According to a recently released report by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, implementing a comprehensive immigration bill reform will come at a booming cost of $6.3 trillion over a span of 50 years.
The Cato Institute, a conservative think tank, reported a very different cost scenario. Cato reports that immigration reform will cost roughly $1.5 trillion in GDP over 10 years.
The general consensus from economists is that immigration reform will help improve the economy in numerous beneficial ways. However, the Heritage Foundation, has a differing opinion. Heritage has come up with its own way of demonstrating their belief regarding immigration reform and its impact on the economy.
The Heritage Foundation came up with a method known as “static scoring.” The foundation took a look at the impact of legalization but failed to factor in how an immigration reform bill could impact the economy. As a result, both conservative and liberal critics have rejected the report.
Where Heritage failed, Cato’s report used a method known as “dynamic” scoring, which attempts to account for the projected economic conditions and contributions of newly legalized immigrants.
Tim Kane, a chief economist for the Hudson Institute, noted that the Heritage report warns of the cost of legalizing undocumented immigrants but it does not clearly explain the cost of maintaining the “status quo.” Kane believes that the cost of maintaining the status quo would cost an estimated $3.5 trillion over 50 years, more in line with Cato’s report. The figure Kane derived does not account for positive economic benefits that would come with the reform since Heritage chose a “static” scoring over “dynamic” scoring.
One of the largest costs associated with reform is the expense of public education for children. Because public education is free for all children in the U.S. despite their immigration status, the cost of public education will continue to grow.
“Education costs make up 30 percent of the total amount of services that Heritage estimates undocumented immigrants will use. So including education artificially inflates Heritage’s overall price tag of the bill.”
Another false point in the Heritage report is that the poor stay poor. They reported that even if immigrants were granted legal status they would continue to take a substantial amount from government services as opposed to contributing to the economy. What Heritage did not mention is that if illegal immigrants are granted legal status they would be able to obtain jobs, better paid jobs, and by making more money will create broader benefits for the economy.
As a top Atlanta based immigration law firm, we understand the need to help one another in our efforts to obtain a comprehensive immigration reform. For information on how to further this movement please feel free to contact the Shirazi Law Group at your convenience.