Ben Carson, who is clearly running for president, has already mastered the art of being politically trite and hypocritical at the same time. In response to President Obama’s orders on immigration, he takes the path of simpleminded tribalism and says we should help Americans before helping foreigners.
Like millions of other Americans, I appreciate the plight of billions of people throughout the world who would like nothing more than to find themselves in the United States, where they could enjoy a much higher standard of living and wonderful opportunities for advancement.
It certainly seems like a compassionate thing to offer them legal status in America and the opportunity to pursue their dreams. It should first be considered, however, that we have millions of people already mired in dire poverty in our inner cities, rural townships and places such as Appalachia who would certainly appreciate a helping hand before we extend one to foreigners. The same principle is seen when you board an airplane and hear the announcement, “In case of an emergency, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Put yours on first, and then administer help to those around you.” There are many around us already in need of help.
According to President Obama, only those 5 million or so illegals who have been in America for five years or more will benefit from his largesse. He indicates that they will not be eligible for health care and other benefits. Obviously, this fits right into the same category as his promise: “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”
Once illegals have legal status, it will be difficult to deny them any of the multitudinous entitlements that are freely distributed throughout our society. Also, we must remember that illegals who have been here for less than five years only have to claim that they have been here longer than that in order to collect goodies. In effect, instead of helping 5 million people, we probably will be aiding at least twice that many.
And he’s wrong about virtually every bit of this. He says that those granted deportation deferrals will “obviously” be eligible for federal benefits, but he provides no evidence of this. If they aren’t eligible, they won’t get them. And guess what? They aren’t eligible. And no, it won’t be more than five million, it will be considerably less than that. The five million figure is an estimate of how many people might take advantage of the program, but when Reagan did exactly the same thing in 1986, about 40% of those who were eligible took advantage of it.
And it should also be noted that this program isn’t just about helping immigrants, it’s good for the country too. It’s better in every way to have those who live in the legal shadows come into the light. They then have to pay taxes, their wages increase, more money circulates in the economy and GDP goes up. Immigrants contribute a great deal to the economy, but having them do so legally while paying taxes benefits everyone.