"there is no question that low-skilled immigrants consume more in govt services than they pay in taxes. How could it be otherwise?"
First off, they don't have to take any sort of govt assistance. Just because someone is poor doesn't mean they ask the govt for help. If someone is blind, it doesn't mean they can read braille either.
Here's an article (not written by me) of which I agree with the vast majority of it and it answers many of your concerns:
"Canadians, on the other hand, are not sub-par economically and educationally."
The delta between Canada and the US is much smaller than that of the US and Mexico, but Canada is not really on par with us either.
However, via your own notion that Canadians are better educated than Mexicans does mean that they take the REAL jobs that Americans are concerned about and not so much the Mexicans. This goes back to what I said earlier about racism. If people are truly concerned about the REAL jobs being lost, then they'd be more concerned about illegal Canadians and the massive outsourcing that major US corporations do. If people were truly concerned about National Security, then they'd be more worried about Canada since their border is far longer. But they don't because most Canadians are from white European lineages and they speak English without as much of an accent. It's based on subconscious xenophobia. I don't think that many people even realize that they are doing it.
Ask yourself, out of all the times you hear about illegal immigration on the news, what percentage of those stories mention Mexico and what percent mention Canada? When you hear about border security on the news, how many times do you hear about Canada vs Mexico? A member of Al-Qaeda could start from Afghanistan and reach the US just by traveling through two countries... China and Russia (not exactly our best friends), then cross the short Bering Strait, then come into the ontiguous US via one of countless unguarded farm fields along the US/Canadian border.
In fact, here is a picture of an ACTUAL US/Canada border crossing point where they rely on the honor system of you picking up a phone and calling them to inform them that you are crossing the border:
"People who talk about complex issues without using numbers contribute nothing to rational thought."
LOL... are you kidding? Your logic is that you can't talk about complex issues without using numbers? I wonder how many numbers Socrates and Aristotle used in their complex issue discussions. Should we use percentages and graphs when talking about Jesus' Resuurection or the Immaculate Conception as well?
In any event, I ran a large stats based website for years... I can make numbers say almost anything. if you'd like to get into a numbers debate, we can do that, but it won't get us anywhere. Instead, I'm providing a link below to a CNN & Money Magazine article concerning this topic. I chose this article because it is fairly unbiased and presents BOTH sides of the issue. Could I have found article after article supporting only one side? Of course I could and so can you. However the point here is not to "win," but rather to spark new doors of knowledge to potentially swing open in some minds.
Do "illegal" immigrants cost Americans money? Yes.
Do "illegal" immigrants generate money for Americans? Yes.
In the end, the benefits of having the illegal immigrants outweighs the cost of having them for many reasons.
The people that suffer from the "illegal" immigrants are those workers that are American citizens who are generally young and unskilled. However, I'll offer up that an equal argument can be made that the people who are costing these young, unskilled workers these jobs are not the "illegal immigrants," but rather the young, unskilled workers themselves.
If you grow up in this country as a citizen, then you are afforded every opportunity to change your social status. People who remain in the "unskilled" category are usually (not always, but usually) there due to choices they have made FOR THEMSELVES in their lives. Perhaps it was being more concerned with sports or video games than their education. Perhaps it was choosing to have sexual relations that resulted in becoming a parent far too early. Perhaps it was choosing to commit crime that has left them with criminal records that make it difficult to find quality employment. Etc, etc, etc. If these people had made different choices, chose to make education their number one priority, chose to stay out of trouble, worked hard to gain the necessary skills and mentorship to succeed, then they would never be in that position in the first place. So if those people blew their chance at the American Dream and there are some other hard working people that want to have the American Dream for their own, then more power to them as that is the exact spirit that America was forged upon.
If we continue to maintain our status quo immigration practices, then The New Colossus should be removed from inside Lady Liberty. In super short format:
Give me your tired, your poor = America welcomes not only the rich, but also the hard working lower class.
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free = America welcomes those who desire a new life filled with freedoms.
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore = America welcomes those that are considered worthless in abundance.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me = Send all of the above that have been beaten down by their adversaries to America.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door! = All of the above are welcome in America where they will be given the opportunities and freedoms that they would not have elsewhere.
Now who has the cajones to say that the spirit of those words is currently in practice today concerning American immigration? The dichotomy between Lazarus' poem and the realities of what's going on today are staggering. The hypocrisy is astounding.
And just to quote the last line of the aforementioned article: "As for complaints that many critics of immigration cite - demand for social and government services by immigrants - most economists believe that is outweighed by the increased economic activity, even if some specific school districts or public hospitals struggle with the costs associated serving the immigrant community."
But then again, what do the experts at CNN/Money know?