White House Wrong on Cost of Amnesty
It comes as no surprise that the Obama White House supports the Senate’s amnesty bill, but their new report on the economic impact of the bill is disingenuous and misguiding.
The White House released a report Wednesday called “The Economic Benefits of Fixing Our Broken Immigration System,” which erroneously suggests the Gang of Eight Bill would benefit the U.S. economy. The White House report depends on a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that only looked at the bill’s cost over a 10-year timeframe and moved costly items off into the future on purpose. Amnesty supporters in the Senate misused the report to try to fool the American people about the true costs of amnesty.
Now the White House is running with this same narrative.
But Heritage’s Derrick Morgan explains why the White House is wrong.
First, a bigger economy or gross domestic product (GDP) would necessarily result from an increase in population, but that is not the same as more economic well being for Americans. He states:
The proper economic goal should be increased after-tax income for those who are in the United States legally. This bill appears to fail that test in the years following enactment, since even the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows that the Senate bill would lower per-capita gross national product (GNP) all the way out past 2030.
The White House report also fails to provide an economic analysis of amnesty. It would be extremely costly to taxpayers “to the tune of trillions of dollars over the lifetime of illegal immigrants.” Any GDP increase would be consumed by illegal immigrants themselves. Morgan explains:
Heritage has long maintained that proper reforms to our immigration system, particularly those that emphasize high-skill immigration, could lead to economic growth that is fiscally responsible, because those with a college degree pay significantly more in taxes than they receive in benefits and services. Under the Gang of Eight’s bill, only 15 percent of new immigrants would be skill-based. The CBO also predicts that as a group, new immigrants would have below-average skill and education levels.
Finally, the report ignores the CBO’s plain measure of the bill’s ineffectiveness. The CBO found that the amnesty bill would reduce illegal immigration by only one-third to one-half. Translation: The bill doesn’t fix the system, and the White House conveniently ignores that fact in its report.
In light of this information, the House must kill amnesty. We’ve explained how they can do so and why it’s so important a bill does not make it to conference:
Democrats are already preparing for an amnesty-first bill to emerge from conference. In a memo obtained by the Washington Post, Democrats are targeting 99 House Republicans with the goal of flipping at least 20 to support an amnesty-first bill.
Conservatives must be clear in their opposition: they will oppose any House immigration bill until the amnesty debate ends because it will lead to a conference committee that will produce an amnesty-first bill.