Rubenstein's report includes all sorts of costs that other observers conveniently ignore, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. EITC gives an average cash payment of $1,700 per year to 25 percent of immigrant households.
The emergency medical treatment given free to illegal immigrants is another enormous cost, causing some hospitals and emergency rooms to close. Emergency means any complaint from hangovers to hangnails, gunshot wounds to AIDS.
Even after some restrictions were imposed in 1996, 24.2 percent of immigrant households receive Medicaid, whereas the figure for native-born Americans is 14.8 percent. Rubenstein calculates that Hispanics account for 19.2 percent of Medicaid enrollment, while they are 13.7 percent of the U.S. population.
The FHA has had a policy of increasing home ownership among low-income immigrants and therefore approved FHA mortgages on homes with a down payment of only $200 to $300 and marginal income. Because buyers have so little invested in the house, they can walk away from it when they can't meet the payments, and this has resulted in neighborhoods of abandoned, boarded-up housing.
Refugees are a large and growing fiscal burden because they become immediately eligible for generous taxpayer-paid benefits. Evidence shows they stay dependent on these programs and start chain-migrating relatives under the "family reunification" law.
The Interior Department spends millions of dollars to clean up the mountains of trash discarded by illegal immigrants crossing into California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Some immigration advocates peddle the notion that immigration will solve the future financial burdens of Social Security. Rubenstein shows how foolish is this prediction because today's low-wage workers will surely become tomorrow's expensive retirees.
Another cost that few talk about is that immigrant workers depress the wages received by native-born Americans, and that causes a $100 billion shortfall in federal tax revenue. Harvard University Professor George Borjas found that each 10 percent increase in the U.S. labor force from immigration reduces wages of native-born Americans by 5.25 percent.
Some liberals are trying to tell us to fight a recession by bringing in more immigrants, but that would only raid the pockets of U.S. taxpayers to support more millions of non-taxpayers. It's hard to say which is more outrageous: the diversion of Americans' personal income into cash handouts to foreigners, or the federal government's policy of concealing the fiscal impact of immigration.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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