The first and most immediate impact of the president's amnesty/guestworker plan will be a huge increase in taxes on the American middle-class. 11 million illegals - plus unknown numbers of guestworkers and other low-income migrants - will become eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, for Medicaid, for unemployment insurance, for Section 8 housing, and so on and on through the menu of the American welfare state.
Libertarians may retort: Well these migrants would not be so costly if we abolished EITC, Medicaid, Section 8, etc. True enough. But these migrants will also qualify for the vote. David Boaz estimates that 9% of the 2004 electorate was economically and socially libertarian. I have no idea if that is accurate, but whatever the figure may be, I think we can guarantee that the number will plunge precipitously if the president and Senate succeed in adding millions of low-income, government-dependent, non-English-speaking, affirmative-action-eligible voters to the rolls.
Those business lobbies pushing for more cheap labor are adding a huge future liability to the public finances of the United States. The amnesty/guestworker plans in the Senate accommodate that demand. It's a little like the prescription drug benefit: a pleasant freebie for an influential constituency today at a huge, concealed cost to the taxpayers of tomorrow. This is not moderation; it is innumeracy.