Costs of Illegal Immigration
Panelists discussed the issue of immigration and its costs and benefits for the federal government. Mr. Krikorian spoke about the need… read more
Panelists discussed the issue of immigration and its costs and benefits for the federal government.
Mr. Krikorian spoke about the need to study the cost of any potential amnesty for illegal immigrants. He also analyzed the stance of both Pres. Bush and Sen. Kerry on immigration and amnesty.
Mr. Camarota spoke about the fiscal costs of illegal immigration and the need for “policy makers to take into account the costs of illegal immigration.” He discussed a recent report that he authored that attempted to discover the relation between the costs and revenues caused by illegal immigration and the changes that might be caused by an amnesty. He spoke about the methods used in the report as well as the conclusions reached. He asserted that illegal immigration presents a “net fiscal deficit” for the federal government, and that if these illegal immigrants were given amnesty they would become an even greater drain on federal revenues. This conclusion was based on the claim that, while an amnesty would increase tax revenues from immigrants, the increase in services utilized by immigrants would outstrip the increases in revenue. He argued that attempts to limit the number of public services that illegal aliens use are difficult to implement, and that the “only real option” for limiting the fiscal costs of illegal immigration is to “reduce the number of illegal aliens in the country.”
Mr. Lowell spoke about Mr. Camarota’s report. He agreed with Mr. Camarota that illegal immigration does produce a net fiscal deficit for the federal government. He noted however, that illegal immigrants use fewer services and contribute more revenue than the report suggests. He discussed in more detail some of the methods used in the report. He also suggested that study of the long-term costs and benefits of providing illegal immigrants with services such as education is needed. He noted that low-income households, “even among the native-born,” present “net fiscal costs to the nation.”
Mr. Rector spoke about the relationship between the “welfare system,” illegal immigrants, and the middle and upper classes. He addressed specific transfer payment programs, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. He placed the panel’s discussion in the context of a longstanding debate over welfare and immigration.
The panelists responded to audience questions. close
People in this video
- Steven A. Camarota Director Center for Immigration Studies->Research and Programs
- Mark Krikorian Executive Director Center for Immigration Studies
- B. Lindsay Lowell Policy Director Georgetown University->Institute for the Study of International Migration
- Robert E. Rector Senior Research Fellow Heritage Foundation->Domestic Policy Studies
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