If they had a right to this the whole system would collapse (there are so many problems with answering yes to this question). The government isn't a giant charity for neighboring poor countries and the poor of the world, it's purpose is to protect the interests of its citizens. If you want to support a charity, then donate to one yourself.
I know that most people do not support allowing undocumented people to utilize our social systems, however, I think the issue is extremely complex.
Most of us only extend a moderate degree of compassion toward others, especially in the U.S. where self-reliance is valued so highly. But, when those "others" are from another country, speak a different language, or have a different skin color, they do not make the cut. They end up in a category that we unconsciously label "non-human" or "undeserving of compassion." However, I do believe that if you are face to face with an individual who is suffering gravely, facing death, giving birth, or otherwise vulnerable, suddenly you realize that they ARE human, and your compassion expands to encompass them in the category of "deserving of help."
When the U.S. allows undocumented people to avail themselves to our services, compassion is the mechanism in play. Someone with authority, has decided that the situation is about human beings, not money, not power, not government.
Because my job often brings me into close contact with such people, let me outline one situation to illustrate the point:
- In my city there lives a family of Mexican people who have a daughter that suddenly became very ill due to a rare kidney disorder. The other family members have been working for years to acquire legal residency in the U.S. so that they can be here legally, but this one daughter was too ill to return to Mexico for her paperwork. As a result, she remains undocumented. Our state government has allowed her to be on kidney dialysis for the past several years while her family works out the necessary forms and fees that will eventually make her a legal resident. She is 20 years old, she would die without dialysis. Ask yourself this: Are you willing to go stand by her hospital bed, look into here eyes and pull the plug? Are you willing to face her parents and tell them she must die simply because she was born in Mexico? Is that a death sentence you are willing to deliver? If you voted YES to the above question, that is exactly what you are doing.
This is only one example, but you can multiply it and magnify a million times over. Each and every person who is hurt, stuck, trapped, or otherwise in need, is an actual human being; and to deny them life saving healthcare, or basic education is to hand them a death sentence, or force them to criminal acts in order to survive.
The system is broken, and I realize that. Yet, there are many things that could be done.
1. The government could set up an accessible program for guest workers, and then collect taxes from them to pay for their services and needs while here.
2. They could seek reimbursement from foreign governments for the care we provide to their people.
3. Regarding Education: Allowing the children of immigrants to attend our schools isn't actually a bad deal...it keeps them off the streets, teaches them English, helps them assimilate, and reduces the chance that they will end up as violent gang members.
In any case, the question as it is posed above is too broad. Paying out subsistence welfare to non-citizens is much more difficult to justify than say, giving people life saving medical care.
Each service needs to be evaluated separately. For example, I don't think we need to allow undocumented families access to permanent subsidized housing. But, I wouldn't turn away a pregnant woman or a sick child in the emergency room.
These are just things to consider because the issue is not as clear as it may seem to someone who lacks firsthand experience.
Illegal aliens should not be illegal any more.
We live in a capitalist global system. I would like to see that changed eventually, but even under the most capitalistic assumptions the right to free labor needs to be fairly sacrosanct.
No right is absolute, of course. But whenever the rights of workers to seek out labor is limited, we all suffer. Workers suffer the most, but even producers are not able to find the best human capital for the job. The whole logic that Ricardo offered, that England could focus on textiles and Portugal on wine to both nation's advantage, is based on the ability of English people good at making wine to be able to go to Portugal. If they can't, they are employed at textiles which they are not good at. And much of the classical economics on which we've based our social systems assumed that people always could leave to a frontier. There is no frontier anymore.
There should be an easy mechanism for citizenship or for green cards, which should of course carry with it all the attendant benefits.
When my grandmother immigrated into the US one of the document she had to sign and her sponsors had to sign was a statement that she could NEVER receive welfare or assistance. Her sponsors had to guarantee that she would have work, and that there was a job waiting for her. And if she did fall on hard time he sponsors had to take care of her.
Why should it be different now?
Like if you asked "should people in dire need get free meal, medicine, blanket, good words, 10 million usd, water?". I would say yes to some of those and no to others, like basic medical care should be offered, basic welfare should be provided in exchange to basic work. "Illegal" doesn't mean "criminal" or "lazy", and often not even "uneducated", this question is way too general to be meaningful apart from playing with the usual xenophobia or protectionism (not that it's bad or good, it's just a possible human attribute).
Of maybe you mean martians. :-) Isn't "immigrant" a better word? And, by the way, is it about immigrants or just the illegal ones (I mean the intent, not the phrasing)?