In New York, Freebies to Illegal Immigrants Send Wrong Signal

Published on October 15th, 2014

During months of heated debate about the Senate amnesty bill, advocates repeated some of the same claims over and over again. Among them were that newly legalized aliens would quickly assimilate into America’s social fabric.

While there may be some truth to that, immigration history proves that the steps to assimilation include getting a job and using the money earned from hard work to provide for life’s daily necessities and its pleasures.

When things that working Americans have to pay for are given away to immigrants, it’s a disservice to the very people it’s intended to benefit – the immigrants who understandably get the mistaken impression that in the U.S. the good stuff in life is free.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio signs off on ID card for aliens on July 10.

As an example of what can go wrong, look what’s happening in New York City. In September, Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to give away the store to illegal immigrants. The mayor signed a bill that would issue identification cards to illegal immigrants. The ID, which goes into effect January 1, 2015, and will set taxpayers back $8 million, passed the New York City Council in June.

Next year, cardholding aliens will be able to sign rental agreements, open bank accounts and access health care. But the illegal immigrants will also, courtesy of de Blasio, be able to go to the Bronx Zoo, New York City Ballet, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Carnegie Hall for free or for a nominal charge.

Here’s the face value ticket cost for an adult at each of those famous New York institutions: the Bronx Zoo, $18; New York City Ballet, range from $59 to $164; Metropolitan Museum of Art, $25, and Carnegie Hall, range from $58 to $68. A New York citizen who wants to take his family to the zoo has to dig deep into his wallet to pay. The alien gets a free pass or pays pennies on the dollar.

The mayor’s justification for, as he said, getting New York’s illegal immigrants “out of the shadows,” is that the ID will be the key “that opens the door for hundreds of thousands of more New Yorkers to our City’s premier assets in culture, science and entertainment.”

While de Blasio’s heart may be in the right place and while it certainly would be a valuable cultural experience for New York’s illegal immigrants to go to the opera, there should be a quid pro quo. The mayor could have made the ID card contingent on attending English as a Second Language classes for three months, and then passing a simple conversation skill test.

Learning English has permanent benefits. Handing out freebies doesn’t.

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