Food for Thought

Some Facts on Immigration and a poem.

7.6% of immigrants are self-employed compared to 5.6% of native-born Americans and they founded more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies.

Immigrant-owned businesses with employees have an average of 11 employees. These businesses account for up to 5.2 million jobs.

Immigrants actually only account for 13.5% of the total U.S. population, which is in line with historical norms.

Undocumented immigrants pay an average of $11.64 billion in state and local taxes a year. In 2010, undocumented individuals paid $13 billion into retirement accounts and only received $1 billion in return. Over the years, immigrants have contributed $300 billion to the Social Security Trust Fund. Without the contributions of immigrants going into the system, it is estimated that full benefits would not be able to be paid out beyond the year 2037.

Undocumented immigrants do not qualify for welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and most other public benefits. Most of these programs require proof of legal immigration status and under the 1996 welfare law; even legal immigrants cannot receive these benefits until they have been in the United States for more than five years.

Under current immigration laws, there are very few options for legal immigration, the costs are increasingly prohibitive and the wait for any kind of status can be long and frustrating.

I wrote this poem several years ago and it seems even more fitting today:


Forrest Gump said,
“Life’s like a bowl of chocolates.”
I can tell you life
isn’t always a bowl of cherries
or peaches and cream milk & honey
or as dandy as candy
or as fine as wine
nor filled with sugar & spice.

Too often we get in
a pickle or a jam
and feel twisted up inside
like a pretzel
and get a chip on our shoulder
and express sour grapes
in the wrong direction.

Well it’s time to spill the beans,
there’s more to life than
bread and butter
and meat and potatoes.
To get the gravy in life,
America must celebrate
its melting pot
by using all its ingredients
we can make a delicious gumbo
not be content with hot dogs and apple pie.

The most nutritious thing we can do
is get the spices out of the cupboard
roll up our sleeves,
quit using our fingers
to point blame at
others who don’t look like us
and use those fingers
instead to start cooking
up a bottomless pot
of the broth of diversity
for variety is the spice of life.
Too many cooks cannot spoil this recipe,
only enhance it.
The kitchen will never smell sweeter
I guarantee ya…

Chris Rea: “Immigration Blues”

The Founding Fathers Favored a Liberal Immigration System.


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4 responses to “Food for Thought

  1. Nancie Shillington

    hope you didn’t mind my sending this to our daily–Usually I ask first but so MANY of my kids/grandkids are married to (documented) immigrants–and have travledl/worked in places where THEY were the potential target–taking jobs from locals, etc…..and three of them are going “home” before this month ends–so this MAY help them answer questions their family there asks about what in heck is going on here! thanks

  2. Anonymous

    Jim, thanks for informing us of many of the misconceptions about immigrants.

  3. elecpencil

    Always glad to have anything I wrote shared!! -In Solidarity Jim

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. elecpencil

    Anonymous and Nancie thanks for commenting.

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