Mark Krikorian is a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues. He is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization. Since their founding in 1985, they have been providing immigration policymakers, the academic community, news media and concerned citizens with reliable information about the social, economic, environmental, security and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigration into the United States. He is the author of How Obama is Transforming America Through Immigration.
The White House is once again escalating a push toward implementing comprehensive immigration reform. Why the urgency?
According to Mark, time is running out for the House to pass the Senate's immigration bill. This bill would double legal immigration to more than 2 million people per year and promises to do a better job of enforcing the law so that we don't have the same immigration problem in the future. As Jim noted, this is merely at attempt to, “...grant the amnesty now and later we're going to figure out how to shut off the faucet.” Even though Mark feels they are sympathetic to the cause of amnesty, the House Republican leadership have said they won't deal with the 1,000 page Omnibus bill.
Mark agrees that the effects of the bill would grow the economy but not from amnesty. Instead it would grow due to a doubling of future immigration. The question is: Who are we letting in? Are these going to be people who will economically contribute more than they use in taxpayer funded services? After all, most immigrants are lower skilled, working individuals who make heavy use of government services. As an example he cited their own research showing that of families headed by a Mexican immigrant, 57% of those families use at least one federal welfare program. So Mark feels it doesn't make sense to increase the future immigration numbers if the populace is going to have to subsidize their presence.
The number of illegal immigrants is said to be around 11 to 13 million. That number is staggering because it's in the range of the population of these states combined: Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.
If House Republicans go along with the Senate on amnesty, will the new legislation fix the problem that created the illegal population in the first place? It's one of many interesting questions to ponder when you review this edition of Crosstalk.
Center for Immigration Studies