Congressional Democrats plan to grant amnesty to 8 million illegal aliens in a budget reconciliation bill, which would cost the underfunded Social Security and Medicare programs an additional $1 trillion, according to a Center for Immigration Studies report.
The Democratic amnesty proposal extends well beyond the so-called Dreamers—illegal aliens who came into the United States as children—and includes the amorphous category of “essential workers” as well as illegal aliens with Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Enforced Departure status.
CIS Resident Scholar Jason Richwine wrote in the report that the amnesty proposal would cost Social Security and Medicare $1 trillion because some illegal aliens currently pay into these programs but none can draw benefits from them.
Richwine estimated that illegal aliens would cost the system $129,000 each over a lifetime.
He said the House and Senate Democrats have not looked into the long-term costs associated with amnesty for 8 million illegal aliens.
“Because most of the entitlement costs associated with amnesty would occur outside the typical 10-year budget window of the Congressional Budget Office, it is imperative that Congress ask the CBO to do a special analysis of long-term entitlement costs when it scores the amnesty provisions of this reconciliation bill,” Richwine said. “Otherwise, the most significant costs of the amnesty will be hidden.”
Amnesty provisions in the budget reconciliation bill exclude criminal illegal aliens, but the bill gives the Department of Homeland Security secretary—currently Alejandro Mayorkas—the ability to override exclusions.
If an illegal alien was ineligible for a green card because he or she participated in “smuggling, student-visa abuse, and unlawful voting,” Mayorkas could waive that exclusion for any reason he devises.
The statute states that the DHS secretary has the right to grant amnesty to criminal illegal aliens “for humanitarian purposes or family unity” or “if a waiver is otherwise in the public interest.”
The American public knows little about the Democratic amnesty plan because they slipped it into a budget reconciliation bill, which generally is used to fund government operations but not substantially alter existing laws. Congressional Democrats have changed the budget bill’s scope so that they can avoid the filibuster.
“If House leadership wants to grant amnesty to alien criminals, they should at least have the decency to let the American people, let alone their fellow partisans and colleagues in the GOP, know what they are up to,” said Andrew Arthur, the Center’s resident fellow in law and policy.
“And if they did not intend to offer a massive, unending amnesty to criminal aliens, they should have taken their time in drafting their proposal—and not be attempting to jam through haphazard language drafted hours before it was presented to committee members,” he continued.
The Democratic budget reconciliation bill also will open the United States to more legal immigrants by “recapturing unused immigration visas” from the past three decades. The bill further revives and expands the green-card lottery.
This tactic will allow the Democrats to avoid immigration caps that Congress enshrined in law.
Robert Law, the center’s director of regulatory affairs and policy, explained how the budget reconciliation bill will overwhelm the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services with new applicants.
“If these provisions become law, an already overwhelmed USCIS will be flooded with amnesty applications and special legal immigration carve-out petitions on top of standard immigration benefit requests,” he said.
“The backlogs will skyrocket, ensuring that it will take decades before the final adjustment of status application is adjudicated and all of the aliens who file will be eligible for a work permit,” he added.
These legal immigrants can enter the United States without regard to their impact on the native-born American population.
“Unlike an employment-based green card, which generally requires a showing that the wages and conditions of Americans are not adversely affected, this work permit allows the alien to take any job, at any wage, and there are no protections for either Americans or the alien,” Law said.