The fact that illegal immigrants pay taxes at all will come as news to many Americans. A stunning two-thirds of illegal immigrants pay Medicare, Social Security and personal income taxes. Yet, nativists like Congressman Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., have popularized the notion that illegal aliens are a colossal drain on the nation's hospitals, schools and welfare programs — consuming services that they don't pay for.
In reality, the 1996 welfare reform bill disqualified illegal immigrants from nearly all means-tested government programs including food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid and Medicare-funded hospitalization. The only services that illegals can still get are emergency medical care and K-12 education.
Nevertheless, Tancredo and his ilk pushed a bill through the House criminalizing all aid to illegal aliens — even private acts of charity by priests, nurses and social workers. Potentially, any soup kitchen that offers so much as a free lunch to an illegal could face up to five years in prison and seizure of assets.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment