On Monday, the Heritage Foundation released its long-awaited study outlining the financial costs of the Gang of Eight’s comprehensive immigration bill, and those costs are staggering — an estimated $6.3 trillion.
The costs would, in part, arise out of benefits paid out from such entitlement programs as Social Security and Medicare. The report estimates that the former illegal immigrants would pay approximately $1 for every $3 they receive.
The report was drafted by Heritage Foundation scholar Robert Rector.
“No matter how you slice it, amnesty will add a tremendous amount of pressure on America’s already strained public purse,” Rector said in a statement according to Fox News.
Heritage Foundation president and former Senator Jim DeMint appeared on Fox News and highlighted the foundation’s report to Martha MacCallum.
“There’s no way you can look at this and say that it’s good for the American taxpayer,” he told MacCallum.
When she noted that those here illegally would not be eligible for benefits for 13 years, DeMint replied, “I’ll believe that when I see it. Congress is notorious for not counting the costs and not keeping their promises.”
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., noted that the immigration bill as written, grants the Secretary of Homeland Security enormous power to waive waiting periods for undocumented immigrants who arrived here illegally.
Fox news continues:
But most of that cost would be new spending, according to Heritage, as illegal immigrants gain access to additional government programs. The study acknowledges that, for a 10-year period, illegal immigrants seeking a reprieve would be barred from these benefits. After that window, though, Heritage forecasts the costs skyrocketing.
On an annual basis, the report estimates the cost will be $106 billion after the interim phase is over. In the course of their lifetime, the report estimates that illegal immigrant households would receive an average of $592,000 in government benefits.
The $6.3 trillion figure is based on what illegal immigrants would cost the government over the course of their lifetime. It factors in the expected $3.1 trillion in taxes they’d pay to the government.
The report is not without its detractors,, however, even among fiscal conservatives such as the Wall Street Journal’s economist Stephen Moore.
“You’ve got to look at both sides of the equation,” Moore said. “Yes, the immigrants will use benefits, no question about that, but as they become more productive citizens and they come out of the shadows, a lot of economists — myself included — think they’ll become more productive and they’ll pay more taxes.”
DeMint counters, “Unless immigrants have a college education or better, they’re going to be a net drain on the taxpayer.”
Read more at Fox News.
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