Experts contend reducing low-skill, low-education chain migration could also boost wages
A bill offered by a pair of Senate Republicans this week to reduce immigration could save taxpayers $1.7 trillion, according to back-of-the-envelope calculations by a scholar at The Heritage Foundation.
The sponsors of the bill, Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.), have not estimated the fiscal impact of the proposal. But they cite models projecting that the result of eliminating an immigration diversity visa program and prohibiting new citizens from sponsoring their extended family members would reduce legal immigration by about 4.3 million people over the first 10 years.
Most of the people who come into the United States to join family members have low skills and little education, making them less likely to succeed in the U.S. economy.
Citing data from the National Academies of Sciences, Heritage Senior Research Fellow Robert Rector projected the net lifetime cost to taxpayers of the typical immigrant with a high school degree or less at $400,000. That is the net of costs minus taxes paid at all levels of government. If all of the would-be immigrants who would be stopped from coming had high school degrees or less, according to the projections, the lifetime savings to taxpayers would be about $1.7 trillion.