Forgive me if this has been discussed before... In discussing the immigration situation with the wife earlier today, I ended up noticing another way that illegals (and some legals as well, possibly) are a drain on the U.S. economy beyond that on Social Services. When people earn wages, that money leaves the economy. Now, if it were to be spent, say, by buying cars, houses, appliances, etc., it would re-enter the economy to be earned (then spent again) by some other wage-earner. As it seems now, the majority of that money isn't coming back in from a lot of illegals, and here's a couple of reasons why I'm thinking that: 1) The booming business that the local check-cashing stores (at least those with Western Union) are doing. The key part of that is Western Union. 2) The large number of "ethnic" groceries, food trailers, restaurants, and other businesses that are cropping up in our illegal-heavy neighborhood. Surprising that they're thriving while we've lost a JCPenney store, a Macy's, a Meijer, a K-Mart, and not a few national-chain restaurants. Now, I wouldn't have a problem if they spent more of the money they earned. From what I remember from my high school econ. course, strong consumer spending makes business expansion possible. But, apart from things like gasoline, utilities, and so on, all the money that they earn is either going back home or staying locked into their own communities. I have visions of cash tranactions with no state sales tax being charged, workers being paid in cash with no Income Tax/FICA/etc. collected, profits from the business being sent home instead of being spent for upgrades... the list goes on. That's not helping in the slightest. Back to WU - I did a little research and found out that it's at least $5 to $8 cheaper to send money by Western Union from the U.S. to Mexico than it is to send it to a neighboring state. A good remedy would be (if it's possible, that is) to put a State surcharge or tax on any international WU transaction that is cheaper than sending money state-to-state. Not a big charge -just enough to bring it even. Just my take on things... Al.