By: Stephen A. Innamorato, III
The establishment media continues in efforts to portray President Donald Trump as a heartless, bumbling fool who’s anti-immigrant. News headlines last week mocked him for his remarks that immigrants shouldn’t receive welfare benefits for five years after entering the U.S.
Under current federal law, immigrants are already ineligible “for any federal means-tested public benefit for a period of five years beginning on the date of the alien’s entry into the United States.” The law has been in effect since 1996.
The problem is that there are exceptions to the law which allow certain immigrants to still receive public assistance even though they’ve been in the U.S. for less than five years. These exceptions defeat the federal law’s original purpose which was to limit the number of welfare recipients in the U.S. The exceptions are just more wealth redistribution disguised as compassion in order to buy votes.
The most prominent of those exceptions is the unlimited access everyone has to medical care in the emergency rooms of U.S. hospitals. This right extends to legal and illegal immigrants in the U.S. Medical care must be provided to anyone showing up at an emergency room regardless of the person’s ability to pay. This has led to the closure of many hospitals which were jammed with people unable to pay for their medical care. Many were using the emergency rooms as their primary care physician.
Trump would like to impose tougher limitations on welfare to immigrants. As a White House spokesman put it, the current law is “full of holes.” Trump wants to close most of those holes.
Once again, Trump deserves credit for dealing with a problem that for too long has placed an unnecessary burden on the American taxpayer. Immigrants entering and seeking legal status in the U.S. should be capable of supporting themselves. Otherwise, they should return to their home countries and seek welfare benefits there.
Tightening the requirements for welfare to immigrants isn’t harsh as some suggest. Many lack an understanding of U.S. history. Western European immigrants who entered the U.S. in the late 1800s and early 1900s were required to support themselves in order to remain in America.
The bottom line is this. U.S. immigration must return to the days where foreigners understand that it is a privilege to live in the U.S., not a right. The current system of chain migration where immigrants are allowed in simply because of a familial relationship or place of origin is not fair to other more talented and hard-working immigrants who’d enhance the American way of life.
U.S. immigration must also return to a merits-based system where foreigners are allowed in based on their education, employment history, and financial means as well as the needs of the U.S. This promotes a society where the people are self- sufficient instead of relying on the federal government for their survival.
Of course, in a civil society the government must provide a safety net for those who simply cannot meet their basic needs to survive. But a nation is under no obligation to import foreigners who either will be or may become a financial burden.
This is where President Trump would like to take the immigration debate. He’d also like to see immigrants embrace distinct American values and culture. This is true compassion. These are also the hallmarks of American exceptionalism. As usual, the left-leaning media which criticizes Trump on a regular basis just doesn’t get it.