Amnesty and the Economy
On May 6, Heritage released its study calculating a $6.3 trillion price tag for the "Gang of Eight" immigration proposal. Amnesty promoters recall that a similar study by Heritage blocked amnesty in 2007.
To implement the Gang of Eight's "Mariel Boat Lift, The Sequel," amnesty advocates are seeking to discredit the study. They accuse Heritage of ignoring the expansion of the U.S. economy that amnesty will cause. Therefore, they say, Heritage overstates the true cost of amnesty at $6.3 trillion. They offer no data or analysis to support those claims.
But that calculation is very simple: $0.00. That's how much amnesty will expand the economy.
Why? The U.S.A. has a surplus of unskilled labor already, and a surplus of nearly all types of labor. So expanding the country's labor surplus will not expand the economy. It is a purely faith-based assertion that adding 10 to 30 million more low-skilled workers to the existing surplus will grow the U.S. economy.
We are told: "By adding more workers into the U.S. economy, the size of the economy is able to expand, American firms are able to expand production and the 90 percent of American workers who have different skills than immigrants see increases in their wages and productivity," Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst at Cato, told The Hill.
Balderdash. Over 9 million working-age Americans gave up trying to find jobs since Obama became president, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (U.S. Department of Labor). Over 9 million people gave up on their dreams completely, their hopes dashed by liberal policies. With so many American citizens sitting on the sidelines, out of work, how could amnesty possibly expand the economy?
Also, if the demand to purchase products and hire services is the same, having more workers to meet the same overall demand cannot expand the economy. Lower wages for everyone will be the result.
Furthermore, these workers send staggering amounts of money back to their home countries. So wealth is being sucked out of the U.S.A. and transferred elsewhere. The fees for such transfers are why Western Union and the banks are among the amnesty cheerleaders.
And, of course, the salaries of illegal aliens are already included in the U.S. economy now. When they don't have jobs in the U.S.A., they go home. Over 1.3 million illegal aliens voluntarily self-deported themselves during the economic recession.
Those still here are here because they are working -- stealing jobs from unemployed citizens. The Center for Immigration Studies proves that these jobs are at the expense of citizens and legal residents. (In "working," I include running fraudulent home improvement and construction-related businesses without contractor's licenses required by state law. As a lawyer, I have represented consumers ripped off by some of them.)
In addition, millions of unemployed Americans are drawing unemployment compensation, welfare, and -- when the unemployment runs out -- disability. Government assistance to displaced native workers subsidizes the importation of new low-skilled workers.
Well, okay, a clarification for the macro-economic experts who will nitpick: the raw totals of the wages earned by all workers are included in the Gross Domestic Product. But there will be no expansion of the economy beyond the raw totals of earnings from newly-added workers. In other words, if you transferred the wages of 10 million workers from Mexico to the United States, the raw totals of their earnings would be included in the U.S. GDP, but the economy would not grow from any beneficial effect. But -- those salaries are already included now in the U.S. economy. So even that won't increase the economy.
Meanwhile, the Heritage Foundation demonstrates that illegal immigrants have an average 10th-grade education and low-tech skills. Heritage notes this is sharply different from historical immigration. Earlier in America's history, immigrants had about the same education and skill levels as the existing U.S. population. Amnesty involves a drastically different scenario today. (Robert Rector at Heritage warns against the political spin we can expect in which low-skilled workers will be passed off as high-skill, such as "high-skill" janitors and "high-skill" restaurant managers, to create misleading totals.)
Many forces are fighting to give gate-crashers the supreme honor of U.S. citizenship. They are eager to throw away the Republican Party, the nation, and any remnant of a law-and-order society. Whereas my grandfather fought the Third Reich and the Japanese Empire on two aircraft carriers in World War II, these future citizens have distinguished themselves only by crossing our border, bravely dodging the U.S. Border Patrol, and evading the police. What a bright future we can look forward to.
It is especially baffling why citizenship has anything to do with allowing people to work here. If we actually needed workers from outside our country, we can give them authorization to work without giving them U.S. citizenship. The two have almost nothing to do with each other. Yet somehow many are pushing primarily for "a path to citizenship."
The good of the country has to trump personal feelings. Whether we like Marco Rubio or Grover Norquist or not, the good of the country at large comes first. This author has had several painful conflicts where I have had to choose between the long-term good of the conservative movement and friends or organizations that I otherwise respect, love, or admire.
The push for amnesty is baffling. Immigration reform makes no sense no matter how you look at it. This issue reminds one of the quip by Euripedes, the ancient Greek tragedy playwright: "Whom the gods would destroy, they first drive mad."