Survival Basics

Uncontrolled Immigration

The U.S.A. is the finest nation in the world, and everybody agrees. We gave to the world such gifts as McDonald’s, Nike, and YouTube. We have the highest standard of living, and are among very few nations in the world where the impoverished are still overfed. For those who have been abroad to non-tourist locations, you know this to be true. Let’s face it: America is awesome. For this reason, millions around the globe are clamoring to enter our country by any means available.

Should we welcome all who wish to enter in our country?

We like to think that our arms are wide open to all who wish to enter.  This is only partially true; our arms are open to those who have sufficient documentation to justify their naturalization into our citizenry, akin to those wishing to lawfully register a vehicle at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) but neglected to provide one of the 8 required forms during their appointment. A large percentage of those who initially enter illegally go on to naturalize themselves when conditions allow it, in the same manner as driving on expired tags until your next DMV appointment.

For the purposes of this article, the terms “undocumented alien” and “illegal immigrant” will be used somewhat interchangeably and without prejudice or moral conviction. Illegal immigration is technically a criminal act (hence the label “illegal”), but those who conduct such activities are not automatically classified as “criminals”. Respect comes first, and verdicts follow actions. This is a guide for preparation, not judgement.

Uncontrolled Immigration

This article serves as a preparation guide for mass immigration (legal or otherwise) into the U.S. This has become a highly political and polarizing subject, and is a sensitive topic among the general population. We will start out with two basic tenets: (1) all people deserve respect and tenderness as human beings, until they demonstrate otherwise, and (2) many people outside our country are living in such poor conditions that we cannot imagine, that they will take any risk to find sanctuary within our borders. After all, for better or for worse, this nation was founded upon immigration.

Statistics on the subject

Statistics on the subject are impossible to precisely calculate (would you be forthcoming on a census if you were undocumented?), so take the following numbers with a few grains of salt. It is estimated that approximately 3-4% (10-12 million) of the current U.S. resident population consists of undocumented aliens. This number generally grows by around 0.5 million per year, while another 0.5 million are apprehended upon intended entry. Nearly half of our undocumented aliens number entered on perfectly legal visas, and simply overstayed them (either intentionally or unintentionally).

This number includes thousands of refugees from war-torn regions across the globe. Of those who entered illicitly, many were led to believe that their actions were perfectly legal, and only realized that they had been misinformed after the fact. Another percentage were victims of human trafficking and had no choice in the matter. The remaining fraction that deliberately entered illegally likely did so because they feared for their, and their family’s, lives. Wouldn’t we all do the same for our loved ones? Bottom line: we natural citizens have no place to judge one’s motivations or intentions until we get the full story.

Impacts upon the nation

Now, let us get to the impacts upon the nation. Some claim that illegal immigrants make no contributions to our economy, while gleaning its benefits. This is simply not true. Nearly 5% of our overall workforce consists of undocumented aliens, who directly contribute to our GDP. Our workforce makes us strong. Most states include a sales tax, which is applied equitably to all purchases (even cash payments). Furthermore, for those who own or rent property, there is probably a property tax that they pay in full or in part (through rent payments), respectively.

The major remaining discriminator comes from income taxes; those whose employer gives a legitimate payroll get automatically taxed, while those whose employer gives covert cash payments may elude the dreaded income tax that we attempt to minimize. If anybody is to blame here, it is the employer that utilizes under-the-table payments to lower costs, not the employee that is attempting to feed the family.

Fair share

For those that are paying less than their “fair share” (often not by choice), there are some consequences to society that we must prepare for. One research group estimated that $10-20B of illegal immigrant annual heathcare costs are subsidized by lawful citizens.  While only 0.1% of our GDP, this is definitely a non-trivial number that impacts our national bottom line. Dollars aside, each hospital and medical clinic has a finite number of beds and examination rooms that are constructed and maintained based upon the known population of the region.

The local maternity ward in a southern Arizona hospital cannot simply manufacture more birthing spaces when thousands of unexpected expecting mothers enter during the winter months—the unforeseen births might even displace lawful citizen mothers! (Of note, no human being should ever be denied emergency medical treatment, regardless of how it is billed in the coming months: save the life and sort it out later.)

Public school students

Another study estimated that nearly 7% of our public school student body consists of children from illegal immigrant households. At risk of sounding stereotypical, many of these students can be expected to have an inferior education for their age (by our national standards), and English is probably a second language. Teachers are the salt of the earth, and they leave no student behind. Sometimes, this comes at the expense of the broader student body: the 93% of students coming from more traditional households may not be broadened to their fullest capability in order to ensure that the remaining 7% have a fighting chance to keep up.

Many apprehensions about massive immigration come from the perceived drain upon our economy and public resources. Without individual prejudice, this is a very real concern (albeit somewhat elevated in the political realm) that U.S. citizens should acknowledge. The next question is how to prepare for such an eventuality.

Is massive uncontrolled immigration still acceptable?

With this material in mind, how do we posture ourselves for massive uncontrolled immigration? In this context, there is no separation between legal and illegal. People are penetrating our borders by all means available, and the nation’s population is experiencing rapid growth. The number of vehicles on our roadways is growing faster than we can build new highways. Also, the number of children in our schools is growing faster than we can build new classrooms and hire more teachers. In the same way, the number of families requiring housing is rising more rapidly than we can construct new buildings and utilities. The number of consumers is growing faster than our agricultural and manufacturing capabilities. The number of patients is increasing faster than we can build new clinics and hire more medical staff.

How our ancestors lived

 Let’s start by remembering how our ancestors lived before relying on a centralized governing body to provide for their basic needs. In the 1700’s, most towns had a town surgeon and a K-12 (equivalent) school that met in the local church. Healthcare and education were decentralized to the most local levels. Parents met in town halls to address concerns with local issues. The community came together to meet one anothers’ needs, and were generally self-sufficient. Our ancestors didn’t need the public infrastructure—they provided it themselves.

How do we translate this into today’s society?

How do we translate this into today’s society, when the headlines are dominated by Presidential candidates and billionaires’ personal lives? First, get involved with your local community. Your city mayor and councilmen probably impact your daily life more than the federal government; how well are your concerns represented? Next, take some responsibility for the public services that you enjoy. Are you concerned about healthcare? Learn how to sew stitches and administer CPR rather than relying on a public service for basic needs. Are you concerned about education? Take some responsibility for your children’s development. When is the last time you reviewed your child’s homework with them, or assigned them an extracurricular project?

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Where are we making mistake?

Our major weakness in this scenario is our blind faith in centralized national government to provide for our population’s needs. What is right for southern California is not right for eastern Kentucky. As citizens, we need to become involved with our local governance to influence the proper course for our communities. We also need to take more responsibility for basic human services, such as healthcare and education, to reduce the burden on the public infrastructure. Free up our public services for the “common” welfare, not the “everything” welfare. As preparationists, we save those resources for those that cannot provide for themselves, while building them up to the point where they can join us as contributors, vice consumers.

Immigration is the cornerstone of our nation (for better or worse). Always, ALWAYS, treat other humans with dignity and respect. Until they demonstrate otherwise.

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