Expert: Bipartisan Immigration Reform Plan Will Cost Trillions

Caroline May, Daily Caller, January 31, 2013

Robert Rector, a senior research fellow with the Heritage Foundation, expects the bipartisan immigration reform proposal, which includes a path to citizenship, will end up costing taxpayers more overtime than the trillion-dollar calculations he testified to during debate over the 2007 immigration reform bill.

“[The proposal] seems to be virtually identical to the 2007 bill and would be extremely costly to the U.S. taxpayers,” Rector told The Daily Caller in a Wednesday interview. “Granting amnesty or legal status to illegals will generate costs in Medicare and Social Security alone of $2.5 trillion above any taxes paid in.”

According to Rector, the majority of the undocumented immigrants who would eventually be legalized by the legislation are largely uneducated, and therefore more likely to be dependent on government assistance. {snip}

“It’s not like they pay in a lot when they are young, and they take it out when they’re old. They are in fiscal deficit every year of their lives,” Rector explained. “For example, the typical household headed by someone who does not have a high school degree, as I said in that paper in 2007, got back then $30,000 in benefits and paid $10,000 [in income and consumption taxes]. It’s a net cost of $20,000. That would be significantly higher now.”

{snip}

“We don’t know how many there are,” Rector said of the 11 million undocumented immigrant figure. “You can say all these costs will be significantly higher in this bill than in the 2007 bill.”

Rector added that he is currently working on a follow up paper to bring the 2007 numbers up to date.

“Basically, the figures from 2007 are just under counts now,” he said. “Everything now has gotten more expensive. Obamacare increases the costs considerably. One of the tricks is they will do things like say, ‘They will contribute to the Social Security Trust Fund.’ Well, you can’t compartmentalize these costs that way, because it doesn’t do the taxpayer any good if they contribute to the Social Security tax fund $2,000, but they take $20,000 out of general revenue. Right?”

{snip}

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