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Is Amnesty Worth A National Bankruptcy?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Could legalizing an estimated 11 million illegal aliens tip our precarious national finances into insolvency?

Could be. Robert Rector, who works on such problems at the Heritage Foundation stated, "Granting amnesty or legal status to illegals will generate costs in Medicare and Social Security alone of $2.5 trillion above any taxes paid in” (Daily Caller, January 31).


Two and a half trillion dollars? Yep. That's Trillion with a T!

So far most of the talk in Washington is about border security and preventing later amnesties. Thinking people in both parties better begin calculating the costs of this amnesty.

The dirty little secret about amnesty is that legal status brings with it huge financial benefits, especially for poor people and at the expense of taxpayers. More than half of those here illegally are poor. In fact, 57% of all illegal aliens live in poverty or near-poverty (Center for Immigration Studies).

When illegal aliens get legal status, they also get:

•Social Security payments of far more than they paid in for the 20 or 30 years they can be expected to live after they retire;
•Medicare, when they reach the qualifying age;
•Obamacare! Under current rules, illegal aliens would be eligible for Obamacare the instant they get legal status.

Calculating just these three items, we're beyond $2.5 trillion in net payments to these amnestied aliens beyond the taxes they will pay.

Yet we've not yet considered education expenses for the children of the illegal aliens (about $10,000 per year per child) or the plethora of means-tested benefits for which they and their families may qualify.

Has anyone thought about what legalization does to family chain migration? Once these individuals gain citizenship, be that soon or a few years out, they can begin sponsoring their relatives to come in. First, they bring in their parents, then, all their adult siblings. The adult siblings can bring their spouses and children, and the spouses can sponsor their parents and adult siblings, and so it goes. The chain is endless and fantastically broad.


Will these people brought in by being related to the formerly illegal aliens also be poor? If so, they, too, will enjoy the largest of the U.S. taxpayer.

Of course, citizenship will bring voting privileges. Voter analyses show that these mostly-poor, mostly-uneducated new citizens will vote disproportionately for the party most identified with social welfare programs and big government. Would that be the Republican Party? I don't think so.

I can certainly understand why liberal Democrats like Pres. Obama, Sen. Schumer, and Sen. Menendez would want a massive amnesty. For them, the sooner, the better.

For the life of me, however, I cannot think of why a single fiscal conservative would favor this idea.

Is $2.5 trillion in added debt enough to send America into insolvency? I'm not certain, but it will have a huge impact. Granting amnesty would be one of the most expensive government giveaways in history.

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