President Obama’s unilateral action on immigration, which is expected to give legal status to some 5 million illegal aliens, will likely be a significant burden to American taxpayers. Many illegal immigrants make such a low salary, that they will not pay income taxes. Rather, many these individuals will start collecting government checks, in the form of “Earned Income Tax Credits” (EITC), and could be eligible for other transfer payments such as ObamaCare.
Although tracking the incomes of illegal immigrants is no easy task, the Century Foundation released a study which found that “we can be virtually certain that illegal immigrants earned less than $24,000 per year, on average, probably much less.”
The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a report with similar findings — according to that study, almost 50 percent of illegal immigrant families live in or near poverty.
American workers who make under $30,000 per year pay very little in federal taxes. In fact, they are eligible to collect anywhere from $9,000 to $15,000 per year in EITC payments, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Theoretically speaking, if all 5 million of Obama’s newly legalized migrants made such a low income, American taxpayers could be on the hook for up to $5 billion per year in EITC payments alone.
But Obama would have Americans believe that his amnesty will do just the opposite. During his Thursday night announcement, he said, “If you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes, you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country.”
According to a recent report by Forbes, many of the immigrants that Obama’s action targets are likely of an older age since they are parents of U.S. citizens. “If so, they will gain access not only to Obamacare, but also to Social Security and especially Medicare,” Forbes columnist Avik Roy wrote.
At this time it is unclear whether or not legalized migrants will receive ObamaCare benefits — or how their medical needs will be met at all. Assuming that many of the newly legalized make little income, however, the burden of such healthcare costs is likely to fall on taxpayers in some form.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.