WATCH: How Immigration Affects Government Programs

When asked what are the prospects for immigration reform before the November 2014 elections, Derrick Morgan, the Heritage Foundation’s vice president for the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity, said Monday that “it’s pretty clear that there won’t be any kind of comprehensive bill like was passed in the Senate. That seems to be dead on arrival in the House.”

While such a bill may not pass and reach the President’s desk for a signature, lawmakers and immigration reform advocates are still discussing getting something “much smaller done.”  The prospects are dim even for that, Morgan suggested, due to a lack of trust in President Obama on immigration and on many other matters. “What Republicans are looking for in the House is a President who will enforce the laws,” Morgan said.

Beyond the politics of immigration, Morgan explained some of the economic effects of immigration on the United States, specifically with regard to government programs.  

“Immigration is generally a very good thing for the United States,” he said.  “It makes us stronger.  We get the best and the brightest from all over the world that come to the United States, and that’s great for our economy.”  In the subsequent portion of the discussion, however, Morgan pointed our attention to other concerns.

Morgan addressed the alleged unwillingness of some American citizens to do physically demanding work — a notion various groups, such as ImmigrationWorks USA, have been bringing to light.   Morgan said that there exists a “larger cultural problem” where “we seem to be denigrating the value of work itself.”  He added that “hard, demanding physical labor is honorable work.  It’s not to be looked down upon.”

Related to the issue of work of course is welfare and welfare programs.

Of the 80 different means-tested welfare programs, only one or two have a work requirement, and President Obama has scaled those back.  The cost of welfare programs is exacerbated when illegal immigrants pay less in taxes than they receive in government benefits.

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