What draws undocumented workers

Mr. William Chip, a FAIR board member, responded to a recent Washington Post article by Michael Gerson about GOP campaigns’ strategies concerning illegal immigration through the following letter to the editor:

In his Oct. 28 op-ed, “ Fanning the flame on immigration,” Michael Gerson said that GOP campaigns that challenge the provision of subsidized education and medical benefits to illegal immigrants are “repellent” and that, in any event, it is economic opportunity, not government benefits, that are the “magnet” for illegal immigration. Mr. Gerson missed the point. These benefits may not be magnets for undocumented workers, but they are incentives for otherwise temporary workers to bring their families to this country and then stay put.

Before the 1970s, most illegal immigrants left their families at home, where the cost of living was much lower. The families were the “magnet” that eventually drew these migrants back home. After the Great Society’s expansion of public subsidies for health care and the Supreme Court’s 1982 decision opening public schools to children of illegal immigrants, the calculus changed.

I have no doubt that Mexicans love their kids as much as we Americans love ours. If public schooling and nonemergency medical care were unavailable to the children of undocumented workers, their parents would not bring them to this country in the first place.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    I would have less of a problem with the illegals if they would really try to assimilate and speak our language and obey our laws. All they want is what they can get for free and have no respect for America or Americans.
    Because of that I am against them and work to get them out of America.

  2. avatar

    I am exhausted by all this illegal immigration issue. Lets just pray that all this injustice and manipulations and corruptions and greed will end and justice will prevail…AMEN!!!

  3. avatar





    A portrait of America in decline
    31 October 2011
    A series of reports over the past ten days—on poverty, wages, income inequality and social mobility—have painted a portrait of America starkly at odds with the official mythology of the United States as the land of unlimited economic opportunity, the country with the world’s highest standard of living.
    The World Socialist Web Site has naturally drawn attention to these reports, but Marxist critics and opponents of American capitalism did not collect this data. On the contrary, the figures come from US government agencies like the General Accounting Office, the Congressional Budget Office, the Social Security Administration, the Bureau of the Census and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    That makes the picture of the real state of affairs in the America of 2011 all the more damning. Even agencies controlled by political representatives of the financial aristocracy are compelled to admit that the conditions of life for the vast majority of the American people are disastrous.

  4. avatar
    Ana Zuniga-Maus on

    I am not so sure any more that Mexicans and Latins in general love their kids and have the same family values we have, because a good mother will NEVER leave her kids here at their mercy or at the mercy of other relatives, when they are deported. This is just another tactic of illegal parents to continue to use their anchor babies for their advantage, and to try to force our government and system, to let them get back into the country. As a Hispanic myself, I am disgusted with the claim of the open borders advocates to the separation of families, there is not such thing, if you have to leave, because you were cough cheating, you are free to take ALL your family with you and end of story.
    Illegals come here after all the free things we offer them, like health care, better schools for their kids, citizenship for their kids born here and all the other incentives they can collect for themselves or in the name of their anchor babies. Until all this incentives are terminated, no fence in the border is going to stop them from coming, it may slow them down, but they will find a way to come in, because once they make it inland, the reward is big and the enforcement is minimal.

  5. avatar

    Deport all Illegal Aliens. Children go with parents. If there is only one job or one spec of food. It goes to an American. They are breaking the Law. UPHOLD THE LAW OF THE LAND.

  6. avatar

    Excellent comment. Especially about LBJ’s Great Society Welfare Programs and the Supreme Courts irrational decision in 1982 forcing taxpapers to fund billions to educate illegal kids. Why wouldn’t illegal aliens not want their kids to get a better education including free lunch programs. Each baby born to illegal alien parents are immediately qualify for Medicaid, Food Stamps, Housing assiatance and more benefiting the whole illegal alien famly. LA county alone spent over $600 million last year on illegal aliens. Maybe the Supreme Court should make it manditory that all schools report the number of illegal kids to the Feds can pay for what they have mandated! This is not only unfair to taxpayers, it’s not right and taxation with out representation.

  7. avatar

    so true. i live in an illegal alien neighborhood where i see the families up close. it is mom, dad children. they get food stamps. government assisted rent, the nearby clinics are full of hispanic men women children seniors, staffed by hispanics, all the signs are in spanish, our parks are full of hispanics, schools, colleges, jobs, highways. the legal clinics are also staffed and utilized by hispanics. when i call the police to report driving drunk, running through stop signs, littering – if hispanics did it or its in hispanic neighborhood the cops wont do anything.
    when i report it to city council they always spout the usual bs “its a federal issue” when im not talking about federal issue i am talking about problems that would not be tolerated if it took place by any other race. such reverse racisim.
    anyway, yes, i know first hand they come here for the benefits – on every level.

  8. avatar

    Good letter, especially the point about how pre-1970s most illegal aliens left their families behind. Now of course, many if not most illegals know how to exploit the system and have the multi-million dollars ethnocentric groups such as “The Race” to support and litigate for them.

    • avatar

      Just about any WELFARE office will explain to these people in their own language how to game the system. I don’t know if its job security, or just being to liberal with tax payer’s money. I do recall back home when migrant workers came north in the summer to work in the sugar beet fields, almost every farm had cabins for the workers, and their family’s. Well I also remember when the county welfare office said that the cabins were not good enough for these workers even as a temporary place to live, and further more our 105 year old farm house were we lived would have not passed their inspection, but it was all right if we lived there that was 50 or so years ago. by the way the house is still lived in by my family.

      • avatar

        Several years ago, I had to “observe” workers in several DHS (read welfare) offices in San Diego county. While I am not what anyone would call a good spanish speaker, I am a very good listener. Every day, car loads of illegals would come streaming into the offices in Oceanside and Chula Vista with their hand out, spoken to and almost coached by others in the waiting room as what to say and what not to say.

        When I questioned one of the case workers at the Chula Vista office about the car loads of mothers with their “nino’s”, coming in, dressed to the hilt, driving new SUV’s with baja ca plates, the response was always the same: “we can’t do anything to stop it and there is no one here to enforce it”

        Sadly, they people are told from birth they are “americans” and are entitled to anything and everything the gringo has, including their home, car and job.

        We need more DUI checkpoints and stepping up the deportations; we should start with crooked politicians that have nothing more to gain than another “undocumented voter”