President Barack Obama’s amnesty for four million illegal immigrants will cost Americans about $2 trillion, or roughly $40 billion a year for the next five decades.
The cost of Obama’s generosity is equivalent to 30 cents extra for every gallon of gas bought by Americans.
Or a $10 monthly fee added to every cellphone.
Or a $22,000 tax on every American graduate’s four-year college degree.
The $2 trillion cost is driven by the federal government’s support for all poor people, says Robert Rector, a budget analyst at the Heritage Foundation. Rector explained that, on average, the illegal immigrants benefiting from the amnesty have a 10th grade education.
That low education ensures they can’t earn enough money, or pay enough taxes, to pay for the many benefits they’ll get if they progress from temporary residents to legal residents and then to citizens, Rector said.
These various benefits add up to roughly $50,000 a year for each household, but those households can and do pay only about $13,000 a year in federal taxes, leaving a gap of roughly $40,000 between payments and benefits, Rector said.
That gap is effectively filled by payments from intact, college-education households which normally pay $30,000 more in taxes than they receive in benefits. “It takes all of the net taxes paid by one college-educated family [household] to pay for one of these immigrant households,” he said.
Rector draws his estimate from a May 2013 analysis he completed for Heritage, which predicted a $6.3 trillion, 50-year cost if all 12 million illegals in the country were granted amnesty.
Currently, government spends roughly $50 billion a year supporting the children and families of illegal immigrants. Much of that costs consists of free schooling and medical care for the U.S.-born kids of illegals.
Obama’s plan will expand the spending, for example, by providing tax benefits, including Earned Income Tax Credit.
Two parents with three or more children would receive up to $6,143 in 2014 if they earn less than $46,997, according to the Internal Revenue Service’s EITC calculator.
Those benefits will gradually expand to include healthcare and retirement benefits, Rector said.
“It is completely implausible that the Obama administration plans to have people with legal status reside here for 30 years without medical care… They would incrementally gain access to all of the means-tested programs,” he said.
According to Rector, half the total cost of the amnesty will come due once the low-wage migrants get Green Cards and tap into Americans’ Social Security and Medicare funds. Americans with similar education get $3 back from Social Security for every $1 they pay in taxes.