Opinions, Column, Featured Column

Immigration Reform: The True Cost Of Amnesty

The latest of the proposed immigration reform bills, one that would grant amnesty to nearly 11 million people currently living unlawfully in the United States, would lead to large fiscal costs for the United States taxpayers.

Related to the issue of immigration, the government provides its constituents four categories of relevant benefits and services: direct benefits (Social Security and Medicare), means-tested welfare benefits (Medicaid, food stamps, Earned Income Tax Credit, public housing), public education, and population-based services (police, fire, highway, and park services).

We seem to take for granted these governmental services and fail to appreciate their staggering cost. In 2010, the average American household received $31,584 in governmental benefits and services in these four categories.

The governmental service system is fundamentally redistributive. Well-educated households tend to be “net tax contributors,” meaning that the amount of taxes they pay exceeds the amount of services they receive. The average college-educated household runs a fiscal benefit surplus of nearly $29,250, which the government uses to fund these benefits. Conversely, other households are “net tax consumers,” whose benefits received exceed the taxes they pay. In 2010, households in which the primary owner lacked a high school degree ran an average deficit of $35,113.

The high deficits of uneducated households bears importance in the amnesty debate because the typical unlawful immigrant has only a 10th grade education. Statistics show that only 25 percent of unlawful immigrants have a high school degree, according to the Center of Immigration Studies.

Some will argue that the deficit figures for uneducated households in the aggregate population are irrelevant because lawful immigrants use little welfare. In actuality, lawful immigrant households receive significantly more welfare than US-born households, on average.

Because unlawful immigrants do not have access to means-tested welfare, Medicare, or Social Security, many people make the erroneous (or fiscally neglectful) assumption that they receive no government benefits at all. For example, they receive public education and community services, while their children (if they were born in the U.S.) have access to a myriad of governmental benefits.

In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received nearly $24,721 in government benefits and services, running a fiscal deficit of about $14,387. This is a cost that carries over entirely to American taxpayers, underlying the fundamental financial problem of the illegal immigration issue. Because amnesty would allow the illegal immigrants to have access to over 80 programs—among them Obamacare, which is already a financial disaster—the extra cost to lawful taxpayers would be insurmountable.

As a recent Heritage Foundation article points out, “Over a lifetime, the former unlawful immigrants together would receive $9.4 trillion in government benefits and services and pay $3.1 trillion in taxes.” Ultimately, they would generate a lifetime fiscal deficit (total benefits minus total taxes) of $6.3 trillion (a minimum estimate). It probably understates real future costs because it undercounts the number of unlawful immigrants and dependents who will actually receive amnesty and underestimates the future growth in welfare and medical benefits.

With respect to government spending, the amnesty bill thwarts any attempt at fiscal discipline with respect to Congress. The bill itself also exploits a loophole that would allow Congress to spend more than stipulated in 2011 spending caps (the highest recent history).

Geopolitically, the amnesty bill would by no means ensure that borders will be secure. In fact, the incentive of access to governmental benefits would further entice foreigners to immigrate to the U.S. This is extremely problematic, as the Southwest is already plagued with border violence.

Ultimately, the new bill for comprehensive immigration reform tries to be a “cure-all” for the current crisis. As with most congressional bills, it is exceedingly long and convoluted. Spread out too thin, it fails to enact the precise reform that is necessary for the current situation.

Additionally, the proposition itself seems discouraging and insulting to current Americans and immigrants that are in this country lawfully. Congressional myopia, however, seems to be moving the nation in a direction in which the “nanny state” will provide for all, regardless of the repercussions.

Featured Image by Francisco Ruela / Heights Graphic



October 4, 2015

12 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Immigration Reform: The True Cost Of Amnesty”

  1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2015/02/27/opposition-to-immigration-reform-is-a-winning-strategy-for-republicans/

    “By any measure, fears of (Illegal) immigration are driving many white Americans to the Republican Party. And, indeed, the Republican strategy on immigration appears to have been successful. Republicans now control the House and the Senate, the governor’s office in 31 states, and two-thirds of the state legislatures. They are winning the political war.”

    “An even bigger factor is that the ties of racial and ethnic minorities to the Democratic Party are tenuous. Research by Taeku Lee and myself shows that most Latinos and Asian Americans don’t feel like they fit into either party. In national surveys, those who refuse to answer a question about party identification, those who claim that they do not think in partisan terms, and independents make up the clear majority of both groups. All told, 56 percent of Latinos and 57 percent of Asian-American identify as nonpartisans.

    Even among blacks, there are signs of ambivalence. Almost 30 percent of blacks feel
    that the Democratic Party does not work hard for black interests.”

    Gee, No wonder why I fall into the Proud Independent group.

    • Cost of living would go down
      Less traffic
      Less violence
      Reduce the population
      Save Americans and America money

      Basically there is no reason for illegals to be in the US

  2. http://www.kcra.com/news/local-news/news-sacramento/sacramento-sheriff-criticizes-obama-on-immigration/29851418
    Sacramento sheriff criticizes Obama on immigration

    “Jones vowed to crusade against illegal immigration after the shooting rampage last month by a Mexican man with a long criminal history who was in the country illegally.”

    Bristol County, Massachusetts Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson

    “No longer can we sit idle while the inaction of our Federal Government marginalizes our ability to preserve public safety, enforce our laws, and protect the Constitutional rights of all who legitimately reside and work in our communities.”

    National Sheriffs’ Association Position Paper on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

    The National Sheriffs’ Association’s press release reaffirmed organization’s stance articulated in its 2013 position paper on immigration policy. (Id.)In the paper, the Association advocated for effective and efficient securing of the border, enforcement of the immigration laws currently on the books, requiring information sharing between local law enforcement and federal immigration officials, withholding federal reimbursement money from jurisdictions who refuse to cooperate with immigration officials, and strengthening employer verification requirements, among other things. (National Sheriff’s Association, Jun. 25, 2013) The paper concluded, “The National Sheriffs’ Association strongly opposes outright amnesty for those individuals currently here illegally. Amnesty does not work. When granted in 1986, it did little to stop the flow of illegal individuals from coming across the borders and, in fact, contributed to thousands of fraudulent applications for amnesty.”

    BREAKING: Pier 14 Murder Suspect Had Been Deported 5 Times with 7 Felonies

    “Five-time deportee and seven-time convicted felon Francisco Sanchez has been jailed on suspicion of shooting and killing 31-year-old Kathryn Steinle Wednesday evening while taking photos with her father at Pier 14 in San Francisco, California. Sanchez was freed after the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department refused to honor a request by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain him, following a policy adopted in 2014. He was arrested soon after the shooting.”

    By The Way, Ice Just Release 30,558 More Violent Criminal Illegal Aliens Onto American Streets

    ICE Document Details 36,000 Criminal Alien Releases in 2013

    U.S. misinformed Congress, public on immigrant release

    DHS document: 68,000 illegal immigrants with criminal convictions released in 2013

    Thousands of Illegal Immigrants Released — Including 3,000 With Felony Charges or Convictions

  3. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/18/30-million-illegal-immigrants-in-us-says-mexicos-former-ambassador/
    30 Million Illegal Immigrants in US, Says Mexico’s Former Ambassador on MSNBC


    “The former ambassador stated,” If you were to deport the 30 million undocumented immigrants in the United States that’s going to cost you about 130 billion dollars.”

    US Border Arrests Of Immigrant Children And Families Increased 52 Percent in August

    “According to statistics released by the U.S. Border Patrol nearly 10,000 unaccompanied minors and families were arrested in the month of August, a 52 percent jump from last year.”

    Immigration Reform 2015: Immigrant Families Surging Again At US Border, Homeland Security Says

    “Federal border officials might have spoken too soon when they predicted earlier this year that the level of illegal immigration to the U.S. among mothers and children would decrease. There was actually a surge of immigrant families crossing U.S. borders last month [July 2015], a top Department of Homeland Security official told a federal court Thursday.”

    Agents say just 40 percent of U.S.-Mexico border under control
    20 percent of illegals caught at border have criminal records

    “Less than half of the U.S.-Mexico border is under “operational control,” and one out of every five illegal immigrants caught there has a criminal record, the chief of Border Patrol agents’ labor union told Congress Wednesday when detailing violence that increasingly spills over the international boundary.”

  4. An Atlantic Monthly article that shows that most economists’ thinking that an increased influx of immigrants provides more jobs for Americans is FALSE and does harm jobs for US workers and the economy:


    The Conscience Of A Liberal–Paul Krugman

    “First, the benefits of immigration to the population already here are small.
    ” But as Mr. Hanson explains in his paper, reasonable calculations suggest that we’re talking about very small numbers, perhaps as little as 0.1 percent of GDP.

    “My second negative point is that immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants. That’s just supply and demand…

    “Finally, the fiscal burden of low-wage immigrants is also pretty clear. ”

    Also, it is patently untrue that “immigrants” are the solution to low rate of start-ups:


  5. We can’t afford it . Illegal aliens are one of the main reasons this Country is broke already !

  6. That’s why it will be soooo easy for Trump to DEPORT millions , because the LAWS already exist ! Never enforced by the last 4 administrations ! No Red tape , no politically motivated Supreme Court decisions ! Just Bye-bye Illegals !!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Immigration is transforming the US in ways we have not considered yet. One possible future is described by Alderic Au in “The Aztlan Protocol”? You have to wonder if the United States has a future if he is even half right.


    By designation, illegal
    aliens are criminals not IMMIGRANTS? However, the biased Press, in mainly the
    Liberal editorial staff prefers intentionally to intermix both immigration
    status. Illegal aliens violate our
    immigration laws each day. They fabricate the truth on application forms to get
    education, health care, jobs and welfare. Then you have the 172,000 convicted
    illegal aliens that King Obama has given amnesty so they can stay in this
    country. Illegal immigration has a massive cost and the taxpayer cover
    everything. It would be meaningless to try and guess the actual amount spent on
    these people, but its estimated over a $$100 billion annually, that should be
    spent on our own citizens and legal immigrants, not anchor babies or the chain
    migration of families.

    And even legal immigration
    should be reduced, until America is back on its feet? This will never
    happen under the GOP professionals as they demand cheap labor or the Democrats
    whose agenda is to stealthily stay silent about
    non citizens voting in our elections.

    If you recognize the names
    of Kate Steinle and Marilyn Pharis, they are both murder victims of illegal
    aliens. The other day a drunk driving illegal alien in Victoria, Texas killed six illegal aliens. Every day
    the illegal aliens cause rape, murder, theft, traffic accidents and steal
    American jobs. Isn’t time we use a new approach? Maybe enforcing the
    immigration laws that are already on the books. A third of the prison
    population are foreign nationals.

    to ABC13, authorities believe the crash is a failed human smuggling
    attempt. They also reported that the middle seat in the SUV had been removed
    and the rear seat had been folded down in order to fit more people. Preliminary
    information points to the crash victims as having been from Honduras and Guatemala.

    The New
    York Times reported on the crash; however, they failed to mention the human
    smuggling connection thus making it difficult for their readers to understand
    the reasons for the chase and the crash.

    These persons died while
    violating our laws. Because we do not enforce our immigration laws; Washington is responsible for these deaths.

    Americans must demand a
    strong President, and from what I heard
    in Donald Trumps commencement speech, he asserted that illegal immigration was
    out of control and went on to say that he would enforce our laws beginning with
    building a Trump–WALL. That’s a good enough answer for me and millions of
    ordinary citizens, that he will complete that major project. The others in the Presidential race tends to
    fudge over statistics or just stay silent about the enormity of the illegal
    alien invasion. Statesman Trump will not only erect that controversial wall,
    but will build on the E-Verify program. Optional now E-Verify is easy to
    compromise by untrustworthy employers and their rules. But by amending E-Verify
    so it is MANDATED, illegal aliens and employers will no longer be able to slip
    through the fingers of ICE. However it will only work with the presence of
    hefty fines and in some cases imprisonment.

    Along with Trump standing
    tall, Senator Ted Cruz speaks his mind, not trying to make the scope of the
    problem trivial. Cruz didn’t stay quiet about the Republicans falling in line
    with not withholding the power of the purse. After the devotion of
    Conservatives to return Republicans in volume to the Congress, they have
    already seen how they have been let down. Its as if speaker of the house John
    Boehner was in collusion with the present administration? One things for sure, that if Trump stays and
    doesn’t get nominated for Prez, then I know the whole campaign is rigged?

    If the polls are correct in
    predicting the new man for the White House, then Trump will a tough guy,
    gaining momentum all the time. Then lets face it, who in their right mind would
    vote for Jeb Bush (a Rino) who is heavily involved with the US Chamber of
    Commerce and a need for cheap labor, no matter the cost to the American people
    or Hillary Clinton, who lives under a ominous shadow since entering politics.
    As for Bernie Sanders, a dyed in the wool extreme Socialist, who wants big
    government to control us, like the Russian state.

    Illegal Immigrant Car Crash Kills 6 in Central Texas

    by Ildefonso Ortiz, Breitbart Texas, 9/24/15

    At least six illegal
    immigrants from Honduras and Guatemala have been killed, multiple others
    injured, and two arrested following a high-speed chase that ended with a crash
    in the rural town of Edna just northwest of Victoria, Texas.

    The fatal wreck took place
    shortly after 1:30 a.m. along Highway 59 when police in Edna tried to pull
    over a Ford Explorer over a traffic violation, Houston’s ABC13

    The driver of the SUV led
    police through a series of turns in and out of the main highway but eventually
    overcorrected in one of those turns causing the vehicle to roll over multiple

    Four suspected illegal
    immigrants were ejected from the vehicle and died from their injuries. Two
    others ran away but have since been arrested. Two other passengers died while
    the rest are being treated for their injuries.

    Texas has reported in the past on similar cases near the Texas border where
    human smugglers pack SUV’s and vans with illegal immigrants and try to
    circumvent U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints.

    The tactic often times
    results in high speed chases and fatalities as inexperienced drivers have a
    difficult time controlling the grossly overloaded vehicles.

    In 2012, Junior Benjamin
    Rodriguez, who was only 15 at the time, drove a minivan with at least 16
    illegal immigrants when border patrol agents tried to pull him over in the
    border city of Palmview, Texas. Rodriguez sped off but lost
    control of the vehicle and crashed into a shopping plaza. The passengers ended
    up flying out of the vehicle with 9 of them dying.

    Rodriguez was tried as an
    adult and is currently serving a 20 year prison sentence for nine counts of

    Always find the truth about
    all the issues including illegal immigration at Judicial Watch http://www.judicialwatch.org and download their
    newsletter about the corruption in Washington and state assemblies. In addition,
    One American News Network http://www.oann.com overseas
    the facts and truths that the media lies about and missing facts that they
    withdraw from public view.