The nativist goon-bloggers have been out in full force lately.
Here are some facts that might be useful in countering the nativist fearmongering. The 1996 welfare reform bill disqualified illegal immigrants from nearly all means-tested government programs including food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid and Medicare. That means none of those services are available to illegals.
In reality, two-thirds of illegal immigrants PAY Medicare, Social Security and personal income taxes. And, don't forget: they pay any state sales tax, as well, thus contributing to financing roads, schools, etc.
In its 2008 annual report, the Social Security Administration said "undocumented immigrants" actually benefited Social Security, because many pay in but never collect benefits. In 2005, undocumented immigrants paid in $5 billion to SS.
In another counterintuitive area, the IRS says about 8 million (of the approx. 12 million) illegals file personal income taxes (!), because, also in 1996, the IRS began issuing identification numbers to those who do not have SS numbers. They contribute billions of dollars to federal coffers by paying federal income taxes.
Illegals--actually only those children who are born in the U.S. (they ARE U.S. citizens, of course)--are eligible for public K-12 education, food stamps, and the TANF program (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families which succeeded the AFDC program) which now has a five-year maximum eligibility.
The nativists want to stir up fear, which a politician (or actually many) can exploit by stepping up to the Media and claiming he/she is against those people who they say are ruining the country. Makes great politics. Unfortunately, they spread unreasonable fear--and lies.