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LETTER TO EDITOR: Immigration reform bill beneficial to U.S.
May 31, 2013 09:41 AM | 1898 views | 1 1 comments | 93 93 recommendations | email to a friend | print
EDITOR: Editor’s note: The following letter is addressed to Katie Spee, in response to her May 22 letter titled “Immigration bill will add trillions in debt to nation.”

Your fear of adding trillions of dollars to our debt with immigration reform does not pass the logic check.

First, Social Security is calculated based on highest 35 years of earnings and averaged. So the reality of almost all undocumented immigrants is that they will pay in little and get very little back, if they get anything (no citizenship, no pay, green carders will not get paid). It is actually to U.S. citizens’ benefit that we will have people paying more into Social Security than they will get back.

Medicaid and Medicare are for U.S. citizens and green card holders. It will take more than a decade, at the earliest, for them to get a green card and coverage. These neighbors of ours are real people, just like you and me.

Many have been here for decades and attend our churches and love us. In 1986 President Reagan signed a real amnesty program and the economy flourished.

The current bill is tough, puts undocumented at the end of the line but takes the fear out of breaking up families, gives their children hope to succeed, work and even go to college to get on your good side. Do you want to deport the children, too, or pay $7,000 per year in foster care? What would Jesus say? I think he would say love ALL your neighbors and tell your Congressional leaders to vote FOR Senate Bill 744.

Everitt Howe

Sandy Springs
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Katie Spee
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August 29, 2013
Appreciate your views, Mr. Howe, but you are missing a few facts.

The Senate bill dictates those who would be put on the path to a green card would achieve that in roughly 10 - 13 years. To achieve this, given the sheer number of those in question, (who are to be "at the back of the line"), we would first have to shove through a 19 year backlog, 4.5 million immigrants, who have already legally applied for green cards. All of them will also become eligible for benefits, Head Start, housing subsidies, tuition assistance, and healthcare (half will qualify for max assistance, about $9000, per CBO). This is an enormous cost to be absorbed in a short amount of time, double the usual rate; and one not offset by their ability to contribute to their own benefits.

Senators who pushed for passage of the bill indicated those who would be granted provisional status would support themselves and not become a "public charge", as required by the never-enforced Section 212(a)(4) of the US Code. However, pg 99-102 of the bill waives that requirement for anyone who is unemployed, in job-training, getting a high school or GED diploma, younger than 21 or older than 60, taking care of a child or attending college. Guess who picks up the tab?

Half of green-card holders have household incomes below 138% of the federal poverty line, and they’re also largely uninsured. Insuring them will add $100 billion to the ever-escalating cost of the Affordable Care Act. Tax payers foot the bill for all of these subsidies.

The main point of my letter was to detail the unaffordable cost to the nation in the Senate's "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" bill. Not whether allowing those who are not yet citizens, who love this country, to obtain some form of legal status is the right thing to do. We can be far more effectively compassionate as a nation if we are not broke. There are better, more constructive ways to welcome those who aspire to green cards and US citizenship while protecting the nation's ability to provide opportunities for all.
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