We hear a lot from members of Congress about an immigration bill making its way through Congress. The “Gang of Eight” - four Democrats and four Republicans – have been working on a Senate immigration bill, and Representatives are also discussing a House immigration bill. It appears that our leaders in Washington are determined to give amnesty to 11 million people who are in our country illegally. It also appears that we have some freedom-loving Patriots standing in their way and attempting to save our nation from another huge mistake. Some of these Patriots are declaring that the Senate immigration bill will cost tax payers in at least three ways: loss of wages, welfare and entitlement costs, and the fiscal burdens on cities and states. In spite of these increased costs, the bill will not stop illegal immigration!
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement on June 18, 2013, about the new estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) regarding the Gang of Eight immigration bill.
“The bill’s drafters relied on the same scoring gimmicks used by the Obamacare drafters to conceal its true cost from taxpayers and to manipulate the CBO score. There is a reason why eligibility for the most expensive federal benefits was delayed to fall mostly outside the scoring window: to mislead the public. As Ranking Member of the Budget Committee, I asked CBO to provide a long-term estimate. Sadly, CBO did not provide the long-term estimate as requested. As a result, the score effectively conceals some of the biggest long-term costs to taxpayers contained in this legislation, including providing illegal immigrants with Medicaid, food stamps, and cash welfare. Some members of Congress are already pushing efforts to expedite this eligibility.
“Welfare and entitlement costs will increase across the lifespan of the illegal immigrants legalized under this legislation. CBO did not provide enough information to assess the assumptions it made about the education background of illegal immigrants and thus their methodology may be substantially flawed. An accurate analysis would acknowledge that half of that population does not have high school degrees, and is therefore more likely to receive far more in government support than they will pay in the form of taxes. For every dollar a low-income illegal immigrant might pay in either taxes or payroll contributions, he or she could easily receive two dollars back from the government in the form of public assistance for their household. It defies logic and common sense for anyone to suggest there is not an enormous cost in choosing to provide welfare to those who are currently not eligible for these benefits.
“CBO’s score also necessarily fails to capture one of the most significant fiscal impacts this bill would have: the immediate fiscal burden on cities and states. When illegal immigrants are first legalized, they will become almost instantly eligible for local and state programs at a great cost to taxpayers. These costs will be increased substantially by the unlimited chain migration that is called for under the bill.
“Finally, on wages: it is natural that a large increase in the number of legal immigrants added to the United States – an increase of at least 46 million by 2033 according to CBO, including a doubling of the number of guest workers – will increase the GDP. But, as Dr. Borjas has illustrated and as CBO confirms, this increased GDP will be at the expense of poor and working-class Americans. The benefit will go to the business owners while the wages of U.S. workers – which should be growing – will instead decline. That is indisputable, and while CBO did not sort out the effects among U.S. residents, the impact will be harshest for today’s low-income Americans. Meanwhile, the 21 million Americans who can’t find full-time work will have an even harder time getting a job and supporting their families. More of them will therefore qualify for means-tested benefits, adding to deficits.
“This bill guarantees three things: amnesty, increased welfare costs, and lower wages for the U.S. workforce. It would be the biggest setback for poor and middle-class Americans of any legislation Congress has considered in decades.”
On June 19, 2013, Amy Payne at The Heritage Foundation published an article entitled “Congress Is Trying to Fool You on Immigration”. “Congress is trying to fool you.
“Here’s how they do business. A piece of legislation is going to cost trillions of dollars, but Members of Congress don’t want the public to see that. Instead, they have the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) look at the bill for just the first 10 years – and they move any costly items off into the future on purpose.
“They did it with Obamacare – saved the budget bombshells for later. Now they’re trying to do it with immigration.
“Yesterday, the CBO released its score of the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill. Heritage experts are still analyzing the full report, but a few things jumped out immediately. The Gang of Eight bill:
“WILL NOT stop illegal immigration – Despite promises of a secure border, the bill would slow future illegal immigration by only 25 percent, according to the CBO. In the next couple of decades, that means 7.5 million new illegal immigrants.
“WILL drive down wages – For legal American workers, the CBO estimates the bill would drive down their average wages.”
Robert Rector, another expert at The Heritage Foundation explained, “S.744 provides only a temporary delay in eligibility to welfare and entitlements. Over time, S.744 makes all 18.5 million eligible for nearly every government program, including: Obamacare, 80 different welfare programs, Social Security and Medicare. When this occurs, spending will explode but nearly all the real costs do not appear in the CBO score.”
The Blaze reported that Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) spoke with Rush Limbaugh on June 19, 2013, about the immigration bill currently being debated in the Senate. Limbaugh asked Senator Cruz to explain why the immigration bill is referred to as “amnesty,” and the Senator answered:
“This Gang of Eight bill is a disaster. What the Gang of Eight bill does is it grants legalization now. It takes everyone who’s here illegally says, `You’re legal,’ and then just like in 1986 it promises, ``sometime in the future, trust us, wink-wink, we’ll secure the border.’
“I don’t think the American people are that foolish. You know, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, same on me. If this bill is enacted, it will make the problem worse. If this bill is enacted, in another decade or two we’re going to be back here not with 11 million, but with 20 million or 30 million people here illegally.
“This is a broken system. I think what Americans want is to fix the problem, stop playing political games, actually secure the border and make a legal immigration system that works.”
It is apparent that many of our leaders in Washington are determined to pass an amnesty bill or “die trying” to do so. It is also apparent that giving amnesty to 11 million illegal aliens will not be good for Americans. It seems to me that any immigration bill should first consider whether or not it will be good for those of us who are already Americans.