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Illegal immigration is costly to this nation, both in monetary and human terms.

The problem came to the fore again recently when an illegal alien with an arrest record and extensive gang connections shot and killed a California police officer. This is but the latest in a string of such instances where illegal aliens have murdered, assaulted and committed other heinous felonies against innocent Americans. Americans are concerned. A recent Rasmussen poll showed that 68 percent of likely voters thought illegal immigration was a serious problem.

There are currently about 12 million illegal aliens in our country. This is the equivalent of the combined populations of Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio and Dallas. About eight million illegals are part of our work force. These are concentrated in California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois.

The cost to this nation of a porous border and illegal immigration is difficult to quantify, but it is great. Some estimate the cost at $300 billion annually, which is nine times the Pennsylvania state budget. Most estimates don’t consider the negative impact illegal labor has on depressing U.S. wages.

A majority of illegal immigrants have little education and few salable skills. Further, many are violent criminals and terrorists taking advantage of the cross border flow to enter this country unnoticed. Along with the flow of people come drugs and disease. All these things cost the taxpayers of this nation a lot of money.

Several studies have put the lifetime cost of an illegal alien at somewhere between $75,000 and $150,000. With one million illegal aliens entering the country every year, the cost is between $75 billion and $150 billion for each year’s flow.

What do these people contribute? Crime statistics for FY 2018 show that 76,000 illegals were charged for dangerous drugs, 51,000 for assault, 20,000 for larceny, 7,000 for sex offenses, and 2,000 for murder. There are, today, one million criminal illegal aliens in this country with orders for removal for various offenses. On any given day there may be 52,000 in detention facilities. That’s somewhere around $10 million a day in detention cost. Add to that the amount it costs for convicted and incarcerated illegals and that number moves closer to $20 million a day. There are 48,415 illegal aliens in federal custody. Many more are in state and local custody.

With illegal aliens come large numbers of children who then overwhelm our schools and our teaching resources. The total annual cost to educate illegal children is a little over $11 billion. This is enough to build 122 new high schools every year.

Another major expense for illegal aliens is health care. It is estimated that this country spends $18.5 billion on health-care subsidies for this group. This means that every U.S. taxpayer is paying $131 a year to subsidize illegal immigrant healthcare. The $18.5 billion spent on illegals would pay health-care costs for 3.7 million Americans.

More difficult to account for is the human toll that open borders and illegal immigrants cause. For drugs alone, the Council of Economic Advisors puts the cost at $500 billion. It is estimated that nearly all of the heroin and methamphetamine and most of the cocaine and fentanyl arriving in the U.S. comes across the Mexican border.

President Trump clearly sees the immense cost of illegal aliens and has proposed a number of plans to mitigate it. One proposal is to build a border wall. Such a wall will not stop all illegal border crossing by itself, but it will reduce the numbers considerably. For this he has requested $5 billion in the new budget. Quite a modest request. The Democrats are blocking this money. The primary reason is that they don’t want to see the president deliver on a campaign promise. Raw politics at the price of national security. Nancy Pelosi says she can’t find $5 billion in the budget. This is the person who found $3 billion for Obama’s asinine “Cash for Clunkers” program. Recall also that Pelosi and Schumer were in favor of a wall in 2009.

Democrats encourage open borders and illegal immigrants entirely out of self-interest. They hope to buy a large number of Democratic votes by providing social welfare programs.

Mexico certainly likes open borders and lots of illegals because their citizens in the U.S. send $25 billion in remittances to Mexico each year.

We are a nation of laws. A society cannot function by the rule of law if the laws are disregarded. We, as a nation, have every right and obligation to defend our borders and determine who does and does not enter our country. No one has a “right” to enter our nation. Ronald Reagan said, “A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.” Will we be a nation with secure borders or will we allow Democrats to block secure borders, ignore the law and endanger national security for malevolent political gain?

Does anyone think illegal immigration is “someone else’s problem?” It could come to Washington County.

The Democrats have long planned to forcibly relocate large groups of aliens to various areas around the country. Imagine the temptation of locating 5,000 new and instant Democrat votes in conservative-leaning Washington County. What would be the impact? Imagine our school systems being instantly overloaded. Imagine having to hire a large number of Spanish-speaking teachers. Imagine the adverse impact on the overall quality of education. Social service costs would skyrocket. Hospitals would be inundated. Employers could be required to hire them, diminishing work force efficiency. Local police forces would have to be augmented to deal with increased crime rates, and our already overcrowded jail would have a real problem. This is a real possibility if Democrats should take over the government.

Vote wisely, my friends.

Dave Ball is vice chairman of the Washington County Republican Party and a Peters Township councilman.

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