President Barack Obama’s November amnesty will give $1.7 billion in taxpayers’ cash to illegal immigrants, according to a congressional study.
The news emerged two days after top Republican leaders overcame GOP opposition to a 2015 budget bill that allows Obama to fund his unpopular amnesty for roughly 5 million illegals.
“The program could cost taxpayers $1.7 billion over 10 years, almost all of it in the first five years,” according to a report by the McClatchy Washington Bureau. The rebates are allowed by the IRS’ interpretation of existing laws governing the Earned Income Tax Credit program, which was designed to subsidize low-wage employment in the United States.
The Joint Committee on Taxation compiled the estimate, which was obtained by McClatchy.
“Those who were working illegally in the United States shouldn’t be rewarded for doing so,” said a statement to McClatchy from Republican Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, who is pushing a bill that would bar tax payments to illegals.
“My proposal would prohibit those granted deferred action from claiming the EITC [payments] for any year they were working without authorization in the United States,” Grassley said.
There’s little evidence that Democrats will end their prior support for sending taxpayers’ money to illegal immigrants.
The new cost estimate comes too late for the amnesty debate, which temporarily ended Tuesday when House Speaker John Boehner joined with Democrats to overcome the anti-amnesty vote by 167 Republican legislators.
Earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and 15 other GOP senators had voted with all 46 Democratic senators to reject the anti-amnesty language in the 2015 budget for the Department of Homeland Security.
During the three-month dispute over the amnesty funding, GOP leaders did not use arguments on the impact of the amnesty on everyday American to rally public pressure on Democratic politicians. Instead of citing the tax rebates, for example, they simply argued that Obama’s amnesty violated legal and constitutional rules.
A Texas judge temporarily blocked the amnesty in mid-February.
The lawsuit is being appealed by Obama’s deputies, who may also try to find new ways to relaunch the unpopular amnesty.
The Congressional Budget Office says the $1.7 billion payment to illegals will be offset by $20 billion in new taxes from legalized illegals.
However, that $20 billion in new taxes would be paid anyway if unemployed Americans were offered the jobs.
Also, a wide variety of other costly government aid programs — and the migrants’ relatively low level of productivity — could push the cost of Obama’s unilateral amnesty above $2 trillion during the net five decades, according to data published by the Heritage Foundation.