Letter to the Editor

How illegal immigrants affect the U.S. economy

Regarding the July 24 front-page article “Mexico’s middle-class migrants”:

I hope that the article will at least bust some myths and definitively answer a few questions. Such as: Do illegal immigrants really want a “path to U.S. citizenship?” No, apparently large numbers want a path to easy, tax-free money they can send home to build businesses, homes and economies, as well as a path home to enjoy the byproducts of their labors here in “El Norte.” Do illegal immigrants pay U.S. taxes? In many cases, not until after they have sent home loads of tax-free dollars to their loved ones.

It’s pretty clear to me that the United States has become one big cruise ship, with a generous all-you-can-eat buffet and doggie bags liberally distributed to passengers — especially those who slip on board without having paid for tickets.

A question for lawmakers in Washington and in states nationwide: When upward of $23 billion is being taken off the cruise ship and shipped home by freeloaders, how can you possibly justify asking those of us who pay rack rates to pay even more?  

Steve Drake, Silver Spring

Presumably the remittance money mentioned in the article on Mexican migrants is lost not only to the U.S. economy but also to the Treasury; there must be a lot of unpaid income taxes in that $23 billion sent to Mexico last year.

The United States should do what Oklahoma does: Set a fee of 1 percent (to be credited against its income tax) for all remittances wired from that state to anywhere in the world. If implemented on a national level, that fee would recapture almost a quarter-billion dollars a year to help with our deficits, and it would cost virtually nothing to any American voter.

Western Union might howl to the high heavens, but the fee would be good for the rest of us.

David North, Washington

The writer is a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies.

The Post should have restrained itself from placing a madonna-and-child-like photo of a Hispanic immigrant on its front page to illustrate Baltimore’s misguided efforts to restore its population [“Baltimore’s hope: Immigrants,” July 25]. Baltimore’s leaders have not only “adjusted” to having non-English-speaking immigrants in their midst but have embarked, at taxpayers’ expense, on a social experiment that is doomed to failure.

How does courting immigrants and placing them in city- and state-funded language, health-care and education programs, and encouraging a culture of dependency, restore the city to its former prosperity? Also, restraining police from asking about immigration status defies federal law and is antithetical to the notion of the United States as a law-abiding society.

A robust plan for courting businesses to Baltimore is a far better solution to the city’s population problem. Sadly, Maryland’s leaders are not listening. Since February, Maryland’s unemployment rate has risen from 6.5 percent to 6.9 percent, and a number of businesses have left for greener pastures in Virginia.

Jessica Emami, Gaithersburg

 
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