May 12, 2006

Editorial:

It’s Time to Retire Horn

Last week County Supervisor Bill Horn held a press conference and announced that he was going to ask his fellow Supervisors to authorize a study to determine the cost of illegal immigration to the County. The pretense to this announcement was that the County wanted to recoup its cost from the Federal Government. What a Joke!

As stated at his press conference, Horn came up with this scheme when he was crafting his State of the County speech, we all remember that speech, where he scapegoat the Hispanic community for the ills of the community. This of course is an old and tired tactic to blame your political woes on the powerless. Horn in his speech blamed the immigrants from importing nuclear weapons to gunning down children in the North County.

Horn represents the worst of what a politician should be; Horn is a racist. What is worst he is a racist with political power.

Horn does not want to collect the fair and balanced facts to represent the breadth and depth of the issue, but is looking for slanted facts to further his bias attacks on the Hispanic community. Even fellow Superintendent Greg Cox stated that it is not the facts that are at issue but in getting the Federal Government to accept its responsibility.

In 2001 the county submitted a bill of $76 million dollars to the Federal government, so obviously someone has already compiled the information that Horn is looking for. The Federal Government reimbursed the County to the tune of $2.3 million dollars.

All Horn wants to do is polarize the community against Hispanics and it is this type of action that has gotten the country into the mess that it finds itself in regards to the debate on the immigration issue. As he stated at his news conference, he has no interest in the positive impacts of the immigrant community to the area and society.

If he did care about the health and wealth of the community he would know that cities teeming with immigrants have robust economies, this according Giovanni Peri from the University of California, Davis and Gianmarco Ottavian from the University of Bologna, Italy. And, by looking at the data on the 100 largest U.S. cities over the past three decades, the two economists found that for each 1 percent increase in the number of foreign-born workers in a city, American-born workers saw a 0.3 percent increase in real wages.

If Horn had dug a little deeper he would have found out that the average net present value of immigrants’ estimated future tax payments during their stay in the U.S. exceed the cost of the services they are expected to use in the same period by $80,000 (Economic Report of the President, 2005).

And at the crux of Horn’s call for the study was the health care to immigrants. Yet according to a report by Dr. Sarita Mohanty, who led a study at Harvard University and who is now at the University of Southern California in which she stated: Immigrants are not swamping the U.S. health care system and use it is far less than native-born Americans.

The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, found that immigrants accounted for 10.4 percent of the U.S. population but only 7.9 percent of total health spending and 8 percent of government health spending.

Health spending by the government, insurers and patients themselves averaged $1,139 per immigrant compared to $2,564 for non-immigrants. Thirty percent of immigrants used no health care at all in the course of the year.

Immigrant children spent or cost $270 that year, compared to $1,059 for native-born children. “Our study lays to rest the myth that expensive care for immigrants is responsible for our nation’s high health costs. The truth is, immigrants get far less care than other Americans,” stated Dr. Mohanty.

Of course Horn doesn’t care about any of this information or the value of immigrants to the community. All he cares about is in balkanizing the Hispanic community, using immigration as his wedge.

Horn is running for reelection and it is time for common sense voters to come together and change the archaic thinking on the County Board of Supervisors and elect a forward thinking politician who is willing to bring the community together. Instead of tearing at the fabric that holds this community together.

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