In their special report for the Heritage Foundation, The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer, Robert Rector and Jason Richwine, Ph.D. present a well-researched study on how any immigration “reform” that supports amnesty will affect Americans for years to come. The report is extensive and covers direct benefits, means tested welfare benefits, public education, and population based services. Although most of the information in the report is relevant, a few points are especially worthy of mention.
One important point the authors make is to show the difference between net tax contributors and net tax consumers. For example, they state that, “well-educated households tend to be net tax contributors” where the taxes paid by these individuals “exceed the direct and means-tested benefits, education, and population-based services they receive.” On the other hand, net tax benefits that “exceed the taxes they pay” and that “these households generate a ‘fiscal deficit’ that must be financed by taxes from other households or by government borrowing.” In either case, that means American taxpayers have to pay more money to the government in the form of taxes to support the net tax consumer households.
Furthermore, the authors explain the significance of understanding the connection between net tax contributing households, amnesty and net tax consumer households that have a “high deficit.” They point out that most individuals in the high deficit households are “poorly educated” and that “the typical unlawful immigrant has only a 10th-grade education.” The idea that these individuals could create jobs for Americans or move up from being net tax consumer households to net tax contributing households seems farfetched.
Moreover, although illegal immigrants are unable to “access to means-tested welfare, Social Security, or Medicare” now, they still enjoy the benefits of hospitals; public education; parks and recreation; roads; police; and fire protection. All of this including access to American jobs without having to pay taxes shows illegal immigrants are hardly in the “shadows” as many supporters of amnesty claim. If anything, in many cases, illegal immigrants manage better through government plans when compared to their out of work American neighbors.
Consider for example, that an average American household receives “$31,600 in government benefits each year” but a household headed by “individuals with less than a high school degree gets $46,000.” If the amnesty plan were successful, illegal immigrants would have access to “80 means-tested welfare programs, Obamacare, Social Security, and Medicare.” At a time when unemployment remains hovering at 7.4 percent are the pockets of American taxpayers truly that deep to support a surge of 11 million illegal immigrants with more to arrive in the future.
The authors present a solid study backed with research to support their claims. They successfully manage to debunk any myths about illegal immigrants pushed by amnesty supporters. Complete with charts, graphs, and extensive analysis, this report is worth inspecting for anyone interested in understanding how amnesty will financially affect Americans now and in the future.