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Following President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA, left-leaning advocates, economists, politicians and even corporate CEOS have been inundating the public with their evidence that DACA is a huge financial benefit to the U.S. — and that, therefore, its abolishment would result in dire consequences.
Take, for example, this tweet from Disney’s Robert Iger:
Rescinding DACA is cruel and misguided. Dreamers contribute to our economy and our nation. Congress must act fast to protect them!
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) September 5, 2017
Or this tweet from California’s Senator Kamala Harris:
Ending DACA would cost CAs economy approximately $11B. Not only is rescinding DACA morally wrong, it’ll have negative economic implications.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 5, 2017
Incredibly, the immigration group Reform Immigration FOR America [RI4A] even argues that DACA recipients are “critical” to the U.S. economy:
— RI4A (@RI4A) September 3, 2017
Frankly, it’s difficult to understand how roughly 800,000 people who are in the country illegally (for whatever reason) can be critical to the $18 trillion dollar economy of a nation with 323 million legal citizens, including approximately one million migrants who come to the U.S. legally each year.
Among the people who have raised an eyebrow over the exaggerated claims of DACA supporters is actor/genius/conservative James Woods.
Woods responded quickly with the following:
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) September 5, 2017
As ThePoliticalInsider.com article Woods linked to explains, illegal immigration comes at a price:
Welfare benefits are, of course, only one of the many ways illegal immigrants put a burden on the American taxpayer. Of all federal outlays on illegal immigrants, 27 percent are devoted towards “administration of justice,” while 21 percent are medical, and 29 percent are for “general expenditures.” Only 16 percent of costs are public assistance.
Plus, when illegal immigrants have children here, they become legal citizens. They’re then entitled to an even larger array of benefits (including free K-12 education). The total cost of illegal immigration is $113 billion a year at the federal, state, and local level, but the vast majority of the costs ($84 billion) are paid by state and local governments, according to one study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
Other research supports this claim. The Center for Immigration Studies argues that “tax breaks to unauthorized alien workers and their employers” cost the U.S. almost $30 billion dollars a year. A Heritage.org study found that illegal households cost the U.S. “$54.5 billion per year.” And Harvard labor economist George Borjas finds that illegal immigration cost the American worker $99 billion to $118 billion in reduced wages.
And as Woods alludes, there are other costs as well, including increased crime and less jobs available to citizens.
So while it may be true that illegal immigration does bring some benefits to the U.S. economy — they buy and help produce stuff, after all — it’s disingenuous to argue, as these DACA supporters do, that there aren’t costs associated with illegal immigration as well.