This piece originally appeared on RIFuture.org
Donald Trump gave his long-awaited address on immigration in Phoenix, Arizona shortly after his surprise meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico on August 31. Earlier in the week, Trump had signaled a policy change on immigration, with Trump initially softening his tone on deportations – only to return to his nativist self a few days later.
With any speech from Trump, there are the usual bombastic claims that need to be addressed.
- Undocumented immigrants cost the United States $113 billion a year.
Trump claimed that undocumented immigrants cost $113 billion a year. What Trump failed to mention in his address is that this number originates from an organization known as the Federation for American Immigration Reform, otherwise known as FAIR. This organization is known for using what could be considered a flawed methodology. For instance, they assume the cost of Medicare fraud, and yet knowingly admit that “only anecdotal information is available”. They also allocate more than half of their estimate to education and healthcare for children, neglecting that most are actually native-born U.S. citizens – not undocumented immigrants.
In reality, immigration drives economic growth, leading to new job creation and additional tax revenue. For every immigrant that migrates to the United States, 1.2 new jobs are created. Furthermore, Trump’s claim does not take into account the tax contributions of undocumented immigrants, totaling $11.64 billion nationally per year and over $33.4 million in Rhode Island.
Courtesy of RI Future