Thursday, July 4, 2013

Thirty Pieces of Silver Buys Senate Immigration Bill

All I ever hear the Republicans say is "spending is out of control", "fiscal issues have robbed America of its future" know the rhetoric. Yet, they just convinced the Senate to spend $38 billion on the "Border Surge" which is simply a way to appease the paranoid right wing base of their party. The bill passed 69-29 with 14 Republicans joining Democrats.

In June, before the Corker-Hoeven Amendment, the Congressional Budget Office reported that "revenues under the proposed (immigration) legislation would decrease federal budget deficits by $197 billion over the 2014-2023 period and roughly by $700 billion over 2024-2033 period".

As much as the G.O.P. says it's against stimulus, you can consider "the Border Surge" amendment a new public works project: 20,000 border patrol officers, construction of 700 miles of new border fencing, and mass expenditures on electronic enhancements at the entry/exit points. It $30 billion dollars for rich people and letting it trickle down to the poor. is this what they mean when they say jobs, jobs, jobs?

Among its provisions is increasing funding for border security to a total of $46.3 billion, to be paid for from a Comprehensive Immigration Reform Trust Fund financed through immigration and border crossing fees and fines. The amendment would also use $30 billion of that total to increase the number of Border Patrol agents stationed in the southwest to 38,400 total--on average one for every 1,000 feet of border, Hoeven notes in a statement. Another $4.5 billion would go toward high-tech border crossing detection systems, and $7.5 billion would go to deploy another 350 miles of fencing, for a total of 700 miles.

Spending $30 billion on enhanced border security is a waste of taxpayer money. It's the age old trick of screaming national security before telling the public the price tag. Would you be surprised to know that while net immigration from 1995-2000 was 200,000, from 2005-2010, net immigration was 0. Pew Research reports the following numbers for those periods:

1995-2000 Migration
US to Mexico      670,000
Mexico to US   2,940,000

2005-2010 Migration
US to Mexico    1,390,000
Mexico to US    1,370,000

Would you believe the fear and paranoia about immigration has us spending $18 billion on a problem that doesn't exist and now the Senate has voted to spend an additional $30 billion with no offset for the new expense. Senator Ted Cruz says "Fundamentally, this is about political cover. It's not about solving the problem.

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