Trump-Endorsed Immigration Bill Would Save Taxpayers Trillions

Trump Travel ban speech immigrationEarlier this month, President Donald Trump endorsed the RAISE (Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment) Act introduced by Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga., a bill to reform the merit-based immigration system and limit low-skill immigration.

Low-skill immigration is very costly to U.S. taxpayers. For example, a legal immigrant without a high school degree typically receives $4 in government benefits for every $1 he pays in taxes.

By limiting future low-skill immigration, the RAISE Act has the potential to save U.S. taxpayers trillions of dollars in future years.

There are 12.8 million low-skill legal immigrants with a high school degree or less currently residing in the U.S. The households headed by these low-skill legal immigrants impose a net fiscal cost (total government benefits received minus total taxes paid) of $150 billion each year.

The $150 billion tax burden is equivalent to a $1.04 tax on every gallon of gas purchased by U.S. motorists every year for the foreseeable future.

The RAISE Act seeks to curtail future fiscal costs linked to low-skill immigration by eliminating chain migration, the visa lottery, and the current low-skill worker allotment. It also caps the future flow of refugees and asylees.

Nearly 400,000 legal immigrants enter the U.S. through these channels each year. The majority of these appear to be low-skill.

The bill’s reforms to chain migration are particularly important.

Chain migration starts with a foreign citizen who is given a green card. This individual is allowed to bring in his or her nuclear family consisting of a spouse and minor children.

Once the original immigrant and his or her spouse become U.S. citizens, they can petition for their parents, adult sons and daughters, and adult siblings and brothers- and sisters-in-law to also enter.

This second group can bring their minor children. Once they become citizens, the brothers- and sisters-in-law and parents can petition for their siblings, in-laws, and parents to legally enter the U.S.

The RAISE bill limits future chain migration. Each future migrant can bring only nuclear family members.

Parents can be brought to the country on a guest visa but will not be given access to government benefits or citizenship status. The sponsors must demonstrate that they have purchased insurance to cover the future medical costs of the parent.

The U.S. tax and benefit system is redistributive—it provides extensive benefits to less skill/low-wage individuals while asking them to pay comparatively less in taxes. On average, low-skill individuals, whether non-immigrants, legal immigrants, or illegal immigrants, impose substantial costs on U.S. taxpayers.

In order to determine the fiscal cost of low-skill immigrants, it is important to count the cost of all government benefits and services received minus the value taxes paid.

This type of holistic analysis was presented by the National Academy of Sciences in its major report, “The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration,” released in September of last year.

The report estimated the costs of government benefits and services received by immigrants and non-immigrants from federal state and local government.

The report’s calculation of government benefits is comprehensive—it includes routine government services such as police and fire protection, highways and sewers; public education costs; benefits from over 80 means-tested welfare programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, the earned income tax credit, and housing vouchers; and other government direct benefits, including Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance.

The report also provides a comprehensive analysis of taxes paid at the federal, state, and local levels, including personal income taxes, FICA taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, property, and business taxes.

Having estimated the government benefits received and the total taxes paid, the report then analyzes the fiscal balance (total government benefits received minus total taxes paid) for immigrants and non-immigrants with different levels of education.

The report shows that less educated individuals, whether immigrants or non-immigrants, receive far more in government benefits than they pay in taxes.

In particular, the report provides 75-year projections for the fiscal balance of immigrants and their immediate descendants based on the immigrant’s education level. It measures future cost in “net present value.”

The concept of “net present value” is complex. It places a much lower value on future expenditures than on current expenditures.

One way to grasp net present value is that it represents the total amount of money that the government would have to raise today and put in a bank account earning interest at 3 percent above the inflation rate in order to cover future costs.

Based on the National Academy of Sciences’ estimates, the average low-skill immigrant (with a high school degree or less) who enters the country imposes a net present value on taxpayers of negative $142,000.

This means the government would need to immediately raise a lump sum of $142,000 and put it in a high-yield bank account to cover the future net fiscal cost (total benefits minus total taxes) of that immigrant.

Converting a net present value figure into future outlays requires information on the exact distribution of costs over time. That data is not provided by the National Academy of Sciences.

However, a rough estimate of the future net outlays to be paid by taxpayers (in constant 2012 dollars) for low-skill immigrants appears to be around $397,000 per immigrant over 75 years.

The National Academy of Sciences’ cost figures represent a mixture of costs for legal and illegal immigrants. The RAISE Act is focused directly on low-skill legal immigrants.

Since low-skill legal immigrants receive more benefits, their fiscal impact is greater than similar illegal immigrants. The net present value for a legal immigrant with a high school degree or less is around negative $170,000, and the undiscounted long-term fiscal cost (benefits minus taxes) would be around $476,000 in constant 2012 dollars.

Over the last decade and a half, an average of 470,000 low-skill adult immigrants (both legal and illegal) have arrived in the U.S. each year. The net present value of this inflow is around negative $67 billion per year.

In other words, to cover the future cost of one year’s inflow of low-skill immigrants, the government would need to immediately raise taxes by a lump sum of $67 billion, put the money in the bank earning interest at the inflation rate plus 3 percent, and use the interest and principal to cover long-term costs. (Sixty-seven billion dollars equals around $800 for each U.S. household currently paying federal income tax.)

Of course, in the next year another 470,000 would arrive, requiring another lump sum payment of $800 per taxpaying household. The year after, another 470,000 will arrive, requiring another $800 per taxpaying household, and so on.

Fiscal costs can also be analyzed per decade. Under existing government laws and policies, an estimated 4.7 million low-skill immigrants (both legal and illegal) are likely to enter the U.S. over the next decade.

The fiscal net present values of these immigrants to the taxpayers will be around negative $670 billion. In other words, government would need to immediately raise taxes by $670 billion to cover the future costs.

Of course, the government will not actually raise taxes in this manner—instead, the future costs will be hidden and passed on to future taxpayers.

The future net outlays (benefits given less taxes paid) for the inflow of 4.7 million low-skill immigrants will be around $1.9 trillion (in constant 2012 dollars).

Over half these costs are linked to future low-skill legal immigration. By limiting future legal low-skill immigration, the RAISE Act could save at least $1 trillion.

Additional large savings could be achieved by limiting future illegal immigration. These saving figures apply to only a single decade of low-skill immigration. Similar savings would occur by limiting low-skill immigration in subsequent decades.

Opponents of such reforms argue that such immigration increases the gross domestic product.

It is true that immigration increases the GDP, but as Harvard immigration economist George Borjas explains, 98 percent of the increase “goes to the immigrants themselves in the form of wages and benefits.”

Metaphorically speaking, low-skill immigrants increase the economic pie, but they eat nearly all the increase themselves.

Low-skill immigration reduces the wages of similar U.S.-born workers. An immigration-induced increase in the low-skill labor force of 10 percent can reduce the wages of low-skill non-immigrant labor by 3 to 10 percent.

Some studies show wage losses as high as 17 percent. Black male wages and employment are especially hard hit. By reducing wages of less skilled non-immigrants, low-skill immigration increases economic inequality in the U.S., redistributing income from the least advantaged Americans to the more affluent.

Finally, low-skill immigration shifts the political balance in the nation.

According to Cooperative Congressional Election Survey, the political alignment of immigrants is far to the left that of non-immigrants. Immigrants in general are twice as likely to identify with and register as Democrats than as Republicans.

This pattern is somewhat more pronounced among immigrants without a high school degree who are almost three times as likely to register as Democrats than as Republicans.

Low-skill immigration imposes large fiscal costs on U.S. taxpayers. It drives down the wages and employment of the disadvantaged American workers (especially black males), and it arbitrarily shifts the political balance in the U.S.

The RAISE Act would appropriately address these problems.

From - The Daily Signal - by Robert Rector and Jamie Bryan Hall

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33 Comments on "Trump-Endorsed Immigration Bill Would Save Taxpayers Trillions"

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The RAISE Act would merely be reverting U.S. Immigration policy to what existed prior to the disastrous Ted Kennedy immigration reform of the 1960’s. Immigration based on actual economic merit to society, self sufficiency and the ability to quickly join the ranks of the productive, taxpaying class in a meaningful way, as opposed to basing immigration on feel good, lets bring in tens of millions of low skill, largely illiterate people who magically end up being a massive drain of taxpayer funds but also vote, illegally in many, many cases, for Democrats. Of course Democrats will oppose the RAISE Act en mass. That is a given. The very reason for Ted Kennedy’s original immigration reform back then was to flood the country with a whole new base of dependent Democrat voters. So anything that jeopardizes that inflow will face a combined backlash on both media and political fronts. What will… Read more »

Hi PaulE, I really believe that when the 2020 election comes, these so-called Republicans will experience the anger of disappointing voters and yes, Trump WILL BE re-elected. Maybe then these elected beaureaucrats will understand that We the People, have had it with their lies and phony attitudes!!! … But it’s time to put the “Progressives” in their rightful place, put them on the defensive by calling them what they really are … Communists!

Hi Rik, Well I wasn’t going to go there, since the 2020 election is so far away at this point. However, since you brought it up, here’s my take. The real question you have to ask yourself is if the anti-Trump, pro-establishment wing of the Republican Congress continues the exact same “We can’t do anything, because we don’t want to do anything that Trump or the people want and expect us to do” act that they’ve done for the last 7 months for the remainder of Trump’s term, whether Trump will even want to run for re-election in 2020. Trump is after all a highly successful businessman, who is used to getting things done and delivering on his commitments to a large degree. His expectation, which was NOT unreasonable, was that if he won the Republican controlled Congress would work to quickly pass his agenda. Certainly he did not expect… Read more »

Amac, why did you erase my response to PaulE??? … Is it because I’m urging President Trump to expose the entire Democratic Party AND ALL the Rinos AS THE COMMUNISTS THEY REALLY ARE? … And if so, Trump can win a 2nd term?

Well Rik, it seems this conversation was deemed “too hot” (politically incorrect) for AMAC, so they quickly buried the entire article in the “Related Articles” section. The equivalent of the garbage can for things to be disposed of. That way 99 percent of the people will never even look at it. Isn’t censorship grand? Too bad as the RAISE Act was actually a topic the average AMAC member should know about. If for no other reason than to see how the establishment GOP in Congress actually reacts to real immigration reform be proposed. Anyway, as Trump calling the Democrat Party what they really are, do you honestly think most Republicans don’t already know what the Democrat Party really is? If there are a few Republicans that have been living in a cave for the last half century and still think of the Democrat Party as being the party of say… Read more »

why do we bother with AMAC if this is ‘too sensitive’ – is the only not ‘too sensitive’ any arguments over healthcare? Why did we join AMAC? For the life of me I haven’t figured that one out yet! Doubt we will renew.

Hi Diane, To answer your question, I originally joined AMAC because it claimed to be a conservative organization setup to counter AARP, which is in complete lock-step with the Democrat Party and its socialist agenda. Big government, under socialism, is the answer to everything. You must fall in-line with what the government tells you to do, because government knows best and you, the public, are simply too stupid to be allowed to make any decisions for yourself. You need to be managed and regulated by the government in all aspects of your life. Typical hallmarks of socialism, which is what the Democrat Party represents today. AMAC promised conservative solutions and a platform for getting those ideas heard in Washington. However after AMAC started to actually publish their so-called “conservative solutions” to its members, it became quite clear to me and many others that AMAC was in actually just AARP-lite. Their… Read more »

Hi PaulE, I agree the average Democrat is stupid, so stupid in fact, they DON’T KNOW they’re voting for Communism. By Trump pointing it out on social media, people would be forced to question and watching the Commies “deny” and scream will bring the focus on them to defend themselves. As you say, they’ve been front and center but the average person isn’t paying attention and putting the Commie Democrats and Rinos on defensive would certainly be fun to watch. … Joe McCarthy, where are you?

Rik, it’s obvious that the average Democrat, instead of Questioning, they just do not care. Communism to them is better than current Republicanism as depicted by the establishment.

Exactly Ivan. In almost all the conversations I have every week with dozens of self-admitted Democrats, Socialists and even a few Communists that don’t start off every sentence by shouting obscenities, the Democrats by and large are NOT intellectually inquisitive in any way. There is no critical thinking there. There is no trying to broaden their understanding of any issues. They are, for lack of a better term, the personification of useful idiots plain and simple. All they know and all they care to know is that the media says Democrat politicians are all good and ALL Republicans are inherently evil and bad. When a Democrat politicians like Bernie Sanders or Maxine Waters speaks to the media, the media all uniformly praise them as “guiding America to a new and better future”, while republicans are called liars, morons, and the rest of the usual list of insults. Democrats could care… Read more »
Hi PaulE, I agree with you on your analysis, but what if and it’s a huge what if Trump decides that yes he’s had enough of being stymied by his own party that he “exposes” these “phony” Republicans as the Communists they AND the whole Democratic Party has become? … After all, he’ll have nothing to lose by doing so. He can reach the people en mass with his social tweets. He can put ALL these Commies on the defensive. They and their media who are already disbelieved would be exposed and by hammering that message constantly HE CAN WIN A 2ND TERM. He can easily point out why nothing got accomplished and why? … PUT THESE COMMUNISTS ON THE DEFENSIVE, explain what Communism is and show the people who is responsible for failing them. If so, I believe it’s our ONLY CHANCE of SAVING OUR COUNTRY. Otherwise, all is… Read more »
Hi Rik, Please re-read my last post to Ivan above. It explains quite clearly why the only people that would be listening to Trump are the people that already support Trump. They rest of the country do not and will not listen to anything Trump “exposes”, because they either 1) actively support the socialist agenda of the Democrat Party and its propaganda arm the mainstream media and will thus completely ignore anything Trump says or 2) they don’t have the mental capacity, for the reasons I’ve mentioned above as well, to effectively process any information Trump may “expose”. I don’t know how much plainer I can make it. Could Trump win re-election if he chooses to run for re-election in 2020, but Congress has passed almost nothing of his agenda by then? Maybe. However, as I mentioned before, what would be his compelling reason to even want to run for… Read more »

Yep, it seems a majority of voters now consider medicaid an entitlement even though it pays out more then it takes in. Next step, single payer. Seems like we have too many sheeple on the government feeding trough. They expect too much from the grubmint. You want real reform, get rid of the middle guy- big government, any which way you can.

RAISE is sensible immigration. It’s not exactly “plain and simple”, because immigration law is already so convoluted. But it is based on sound economic principles, backed by empirical data, and not on the emotional cries of fiscally ignorant well-wishers and bleeding hearts. Simply put: we, as a country, simply cannot afford to be “generous” beyond our means. Borrowing against future prosperity by kicking the cost can down the road to future taxpayers and workers has increased our debt to where it will likely never be paid off. You simply can’t pay off a debt that you keep adding to. The very people who do not want low-income, low-educated, usually big familied, immigrants living in their neighborhood, are perfectly fine foisting that burden on everyone else, with emotional calls for “compassion” and “generosity”. Compassion and generosity are fine, laudable, and the hallmark of the United States’ policies toward those less fortunate.… Read more »

I support the RAISE Act. I think it will be good for our country. There are too many taking advantage of America’s good nature! Either that, or our Gov’t agencies are very lenient with our money. Over the past 8 years, immigration has been a major problem. This type of reform makes it very clear that if you come to this county, you will need to make a positive contribution to it. Patrolling the borders, keeping unwanted criminals out, will effectively ensure domestic tranquillity for all.

Illegal immigration endorses and promotes: 1) exploitation of immigrants by paying sub-par wages 2) tax evasion – (undermining the system that pays for liberal policy) 3) allows non-worker criminals to travel more freely (Gangs and drugs) 4) flips the bird to legal immigrants 5) allows easier access for anti-American interests 6) sweatshops…sorry, have to stop here and get back to work

For those who haven’t heard, Trump pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio last night. God Bless America.

I see John McCain didn’t waste any time criticizing Trump’s decision to do so. A RINO right to the bitter end. Why doesn’t he just switch parties like Arlen Spector did and be done with it? After all, a Democrat masquerading as a Republican is what he really is and has been for a long, long time.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

That sentiment worked for the U.S. for many centuries. But the current flood of low-skilled, high-need legal and illegal immigrants is unsustainable. We need the “tired… of socialism’s failures,” the “poor… wanting to rise,” and the “yearning… for a free country” to: (1) assimilate, (2) become educated, and (3) help drive our economy forward. Unfetterd, unfiltered immigration is just as out-of-date as the one room schoolhouse.

“immigration without assimilation is invasion.” — Former LA Governer Bobby Jindal

This is a ztep in the right direction. The only immigrants allowed to legally work here are guest workers; not guezt workers and family. Guest workers should be relieved if their job if the State department of employment funds a qualified US citizen to occupy that job. No chain entry to USA, please.

This is just the tip of the iceberg with this situation. Add the fact that robotics and artificial intelligence will eliminate many of today’s low skilled jobs, the last thing this country needs is to add to that unemployable labor pool.

This is the issue that Arizona faced with the flood of illegal aliens into the United States.
The illegal aliens love it.. the American Taxpayers pay for it.

I for one am going to write my reps and urge them to vote yes. I’m going to urge my friends to do the same. I would like first to see the actual bill to see what just might be “hidden”!

Here are my thoughts on immigration: Potential Immigration improvements. Futurists have predicted the US will need immigrants to maintain and progress. Our demographics are such that birth rate does not provide enough for future growth. Immigrants are needed, but who and how? NOTE: Previous INS is now part of Homeland Secuity, and renamed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 1. MERIT , EXPERIENCE, & COMPETENCE should be a larger factor in legal immigration. We should favor immigrants with useable skills and education. Foreign students completeing Post-Graduate Degrees in STEM majors should be given broader latitude to obtain green cards and a route to citizenship. 2. Europeans and Christians have been discriminated against in recent decades. This should be changed. Christians in Moslem countries are being killed, but do not receive immigre status. European quotas are unfairly low and should be changed. 3. Family Connections. Immigranting just because of family connections… Read more »

Thank you Mr. Trump.
Many very bigoted groups deeply support the illegal aliens as a means of increasing political power. They do not care who they harm, or what law they break. They want what they want.
Now.. the question is.. is the Congress with the American People, or are they with the illegal aliens.

Amen to that!

Don’t get all these negitive likes on my comments. You all sound like your reading the the same text over and over. Didn’t any of you get the hiring white people thing. The young educated white people are going to make great carpenters or plumbers or mechanics or welders or this list could go on and on. Youve got millions of people thats never worked a day in their lives, now all of a sudden, after soaking up their parents money for 10 years theyre faced with fending for themselves. So according to you all communism is going to be their answer. I think most of you are about the same age of me. I did 2 tours in nam. Ive had hundres of employees and I know the work force thats available. Out in real life, nobodys talking communism, they’re just getting by. I havent had a white person,… Read more »

If FairTax (a total consumption tax and the complete repeal of all income tax) were implimented, this issue would be a “non-issue” because anyone in this country would pay their share of federal and state tax when they purchase good and services. Low income earners below the poverty level would receive additional support in the form of low earner rebates. It would not matter if someone were legal or not. But then again, this would be a “practical” approach to a problem and in today’s government is simply not allowed. Government would loose their ability to extort from business for donations and vice versa businesses would loose the ability to influence legislation through bribery. And, a party would find it more difficult to allow mass immigration of illegal aliens with benefits just to get votes.

Again, all this talk about the dems building their base, I’ve been politically aware since the late 60s, and am I missing something? Haven’t the dems lost over a 1000 seats in government since 2010? I live in lil Tijuana, well thats what I call it, in San Diego, I’m retired, so I see whats going on pretty much, anyway, I didn’t notice any mexican crowd at the polls. In fact, not a one!!! Seriously, not a one. I anticipated a rush to my polling station, nevered happened. Could it be, i mean this respectfully, that a lot of you commentors get stuck in a rut and just repeat what you hear? Maybe you all need to come up with your own original ideas. Get a grip on yourselves, communism isn’t going to happen in America. This story keeps getting traction from everyone because they can’t think for themselves.

Do you seriously believe the Mexican base (or any other illegals base) would actually show up at the polls to vote? They would have voted by mail. People have already tested the California idea of preventing illegal voting. THEY dont care as long as the illegals vote for Democrats!

“A good communist finds a use for everything. Nothing is more useful than a useful idiot. —–V. Lenin”
Certainly applies to some of out pro-immigration leftist politicians doesnt it?

You would think if you were a legal mexican you would relish going to the polls to vote. Wouldn’t you be so proud to vote, you’d want to get one of those stickers to show everyone you voted. So you fixating on illegals, we’re talkimg about immigrants period. I dont see them using the mail in ballot.

I always go back to the thought, why do white people want to give away all their sh-t. I know you intellectuals can use your theories and communism bs to go on and on about why this and that, but it boils down to all you white people wanting to give away all your sh-t. It isnt communism, its American greed thats going to be the end to America. Stop hiring all these unskilled, uneducated brown people and hire a couple educated white guys to mow your lawn and pick your fruit. Or better yet, find yourself some middle aged white people that havent worked in nion 6-8 yrs. That outa work out real well.