March 18, 2015
The lifetime costs of Social Security and Medicare benefits of illegal immigrant beneficiaries of President Obama’s executive amnesty would be well over a trillion dollars, according to Heritage Foundation expert Robert Rector’s prepared testimony for a House panel obtained in advance by Breitbart News.
Rector, a senior research fellow at Heritage, is slated to speak on the costs of Obama’s executive amnesty Tuesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He will testify to the high entitlement costs of granting legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.
Based on Rector’s calculations, which assume that at least 3.97 illegal immigrants would apply for and receive legal status under Deferred Action for Parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents (DAPA), and that the average DAPA beneficiary would have a 10th grade education, the costs would be immense.
Specifically, in 2010 dollars, the lifetime costs of Social Security benefits to DAPA beneficiaries would be about $1.3 trillion.
He further estimates that DAPA recipients would $7.8 billion each year once they have access to the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the refundable Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). Further, the retroactive costs of the EITC and ACTC— current IRS policy will allow amnesty recipients to claim up to three years of tax benefits for illegal work — Rector expects to be as high as $23.5 billion.
The Heritage expert notes that DAPA eligible families are already able to claim certain welfare benefits — such as food stamps, Medicaid, and Women, Infants and Children program (WIC) — on behalf of their U.S.-born children.
“The average DAPA eligible family already receives around $6,600 per year in means-tested welfare benefits, prior to Obama’s executive action. (The aggregate cost is around $13.4 billion per year.)” his testimony reads.
And while DAPA recipients are not eligible for Obamacare, Rector argues that future legislation could eventually make such DAPA-eligible families able to get coverage under Obamacare — at a cost of $14 billion annually.
“On average, the combined cost of means-tested welfare benefits currently received, the EITC and ACTC cash, and potential Obamacare benefits would come to $17,800 per year per DAPA family,” Rector’s testimony reads. “The aggregate cost would be over $35 billion per year.”
In terms of what DAPA eligible individuals would contribute in tax payments once they are “on the books,” Rector estimates that “Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) and federal income tax revenues would increase by about $7.2 billion per year.”
“Nonetheless, the increase in tax revenue would be equaled or outweighed by the increase in EITC and ACTC cash payments,” the testimony concludes. “The value of total means-tested welfare benefits received by DAPA eligible families exceeded the value of FICA and federal income tax payments made by those families before the executive action and will continue to do so after the action as well.”
Rector further assumes that the granting of executive amnesty “will encourage increased illegal immigration in the future, imposing further costs on taxpayers.”