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August 8, 2014
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A question of citizenship

I consider myself to be a reasonably logical person. Carrying a thought process out to its logical conclusion, I would be better off in the current environment if I renounce my U.S. citizenship.

But wait, that is only part of the process. I should also leave the country and then enter it illegally. I don’t know the best route to do so. Perhaps Canada, because it has a much longer border to patrol and fewer agents. On the other hand, Mexico has established entry routes and paid guides, aka coyotes, to get me in. And the best part, I won’t be considered illegal since there is a politically correct concerted effort afoot to remove that stigma. The only problem there is if I get caught in Mexico illegally, I go to jail.

How did I come to this conclusion? I simply weighed the financial pros and cons and decided that I should get in on the illegal alien gravy train. After all, where else except Gitmo can you get free health care, free food, housing assistance, in-state college tuition and numerous other freebies I haven’t even heard about? All that and no taxes. What a country!

That’s right, those who come here illegally get better care and treatment than veterans. So why not cash in on it? Why bother learning English when public schools, offices and hospitals provide interpreters? Why worry about being deported? If you don’t break any laws, other than actually being here sans legal documents, you can live in the shadows for years. Eventually some foolish liberal will finagle a way to allow you to stay, even get citizenship if you want (but who would want that, then you get taxed and the government knows where you are), and vote for the foolish liberal.

Seriously, the burden of maintaining the largesse to illegals is unsustainable. It was recently announced that the federal government paid over $2 trillion in benefits and entitlements last year. That doesn’t even consider what the states shelled out. We have no way of knowing how much of that actually went to illegals, since the government doesn’t want to know.

In 2009 the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) did a study to estimate the cost of the burden of illegal immigration to Nevada. That estimate was $630 million annually. Remember, this was during the budget crisis where Governor Gibbons was talking about tax revenue loss causing budget cuts of $750 million each year. Do you see any relationship there?

I don’t know how accurate the fair study was. They seemed to have reasonably good data but you never know. I have not seen another study as comprehensive as that one. Just imagine, if you will, comparing Nevada’s per capita state spending and applying that to a more populous state like California. If illegal immigrants cost Nevada that much, imagine the cost to California with its far more generous welfare programs.

I have also seen studies that refute the minimum wage aspect of illegal laborers. For example, one study shows that a family of four with one person earning a minimum wage would have a household income of over $60,000 per year when their eligibility for all government programs is added in..

Can you imagine the savings that would be obtained by having state, federal and local governments require proof of citizenship or “green card” before doling out their largesse? We would be well on our way to balancing at least state budgets. Of course, that pees in the pool of liberal politicians who like that water.

We don’t know how many illegals are actually in this country, but I’ll bet the number is way more than the “official” guesstimate. I am reminded of one pundit’s observation during the Mad Cow outbreak that the government can trace the origins of one cow but can’t keep track of illegal entries into the U.S.

Something has to change. The border must be secured, first and foremost. Our national security and financial well-being depends on it. Second, incentives to enter the country illegally need to be removed. That means government programs and freebies. Finally, a legal pathway to citizenship needs to be easier. Some illegals don’t want citizenship. Send them home, along with the crooks and cheats, then figure out a way to work with those that remain. Don’t reward illegals with blanket amnesty, but make it easier for them to be productive citizens. Just follow the law to do it.

Tom Riggins is an LVN columnist. He may be reached at

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Aug 8, 2014 09:07AM Published Aug 8, 2014 09:07AM Copyright 2014 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.