Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 23, 2014

Romney’s ‘Self-Deport’ Option Could Be Part of House Immigration Plan

The House immigration working group is mulling a proposal that involves “self-deportation” as part of a strategy to make a comprehensive overhaul acceptable to conservatives.

The concept was thrust into the national conversation by 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor infamously suggested during the GOP primary campaign that illegal immigrants might leave the U.S. voluntarily — or “self-deport” — over time if the government eliminated incentives for them to stay, including the ability to find work. Romney was responding to a question about how to address the problem of undocumented residents short of forcible government roundups and deportations.

The remark was ridiculed by Democrats and later credited with costing Romney the Hispanic support he needed to run competitively against President Barack Obama. But the bipartisan House immigration working group is developing a proposal designed to make self-deportation an attractive option for undocumented immigrants as they navigate what would presumably be a completely new legal framework. The plan was detailed by a Republican congressional aide familiar with the House working group’s negotiations.

As I reported Monday, this new system would require illegal immigrants who want to legalize to plead guilty to breaking the law and accept a sentence of probation in federal court. The arduous path to citizenship also would mandate that newly legalized immigrants pay fines and back taxes. However, undocumented immigrants who either couldn’t afford or simply didn’t want to pay penalties that might run in the tens of thousands of dollars could avoid doing so.

Under a House working group proposal, illegal immigrants who wanted to forgo the payment of back taxes and fines would first have to identify as undocumented with federal authorities, probably within six months of the new immigration law going into effect. They would have another six months to leave the country, after which they could get in line to immigrate legally under a new system that would include expanded visa programs for high- and low-skilled workers intended to facilitate entry into the country for the purposes of obtaining employment.

“You can take advantage of new visa programs and not have to pay those back taxes,” the GOP congressional aide said.

The revamped and strengthened e-verify component of the proposed immigration overhaul is supposed to discourage these former undocumented immigrants from once again crossing the border illegally. How? House immigration negotiators are proposing stiff penalties for employees who hire undocumented individuals, and would simplify the e-verify process to make the checks easy to process. Businesses would have anywhere from six months to 18 months to achieve compliance, depending on their size.

Just last week, House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., scheduled hearings for an e-verify bill sponsored by immigration hardliner Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, and a bill to overhaul the employment visa program. The latter legislation was authored by Goodlatte. The House Judiciary committee also plans to grant a hearing to the Senate’s “gang of eight” proposal after it returns from this week’s recess.

  • American

    Republicans saw how well that went over during the Presidential election. I’ve been a long time Republican. One of those moderate conservative Republicans that one Congressman said wasn’t really a Republican. I guess he wants more to leave the Party then already has. It’s time for my Party to get off of the negative white only representation.
    Just when I think my Party has learned that the Party of No and hate has learned it’s lesson they start to slip back into it all again.

    • zooed

      “…party of no and hate…”
      Hey troll, do you really think anyone will believe you’re a Republican with this powdered-crotch drivel?

      • Ubi Panis

        I’m a Reagan Republican and I certainly share American’s feelings about the current party being too hateful and exclusionary. You can’t win with just old, rich, white, straight, christian males. At least not in the long term.

        • aniptofar

          I call bull hockey.

          Ubi Panis: Where there is bread, there is (my) country. So where you can steal bread, go there!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1536374340 Tom Smith

          We’re not hateful.
          We love the American People.
          We want to free up the 15 million American jobs occupied by illegal aliens and award them to the GREAT American People.

          • Ubi Panis

            You say you love the “American People” but what you are referring to are the legal class of citizens. I consider immigrants to be American people too, they live here, they have their lives here, just because the government considers them sub-human doesn’t mean they aren’t Americans.

          • American

            What you fail to acknowledge or perhaps you don’t know many of those remaining illegals are married to, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters of American citizens. It does no one any good to help one by hurting another. Plus regardless of what you choose to believe many illegals do jobs that most Americans won’t either do or they won’t do them for long.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rachel-Guess/100001271026565 Rachel Guess

          I am an independent, and I was around when IRCA passed in 1986, the first and supposedly ONLY amnesty. We were promised border security and interior enforcement then if we would pass this ONE TIME amnesty. It pass, and the American people never got what was promised. NO DEAL!

          • American

            The border will never be completely secure. But what they didn’t do back then they are doing in the new reform. They are making it extremely difficult for business to hire them without the correct documentation. Now I know some here think they don’t come for the jobs but the freebies but that’s not true imo. If they can’t work then and only then do they leave. As an example see how many left when the economy got bad. They couldn’t find work.

        • American

          I knew that I wasn’t the last of the moderate conservatives. It’s nice to know that more are around. We really need a lot more like you to filter some of the extremes that have worked their way into the party.

      • American

        I believe after the election they referred to themselves as that as well. Which was a very accurate description. It truly doesn’t matter if you believe that I’m a long time Republican because I am one. I joined when I was 18 and I’m now 65 so I consider that a long time. My party has gone way too far towards being a radical right wing party. That’s scary to me and it should be to all of you as well. We really need to get more moderation in our party and get rid of the extremism. We also need to be adhereing to the Constitution which is supposed to be what tempers the Governments laws restricting our personal liberties.

    • aniptofar

      The ONLY reason BO is president is because he is black. What happens next time when you have a whitey?

      • American

        Keep telling yourself that. He simply had plans that the American people liked better then the plans that Romney was advocating.

        • aniptofar

          You mean like redistribution. You mean like pig ford? You mean like a sucky economy that keeps sucking. The AA population voted for him like they had guns to their heads. BOs election was all about racism. My mom voted for him because she thought it would look bad if a black man only had one term as president!

          • American

            I mean people voted for him because he was the better choice between him and Romney. It will take a more moderate Republican to get the hearts of Americans. No one likes those that talk about helping the rich to become richer and poor to become poorer. Look at what the Republicans want to cut….our social security and medicare. They take the money out which didn’t belong to them then they want to cut it. That money belonged to those that paid into it over the years.

          • aniptofar

            People voted for him because of his skin color. That is the dominant reason why BO is president. The republicans don’t want to cut anything. The big problem with SSI and medicare is there is literally not enough money in the world to pay those obligations. The avg person pays no where near the 500k/person those programs cost.

  • Leota2

    Republicans are really starting to seem like the zombie apocalypse. They just keep plodding and walking into the same stupid walls. They will never learn,

    • aniptofar

      I would think the zombie would apply to liberals who think we can keep importing third world welfare recipients and have a decent country to live in.

  • http://twitter.com/DrSquishy DrSquishy

    Is Guiterrez going to go along with this.

    • aniptofar

      Guiterrez is a traitor.

  • jtkell100

    Marco Rubio, who has called Mr. DeMint his best friend endorsed Mr. Rubio early on in his 2010 Senate bid, when he was still a long-shot Tea Party candidate, and Mr. Rubio has said that Mr. DeMint is his best friend.
    When Rubio joined this this gang and became the defacto leader he knew that bill the the six senators ( 4 Dems and two Rhinos) would write would be, like the Obama Care Heath bill, a Christree for tree Democrats. He ran for election on the promise that he would not support any bill unless it had the border security first. Now this bill will financially destroy this Country and the Republican Party.
    Now look what he has done. Betrayed his most early ardent supporter, all his constituents in Florida and most of the Tea Party. What does this tell you about this Man? In my opinion Rubio will be a Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, John McCain man that will say one thing to get elected and then join a gang to write a bill that is mumbo jumbo. No border security first as promised. If this is what your best friends do to you and our Nation, count me out.

    • Ubi Panis

      “Now this bill will financially destroy this Country and the Republican Party.”

      Gee I wonder if it was extreme rhetoric that cost Republicans the 2012 election? When will they ever learn.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rachel-Guess/100001271026565 Rachel Guess

        No Ubi, it was rigged voting machines. That won’t be the case next year during a non POTUS election. It’s going to be a repeat of 2010.

      • Archie Bunker

        Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, recently published a dynamic analysis of how immigration reform might affect GDP and projected that such a reform would increase GDP growth by 0.9% each year. Over a decade this would reduce the projected federal deficit by $2.7tn without raising taxes – largely through present taxation on more workers and rising incomes.

        The Cato Institute commissioned a study by professor Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda of UCLA that projected $1.5tn in economic growth (pdf) in response to an immigration reform similar to the Senate plan and conversely should the United States take the advice of those who would deport all “illegal immigrants” the GDP would fall $2.6tn over the decade.

        Economic Benefits of Reform:

        Immigrant populations will increase the size of economic opportunity by creating new businesses and expanding the scope and quantity of economic production. These activities translate to positive affects on the broader economy. When reform was first introduced in 2007, the Congressional Budget Office analyzed President George W. Bush’s proposed immigration overhaul. The CBO, as Ezra Klein notes, found that modernizing the system would increase federal revenue by $48 billion while costing only $23 billion in increased public services — before even considering the broader economic benefits. There is general consensus across the ideological spectrum that the economic benefits to immigration reform will be a boon for the U.S. economy.

        Factoring in broader economic benefits, research from the left-leaning Center for American Progress finds reform would add $109 billion additional tax revenue, create 121,000 jobs due to increased consumer spending, and add $832 billion in U.S. GDP over 10-years. Further, an analysis from the right-leaning American Action Forum illustrates that benchmark immigration reform would raise the pace of economic growth by nearly a percentage point over the near term, raise GDP per capita by over $1,500 and reduce the cumulative federal deficit by over $2.5 trillion. Think tanks compete with numbers and ideas. Finding two on as far on the opposite side of the spectrum as Center for American Progress and American Action Forum in agreement on an issue is a rare occurrence. The data and facts supporting immigration reform simply do not lie.

        • jerseycityjoan

          That might be true if we brought in mostly people who made good incomes and paid lots more in taxes than they used in government benefits.

          But most of the immigrants we bring in are refugees/asylum seekers or the poor family members of prior immigrants. These people usually don’t speak English well and pay little to no federal income taxes. They cost their states and local government far more in healthcare and educational benefits than they pay in taxes.

          We “lose” tax money on our own poor. We sure won’t do any better with people from overseas.

    • American

      Speak for yourself. #1. The immigration reform bill won’t destroy either the Country or the Republican party. Only the Republican party can destroy itself by keeping with the radical nothing done during Obamas term to help the American people and no cooperation with the Democrats to make things better for all here. #2. No betrayal either. I live in Fl and I like what he is doing to get the reform done without all the catches but with immigration inforcements that will make a difference. I think you’re just sore because there will be immigration reform.

    • Archie Bunker

      De Mint is a LIAR . Here are FACTS that are from the Heritage foundation.
      CHECK IT OUT. DON’T BE A FOLLY :)

      THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION RESEARCH FOUND THAT UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT ADD TO THE ECONOMY & GDP NOT TAKE FROM IT. HERE IS THE LINK :) http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2006/03/the-real-problem-with-immigration-and-the-real-solution

  • No Mass Amnesty

    The House bill should include an amendment to the birthright citizenship act, stating that at least one parent must be a citizen, or both parents must be legal residents.

    If that’s not included in the final bill, NO DEAL!

    • Ubi Panis

      Uhhh…what if someone is born here to parents of a country that doesn’t recognize foreign born people with 1 parent from that country. Those people would become stateless under your idea.

      • aniptofar

        Ubi Panis: Where there is bread, there is (my) country. So where you can steal bread, go there!

      • No Mass Amnesty

        Okay…and why is that OUR (America’s) problem?.

      • jerseycityjoan

        What “stateless people” are there?

        We are the only rich country that gives automatic citizenship to all at birth except Canada.

        Obviously all the people who are born in European countries who are not granted citizenship have documents from the countries of their parents’ birth, or we’d have heard about it.

    • American

      That would take a Constitutional amendment which won’t be an easy thing to get passed. Plus it would never happen when you require both parents to be either legal residents or citizens. One parent you might have a chance but it would never happen requireing both.

    • Archie Bunker

      Read this who is to blame for our economy, its NOT the POOR MIGRANTS.
      300 BILLION$$ are not paid in taxes by USA CITIZENS, WHO CHEAT ON their TAXES that’s A TRILLION$$ EVERY 3.3YEARS.
      DONT BLAME THE POOR, STOP CHEATING AND OUR NATION IS OK. :):) http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    • American

      Constitutional Amendment is what changing birthright citizenship will take. Not a House bill.

  • ratfishtim

    They can “simplify the e-verify process to make the checks easy to process” for undocumented immigrants, but can’t do an easy to process background check for guns?.

  • floridawasp

    Common knowledge such a bill has no chance of becoming law it is but for show. There are more than enough secure and cocooned conservatives in the house to force votes on such issues. Ensuring reelection for themselves and damage to their party.

  • aniptofar

    Deny jobs, housing, and any type of benefit for at least 5 years. After 5 years we can revisit the issue. Prove enforcement before any promise of amnesty of any type. In addition, no one should be considered a citizen if their parents were in country illegally.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1536374340 Tom Smith

    The GOP needs to drop the “plead guilty” bullshit and any expanded
    “Agricultural Worker Program”.
    Here are the necessary “reforms”:
    1. 2,000 mile triple layered electrified border wall.
    2. Immediete E-Verify implementation.
    3. Visa tracking program.
    4. Deportation of ALL illegal aliens.

    • Archie Bunker

      Read this whos to blame for our economy, its NOT the POOR MIGRANTS.
      300 BILLION$$ are not paid in taxes by USA CITIZENS, WHO CHEAT ON their TAXES that’s A TRILLION$$ EVERY 3.3YEARS.
      DONT BLAME THE POOR, STOP CHEATING AND OUR NATION IS OK. :):) http://www.usdebtclock.org/

  • levotb

    Drucker is wrong! The first we heard of a “touchback Amnesty” scheme wasn’t from Romney last year! It was by the concept’s RINOd author, Mike Pence. In 2006, Rep. Pence introduced his touchback bill to Dennis Hastert who never allowed it to reach the House floor. It was so stupid, so unworkable, few Congressmen wanted anything to do with it. Romney started his 2008 Presidential run in 2006-2007 promoting the touchback scheme. In a Republican tv debate in 2011, he again brought it up, calling it “a touchback green card” Amnesty, a version of Pence’s plan with many little “Ellis Island” check-in points across the Border in the U.S. for those illegals who self-deport and touchback. But the idea originated with Mike Pence. Drucker needs to go back and research this.

  • overbusy

    They Don’t come for our job’s They come for America’s Welfare food-stamp’s and section 8 free health ! if they came for our Job’s then why Did’nt o’bama Put up Help want’ed ad’s in the Mexican embassy instead of food stamp’s then ! O’bama and congress Know why they come! and they hope to Dis place the American voter But how long will it be for the Mexican Displace the politician’s for one of their own! if the American People and voter’s Don’t Vote out the Politician’s first!. American’s Are letting the people THAT we elected to REPRESENT US do this to the voter’s the voter’s! Once the illegal’s get their voting right’d DO YOU THINK THEY WOULD LET THE POLITICIAN DO THIS TO THEM WHAT THESE CURRENT POLITICIAN’S ARE DOING TO THE AMERICAN PUPLIC! they come for job’s. No more advertising food-stamp’s or welfare etc. BRING A HELP WANTED SECTION FROM THE NEW’S PAPER. NO WELFARE,FOOD-STAMP’S BANK ACCOUNT’S-CAR-LOAN’S-EDUCATION NOTHING IF THEY ARE IN THIS COUNTRY ILLEGALY 1st time deport them 2nd time arrest

  • Archie Bunker

    Before you Scream and show Ignorance and Hate at least read the Immigration Law regarding Undocumented Immigrants.

    1. Myth: Undocumented immigrants are getting government services for free.

    REALITY: They actually give more than they take. Over the past two decades, most studies that have tried to estimate the fiscal impact of immigration in the United States have concluded that the tax revenue generated by immigrants —both legal and undocumented— exceeds the cost of the services they use. Thus, an Economic Report of the President published in 2005 estimated that all immigrants, regardless of status, paid on average US$80,000 per capita more in taxes than the cost of the government services they were expected to use over their lifetime. Stephen C. Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration, said that by 2007, the Social Security trust fund had received a net benefit of somewhere between US $120 billion and US $240 billion from undocumented immigrants. That represented 5.4% to 10.7% of the trust fund’s total assets of US$2.24 trillion that year. The Social Security Administration estimates that two-thirds of unauthorized immigrant workers (about 5.6 million people) were paying into the system in 2007. Unauthorized immigrants paid a net contribution of US$12 billion in 2007 alone.

    2. Myth: Undocumented workers do not pay taxes.

    Reality: They do, and in several different ways. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the majority of undocumented immigrants pays income tax using, among other mechanisms, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN’s), while most employers withhold federal, state and local taxes from such workers. In fact, between one-half and three-quarters of undocumented immigrants pay federal and state income taxes, Social Security, and Medicare taxes.Undocumented immigrants pay the same real estate taxes—whether they own homes or taxes are passed on to them through rents—and the same sales and other consumption taxes as everyone else. The majority of state and local costs for schooling and other services is funded by these taxes. Additionally, the U.S. Social Security Administration has estimated that three quarters of undocumented immigrants pay payroll taxes, and that they contribute US$6-7 billion in Social Security funds that they will be unable to claim (Porter 2005). This amount, moreover, keeps accumulating, generating US$6 to US$7 billion in Social Security annual tax revenue, and an additional US$1.5 billion in Medicare taxes. This money, according to the 2008 annual report of the Social Security Board of Trustees, will help reduce the SSA’s projected longterm
    deficit by 15%, which is equivalent to a 0.3% rise in the pay roll tax.

    3. Myth: Undocumented workers are a burden on the U.S. economy.

    Reality: Immigrants not only pay taxes, but they also contribute significantly to the economy.

    In a 2007 report, the White House Council of Economic Advisers concluded that, because immigrants increase the size of the total labor force, they complement the U.S. born workforce, and stimulate capital investment by adding workers to the labor pool. Immigration increases the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by roughly US$37 billion each year.9 Given that employment has been the main driver behind undocumented immigration to the U.S. in recent decades, it should come as no surprise that this group is particularly hard working and has a high employment rate (96%).10 Moreover, beyond undocumented immigrants, the Hispanic community as a whole has increasingly contributed to the U.S. economy. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic owned firms increased by nearly 44 percent between 2002 and 2007, growing from 1.6 million businesses to 2.3 million. Employment at Hispanic-owned firms also grew by 26 percent from 1.5 million to 1.9 million workers, a growth rate significantly higher than that of non-minority-owned firms. Hispanic-owned businesses generated US$345.2 billion in sales in 2007, up 55.5 percent compared with 2002. And finally, of all Hispanic-owned firms with multiple employees, approximately 44,000 have revenues of more than US$1 million, representing an increase of more than 51 percent over 2002.

    4. Myth: Undocumented immigrants are taking jobs away from Americans.
    REALITY: Undocumented Immigrants differ from U.S. citizens in their economic sectors and occupation.

    Among unauthorized immigrants in the labor force, 30% are service workers and 21% are construction workers. An additional 15% are production and installation workers. Two-thirds (66%) of unauthorized immigrant workers are employed in these three broad categories; by contrast, only 31% of U.S.-born workers perform those jobs. Unauthorized immigrants provide an important source of manpower in agriculture, construction, food processing, building cleaning and maintenance, and other similar jobs, at a time when the share of low-skilled, U.S.-born individuals in the labor force has fallen dramatically. Not only do unauthorized immigrants provide an important source of low-skilled labor, but they also respond to market conditions in ways that legal immigration presently cannot. Undocumented inflows broadly track economic performance, rising during periods of expansion, and stalling during downturns. Undocumented immigration is sensitive to labor market demand. Immigrants are more likely to work in seasonal activities, such as agriculture, which suffer the largest job losses during downturns. Therefore, the size of the immigrant population changes in response to economic downturns or expansion. Immigration is not the cause of today’s high unemployment rates. In fact, reliable estimates show that immigration levels —both undocumented and applications for H-1B visas for high-skilled professionals— have fallen along with the economic downturn. In the longer term, however, the U.S. economy is also likely to need immigrant labor as the fertility rate in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is projected to fall below the replacement level by 2015-2020. The number of workers age 55 and over will likely increase by 49%, compared to projected increases of only 5% among those 25 to 54 and 9% among the 16 to 24 age group, creating a gap in the population pyramid between the economically active population and those in retirement age that is likely to be filled by immigrants.

    5. MYTH: Undocumented immigrants are a burden to the healthcare system.

    REALITY: Quite the contrary, immigrants contribute more than they take.

    Federal, state and local governments spend approximately US$1.1 billion annually on healthcare costs for undocumented immigrants, aged 18-64, or approximately US$11 in taxes for each U.S. household. This compares to the US $88 billion spent on all health care for non-elderly adults in the U.S. in 2000. Foreign-born individuals tend to use fewer health care services because they are relatively healthier than their U.S.- born counterparts. For example, in Los Angeles County, “total medical spending on undocumented immigrants was US$887 million in 2000, 6% of total costs, although undocumented immigrants comprise 12 percent of the region’s residents.” A 2007 study based on data from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey found that “undocumented Mexicans and other undocumented Latinos reported less use of health care services and poorer experiences with care compared with their U.S.-born counterparts.” In 2007, the Oregon Center for Public Policy estimated that undocumented immigrants pay state income, excise, and property taxes, as well as federal Social Security and Medicare taxes, which “total about US$134 million to US$187 million annually.” In addition, “taxes paid by Oregon employers on behalf of undocumented workers total about US$97 million to US$136 million annually.” As the report goes on to note, undocumented workers are ineligible for the Oregon Health Plan, food stamps, and temporary cash assistance. A study by the Iowa Policy Project concluded that “undocumented immigrants pay an estimated aggregate amount of US$40 million to US$62 million in state taxes each year.” Moreover, “undocumented immigrants working on the books in Iowa and their employers also contribute annually an estimated US$50 million to US$77.8 million in federal Social Security and Medicare taxes from which they will never benefit. Rather than draining state resources, undocumented immigrants are in some cases subsidizing services that only documented residents can access.”

    6. MYTH: Undocumented immigrants are responsible for higher crime rates.

    REALITY: Current and historical studies show instead that immigration is associated with lower crime rates and lower incarceration rates.

    Since the early 1990s, as the immigrant population, especially the undocumented one, increased to historic highs, the rates of violent crimes and property crimes in the United States decreased significantly, in some instances to historic lows – as measured both by crimes reported to the police and by national victimization surveys. Moreover, data from the Census and a wide range of other empirical studies show that for every ethnic group without exception, incarceration rates among young men are lowest for immigrants, even for those who are the least educated. This holds true especially for the Mexicans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans who make up the bulk of the
    undocumented population. These patterns have been observed consistently over the last three decennial censuses, a period that spans the current era of high immigration. One can also recall similar national level findings reported by three major government commissions during the first three decades of the 20th century. The lowest incarceration rates among Latin American immigrants are seen for the groups who account for the majority of the undocumented: the Salvadorans and Guatemalans (0.52 percent), and the Mexicans (0.70 percent).

    THE BOTTOM LINE: Undocumented immigrants are an important component of the U.S. economy. They meet the labor demand in sectors in which they do not directly compete with U.S.-born workers. The great majority of migrant workers are taxpaying, hardworking, and law-abiding people who are integrating into U.S. society.

    • jerseycityjoan

      You can’t discuss the cost of illegal immigrants by using figures that include legal and illegal immigrants.

      The relatively small number of well educated and well paid legal immigrants at the top skew the numbers big time.

      Also illegal immigrants do not qualify for many benefits that legal immigrants receive.

  • Archie Bunker

    THE UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS ARE PAYING MORE TAXES THAN YOU THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    IMMIGRANTS AND TAXES:
    Q: “Is it true that illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes and drain our economy?”
    A: As Ben Franklin said, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Like the rest of us, unauthorized immigrants pay taxes on their property and anything they buy. More than half of them have taxes taken out of their paychecks, but because our immigration system is dysfunctional, these taxes are paid under false Social Security numbers. We need a new regimen in which we know who is paying taxes and can ensure that no one is getting a free ride. The only way to do that is to pull unauthorized immigrants out of the shadows and get them on the right side of the law.
    Three state-level studies have found that unauthorized immigrants pay more in taxes than they use in benefits. In Iowa, unauthorized immigrants pay an estimated $40 to $62 million in state taxes, while they and their employers contribute an additional $50 million to $77.8 million in federal, Social Security, and Medicare taxes from which they will never benefit. In Oregon, unauthorized immigrants—who are not eligible for any state benefits—pay between $134 million and $187 million in taxes each year. Finally, in Texas, the State Comptroller found that, without unauthorized residents, the gross state product in 2005 would have been $17.7 billion less.

    THE BOTTOM LINE: Undocumented immigrants are an important component of the U.S. economy. They meet the labor demand in sectors in which they do not directly compete with U.S.-born workers. The great majority of migrant workers are taxpaying, hardworking, and law-abiding people who are integrating into U.S. society.

    The economics of immigration, Stephen C. Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration and someone who enjoys bipartisan support for his straightforwardness, said that by 2007, the Social Security trust fund had received a net benefit of somewhere between $120 billion and $240 billion from unauthorized immigrants.
    That represented an astounding 5.4 percent to 10.7 percent of the trust fund’s total assets of $2.24 trillion that year. The cumulative contribution is surely higher now. Unauthorized immigrants paid a net contribution of $12 billion in 2007 alone, Goss said.

    Previous estimates circulating publicly and in Congress had placed the annual contributions at roughly half of Goss’s 2007 figure and listed the cumulative benefit on the order of $50 billion.

    The Social Security trust fund faces a solvency crisis that would be even more pressing were it not for these payments.
    Adding to the Social Security irony is that the restrictionists are mostly OLDER AND RETIRED WHITES from longtime American families. The very people, in other words, who benefit most from the Social Security payments by unauthorized immigrants.

    Comprehensive Immigration Reform Would Boost the Economy & Help ALL American Workers: As opposed to the mass deportation, enforcement-only approach, addressing and fixing the immigration system in a wholesale manner will be a boon to the U.S. economy and all U.S. workers. That is why both the AFL-CIO and Change to Win created The Labor Movement’s Joint Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Dr. Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda conducted a 2010 report for the Center for American Progress and the Immigration Policy Center that found that “Unlike the current enforcement-only strategy, comprehensive reform would raise the ‘wage floor’ for the entire U.S. economy—to the benefit of both immigrant and native-born workers.” According to the study, granting legal status to undocumented immigrants and creating flexible legal limits on future immigration flows would generate enough consumer-spending to support 750,000-900,000 jobs. The report also found that the mass deportation approach would reduce GDP by 1.46 percent annually, amounting to a loss of $2.6 trillion over 10 years.

    MYTH: Immigrants take jobs from Americans.
    FACT: Immigrants create new jobs, and complement the skills of theU.S. native workforce.

    MYTH: Immigrants drive down the wages of American workers.
    FACT: Immigrants increase overall economic productivity and have no significant effect on overall wages for American workers.

    MYTH: Immigrants will cause massive, unnecessary population growth
    in the United States.
    FACT: As the baby boomer generation begins to retire and the U.S.fertility rate declines, it will be necessary to replace our aging workforce with immigrants to maintain economic growth.

    MYTH: Undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes.
    FACT: Undocumented immigrants pay billions of dollars in taxes each year, often for services they will never receive.

    MYTH: Immigrants come to the United States for welfare benefits.
    FACT: The law forbids immigrants from using welfare services.

    MYTH: The Government should just enforce the law to solve our
    immigration problems.
    FACT: Enforcement alone will not solve our immigration problems. The cost would be prohibitive, it would have a detrimental effect on
    the U.S. economy, and it would simply push certain immigrantsfurther into the underground economy.

    MYTH: Immigrants are not assimilating.
    FACT: Immigrants are assimilating at much the same rate as pastwaves of immigrants.

    MYTH: Immigrants are more likely to commit crimes than
    U.S. natives.
    FACT: Immigrants have a much lower incarceration rate than U.S. natives.

    MYTH: Workers that come to the United States as temporary workers
    will stay in the country once their visas expire.
    FACT: Historically, migrants from Mexico worked in the United States for a few months or years, but then returned home. Border enforcement has made that pattern much more difficult.

  • jerseycityjoan

    Who will go back home and wait? Not the immigrants already here.

    Who wants to authorize millions of extra work visas to bring back the people we managed to get to go home?

    Why would we do that? And even if we did have such a program, obviously we would not make an iron-clad promise to individuals leaving the US that they could return within a certain period of time.

    Just completely unrealistic — and undesirable.

    Won’t anybody think about allowing Americans have a crack at American jobs? Now there’s a new concept!

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