The Congressional Budget Office says the DREAM Act will cost Americans $26.8 billion over the next decade. That’s a net expense, and it’s just the beginning.
The DREAM Act, which would grant lawful permanent residence to some 3.25 million illegal aliens, is being played as a bargaining chip in negotiations over immigration reforms. It’s no bargain.
The CBO estimates 2 million aliens eligible for conditional resident status would become naturalized citizens. That projection – a low-ball figure in light of prior amnesties and DREAM Act provisions – minimizes the true fiscal impact.
If history is a reliable guide – and there’s no reason to think it isn’t — significantly more aliens are likely to apply. This would add billions to the DREAM Act’s initial price tag.
Witness the amnesty embedded in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Some 2.7 million illegal aliens established legal residence through IRCA, significantly more than the government’s top estimates.
Language in the DREAM Act ensures that more low-skill, low-education aliens will be waved through – granting them access to legal employment, as well as a full smorgasbord of public benefits (your $26.8 billion at work).
The most expensive benefit would be Obamacare subsidies ($12 billion), earned income and child tax credits ($5.5 billion), Medicaid ($5 billion) and food stamps ($2 billion). CBO understates the impact here, too, by excluding state and local outlays.
A “confidentiality” provision in the DREAM Act bars Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers from examining amnesty application files, raising the odds for fraud. Further, government adjudicators are required to accept easily doctored documents – utility bills, rent receipts, even remittance records — as evidence of eligibility.
If all else fails, applications can be approved for “humanitarian purposes or family unity.” “It will be exceedingly difficult for the government to deny an applicant and not be sued for ‘abuse of discretion’ when those are the standards for grants of waivers to criminals, smugglers and illegal voters,” notes the Center for Immigration Studies.
The not-so-dreamy DREAM Act gashes a broken immigration system while further straining American workers and taxpayers, says Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas.
“Isn’t it interesting that the people who keep demanding immediate legalization also demand that there be no wall? They don’t want border security. It’s pretty transparent they don’t care about U.S. workers whose wages have been stagnant, or have been unable to find jobs,” Gohmert said.