UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS: Don’t let economy depend on illegal labor
Although I am not fluent in Spanish, I speak it well enough that approximately 25% of my medical practice consisted of individuals from Latin America. Through years of experience, I noticed differences in attitudes between those who entered the country legally versus those who entered illegally. Legal immigrants had the objective of becoming American citizens, whereas Illegal immigrants arrived primarily for economic reasons.
The “undocumented” were inclined to hold a strong affinity to their native country and did not highly value the concept of the rule of law. For example, black market prescription medications were being sold through stores that catered to the Spanish speaking population, multiple families would rent a single dwelling, and they knew that their employer did not report them as employees. This resulted in indiscriminate use of antibiotics and other medications, overcrowding neighborhoods and schools, and underfunding the workers’ compensation system. Also, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis were being consistently introduced into the community. The health care system was being negatively impacted because illegal immigrants were commonly on public assistance or uninsured.
Illegal immigration has had a corrupting influence on society because American citizens have been complicit in supporting an economy that is highly dependent on a cheap, illegal labor source. In California (where I practiced medicine most of my career), the construction, agriculture, hospitality and domestic worker industries are dominated by migrant labor. If the citizens of Idaho do not want to experience the problems inherent with illegal migration, it is imperative not to cultivate and maintain an economy dependent on illegal labor.
DANIEL FLORES, M.D.