So, I did some research and found that the oft-repeated assertion that illegal immigrants get benefits such as free healthcare and other things while paying nothing into the system via taxes is a myth. The Institute For Taxation And Economic Policy (ITEP) estimates that undocumented immigrants were responsible for 10.6 BILLION in state and local taxes in 2010, and the Social Security Administration reports they paid 13 billion into the Social Security Trust Fund (which will never benefit them) via payroll taxes. I am sure these numbers have only increased since then. They are not eligible for any state or federal benefit program, though their children born in this country are. The jobs many do, at least in the case of the Mexicans, are usually in the service industry and not ones competed for by native-born Americans. Studies show that cities with a large number of immigrants experience a general wage INCREASE for all, regardless of job. And foreign workers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mechanics) industry are increasingly vital as the number of US graduates in these fields decline.
That’s my factual portion. Now for the personal. I’ve heard some very racist remarks directed at both Mexicans and Muslims. I’ll address the ones about Mexicans first. Most of the Mexicans I have seen are poor. Most seem to be hard-working. Many speak Spanish. I’m getting really tired of hearing “You’re in America, speak English!” If they know enough English to communicate, that’s fine. I don’t think they are expecting US to learn Spanish. Their children will learn English in school. If they want to continue to use Spanish amongst themselves, why not? But to hear them talked about the way I heard African Americans talked about as a child growing up in Mississippi fills me with a most nasty sense of deja vu. In some parts of the country “dirty Mexican” has become the new “nigger”, and that should not be tolerated.
Now, as to the Muslims. I’ve seen and heard comments that no Muslims should allowed into the country, that Muslims should be thrown out, etc. This is as absurd as saying “All Christians think homosexuals should be killed,” because one extremist group happens to think so. MUSLIMS ARE NOT THE ENEMY. Too many people have this idea that any Muslim is some crazy who  is going to bomb something, shoot someone or want impose Sharia law on everyone. This is NOT the case. Most Muslims who come here are peaceful, want to live a good life in their own way, and are not anymore prone to violence than you or I. Are there extremists? Yes, but those can be found in ANY religious group. They are crazy Christians ( the Westboro Baptists, Christ Identity movement), crazy Jews (Lev Tahor), crazy Hindus (Saffron Terror) and I’m sure other religions produce their own varieties of nutjobs as well. No other than Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers, campaigned for “the rights of the Mahamdan, the Jew, and the pagan.” Just because a person who is Muslim carries out a mass shooting doesn’t mean we should blame Muslims or Islam. Did we blame Christians or Christianity for the Oregon hostage situation? (Answer: no.) Most mass shooting and acts of violence in the US have been done by non-Muslims-statistically by those identifying as CHRISTIANS, yet we continue to stigmatize Muslims. MUSLIM does not equal TERRORIST. (And, lest you accuse me of not having any personal acquaintance, I have several good friends who are Muslim and have visited mosques.)


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