The total number of illegal immigrants in our 50 states prison system and our federal prison system is over 140,000. The cost to house these criminals is over $5 billion a year. An additional 22,000 prisoners are in the federal prisons for immigration violations. The cost of this incarceration pales in comparison to the cost to convict all 140,000-plus illegal immigrants. When these costs are added to the costs outlined in the following paragraphs, it is clear that our federal, state and county governments are spending tens of billions per year providing services to illegals through their use of the U.S. criminal justice system, Homeland Security, human services and health care.

There are two very important differences between legal and illegal immigration. A legal immigrant must complete and pass an extensive physical exam with complete blood work to prove they have no disease or illness to spread or medical condition that will financially burden our already stressed health care system. A legal immigrant must also obtain and provide a criminal history from the federal and local government in his/her country of origin, proving that he/she has no past criminal history. A person who meets these two criterion will become a productive, healthy, upstanding member of our society in the U.S., with few exceptions.

Since illegals have not provided a clean criminal history, hundreds of thousands of them are processed through our criminal court system for felonies, misdemeanors and traffic cases throughout America each year. Illegal juvenile offenders are also processed and human services through DCF (child services) are made available to illegals in child abuse and neglect cases. We also pay for parenting classes, anger management, alcohol and substance abuse treatment, and mental health evaluations and treatment for illegals.

Since illegals have not provided us clean physicals and blood work, thousands are being treated here for TB and other diseases; some don’t seek treatment, posing a risk to themselves and our population. Our health departments can’t follow up with them because of their transient nature and widespread use of false names. Many require extensive medical care at our expense.

Many illegals who get charged with a crime in the U.S. just don’t show up in court and avoid prosecution; many of which leave the particular area, go into hiding and/or start going by a new fictitious name. For these illegals, there are hundreds of thousands of arrest warrants outstanding that remain unserved.

We currently deport an average of 360,000 illegals a year, 40% of which have criminal records. So that totals 144,000 criminal illegals that can be added to the 140,000-plus already in our state and federal prison systems and the 200,000-plus for which we have unserved arrest warrants outstanding. That totals almost 500,000 criminal illegals we are paying for to be prosecuted and convicted, imprisoned or deported and/or are loose in our country continuing to violate our laws. These are the criminals that create “angel moms.” Logically, the more these figures grow the more “angel moms” will be created and the more crime we will have. Therefore, the first step in a good immigration policy is to tightly secure our border.

Our country was built by hard-working, healthy, non-criminal, legal immigrants. Now with an estimated 28-34 million unvetted illegal immigrants in our country, we must enforce our current laws to protect the health, welfare and safety of our citizens.

You will notice that through all the years we have not built an overpass over all railroad tracks that are crossed by a U.S. road, which would have prevented all vehicle/train accidents, deaths and injuries. This is because we can’t afford it and we accept that fact. It is for this same reason that we cannot eliminate all the suffering, crime and health issues in all other countries. We can’t allow all of these unvetted poor, sometimes criminal people in our country. We must keep our country’s citizens healthy and safe so that we can remain strongm and as a strong nation, we can provide the help that we can afford to give to other less fortunate people from other countries. Our healthy law-abiding citizens, health care system, criminal justice system, child welfare system and homeland security cannot afford for us to let one more unvetted person in our country. We must tightly secure our border now.

Matt Mays is a Sebring resident. Guest columns are the opinion of the writer, not necessarily that of the Highlands News-Sun.

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