Amnesty Fantasy: A Numbers Game That Doesn’t Add Up For America

Mark Zuckerberg’s pals and pro-immigration lobbyists say amnesty for millions of illegal aliens will raise workers’ pay while creating 400,000 additional U.S. jobs. It’s pure political bunk masquerading as objective research.

Pushing the implausible case, a letter from open-borders academics to congressional leaders repeats several scenarios that defy economic reality.

The first pitch – that 10.4 million illegal aliens reside in the U.S. – falls well short of the plate. By FAIR’s latest estimate, made before Joe Biden took office and collapsed America’s southern border, the actual number exceeds 14.5 million. An argument that starts with a 40 percent undercount is less than convincing. 

Other plucked-from-air figures – such as $600 pay hikes for all U.S. workers and the appearance of 400,000 new jobs via an amnesty – are not fully supported or properly explained. Neither is the claim that legalizing the status of illegal aliens would expand the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $1.5 trillion (7 percent).

“It’s like arguing that a town with 100 people is much richer when 50 new people move in because the economy is bigger,” Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) told Breitbart News. “The original 100 people [may not]get any richer because a bigger economy doesn’t [automatically]mean that people make higher wages.” (The types of work or skills the 400,000 magical positions might require are not detailed.)

Amnesty enthusiasts admit their model “does not capture the potentially large additional benefits.” This is not an unintentional oversight. They steered clear because the price tag of their agenda will easily soar into the trillions of dollars, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Whatever revenue gains may derive from broader tax collections will be wiped out by expanded eligibility for social-welfare programs. A CIS study estimates that 10 million illegal aliens receiving amnesty would cost Social Security and Medicare $1.3 trillion, equivalent to a one-time transfer of 6 percent of GDP. Add the panoply of other federal and state entitlements, with an accurate count of the illegal-alien population, and you’re talking about real money.

If Zuckerberg and his self-dealing cronies were honest, they would acknowledge that amnesty is a chimeric scheme to privatize more profits and socialize the costs. As Camarota notes: “It will spur more illegal immigration and more family-based immigration. It’s a win-win for them [by] spurring [consumer]demand and holding down wages [with an]increased supply of workers.”

About Author


Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.