Politics

DeMint: Gang of 8 immigration proposal ‘unfair,’ ‘costs too much’ and will ‘make the problem worse’

Photo of Jeff Poor
Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

On Larry Kudlow’s Tuesday CNBC show, former South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint said the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” immigration proposal will “make the problem worse.”

“Well Larry, it’s unfair, it costs too much and it’s going to make the problem worse,” DeMint, now the president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, said. “You and I know because we believe a lot of what [Nobel Prize-winning economist] Milton Friedman said —that you can’t have open borders and a welfare state. Unfortunately, that’s what this amnesty bill is feeding in to.”

Kudlow then asked DeMint if he would change his mind about the bill if it prevented newly-legalized immigrants from receiving government assistance.

“Larry, I’ve heard a lot of promises about bills that have gone through Congress,” DeMint said. “We heard them all with Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, the stimulus. The only thing that I know about this bill is it’s going to give legal status and eventual citizenship to those who came here unlawfully. The rest are just promises and many of those are already on the books and they’ve been ignored for years.

“The only way to solve this problem in a way that unites Americans is to fix our immigration system in a way that works for Americans before we try to deal with problems are system has created.”

DeMint explained that the cost of amnesty for unlawful immigrants is something taxpayers cannot afford.

“Any nominal growth that comes from this bill, Larry, is going to be more than offset by the trillions of dollars of costs when these folks reach retirement age, get on Medicare, Social Security,” DeMint added. “These programs are already broke. Our country is already $17 trillion in debt. This will be a net loss, a huge cost to taxpayers. And it’s not fair to the 4 million people waiting around the world to come here legally. Let’s fix the system that caused this problem before we reward those who came here unlawfully.”

(h/t Amy Payne, Heritage)

Follow Jeff on Twitter