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Immigration

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BARLETTA. Mr. Speaker, I rise to talk about the important, compelling issue of illegal immigration.

We've heard from the Gang of Eight in the Senate and now the Gang of Eight in the House. When we talk about illegal immigration, as a mayor I know what it did to my city. Aside from the crime and violence, it took a great toll on the economic vitality of the population. Our population grew by 50 percent but our tax base stayed the same. People who are here legally, especially the new American citizens, are looking for jobs. And they are scarce. Twenty-two million Americans are out of work. And now the proposal is to wave the carrot of citizenship to millions more? And when we are talking about giving amnesty to millions--maybe 20 million illegal aliens--how much more scarce will those jobs become?

Mr. Speaker, we have heard these proposals before. In 1986, we said that if we granted amnesty, there would only be about 1.5 million people who would be included. In truth, it turned out to be twice that amount. We were also told that it would never happen again. Our borders would be secure and this problem would never occur again. In truth, it was not true.

So now, 27 years later, our borders still aren't secure and here we are doing this all over again. Well, we got fooled once. By news reports, we are told that there are 11 million illegal immigrants in this Nation right now. By using 1986 as a yardstick, we can guess that by offering amnesty there might be twice that many.

Mr. Speaker, we were told in 1986 that none of this would happen. But it did. Now we're talking about brand new expenses at a time when we really have no money to spare. This means Social Security, Medicare, unemployment compensation, ObamaCare, welfare, food stamps, you name it. The Heritage Foundation projects that currently illegal immigration today costs us $55 billion a year, or $550 billion over 10 years. Illegal immigrants today receive $55 billion more in government benefits than they pay in taxes, based on the 2010 census. Worse, after so-called ``amnesty,'' the net deficit resulting from illegal immigrants will be $75 billion a year, or three-quarters of a trillion over 10 years.

We have no guarantee that these new millions of legalized aliens will not be on the public social programs. Nothing in any of these proposals from these ``Gangs'' or the White House can convince me otherwise. All told, The Heritage Foundation projects that if that's true, it will mean $2.5 trillion in new costs to the taxpayers over the next 20 years.

Mr. Speaker, I submit that in this time when we are looking for every dollar to save, we should not be giving away the bank at the same time that our borders are not secure and 22 million Americans are out of work. We should be talking about border security first. There should not and cannot be a discussion of amnesty until we secure our borders first.


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