DeMint: On ‘Gang of 8’ Immigration Bill

Jim DeMint & Derrick Morgan characterize the Gang of 8 bill as being:

…written and debated behind closed doors. Those in the room, including big business, big labor, and representatives of unauthorized immigrants, will all benefit in various ways from legislated amnesty‚Ķ.

In our current immigration debates, more attention needs to be paid to the likely shape the ‘day after’ will be:

Some may say we can solve this fiscal problem by granting amnesty without any government benefits. We all know that will never happen. As soon as any of the nearly 11 million unauthorized immigrants are given legal status, the political fight will turn to speeding their transition to citizenship and promises of a full array of federal benefits.

Delaying eligibility for federal benefits to newly legalized immigrants merely puts off the day of reckoning. The truly enormous costs come when unauthorized immigrants start collecting retirement benefits. Social Security, Medicare, food stamps and other entitlement programs already impose huge, unfunded liabilities on taxpayers; adding more recipients only makes the fiscal hole we find ourselves in much deeper.

An amnesty of more than 10 million unauthorized immigrants will add significant costs to taxpayers because of the simple fact that, on average, today’s unauthorized immigrants have the equivalent of a 10th-grade education. Those with that education level, whatever their background, tend to collect much more in benefits than they pay in taxes. And that means that the fiscal burden on Americans only gets heavier with amnesty. We cannot afford a policy that will add trillions of dollars to our long-term fiscal deficit.

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