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The Real Problem with Immigration and Welfare – Orange County Register

As an advocate for immigration freedom, one of the objections to my position that I hear most often is: “Immigrants are abusing the welfare state by tapping into a system that they do not ‘have not contributed’.

This objection is largely based on myth. Demagogues make it appear that immigrants have virtually unlimited eligibility for welfare, comparable to that of native-born Americans. But immigrants’ eligibility for social programs is much greater limit than most people think. Legal immigrants are eligible for means-tested federal welfare only after they have had a green card for five years. Illegal immigrants are not eligible at all except for emergency Medicaid. (At the state level, access to welfare varies by state.)

My question to those who make this objection is: Are you concerned about people taking undeserved people, or are you scapegoating immigrants? If, like me, you are concerned about the first case, then the objection should be directed against the welfare state itself and against the rights-conscious recipients who beg for handouts – not against the many immigrants who looking to earn a living.

By definition, the welfare state takes money from those who earn it and gives it to those who don’t, whether immigrants or native-born Americans. Welfare is a confiscation of money based on need. In a welfare state, the productive are driven to provide for others with their own money – the productive sacrifice for the unproductive.

No one “earns” welfare – not immigrants, not native-born Americans. Think about Social Security: The checks seniors receive each month are the result of confiscating money currently taken from the younger working population – not money they themselves were forced to give. invest during their working years.

The immigrant welfare abuse objection ignores the fundamental injustice of the welfare state. When there is genuine concern about people taking what is not deserved, this must apply to every individual who does so, whether born in the country or not.

To think properly about this question, we need to abandon collectivized assessments and recognize the nature of the welfare state. My approach to this question is influenced by Ayn randwhich provided a unique individualistic moral perspective on the welfare state and its beneficiaries.

Consider the example of a grandmother who was forced to fund Social Security, who opposed this injustice, and who worked for a living, including trying to support her retirement needs. Only an individual like her can morally justify receiving social assistance, in the form of partial restitution. It’s not her fault she was put in this position and should not be judged as a “moocher.” But if she supported the welfare system, clamoring for unearned income, she has no moral right to a cent – ​​and she is complicit in the injustice of the system. The same is true whether grandma was born in Los Angeles or Buenos Aires. The fundamental injustice is inherent in the welfare system itself.

It is telling that many of those who raise the objection of welfare abuse against immigrants escape the injustice perpetrated by the welfare system and remain conspicuously silent towards welfare recipients native-born social workers – including the elderly, single mothers, the unemployed and others – who are increasingly demanding more help. Instead we hear a relentless collective judgment of all immigrants. This calls into question what drives such opposition to immigration.

But we’ve all seen the photos and videos of New York City: hundreds of migrants housed in hotels, receiving food and shelter at enormous taxpayer expense. Isn’t this a problem specific to immigrants, not a problem to native-born Americans?

California Daily Newspapers

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