The topic for our third show was Immigration. Specifically, what it is that undocumented ("illegal") immigrants contribute to our society and what do they detract? Our guest was Dr. Andrés Torres, Professor of Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies.
Dr. Torres feels very strongly that undocumented immigrants should not be vilified and/or "shipped" back to their home countries. Rather, a citizenship/residency path should be created for them so that they can be productive members of society. After all, he argued, this entire country was created by and comprised of immigrants, albeit from western Europe.
Adeline argued that the American economic and labor systems benefit from immigration - undocumented or otherwise - and to halt it suddenly would likely result in harm to those systems. She also opined that immigrants do not drain the system, since they pay taxes, but are not eligible to receive social services, like welfare, Medicare and Medicaid.
Mirna argued that the economic and/or labor systems will not collapse if illegal immigration is curbed. Although illegal immigrants may make some positive contribution to our society, they also become a drain on resources through the children they have, who -- as natural born Americans -- are entitled to social services. Therefore, it is misleading to say that illegal immigrants cannot collect social services since they indirectly get them through their children. Further, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9-11, the United States must monitor its borders more closely. Part of that newfound vigilance is restricting immigration, as it is not clear who plans to harm the country. While muslims and middle-eastern immigrants bear the brunt of the "terrorist" alarm, the increasing drug and gang wars at the Mexican border are also cause for concern. In this day and age, the government cannot simply continue to allow or ignore the steady stream of illegal immigration.
What do you guys think?