On May 1, millions of illegal aliens working in
meat-processing plants, construction, restaurants, hotels, and
other "jobs Americans won't do" are supposed to stay home from
work to show the importance of their labor to our nation's
economy. Doubtless, there will be some inconvenience if that
happens, but there is another side to the story that is not
We are talking about illegal aliens, not mere "immigrants."
If legal immigrants stopped working for a day, we would miss the
services of physicians, nurses, computer programmers, writers,
actors, musicians, entrepreneurs of all stripes, and some
airline pilots…as well as the CEO of Google. That would be more
than an inconvenience, but it won't happen because legal
immigrants are not out marching angrily for rights that are
already protected by our courts.
But if illegal aliens all took the day off and were truly
invisible for one day, there would be some plusses along with
the mild inconveniences.
Hospital emergency rooms across the southwest would have
about 20-percent fewer patients, and there would be 183,000
fewer people in Colorado without health insurance.
OBGYN wards in Denver would have 24-percent fewer deliveries
and Los Angeles's maternity-ward deliveries would drop by 40
percent and maternity billings to Medi-Cal would drop by 66
Youth gangs would see their membership drop by 50 percent in
many states, and in Phoenix, child-molestation cases would drop
by 34 percent and auto theft by 40 percent.
In Durango, Colorado, and the Four Corners area and the
surrounding Indian reservations, the methamphetamine epidemic
would slow for one day, as the 90 percent of that drug now being
brought in from Mexico was held in Albuquerque and Farmington a
few hours longer. According to the sheriff of La Plata County,
Colorado, meth is now being brought in by ordinary illegal
aliens as well as professional drug dealers.
If the "Day-Without-an-Immigrant Boycott" had been held a
year earlier on May 8, 2005, and illegal alien Raul Garcia-Gomez
had stayed home and did not work or go to a party that day,
Denver police officer Donnie Young would still be alive and
Garcia-Gomez would not be sitting in a Denver jail awaiting
If the boycott had been held on July 1, 2004, Justin Goodman
of Thornton, Colorado, would still be riding his motorcycle and
Roberto Martinez-Ruiz would not be in prison for killing him and
then fleeing the scene while driving on a suspended license.
If illegal aliens stayed home—in Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil,
and 100 other countries—the Border Patrol would have 3,500 fewer
apprehensions (of the 12,000 who try each day).
Colorado taxpayers would save almost $3,000,000 in one day if
illegals do not access any public services, because illegal
aliens cost the state over $1 billion annually according to the
Colorado's K-12 school classrooms would have 131,000 fewer
students if illegal aliens and the children of illegals were to
stay home, and Denver high schools' dropout rate would once
again approach the national norm.
Colorado's jails and prisons would have 10-percent fewer
inmates, and Denver and many other towns would not need to build
so many new jails to accommodate the overcrowding.
Our highway patrol and county sheriffs would have about far
fewer DUI arrests and there would be a dramatic decline in
rollovers of vanloads of illegal aliens on I-70 and other
On a Day Without an Illegal Immigrant, thousands of workers
and small contractors in the construction industry across
Colorado would have their jobs back, the jobs given to illegal
workers because they work for lower wages and no benefits. (On
the other hand, if labor unions continue signing up illegal
workers, no one will be worrying about Joe Six-Pack's loss.
Sorry, Joe, but you forgot to tell your union business agent
that your job is as important as his is.)
If it fell on a Sunday, Catholic Churches in the southwestern
states might have 20-percent fewer parishioners at Mass if all
illegals stayed home, but they would be back next Sunday, so the
bishop's job is not in danger. The religious leaders who send
people to the marches and rallies will never fear for their
jobs, because illegal aliens need their special "human-rights"
advocacy and some priests and nuns seem especially devoted to
that cause. The fact that most Catholics disagree with the
bishops' radicalism doesn't seem to affect their dedication to
undermining the rule of law.
All of this might be a passing colorful episode in the heated
national debate over immigration policy if it weren't for an odd
coincidence: The immigration-enforcement agency responsible for
locating and deporting illegal aliens is also taking the day off
today. Of course, they didn't call it a boycott. It is just (non)business
— Tom Tancredo is a Republican congressman from Colorado.