If you ask the proponents of amnesty about the costs of their agenda, they will likely try to change the subject, deceptively touting economic gains supposedly flowing from their agenda. Luckily, those Americans who want to get to the truth of how much amnesty will cost them – and their children – can consult such valuable sources as an analysis conducted by Steven A. Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies.
Camarota looked at the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) estimate of the costs of the amnesty snuck into the Democrats’ massive spending package known as Build Back Better (BBB) Act. The cost, he concludes, will be almost half a trillion dollars: a $124 billion net fiscal drain during the first ten years (2022 – 2031) and $359 billion during the subsequent decade (2032 – 2041), i.e., $483 billion over the next 20 years, or approximately $24 billion per year on average.
Even in this era of wild government spending, $483 billion is a lot of money, and a lot more than it would cost to prevent future illegal immigration. For example, the most common cost estimate for the previous administration’s border wall was in the $20-25 billion range in total (not per year!). It was nixed by the Biden administration, which claimed that the wall was too expensive. Never mind the long-term money saving potential of deterrence.
Another key point is that the amnesty contained within BBB would legalize “only” 6.5 million illegal aliens. The costs of amnestying the 14.5 million illegal aliens estimated to be living in the United States, the ultimate goal for the president and his allies, would be greater still if that were attempted.
As Camarota correctly points out: “The costs illegal immigrants create are not because they are lazy or because they all came to get welfare. Rather, illegal immigrants have modest levels of education on average and, as a result, tend to earn similarly modest wages and thus make modest tax payments. Their low incomes also mean that many more would qualify for public benefits if legalized, thereby dramatically increasing fiscal costs.”
And what about the revenue boosts that the proponents of amnesty constantly advertise? Here Camarota argues: “The primary reason the amnesty would have minimal effect on federal revenues is that immigrants’ increase in reporting of taxable income ‘would mostly be offset’ because businesses ‘would report smaller taxable profits and pay less in income taxes’. In other words, with legalization employers would be able to deduct the wages and benefits they currently pay off the books to illegal immigrants, thereby lowering their tax payments in roughly equal proportion to the increase in taxes illegal aliens would pay once legalized.”
Breitbart’s John Binder also adds that “Though providing a look into the fiscal cost of the amnesty plan, the CBO figures do not factor in the millions to billions in lost wages and jobs that such a plan may have as illegal aliens would be legally allowed to compete for jobs against Americans.”
Thus, it is clear that the BBB amnesty is an expensive proposition that would pour gasoline on a raging border crisis and harm those who are currently hurting most: working and middle class Americans.