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Marcela Sanchez with a picture of her late sisterIt is no surprise that this story happened in Los Angeles.

I have a great deal of sympathy for illegal immigrants.  Some of my best friends are illegal immigrants.

No, not really.  I actually don’t know any.  But that doesn’t change the fact that I do indeed sympathize.  To have the promise of a real, living wage and living conditions that are sanitary and safe just over the sinking invisible line must be a tremendous temptation.  I’m sure that, while they are indeed breaking the law, most illegal immigrants are good, law-abiding people.  I’m not personally so worried about amnesty as I am worried about fixing the problem now.  

But our current immigration set-up is unworkable.  As it now stands, you have a tremendous number of illegal aliens in places like Los Angeles.  Certain services, e.g. public schools, housing assistance, welfare, hospitals, fire and police services are provided free of charge, and the cost of those services is directly tied to the number of people utilizing those services.  The cost of maintaining all of those things is tremendous – everything from city hospitals to city parks.  You get more crowds, more demands, more wear-and-tear, more needs.

At the same time, the ratio of # people paying for those things to # of people using those things is decreasing… to be fair, illegal aliens pay property taxes (either through their rent or directly) and sales tax.  However, they do not pay federal or state income taxes, which is a huge chunk of money in a state like California.  So… what happens?

Services deteriorate.  Schools get too crowded.  Neighborhoods get too violent.  People vomit blood and get left for dead IN EMERGENCY ROOMS.

Even if every illegal immigrant paid all the taxes they ought to, I don’t know if that would cover it.  You have to deal with the issue of expected standard of living.

Americans expect a certain standard.  We expect kids to be able to read at a certain level.  We expect a certain standard of treatment in hospitals.  We expect certain food.

A great example of this is in US aid – a few years ago, we were giving out higher-quality meals to Bosnians  while Sudan and whatever backwood African nation needed food got something like wheat.  (You get the idea.)  Why not give Bosnians the same thing the Sudaneese get?

The short answer is that they don’t expect it.

So when you have a hospital that serves more people than it has funding or space to serve, and a huge number of its clients have a much lower standard than Americans consider acceptable?

Well, get used to it.

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