By Donathan Salkaln:
On the very afternoon that two sons of Russian immigrants detonated bombs of mass hate in Boston, I had the uncomfortable predicament of finding a wallet on the Long Island Railroad. I was heading back to NYC after helping my mother with endless Sandy repairs. I remember it was the same day, because across the aisle, the young Latino who left his wallet (I’ll call him Miguel, hence forth, although that is not his real name) was sharing with his friend across from him, explosion photos on their iPhones.
They shared some of the photos with me as I had heard little of the attack. We spoke some, about terrorism, and I returned to reading an in depth story about yesterday’s news and they went back to jawing in Spanish, of which I know little. They seemed excited about where they were headed. Both were nicely dressed, as nice as late teens these days dress. It was as if they had worked hard all day, washed up and were going out. Miguel, at some point, fanned his money. A double date?
They got off, maybe Bayshore, and then a couple stops later I noticed the wallet. It was left on Miguel’s seat, along with a deck of cards. I quickly grabbed both, feeling bad in not discovering it earlier. Miguel was probably showing up to a poker game without cards or money. Not a fun evening.
I asked a passing conductor if he should take the wallet or I should mail it back to the kid. The conductor told me to mail. I opened the wallet and found the following: a NYS Driver’s Learner’s Permit with Miguel’s photo. His listed age was twenty-one with a P.O. Box address out east. There was also $143, a Medicaid card, and a Benefits Card.
Later that evening, I stood on a very long line to mail the wallet back. It was mayhem at the 34th St Main Post Office, being late on April 15th, tax’s deadline. I had plenty of time to wonder of how a kid such as Miguel came to benefit from free food and medical, all paid for by those very people I was on line with. I wondered if Miguel even paid income taxes.
I also wondered, this time aloud, if the terrorist attack was some evil ‘Boston Tea Party’ tax revolt. I got some very stoic stares from line mates, and decided to shut up.
We have since learned that the two Boston terrorists were sons of an immigrant family who took advantage of social programs, stretching from food stamps and welfare to college scholarships, just as Miguel from Long Island has.
Washington reports that there are close to fifty million Americans benefiting from food stamps. That’s not true and Washington should disclose the true numbers. A chunk of that fifty million are obviously Non-Americans. And what gets my crow is that the program doesn’t require the purchase of only American made or grown products. If I didn’t know better, I’d think a foreign country is running this country.
We need to get a better handle on our porous immigration and benefits programs. Realistic incentives need to be put in place be set to get as many immigrants, as possible, to join the rank and file of those law abiding Americans standing on line to pay their taxes. More oversight is needed in the dispense of social benefits to make sure that America’s truly needy receive them.
Ideas can be batted around, but in the end you just can’t ignore the problem: Long Island has been a destination of choice for illegal immigrants and the problem is resulting in children committing suicide.
According to a New York Times story (link below), the nationally award winning East Hampton school district’s student body has grown to 41 percent Hispanic, The school system has had to establish a program that teaches English as a second language. Bravo to that school’s principal who is trying so hard to address a situation that our government has been ignoring. But who foots the bills?
These kids and their families are in a very awkward position of taking from the system, not giving into the system, which creates a resentment among neighbors and results in the high school suicides that are mentioned in the article. Hopefuly Washington will pass an immigration bill that will open avenues toward citizenship.
Posted on Thu, May 10, 2012
by Donathan Salkaln