In yet another cheerleading ploy for the President to bypass the Constitution, the Center for American Progress released a flawed report touting the economic benefits should the President act on his own to hand amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.
At the heart of their argument is the claim that legalizing illegal aliens would result in $44.96 billion in revenue from payroll taxes within five years.
This, of course, assumes that employers who hire illegally will convert to a legal workforce once the Obama amnesty is in place, either out of good will or because the administration will crackdown on workplace enforcement. History indicates that neither scenario is likely. It also assumes that legalization would lead to increased earnings for most illegal aliens, a CAP claim that has been thoroughly debunked.
But let’s put our rose-colored glasses on and pretend that employers start paying payroll taxes and amnestied aliens actually obtain higher paying jobs. This population is still a net drain when benefits are taken into account. States (which shoulder majority of the costs of illegal immigration) spend $84 billion annually to subsidize illegal immigration. While collecting $44.9 billion in payroll taxes will help the federal government (assuming employers switch to a legal workforce), an amnesty without border security would draw more illegal immigration increasing the financial burden on states.
CAP doesn’t want to consider net costs because it doesn’t fit with their agenda—just like they don’t want to concede that employers won’t willingly convert to a legal workforce and the Obama administration won’t make them.
If the President enacts his own executive amnesty, the more likely scenario is that employers and the Obama administration will stick with the status quo. A new wave of illegal aliens will continue to provide employers with a discounted labor force while they wait for their chance at the next amnesty. Meanwhile, the newly amnestied population will compete for jobs in an economy that doesn’t produce enough jobs for the legal American workforce.
Alternately, the same, or greater, tax revenues could be realized by enforcing laws against the employment of illegal aliens and allowing those jobs to be filled by legal U.S. workers. The quid pro quo assumption that a president can hold enforcement of laws hostage to achieve his policy goals is troubling far beyond just the issue of immigration.
CAP’s new report is nothing more than a thinly veiled piece of propaganda promoting poor policy and dangerous precedent.