Mexico to facilities in the United States. They know that the federal Emergency Medical Act mandates that U.S. hospitals with emergency-room services treat anyone who presents themselves for care, including illegal aliens. The ambulances are driving through unguarded portions of the border with "little resistance" at the instruction of Mexican officials.
The cost is being paid by the American taxpayers in more ways than money. Medical service in affected communities is being severely damaged as hospitals absorb more than $200 million in unreimbursed costs. Some emergency rooms have shut down because they cannot afford to stay open. That means local tax-paying Americans are either denied medical care or have to wait in long lines for service as the illegals flood the facilities.
The costs are staggering. The Cochise County, Arizona Health Department spends as much as 30 percent of its annual $9 million budget on illegal aliens. The Copper Queen Hospital in Bisbee, Arizona, has spent $200,000 in uncompensated services out of a net operating budget of $300,000.
The University Medical Center in Tucson may lose as much as $10 million and the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, also in Tucson, has lost $1 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2002. Rural hospital facilities face losing the use of routine helicopter transportation for patients who need further treatment in big city facilities because the cost of transporting illegals is eating up the budgets. If that happens, the quality of healthcare in those rural areas would be diminished back to1980 levels.
In California, the losses are calculated to be about $79 million, with $74 million in Texas, $31 million in Arizona, and $6 million in New Mexico. All of these costs are dumped on American taxpayers simply because the Mexican government, void of protest from the U.S. government, has decided to raid the American cookie jar.
Item: Schools are suffering the same fate as medical care as illegal aliens fill classrooms, bloat budgets, and rob taxpayers of decent facilities for American children. Federal law and an incredible Supreme Court ruling ban schools from denying free education to illegal aliens.
Moreover, state run colleges and universities are being forced to allow illegal aliens to receive in-state tuition discounts that are supposed to be reserved for residents of that state. In California, a new law (Assembly Bill 540) allows undocumented high school graduates who have been in residence in California for three years to enroll in community colleges and the California State University and University of California systems without paying nonresident tuition. The government is even opposed to allowing schools to report illegal aliens or to deny them enrollment.
Item: Several cities have declared themselves "safe haven" for illegal aliens and refuse to enforce immigration laws. Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, New York City and even Falls Church, Virginia (in sight of the Pentagon), have all declared to be sanctuaries for illegal aliens. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that, "people who are undocumented do not have to worry about city government going to the federal government." In other words, these city governments refuse to uphold federal law or defend American borders.
Item: On several occasions, heavily armed Mexican soldiers have actually crossed over into United Sates territory and fired on U.S. Border Patrol personnel. In one case, a Border Patrol helicopter over U.S. soil was fired upon by a 10-man unit of what appeared to be Mexican soldiers wearing tactical vests and carrying high-powered rifles. In another case, sixteen heavily armed Mexican soldiers in Humvee military vehicles chased American Border Patrol officers more than a mile into U.S. territory.
Why were the Mexican soldiers attacking U.S. agents? Border Patrol officials confirmed that the Juarez drug cartel has placed a bounty of $200,000 on U.S. lawmen.
Item: The U.S. Border Patrol is using tax dollars to advertise the establishment of eight "rescue beacons" along the border to help illegal aliens find they way. A strobe light is used to direct illegal aliens to the beacons to help with night crossings. During the day a reflective mirror guides the crossers.
The one minute commercials are expected to run in 2003 on TV stations in Mexico and in the border city of Yuma, Arizona. "Officials want to reach viewers in the interior parts of Mexico, where potential border crossers may know little about the treacherous terrain and nothing about the beacons," the Associated Press reported.
Officials of the United States who are required to defend our borders and uphold the Constitution and the laws of the federal government have chosen instead to ignore the fact that we even have a border with Mexico. So great is the Mexican invasion that the U.S. government has decided to accept illegal aliens as a economic fact instead of trying to stop it.
Meanwhile American society is suffering. Our standard of living is diminishing. Taxpayers are being robbed of the services they pay for as their plight is dismissed by arrogant officials from both Mexico and the United States.
If the United States would at least support an effort to stop the flood of illegal aliens; if the U.S. Government would file a protest to the Mexican government to demand that they stop the ambulance drivers; if the U.S. Government would stop allowing the use of the Mexican-created ID cards; if the U.S. Government would stop forcing schools and other government services to give free rides to illegal aliens – then the onslaught would begin to subside. All of those things would be easy to do and require no addition money.
They horrible truth is that there is no movement on Capitol Hill, no elected leader to rally troops to demand such actions, even though recent polls show overwhelming support by Americans for stronger action against illegal immigrants. It is up to the American taxpayers to apply pressure on our elected officials to demand an end to these outrageous policies.
The only alternative is for each taxpayer to understand that for every two dollars they earn, one may have to be set aside to pay for our free-loading Mexican cousins to live in our country with all of our benefits, yet free of our laws and our taxes.
This is our land, not Mexico’s. It’s high time we told that to our own leaders and especially to the government of Mexico.
© 2003 American Policy Center