Just today I received one of those “urban legend” emails claiming that “the Senate voted this week to allow illegal aliens access to Social Security benefits.”
After a little digging, it seems that the Senate has done no such thing — at least not this week. In May of last year, however, they did consider an amendment that would have prohibited former illegal aliens from obtaining Social Security credit for funds deposited into the Earnings Suspense File while using a STOLEN or phony social security number. As Snopes explains, the Senate tabled the amendment by a vote of 50-49.
Nevertheless, the amendment — and the very idea of illegal immigrants receiving Social Security benefits — set off a firestorm across the Internet that apparently continues to burn even a year later. My favorite response to the purported legislation was cooked up by one Donald Ruppert of Burlington, Iowa. Apparently, Ruppert sent the letter that appears below to Senator Tom Harkin:
Application to become illegal
(Actual letter from an Iowa resident and sent to his Democrat Senator)
The Honorable Tom Harkin
731 Hart Senate Office Building
Phone (202) 224 3254
Washington D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Harkin,
As a native Iowan and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.
My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S. Citizen to illegal alien stems from the bill which was recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted. If my understanding of this bill’s provisions is accurate, an illegal alien needs to have been in the United States for five years. If he then wishes to become a citizen he needs only to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before others figure out the advantages.
Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I’m excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005.
Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local emergency room as my primary health care provider. Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year.
Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications, as well as ‘in-state’ tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States for my son.
Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the burden of renewing my driver’s license and making those annoying car insurance premiums. This is very important to me given that I still have college age children driving my car.
If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative. Thank you for your assistance.
Your Loyal Constituent,
Now, whether Donald Ruppert sent this letter — or whether there is even a Donald Ruppert of Burlington, Iowa, is beside the point. The letter expresses a sentiment that many Americans feel very strongly about. As the media continually notes, “passions” about illegal immigration run high in America, as if to suggest that anyone who is passionate about illegal immigration is illogical. These passions, however, are logical reactions to an immigration policy that is not only illogical, but absurd.
In short, these people believe that it is illogical to reward illegal behavior. They believe instead that illegal behavior should be punished as such. This simple dictum is the basis of the rule of law. Without this rule, democracies crumble, to be replaced by oligarchies and, ultimately, tyrannies.
Stay tuned for Urban Legends Part II, where we will discuss whether various Hispanic leaders want to reclaim the southwestern United States for Mexico.
Until then, I sure wish someone would secure the border …