Sunday, April 15, 2007

What does Illegal Immigration Cost?

A scholar at the Heritage Foundation, Robert Rector, has found a new and revealing way to find out the financial effect of illegal immigration on unskilled labor markets and Government budget deficit. Rector found that in 2004, the most recent year for which figures are available, low-skill households received an average of $32,138 per household Against that, Rector found that low-skill households paid an average of $9,689 in taxes. In the final calculation, he found, the average low-skill household received $22,449 more in benefits than it paid in taxes .Taking that $22,449, and multiplying it by the 17.7 million low-skill households, Rector found that the total deficit for such households was $397 billion in 2004.
What does everyone think about the major costs faced by the US Government in sustaining the millions of illegal immigrants who live in the United States? Should the country countinue to bear these costs, or should it go after all the illegal immigrants and deport them to their home countries? How do you feel about the $397 billion spent on illegal immigrants if we consider the billions of dollars that are being spent on War Against Terrorism?


IBA0505 said...

I was finally able to ask one of my economics professors what he thought about the costs of illegal immigration. We talked about it in great detail, but the main issue he was explaining to me was in regards to the low-income jobs illegal immigrants often occupy, and just how many of those jobs are actually "stolen" from US workers. If you look at the statistics, immigrants (though illegal and therefore a drain on the tax system) are not taking jobs that most Americans are seeking. The jobs that are most in demand on the labor market are not those that provide the lowest-income salaries.

While neglecting to pay taxes is an obvious and undeniable drain on the American economy that any economist cannot ignore, the issue of job-loss may not be severe as many politicians like to make it seem to the American public. In a way, illegal immigrants are performing services that would not otherwise be completed.

John Ryan said...

I would agree with the statements above. It seems that many jobs the illegal immigrants take in America are low-skilled jobs that many, if not most, Americans do not want. However, that doesn't change the fact that money going to these low skilled workers is much more than the money coming in from them. Therefore, by adding to the illegal immigrant population there is an increasing number of low wage/low skilled jobs. With an increasing number of people in this field, more American tax payer dollars are going out than coming in. Whether or not this is an illegal immigration issue or an attack on the low skilled working population is irrelevant at this time. It seems that one of the easiest ways to correct this problem is aimed at shrinking the low-wage/low skilled worker population. The quickest and fairest way to do this would be to mass the troops at the group of people who are not in this country legally. If our government can "trim the fat" of that population which would temporarily begin to solve the problem of cash dished out vs. cash coming in, and have something to getting people out of the country who are not supposed to be here it would be a good place to start.

Now I'm not even close to saying that people shouldn't come to this country or immigrate, or that there aren't special circumstances when people can't follow the guidelines for normal immigration. Everyone in this country is an immigrant and in my opinion should be seen as one unless they are Native Americans. Therefore, I am totally open to fair an legal forms of immigration, and even special circumstances such as asylum etc etc. However, if the problem of illegal immigration isn't stopped soon, not only will immigrants who come to this country not be able to find the "great american dream" but people who have been established and are American Citizens are going to struggle to live in a society where freedom is given. Therefore, to conclude, I don't think this is specifically aimed at people who are illegal immigrants. I think it is a problem of too many people in low skilled/low wage jobs. And if we can shrink that number and start to get control of the illegal immigration in this country, I think it is a good way to kill 2 birds with one stone.

YON said...

I would be very happy to stop the $397 billion being paid by the U.S. government in support of people that are not even American citizens. These people are criminals and have broken the law. Henceforth they must be treated as such and should be deported and come back to the United States with the proper documentation and through the proper means. These are not people fleeing from persecution or claiming asylum, which would allow them to stay here, but rather they are people that have no right to be in the United States and should not be a public cost. In respect to the amount of money paid to fight the war on terror, I am very well aware of the large sum and support it full heartedly just as I support our troops. Our government has taken on the massive task of fighting terrorism and I believe that any cost our congress and president feels is necessary to ensure U.S. national security is worth it even in dealing with illegal immigration, as long as U.S. personal freedoms are not sacrificed.