No matter how many lies Washington tries to trick us with, most of the time we know the truth even before the propaganda war starts. A new report from the Congressional Budget Office adds support to what conservatives have known for years despite the disinformation assault from the left. Illegal immigrants are a cost. They aren’t going to save our economy or salvage the American Dream, though they are determined to grab a piece for themselves. They are not our future. We should have stepped up efforts to seal the Southwest border and throw them out a long time ago.
At last week’s House Democratic Issues Conference the president mocked Republican efforts to do anything other than reward illegal immigrants:
If they try to unravel new rules that we put in place to make sure Wall Street recklessness doesn’t hurt American families again, I’ll be happy to veto it. (Applause.) If, rather than try to solve the problem of a broken immigration system, they compound the problem, I’ll veto it. (Applause.)1
The January 15, 2015 Congressional Budget Office report should add to the fears we already have about the cost of including so many low-skilled, undereducated noncitizens in the economy. The claim all along has been that illegal immigrants will lead to an economic boom.
Not so fast.
Illegal immigrants are uneducated and low-skilled
The CBO report lent more weight to what we already know. 40% of noncitizens don’t even have a high school diploma,2 much less the advanced degrees we could use. That won’t place them in white collar jobs and it probably won’t make them entrepreneurs, either, despite this claim from the head of the SBA touting A Nation of Immigrants and Entrepreneurs:
Commonsense immigration reform expands on the successes of the business leaders who came to our country to build a better life and encourages the type of high-growth entrepreneurship that contributes to our long-term economic strength.3
Job creation was an excuse, not the reason to pass a comprehensive bill that would have made amnesty and visa reform inseparable. Other than to correct government ineptitude that looked away as millions of illegal immigrants flowed in, there is no reason taxpayers should agree to change the status of millions of illegals who won’t be adding anything but unskilled labor with their less than high school educations. If we hand them work permits and Social Security numbers they will, however, have an easier time competing with working class Americans at finding jobs. They will also pay some taxes, but citizens earn about 75% more than noncitizens,4 so don’t expect the coffers to swell.
Noncitizens have more kids than citizens.5 This is a problem because it makes their children citizens and gives Obama another reason not to kick their parents out. It also means we have to pay for benefits including Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and food stamps6 to support children we don’t want or need and who, inexplicably, became Americans because their parents broke the law.
Fixing the problems caused by illegal immigrants is expensive
One of Homeland Security’s chief excuses for focusing on criminal illegal immigrants and giving the rest a pass is lack of funding. Both DHS and the Social Security Administration would have to spend more if we expanded the use of E-Verify and required all employers to use it.7 Homeland Security pushed for $124.8 million in this year’s budget to grow and improve the program,8 something we wouldn’t have to worry about if as many as eight million illegals9 weren’t working here, many under false identities we will never be able to unravel.
Every pencil a government worker pushes costs us money, whether it is to enroll an illegal immigrant in college, hand them their driver’s license application, or rubber stamp their DACA forms. Last week Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, demanded a tally of what deferred action and amnesty under the president’s order would cost, noting:
The President’s [executive immigration] directives will redirect scarce resources from [USCIS’] core mission to activities that Congress has never approved, and will very likely jeopardize the financial health of the agency. If USCIS has a budget shortfall, the agency will no doubt ask the taxpayers to shoulder the burden.10
Ask us to shoulder the burden? We already are.
Executive action is a demand to spend more money
When the Congressional Hispanic Caucus talked about “our nation’s commitment to fairness and equality”11 in its One Nation screed, members didn’t mean fairness and equality to taxpayers. The CHC was talking about fairness and equality to an ethnic group that has shown incredible exuberance when it comes to breaking our laws.
What’s the bottom line? The CBO report doesn’t break any new ground or tell us anything we didn’t know before. It only confirms our fears about all the different ways Washington’s immigration mistakes and permissiveness cost us. The government let illegal immigrants in and neither Democrats nor Republicans have the courage to throw them out. That means taxpayers have to pay to fix a problem while we listen to arrogant, condescending lies about the great things illegal immigrants bring to this country. If Congress had the courage to do right by taxpayers and fix this problem they created, we would be asking illegals to take those things with them as they leave our country.
Updated March 30, 2016 to correct broken link.