In a mixed-up, apples-to-oranges ‘news’ report, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos attempted to gainsay President Trump’s longstanding concern about the high cost of illegal immigration by citing earnings and tax revenues from all immigrants, both those who are lawfully present in the United States and those who are not.
As the Congressional Budget Office has made abundantly clear since 2007, tax revenues from unauthorized immigrants do not offset the total cost of public services they receive (a cost which has been skyrocketing lately, with the massive influx of thousands of family units each month). So what did Ramos do in his attempt to push back and diss the President? He cited a new study from the New American Economy which doesn’t even address the issue.
JORGE RAMOS, ANCHOR, UNIVISION: You have heard President Donald Trump severely criticize the supposedly high cost of illegal immigrants to the economy of this country. But the truth is that the numbers indicate exactly the opposite. A bipartisan group dedicated to studying the contributions that immigrants make to the economy, revealed that immigrants in general generated $1.5 trillion dollars in income, and paid more than $400 billion in taxes in 2017.
The study Ramos cites does not distinguish between immigrants who are authorized to be in the U.S. and those who are not, nor does it even touch on the considerable economic burden unauthorized immigrants – particularly felons and dependent minors – represent to the nation’s taxpayers.
To be sure, President Trump’s estimates about the cost of illegal immigration have fluctuated significantly and are the subject of legitimate debate, as are calculations made by sources he has cited, such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
However, as Dr. Jason Richwine noted in a National Review column entitled “Obfuscating the Immigrant-Welfare Debate” “immigration has brought benefits to the U.S., but it has also brought costs, and one such cost is the extra burden placed on the welfare state. Why is that so hard to acknowledge? When we deny tradeoffs, insisting that our position is always win-win-win for everyone, it leads to a muddled and unproductive debate.”
Below is the complete transcript of the above-referenced report, which aired during the April 15, 2019 edition of Noticiero Univision.
JORGE RAMOS, ANCHOR, UNIVISION: You have heard President Donald Trump severely criticize the supposedly high cost of illegal immigrants to the economy of this country. But the truth is that the numbers indicate exactly the opposite. A bipartisan group dedicated to studying the contributions that immigrants make to the economy, revealed that immigrants in general generated $1.5 trillion dollars in revenue, and paid more than $400 billion in taxes in 2017.
DACA beneficiaries, for example, earned more than $23,000 million and paid over $2,000 million in federal taxes and nearly $1,800 million in State and local taxes. Those with TPS, for example, contributed to the Federal coffers over $891 million and more than $654 million to the local ones, and undocumented immigrants paid more than $27,000 million in taxes. Claudia Uceda has more.
CLAUDIA UCEDA, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: Today, Rosa is taking it easy. It is the last day to file taxes and this dreamer is at ease because she already filed them.
ROSA BARRIENTOS, DACA BENEFICIARY: It is so important that the first week of January my dad is, when are going to do taxes? When is your appointment?
UCEDA: The young woman from Guanajuato, Mexico, came to the United States when she was only four years old. She has been in the country for 20 years and for her April 15 means
BARRIENTOS: It means that I am like everyone else, I am as American as anyone living here in the United States
UCEDA: and ignores comments made by President Donald Trump.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Illegal immigration costs our country more than $113 billion dollars a year
BARRIENTOS: I feel a little angry and frustrated because I think that people don't know the money we are paying.
UCEDA: Rose gave $2,500 to the Government and this journeyman paid thousands of dollars more.
CARLOS CASTILLO, DAY LABORER: We have paid around, more than $4,000, at the beginning of the year, in the month of February, in the first week of February, and we payed instantly because after finishing the taxes we paid them. We did this together with my spouse, as a family.
UCEDA: A study from the New American Economy Organization calculated the economic benefits generated by immigrants in several states. In Texas contributions reach $12,000 million. In New York, $18,000 million. California is the state that benefits most from immigration. Experts say that because the immigrant population tends to be younger they are less likely to commit crimes or request social security benefits or Medicare. Carolina is an American and would like to highlight how her husband, an undocumented immigrant, contributes.
CAROLINA, WIFE OF DAY LABORER: Not only preparing taxes, but every day with the same work, that others don't want to do
UCEDA: Labor that is now at risk by initiatives that the President wants to put into action. In Washington, Claudia Uceda, Univision.