Senator Jeff Flake was a frequent attendee at the Koch conferences of donors, and he has remained anti-Trump to this day. All that got him was a disapproval rating so high in his home state of Arizona that he resigned at a young age rather than even try for reelection.
Now Senator Flake is leading a group of other anti-Trump senators, including Lindsey Graham (R-SC), to try to forge a deal with Democrats to protect illegal aliens known as “dreamers.”
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a report throwing cold water on the bum’s rush to protect DACA recipients. The CBO estimates that legalizing Dreamers would cost taxpayers $25.9 billion over the next decade.
The CBO explains why the costs of Dreamers would far exceed any benefit that Americans would ever see. Once legalized, the Dreamers would become eligible for the full array of benefits for the working poor including Obamacare, Medicaid, food stamps, and much more.
Dreamers would consume more benefits and pay less taxes than the average American because their skills and education are so much lower. Even though most Dreamers are now in their twenties or thirties, for example, more than half of them never finished high school.
Part of the skills gap is because Dreamers were never required to demonstrate English fluency, and many are functionally illiterate. Of those who signed up for DACA, many required the help of a translator to fill out the form.
The CBO estimates the cost of all those federal benefits at $27 billion over 10 years, while only $1 billion of new tax revenue would be generated from Dreamers moving “out of the shadows” to regular employment. Even in Washington, where the federal budget is measured in trillions, $26 billion is real money.
Democrats are acutely aware of the value of $26 billion, whether or not they are willing to admit it where the Dreamers are concerned. Trump's border wall, which Democrats consider exorbitantly expensive, would cost only $21.6 billion according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Rather than spending that money on keeping illegal immigrants here, perhaps we should build the wall and keep illegals out.