Are There Perks to Being an Illegal Immigrant?

I have spent these past couple of days enjoying time with my good friend, Jennifer, who will be married in a few days. During this time I asked Jennifer, “So, when do you plan on having your first child?” Knowing that Jennifer is definitely the maternal type; I expected to hear her reply something to the effect, “As soon as possible.” To my surprise, though, she said, “We can’t afford it right now, and I don’t know when we could.” She explained that her insurance benefits carry a $5K deductible for hospital and pregnancy bills, which she nor her soon-to-be husband can afford.

As someone who works with illegal migrants, and seeing how they children without medical debt, I said, “Jennifer now is the time to be an illegal alien.” I explained to her that she should go to the local clinic and tell the registration clerk that she is an illegal alien (she is a naturalized US citizen), and she has no ID and no driver’s license. Tell them that you came here for a better life. She could receive Medicaid for the unborn child, which covers the prenatal work and the medical costs for the birth. The entire process would be free to her. And, unlike private insurance, there are no co-pays or out-of-pocket deductibles. Who would mind? It’s the government’s money anyway, and as long as she is doing it for a better life for her and her family who could complain? Yes, “This could really work.” After all, accruing a large medical bill to have a child would be “un-American.” Anyone who has a problem with this is simply heartless.

At first glance my friend and I thought the plan was brilliant. Tens of thousands of illegal aliens in the US do this all the time. But, what if she got caught? If she did, Jennifer would probably go to jail. Unlike a bona fide illegal alien, she would not have the option to prolong her stay as a free person by telling her story on the news. Because Jennifer is now a US citizen, it would be straight to jail and no deportation to her home country. Further, no group is going to do a documentary about how sending Jennifer to jail is cruel, breaks up her family, and costs the government too much. No one will say, “Poor Jennifer, she was only trying to make a better life for herself and her family.” Instead, she would most likely hear, “You should have thought of the consequences before you did something illegal, and tried to cheat the government (a.k.a. the US tax payer)!”

Alas, this brings us to square one, and an expensive birth! Oh, I know, maybe she could illegally cross into Mexico or Canada, and have her baby there for free? Mexico loves illegal migrants at least as much as the US does, right? Their tax payers wouldn’t mind if ours don’t? Univision has news channels in Mexico; maybe they could bring the plight of US citizens who cannot afford medical costs of having children to the Mexican public, and advocate for open migration of Americans to Mexico? Maybe the Obama Justice Department will help by filing suit against laws in Central America, Mexico, or Canada that seek to control illegal migration to those countries like it does to its own states?

After weighing all the options, Jennifer and I are just thinking she is going to have to come up with the 5K bucks if she wants to have a family with 1 child.

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