Illegal Immigration: An Economic Poison Pill

Article author: 
Spencer P. Morrison
Article publisher: 
American Thinker
Article date: 
4 October 2017
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 
The conversation surrounding illegal immigration is deeply personal for many people -- it is emotionally-charged and politically divisive. Debates often devolve into mud-slinging contests, and arguments morph into feigned outrage, even violent protests. But from an economic perspective the question is settled science: illegal aliens cost taxpayers billions, impoverish American workers, and are completely unnecessary for America’s economic success.
To begin with, illegal [alien] immigrants are expensive. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s 2017 report, illegal immigrants, and their children, cost American taxpayers a net $116 billion annually -- roughly $7,000 per alien annually. While high, this number is not an outlier: a recent study by the Heritage Foundation found that low-skilled immigrants (including those here illegally) cost Americans trillions over the course of their lifetimes, and a study from the National Economics Editorial found that illegal immigration costs America over $140 billion annually. As it stands, illegal immigrants are a massive burden on American taxpayers.
Although border control is a federal responsibility, state and local governments shoulder two-thirds of the costs associated with illegal immigration. Unsurprisingly, this costs California more than any other state...
Of course, the tax burden is only part of the story: illegal immigration also distorts the labor market, hurting American workers...
According to Pew Research, illegal immigration has flooded America’s labor market with at least 12 million new workers. This has dramatically, and rapidly increased the labor supply and therefore decreased wages for American workers...
The standard refrain can be summed up as: “we need illegals to do the jobs Americans won’t do.” This is nonsense for two reasons. First, the claim is predicated upon the false assumption that America’s labor market is saturated and requires more workers to continue growing. This could not be further from the truth: right now fewer that 150 million Americans (out of 320 million) are employed, likewise there are 23 million Americans currently looking for work ...
Second, the claim is undermined by actual labor statistics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, millions of Americans -- of all races -- currently work as janitors, laborers, and agricultural workers. In fact, only four percent of American agricultural workers are illegal aliens...