It was bound to come to this: two premier think tanks to fight over immigration bill. Alex Nowrasteh of Cato doesn’t think much of a new Heritage Foundation study pegging the costs of the illegal immigration. Apparently new President Jim DeMint doesn’t practice what once was preached by conservatives: all bills should be dynamically scored since people respond to incentives.
I’m joined in this view by a host of prominent free-marketeers. Jim Pethokoukis at AEI, Doug Holtz-Eakin at American Action Forum, Tim Kane at the Hudson Institute, and others have all denounced the fundamentals of the Heritage report.
The new Heritage report is still depressingly static, leading to a massive underestimation of the economic benefits of immigration and diminishing estimated tax revenue. It explicitly refuses to consider the GDP growth and economic productivity gains from immigration reform-factors that increase native-born American incomes. An overlooked flaw is that the study doesn’t even score the specific immigration reform proposal in the Senate. Its flawed methodology and lack of relevancy to the current immigration reform proposal relegate this study to irrelevancy.