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Angel L. Reyes, III
Angel L. Reyes, III
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Cato Institute Comes Out in Favor Of Comprehensive Immigration Reform


By: Angel Reyes

For those readers who aren’t familiar with the Cato Institute, here is its mission statement: “The mission of the Cato Institute is to increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace. The Institute will use the most effective means to originate, advocate, promote, and disseminate applicable policy proposals that create free, open, and civil societies in the United States and throughout the world.”

Parse those words carefully, you’ll see the familiar code words for conservative causes, in spite of the Institute’s website description which describes the Cato Institute as Libertarian Capitalism, whatever that means. But who cares, in a new study by Peter Dixon and Maureen Rimmer at the Cato Institute, the findings are much like the findings in my book Hispanic Heresy. The findings throw cold water on the red-blooded Americans who typically back conservative causes and talk show hosts like Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity, etc. Those shows and their audiences typically scream at the top of their lungs that we need to immediately deport 12 million illegal aliens.

So, what are the findings? It turns out that repelling immigrant labor actually hurts the American economy. The study’s authors note that “[i]n contrast, legalization of low-skilled immigrant workers would yield significant income gains for American workers and households.” Katie bar the door, or should we say razor-wire across the Mexican border? The authors of the study used a dynamic economic model that weighs the impact of immigrants on government revenues and expenditures. Tax dollars spent on undocumented aliens is the flashpoint in the “what part of illegal” don’t you understand argument. Most Americans believe that immigrants consume far more of our government/tax resources than they contribute. This new Cato Institute study debunks that myth. Indeed, the study found that legalizing the entry of MORE low-skilled immigrants would result in economic gains of approximately $80 billion, yes, that’s with a B.

In Hispanic Heresy my co-authors and I argued that bringing the 12 million undocumented aliens out of the shadows and into the mainstream of the American economy would be the best opportunity this country has to bring workers into the system to prop up America’s rapidly aging population. Such a proposal has long term impacts on Medicare funding, Social Security funding, etc. Hispanic immigrants are the youngest demographic in America. They are the future workers who will be supporting the likes of Bill O’Reilly’s Social Security. In 2050, 1 in 4 Americans will be of Hispanic descent. Demography is destiny.


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  1. MaryJ says:
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    It’s ludicrous to expect that masses of low-skilled, uneducated, non-English speaking immigrants will be paying for Bill O’Reilly’s social security. Heritage Foundation showed low-skilled immigrants cost American taxpayers far more than they pay into the social services system. In addition, Latinos in the US in particular have a very poor social performance reocrd — 50 percent high school drop-out rates and 53 percent teen-age pregnancy rates. These are not the people who will be supporting us in our old age.

    It is more likely that aging, educated American taxpayers will be forced to work until they are in their 70s to support the unwed teen-age mothers and the high school drop-outs.

  2. Doug says:
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    I am with you.

    For those of you who don’t mind your tax dollars being spent on illegal aliens, then you can pay a special tax every year.

    I think we should start out with $10,000 a year is reasonable. Of course this could be adjusted each year and increased or decreased as necessary.


  3. Angel Reyes says:
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    Mary, you make some good points. They are the very same points many Americans make out of frustration. Always remember to consider the source, in this case, the Heritage Foundation:


    Open up your heart and your mind and you will see that Hispanic immigrants and Hispanics in general are hard working folks who pay their taxes and contribute mightely to our economy. Hispanics spend a trillion dollars a year, yes, with a T. They own nearly 3 million businesses that create revenue of just over $500 billion, yes, with a B.

    Like it or not demography is destiny and in just a few short years 1 in 4 Americans will be of Hispanic descent. Sit back and enjoy the tacos.

  4. Doug says:
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    You make some good points which I don’t dispute:
    a. Hispanic immigrants and Hispanics in general are hard working folks who pay their taxes and contribute mightily to our economy. Hispanics spend a trillion dollars a year, yes, with a T. b. They own nearly 3 million businesses that create revenue of just over $500 billion, yes, with a B.
    c. In just a few years 1 in 4 Americans will be of Hispanic descent.

    You point out the achievements of many Hispanics and use the Heritage Foundation for some of your info. They are probably the ones with an education level higher than high school or possibly with the resources from questionable means.

    Well, the Heritage Foundation also says:
    a. It seems likely that, if Hispanic illegal immigrants are given permanent residence and citizenship, they and their children will likely assimilate into the culture of high welfare use that characterizes Hispanics in the U.S. This would impose significant costs on taxpayers and society as a whole.
    b. immigrants with low education levels are likely to be a fiscal drain on other taxpayers. This is important because half of all adult illegal immigrants in the U.S. have less than a high school education. In addition, recent immigrants have high levels of out-of-wedlock childbearing, which increases welfare costs and poverty.
    c. Further, once an illegal immigrant becomes a citizen, he has the right to bring his parents to live in the U.S. The parents, in turn, may become citi­zens. The long-term cost of government benefits to the parents of 10 million recipients of amnesty could be $30 billion per year or more. In the long run, S. 2611, if enacted, would be the largest expansion of the welfare state in 35 years.

    When you said, “Like it or not demography is destiny and in just a few short years 1 in 4 Americans will be of Hispanic descent.” You are right but did yo also check out the statistics for Muslim legal immigrants? They will far surpass Hispanics and yes, the European immigrants of yesterday.

    You say, “Sit back and enjoy the tacos.” That’s almost a fairly decent “slam in the face” attitude I expected from you and yours. At least we will have plenty of people to pick from for our cheap labor pool but only after they are released from jail.

    Heritage Foundation points out:
    Illegal immigrants are overwhelmingly Hispanic. It is possible that, over time, Hispanic immigrants and their children may assimilate the higher crime rates that characterize the low-income Hispanic popula­tion in the U.S. as a whole.[43] If this were to occur, then policies that would give illegal immigrants per­manent residence through amnesty, as well as poli­cies which would permit a continuing influx of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants each year, would increase crime in the long term.

    I guess we need to start building more prisons now!! (right after we finish the fence on the southern border)