A new report by Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy is a desperate attempt to sell the American public on the “benefits” of mass illegal immigration amidst an economic crisis that has the vast majority of Americans questioning why we need any immigration at all, claims the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)
“The Rice report relies on false premises, selective use of data and obfuscatory language to arrive at an ideologically based conclusion,” charged Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “The vast majority of employed illegal aliens in the United States work at low-wage, low-skill jobs. The median household income for illegal aliens is around $36,000. It is a simple fact of life that people who don’t earn a lot of income don’t pay a lot of taxes. As such, those tax contributions simply cannot pay for the public services they use.”
According to a thorough and itemized analysis by FAIR of the taxes paid by illegal aliens compared to the services they and their dependents use, Texas incurs a net cost burden of about $11 billion a year.
Among the key factors omitted by the Rice University analysis:
- Most low-income tax filers are not taxpayers; most of their withholdings are refunded to them. In addition, illegal aliens with U.S.-born children are eligible for tax credits which can result in net negative tax contributions on their part.
- Nationally, illegal aliens send about $150 billion in remittances back to their home countries. This is money that does not circulate through the economy or generate revenues for local governments that provide most of the services used by illegal aliens.
- The report begins from the false premise that the economic output and tax contributions of illegal aliens are irreplaceable. In fact, all of the essential jobs filled by illegal aliens could, and likely would, be filled by legal U.S. workers. These workers would probably command higher wages (and be more likely to work on-the-books), thereby generating more in tax revenues, and less likely to send vast amounts of their income to relatives abroad.
“The claims offered in this study are what most Texans would politely refer to as, ‘all hat and no cattle,'” Stein remarked. “Even in normal times, the assertion that low-wage illegal aliens provide a net fiscal benefit to the state strains credulity. Under current circumstances, such claims are a laughable attempt to sell the people of Texassnake oil solutions to an unprecedented economic and fiscal crisis.
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country’s largest immigration reform group. With over 2 million members and supporters nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.
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