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There’s no such thing as a free immigration amnesty

There’s no such thing as a free immigration amnesty

Amnesty, and particularly citizenship, for people who broke the law to get here is bad policy because it rewards law breakers and advantages them over law abiders.

It’s also very costly, as a study released by the Heritage Foundation demonstrates, The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer:

Executive Summary

Unlawful immigration and amnesty for current unlawful immigrants can pose large fiscal costs for U.S. taxpayers. Government provides four types of benefits and services that are relevant to this issue:

  • Direct benefits. These include Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.
  • Means-tested welfare benefits. There are over 80 of these programs which, at a cost of nearly $900 billion per year, provide cash, food, housing, medical, and other services to roughly 100 million low-income Americans. Major programs include Medicaid, food stamps, the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
  • Public education. At a cost of $12,300 per pupil per year, these services are largely free or heavily subsidized for low-income parents.
  • Population-based services. Police, fire, highways, parks, and similar services, as the National Academy of Sciences determined in its study of the fiscal costs of immigration, generally have to expand as new immigrants enter a community; someone has to bear the cost of that expansion.

The cost of these governmental services is far larger than many people imagine. For example, in 2010, the average U.S. household received $31,584 in government benefits and services in these four categories.

The full report is here.

Bottom line —  $6.3 trillion.

Heritage Foundation Chart 12 - Lifetime Cost of Unlawful Immigrants After Amnesty


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Votes are costly these days.

Here’s an idea. Why don’t we just make Mexico a U.S. State! How many will we have then, Barry?

    Observer in reply to JP. | May 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Might as well. One third of Mexicans living in Mexico want to come to the U.S., and under Rubio’s amnesty bill, there will be nothing to stop them from doing so.

    Also, on the cost issue, Heritage didn’t factor in the cost of all the new “free” legal services that illegal aliens will be entitled to under the Rubio bill. The amnesty bill gives immigration judges the authority to appoint lawyers for the new “immigrants” in non-criminal proceedings, at taxpayer expense.

    That one provision alone will likely cost U.S. taxpayers billions every year.

Juba Doobai! | May 6, 2013 at 11:41 am

Give back CA, and start deportations. Hire the Chinese border guards to man the southern border.

    Doug Wright in reply to Juba Doobai!. | May 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    JD: Best suggestion I’ve heard in a long, long, long time!

    Just another reason that the “Thumbs up” and “Thumbs down” indicators need to be brought back. JD’s comment rates just over 10Qizzlion “thumbs up”

PLUS no amnesty of which I know has ever worked.

So, lotsa $$$$….no pay-off.

Sounds like PORKULUS redux.

Another excellent source of immigration info is at NumbersUSA where the real fight to defeat amnesty, get rid of birthright citizenship along with chain immigration is taking place.

Become an activist by sending your congress critters free faxes and other activities.

We do not need immigration reform but rather simply need ALL current laws enforced.

It’s just that simple…

    Valerie in reply to GrumpyOne. | May 6, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    We do need immigration reform. We need a guest worker program; we need to put an end to chain migration, and a myriad of policies that favor chain migration over the migration of workers and people with education and skills.

    One thing I would like to see is acknowledgement that the choice to just come here to work is legitimate, honorable, and sensible for some people. People who come here, work a while, and then return home, go home with a different viewpoint. They become very American in their attitude toward workplace efficiency, with a much-reduced tolerance of bullies and bribes. They can become influential, and they’ll be our friends. I’d love to send Venezuela 20,000 men in their 40s and 50s, with the ordinary resources of a hard worker. It would make such a difference, over time.

great unknown | May 6, 2013 at 12:12 pm

In the interest of cultural authenticity, Professor, the headline should read, “There Ain’t No Such Thing …”

While more upscale versions such as Friedman’s “There Is No Such Thing …” exist, they lose the pithy purity of folk wisdom in the morass of intellectual pedantry.

Or, in simpler language, your version is PC, and this expression is too good for PC.

This may be a radical thought but I wonder if Rubio went along with the bill for the purpose of getting it out in the public,
Rubio has said over and over that the bill needs work and he wants othjers to make suggestions.

Schumer OTOH wants it passed as quickly as possible and sent to House. No doubt he thinks we need to pass it to know what is in it

    great unknown in reply to RWGinger. | May 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Would that it were so, but then Rubio [or his “office”]wouldn’t be tangling himself up in convoluted distortions and outright dishonesty trying to protect the bill.

      Rubio has already tangled himself up with this insane ‘impoverish America/democrat voter insurance’ bill.

      Whatever his intentions, he displayed incredible ineptness in who he sold it and how he allowed himself to be used by Schumer and McCain.

      His lost trust among conservatives is permanent.

Seems somebody is actually reading the Gang of 8’s latest autrocity.

A lot of authority handed over to Janet Napolitano, like $50 million (the same amount of money she spent on new uniforms for the TSA gestapo as she cut Border Patrol hours) of taxpayer money to help illegals make their applications.

Read the rest, it will cause your head to explode.

Nevermind that this bill will allow every MS-13 gangbanger in Los Angeles that hasn’t racked up a criminal record the right to stay. And then, they can bring their other gangbanging relatives into the U.S. due to chain migration.

As to Rubio: the Gang of 7 needed a Hispanic face to put to McCain’s Shamnesty II bill. So they drug in baby-faced Rubio to go out and sell this bottle of snake oil. Why Rubio? Why not Bill Flores or Ted Cruz? Because Rubio, in his desire to have the establishment GOP behind his planned 2016 race, could be flipped from his former campaign promises. Flores and Cruz could not.

Now Bill Richardson, plagued with scandal, a wife cheater and failed governor, is on ABC saying that Cruz is not really Hispanic. Why? Because Richardson (a classic Hispanic name LOL) doesn’t like Cruz’ politics. Nevermind that fat boy’s scandals were too great for even the Obama administration and that’s saying something.

Rubio has shot his chances at any 2016 run unless the GOP wants another 8 years of Democrat rule.

    Observer in reply to retire05. | May 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Nope, the gangbangers get to stay EVEN IF they have a criminal record in the U.S. They can have multiple misdemeanor convictions and still be eligible for amnesty. (And keep in mind that many times felony charges are reduced to misdemeanors during plea bargaining). Also, the bill gives Janet Napolitano the authority to allow even illegal aliens who are convicted FELONS to stay in the U.S. if she finds it in the interests of “family unity” or because it would create “hardship” or for a variety of other stupid reasons.

    Here’s another fun fact about the amnesty bill: it PROHIBITS the DHS from denying amnesty to an illegal alien because the illegal alien has used forged/fraudulent documents or stolen SS numbers in the U.S., or because the illegal alien has already been deported or has skipped out on prior deportation hearings in the U.S., or because the illegal has been caught lying to U.S. law enforcement.

Here is the problem with the Gang of 8: not one of them have had to live in an area that is rife with crime due to illegal immigration. Rubio would come closest, but he lived in a Cuban community; not exactly like living in a border county.

What is so wrong with the bill is that immigration policies, for any nation, should be designed to benefit the host nation, not the immigrants. We don’t write immigration laws to benefit the persecuted of the Sudan, the Christians of Egypt, and we failed the Jews miserably during World War II. How is importing millions of low educated/no education people going to benefit this nation? The quick answer? It ain’t.

And I guess the Gang of 8 has never heard of the Pew Hispanic Center that showed that “citizenship” is on the bottom of the priority list for immigrants of Hispanic heritage, especially Mexicans. Of the Mexican immigrants that are currently eligible for citizenship, only 39% are planning on taking advantage of that ability. The reason? lack of the ability to speak English.

Look at ancient Rome, grown fat and lazy due to the invasion of other nations, and taking, for their own, that nation’s wealth. So the Romans imported laborers en masse, even for the gladiator games, until the number of non-Romans were so great that Roman law and the Roman society was all but extinct. Obviously, there are no historians on the Gang of 8.

I don’t have a copy. Would somebody please post a link, so I can read it?

Call ’em what they REALLY are:
“Undocumented Democrats”
“The Gang of Ocho”

Doug Wright | May 6, 2013 at 8:45 pm

The following would provide better control over the illegal population than anything else:

1. E-Verify every employee, no exceptions allowed. The catch is that the E-Verify process needs to “fail proof.” The Social Security number is now, almost, the one way that each of us can be identified, so use that as a basis for this E-Verify process.
If we can have a secure and reliable process, then the border itself is of less importance except as the demarcation line separating us from other countries; Canada, Mexico, Russia, Mars, etc …

2. Make the penalties for misusing this E-Verify process so onerous and costly that business will not evade it and attempt to go around it. Additionally, make individual employees who run the process for their company individually responsible to submitting accurate and timely information, and subject to most severe penalties too. Congress should then legislate that SCOTUS may not rule on the severity of these penalties or the application of these penalties therefrom.

3. People caught using phony documentation need to pay a severe penalty, including immediate deportation for those not a legal resident, or severe prison or financial penalties for people trying to evade income taxes.

The whole concept of securing the border is wonderful and should be done.

However, no border control process will catch everyone of those trying to sneak into our country. That’s why I believe that the key to stopping illegal immigration is the employment verification process. That’s why the E-Verify process has to be nearly error free and to be a reliable and trusted process, for its intended use and only for that.