In her impassioned floor speech on the DREAM Act,[Video] Nancy Pelosi said
"This bill does not cost money. In fact, it sends money back to the Treasury about over $2.5 billion. But, as studies show, it would be hundreds of billions of dollars that will be paid in taxes by these young people when they reach their full aspiration."[Text]
This is almost certainly not true. I'm not going to accuse the Speaker herself of lying—it probably doesn't even occur to her that Hispanic immigrants, as a group, are not net taxpayers. Let me explain that, since it's not a concept that you hear talked about much in immigration policy, certainly not by left-wing Democrats. Any individual in society is either a net taxpayer, paying more in taxes than he receives in services from the government, or a "tax eater"—someone who represents a financial loss for the government, which spends more on feeding, clothing, housing, or sometimes jailing him than he ever pays in taxes. Hispanic immigrants, as a group, are tax eaters. I suppose I could produce my own "Studies have shown"—Sam Francis wrote It's Official: U.S. Importing Poverty in 2002—but it's obvious that an immigrant who is a professional with a high income, his own health insurance, and one or or two children will be an economic benefit for the country, and an immigrant who has a blue-collar job, five or seven children, and no health insurance won't. The late Richard Nadler put an extremely soft-headed post about this in NRO's Corner blog in 2009:
In "California's Illegal-Immigrant Deficit," Heather Mac Donald asserts that "the education, health-care, and criminal-justice costs of illegal immigrants and their progeny is no help in staunching the red ink" of California's budget deficit.Since when have conservatives started judging the economic worth of groups by the balance of tax expenditures? The government runs a tax profit on single, childless Princeton professors; a Mormon family with 7 kids, a full-time working father, and a full-time housewife mom generates an annual tax deficit. Elderly retirees are a net drain, as are children generally. The rich bring in revenue, the poor do not. We don't talk of deporting these groups.[More]
No, because they're Americans. I blogged about this post at the time,but Nadler never had the chance to reply, because shortly after, he suddenly died, at his home in Kansas City. Which was sad, not only in and of itself, (he was basically a nice guy) but because he was an almost Platonic ideal of the neoconservative, pro-immigration type of modern Republican that you find at NRO. But my point is this—the DREAM Act is for poor kids from the poorer social strata of a poor country. They can be expected to continue poor, themselves, and be the cause of poverty in other Americans. Namely, American taxpayers.