President Obama’s new DREAM relief policy would allow undocumented youth who qualify to request temporary relief from deportation, making them eligible to receive work permits and a social security number.
Good for Taxpayers
by Support on 11/30/2009
Comprehensive Immigration Reform More Than Pays For Itself
- The 2006 comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate would have more than paid for its reform provisions through increased tax revenue. According to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation, the 2006 Senate bill would have raised $66 billion in new revenue over a ten-year period, primarily from income and payroll taxes paid by legalized workers and their employers.
- The 2007 comprehensive immigration reform bill would also have more than paid for its reform provisions through increased tax revenue. A similar CBO analysis of the 2007 Senate bill estimated that it would generate $48 billion in revenue between 2008 and 2017. Moreover, this analysis calculated the costs of services to the newly legalized at $23 billion, resulting in a net gain of $25 billion over ten years.
Enforcement Without Reform Decreases Revenues
- Trying to eliminate the undocumented workforce through enforcement-only policies and legislation would only result in decreased tax revenues. The CBO concluded that mandatory E-Verify – the enforcement-only approach favored by hardliners in Congress – would decrease federal revenues by $17.3 billion between 2009 and 2018, largely because it would result in an increase in the number of workers who are laboring in the underground economy and are being paid outside the tax system.
- While undocumented workers are ineligible for almost all federal public assistance programs, between one-half and three-quarters of undocumented workers pay federal and state income taxes, Social Security taxes, and Medicare taxes. Legalization would get all of them and their employers paying into the tax system.
“Enforcement-Only” Policies Spend Millions in Taxpayers’ Hard-Earned Money for Little to No Return on Their Investment
- Spending on immigration enforcement has skyrocketed, yet the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. has increased from 3.5 million in 1990 to 12 million in 2008.
- The annual budget of the U.S. Border Patrol stood at $1.6 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2006—an increase of 332% since FY 1993.
- The number of Border Patrol agents grew to 14,923 in FY 2007—an increase of 276% since FY 1993.
- The budget of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has grown from $5.9 billion in FY 2004 to $9.3 billion in FY 2008.
- The budget of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has grown from $3.7 billion in FY 2004 to $5.1 billion in FY 2008.
- Deportation, the alternative to earned legalization, would cost taxpayers billions.
- According to a study by the Center for American Progress, deporting approximately 10 million undocumented immigrants would cost at least $206 billion over five years, or $41.2 billion annually. By comparison, the total budget for DHS in FY 2008 was $47 billion.
- Deporting undocumented workers would represent a loss of 1.8 trillion in annual spending and $651.5 billion in annual output, according to a study by the Perryman Group.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Would Stimulate the U.S. Economy
- According to a new report by the Immigration Policy Center and the Center for American Progress, comprehensive immigration reform legislation that includes a legalization program for undocumented immigrants would increase U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by at least $1.5 trillion over 10 years.
- The higher earning power of legalized immigrants workers would result in increased tax revenues of $4.5 billion in the first three years.
- The report also found that mass deportation would reduce U.S. GDP by 1.46% or a $2.6 trillion loss in GDP over 10 years.
- An additonal study from Manuel Pastor of the University of Southern California Center for the Study of Immigration Integration examined the potential economic effects of comprehensive reform on the state of California and found that reform would increase the state and local tax base by about $350 million in the short run. Reform would be a critical asset for California and other states facing severe budget shortfalls.
Ahead of the one-year anniversary of SB 1070, the Center for American Progress released a new report entitled "A Rising Tide or a Shrinking Pie: The Economic Impact of Legalization Versus Deportation," analyzing what would happen if SB 1070 were carried out to its full intended effect and every single undocumented immigrant was purged from Arizona, and would happen if the state instead decided to legalize all of its undocumented.
The President announced his budget Monday, sending many members of Congress into an angry frenzy over $3.83 trillion that Obama had allotted for an array of programs – mostly in an effort to fight against the growing unemployment and to strengthen our weak economy. But some members of Congress -- some of the same who are complaining over the "huge" deficit (note: mostly inherited from the Bush Administration) – are trying to keep this big secret under wraps: There is a $4.1 trillion choice in Washington.
Yesterday Lindsey Graham, Republican Senator from South Carolina, stood up for a comprehensive fix to our badly damaged immigration system. Graham has been crafting bipartisan legislation with Senator Schumer for some time now, and details of the bill are expected soon.
A new analysis by the Drum Major Institute (DMI) found that the Comprehensive Immigration Reform ASAP bill introduced by Congressmen Solomon Ortiz and Luis Gutierrez late last year would "make the grade" for strengthening and expanding America's middle class. DMI states the case succinctly: The Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act sets the standard for an immigration policy, which will boost our nation's economy and strengthen and expand its middle class. The Institute administered a two-part "middle class test," which the bill passed with flying colors.
Today's "Progress Report" is all about the economics of immigration reform, stating: "President Obama's current focus is, understandably, "jobs, jobs, jobs." However, Hinojosa's findings show that the issues of immigration and the economy are far from mutually exclusive. While anti-immigrant groups use anecdotal evidence to erroneously claim that legalization would be disastrous for the American worker, passing comprehensive immigration reform would not only strengthen the labor market, it would promote needed economic growth. Polling released yesterday additionally shows that 66 percent of voters support a program that requires undocumented immigrants to register, meet certain requirements, and become legal taxpayers on their way to becoming full U.S. citizens."
This morning I was live-tweeting from an event at the Center for American Progress, co-sponsored by the Immigration Policy Center, where economic experts from a wide range of institutions had come together to document the astounding economic benefits to the United States that would come from passing a comprehensive immigration reform package. The event centered around a new study entitled, "Raising the Floor for American Workers," which was written by Dr. Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda, a professor at UCLA.
Comprehensive immigration reform will create new taxpayers, raise new revenue, cut enforcement costs, and help our economy get back on its feet.
- Comprehensive Immigration Reform pays for itself. Taxpayers benefit when everyone contributes fully.
- By legalizing the undocumented and ensuring all employers are paying their full share of taxes, reform would create millions of new taxpayers and generate billions in vital tax revenues.
- Reform would save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars by eliminating the need for expensive programs to round up and deport the 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
A: Billions upon billions, if some Republicans get their way. Fortunately, they didn't get their way on the Census yesterday. The Vitter-Bennett census amendment to the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill became a moot point yesterday afternoon when the Senate ended debate on the bill in a nail-biting procedural vote of 60 to 39, which comes as a relief to advocates who worked non-stop, through hubs like DontWreckTheCensus.org, to help sink the unconstitutional, impractical, and expensive measure.
Immigration Policy Center just released a new report by Senior Researcher Walter Ewing that injects "a healthy dose of economic realism" into the debate over how the government should handle the 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country. According to Ewing, our current economic situation needs immigration reform that helps rather than hurts the US economy, and so he lists three potential changes in immigration policy and compares their economic impact – leaving aside the moral and civil issues that surround various options.
So apparently, the US government has been spending its time -- and our money -- to send American citizens...on free trips to Mexico? In April, our government admitted that it wrongly deported a North Carolina native, Mark Lyttle, who speaks no Spanish and is mentally ill -- a fact of which federal agents were allegedly aware.
New public opinion research by Lake Research Partners showed up in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, ripping to shreds the conventional wisdom that immigration reform can't happen in a down economy: "If anything, the economic climate has actually improved the environment for immigration reform, at least as far as the public is concerned," said Celinda Lake, who heads Lake Research Partners."