June 4, 2007, - 1:46 pm

Letter to the Editor of the Day: The Truth on Illegal Aliens vs. the Wall St. Journal Version; A Primer on the Amnesty Bill

Three cheers for Robert Rector, Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation. He’s done a great job researching and pinpointing the extra costs that illegal aliens–and yes, LEGAL aliens–add to America’s tax burden.
But, because he dared do so, he earned the jeers of the pan-alienist Wall Street Journal editorial board, who attacked him on their pages. But Rector responded in a great letter to the editor in Friday’s paper, which I republish below. It’s chock full of important and painful facts:

Low-Skill Immigrants: My Research Is Valid
June 1, 2007; Page A11

Your May 24 editorial “Immigration and Welfare” attacks my research on the fiscal costs of low skill immigration as perpetuating a “myth.” Roughly one-third of immigrant households are now headed by immigrants without a high-school degree. My research, based on Census data and other government sources, shows these “low-skill immigrant” households receive, on average, $30,160 per year in government benefits while paying $10,573 in taxes. Thus each such household costs the taxpayer $19,588 per year. Overall, the net cost to U.S. taxpayers is $89 billion per year. My report suggests that the country would benefit fiscally by having fewer low-skill immigrants, who are net tax consumers, and more well-educated immigrants who are net tax payers.
Rather than rebut my contention that low-skill immigrants are a fiscal drag, your editorial presents statistics about how much all immigrants, including college graduates, pay in taxes. Far from refuting my study, this tactic is either misleading or, at best, irrelevant. It certainly does not demonstrate that low-skill immigrants pay more in taxes than they take in benefits.
The editorial also asserts that low-skill immigrants do not receive large amounts of means-tested welfare assistance. Immigrants do have limited eligibility for welfare, which is why my report counts the welfare received by immigrant households based on the immigrants’ self-report of welfare receipt to the Census Bureau. If an immigrant household states it got Food Stamps, it is counted as receiving Food Stamps. It is that simple.
As my report explicitly states, this procedure “automatically adjusts for the low use of government benefits by …immigrants,” due to eligibility limits. Unless immigrants are over-reporting their own welfare benefits, one finds that low skill immigrant households receive about $10,000 per year in means-tested welfare throughout their lifetimes. This figure does not include other major benefits such as public education, Social Security, and Medicare.
Robert E. Rector
Senior Research Fellow
The Heritage Foundation

And for a primer on why this immigration amnesty bill is a disaster for America and it’s national security, read these two columns (here and here) from the New York Post by my friend, Kris Kobach. Kris is the lawyer for those suing to stop illegal aliens from getting in-state tuition. And he is also the attorney for the City of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, as it fights the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, illegal aliens, and other malefactors in trying to keep it’s anti-illegal alien laws intact:
* “Rx For Breakdown: How Immigration Bill Overloads Bureaucracy & Endangers Security
* “Rewarding Lawbreakers
Kris was the personal counselor to John Ashcroft, when he was Attorney General. Since (NOT for the reasons the liberals hate him), I won’t hold that against Kris, who is a brilliant and articulate scholar and legal authority. Plus, he called me in consultation for the “Rx for Breakdown” column.
FYI, Kris was one of the applicants to become Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)–the job got (and for which, she chose herself). Too bad, he wasn’t the chosen one. Things would be different.

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13 Responses

Of course illegal aliens and most of the unskilled legal immigrants are a burden to U.S. taxpayers (not to mention the degradation of our country as it pertains to language, culture, etc.).
All you have to do to see that this is the case is to ask yourself this simple question: If immigration from the Turd-World is so imporrtant and such a benefit to the U.S. economy, then why are those Turd-World cesspools such economic basketcases? If importing poverty, unskilled labor, illiteracy, crime, and disease is to be the ideal standard that we strive for in immigrants, then why aren’t those Turd-World countries economic powerhouses and social utopias?
The answer is obvious. Those Turd-World countries are drowning in poverty, unskilled labor, illiteracy, crime, and disease and look at their condition. There’s a reason why those countries are referred to as the Turd-World. Don’t fall for the LIBERAL lie that unbridled immigration from these cesspools is good for America.
Maybe we should e-mail, en masse, Robert Rector’s research to The White House so el Presidente Jorge Arbusto can enlighten himself.
As an aside, didn’t el Presidente Jorge Arbusto take an oath to uphold America’s laws when he was sworn in? For that matter, didn’t all of the members of Congress take the same oath? And, how about the other politicos at the state and local level?!
They ALL suck!

Thee_Bruno on June 4, 2007 at 2:26 pm

Yes, Thee_Bruno, they all suck. If the people had any balls, they might withhold the Fed’s revenue from taxes and perhaps start a revolt. I’m hoping that it’s both. Show trials for el Presidente and the rest of the gub leaches should begin immediately. Penalties should be execution or life at guantanamo with their friends. Can a dictatorship be that much different than what the Congress does to us every year?

warpmine on June 4, 2007 at 3:18 pm

Some say that Jorge “ROP” Arbusto is the worst American President since Jimmy Carter.
Well I think that he is the worst American President since Vidkun Quisling.
Oh, wait a moment Vidkun Quisling was the worst Norwegian President.
That means that Jorge “ROP” Arbusto is the worst American President ever!!!

feralcat9 on June 4, 2007 at 3:22 pm

GWB is the worst president even surpassing Jimmy Carter as a mental moron.
Now there is movement to impeach him by the 911 Families for Secure America and not for the truthers crowd arguments,I could not agree more:

ScottyDog on June 4, 2007 at 4:04 pm

Some say wait out the 1.5 years this boob has left but I say enough is enough, impeach the dumb ignorant douch. Life is short enough and I can’t wait that long until this arrogant asswipe finishes off the nation. Resign or be impeached for violation of your oath. Is there not plenty of evidence hsowing the invasion that has become worse as his term goes on? What’s going to happen to agents Ramos and Compean?
Let’s face it, the only way we the American people will get a responsible leader is take this one out by impeachment trial. Show the planet why our system works or doesn’t work, IMPEACHMENT!

warpmine on June 4, 2007 at 5:46 pm

The trouble is that every single condidate for prez – Republican or Demagogue – would publicly state that Islam is indeed a religion of peace.
So, where the hell does that really leave you????

stevecanuck on June 4, 2007 at 6:30 pm

Ton Tancredo and Duncan Hunter would not say that, in fact they have said the opposite.

ScottyDog on June 4, 2007 at 7:24 pm

I’m not a fan of George Bush, but I think you’ve all got way too high of an opinion about our past leaders if you really think Bush is the worst ever. He’s a mediocre president whose flaws are hugely amplified by being president at a time when that job is particularly difficult. If he’d have been president instead of Clinton, with the relative peace and prosperity of the ’90s, you’d all be slobbering over how great he was.
As for the articles quoted above, I’m always skeptical of articles claiming things like, “Ah ha! We’ve pinned down the exact net dollar effect of X phenomenon!” It feels to me too much like those predicting global warming catastrophes. “Well, see, we have these trend lines and blah blah blah, so we’re all going to be dead in 10 years.”
I don’t trust the raw data, I don’t trust that people are taking into account all the factors that they need to in order to get a clear picture of the full effect, and even if they did get all that right, I don’t trust people’s ability to interpret all that well enough to determine appropriate actions to take.
There’s a big problem with arguing big-picture questions like this based on utility, and that’s that the second someone comes up with a more convincing set of numbers, you lose. It doesn’t matter if you’re right and they’re wrong. And there’s so much room for error in big economic numbers like net cost per person to society, someone WILL come up with convincing-enough numbers saying the exact opposite of the above article.
It’s far better to say, “Even if it’s economically in our favor to let them in, it doesn’t matter. It’s far more important that we retain control over our own borders. It doesn’t matter if we improve our economy in the short term. It’s more important to retain a respect for law and order, because that’s what will ultimately keep this country going in the long run.”

LibertarianBulbasaur on June 4, 2007 at 10:15 pm

Impeachment sounds fine to me, I’m all for it at this point.

steve ventry on June 5, 2007 at 1:06 am

Impeachment, yes! Bush is catatonic when it comes to our security but look at him get animated when it comes to Mexico’s interests. It’s an oversimplification to say he’s a moron but it’s clear that he’s in over his head. Let him show his patrician manners and gracefully resign. Go back to Texas. Nobody wants you. Please GO!

lexi on June 5, 2007 at 10:43 am

I don’t think you get to impeach a president just because he stinks at the job and you hate his policies. Do we really want to get into people impeaching the president every four years?

LibertarianBulbasaur on June 5, 2007 at 11:46 pm

Libertarian, you CAN impeach a president when he LEADS an invasion against the American people!

steve ventry on June 7, 2007 at 3:40 pm

What about the double-accounting claim by WSJ on 6-8-07 re education costs?
WSJ today seems to believe an Al-Gore fable: that Social Security is a trust fund.
WSJ tries to take the high ground in immigration debate: the overall inflow of low-skilled, low-educated people. But WSJ doesn’t recognize that many don’t want to immigrate in the classic sense; they want to work and send money home, which is not the US but the country of origin. They don’t want to assimilate with the American culture.
A WSJ’s unstated, dubious assumption is that all immigrants discussed pay social security and other taxes. Employers may or may not withhold taxes for social security. Employers may or may not forward those taxes withheld. Some may keep the withholdings, offsetting their labor costs.

Dursse3 on June 8, 2007 at 7:01 pm

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