Letter to the Editor: Immigration reform is not your Rubio’s politics

Anthony Iglesias

Tea Party prince Marco Rubio has made headlines in the past weeks after proposing the Republican solution to comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). Once again, CIR is trending on social media websites and in our conversations. Less than two weeks ago, I overheard an exchange between two students that alarms me. According to these young people, American citizens should not have to bear the guilt of paying “exorbitant” costs of living in the United States while “illegal immigrants get everything for free.” Apparently, critics should not make the U.S. out to be a “horrible country” because of the explicit injustices done against immigrants. Aside from the obnoxious, insensitive, dichotomous, and historically inaccurate prose shared, the most disturbing part was the sheer falseness of these particular statements.

As a born American citizen, which I must continue to assert, I pay my share of taxes. Yet I understand that immigrants do not get much for free and, in fact, allow us to be able to afford countless luxuries as well as guarantee long-term benefits for citizens. Do not be surprised to learn that as early as 2000 the Social Security Trust Fund reported a $49 billion surplus from payrolls using invalidated social security numbers in one year alone. Furthermore, undocumented immigrants make up only 3.2 percent of the U.S. population, but only create 1.5 percent of national medical costs. The Americas Majority Foundation, a conservative group, reported that crime rates are lowest in states with the highest rates of immigration. Anyone who grows up poor also recognizes that poverty is expensive, however counter-intuitive that must seem. On average, those in the lower-income bracket — undocumented immigrants, permanent legal residents, and citizens alike — pay more out-of-pocket costs for medical services, housing and domestic items.

It is utterly discouraging to witness the ignorance on this campus, especially from those who are taking courses that highlight the patterns of explicit and implicit bigotry and nativism in this country. If you cannot make a connection between the material we are learning and what is happening today, you need to actually start reading the assigned texts. I am not complaining, nor am I offended. It takes more than a couple of ridiculous Northwestern students to offend me. I am simply trying to disprove egregious lies perpetuated in what is supposed to be a top center of learning and education in this country. Leave daddy’s politics at home, and educate yourself.

Anthony Iglesias, Weinberg senior