Texas claims of immigrant ‘burden’ is a flat out lie

Ruben Nararrette
Liberal Opinion

Ruben Navarrette

Columnist, host & author
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According to U.S. Border Patrol data, nearly 2.4 million migrants were arrested at the southwestern border this year, the highest number ever recorded. Republicans have been increasing criticism of President Joe Biden’s immigration policies ahead of the coming midterm elections. Former President Donald Trump recently told a crowd in Robstown, Texas that immigrants are “invading our southern border.” Straight Arrow News contributor Ruben Navarrette contends Republican lawmakers like Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, love to complain about migrants’ drain on the state’s resources, but the truth is something entirely different.

There’s a word, a magic word that Americans are guaranteed to hear quite often whenever the immigration issue comes up. It’s a word intend to gin up sympathy for states that have fallen on hard times, supposedly, because they’re being invaded by foreigners supposedly, through no fault of their own. Allegedly. That word is the B word:

Burden.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, both Republicans, have bused migrants to Washington, D.C. and New York as part of a publicity stunt to score points with conservatives. It was a cruel maneuver and unfair one. The migrants in question had played by the rules. They turned themselves into federal authorities and they were waiting a decision on their asylum claims to defend their actions. The governor’s deployed the B word. Both complained about the enormous burden that their states are inflicted with due to illegal migration. After the first busts of what Abbott called unlawful migrants got to Washington, the governor of the Lone Star State tweeted, “Texas should not have to bear the burden of the Biden administration’s failure to secure the border.”

What burden? That’s a flat out lie. I lived in Texas for five years while I was writing for the Dallas Morning News. Take it from me. Illegal immigration is not a burden to Texans. It’s a boondoggle. In fact, it’s such a good deal that if it didn’t exist, Texas would have to go out and invent it just to keep their state’s economy afloat. See, the critics of illegal immigration, many of whom also oppose legal immigration, well, these critics like to talk about the cost of having millions of undocumented people roaming around the Lone Star State. They talk and talk about the pressure on schools, jails and the health care system. Fair enough. Fair enough. But funny thing, though…those same folks never talked about the benefits, the benefits of all that undocumented labor.

There’s a word, a magic word that Americans are guaranteed to hear quite often whenever the immigration issue comes up. It’s a word intend to gin up sympathy for states that have fallen on hard times, supposedly, because they’re being invaded by foreigners supposedly, through no fault of their own. Allegedly. That word is the B word burden. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Arizona governor Doug Ducey. Both Republicans have bus migrants to Washington DC and New York as part of a publicity stunt to score points with conservatives. It was a cruel maneuver and unfair one. The migrants in question had played by the rules. They turned themselves into federal authorities and they were waiting a decision on their asylum claims to defend their actions. The governor’s deployed the B word. Both complained about the enormous burden that their states are inflicted with due to illegal migration. After the first busts of what Abbott called unlawful migrants got to Washington, the governor of the Lone Star State tweeted, quote, Texas should not have to bear the burden of the Biden administration’s failure to secure the border. What burden that’s a flat out lie. I lived in Texas for five years. While I was writing for the Dallas Morning News. Take it from me. Illegal immigration is not a burden to Texans. It’s a boondoggle. In fact, it’s such a good deal that if it didn’t exist, Texas would have to go out and invent it just to keep their state’s economy afloat. See the critics of illegal immigration, many of whom also pose legal immigration. But that’s a story for another day. Well, these critics like to talk about the cost of having millions of undocumented people roaming around the Lone Star State. They talk and talk about the pressure on schools, jails, and the health care system. Fair enough. Fair enough. But funny thing, though, those same folks never talked about the benefits, the benefits of all that undocumented labor. All that the state of Texas reaps from all those undocumented people spending their hard earned money to buy clothes and furniture and food and gas, not to mention paying taxes. That’s right, paying taxes, sales, taxes, property taxes, you name it, the undocumented are not immune to taxes. And then there’s the secondary benefit. The fact that these people do jobs that Texans won’t do not at any price, and that this allows Texas businesses from restaurants and hotels to farms and ranches, and well, just about anything, you name it to make money and go out and pay a bunch more in taxes. Someone should add all up and do a cost benefit analysis. Well guess what someone did. Jose Ivan Rodriguez Sanchez, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, investigate this very topic and research paper. Sanchez set out to assess both the positive and negative effects of illegal immigration. He focused on the year 2018 when, according to the report, Texas had an estimated 1.6 million undocumented residents who made up 5.7% of the total state population. In 2018, Texas collected $2.4 billion from this group, and that was just in state taxes. For every $1 the Texas State Government spends on public services for undocumented immigrants The report found the state collects $1.21 in revenue. So let me get this straight. $1 goes out, and $1.21 comes back in. That’s some burden texts. I bet law states would take that deal in a heartbeat and not complain about it. Republicans are always talking about how people need to pull their own weight. There was strong arming the poor and bad mouthing welfare recipients and student loan borrowers who they claim want to get something for nothing. Well, now here they are the same Republicans playing the victim looking for sympathy, whining and complaining about the so called burden that they suffer from carrying around all these heavy bags of cash that just fell in their laps, thanks to illegal immigrants. States like Texas and Arizona have economies that hum along and good times and bad. And they owe their economic success to the same immigrants that they complain about every single day. Now, all of a sudden, they say they want to get rid of these migrants while continuing to reap the benefits of the economies that the migrants built. That’s not fair. That’s getting something for nothing. That’s welfare, Republican style.


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