Every tax is a pay cut.  Every tax cut is a pay raise.
Citizens for Limited Taxation

A free ride for illegal immigrants Thursday, June 9, 2005
Michael Sullivan Metrowest Daily News
OK, I admit it: I am officially confused.

I cannot figure out which group is more dangerous to Massachusetts -- the illegal alien work force or the politicians who want to give them in-state tuition, driver's licenses, etc., etc.

The illegals are an easy call.

They know what's in it for them -- tax free money, free health care and in the unlikely event of detection probably just a plane ticket home.

It's pretty much an economic deal with inherent dangers and exploitation workers, employers and I'll bet every last politician is well aware of.

But, as Dr. Phil would say to the politicians: "What's in it for you?"

I can't figure it out.

Politicians seldom, if ever, do things for purely humanitarian reasons so there has to be an ulterior motive, an upside.

What is it?  An eventually legalized voter base that will keep you in office to allow the next wave of illegals?  Some self-delusion you are boosting the local economy?  What?

There has been all sorts of recent economic data that shows Massachusetts has lost workers over the past few years MetroWest has lost 6,400 jobs in the past five months, this paper reported yesterday.  And, the state is about the only one to lose overall population.

While many illegal workers undoubtedly fill lowly paid jobs, the argument that all illegals are doing the jobs Americans won't do is bogus as two recent MetroWest cases show.

Framingham has its own frequent flier illegal, Charles Bueno, 28.

He was picked up May 16 with a planeload of illegals on a run from California to Massachusetts when, apparently due to mechanical problems, he had to put his Cessna and five passengers down at an Air Force base in New Mexico.

Perhaps more galling than the alleged smuggling, though, is that he had a legal pilot's license in the U.S. and owned his own plane.

I guess Bueno -- illegally in the U.S. since 1998 -- was just doing the smuggling some U.S. citizen didn't want to do.

Then there is auto mechanic Sergio Silva in Marlborough.

In his interview with a MetroWest Daily News reporter he freely acknowledged illegally working for five years, most recently taking home $600 a week cash.  It would take a salary of about $42,000 a year for a taxpaying worker to take that home.

But Silva, 39, apparently didn't pay taxes.  He used the money to buy property back in Brazil where he wants to open his own garage.

In an accident while working on a van he lost his right leg, but because neither Silva nor the business had insurance his medical bills and multiple surgeries were paid through free care.

A tragic accident, no question; the loss of a limb is serious.

Despite being illegal, under U.S. law Silva apparently is eligible for benefits through the Workers Compensation Trust Fund.

But nowhere in the story did I read that Silva wanted to thank the EMTs who saved his life or the doctors and nurses who tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to save his leg.  Nor did I read that the local Brazilian community had rallied to pay his bills.  His boss, by the way, fled to Brazil.

Silva wants one more thing: a free prosthetic leg which costs $15,000.

I doubt the state or the feds will go after him for back taxes.  How about you pols passing the hat to pay his taxes?

In the end, despite the loss of a limb, Silva will have his land and continue to be able to work as a mechanic.

To anyone who wants to donate for Silva's prosthetic leg I would say instead, look within your own community -- or possibly at a returning veteran from Iraq or Afghanistan -- to extend a helping hand.

Send comments to: hjw2001@gmail.com