by Ron Paul
For decades we have welcomed new immigrants to our American "melting pot". We respect those who come here peacefully to pursue their American Dream. But Americans have noticed lately that modern problems associated with illegal immigration are at a crisis point. Taxpayers are now suffering the consequences.
Costs of social services for the estimated 21 million illegal immigrants in this country are approaching $400 billion. We educate 4.2 million children of illegals at a cost of $13.8 billion. There have been almost 2 million anchor babies born in this country since 2002, with labor and delivery costs of between $3 and 6 billion. There are currently 360,000 illegals in our prisons and we have spent $1.4 billion to incarcerate them since 2001. In Prince William County near DC, ICE can't deport criminal illegals fast enough and has actually asked its local jails to slow down on referring them. Jurisdiction over illegal immigration lies at the federal level, yet many municipalities are struggling with the compounding problems of mandated costs and tied hands. My office has heard from at least one sheriff in my district considering seeking compensation from the Federal government for the cost of so many illegal immigrant inmates that wouldn't be here if the Federal government was doing its job and protecting our borders. The problems are widespread.
One thing is certain: If we subsidize them, they will come. We have rolled out the social services red carpet, so it is no surprise that many from other countries are eager to come take advantage of our very generous system.
We must return to the American principle of personal responsibility. We must expect those who come here to take care of themselves and respect our laws. Not only is this the right thing to do for our overtaxed citizens, but we simply have no choice. We can't afford these policies anymore. Since we are $60 trillion in debt, there should be no taxpayer-paid benefits for non-citizens. My bill, the Social Security for American Citizens Only Act, stops non-citizens from collecting Social Security Benefits. This bill, by the way, picked up three new cosponsors this week and is gaining momentum. Also, we should not be awarding automatic citizenship to children born here minutes after their mothers illegally cross the border. It just doesn't make sense. The practice of birthright citizenship is an aberration of the original intent of the 14th amendment, the purpose of which was never to allow lawbreakers to bleed taxpayers of welfare benefits. I have introduced HJ Res 46 to address this loophole. Other Western countries such as Australia , France , and England have stopped birth-right citizenship. It is only reasonable that we do the same. We must also empower local and state officials to deal with problems the Federal government can't or won't address. Actions like this are a matter of national security at this point.
Illegal immigration is draining and frustrating the American taxpayer. I will continue to work for a solution that does not reward those who break our laws.
Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican congressman from Texas.