By Joe Guzzardi
April 29, 2013
Since the Senate introduced its farcically named Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, S. 744, its many critics have justifiably exposed the bill as a shameless amnesty and a blanket invitation to import millions more skilled and unskilled workers.
The legislation doesn’t have a single feature that would improve Americans’ lives but instead offers instant legal status to aliens with a citizenship option not far down the road. For America’s corporate elites, the Chamber of Commerce and Beltway lobbyists, the cheaper, more pliant labor S. 744 would provide is hailed as a triumph. But for the 20 million unemployed or underemployed Americans who would suddenly compete with 11 million illegal aliens for scarce jobs, S. 744 is a nightmare.
Analysts at NumbersUSA, a non-partisan, non-profit, Washington D.C.-based organization that promotes sensible immigration, calculate that within a decade S. 744 could result in as many as 33 million new permanent work permits. Don’t forget that according to the Pew Hispanic Center, 7 million aliens already hold payroll jobs.
Symbolic of S.744’s expansiveness is a provision that even deportees can apply to return to the United States and get on the fast track toward legal permanent residency. And the DREAM Act, earlier restricted to those under 30, would no longer have an age cap. In short, S. 744 doesn’t consider Americans’ needs or, for that matter, care about them. The Gang of Eight’s legislation sends Americans, not aliens, to the proverbial “back of the line.”
What’s also slowly but surely coming to light about S. 744 is the oppressive cost to American taxpayers that an amnesty to 11 million mostly undereducated people will impose. Although the Gang and its allies use voodoo economics to try to convince skeptics that amnesty will be a boon, the reverse is true. Low income workers, the category into which most uneducated immigrants fall, cannot begin to cover the cost of government benefits they will eventually receive. A household needs to earn about $80,000 annually before it breaks even by generating enough in tax revenues to cover its benefits. Unskilled illegal aliens, most lucky to earn $25,000, cannot come close to paying enough in taxes to offset their benefits.
The Heritage Foundation will soon release a report that will analyze every individual tax immigrants might pay and weigh those revenues against what the government will disburse in federal benefits. The study analyzes illegal aliens’ as if they’re American citizens whether they’re high school drop outs or college graduates. Whatever their income may be, they’ll all use services.
Heritage’s early estimates indicate that amnesty would cost a net $4-$5 trillion. The federal government is already deeply in the red, unable to balance its budget and going to preposterous levels to save pennies like furloughing air traffic controllers. To knowingly assume several trillion more in debt is indefensible.
Amnesty’s cost impact is not guesswork. Experience shows that immigrants quickly become consumers, taxpayers, and government users at nearly the same rate as American-born. If the bill passes, in the end 11 million more will access government programs. The Gang’s suggestion that amnesty has no fiscal consequences is a blatant lie. For the Gang to compound its deceit by insisting that amnesty will solve the deficit crisis is beyond comprehension.
Chuck Schumer (D-NY), S. 744’s sponsor, predicts a Senate 70-vote landslide. But as Americans wise up to the bill’s treachery, it may have trouble getting a simple majority.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]