Logically, the Gang of Eight’s bill should not have survived the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing. That dramatically and conclusively demonstrated that the U.S. government has utterly failed at selecting, monitoring and assimilating immigrants (remember Dzokhar Tsarnaev became a U.S. citizen on Sept. 11, 2012), let alone keeping them off welfare.
Washington has (another) dirty secret: Nobody read, or is going to read, the Heritage Foundation’s report of the net fiscal impact of the Gang of Eight’s proposed illegal-immigrant amnesty.
(The report concluded the impact will be $6.3 trillion over 50 years – or, to put it another way, all by itself amnesty will bump up government spending by a percentage point or two of Gross Domestic Product every year).
It’s not the report’s fault. It’s beautifully written, logically compelling and marshals a lot of numbers with great skill. (I speak as a veteran of 40 years in financial journalism.)
And, of course, professional politicians do tend to be innumerate lawyers with ADD personalities, incapable of sitting still, congenitally committed to schmoozing rather than studying.
But the real reason the report isn’t being read: Everyone has already made up their minds.
In the case of the patriot opponents of amnesty, this is actually laudable. They have grasped the great truth enunciated by the late, great free-market economist Milton Friedman: “It’s just obvious that you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state.”