the number of immigrants admitted byrnthe rest of the industrial countries combined.rnIs immigration, legal and illegal, goodrnfor the American economy? The WallrnStreet Journal’s editorial pages and theirrnhired academic gun Dr. Julian Simonrnwould lead the reader to believe so. Sorntoo would the Ford Foundation-financedrnUrban Institute and its cohort of proimmigrationrnacademic writers, such asrnJeffrey Passel and Rebecca Clark. Nonernof the above has yet found an immigrantrnwho costs more than he pays in taxes.rnBut supporters of open borders andrncheap-labor policies, while good for thernbottom line of many businesses hiringrnlow-cost immigrants and for those hiringrnminimum-wage nannies, are quite harmfulrnto the working class competing withrnthem, as well as to the American taxpayersrnpicking up the public service costsrnof immigrants.rnTo determine comprehensively howrnimmigrants are affecting the Americanrntaxpayer required a study at the nationalrnlevel. A study of this magnitude wasrnmade possible for the first time only byrnnewly available empirical data, includingrnthe 1990 census and other key governmentalrnreports, additional new researchrnby the Auditor General of California andrnthe County of Los Angeles, and newrnfield research by myself and economistsrnCeorge Borjas, David Card, Joseph Altonji,rnVernon Briggs, and David Simcox.rnAfter one year spent gathering, studying,rnand analyzing the data, I concludedrnthat immigrants cost the American taxpayerrnmore than $42.5 billion in 1992rnalone (i.e., all legal immigrants arrivingrnin the United States since 1970 plus therntotal of all illegal and amnestied immigrantsrnresiding here in 1992). The finalrnstudy is 83 pages in length and includesrn23 tables with 22 categories of costsrnto federal and state governments, tenrncategories of services provided by localrngovernments, plus five categories of assistancerncosts for American workers displacedrnfrom their jobs by immigrantrnworkers. Total gross costs were $62.7 billion,rnfrom which were subtracted $20.2rnbillion in state, federal, and local taxesrnpaid by immigrants, resulting in net costsrnof $42.5 billion m 1992.rnThe largest direct national public outlaysrnfor immigrants in 1992 were: primaryrnand secondary education, $13.2rnbillion; Medicaid, $8.5 billion; localrnhealth and welfare services, $7.8 billion;rnbilingual education, $2.9 billion; and Aidrnto Families with Dependent Children,rn$2.8 billion. The costs of the displacementrnof 2.07 million American workersrnidled by immigration, which took theirrnwillingness to work at jobs like thoserndone by illegal immigrants, totaled $11.9rnbillion for Medicaid, AFDC, unemploymentrncompensation, food stamps, andrnGeneral Assistance programs. The studyrnalso projected public assistance costs overrnthe decade 1993 to 2002 should immigrationrnlaws not be changed. The netrnannual cost to the American taxpayerrnwould average $67 billion per year inrn1992 dollars, a net total of $668.5 billionrnafter taxes over the decade.rnNot included in the above are environmentalrncosts that accompany populationrngrowth, such as compliance withrnclean air and water acts, preservation ofrnwetlands, and toxic waste disposal. Onernexample of such costs are the uncompensatedrnenvironmental costs of operatingrnmotor vehicles. Driving costs forrnall legal and illegal immigrants werern$17.2 billion in 1992 and are projected torntotal $144.7 billion for the next ten yearsrnin 1993 dollars.rnIt is important to realize that almostrnthree-quarters of the above costs are incurredrnby legal immigrants, not illegalrnaliens. Therefore, Governor Wilson wasrnwrong when he singled out illegal immigrants.rnIn fact, newly arriving legal immigrantsrnannually outnumber illegalrnimmigrants 3 to I, while they alsornhave higher per capita public assistancerncosts than do illegals—$2,940 vs. $2,103rnyearly.rnNationwide, 65 percent of Americansrnfavor reductions in immigration. Is thisrnindicative of xenophobia or racism asrnclaimed by some immigrant advocates?rnI believe not. National polls by U.S.rnNews Today, Newsweek, and others substantiaternthat most Americans, includingrna majority of minorities, believe thatrntheir long-term economic interests arernhurt by large-scale immigration.rnPresident Clinton once told an enragedrnSan Diego audience that the UnitedrnStates is powerless to stop illegalrnimmigration. Can a nation that stoppedrnSaddam Hussein’s 500,000-man army inrnits tracks claim that it is unable to stoprnillegal immigration? Or is our legislativernprocess so gridlocked that laws not inrnour interest, such as the 1964 family reunificationrnimmigration law, cannot bernaltered? What we are facing is not arnlack of capability. It is a lack of will andrnunderstanding, partly because of powerfulrndisinformation and misinformationrnefforts by the above-mentioned organizations,rnby Hispanic political groups suchrnas MALDEF and LULAC, and by mediarnsuch as the New York Times.rnIn the meantime, the few gainingrnfrom the current situation—businessesrnfattening up on cheap immigrant labor,rnbleeding-heart humanitarians who arernoblivious to the pain their actions arerncausing others, and yuppies needingrnminimum-wage nannies—will continuerntheir assault upon the rest of society (therntaxpaying public and the American workrnforce increasingly facing job displacementrnand wage depression) until fundamentalrnchanges are made in our immigrationrnpolicies.rnIt is time to initiate a national debaternon the current policy of large-scalernimmigration into the United States.rnThis debate should be kept on a constructive,rnrational plane rather than yieldrnto the charges of racism and scapegoatingrntypically brought by immigration advocatesrnagainst those who raise questionsrnabout their policies. Fortunately, thernsting of the charge of racism as a tactic ofrnintimidation seems to be diminishing.rnLarger majorities now appear ready torndo what they believe is right for Americarnrather than succumb to being politicallyrncorrect. In the meantime, masses ofrnAmericans are departing the geographicrnregions where immigrants are agglomerating,rnsuch as Miami, New York, andrnCalifornia. One hundred thousand leftrnCalifornia last year alone.rnThe realization that we have as a peoplernbeen sliding toward second-class statusrnfor over two decades may yet awakenrnthe citizenry who have been slumbering.rnIt is late, but not too late to perceiverngreat danger, understand its sources, andrnact with wisdom and dispatch. Immigrationrnis not our only problem, but it isrnone of our most fundamental and pernicious.rn—Donald L. HuddlernTHE KENNEDY-SCHUMER binrnwas a victory for “law and order,” proclaimedrnSenator Edward Kennedy afterrnthe Senate vote to crack down onrnprotesters at abortion clinics. The Freedomrnof Access to Clinic Entrances Billrnauthorizes lengthy jail time and fines forrnentirely nonviolent conduct that “intentionallyrnand physically obstructs therningress or egress of another to a medicalrnfacility” with the “intent to prevent orrnMARCH 1994/5rnrnrn