National Academy of Sciences Report Indicates Amnesty for Unlawful Immigrants Would Cost Trillions of Dollars

No_AmnestyBy Robert Rector and Jamie Bryan Hall | Heritage Foundation

  1. Based on a recent study by the National Academy of Sciences, it is possible to project the fiscal costs of granting amnesty or earned citizenship to illegal immigrants.
  2. Granting amnesty would allow today’s illegal immigrants to gain access to an array of benefit programs (Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, and over 90 federal means-tested welfare programs), the value of which would exceed any taxes or fines they would pay.
  3. The net fiscal cost to taxpayers (in terms of net present value) would be roughly $1.29 trillion, which factors out to $15,300 per U.S. household currently paying federal income tax.
  4. The fiscal impact varies according to education level: Lower levels of education track with greater use of benefits and hence a greater cost to the tax-payer.
  5. A second amnesty (the first having taken place in 1986) could also signal a precedent that would encourage new waves of illegal immigration encouraged by the prospect of serial amnesties.

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