Friday, May 14, 2010

HERITAGE FOUNDATION- Unfettered Immigration = Poverty For Americans

Unfettered Immigration = POVERTY FOR AMERICANS



By Robert Rector | May 16, 2006

This paper focuses on the net fiscal effects of immigration with particular emphasis on the fiscal effects of low skill immigration. The fiscal effects of immigration are only one aspect of the impact of immigration. Immigration also has social, political, and economic effects. In particular, the economic effects of immigration have been heavily researched with differing results. These economic effects lie beyond the scope of this paper. Overall, immigration is a net fiscal positive to the government’s budget in the long run: the taxes immigrants pay exceed the costs of the services they receive. However, the fiscal impact of immigrants varies strongly according to immigrants’ education level. College-educated immigrants are likely to be strong contributors to the government’s finances, with their taxes exceeding the government’s costs. By contrast, immigrants with low education levels are likely to be a fiscal drain on other taxpayers. This is important because half of all adult illegal immigrants in the U.S. have less than a high school education. In addition, recent immigrants have high levels of out-of-wedlock childbearing, which increases welfare costs and poverty. An immigration plan proposed by Senators Mel Martinez (R-FL) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE) would provide amnesty to 9 to 10 million illegal immigrants and put them on a path to citizenship (THERE ARE PROBABLY NEARLY 40 MILLION ILLEGALS HERE NOW). Once these individuals become citizens, the net additional cost to the federal government of benefits for these individuals will be around $16 billion per year. Further, once an illegal immigrant becomes a citizen, he has the right to bring his parents to live in the U.S. The parents, in turn, may become citizens. The long-term cost of government benefits to the parents of 10 million recipients of amnesty could be $30 billion per year or more (CALIFORNIA PUTS OUT $20 BILLION A YEAR IN SOCIAL SERVICES OF ILLEGALS).

In the long run, the Hagel/Martinez bill, if enacted, would be the largest expansion of the welfare state in 35 years.

Immigration and Crime Historically, immigrant populations have had lower crime rates than native-born populations. For example, in 1991, the overall crime and incarceration rate for non-citizens was slightly lower than for citizens.[40] On the other hand, the crime rate among Hispanics in the U.S. is high. Age-specific incarceration rates (prisoners per 100,000 residents in the same age group in the general population) among Hispanics in federal and state prisons are two to two-and-a-half times higher than among non-Hispanic whites.[41] Relatively little of this difference appears to be due to immigration violations.[42] Illegal immigrants are overwhelmingly Hispanic. It is possible that, over time, Hispanic immigrants and their children may assimilate the higher crime rates that characterize the low-income Hispanic population in the U.S. as a whole.[43] If this were to occur, then policies that would give illegal immigrants permanent residence through amnesty, as well as policies which would permit a continuing influx of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants each year, would increase crime in the long term.

The Fiscal Impact of Immigration One important question is the fiscal impact of immigration (both legal and illegal). Policymakers must ensure that the interaction of welfare and immigration policy does not expand the welfare-dependent population, which would hinder rather than help immigrants and impose large costs on American society. This means that immigrants should be net contributors to government: the taxes they pay should exceed the cost of the benefits they receive. In calculating the fiscal impact of an individual or family, it is necessary to distinguish between public goods and private goods. Public goods do not require additional spending to accommodate new residents.[44] The clearest examples of government public goods are national defense and medical and scientific research. The entry of millions of immigrants will not raise costs or diminish the value of these public goods to the general population. Other government services are private goods; use of these by one person precludes or limits use by another. Government private goods include direct personal benefits such as welfare, Social Security benefits, Medicare, and education. Other government private goods are “congestible” goods.[45] These are services that must be expanded in proportion to the population. Government congestible goods include police and fire protection, roads and sewers, parks, libraries, and courts. If these services do not expand as the population expands, there will be a decrease in the quality of service. An individual makes a positive fiscal contribution when his total taxes paid exceed the direct benefits and congestible goods received by himself and his family.[46] The Cost of Amnesty Federal and state governments currently spend over $500 billion per year on means-tested welfare benefits.[57] Illegal aliens are ineligible for most federal welfare benefits but can receive some assistance through programs such as Medicaid, In addition, native-born children of illegal immigrant parents are citizens and are eligible for all relevant federal welfare benefits. Granting amnesty to illegal aliens would have two opposing fiscal effects. On the one hand, it may raise wages and taxes paid by broadening the labor market individuals compete in; it would also increase tax compliance and tax receipts as more work would be performed “on the books,”[58] On the other hand, amnesty would greatly increase the receipt of welfare, government benefits, and social services. Because illegal immigrant households tend to be low-skill and low-wage, the cost to government could be considerable. The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has performed a thorough study of the federal fiscal impacts of amnesty.[59] This study found that illegal immigrant households have low education levels and low wages and currently pay little in taxes. Illegal immigrant households also receive lower levels of federal government benefits. Nonetheless, the study also found that, on average, illegal immigrant families received more in federal benefits than they paid in taxes.[60] Granting amnesty would render illegal immigrants eligible for federal benefit programs. The CIS study estimated the additional taxes that would be paid and the additional government costs that would occur as a result of amnesty. It assumed that welfare utilization and tax payment among current illegal immigrants would rise to equal the levels among legally-admitted immigrants of similar national, educational, and demographic backgrounds. If all illegal immigrants were granted amnesty, federal tax payments would increase by some $3,000 per household, but federal benefits and social services would increase by $8,000 per household. Total federal welfare benefits would reach around $9,500 per household, or $35 billion per year total. The study estimates that the net cost to the federal government of granting amnesty to some 3.8 million illegal alien households would be around $5,000 per household, for a total federal fiscal cost of $19 billion per year.[61] Granting Amnesty is Likely to Further Increase Illegal Immigration The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 granted amnesty to 2.7 million illegal aliens. The primary purpose of the act was to decrease the number of illegal immigrants by limiting their inflow and by legalizing the status of illegal immigrants already here.[63] In fact, the act did nothing to stem the tide of illegal entry. The number of illegal aliens entering the country increased five fold from around 140,000 per year in the 1980s to 700,000 per year today. Illegal entries increased dramatically shortly after IRCA went into effect. It seems plausible that the prospect of future amnesty and citizenship served as a magnet to draw even more illegal immigrants into the country. After all, if the nation granted amnesty once why wouldn’t it do so again? The Hagel/Martinez legislation would repeat IRCA on a much larger scale. This time, nine to ten million illegal immigrants would be granted amnesty. As with IRCA, the bill promises to reduce future illegal entry but contains little policy that would actually accomplish this. The granting of amnesty to 10 million illegal immigrants is likely to serve as a magnet pulling even greater numbers of aliens into the country in the future. If enacted, the legislation would spur further increases in the future flow of low-skill migrants. This in turn would increase poverty in America, enlarge the welfare state, and increase social and political tensions. ..................................................
From the Los Angeles Times
California counties cut healthcare to illegal immigrants
With budget problems afflicting counties across the state, some have begun eliminating healthcare to illegal immigrants. Critics say this will only shift the burden to hospital emergency rooms.
By Anna Gorman

April 27, 2009

Forced to slash their budgets, some California counties are eliminating nonemergency health services for illegal immigrants -- a move that officials acknowledge could backfire by shifting the financial burden to emergency rooms.

Sacramento County voted in February to bar illegal immigrants from county clinics at an estimated savings of $2.4 million. Contra Costa County followed last month by cutting off undocumented adults, to save approximately $6 million. And Yolo County is voting on a similar change next month, which would reduce costs by $1.2 million.

"This is a way for us to get through what I think is a horrible year for healthcare in California," said William Walker, director of Contra Costa Health Services.

Walker said the national ambivalence on immigration policy means that illegal immigrants are living here but without federal or state funding to provide essential medical services to them. Walker, who began his medical career treating undocumented farmworkers, said that deciding to cut their services was difficult.

"This is the community of people we have all relied upon for decades, providing work not only in construction but in service and child care," he said. "We all live and work here together."

Trend could spread

As the recession continues, property tax revenue decreases and the number of newly uninsured patients increases, other county health departments in California and the nation may make similar changes, said Robert Pestronk, executive director of the National Assn. of County and City Health Officials.

"Communities are having to make excruciating decisions about the services they fund," he said.

But Pestronk said that shifting costs isn't the answer.

"This is a balloon that just expands," he said. "If you squeeze it in one place, it's just going to expand somewhere else."

John Schunhoff, Los Angeles County's interim health services department director, said there is no plan to eliminate health services to the county's illegal residents, despite significant projected deficits and concern about further cuts in state funding.

Eliminating illegal immigrants from health services may enable counties to balance their budgets this year but won't solve the problem in the long term, said David Hayes-Bautista, professor of medicine and director of UCLA's Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture.

"We are mortgaging the future to scrape through the present," he said.

And study after study shows that illegal immigrants are less likely than U.S.-born residents to go to the doctor or seek regular medical care, he said.

Anti-illegal immigration activist Barbara Coe said she was thrilled that counties are beginning to restrict services. Coe's group, California Coalition for Immigration Reform, sponsored Proposition 187, the initiative that tried to bar the state from providing public services to illegal immigrants before it died in federal court.

Illegal immigrants "have absolutely no right, No. 1, to be here and, No. 2, to take the tax dollars of law-abiding American taxpayers for anything," she said.

But the policy changes have angered immigrant rights advocates, who argue that restrictions could also cause a chilling effect on legal residents and U.S. citizens in mixed-status families.

"Even those people who qualify to get care won't," said Reshma Shamasunder, director of the California Immigrant Policy Center.

Shamasunder also said that denying healthcare to one segment of the population puts everyone else at risk as communicable diseases go untreated and emergency rooms become even more crowded.

Jose Suarez, who has asthma, said he now plans to go to the hospital if he gets sick. Suarez, 25, was born in Mexico but has been living in Contra Costa County for 10 years.

"It's unfair," he said. "We are real people. I understand they have to cut a few things here and there, but I believe they can do better."

Few options

Marina Espinoza, also an illegal immigrant in Contra Costa County, said she visits a county clinic a few times a month to monitor her diabetes and high blood pressure so that she doesn't end up in the hospital. Espinoza is considering returning to Mexico, where a relative has a lead on a job with health insurance.

"None of us choose to get sick," said Espinoza, 39. "I can't afford the medications. How can I pay for that? It's that or rent."

Before changing its policy on illegal immigrants, Sacramento County took several other steps to reduce healthcare costs, including closing three of its six clinics. But that wasn't enough, said Keith Andrews, chief of primary health services in the Department of Health and Human Services. Andrews said he was left with a choice between firing staff or reducing the number of patients. The county is continuing to treat everyone for communicable diseases.

Andrews said about 4,000 people without legal residency or citizenship were receiving healthcare in the county. Although some are immigrants who have lived and worked in the area for years, he said, others are foreign natives who came to the county to receive free medical treatment.

"This decision is going to impact all of our community," he said. "It's going to create other social problems because of the impact on emergency rooms."

Seeking solutions

In Contra Costa County, which will continue treating undocumented children and pregnant women, community groups mobilized against the proposal. They helped persuade county officials to allocate additional funds to the nonprofit community clinics to help treat the 5,500 undocumented patients who will no longer be eligible for county services.

Those patients will receive primary care at the clinics, but they won't have a place to go if they need to see a specialist, such as for cancer or heart problems.

"It's a major gap," said Soren Tjernell of the Community Clinic Consortium, which represents clinics in Contra Costa and Solano counties.

Yolo County's proposal, which goes before its Board of Supervisors on May 5, would affect about 1,200 undocumented patients. Joseph Iser, who heads the county health department, said he wished that he had another source of revenue to continue services for illegal immigrants.

"Except by helping us balance the budget, it doesn't help us, it doesn't help our citizens, it doesn't help our undocumented," he said. "But if we don't have the money, we just can't afford it."
Lou Dobbs Tonight
Thursday, April 9, 2009

Plus, outrage after President Obama prepares to push ahead with his plan for so-called comprehensive immigration reform. Pres. Obama is fulfilling a campaign promise to give
legal status to millions of illegal aliens as he panders to the pro-amnesty, open borders lobby.

Republican Gov. DAVE HEINEMAN of Nebraska will discuss a bill he’s just signed that requires state and local agencies to verify the legal status of anyone trying to collect public benefits. (don’t hold your breath thinking this will ever happen in MEXIFORNIA!)

“What's needed to discourage illegal immigration into the United States has been known for years: Enforce existing law.” CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
“In Mexico, a recent Zogby poll declared that the vast majority of Mexican citizens hate Americans. [22.2] Mexico is a country saturated with racism, yet in denial, having never endured the social development of a Civil Rights movement like in the US--Blacks are harshly treated while foreign Whites are often seen as the enemy. [22.3] In fact, racism as workplace discrimination can be seen across the US anywhere the illegal alien Latino works--the vast majority of the workforce is usually strictly Latino, excluding Blacks, Whites, Asians, and others.”
Immigration bill sticker shock $127 BILLION (dated)
A government study puts the cost of the Senate's version of reform at $127 billion over 10 years.
By Gail Russell Chaddock - Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
The price tag for comprehensive immigration reform was not a key issue when the Senate passed its bill last May. But it is now.
One reason: It took the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) - the gold standard for determining what a bill will cost - until last week to estimate that federal spending for this vast and complex bill would hit $127 billion over the next 10 years.
At the same time, federal revenues would drop by about $79 billion, according to the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation. If lawmakers fix a tax glitch, that loss would be cut in half, they add.
In field hearings across the nation this month, House GOP leaders are zeroing in on the costs of the Senate bill. It's a bid to define the issue heading into fall elections and muster support for the House bill, which focuses on border security. They say that the more people know about the Senate version, including a path to citizenship for some 11 million people now in the country illegally, the less they will be inclined to support it.

"We are now just beginning to see a glimpse of the staggering burden on American taxpayers the Reid-Kennedy immigration legislation contains," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, who convened a field hearing at the State House in Concord, N.H., Thursday on the costs of the Senate bill.
But business groups and others backing the Senate bill say that the cost to the US economy of not resolving the status of illegal immigrants and expanding guest-worker programs is higher still. "In my opinion, the fairer question is: How will illegal immigrants impact the costs of healthcare, local education, and social services without passage of comprehensive immigration reform?" said John Young, co-chairman of the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, at Thursday's hearing.
"Had we solved this problem in a truly comprehensive way in 1986 ... we would not have the daily news reporting outright shortages of farm labor threatening the very existence of agricultural industries coast to coast," he adds.
Experts are poring over the new CBO data - and coming up with radically different assessments of the social costs of reform, ranging from tens of billions of dollars higher to a net wash.
On the issue of border security - a feature in both bills - there is little disagreement. The CBO estimates that the cost of hardening US borders in the Senate bill is $78.3 billion over 10 years, or about 62 percent of the bill's total cost.
The fireworks involve new entitlement spending in the Senate version. The CBO sets the price tag for services for some 16 million new citizens and guest workers at $48.4 billion through fiscal year 2016. That includes $24.5 billion for earned income and child tax credits, $11.7 billion for Medicaid, $5.2 billion for Social Security, $3.7 billion for Medicare, and $2.4 billion for food stamps.
But it's easier to estimate the cost of a mile of fence than to assess the prospects for millions of workers, once they can work legally and claim benefits.

"The amnesty alone will be the largest expansion of the welfare system in the last 25 years," says Robert Rector, a senior analyst at the Heritage Foundation, and a witness at a House Judiciary Committee field hearing in San Diego Aug. 2. "Welfare costs will begin to hit their peak around 2021, because there are delays in citizenship. The very narrow time horizon [the CBO is] using is misleading," he adds. "If even a small fraction of those who come into the country stay and get on Medicaid, you're looking at costs of $20 billion or $30 billion per

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