Tuesday, September 3, 2013

NC: Urgent: Support Gov. McCrory on veto of extremely unwise immigration bill H786


Governor Pat McCrory was in Hendersonville yesterday for the Labor Day/Apple Festival Parade. It was the largest turnout for the parade I have seen in 8 years, and the crowds along Main Street greeted him enthusiastically.

Governor McCrory has recently taken a courageous action in vetoing an NC House bill that would have have effectively nullified North Carolina's E-Verify law requiring the screening of job applicants for legal presence in the United States.

H786 contained a paragraph--Section 8 (f) that would have changed the definition of a seasonal worker to allow tens or even hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants coming to North Carolina to be hired by U.S. firms without checking their legal status through the E-Verify program.

A few days ago, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released data that showed North Carolina has one of the three highest unemployment rates in the nation, 8.9 percent.

North Carolina needs to be creating jobs for North Carolinians, not illegal immigrants.

According to a recent study by the Heritage Foundation, the average household headed by an illegal immigrant uses $14, 387 more benefits and services per year than all income, sales, and property taxes paid. Using both Heritage Foundation and  Migration Information statistics, North Carolina's 502,000 unlawful immigrants, are costing North Carolina taxpayers $2.1 billion  in 2010  dollars per year in federal, state, and local taxes. The vast majority of this is in state and local taxes. This coincides fairly closely with the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform estimate of $2.3 billion per year for North Carolina. The Heritage Foundation figure does not include the additional cost for dual-language education in our schools.  Neither includes the hard to estimate cost of illegal immigrant crime and DWI damages to property and human life. You can quibble about the exact figure, but illegal immigration is costing North Carolina far more than we can tolerate.

Yet last year, North Carolina was number one in the percentage increase of illegal immigrants. According to an American Community Services Survey in 2010, less than two percent of illegal immigrants are here picking crops, but 40 percent receive at least some form of welfare.

North Carolina taxpayers cannot afford the punishing tax burden of illegal immigration.  They certainly cannot afford the effectively open door to illegal immigration supported by the outrageous fiscal irresponsibility of H786.

Yet powerful special interests are putting terrific pressure on the NC Legislature to overturn Governor McCrory's courageous veto of H786.

Here is a bit of economics that needs to be widely known, because the self-enriching propaganda of special interests who employ cheap foreign labor continually use shallow economic analysis to make their case.

Foreign born workers add $1.6 Trillion annually to the U.S. GDP. That sounds good on the surface, but this $1.6 Trillion increase is not currently profitable to the American people.  It is like selling a widget for $1.00 that actually costs you $1.25. The more you sell of them, the quicker you will go bankrupt.

According to Harvard labor economist George Borjas, himself a Cuban immigrant, the vast majority of the benefit of the $1.6 Trillion goes to the foreign workers. The net economic gain to U.S. GDP is only $30 billion annually, and that is far more than offset by annual fiscal costs of $55 to $100 billion. (Heritage Foundation and FAIR), not even counting hard to measure things like crime and dual-language costs. The is largely due to the low skill and education levels of recent immigrants. Before 1965, a higher level of immigrant education and skills made immigration profitable.

But here is the most revealing part of the analysis: The corporate, business, and individual users of foreign labor are gaining $435 billion per year, while American workers lose $405 billion per year. Spread across 144 million U.S. workers our lax, almost open-door, immigration system is costing U.S. workers slightly over $2,800 per year in depressed wages Furthermore, according to the latest BLS release there are 21.8 million U.S. workers who want a full-time job and cannot find one.  Many of these are North Carolinians.

Every North Carolina voter with any sense of fairness; compassion for North Carolina workers, and their families; and a sense of fiscal responsibility should urge their legislators to support Governor McCrory in his veto of H786.

Time is running out within hours, so please contact your NC legislators ASAP urging them to support the governor's veto of H786.

Mike Scruggs

Former Republican County Chairman,
Hendersonville, NC

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