$6.3 TRILLION TO FUND AMNESTY?
The comprehensive immigration overhaul being taken up in the Senate this week could cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion if 11 million illegal immigrants are granted legal status, according to a long-awaited estimate by the conservative Heritage Foundation.
The cost would arise from illegal immigrants tapping into the government's vast network of benefits and services, many of which are currently unavailable to them. This includes everything from standard benefits like Social Security and Medicare to dozens of welfare programs ranging from housing assistance to food stamps.
"No matter how you slice it, amnesty will add a tremendous amount of pressure on America's already strained public purse," Robert Rector, the Heritage scholar who prepared the report, said in a statement.
The numbers could raise additional concerns for Republicans as a Senate committee prepares to consider the legislation later this week.
The comprehensive study also factored in the cost of public education and other services like highways and police. The government is already providing some of those services to illegal immigrants, so the $6.3 trillion figure would not represent all new costs.
But most of that cost would be new spending, according to Heritage, as illegal immigrants gain access to additional government benefits. The study acknowledges that, for a 10-year period, illegal immigrants seeking a reprieve would be barred from these benefits. After that window, though, Heritage forecasts the costs skyrocketing.
On an annual basis, the report estimates the cost will be $106 billion after the interim phase is over. In the course of their lifetime, the report estimates that illegal immigrant households would receive an average of $592,000 in government benefits.
The $6.3 trillion figure is based on what illegal immigrants would cost the government over the course of their lifetime. It factors in the expected taxes they'd pay to the government.
Supporters of immigration legislation have been skeptical of efforts to assign a cost to the immigration bill. Proponents argue that the value of bringing millions of illegal immigrants out of the shadows and presumably into the taxpaying workforce is immeasurable.
Stephen Moore, an economist and Wall Street Journal writer, said many economists challenge the notion that immigrants are a net cost to the economy.
He told Fox News despite the Heritage findings, there are other studies showing the legalization will be an economic boon for the country that could grow the economy -- in turn alleviating the country's deficit problem.
Moore said it's important to look at both sides of the equation, factoring in that while immigrants can use benefits they will also become more productive. He noted many immigrants are entrepreneurial, starting businesses that grow the economy.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a key co-author of the legislation, has also stressed that illegal immigrants applying for legal status would not have access to federal benefits while they are applying.
After obtaining a green card, they would still be ineligible for many federal benefits for five years.
The legislation also might not legalize all 11 million illegal immigrants. Some could be disqualified if they have a felony record or other problems in their background
Heritage claims its estimate is on the conservative end.
"Those who claim that amnesty will not create a large fiscal burden are simply in a state of denial concerning the underlying redistributional nature of government policy in the 21st century," the report said.
Read the actual report here
Read more: Study pegs cost of immigration bill
Re: $6.3 TRILLION TO FUND AMNESTY?
The more they telegraph their intentions the more that come across the border. There is no stop-gap measure in place, and before we start the discussion of making anyone that is here legal, we need to secure the border and prevent more from coming over.
Recognize the statement "Mexicans are here doing the jobs Americans do not want to do?"
Someone lacked original thought, and citizens of Mexico know a little different version. The Mexican Government has been using the same phrase for years except replace Mexicans with Guatemalans.
Mexico does not secure its southern border for the same stated reason.
Chiapan finca owners are frequently in the news, notably in the Tapachula and Guatemala City press, for their Simon Legree-like care of workers. The wealthy growers prefer Guatemalans over Mexicans to work on their plantations, where they raise mangos, bananas, coffee, and dozens of other crops in the fertile, steamy ambiance of southern Chiapas. Echoing U.S. employers’ claims about Americans, these finqueros insist that Mexicans will not do the hard work of planting, cultivating, and picking.
Mexico's Forgotten Southern Border: Does Mexico practice at home what it preaches abroad? | Center for Immigration Studies
Why are Mexicans here in the US doing the jobs they will not do in their own Country? Because it is not the jobs... Its the healthcare, education, tax free cash pay they send home.
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