So I'm in this e-discussion with my best friend FrogsPond. At the heart of the matter is this little email ditty:

My mom was a homemaker and dad worked all his life and paid into SS. Dad has passed away and now my mom can barely make ends meet. While the possible "illegal" alien in front of her at the grocery store buys the name brands, my mom goes for the generic brands, and day old breads. She doesn't have out of state calling on her phone, because she can't afford it, and shops at the thrift shops and dollar stores while the "illegal" aliens go to Macy's, Gap, J.C. Penny, Banana Republic, etc. She considers having a pizza delivered once a week "eating out". She grew up during the Depression, watched her husband go overseas to fight in WW II a year after their marriage, and then they went on to raise, feed and clothe 5 children, scrounging to pay tuition for parochial schools. I'm sorry, but I can't see how the Senate can justify this slap in the face to born and bred, or naturalized citizens. It's already impossible to live on Social Security alone. If they give benefits to "illegal" aliens who have never contributed, where does that leave us that have paid into Social Security all our working lives? The Senate voted this week to allow "illegal" aliens access to Social Security benefits. Attached is an opportunity to sign a petition that requires citizenship for eligibility to receive social services. If you do not wish to sign the petition yourself, please forward on to anyone you think might be interested.

Ok, with the caveat that I don't "do" online petitions -- or any others, for that matter -- this has been a fun, fun e-discussion.

FPL: Just a quick comment...This petition seems to be about two separate and different issues. The first is Social Security benefits. My understanding is that you need a Social Security Number to get SS benefits. In order to get a Social Security Number you need to file the eligible to work in the US papers.(See link: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10107.html) The second issue seems to be to allow "illegal" aliens access to socialservices. (Quote from below "Attached is an opportunity to sign apetition that requires citizenship for eligibility to receive socialservices.") My understanding is that social services is medical coverage, school attendance for children and adults and things likethat. I would agree to signing a petition to restrict access to Social Security benefits. I don't feel comfortable signing a petition that appears to be for restricting social services access because I feel that health care, education and other services that fall under that umbrella belong to all of us, legal or not.

BBL: I'd agree to sign both.

I figure if people entering this country want access to the benefits that my tax dollars help pay for, then they need to become legal citizens of this country. In my mind, there's no excuse for living here for 10 or 12 years, having multiple babies and bringing over generation after generation of family members, and expecting US taxpayers to support them all without their becoming legal members of US taxpaying society. I think it's fine to emigrate to another country for better opportunity; I don't, however, think it's fine to break one's new home country's laws and expect those same laws to protect and support them.

Basically, my stance is this: "If you wanna receive US Social Security benefits, then show me your Social Security card so that I'll know that you're contributing to the US Social Security system." I just don't believe in something-for-nothing, especially on this large a scale.

That's what your Social Security number is for, really -- to ensure that should you reach a place in your life where you need Social Security benefits, that you are entitled to those benefits because when and if you have been able, you have contributed to the Social Security system, for the benefit of all of us. If you are not able to contribute because of physical or psychological difficulties, not a problem. But if you're able to work, part of your paycheck should go into that system so that you can reap the benefits -- and that can only happen if you have a SSN.

The government has made it easier than ever for those who have gotten here illegally to become legal citizens. Those who choose to not, in my opinion, need to be deported so that they'll stop taking advantage of federal and state benefits without being held to the responsibility of helping to support those federal and state benefit programs.

"Get Legal, or Get Out."

FPL: I didn't think that you were anti-immigration and I thought the last email was pretty clear about that. (nice tag line by the way) I have to admit, that I am persuaded by the statements you said below. *grumble grumble* :-)

BBL: So okay, let me explain where my response comes from:

Half my family came here as unwilling slaves. The other half was already here, and they got killed and had their land stolen by European invaders. So, needless to say, my ancestors paid a heavy price for my becoming a "legal citizen" of this country. I'm legal, not because I was born here, but because after all the European invaders did to my ancestors, I deserve to be.

See, to me, there's a difference between choosing to come here and being forced to come here. There's also a difference between choosing to come here and being forced to live under the laws of the invaders of your homeland.

Those who choose to come here are already at a distinct advantage, in that as soon as they enter these borders, they are free to come and go as they please, to work and get paid, and to live wherever they choose. That's a priviledge, and I think that they need to treat it as such by respecting the laws we have here.

Now, I'm no great fan of the European invaders and slavers that stole so much from my ancestors. But I will give them props for the imperfect system of government that (now) gives freedom, support, and protection to almost all of its citizens. I think that it's a show of gratitude (among other things) that make me okay with giving up part of my paycheck to the Social Security system. And I think that anybody who chooses to come here, of their own volition, owes a similar debt of gratitude because they couldn't get Social Security benefits in their own homelands -- regardless of who paid into the system. And since it's available here, and they want to be entitled to it here, then they need to pay into the system here -- legally, and without having to be forced to do it.

I'm not anti-immigration. I'm anti-freeloading.

I love it when I can make'er grumble . . .


Frogspond said...

Thpppppp *Raspberry sound* :-)

Ruach X said...

pppppphT *dnuos yrrybpsaR cixelsyd*


Frogspond said...