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May 21, 2007

Amnesty: "A Disaster For the Economy"

Dr. Robert Rector, Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, talks with Mark Levin about the costs of amnesty.

Take-away: Every low-income citizen added to the population collects, on average, $30,000 per year from the government in services -- schooling, hospitals, Social Security (including supplemental SS for low income people who haven't paid much into the system), Medicaid, etc.

Each low-income citizen pays about $10,000 per year in taxes, total.

Net: Each new low-income citizen added to the population costs the nation around $18,000 per year, to be borne by other taxpayers.

At retirement, it gets worse.

Total cost: $2.5 trillion (with a t) flowing out of Social Security and Medicaid at just about the time the system's already going bankrupt due to the end of the huge wave of Boomer retiring and collecting from the smaller post-Boomer age cohorts.

And it gets worse, of course. As Rector notes near the end of the interview -- and as I have noted myself before -- the list of nations that are less socialist than the US is a short one. Meaning that all of these immigrants, now lawfully voting citizens, will vote according to their conception of what government is supposed to provide to them (which also happens to be in their perceived economic self interest). I.e., they'll vote the nation in a more socialist direction, voting themselves more benefits and more money.

More out of your pocket, in other words. The $20,000 per year per amnestied illegal immigrant is the starting point for what this will cost.

Allah noted in a post that businesses fret about a coming labor shortage -- and that if they're not allowed to in-source cheap labor, they'll out-source their plants to countries with lots of cheap labor.

I'm not sure I see the threat in this -- if businesses are determined to give the jobs to low-skill, low-wage foreign born workers anyway, why should I care they give the jobs to foreign-born workers in this country or in their home country? Either way, the job is not going to anyone who is currently an American.

So what's the benefit of in-sourcing the labor? What, we get to have a factory located on our soil? We're real big on merely hosting work-sites for foreign born laborers now? For what, the prestige of sporting a chicken disassembly plant on our land?

If the work is to be out-sourced, at least the American taxpayer doesn't have to pay the costs associated with maintaining that low-wage worker in very high-cost-of-living America.

I just don't get this whole line of argument. Either give us cheap immigrant legal workers, businesses are saying, or we'll move our plants closer to cheap immigrant legal workers!

That hurts the current American worker how, exactly? If anything, it seems to help him. Costs will be lower in a poor country, so he gets to buy the goods produced at an even cheaper rate, without having to subsidize the business and its subsidy-needing workers at all.

I see how this amnesty is just wonderful for illegal immigrants. For actual Americans, I'm having a hard time seeing the benefit.

Oh, wait: Illegal immigrants will "come out of the shadows." I keep forgetting this scary-important factor. Why, I've spent my whole life praying that the day would arrive when illegal immigrants "came out of the shadows." Very little else matters to me, you know.

I hate shadows.

Rob Bluey exposes the myths regarding this Americans Without Borders bill, although I have a hard time conceding these are "myths" at all, because no one really believes them.

Here's a good one:

4. MYTH: This proposal would not cut in half the amount of fence built by the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

• FACT: This proposal cuts in half the amount of fencing to be built as mandated by the Secure Fence Act of 2006. Only one half of the additional fencing authorize by the Secure Fence Act of 2006 must be built before the temporary worker program and Z visa could go into effect.

• FACT: The Secure Fence Act authorized the building of 700 miles of new fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. This bill provides that a trigger that the federal government has to have “installed at least 200 miles of vehicle barriers, 370 miles of fencing, and 70 ground-based radar and camera towers along the southern land border of the United States, and have deployed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and supporting systems.” (Source: page 1 of the draft bill.) This bill allows for less than half the amount of fencing mandated by the Secure Fence Act before the Z and Y visas are issued.

So let me get this straight. Last year, before the elections, Congress authorized the building of a woefully-inadequate 700 miles of border fence to appease those who wanted border enforcement. Barely even a quarter of the southern border. (Hit 'em where they ain't, as they say in baseball.)

And Bush pushed this as part of his Let Me Pretend I Care About Border Security So I Can Gin Up Support For Amnesty charm offensive.

But, as soon as Congress came back, they refused to appropriate money to actually build the wall whose construction they had authorized. So the inadequate wall was authorized, but not, you know, existant.

Now, in order to throw another sop to those who care about border enforcement, this compromise would mandate that before all the benefits of amnesty flow to illegal workers (thought some would begin flowing immediately, such as immediately granting lawful status in America), Bush, McCain, and Kennedy promise to build slightly over half of the already-inequate fencing they'd already promised they'd build.

I can't wait for their next "compromise" towards the enforcement lobby -- they'll promise to build one-eighth of the fence they already said they'd build.

And who knows -- if we fight them on this, they'll reduce it to sixty-three feet of two-and-half-foot-high fence.

And not even a contiguous sixty-three feet of fence -- just one foot here and one foot there, sprinkled all along the border. Just so they can say "we have fencing all along the border."

As noted city administrator Lando Calrissian said, "This deal keeps getting worse and worse."

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posted by Ace at 04:11 PM

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