It is estimated that the cost to America of Obama’s amnesty decree could be as much as $6 trillion over 50 years:
The typical unlawful immigrant is 34 years old. After amnesty, this individual will receive government benefits, on average, for 50 years. Restricting access to benefits for the first 13 years after amnesty therefore has only a marginal impact on long-term costs.
If amnesty is enacted, the average adult unlawful immigrant would receive $592,000 more in government benefits over the course of his remaining lifetime than he would pay in taxes.
Over a lifetime, the former unlawful immigrants together would receive $9.4 trillion in government benefits and services and pay $3.1 trillion in taxes. They would generate a lifetime fiscal deficit (total benefits minus total taxes) of $6.3 trillion. (All figures are in constant 2010 dollars.) This should be considered a minimum estimate. It probably understates real future costs because it undercounts the number of unlawful immigrants and dependents who will actually receive amnesty and underestimates significantly the future growth in welfare and medical benefits.
Liberals almost always claim that illegals will be net positive contributors, but this makes no sense whatsoever:
Many policymakers believe that after amnesty, unlawful immigrants will help make Social Security solvent. It is true that unlawful immigrants currently pay FICA taxes and would pay more after amnesty, but with average earnings of $24,800 per year, the typical unlawful immigrant will pay only about $3,700 per year in FICA taxes. After retirement, that individual is likely to draw more than $3.00 in Social Security and Medicare (adjusted for inflation) for every dollar in FICA taxes he has paid.
Moreover, taxes and benefits must be viewed holistically. It is a mistake to look at the Social Security trust fund in isolation. If an individual pays $3,700 per year into the Social Security trust fund but simultaneously draws a net $25,000 per year (benefits minus taxes) out of general government revenue, the solvency of government has not improved.
The burden of retirement is also onerous:
◾As noted, at the current time (before amnesty), the average unlawful immigrant household has a net deficit (benefits received minus taxes paid) of $14,387 per household.
◾During the interim phase immediately after amnesty, tax payments would increase more than government benefits, and the average fiscal deficit for former unlawful immigrant households would fall to $11,455.
◾At the end of the interim period, unlawful immigrants would become eligible for means-tested welfare and medical subsidies under Obamacare. Average benefits would rise to $43,900 per household; tax payments would remain around $16,000; the average fiscal deficit (benefits minus taxes) would be about $28,000 per household.
◾Amnesty would also raise retirement costs by making unlawful immigrants eligible for Social Security and Medicare, resulting in a net fiscal deficit of around $22,700 per retired amnesty recipient per year.
Here is more data on welfare use by illegal immigrants:
•In 2009 (based on data collected in 2010), 57 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal and illegal) with children (under 18) used at least one welfare program, compared to 39 percent for native households with children.
•Immigrant households’ use of welfare tends to be much higher than natives for food assistance programs and Medicaid. Their use of cash and housing programs tends to be similar to native households.
•A large share of the welfare used by immigrant households with children is received on behalf of their U.S.-born children, who are American citizens. But even households with children comprised entirely of immigrants (no U.S.-born children) still had a welfare use rate of 56 percent in 2009.
•Immigrant households with children used welfare programs at consistently higher rates than natives, even before the current recession. In 2001, 50 percent of all immigrant households with children used at least one welfare program, compared to 32 percent for natives.
•Households with children with the highest welfare use rates are those headed by immigrants from the Dominican Republic (82 percent), Mexico and Guatemala (75 percent), and Ecuador (70 percent). Those with the lowest use rates are from the United Kingdom (7 percent), India (19 percent), Canada (23 percent), and Korea (25 percent).
•The states where immigrant households with children have the highest welfare use rates are Arizona (62 percent); Texas, California, and New York (61 percent); Pennsylvania (59 percent); Minnesota and Oregon (56 percent); and Colorado (55 percent).
•We estimate that 52 percent of households with children headed by legal immigrants used at least one welfare program in 2009, compared to 71 percent for illegal immigrant households with children. Illegal immigrants generally receive benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children.
•Illegal immigrant households with children primarily use food assistance and Medicaid, making almost no use of cash or housing assistance. In contrast, legal immigrant households tend to have relatively high use rates for every type of program.
•High welfare use by immigrant-headed households with children is partly explained by the low education level of many immigrants. Of households headed by an immigrant who has not graduated high school, 80 percent access the welfare system, compared to 25 percent for those headed by an immigrant who has at least a bachelor’s degree.
•An unwillingness to work is not the reason immigrant welfare use is high. The vast majority (95 percent) of immigrant households with children had at least one worker in 2009. But their low education levels mean that more than half of these working immigrant households with children still accessed the welfare system during 2009.
•If we exclude the primary refugee-sending countries, the share of immigrant households with children using at least one welfare program is still 57 percent.
•Welfare use tends to be high for both new arrivals and established residents. In 2009, 60 percent of households with children headed by an immigrant who arrived in 2000 or later used at least one welfare program; for households headed by immigrants who arrived before 2000 it was 55 percent.
•For all households (those with and without children), the use rates were 37 percent for households headed by immigrants and 22 percent for those headed by natives.
•Although most new legal immigrants are barred from using some welfare for the first five years, this provision has only a modest impact on household use rates because most immigrants have been in the United States for longer than five years; the ban only applies to some programs; some states provide welfare to new immigrants with their own money; by becoming citizens immigrants become eligible for all welfare programs; and perhaps most importantly, the U.S.-born children of immigrants (including those born to illegal immigrants) are automatically awarded American citizenship and are therefore eligible for all welfare programs at birth.
•The eight major welfare programs examined in this report are SSI (Supplemental Security Income for low income elderly and disabled), TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), WIC (Women, Infants, and Children food program), free/reduced school lunch, food stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Medicaid (health insurance for those with low incomes), public housing, and rent subsidies.
More on illegal immigrants here.
Relying on old data, he White House has claimed that the dumping of more workers into the workforce is going to result in a positive benefit for the country – by 2024- but in the short term annual wages of Americans could be diminished by $1400 per year.
If you’re Nicholas Kristof, you believe that a an illegal alien family of five (their families tend to have more members than do native Americans), with one member working for minimum wage, paying no property taxes (how can one afford a home on minimum wage?) whose kids cost local taxpayers $12,000 per child per year, and who get all sorts of subsidies and freebies are a net contributor of taxes.
Kristof, who refuses to discern legal from illegal immigrants, reminds me of a story a friend told me when we were young graduates. When a plant manager is told that is cost twenty five cents more to produce a golf ball than the ball is sold for, the manager said “We’ll make it up in volume.”
Exit question: I’ve asked this before- if illegals do the jobs Americans won’t do, who will do those jobs once they’re legal?