Friday, May 19, 2006

Will Immigration Destroy the Republican Party? Pt 3

In which I present two Conservative views of the Senate's Immigration bill.
The Senate immigration plan, he found, essentially creates an entitlement to citizenship. Tens of millions of foreign citizens would qualify for the unilateral right to come to America and apply for citizenship. (The precise number, as of this writing, appears to have dropped considerably from Rector’s original estimate of 103 million to a “mere” 66 million over 20 years, thanks to the Senate’s adoption of an amendment by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.)) Because many would likely be low-skilled high school dropouts who would work in low-wage jobs, they can be expected to consume more in social services than they pay in taxes. Rector characterizes this possibility as “the largest expansion of the welfare state in 35 years.”

Rector shows that immigrant households are already 50 percent more likely than native-born households to use welfare. Immigrants without a high-school degree are two-and-a-half times more likely to use welfare. That means billions in additional spending on programs such as Food Stamps, Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit. This is not your grandfather’s welfare state.
This is from Mike Franc's latest article, and it looks pretty bad, doesn't it? But let's check out another view of this bill.
Regardless whether the bill in question (S.2611) is better or worse than other immigration bills, to suggest it would, could or even might permit legal immigration to average between 5.1 million and 10.9 million per year is nothing more than a cheap parlor trick.

The larger estimate of 217 million legal immigrants by 2026 implies that annual legal immigration under S.2611 would be almost 12 times larger than its current rate of about 950,000 a year (plus at least 400,000 illegal immigrants). Nobody could possibly believe legal immigration is suddenly going to jump from about 1 million a year to nearly 11 million, so the 20-year average of 10.9 legal immigrants per year necessarily requires annual immigration much larger than 10.9 million in the future -- larger, in fact, than 25 million a year. If the idea of Congress allowing 25 million legal immigrants per year is starting to sound unbelievable, that is because it is.

The trick involved is aptly called "the magic of compound interest." The original version of S.2611 would have allowed the number of temporary guest workers (initially set at 325,000 a year) to increase by as much as 20 percent in any given year, but that was a ceiling, not a norm. Congress could also reduce the number.
This is from Alan Reynolds, also writing at Townhall and presumably conservative. Presumably he's a cheap labor conservative, like our President.

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