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Fox News -- on one of our top stories today and the growing concern about the cost.
Of immigration reform later this week the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to take up the bipartisan -- -- of the gang of eight.
But a report by The Heritage Foundation that comes -- this morning warns that the price tag.
To implement some of these provisions could be massive.
Joined now by Jim -- president of Heritage Foundation and a former Republican senator -- -- South Carolina as -- good morning good to have you with us today.
Well thank you it's good to be with the it.
It's actually a little bit about -- says there's controversy about this report we talked to Steve Moore just a few minutes ago.
And your claim is that according to your study.
It would cost trillions of dollars if the legislation was enacted as a gang -- has created it why.
Well no -- read this study yet except the folks -- -- and it's gone through a a very strenuous.
Peer review process I've read it over the weekend.
And it makes it abundantly clear and -- the number over the fifty year lifespan of an amnesty for unlawful immigrants.
It's six point three trillion dollars to the American taxpayer.
And we know over time that this is gonna increase more deaths increased taxes that has a depressing effect on our economy.
And we know that unlawful immigrants -- once they have amnesty are gonna replace the jobs of many Americans and -- their salaries.
So there's no way you can look at this and say that it's good for the American taxpayer in that includes.
Immigrants who -- here lawfully and we feel like our study -- congress will just consider the cost.
Will benefit a lawful immigrants some more than anyone else well.
Some of -- the push back is that in these benefits don't -- candidate for at thirteen years in many cases so there would be that amount of time before the costs would kick again.
What -- what -- say that.
Well -- believe that when I see it congress is notorious for not counting the cost in not keeping.
Their promises but even if they follow through.
Unlawful immigrants already receiving many benefits -- a lot of their children are legal American citizens whether it's public education or Medicaid.
But if you just look at 813 year window when the life expectancy of unlawful immigrants goes another fifty years.
And once they get on social security and Medicare.
I beat the average cost of an unlawful immigrant is is hundreds of thousands of dollars that's a net costs they pay some taxes.
But what they take out of the tax system is much much greater.
And the total is six point three trillion dollars up over that next fifteen year period you can't get around these cost.
Congress is not considering the cost it's unfair to those who came here lawfully.
And the bill itself we believe after become a really a thorough analysis is -- -- make our immigration system worse.
You say that you are in favor.
Immigration reform so what kind of reform would you like to see and how would -- version and not be as costly as you say this -- Wolf first of all we you don't need an amnesty in order to implement reforms and get the benefit of reforms.
We know our country was built by lawful immigration system.
But it's important to realize today with our welfare state and all the government benefits and less immigrants have a college education or better.
They're going to be a net drain -- on on our on the taxpayer they're gonna pay less in taxes and they take out of the system.
So a step by step approach needs to recognize that what that America already has.
A lot of unemployed lower skilled less educated workers that we need to give opportunities to.
We don't need to give those opportunities from someone who came here unlawfully.
But we need to attract those who are educated many of them have been educated in our country had those who.
But before and I'm sorry are you both for alleged why you respond to this because -- -- -- an account earlier with Steve Moore and also comes up and so what I'm reading from other economists out there.
-- -- you know we know over the course of history that -- unit increased immigration leads to a bigger economy.
Which is an.
A plus over the long term for the US economy they say that you know that that those numbers have been backed up over the course of of US history.
Well it's well it's -- point we look forward to debating in 1960.
In 1960 the average immigrant had about the same education and skill level of resentment of an American citizen.
Today immigrants have four times they're four times less likely to even have a high school.
Diploma and now with all of our welfare benefits the arithmetic for immigration is totally different than it was before so immigration has helped to build our country.
But it's been a selective lawful process.
To come -- and giving amnesty to lower skill -- -- less educated workers.
Is going to cost our country six point three trillion dollars we already have seventeen trillion in debt and we know that's unsustainable.
So instead of trying to change the subject.
We want congress to look at the real cost of an amnesty provision in an immigration reform act.
While that comes in that this week and as as your report -- there's going to be a lot of debate and you say -- up fourth so we look forward to hearing more of it senator dement.
Always a fabulous thank you there.
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