Massachusetts Coalition for Immigration Reform (MCIR)
Reject the $1, 200 COVID stimulus payments for Unauthorized Aliens (Bill S. 2659)
A bill introduced into the Massachusetts State Legislature last week would provide stimulus checks of $1,200 to unauthorized immigrants, as they are not eligible for Federal stimulus checks. The Massachusetts Coalition for Immigration Reform opposes this bill, as the average illegal immigrant already costs the state $8,500 and, all told, costs the average taxpaying household roughly $870.
The number of people residing illegally in Massachusetts has increased 33 percent over the last 10 years, to ~236,000. This surge drives down the wages of American workers and legal immigrants by creating an oversupply of cheap labor. Illegal immigration is a major cause of stagnating wages, lack of economic mobility, and rising inequality in the US.
While Massachusetts’ politicians pride themselves on their progressivism, over the last ten years, Massachusetts has had the largest increase in the number of illegal residents and the sharpest decline in wages for unskilled workers of any state in the nation, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a left-of-center think tank. Undocumented immigrants receive ample government support—in the form of schooling for children, free medical care, and the like, because their jobs pay little and many receive their wage payments under the table.
Nationwide, federal, state, and local governments spend roughly $113 billion on illegal immigrants. Approximately $89 billion of that falls on state and local governments, largely for education. Illegal immigrants’ state tax payments cover only five percent of their costs. To view this from another perspective, the taxpayers subsidize businesses that hire illegal immigrants, whom they exploit. Massachusetts’ stimulus bill would add as much as $181 million to that cost.
Massachusetts citizens bear other costs of illegal immigration. While most unauthorized immigrants are not criminals, they contribute to degradation of the rule of law. Nearly all people who cross our border illegally make payments to criminal gangs for their passage—many by transporting drugs for the gangs. The gangs also supply fraudulent documents, a key part of the illegal labor market in which illegal aliens operate.
Unfortunately, well-meaning politicians and social activists are working to entrench this system more deeply. In addition to the stimulus bill, other bills pending in the legislature would a) give drivers’ licenses to unlawful residents, and b) turn Massachusetts into a sanctuary state by forbidding local law enforcement from cooperating with the Federal government in identifying and removing criminal aliens.
Given that 26 million Americans have just lost their jobs, with millions more job losses undoubtedly to come, it is critical to protect low-skilled American workers.
MCIR urges voters to voice their opposition to:
1) The stimulus bill (S.2659);
2) The drivers’ license bill(H.3012/S.2061); and 3) The sanctuary state bill (H.3573/S.1401).
Steve Kropper (firstname.lastname@example.org)