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OpenMarket: Immigration

  • Sorry, Daily Beast: E-Verify Will Be National ID

    May 13, 2013
    Daily Beast blogger Justin Green, who blogs on columnist David Frum’s Daily Beast blog, has responded to Wired’s recent article “Biometric Database of All Adult Americans Hidden in Immigration Reform.” Green thinks that there is no reason for concern, writing that “fortunately, Wired's assertion is false.” Unfortunately, he has been misled. First, Green claims that biometric information is being collected, but “those affected are unauthorized aliens, not American citizens.” But this is incorrect. The E-Verify database will affect every single U.S. citizen who is a potential worker. Given the fact that the database will include photographs, it is biometric. Green responds by quoting an anonymous Senate aide telling him...
  • Milton Friedman, Immigration, and Birth Control

    May 13, 2013
    Milton Friedman, perhaps the most important free market economist and libertarian activist of the 20th century, is also the favorite of immigration restrictionists for comments he made about the supposed incompatibility of immigration and the welfare state. “There is no doubt that free and open immigration is the right policy in a libertarian state,” he wrote in a letter from Milton Friedman to Henryk Kowalczyk. "[B]ut in a welfare state, it is a different story." The gist of Friedman’s argument is that, because America has embraced the welfare state, the government must expand its power further still to limit the negative impact of welfarism. But if conservatives and libertarians accept this premise, they unintentionally endorse the actions of such nanny state regulators as NYC Mayor...
  • Heritage Immigration Report Implies 70% of Americans “Increase Poverty”

    May 10, 2013
    The Heritage Foundation’s new report on the fiscal costs of legalization for unauthorized immigrants concluded that it will cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion. Yesterday, I listed some reasons why I think this number is much too high, and on Wednesday, explained why I thought John Locke would say, “Keep immigration. Reform welfare.” Today, I want to look at the broader economic implications of the Heritage study. “Government policy should limit immigration to those who will be net fiscal contributors,” the authors concluded, “avoiding...
  • Seven Ways Heritage Concluded Immigration Reform Will Cost $6.3 Trillion

    May 9, 2013
    The Heritage Foundation’s report this week that suggests legalization for unauthorized immigrants will result in a $6.3 billion fiscal deficit is an important conversation starter about the need for welfare reform. But the mere fact that legalizing the status of unauthorized immigrants in the United States will increase some costs for taxpayers should not, by itself, stand in the way of immigration reform, as John Locke once noted. Nonetheless, the report significantly overestimates the fiscal costs of legalization in at least seven ways. 1. Using a 51-year time frame: $6.3 trillion sounds huge, but when you break it down annually, it is a much...
  • CEI Podcast for May 8, 2013: The Debate over Undocumented Immigration

    May 8, 2013
    CEI Immigration Policy Analyst David Bier is critical of a new Heritage Foundation study that estimates that giving legal status to America's undocumented immigrants would cost $6.3 trillion over the next 50 years.
  • John Locke's Response to Heritage: Don't Blame Immigrants for Fiscal Problems

    May 8, 2013
    Washington's largest conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, has released a study that suggests legalization for illegal immigrants will cost taxpayers trillions of dollars over the next five decades. On this point, conservatives should consider the insights of the father of limited government, the English philosopher John Locke, and his response to a comparable immigration crisis in the 17th century. In 1685, Louis VIX of France revoked the Edict of Nantes, which had granted rights to French Protestants. The Huguenots, as they were known, flooded into England in search of religious protection. Bills were introduced to naturalize these immigrants in 1689, 1690, and 1693. Each bill was violently opposed by economic protectionists and Anglicans who opposed the...
  • Conservatives Must Reject the "Poor Are Parasites" Narrative

    May 7, 2013
    When Mitt Romney made his comments about the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay taxes and were supposedly “dependent on government,” many conservatives rightly condemned the remark, and Romney apologized. Now, a major conservative think tank is repeating his error, denouncing lower-skilled workers as a fiscal drain on the economy. This week, the Heritage Foundation, the largest conservative D.C. non-profit organization, released a study intended to demonstrate that allowing the 11.5 million mostly lower-income immigrants who are currently in the country illegally to stay will harm America’s economy. The study focuses on immigrants, but its logic applies to millions of working Americans, almost half of whom had no income tax liability in 2011,...
  • What Are the National ID Implications of the Senate Immigration Bill?

    May 3, 2013
    1. ID standards: The bill requires all employers to check photo IDs of all employees they hire—any employee who fails to present a photo ID must be fired. Employees who attempt to use ID from states that have not implemented the Real ID Act would need a second form of identification to be hired. The Real ID Act was an unfunded mandate on states to remake their state IDs to fit federal guidelines. The states rebelled and refused to do so. This law would make it more burdensome for employees in those states to get a job—thus, this stick is being used to conform states to the federal ID standards. (The bill also creates “tamper-proof Social Security cards, which all workers will need to get a job in America). 3. Mandatory E-Verify: E-Verify compares form I-9 information—names, addresses, Social Security Numbers (SSNs), document ID numbers, immigrant ID numbers, etc.—...
  • Gang Of 8’s Euphemism For National ID System: “Identity Authentication Mechanism”

    April 29, 2013
    Our new euphemism for a national identification system is “identity authentication mechanism.” The Gang of 8, the leaders of which are proponents of biometric national ID cards, included a provision in the electronic employment verification portion of the immigration bill that calls for such a “mechanism” to identify every American at the click of a mouse. E-Verify, the verification system used voluntarily by about 7.5 percent of employers, is currently national ID-lite. Right now, E-Verify only compares identifiers, such as your name and Social Security number, to the Department of Homeland Security database. This means the system cannot know whether the person submitting the identifiers (SSN, name, etc.) is the individual those identifiers refer to, which would be true identification...
  • CEI Study: Cost Of Keeping One Unauthorized Immigrant From Getting A Job -- $13,000

    April 23, 2013
    If Americans truly want to ensure no unauthorized immigrants work in the United States, they better get ready to pay top dollar. E-Verify, the electronic national identification system contained in the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill, will cost government, businesses and workers at least $8.5 billion per year, according to my new study on E-Verify released yesterday. That's $13,000 per unauthorized immigrant denied a job. E-Verify requires employers to submit Form I-9 information for comparison with information in databases held by the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security. People who advocate E-Verify as a cheap solution to illegal immigration need to understand this requirement is the most extensive regulation...


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