A reporter asked the president during a briefing yesterday if illegal aliens would be welcomed at coronavirus testing sites and if they should fear being deported (see 1:12:21). Emergency health care is never denied to anyone regardless of their immigration status, and there’s good reason why no one ever sees footage of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) doing raids on local hospitals: It doesn’t happen.
The problem with this whole exchange is the premise of the unidentified reporter’s question. There is scant to nil evidence that illegal aliens fear accessing health care services, let alone a whole host of other U.S. public benefits. In fact, this 2017 cost study demonstrates clearly that the exact opposite is true:
- Illegal aliens showed scant fear or hesitation showing up to hospitals and clinics for free healthcare, including giving birth, costing U.S. taxpayers $29 billion annually.
- Illegal aliens showed little fear signing up for food stamps and other nutrition programs, costing U.S. taxpayers just nearly $9 billion annually.
- Illegal alien parents had little or no fear enrolling their children in free public education, costing taxpayers $46 billion annually.
There is so little fear in the illegal alien community to access freebees, that in 2017, their presence cost U.S. taxpayers in excess of $116 billion annually. That’s pretty solid proof that there’s no fear at all.
The goal of U.S. immigration enforcement policy is not to scare people from seeking emergency health care, especially now, but to reasonably deter people from breaking our laws. Rather the goal of critics of immigration enforcement is to scare the rest of the nation into believing that any form of immigration enforcement will inevitably lead to catastrophic consequences for the illegal aliens and the rest of us, even when there is no evidence to support that supposition.