The High Cost of Legalizing Illegals
The GOP seems to be infatuated with “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” Even budget hawks, like Rand Paul, are talking about the Republican Party embracing CIR in an attempt to woo Hispanic voters even though similar efforts have failed in the past, just as Republican efforts to attract black voters failed spectacularly in the 1950s and 1960s when the GOP spearheaded civil rights legislation.
One aspect of CIR that proponents fail (refuse might be a better word) to address is the billions of dollars that legalization will add in terms of entitlements and social services.
In 2007, welfare expert Robert Rector estimated that the McCain-Kennedy amnesty proposal would cost roughly $2.6 trillion due to the eligibility of illegal aliens turned citizens for transfer payments. As Daniel Horowitz points out, the price tag on the Gang of Eight proposal is even steeper due to the easing of welfare reform requirements and the significant eligibility expansions brought about by President Obama.
It would be interesting to hear John McCain, Lindsey Graham, or Marco Rubio explain to conservatives just why U.S. taxpayers should foot this sort of bill for the benefit of folks who entered this country in violation of its laws.
Rather than offering an explanation, however, Rubio chooses to pretend the problem doesn’t exist. According to Horowitz, Rubio claimed on talk radio that amnestied immigrants would not be eligible for welfare (except for Obamacare, a provision he says is concerning). But this is true, says Horowitz, only during the probationary period. After that period, formerly illegal aliens would be eligible for a green card and citizenship. And once they obtain citizenship, they could receive welfare.
Under these circumstances, and given our fiscal woes, it’s difficult to understand why any fiscal conservative would support the Gang of Eight immigration reform proposal.
Both Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer have downplayed enforcement this week. So, it appears that any CIR enacted will parallel the amnesty of 1986 (amnesty with zero enforcement and 20+ million new illegals in the U.S. waiting for the 2025 amnesty).
Hat tip: Powerline