Immigration opponents are misinformed

Guest Column by Natalie Avila

Today, many people believe that “illegal” immigrants place a burden on the United States through a number of different aspects. In return, it leads people to believe that “illegal” immigration should be prevented.

Although I do believe strong points are made through the opinions of others, statements based on the issue do not always show enough factual support.

Many people believe that undocumented immigrants are not only taking away jobs from Americans, but that they also place a burden on tax payers through the use of social services.

It’s fair to say that a misconception through American society is that “illegal” immigrants are taking American jobs, but what they fail to realize is that they are taking jobs that most U.S. citizens wouldn’t do. Jobs like picking blueberries that pay by the bucket or picking heads of lettuce while working 12-hour days.

We complain that we pay too much for food, but if it wasn’t for undocumented workers who are underpaid, hired illegally and paid under the table, would a regular head of lettuce run at an average of $1.75?

Just like American citizens, undocumented immigrants do pay taxes. According to the Social Security Administration, an estimated 75 percent of undocumented immigrants are on payrolls, and just like everyone else who works in the United States, federal, state, social security and medical taxes are withheld.

I bet you are asking: “Well, then they must file for tax returns?” This too is false. Many undocumented immigrants don’t file for fear that they may be deported. Undocumented immigrants who do not file do not receive a tax refund. But still, many Americans believe that tax payers foot the bill for “illegal” immigrants.

Not only do some undocumented immigrants pay taxes that are withheld from a paycheck, but they also pay sales tax and property tax. Although “illegal” immigrants are not given the same constitutional rights as a U.S. citizen, the courts have ruled that while “illegal” immigrants are within the borders of the United States, “illegal” immigrants are granted the same fundamental and constitutional rights granted to all Americans. It would be unethical to turn away an undocumented immigrant who is in need of social services.

Now this leads me to the misconception that California is trying to “attract” undocumented immigrants through means of the Dream Act. The Dream Act is an opportunity for undocumented immigrant students who meet certain qualifications to have an opportunity to enlist in the military or to go to college.

Many undocumented students have lived in the United States since they were young, and with the Dream Act, they will have a chance to pursue a higher education. California is not attracting undocumented immigrants through the Dream Act; they’re simply trying to help students currently residing in California to have a chance at a higher education.

The qualifications specifically state that the student must have lived in the United States for a minimum of five consecutive years before the bill was enacted. Any undocumented immigrant who enters the United States after the law was passed, would not qualify for the Dream Act. Undocumented students will be eligible for student loans and federal work-study programs but not for financial aid.

Although many Americans believe “illegal” immigration needs to be prevented, I believe the focus should not be on the so called problems “illegal” immigrants are causing, but maybe should focus on what the federal government is doing to prevent illegal immigration. Immigrants from all over the world come to the U.S in pursuit of a better life and to give their children an opportunity to gain a proper education. Undocumented immigrants are human beings who have rights; they are not “illegal” although their actions may be.

Having a piece of paper that identifies them as being “a citizen” should not be able to incapacitate any person being either undocumented or documented from having the right to dream of a better life which consists of a good education, a way to provide for their family and to have access to social services.

Being “illegal” or “legal” does not define a person, and it should not set restrictions on the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.



  • Halibut
    November 10, 2011 | Permalink |

    The writer is delusional. “they’re not ‘illegal’, their actions are”. Great. Tell the guy who’s serving 10 years that he’s not a ‘criminal’, but his actions were. It’s this kind of convoluted thinking that is pervasive on the left. Well, they’re not bad people, they only violated a law that shouldn’t exist anyway. Fact is, the law DOES exist and they have violated it, and there are consequences for such violations.

  • Ted
    November 10, 2011 | Permalink |

    This is the most absurd thing I’ve ever read, to the point that it doesn’t even need to be addressed beyond that. How did this get included in Google News’ daily roundup of illegal alien stories?

  • November 10, 2011 | Permalink |

    What a load of you know what! If you are in ANY COUNTRY ILLEGALLY you should be looking over your shoulder for the law! What makes the USA any different? If you cross into Canada or Mexico Illegally you better keep an eye out for the law. If you went to those countries and tried to live there illegally you would have a hard time! Why make it EASY here? Plain and simple folks, whatever country you go to do it LEGALLY! If grandma is here illegally, send her home to someone there to take care of her! And don’t bring your kids here illegally! Be a responsible PARENT! And also it is NOT about “Immigrants” it is about Illegal Aliens (45’s) who come into a country without doing it the right way! Maybe the writers need to inform themselves in using the proper terminology instead of using the AP playbook ! Or maybe they are trying to sensationalize the article to make everyone thing that those who support the rule of law are against all Immigrants! Which is another load of you know what! And for all the farmers who have been hiring these illegal’s “May your crops ROT in the ground” you have done nothing more than aid in the slavery of thousands of people by not paying a fair wage! Time to get mechanized farmers! The days of cheap labor are over with. Oh, and yes we will pay that extra $.05 cents per tomato because they were not picked by slave labors. To try and tell us AGAIN that these people do what American Citizens won’t do is such a load of pure BS! Have you not seen the factories that fired all the illegal’s and the lines of American workers who want those jobs?

  • David Stutz
    November 10, 2011 | Permalink |

    I live 10 miles from the Mexican border in San Benito,TX and can say from personal experience that the place is crawling with illegals that drive without insurance , hit you and run away , bankrupt our local school budget , take away jobs that our children could enter the work force doing , corrupt our government officials,etc. It’s almost impossible finding unskilled employment and if you speak fluent Spanish you must compete with those paid under the table.
    This open border mentality is destroying our prosperity .

  • landaddy001
    November 10, 2011 | Permalink |

    As long as federal law says that only legally authorized workers are legally permitted to work in the United States, then by definition illegal aliens who work in this country in violation of the law are taking jobs from Americans and legal residents. It doesn’t matter what jobs American are willing or not willing to do, the law is very clear. So the whole jobs argument is pointless. I agree with you that everyone is entitled to work to better themselves, to educate themselves and to provide for their family but these activities must be conducted within the law. It is unfair when some people are permitted to ignore laws that they find inconvenient. No person is better than anyone else; the law must apply to everyone equally or it is worthless.

  • Dave Francis
    November 10, 2011 | Permalink |


    • March to 100 Cosponsors of Chairman Smith’s Legal Workforce Act! Keep up the bombardment. IT’S WORKING! Contact the ‘Ways and Means Committee led by Majority Speak John Boehner (R-OH) must adopt the Mandatory E-Verify Bill (H.R. 2885.) and should be under interminable shrapnel of challenging voters, as never before. Reps. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.), Tim Johnson (R-Ill.), Reps. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) and Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) John Sullivan (R-Okla.) and as of yesterday Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas) is now co-sponsoring House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith’s Legal Workforce Act (H.R.2885.) New members are swiftly joining this epic bill. But don’t expect Liberals or career Democrats to attach themselves to this law. Eventually it will be the fresh faces of the TEA PARTY leadership that will bring success.

    • Smith’s Legal Workforce Act (H.R.2885) would require 100% of companies—large and small– to use E-Verify for all new hires within 2 years. This bill would also require all federal, state, and local agencies as well as federal and state contractors/ sub-contractors and critical infrastructure sites to use E-Verify within 6 months.
    • Require federal, state, and local agencies to run its entire workforce through E-Verify
    • Allow private business to check all current employees through E-Verify
    • Increase employer penalties and fines for knowingly hiring illegal alien workers
    • Require the Social Security Administration to send no-match letters to employers if a current employee’s name and social security number don’t match in their system
    • Require the Social Security Administration to notify owners of a Social Security number if their number is used multiple times.

    Time is the essence when 16 foreign governments are trying to imposing their influence on the Obama administration and our courts. This will not be allowed under a TEA PARTY CONGRESS. ONE THING IS ABSOLUTELY SURE; THERE WILL NOT BE ANY AMNESTY UNDER A OVERIDING TEA PARTY CONGRESS.


    The Legal Workforce Act could open up jobs currently held by illegal aliens. GET ON THESE LAWMAKERS CASES IMMEDIATELY—Call this number at the Washington Switchboard 202-224-3121.

    Stop the assault on our nation for Democrats to grab votes, as they intentionally remain deaf, dumb and blind to illegal aliens voting or even aiding them. ACORN is a good example, of fraudulent registrations, absentee ballot applications and the ‘Motor Voter’ forms. Each of us should wonder how many illegal aliens breached the Arizona’s voting code, to recall state senator Russell pierce. With a very large percentage of foreign nationals settled in that border state, it would be easy to compromise the voting restrictions? Stop Republicans selling our country to the special interest lobbyists on ‘K’ Street for campaign contributions and lucrative perks.

    Smith’s Legal Workforce Act (H.R.2885), in order to get it to the House floor for a vote it needs more cosponsors. Chairman Smith’s bill isn’t being viewed at all that urgent; IT IS EXTREMELY URGENT but it’s behind a long list of other bills that will fill up this year’s calendar for floor action.

  • November 10, 2011 | Permalink |

    “It’s fair to say that a misconception through American society is that “illegal” immigrants are taking American jobs, but what they fail to realize is that they are taking jobs that most U.S. citizens wouldn’t do.”

    Lady you are sooooo out of step…the year is 2011 not 1990 while the Illegals may have ONLY done farm work when they initially came, they have “come a long way baby” from those days!!!–Here in Houston, TX (a border state AND a Sanctuary City, thank-you rick perry…), our entire construction biz has been TAKEN OVER by the Illegals & a nice little organization called: mexican crime gangs!!–so thanks to ILLEGALS & their criminal enterprises not 1 American face can be found on ANY new home/commercial build, road or freeway project AND this includes the Port of Houston, which is supposed to be a “secure” location. All of the “construction jobs” in Houston are now controlled soley by mexican crime gangs, they hire ONLY Illegals who have to pay “merdito” (bribe) to get the job & a weekly “fee” to keep it…NICE HUH????—therefore we have THOUSANDS of unemployed, out of work construction workers, who by the way worked years to perfect their craft & become good at their jobs & now ALL of them have been replaced by ILLEGALS, run by a MEXICAN CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION…!!!–VOMIT!!!!!

    so lady i repeat again: You have NO idea what you are blathering about, in fact i doubt that you could find your own behind with a road map & a search light!!!!–Stop the Stupidity!!–Sign the Petition…Tell Your State Gov’t to Enforce Existing Immigration Laws…DUH!!!

  • David
    November 10, 2011 | Permalink |

    Yet another misinformed pro-illegal article from a hispanic author.

    I agree that statements based on the issue do not always show enough factual support. For instance all of these pro-illegal articles want to claim that illegal workers only work in the agriculture field when it’s been estimated to be about 3% of them. Stating that Americans ‘wont do’ these jobs is beyond ridiculous. 310M citizens in the USA and there are NO farm workers? We’re now getting about 2 million migrants per year from Mexico. Lets get some of the chain migrators off the welfare couch and give them a blueberry bucket. Come to Los Angeles and take the 794 bus to Pacoima then tell me how many of your fellow hostile commuters are saving our nation by picking lettuce at discount wages.

    If 75% of illegal immigrants are paying payroll taxes, WHOS social security number are they using? Why no mention of the Billions (with a B) of dollars we are spending a year on social services for those who hold loyalty to another country? 25% of California’s budget is spent on educating anchor babies.

    A piece of paper that identifies them as being “a citizen” is a WHOLE LOT more than a simple piece of paper as you imply. If they want to “Dream” of a better life, they should go back to their own country and fix things.

    Viva La Raza!
    For The Race – Everything
    Outside The Race – Nothing
    Ya Es Hora!
    Presione 2 para Inglés

  • Delaware Bob
    November 10, 2011 | Permalink |

    OK, Let’s keep the ones who pick berries and lettuce and get rid of the rest of the illegal aliens. Most illegal aiens in this country are using this country as a welfare country with all their anchor babies, (illegal alien children). Who paid for those anchor babies, (illegal alien children)? Know how many anchor babies, (illegal alien children), have been born here in the lst 18-20- years? How about 4.3 million. Now cone on, who paid for these anchor babies and were given a U.S. birth certificate like it was a piece of Christmas candy? Illegal immigration is exactly what it is, ILLEGAL.

    How about writing about these stories, Natalie Avila, and see if the opponents of illegal immigration are misinformed.

  • M86
    November 10, 2011 | Permalink |

    This article is misguided on so many levels. A lot of the points the Author made are false and based on “feelings” than respect to the law. A country must have her own national identity, culture and language to be a sovereign nation.

    A country and her laws must be enforced to have a uniform code of conduct. The minute politicians, officeholders starts to pick and choose which law to enforce or to show preferential treatment to one group over the other is a recipe for unrest, which in turn, divides the country and becomes a breeding ground for a lawless society.

    To address some of the false points the Author made, Ill start with jobs. The Author feels since there are jobs Americans won’t do then its only right that an illegal alien sneak in our country to take it. The Author then sanctified this illegal act by faulting Americans and to keep food prices low. This is a radical view and neither the Constitution nor our immigration laws recognize this act to be within our laws.

    Another point to add to that, there are 12-30 million illegal aliens. Farm jobs doesn’t cover the bulk of that number so its safe to say, illegal aliens (including Dreamers and Anchor babies) are also taking higher-end jobs that have traditionally gone to African-Americans. The culprits here are the business owners that exploit illegals for cheap labor while hurting American citizens and depressing wages.

    Next point, illegals don’t pay taxes. They pay sale taxes from what they buy, yes. However, they steal the idenity of other Americans to hold better-paying jobs thus paying payroll/social security taxes through stolen identities.

    Next point, no, illegals are not granted the same rights as legal citizens. They have “human rights” as far as abuse but they do not have citizen rights as citizens of the U.S. They’re protected under certain statues like the right to get a public education but they have no rights to hold American jobs and the general privileges that comes with being U.S. citizens.

    Next point, the Dream Act was crafted by La Raza members, a racist organization that stands in solidarity against the U.S. The Dream Act is a form of amnesty no matter how they dress it up. Amnesty negate more amnesty. The U.S. already have a legal way to enter America. Other immigrants have gone through it like everyone else. It wouldn’t be fair to give special consideration to lawbreakers because they snuck in here illegally. They are illegal aliens for that matter and not immigrants.

    Last if all, what the U.S. need is for our federal government to enforce our immigration laws and deport every illegal alien, so long as the law says so. One thing we shouldn’t do is to base our approach on “feelings,” and sob stories. The law does not recognize “feelings and sob stories.”

  • MM956
    November 10, 2011 | Permalink |

    I believe this is an amazing article! For all of those ignorant and uneducated people leaving negative comments behind I wish you would take a few steps in an “iilegal” immigrants shoes and then come back and tey to tell me it’s easy! For one, yeah right americans would pay extra .5 cents hahaha that’s a joke they bargain everything. Secondly, they dont take any jobs from anyone there are plenty of jobs its just lazy people dont look for them! They are not crooks at all they work their own sweat off to provide for their families, look around and there are bigger problems to deal with then sit here and talk about “illegal” immigrants. I am proud for all they do and hopefully one day things do change if not guess what you will experience a real day as ” A DAY WITHOUT MEXICANS” then what?!!!

  • you never skip a step!
    November 10, 2011 | Permalink |

    Like no one has tried to cut corners…. The more money you have the power you have….. A lot of people come here to America or are already in America and forget where they come from and what the real pursuit of happiness is! To bad that all this is over money and land people are fighting for which wasn’t theirs to begin to charge a penny on to begin with…. This article was on is a response to an article that someone forgot of where they come from and hashed on their own kind…..

  • The Real
    November 10, 2011 | Permalink |

    Sounds like a lot of brats throwing tantrums .saying boohoo illegals steal this illegals steal that
    Thank god for ur relatives riding ships here illegally ” at least we can see how hypocritical their offspring have become ooh but ur right ur family never came here illegally ur right .(retards) just so u know Indians were here first and will continue to cross ur imaginary lines .if u have forgotten ur own president was not even born here ….but Obama is the man regardless “look at u people already putting a 19 year old girls article who shows more understanding for people and greater knowledge than you ,down! Hmm just so u know my mother came here “illegally” and my brothers and sisters and have a sibling that made it to college and is making a difference. Put it this way the world is changing and so r the people so u better get ready because diversity if flourishing and is here to stay with many more “illegal coming each and everyday ;)

  • generalno
    November 11, 2011 | Permalink |

    Illegal alien propaganda foisted on us by an illegal alien. Escape from income tax withholding is simple — they just claim 10 exemptions or so. Those who do not escape withholding simply use an “ITIN” and file for earned income tax credit (EITC). Those who file for EITC almost always receive much more than what was withheld — Mexicans call it free money. In fact, they often file multiple returns using multiple ITINs and receive multiple bundles of free money. So, please, no more lies about the poor Mexican who pays taxes — they do not.

  • Child of a LEGAL immigrant
    November 11, 2011 | Permalink |

    For starters, the U.S. should look into implementing Mexican immigration laws. Our neighbors to the south have some pretty good ideas. For brevity, let’s analyze some of the major glaring errors in logic. I’ll try to not repeat some of the very good comments previously posted, and avoid the “feelings” argument.

    1. “an estimated 75 percent of undocumented immigrants are on payrolls, and just like everyone else who works in the United States, federal, state, social security and medical taxes are withheld.”

    So, you’re saying that “undocumented” (illegal) workers have a social security card? Wouldn’t that make them documented? How does one obtain a SS card, but remain “undocumented (illegal)? Oh, you mean they’re working under a FALSE SS number? Are they going to claim SS benefits under that false number as well?

    2. “Not only do some undocumented immigrants pay taxes that are withheld from a paycheck, but they also pay sales tax and property tax.”

    Your wage argument is based on migrant farm workers. Are you trying to claim these workers also own property with their meager wages? You must be talking about workers who work construction or the service industry who make earn a wage closer to (still possibly below) the mean income. Do Americans not want those jobs either?

    3. “It would be unethical to turn away an undocumented immigrant who is in need of social services.”

    Why? I feel no moral obligation to support someone who has willingly broken the law. You make it sound as though illegal immigrants are marched across the U.S. border at gunpoint.

    4. “California is not attracting undocumented immigrants through the Dream Act”

    Partially true. It is the California version of Dream Act policies PLUS many other policies which California legislators and political leaders have directly stated are intended to provide “sanctuary” and “amnesty” for illegal immigrants.

    5. “The qualifications specifically state that the student must have lived in the United States for a minimum of five consecutive years before the bill was enacted”

    “Undocumented” is your word, not mine. If they are undocumented, how do you prove five consecutive years of (illegal) residency?

    6. “they are not “illegal” although their actions may be.”

    Yes, and the goal is to stop this illegal behavior. Just like murderers are not illegal. It’s just illegal to murder.

    7. “having the right to dream of a better life”

    Fine. Dream. Then, go realize your dream through LEGAL action. You cannot kill someone because you dreamt it would bring you happiness. Besides, accessing social services (welfare from other peoples’ taxes) is no right, and is certainly no dream.

    8. “Being “illegal” or “legal” does not define a person, and it should not set restrictions on the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

    Actually, it does. Amendment 5 of the U.S. Constitution: “…nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;” That means if they violated a law (illegal acts), they can be punished.

  • Bill Bevington
    November 11, 2011 | Permalink |

    From the article above… “Although I do believe strong points are made through the opinions of others, statements based on the issue do not always show enough factual support.”

    Here are a few facts to chew on….

    * 83% of warrants for murder in Phoenix are for illegal aliens.

    * Between 1999 and 2006, a seven year period, more than 1,000,000 sex crimes were commited by illegal aliens.

    * 86% of warrants for murder in Albuquerque are for illegal aliens.

    * 75% of those on the most wanted list in Los Angeles , Phoenix and Albuquerque are illegal aliens.

    * 24.9% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals.

    * 40.1% of all inmates in Arizona detention centers are Mexican nationals.

    * 48.2% of all inmates in New Mexico detention centers are Mexican nationals.

    * 29% (630,000) convicted illegal alien felons fill our state and Federal prisons at a cost of $1.6 billion annually.

    * 53% plus of all investigated burglaries reported in California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and Texas are perpetrated by illegal aliens.

    * 50% plus of all gang members in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.

    * 71% plus of all apprehended cars stolen in 2005 in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California were stolen by Illegal aliens or “transport coyotes.”

    * 47% of cited/stopped drivers in California have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 47%, 92% are illegal aliens.

    * 63% of cited/stopped drivers in Arizona have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 63%, 97% are illegal aliens.

    * 66% of cited/stopped drivers in New Mexico have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 66% 98% are illegal aliens.

    * 380,000 plus “anchor babies” were born in the US to illegal alien parents in just one year, making 380,000 babies automatically US citizens.

  • Nick
    November 16, 2011 | Permalink |

    I imagine the Native Americans have something to say about your anchor baby theories.

  • Liz
    May 13, 2012 | Permalink |

    It seems to me that everyone posting negative comments are actually the ones extremely misinformed. If YOU actually do some research, you will find that migrant workers have no correlation to the unemployment rate in America. You make it sound like it’s so easy to come into this country legally, so I know you are deeply misinformed. Also, Mexican immigrants alone give roughly $395 billion dollars to the American economy annually. Check the facts if you don’t believe me :

    Furthermore, if the US economy wasn’t based on free-market capitalism, Mexico, and other poorer countries wouldn’t be as poor and the people there would be as exploited, and thus would have less reason to come to the US to try and better their lives for themselves and their families.

    You people make me sick with how heartless and cruel you are. You treat undocumented immigrants as if they are lower than human beings. Lest us not forget how America came to be: unless you are a Native American, you really have no room to talk shit on immigrants BECAUSE YOUR ANCESTORS WERE ONCE IMMIGRANTS, TOO.

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