A cost can be more than just monetary. It can include destruction of property and land, loss of jobs, loss of a way of life, missed opportunities for accomplishing life goals, etc.
When illegal aliens crossing the desert into the United States get lost, they occasionally start fires in the hope of being found. This can have devastating effects in the southwestern border states that have been experiencing drought conditions for years. Fires started by illegal aliens have cost millions of dollars to fight and extinguish.
We’ve all heard stories of illegal aliens displacing citizens in the workplace, and this includes teenagers. The aliens will do the work cheaper than the teenagers. This may not sound important, but it has long-term effects on the teenagers and society as a whole.
Summer jobs were typically how teenagers learned business basics, such as how to earn money and accepting responsibility. These skills would help them throughout their lives. Today, when people enter the workforce, they no longer have these skills.
The jobs for teenagers began disappearing in the 1990s, as numerous amnesties for illegal aliens resulted in the aliens taking the teenagers jobs for less pay than the teenagers were getting.
According to a Federal Reserve report, there has been a 36% drop in jobs for teenagers aged 16 to 19 since 2000. College-aged workers, 20 to 24 years old, also experienced an 8% decrease in job availability during the same period. The report also stated that teenagers have been impacted significantly more than adults.
The peak unemployment rate of 27.2% for teenagers occurred between 2009 and 2011. It has been slowly decreasing since then. Surprisingly, the unemployment for teenage boys is approximately 5% higher than for teenage girls. In 2000, the unemployment gap was 1.8%.
What has Obama done to address this problem? In typical liberal fashion, he changed our language! Instead of using the correct term of illegal alien, we must now use “undocumented workers.” Well, as the saying goes, a pig with lipstick is still a pig.
The Heritage Foundation produced a report entitled “The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Households to the U.S. Taxpayer.” The report calculated there are 17.7 million low-scale households, some of which are illegal aliens. The total fiscal deficit for these households is $397 billion each year. The report estimates that 25%, or $100 billion, of that yearly total is from legal and illegal immigration.
The legal immigration system is focused on bringing in people without a high school degree. During the last 20 years more than 11 million high school dropouts have been imported.
The Heritage report contains a chart showing the cost of low-scale workers. They pay under $10,000 in taxes, yet receive more than $32,000 in benefits. This means a tax burden of $22,000 for each illegal alien, each year. The employers of these illegal aliens aren’t providing the benefits that they do to citizens, so the costs are being shifted onto the taxpayer, and the corporations make a tiny bit more profit. The Chamber of Commerce wants all costs for low-skill labor to be the responsibility of the American taxpayer. A deficit of nearly $400 billion each year means a deficit of nearly $4 trillion in a decade. This is an unsustainable deficit for any country, including the United States. The Chamber of Commerce is only looking at the short-term benefits to its members, and has no regard for the impact on this country.
A recent report by the Department of Homeland Security found that the tax payments of immigrants, both legal and illegal, from Mexico and Latin America are typically much less than citizens. In a 2004 Center for Immigration Studies study, they found that illegal alien households used $2,700 more in services than what they paid in federal income taxes. The fiscal drain at the federal level was directly related to the education level of the head of the household. If this person had less than a high school education, the drain was $15,000, and if the person had a high school degree, the drain was $3,700. There was actually a fiscal benefit if the person had more education than the high school level.
A 1996 study showed the enormous cost of immigration to the U.S. taxpayer. From 1997 to 2006, the total estimated net cost of immigration was approximately $865 billion for taxpayers! In 2000, the cost of immigration (both legal and illegal) was $61 billion, and this was after immigrants contribution in taxes had been subtracted. By the end of 2002, the cost was estimated to have risen to $66 billion. The illegal alien population has more than doubled since 2002.
The Center for Immigration Studies has calculated the cost of native-born incomes versus illegal alien incomes. Natives of the country receiving the illegal aliens lose in real terms. They have calculated the cost of this to U.S. natives in 2002 as $136 billion, or 1.3 percent of U.S. GDP.
According to a 2009 study, illegal aliens cost the federal government $346 billion annually.
In 1996, Congress passed new welfare legislation that restricted legal immigrants from acquiring most welfare benefits. This legislation was amended by Congress in mid-1998 by reinstating food stamps to a quarter of a million children, elderly and handicapped immigrants if they had entered the United States before August 1996, when the welfare reform legislation took effect. Congress also agreed to restore Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to 420,000 legal immigrants who had lost benefits under the welfare reform, at an estimated cost of $11.5 billion per year.
Providing medical care for immigrants costs U.S. taxpayers more than $20 billion annually, including $3.7 billion in Medicaid benefits for illegal immigrants.
The net extra burden placed on American taxpayers by illegal aliens is at least $45 billion each and every year. This money is spent on food stamps, aid to families with dependent children, low-income housing assistance, Social Security, earned income tax credits, Medicaid, and Medicare for illegal aliens. Vast sums of additional money is spent on illegal aliens by criminal justice, corrections, and a wide variety of other law enforcement programs.
Courtrooms across the country must provide interpreters for defendants that don’t speak English. Sometimes interpreters have to be flown in from other cities if a local interpreter can’t be found. Interpreter costs have been soaring over the last decade.
Supporters of globalization say that off-shoring jobs hasn’t hurt the U.S. economy. Domestic manufacturing output has expanded at a decent pace, and off-shoring doesn’t seem to have much of an effect. However, new evidence suggests off-shoring is causing worse damage on the U.S. economy than the numbers show. There is a significant problem in the way statistics treat off-shoring with serious economic implications. The problem is now being acknowledged by top government statisticians, and they say it could be substantial. The problem is the import price data published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As a result, many of the cost cuts and product innovations being made overseas by global companies and foreign suppliers aren’t being counted properly. This creates a problem because the government uses the erroneous import price data as part of its calculation for many other major economic statistics, including productivity, the output of the manufacturing sector, and real gross domestic product (GDP), which is supposed to be the inflation-adjusted value of all the goods and services produced inside the U.S.
The result is that off-shoring to low-cost countries creates “phantom GDP”, which is reported gains in GDP that don’t correspond to any actual domestic production. “There’s something real here, but we don’t know how much,” says the director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), which puts together the GDP figures. BusinessWeek roughly estimates that off-shoring may have created about $66 billion in phantom GDP gains since 2003. That would lower real GDP today by about half of 1%, which is substantial but not huge. But put another way, $66 billion would wipe out as much as 40% of the gains in manufacturing output over the same period.
The new numbers require a reassessment of productivity and wages. The official statistics show that productivity, or output per hour, grew at a 1.8% rate over the past three years. But taking the phantom GDP effect into account, the actual rate of productivity growth might be closer to 1.6%, about what it was in the 1980s. It becomes clear that “gains from trade are being measured instead of productivity,” according to an economist at the University of California at Davis and the director of the international trade and investment program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. “This has been missed.”
Phantom GDP helps explain why U.S. workers aren’t benefiting more as their companies become more efficient. The cost savings that companies are reaping “don’t represent increased productivity of American workers producing goods and services in the U.S.,” according to an economist from MIT. In contrast, compensation of senior executives is typically tied to profits, which have soared alongside off-shoring. Where are those vigorous corporate profits coming from? The strong earnings growth of U.S.-based corporations is still real, but it may be that fewer of the gains are coming from improvements in domestic productivity. In fact, holding down costs by moving key tasks overseas could be having a greater impact on corporate earnings than anyone guessed.
What does phantom GDP mean for policymakers? It calls into question the economic statistics that the Federal Reserve uses to guide monetary policy. If domestic productivity growth has been overstated for the past few years, that suggests the nation’s long-term sustainable growth rate may be lower than thought, and the Fed may have less leeway to cut rates.
In terms of trade policy, the new perspective suggests the U.S. may have a worse competitiveness problem than most people realized. It was easy to downplay the huge trade deficit as long as it seemed as though domestic growth was strong. But if the import boom is actually creating only a facade of growth, that’s a different story.
In 2007, a proposal was made by Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) that would have given the National Council of La Raza, an organization that advocates for civil rights for Hispanics and has connections to groups that advocate the separation of several southwestern states from the rest of the country, $5 million annually starting in 2008 with the funding to double the next year and then continue at that level “for each fiscal year thereafter.” The plan, H.R. 1999, was introduced in April and was quickly referred to a committee for action. Fortunately it was never enacted.
The legislation called for the money to be used for “community development” as well as “affordable housing” for neighborhoods “of Hispanic origin.” Yet, the organization’s financial report confirmed that it already received $5 million a year in federal grants, and nearly another $14 million a year in other grants, making up a majority of its $30 million annual budget. The legislation would have allowed the money to be spent by the National Council of La Raza or its development fund and left the door open for funding “such other activities as may be determined by the Secretary and the National Council of La Raza.”
According to the Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee (ALIPAC), “it’s unethical for any group engaged in politics to be receiving taxpayer funds. La Raza lobbies on issues and then lobbies to receive more money.” Apparently the Internal Revenue Service doesn’t have time to follow these types of activities closely enough, because it takes a lot of time to figure out what memos to lose and hard drives to erase to thwart Congressional investigations into your illegally targeting conservative non-profit organizations by delaying their 501(c) designations as being tax exempt.
The open-ended allocation referencing future fiscal years could have meant that not only tens of millions – but hundreds of millions – of taxpayer dollars would be allocated for the organization, according to ALIPAC. Also, since La Raza has hundreds of affiliate groups around the nation, the bottom line could have escalated dramatically.
A campaign has been set up by a group including La Raza letting Spanish-speaking people lobby the U.S. Senate directly, even coaching them what English words to use. It deceives congressional offices, with a high-tech process that strips away the 800 number people actually call, and forwards to Washington the callers’ home numbers, leaving the impression the multitude of calls are not part of an organized effort. The actual program is being run by the Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, which calls itself “a campaign … to achieve passage of workable comprehensive immigration reform legislation that serves our nation,” and includes the National Council of La Raza as a supporting member.
When the government deports non-Mexican illegal aliens in the U.S., they are flown from the interior of the U.S. to centers like Mesa, AZ, for deportation. This consists of being flown to their home country, usually in Central and South America. Approximately 51,000 non-Mexican foreign nationals were deported this way in Fiscal Year 2006, compared to 11,000 in Fiscal Year 2001. In Fiscal Year 2006, deportation flights cost $70.3 million, compared to $42 million in 2001. On average, 45 of the 127 seats available in the plane are filled.
The deportation flights began in the 1980s. Since 1995, the U.S. Marshals Service has been in charge of the program. An inspector general’s report that reviewed flights in 2004 and 2005 found that deportation planes frequently left the Mesa airport less than 50% full. ICE said they try to keep deportation flights full by making stops in several countries, although some countries limit the number of criminal citizens that can be returned at one time.
Analysts thought President Bush was demonstrating vigorous enforcement of immigration laws as a means of convincing Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Yet, after the Senate failed to pass the comprehensive immigration bill in June of 2007, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), some of the architects of the bill, and Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff all said the current immigration laws were unenforceable!
A 2007 report by the Department of Homeland Security contained some very revealing statistics regarding welfare usage by immigrants, both legal and illegal, although usage was higher among legal immigrants. The report found that 51% of Mexican immigrant households use one welfare program, and 28% use two or more. Approximately 45% of Latin American immigrant households use one welfare program, and 24% use two or more. Only 20% of U.S. citizens’ households use one welfare program, and 11% use two or more. At least one person was employed in approximately 90% of Mexican and Latin American households. This means their heavy use of welfare was a result of low incomes due to their low education levels. The number of illegal alien households using at least one welfare program was estimated at 1.4 million.
When comparing the use of public services among immigrants, it turns out that highly-educated immigrants (such as a college degree) use public services more than twice as many times as do native born citizens use welfare. Also, they are more than twice as likely to be uninsured. Surprisingly, the native-born grandchildren of Mexican immigrants (the third generation) are three times more likely to use welfare than other natives. Also, almost 50% of these grandchildren will live in or near poverty.
We’ve all heard about overcrowding in hospital emergency rooms because of illegal aliens using hospitals for routine medical care. When a hospital gets to the point where it can’t move a sufficient amount of the costs for uncompensated care to others, closing the emergency room is usually what happens. During the last 10 years, more than 60 hospitals in Los Angeles have closed their emergency rooms.