LatinaLista — By now, the vast majority of states in the nation have considered or have passed legislation targeting undocumented immigrants living and working within their city limits.
(Source: Angus Reid Global Monitor)
The driving force to get this legislation passed has always been the accusations that undocumented immigrants are costing taxpayers money and taking advantage of such programs as welfare, food stamps, etc.
The funny thing is that the politicians and pundits who are making these accusations never fully explain how this is happening. They just have repeated it so often that people are duped into thinking it must be fact.
At least, that’s what happened in Alabama and now they’re learning a hard truth.
Alabama politicians, wanting to jump on the bandwagon to show their constituents that they can act faster than Congress when it comes to meting out Amerian justice to undocumented immigrants, are having to eat their words because they were too busy trying to be first.
In a move to ferret out all those undocumented immigrants Alabama politicians just knew were loitering on the state’s Medicaid rolls and using precious Alabama taxpayer money, they passed a bill called The Deficit Reduction Act.
Among other things, the bill required a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship from people before they could qualify to continue or begin receiving Medicaid.
What better way to expose illegal immigrants, right? They’re the only ones who don’t have US birth certificates — or so thought the wise politicians in Alabama.
It seems there are a lot of people who don’t have the proper paperwork to show they are citizens.
The Montgomery Advertiser reports that, More than 5,000 people have lost their Medicaid coverage for failing to provide a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship, according to data from the Alabama Medicaid Agency.
Children were the largest group affected: 2,081 black children and 1,213 white children were removed from Medicaid.
The ironic thing is that Latinos comprised only 2% of the people dropped from the rolls, whereas Blacks accounted for 60% of those who were dropped.
But, the most telling thing about this sad fiasco is that Alabama Medicaid Commissioner, Carol Steckel, went on the record to say that Alabama doesn’t have a large problem with illegal immigrants trying to cheat the state out of Medicaid dollars.
The good news for the poor people, and they were mostly low-income, is that they are now back on the rolls after Medicaid officials realized what was happening.
Yet, all of this could have been avoided, and in other states where this could happen, if the people, politicians and constituents, had done their home work to know that no undocumented person in their right mind would sign up for government assistance and draw that kind of attention to themselves.
In fact, in a 2004 Executive Summary published by the Center for Immigration Studies, it was found that:
With nearly two-thirds of illegal aliens lacking a high school degree, the primary reason they create a fiscal deficit is their low education levels and resulting low incomes and tax payments, not their legal status or heavy use of most social services.
On average, the costs that illegal households impose on federal coffers are less than half that of other households, but their tax payments are only one-fourth that of other households.
But even with their low educational levels, thus not able to pay higher taxes (what a vicious cycle that’s been created for them), they still don’t use most, if any, social services.
Latinos who do use those social services, and there are too many, are not the ones who are illegal, but the ones who are citizens — 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation Latinos.
Politicians and pundits who refer to the high “Hispanic” welfare, food stamps and Medicaid rolls are getting their Hispanics mixed up — which goes to show that in the minds of these politicians the terms “Hispanic” and “illegal” are synonymous.
And that’s disturbing news for the rest of us.