Saying the federal government is now in the business of redistribution, The Heritage Foundation's Jim DeMint and Robert Rector argue in a Washington Post
op-ed Monday that the immigration reform bill before Congress will cost Americans in their pocketbooks or by raising the national debt.
"Unlawful immigrants have relatively low earning potential because, on average, they have 10th-grade educations and low skills," they say. Such heads of households receive, on average, four times more in government services and benefits than they pay in taxes.
Heritage released a study on Monday saying that the bill will cost $6.3 trillion.
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Rather than forcing the "complicated, lengthy bill through Congress, the men suggested "piece-by-piece immigration solutions." They pressed for streamlining the legal immigration system, encouraging assimilation, and fulfillment of vows to secure borders and strengthen workplace enforcement.
Illegal immigrants already impose costs on police, hospitals, schools and other services, DeMint and Rector said. "Putting them on a path to citizenship means that within a few years, they will qualify for the full panoply of government programs: more than 80 means-tested welfare programs, as well as Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare."
An efficient, merit-based system, they say, would boost the economy and lessen the burden on taxpayers.
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