Saturday, April 08, 2006

Another Minor "Legalization" Problem

We've said here that the "cost" issues should not be the principal consideration when assessing immigration policy. That is, this country has the capability to absorb numbers of people into its mainstream--people who will be productive, and who will assimilate, or 'inculturate,' if you like.

These premises mean that the immigrants are LEGALLY here; that they learn the language; and that their first loyalty is to the United States, allowing for a sentimental 'loyalty' to their homeland, whether Ireland, Russia, India, or Mexico.

But while cost issues should not be the principal consideration, they are in play, somewhere.

Here's a taste of the cost issues:

I will talk about the average salary of most of the workers who are here illegally today and those workers who will be regularized, placed on permanent resident status, given a green card, and placed on a pathway to citizenship. As you look at those salaries, you will see that they fall in the classic earned income tax credit range.

The Congressional Budget Office is saying they haven't considered those numbers yet in the cost of this bill, but they are real and significant, as I say they, indeed, are.

With those important caveats, estimated outlays are about $2 billion for the first 5 years — 2007-2011 — and $12 billion for the first 10 years — 2007-2016. The final figures will be bigger than those. Most of those costs are for Medicaid and Food Stamp programs.
They say those are not the final figures. The final figures will be bigger. It didn't include the earned income tax credit.

Outlays in the succeeding 10 years will be greater. The bill would impose mandates on State and local governments with costs that would exceed the threshold established in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act in at least 1 of the first 5 years after they would take effect.

$12Bn by 2016, without the cost of Earned Income Tax Credits (usually about $2,400./family.)

HT: Mark Levin, NRO

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