Letter: Trumped up crisis

Immigrants in the country illegally are not eligible for most government benefits by law.

Under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, undocumented immigrants don't have access to programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (welfare), Social Security or Medicare. Undocumented immigrants can't legally receive food stamps, live in public housing, enroll in non-emergency Medicaid, receive supplemental security insurance or direct cash payments. Immigrants can get emergency medical services. Twelve states allow undocumented immigrants a driver's license.

Most assistance programs are directed at children. Immigrant children can enroll in public schools, get free school meals and WIC (Women, Infants and Children). Undocumented children, those that don't have at least one U.S. citizen parent, made up only 1.3 percent of total U.S. school enrollment in 2014.

The landlords of immigrant renters pay local and school taxes. Illegal immigrants pay taxes on their wages. In 2015, workers ineligible for Social Security numbers (including fakes) paid more than $23 billion in taxes but can't receive Social Security benefits. Social Security's solvency has become increasingly dependent on this free money. Underreporting an illegal's wages is the employer's fault. By ethnicity Asians have the highest U.S. household incomes while Hispanics have the third highest. By 2030 retirement age Americans will outnumber native-born children.

In 2017, 17,284 murder and non-negligent manslaughter cases occurred in the United States, with five of the worst 10 states in the South. Georgia ranked seventh. U.S. Sentencing Commission data shows homicides are a small percentage of the crimes committed by noncitizens, whether they're in the U.S. illegally or not. Texas' illegal immigrant conviction rate for homicide was 44 percent below that of native-born Americans in 2016. El Paso was safe before any wall. Trump lied.

All six of America's 2016 Nobel Prize winners in science and two in 2017 were immigrants. National Geographic reported of the top 100 U.S. companies, 44 were founded or co-founded by an immigrant or U.S.-born child of an immigrant. The biological father of Apple's Steve Jobs is from Syria and the adoptive father of Amazon's Jeff Bezos is from Cuba. Some 55 percent of America's billion-dollar startups have immigrant founders.

Melania Trump, an immigrant, lives in government housing in Washington, D.C., while enjoying transportation, meals, galas and domestic help paid for by taxpayers. Every congressperson along our southern border opposes wall funding.

Trump believers must feel foolish. Trump's businesses just started overall use of E-Verify.

David Bean


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