Letter: American people have a global reputation

April 12, 2019

I recently read an article about the U.S. southern border written by Betsy McCaughey (former lt. governor of New York) in a New York City daily newspaper. It is of little consequence if one is pro or anti border wall when the expense of our southern border is made public. Ms. McCaughey provided the following information in her article.

Every unaccompanied minor who illegally crosses the U.S. southern border and is detained costs the U.S. taxpayer $775 per day. The minor is provided free medical/dental care, education, clothing, room and board. Prior to being released to a sponsor the minor is detained, on average, 67 days. The total cost per minor during those 67 days is $52,000. There are 130 such shelters for minors being overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Homeland Security spends $3 billion a year to shelter and feed illegals at the U.S. border. This past February a record number 76,000 illegals came to the U.S. southern border from Central America seeking asylum. However, half of “asylum” seekers do not file a asylum claim when released, and fail to appear for their asylum hearing once allowed into the U.S. Do the math.  

All costs are paid by U.S. taxpayers. This is not sustainable.

Knowing all of this, I was incensed and stupefied as I was writing my recent quarterly payment to Medicare, discussing with a family member how he could possibly consolidate and pay his college loans off without them being a financial burden; reading in the newspaper the lack of affordable housing for our local workforce; or again hearing the possibility that Social Security may not one day exist even though I contributed 40-plus years; that my elected congressional representatives fail to acknowledge, or make public, the cost of this border fiasco on the American taxpayer and refuse to implement any regulation that would stem the flow.

It is time our Theatre of the Absurd, aka the United States Congress, put their petty, childish behavior aside and end this crisis. It has gone on long enough, and at too high an expense to the American taxpayer. The Supreme Court got it right. Allowed entry into the United States is a privilege, not a right.

The American people have a global reputation, and rightfully so, of being one of the most generous, humanitarian people in the world. However, the time has come for us to remember charity begins at home.

Joan Nisler


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