(Crossing The) Border Line (Item)

I was just skimming an editorial about migrant kids coming to the US without parents or documents. You can read the editorial here. I don’t know if I totally got the whole of it, but the point I’m about to make isn’t inspired by the editorial anyhow. It’s about the responses in the comments section.

I know:

Never read the comments section.

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A sampling:

“Will there be anything left of my tax dollars after I provide lawyers, shelter, education, healthcare, and welfare benefits to these people breaching our boarder? ”

“we owe illegal aliens law breakers, nada………..we have poor in the US, veterans and senior citizens who come first.”

“Sending children alone across our border is a cold calculated effort by their parents and relatives to leverage special treatment. It is an abuse of our good will.”

“…an unspoken goal of the Democrat Party is to inject as many non-Whites into America as fast as possible, and get them legalized to vote as fast as possible, since every illegal entering the country is probably a future Democrat vote.”

“Anyone who sends their kids north alone, really only cares about getting an anchor in this country so they can follow.”

“61 million immigrants have come to America in the past 20 years. 61 MILLION….
This is why wages are depressed, why young people don’t have careers, etc. enough is enough. America must be for the American people.”

“Why don’t those fleeing persecution stop running in Mexico? Surely Mexico is not persecuting its minions anymore than the US is persecuting its own. And Mexico speaks their language. So why don’t they?”

“These kids need to be promptly deported, not given lawyers so they can cost the tax payers even more to manage. Even if they face certain death back home, it is not our problem.”

 

48

 

I’m not an all-out idealist on the issue of immigration. I get there is a limit. I get the U.S can’t take care of whole countries. I agree there needs to be  (new, better) rules  that are enforced  because (a) there’s a limit (b) security dictates we have a rough knowledge of who’s in the country and (c) undocumented workers are too easily turned into prey. I even get, believe it or not, that an influx of immigrants changing our nation’s demographics presents a challenging psychological adjustment.

But what I don’t get and what I’m just done arguing about are these false contentions:

1/ That  the reason “Our Own” are in need is because money is being spent on immigrants instead.  

2/ That there’s a Christian basis for valuing one life over another based on nationality.

3/ That there’s no middle ground between “building a wall” and “letting in every single person who wants to come here.”

4/ That life in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala ain’t so bad.

5/ That US foreign policy over the last 40 years  doesn’t leave us with some responsibility for the conditions in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

6/ That kids are just being used by greedy parents who want American welfare.

7/ That only mere tiny percentage of anti-immigrant sentiment is xenophobia-based.

8/ That the people working here without papers should make me angrier than the fact millions of people have to live in squalor and violence through no fault of their own.

9/ That it’s not tacky when people who lack nothing and aren’t even in areas impacted by  sizable immigration complain because abjectly poor people are “getting” to work menial jobs while also scrounging for subsistence benefits.

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It’s good to be the king.

 

I’ve looked and read and listened and empathized and sympathized. I’ve tried to see the other person’s point of view. I know it’s a complex issue. But I have label these particular arguments as:

INVALID

So I’m not going to argue about them anymore, in print or in my head, not even in an election year. I’m just going to say “I believe that’s an invalid argument.”  And move on. I have better things to do than talk to walls.

But I do have a suggestion for a concrete action.

The U.S. should implement The Immigration Income Tax Line Item.

With this plan, every tax payer is asked to check YES or NO to this statement: “My money can be spent on expenses related to undocumented immigrants, migrants, and refugees.”

Then the government figures out expenditures on undocumented migrants, including school, health, welfare, law, etc —  and calculates a single tax payer portion of that bill. If you check “Yes” – they take that money out of your taxes (either what you owe or your refund)  and put it in a special account for immigration related purposes.

If you say “No,”  they don’t.  It’ll be something like The Hyde Amendment or when a person donates to a global charity and can direct the money towards a specific project instead of the general fund.

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Sure there could be problems.  Likely people who just don’t want “them”  here in America regardless of money will still have a problem. And of course people will start to suggest we do this for ALL controversial issues: war, education, research, corporate subsidizes. Then what?

Well, hey, maybe expanding this idea isn’t a bad thing.  For one thing- maybe no more debt; you can only pay for what the line item’s  funding can afford. No dipping into war to pay for education or vice versa. And as for divisions? They could actually dissipate. Think of it: no more gridlock over big vs. small government.  Each voter can chose for him or herself. Help government pay for everything …or nothing! Or somewhere in between. People will be paying only for what they find tolerable from a their own individual philosophical, theological, practical, professional and/or fiscal points of view. Soon, instead of considering your pocket book, values and conscience when you vote, you’d do so when you pay your taxes. Or don’t pay, as the case may be. Less partisanship will naturally ensue.

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And yeah, there are bound to be some heated discussions on what issues get the line item and what are “Essentials”  that need to stay everyone’s responsibility. But once those arguments are done, it’s smooth sailing.

I have to admit though, besides making life easier for my fellow citizens,  I propose the Income Tax Line Item because it will have a pay off for me. I don’t mean a financial one. I just mean if people  who rabidly don’t want to pay for “illegals”  are able to opt out of doing so,  chances are I’ll never have to read the sentence “Even if they face certain death back home, it is not our problem…”   written about little children ever again.

That’d be worth it.

Thanks for reading,

Beth

 

 

 

 

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