Monday, April 4, 2016

TPPF Immigration Paper Explodes EVERYONE'S Sacred Cows!!!

“You shall not remove your neighbor’s landmark, which the men of old have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.“
Deuteronomy 19:14

Immigration is easily the most frustrating issue with which we deal in Texas.  At times, everyone shoves their head up their keister and make economically ignorant statements.  The self-serving cronyism of the cheap labor lobby is reprehensible, but the hardline border hawks don't exactly cover themselves in glory either.  We tend to believe in a pox on all houses.  Into this void, however, steps the Texas Public Policy Foundation with a lucid discussion of both the benefits and costs of immigration in the Lone Star State.

The most important takeaway is that immigration is a net economic positive (and it isn't particularly close).  As TPPF explains: "their presences in the workforce results in lower prices that benefit consumers" (8).  By lowering our cost of living, immigration allows us to stretch each dollar further.  Specifically, "immigrants save Texas consumers between $3 billion and $6 billion per year" (8).  Like we said, it's not even close.

Illegal immigration, however, is a different animal that imposes very real costs that should not be belittled.  58% of illegal aliens are on some form of welfare (7), primarily food stamps and medicaid.  Furthermore, among illegal alien households with children, that number rises to 70% (7).

Speaking of illegal alien households with children, they really do have anchor babies: "[A]pproximately 46 percent of unauthorized immigrants are parents to minor children, compared to 38 percent of legal immigrants and 29 percent of natives" (4).  And those anchor babies really are enrolling in public schools: "[J]ust 5 percent of the school age population has immigrated illegally, but if we include the U.S. born children of illegal immigrants, that number increases to 14 percent" (7).  The total cost of education illegal alien children and anchor babies is nearly $4 billion; it's not an overwhelming amount against a state budget of $100 billion, but it ain't chump change either.

On the other hand, "[U]nauthorized immigrants are in fact more likely to be in the labor force and performing a job than either legal immigrants or U.S. natives" (5).  This helps explain one of our most politically incorrect beliefs about this topic: one major reason we have as much illegal immigration as we do is because we make it too easy for our own citizens to not work.  There wouldn't be demand for illegal labor if native born citizens weren't scamming disability.

Another interesting note is that, because Texas doesn't have an income tax, the state doesn't lose much tax revenue when illegal aliens work off the books.  The average illegal alien pays $900 per year in sales and property taxes.  Score one for having a (relatively) sane tax system!

Immigration is a classic case of diffused benefits with concentrated costs.  Immigration is a net economic plus (by far) that lowers the cost of living for all citizens.  At the same time, illegal aliens produce very real costs that should not be belittled or disparaged.  In a sane and rational world, none of those statements would be controversial.  Unfortunately, we don't live in a sane and rational world.  Against that backdrop, TPPF produced a report that is fair to all sides but deferential to none.  Kudos to them.


Read the full report below:

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