Heritage Foundation experts accounted for three of the nine articles in the Journal of International Security Affairs‘ recent symposium (not yet online) on the 30th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative:
Baker Spring reviews the history of missile defense and explains that lawmakers opposed to such defenses have come to see its benefits
Rebecca Heinrichs discusses the varying sorts of threats for which missile defenses are appropriate
Michaela Dodge explains the logic of space-based missile defenses
Do you think missile defense can help keep America safe?
The Senate immigration bill contains language that would provide substantial federal funding for special interest groups and expose the government to legal fights — at taxpayers’ expense.
Heritage Foundation expert Hans von Spakovsky explains that in addition to costing American taxpayers, by granting funding to immigrant advocacy groups these provisions “could expose the government to costly litigation going forward.”
The legislation establishes a $50 million grant program for nonprofit organizations to assist applicants for legal residence. “These grants can be used for legal assistance and effectively commit the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to providing grants for lawsuits against itself,” von Spakovsky explains.
In addition to these grants, the proposed bill includes very broad language granting legal services to aliens: Continue Reading »
Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint and Heritage expert Robert Rector shed light on the real cost of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants in today’s Washington Post:
For centuries immigration has been vital to our nation’s health, and it will be essential to our future success. Yet immigrants should come to our nation lawfully and should not impose additional fiscal costs on our overburdened taxpayers. An efficient and merit-based system would help our economy and lessen the burden on taxpayers, strengthening our nation.
A properly structured lawful immigration system holds the potential to drive positive economic growth and job creation. But amnesty for those here unlawfully is not necessary to capture those benefits . . .
An exhaustive study by the Heritage Foundation has found that after amnesty, current unlawful immigrants would receive $9.4 trillion in government benefits and services and pay more than $3 trillion in taxes over their lifetimes. That leaves a net fiscal deficit (benefits minus taxes) of $6.3 trillion. That deficit would have to be financed by increasing the government debt or raising taxes on U.S. citizens.
Do you think our nation’s taxpayers can afford to cover the $6.3 trillion cost of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants?
This is the kind of policy fight for which Jim DeMint was hired.
The former South Carolina GOP senator and tea party hero took over last month as president of the 40-year-old conservative think tank, and got straight to work. He has blasted the Gang of Eight’s proposal as “amnesty,” criticized negotiators for drafting the bill in secret and is trying to highlight the bill’s potential costs if millions of undocumented immigrants are made eligible for federal benefits.
If DeMint and Heritage — with its policy analyses and feisty advocacy arm — can help keep the right unified on immigration, it could force Democrats and the White House to accept amendments they don’t like in order to get something through — or simply kill the bill.
Heritage has been here before. The group helped sink previous immigration efforts by focusing on costs. Senior research fellow Robert Rector released a study in 2007 saying that immigration legislation could cost taxpayers $2.6 trillion.
Monday, Heritage said immigration reform could cost $6.3 trillion on new spending on entitlements and social programs.
DeMint appeared on Fox News this morning to explain the costs of granting amnesty:
Do you think lawmakers will balk at the costs of this plan?
The proposed Gang of Eight immigration bill is unfair and costly, Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint said Sunday on ABC News’ This Week.
The study you’ll see from Heritage this week presents a staggering cost of another amnesty in our country and the detrimental effects long-term that will have. There’s no reason we can’t begin to fix our immigration system so that we won’t make the problem worse.
But the bill that’s being presented is unfair to those who came here legally, it will cost Americans trillions of dollars, it will our unlawful immigration system worse. …
Heritage is the only organization that has done an analysis of the cost. Unlawful immigrants make up about 2 percent of our GDP, and they consume most of that. If you consider all the factors of amnesty and unlawful immigration, the cost will be in the trillions of dollars over the lifetime of these unlawful immigrants.
And he warned that the contents of the bill aren’t as advertised: “I think if people read the bill, that it will be blocked. Because once you get into it, just like Obamacare, it is not the way it’s been advertised.”
What do you think? Is the immigration plan similar to Obamacare?
Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint will appear Sunday on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos. He plans to discuss Heritage’s research on the cost of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants under the Gang of Eight proposal.