By Ed Klein, Peoria IL
A recent report revealed that upwards of $1.1 billion is spent by U.S. taxpayers on medical, educational and other social benefits for illegal immigrants. Many communities are facing financial hardship because, in some cases they are bound by law to provide these services whether the recipient can pay or not. One hospital stated that it had provided $200 million worth of services gratis, largely to the indigent. Now, many pregnant Mexican women are coming across the border to have their children born in the United States. Again most of the medical expenses are paid by U. S. taxpayers. How many U. S. citizens receive such benefits?
U. S. backed NAFTA and CAFTA are responsible for driving Mexican and Central American farmers off the land and into the cities to find jobs in industry, where their numbers depress wages, resulting in massive unemployment. But like most free trade advocates, let’s just ignore the fact that we are largely to blame for the exodus of illegal immigrants into our country, and concentrate on the problems of those communities being financially drained by being forced to provide all the unpaid services.
I am not sure just how many millions of dollars the U.S. provides in aid to Mexico and some Central American countries. It seems to me that since we are taking care of so many of their citizens and saving those countries the expense of doing so themselves, we could make some kind of arrangement to be compensated. Perhaps we could arrange for the beleaguered communities to figure out just how much pro bono services are costing them and submit a bill for that amount to Congress, in turn, would deduct that amount from the money we provide in foreign aid to those countries and with it, reimburse the host communities for the losses they sustain.