Border Wars

Published November 28, 2005

Dear Editor:

Angie C. Marek’s special report “Border Wars” (November 28, 2005) ignores the fact that the cost of providing health care for uninsured illegal immigrants is passed on to American consumers, because we pay higher health insurance premiums to make up for “free” emergency medical services offered to unregistered guest workers.

The hysteria about the OTMs (other than Mexican) and their potential terrorist roots will provide an incentive for the homeland security bureaucrats and border vigilantes to ebb the flow of cheap labor, and protect jobs.

But we need a dual strategy–one that focuses on trade and economic development in Mexico (to raise the standard of living there) but also works to limit runaway health care costs in the U.S. by offering health services only as a quid pro quo requiring registration as guest workers and repatriation as part of a mutual commerce compact under the formal free trade agreements between the USA and Latin America.

Ralph W. Conner ([email protected]) is public affairs director for The Heartland Institute.