the denial of public services to immigrants is theft
It is very common for state and federal legislators to pass statutes denying undocumented, or even documented, immigrants state services such as access to public schools, public health services, and driver’s licenses. Many immigrants rights advocates oppose these measures because they impose hardship. I oppose them on more fundamental grounds – denial of public service is theft pure and simple.
Nearly all people who reside in a state must pay taxes and lots of them. Nearly all consumer purchases have sales tax. Anyone who purchases a home pays property tax and those who rent pay that tax indirectly. Most states have income taxes as well. Of course, you can also pay local and state taxes in other ways such as utility tax, hotel tax, cigarette taxes, and taxes on all kinds of services.
Thus, unless an immigrant completely opts out of the economy, they pay a lot of taxes. And denying state services is simply taking money and not giving people what has been promised. That’s stealing by any other name.
In immigration debates, critics will say that there’s a difference between the citizen and the migrant in terms of rights and obligations. This distinction makes little sense. Am I allowed to rob a Mexican just because he is born in another nation? May I murder a Chinese woman simply because she is from China? Of course not. The obligation to respect other people’s life and personal safety is universal. Having a legislature vote does not give me the right to steal from others or harm them.
Those who believe that we have a social contract are morally required to provide services to immigrants so long as taxes are collected. Otherwise, the state just becomes a violent organization that transfers wealth from migrants to natives. Even if you believe undocumented migration is a crime, you should still believe that they should still receive the same services as others who commit crimes of similar severity. If the children of murderers can still go school, then so should the children of undocumented immigrants.