Published DateTo the editor,
A recent poll showed that nearly 38 percent would like to deport all undocumented or "illegal aliens." Apparently, many people have not thought about the logistics or economics involved in such a harmful, misguided and unAmerican action.
The practical problem with mass deportation can be illustrated by looking at the owners of coffee shops who sell to an assortment of working people. If 12 million actual customers were deported, owners would suddenly be faced with a 10 or 15 percent shortfall in sales at the end of every day? Most businesses, not just coffee shops, would also experience a similar reduction in sales. Businesses would realize less profit, pay less taxes, and lay off employees at a time when we are struggling back from a deep financial crisis.
Unlike the U.S., Europe has always understood the benefits of immigration. This is indeed ironic when you think that most of our relatives immigrated from that continent over the centuries. Currently, Europe's population is set to decline during the next 35 years and their leaders have no idea where their future workers will come from. Italy is set to lose 28 percent of its population by 2050. In order to maintain its working age population, it would need to start importing more than 350,000 immigrants per year, or alternatively, keep all of its Italian citizens working until they are 75.
The biggest fallacy in the U.S. debate is that undocumented aliens do not pay taxes. Besides paying sales tax, tolls and real estate taxes, most also pay Social Security or payroll taxes. It is estimated that more than $60 billion (not million) is paid by those who have used bogus Social Security numbers and will never see any of the retirement benefits they might have been eligible for. A bill is currently before Congress that addresses this problem. But House leaders have turned the facts around to portray the bill as "giving illegal aliens our social security money".
It is obvious to me that immigrants, be they legal or undocumented, keep our country running and the American dream alive. Just like immigrants of the last century, they do the difficult and unglamorous jobs that keep our society functioning.