The Real Cost of Amnesty

By:  Bob Adelmann
05/07/2013
       
The Real Cost of Amnesty

As persuasive as the Heritage Foundation study is of the costs of amnesty contained in the bill crafted by the "Gang of Eight," no mention is made whatever of the costs involved in the loss of national sovereignty if the bill becomes law.

The authors of the Heritage Foundation’s latest report on the tremendous cost of amnesty to U.S. taxpayers do provide a disclaimer that their estimates are probably too low, but they don't go far enough. In their report, they only talk about economic costs of amnesty; they fail altogether to mention the continuing loss of national sovereignty that would take place in the process. 

In an interview with Neil Cavuto on Monday, Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint said that “any immigration reform should improve the lives, the incomes and the opportunities” for those who are lawfully already living in the country. They should not be forced to pay for the bailout costs of bringing “unlawful immigrants” up to speed as well. According to the foundation’s report, “The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer,” the total cost to pay for the bill proposed by the “Gang of Eight” is estimated to exceed $6 trillion over the next 25 years.

This contradicts the following opening statement in that bill, called “The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013”:

The modernization of our legal immigration system will be a net benefit for America as we make historic reforms towards a more merit-based immigration system that will help us attract entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, skilled workers and people driven by the desire to build a better life for themselves and, in turn, create jobs for American workers.

That statement is utterly and completely false, based upon the analysis done by two Heritage scholars, Robert Rector and Jason Richwine. At present, the average American household receives more than $31,000 in government benefits and services (including direct benefits such as Social Security and unemployment insurance, means-tested benefits such as tax credits and SNAP food stamps, public education, and general population services such as police and fire protection) but most of them don’t pay that much in taxes. Only households with college-educated heads pay more in taxes than the benefits they receive. The authors call them “net tax contributors.” The rest are “net tax consumers.” And since the typical unlawful (they avoided the politically incorrect term “illegal” in their analysis) immigrant has only a 10th grade education or less, they will be tax consumers, even after they have reached full amnesty in 13 years under the bill. Note the authors:

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