By: Rachel Sheffield From: Heritage.org
American taxpayers cannot afford the cost of amnesty.
The cost of illegal immigration and amnesty could amount to $6.3 trillion, which would fall on American taxpayers over the long term, according to a Heritage Foundation analysis
. As Heritage showed, the majority of illegal immigrants receiving amnesty would receive far more in taxpayer-funded benefits than they would pay in taxes. Even critics of the Heritage study admit amnesty will cost trillions of dollars. Whether it is $4 trillion, $6 trillion or more, the additional costs to the U.S. taxpayer are still too high.
Here are a few factors that could drive the cost even higher.1) The number of illegal immigrants may be higher.
Heritage’s analysis is based on the Department of Homeland Security’s estimate that there are 11.5 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States. “The DHS estimates that there are some 10.4 million unlawful immigrants recorded in Census surveys and 1.1 million more who are not reported by the Census,” explains Heritage expert Robert Rector. The first number is based on evidence, but the second is a guess, meaning there may be far more. If the number of illegal immigrants is actually 20 percent greater than the 11.5 million assumed in the Heritage analysis, the long-term fiscal cost of amnesty would increase proportionately, adding perhaps $1.2 trillion to the lifetime fiscal deficit.2) Medical and welfare inflation in future years is likely to increase future costs.
The Heritage analysis is based on the very conservative assumption “that means-tested welfare and medical benefits per household will grow no faster than general inflation for the next 50 years.” However, Rector explains, “the historical record suggests that this is highly unlikely. For nearly every year for the past half-century, welfare spending per capita has increased much faster than inflation.” It is a similar story for medical care. “The main analysis in this paper assumes that the cost of medical services per beneficiary will grow no faster than inflation for the next 50 years,” says Rector. “This is likely an underestimate and probably results in an understatement of future spending.”3) Because the analysis measured costs mainly by household, it likely excluded about 20 percent of illegal immigrants.
The Heritage analysis estimated the pre-retirement costs for households headed by illegal immigrants (excluding legal adult residents who might live in those households). But Rector explains that “about 20 percent of unlawful immigrants do not reside in those households. Any pre-retirement fiscal costs associated with that 20 percent are therefore omitted from the analysis; this is likely to lead to an underestimate of total costs.”4) Amnesty may act as a “magnet” for future illegal immigrants.
The United States passed amnesty in 1986 under the promise that no future amnesty would be granted. “Despite this promise, the 1986 amnesty was probably a factor in encouraging the subsequent surge in unlawful immigration, since it signaled that the U.S. might take a lenient stance toward unlawful immigrants in the future. If the U.S now enacts a second amnesty, it will have established a very strong precedent for serial amnesties,” says Rector.
Obviously, $6.3 trillion is a major cost to American taxpayers, particularly considering the United States’ current debt of $17 trillion. American taxpayers should be fully aware of the financial burden amnesty would impose.
As Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint also noted
: “Any immigration reform should improve the lives, the incomes, and the opportunities” of those lawfully in the United States. Burdening taxpayers is not fair to everyone who lives in the U.S. legally.
"For all the talk in Washington about border security, the one agency charged with providing it isn't sharing a wealth of details.
"So a group of volunteers -- called Secure Border Intelligence -- has stepped in, working around the clock in Arizona to keep a thorough record of the front lines of the border battle.
"Using tiny, motion-activated cameras hidden in the desert along known smuggling routes, the group captures images of illegal immigrants streaming into the U.S. Some carry water, others bundles of drugs slung across their shoulders. SBI also records conversations between Border Patrol pilots and agents on the ground. Excerpts from those conversations, obtained exclusively by Fox News, suggest the border may not be as secure as frequently portrayed by the Obama administration." Read more: Fox News
Every American should watch this two minute video. We are becoming a country without borders, with all the security and financial challenges that creates.
Immigration is a difficult issue—there’s no getting around that. How do we encourage and improve lawful immigration, while deterring unlawful immigration?
David Addington, head of Heritage’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, takes on this question
just as the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” nears a deal on a new bill. He writes:
The U.S. should reform its immigration system through a careful, step-by-step process that welcomes lawful immigrants, encourages their full participation in American life, and expands opportunity. The process also must prevent unlawful immigration, encourage respect for law, secure America’s borders, and preserve America’s sovereignty.
Heritage has described this step-by-step process for a problem-solving approach to immigration issues, such as reform of the lawful immigration system, visa reforms, lawful temporary worker arrangements
, and strong border and interior enforcement.
Broad federal declarations usually don’t work, and a one-size-fits-all immigration policy is not the way to go.
It’s also important to remember why people come to America. They are drawn by the promise of freedom and the chance to make a better life for themselves and their families.
The best thing we can do for all immigrants—past and future—is to make sure that America remains a place where people want to come. America must be a place where citizens are protected and laws are enforced. Respect for the law is what makes individual freedom possible; the Constitution safeguards our freedoms.
Immigration policy that extends amnesty to unlawful immigrants goes against that respect for the law that makes America stand out in the world. As new congressional plans emerge, Addington warns that people who knowingly entered or remain in the U.S. unlawfully should not receive amnesty:Amnesty comes in many forms
, but in all its variations, it discourages respect for the law, treats law-breaking aliens better than law-following aliens, and encourages future unlawful immigration into the United States.
America needs—and wants—immigrants to enrich the nation. At the same time, we have to protect the nation’s borders and its sovereignty. Workable immigration reform will balance these necessities without compromising the American values that attract immigrants in the first place.LEARN MORE:Encouraging Lawful Immigration and Discouraging Unlawful ImmigrationRead the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.
Note from PatrioticMoms.com
Few organizations in America do as much good as the Heritage Foundation.
PatrioticMoms.com is grateful for permission to repost articles from their site.
Yesterday, people from all over the country responded to the Supreme Court ruling on the Arizona immigration law.
Do you know how the Obama Administration responded? They made it difficult, maybe impossible, for Arizona to perform the one duty the Supreme Court said they could and should perform!
The Supreme Court ruled that Arizona law enforcement officers are authorized to check the immigration status of anyone who is reasonably suspected of being in the country illegally.
- After the ruling, Arizona was denied access to the federal database they need to determine the status of people who are being questioned. As a result, AZ law enforcement can't perform their legal responsibility. And Arizona is the only state that was denied access!
- To add insult to injury, yesterday Eric Holder's Justice Department set up a telephone and email "hotline" to invite the public to report any possible civil rights violations or concerns. Arizona is perfectly able to enforce the law in a professional way without DOJ interference.
The Administration's actions don't just affect Arizona. When the Obama administration makes it impossible to stop the constant flow of illegal immigrants into the country, it is a serious national security and economic issue that affects people in every state of the union.
“Arizona bears the brunt of the country’s illegal immigration problem . Its citizens feel themselves under siege by large numbers of illegal immigrants who invade their property, strain their social services and even place their lives in jeopardy.” ~Justice Antonin Scalia
"Aliens are reported to be responsible for a disproportionate share of serious crime....
"Phoenix is a major city of the United States, yet signs along an interstate highway 30 miles to the south warn the public to stay away. One sign proclaims:
‘DANGER — PUBLIC WARNING — TRAVEL NOT RECOMMENDED
Active Drug and Human Smuggling Areas
Visitors May Encounter Armed Criminals and
Smuggling Vehicles Traveling at High Rates of Speed.’ ”
~Justice Anthony Kennedy
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer speaks out on the Supreme Court ruling on Arizona's ground-breaking immigration law. As other states have used Arizona's legislation as a model, the ruling will impact people across the country.
“...To say, as the Court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforcing applications of the Immigration Act that the President declines to enforce boggles the mind....
"Arizona bears the brunt of the country's illegal immigrationproblem. Its citizens feel themselves under siege by large numbers of illegal immigrants who invade their property, strain their social services, and even place their lives in jeopardy.
“Federal officials have been unable to remedy the problem,and indeed have recently shown that they are unwilling to do so. Thousands of Arizona's estimated 400,000 illegal immigrants—including not just children but men and women under 30—are now assured immunity from enforcement, and will be able to compete openly with Arizona citizens for employment.”
~Antonin Scalia (in his dissent to Monday’s decision on Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law)
Read More: In Arizona dissent, Scalia blasts Obama's deportation stay, immigration policies
Senator Marco Rubio spoke out on President Obama's immigration edict yesterday, saying Obama is "ignoring the Constitution" to buy Hispanic votes in the upcoming election.
Calling Obama "divisive by design," Rubio addressed the need for permanent immigration reform that honors our legacy as a nation.
"On the one hand we do have a significant illegal immigration problem, it has to be confronted, it has to be solved. We cannot be the only country that doesn't enforce its immigration laws. On the other hand we have some very compelling human stories....
"Trying to find a reasonable balance that honors both our legacy as a nation of immigrants and also as a nation with a legacy about laws is not easy."
Senator Rubio was working on legislation to address U.S. immigration issues when the President ignored Congress' proper role and issued his unconstitutional mandate.
Here's President Obama explaining his proper constitutional role,
before he decided he needed the Hispanic vote to get re-elected!
A massive tax loophole gives billions of dollars in tax credits to undocumented workers. Millions are taking advantage of the situation. $4.2 billion was payed out just this year!
In many cases, the money is sent to people who have never set foot in the United States.
The Supreme Court is getting ready to hear the Obama administration's challenge to Arizona's illegal immigration law, SB 1070.
Former Arizona Speaker of the House, and candidate for U.S. Congress, Kirk Adams explains the purpose of SB 1070 and why the legislation make sense.
Please LIKE this post if you agree that SB 1070 should be upheld.
Feel free to comment below to express your opinion for or against SB 1070.
As you probably heard, last week President Obama’s administration announced they would not enforce immigration laws, except in cases of serious criminals. This poses a serious dilemma for law enforcement officers who are now expected to enforce some laws and not others.
Which laws will they enforce and which will they ignore?
Many illegal immigrants break multiple laws to come here. For example, in addition to breaking immigration laws, they obtain licenses, social security, and checking through forgery and identity theft.
There is no way to ascertain who has a “serious” criminal record and who has “only” committed forgery and other crimes the administration is choosing to ignore.
In the following interview, Sheriff Paul Babeu says the new policy will incentivize additional breaking of the law. He likened it to law enforcement officers announcing they will only respond to emergencies that are murder, rape, and violent acts - and not respond to DUI, shoplifting or simple assault.
I, along with many Americans, favor immigration reform. I welcome legal immigrants to this wonderful country. But we are a nation of laws. To be free, people must be governed by law and not by the whims of men. Do we choose to be a nation ruled by laws or by dictators?
The people have repeatedly voted to secure the borders and enforce immigration law.
The Obama administration failed to pass its amnesty program in Congress.
So now, in the words of FAIR President Dan Stein, "Having failed in the legislative process, the Obama administration has simply decided to usurp Congress' constitutional authority and implement an amnesty program for millions of illegal aliens. This step by the White House amounts to a complete abrogation of the president's duty to enforce the laws of the land and is a huge breach of the public trust. ...
“In essence, the administration has declared that U.S. immigration is now virtually unlimited to anyone willing to try to enter -- and only those who commit violent felonies after arrival are subject to enforcement."
Law enforcement officers now have to choose if they will enforce the laws or submit to Obama’s unconstitutional edict.
"Having failed in the legislative process, the Obama administration has simply decided to usurp Congress's constitutional authority and implement an amnesty program for millions of illegal aliens. This step by the White House amounts to a complete abrogation of the president's duty to enforce the laws of the land and is a huge breach of the public trust. ...
In essence, the administration has declared that U.S. immigration is now virtually unlimited to anyone willing to try to enter -- and only those who commit violent felonies after arrival are subject to enforcement." FAIR President Dan Stein
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer: "The Obama administration cannot get its amnesty schemes through Congress, so now it has resorted to implementing its plans via executive fiat. There‘s simply no other description for today’s announcement that the federal government will not pursue the deportation of individuals who are in the country illegally but meet certain criteria.
This plan amounts to backdoor amnesty for hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of illegal aliens. Especially disturbing is that it comes in the wake of the Obama administration sanctioning the sale of weapons to Mexican drug cartels — even as border states such as Arizona come under threat from those same illicit organizations. With this announcement, the President is encouraging more illegal immigration at the exact moment we need federal focus on border security."