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HomePolicyThe Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer

The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer

Yesterday, 100 conservative economists endorsed the immigration reform proposal making its way through the Senate. Tonight, Senator Marco Rubio R-FL, will be appearing on the Hannity Show to discuss and debate the contents of the proposal with conservatives in the House and elsewhere on the other side of the debate.

One of the primary stipulations from Rep. Gohmert R-TX and others, is that the border must be secure first before any other provisions can be considered. Of course, in the Senate, Rand Paul R-KY has proposed an alternative plan that has thus far been more palatable for conservatives.

Senator Rubio will argue that the cost of securing the border, which is roughly $5 billion, is funded by the taxes and penalties those seeking citizenship will provide as a prerequisite. Of course, this is a complete reversal and other costs are associated with the bill’s implementation. Before the watching the interview, or weighing in on future discussion, it is beneficial to understand the many other cost considerations involved with the current immigration reform. This includes both the costs that have been discussed and debated in the public forum and in the media, as well as the ones that have not.

– Richard D. Baris – @Peoples_Pundit – Author of “Our Virtuous Republic”

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.

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Written by

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

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