Congressman-Elect Jake Auchincloss: We Want Mass Low-Skill Immigration, Too

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What does Massachusetts congressman-elect Jake Auchincloss think about immigration?

The Newton city councilor recently elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in Massachusetts’s Fourth Congressional District is a fan.

As a councilor, the Democrat pushed a welcoming city ordinance in Newton, making it a sanctuary city. The idea is to limit the city’s cooperation with federal immigration enforcement authorities and to prevent them from investigating, detaining, and deporting people because they are illegal immigrants, according to Patch.

So if Auchincloss supports letting illegal aliens stay in the country, whom does he not want to let into the country?

It’s a question a New Boston Post reporter submitted for Newton-Needham Regional Chamber of Commerce president Greg Reibman to ask Auchincloss during a Zoom conversation.

Auchincloss never explained what kinds of restrictions there should be on immigration, as the question asked, but he did provide some thoughts on his view of immigration — while attacking President Donald Trump in the process.

He laughed when he heard the question, then said:  “I mean, we need a rules-based immigration system. I don’t think that’s controversial on the Democratic or Republican side, but in the long list of depredations of this administration, its treatment of immigrants inside of the country and trying to get in may be its most shameful acts. We have probably orphaned 500 kids because of our inability to find their parents at our border. It’s just not our country’s belief and it’s not true to our identity as a nation of immigrants.”

He touted his record on immigration,

“I have welcomed immigrants as a member of the Newton City Council and I will absolutely be a champion for immigrants at the national level,” Auchincloss said. “And by the way, that means both high-skill and low-skill immigration. I don’t like this increasing terminology we use about how, ‘Oh, well if you’re educated, you can come here and if you’re not, we don’t want you.’ No. We want everybody. My great-grandparents came here and they couldn’t read, but they built a middle-class lifestyle. Their son served in the Marine corps and became a scientist. And their great-grandson is going to Congress. This is part of the story of the United States. We want everybody.”

Auchincloss’s web site also says that he wants to welcome immigrants to the country, “and will work to roll back the Trump administration’s cruel and counterproductive immigration policies.”

According to economic studies, low-skill immigrants generally present a higher tax burden to the native population than high-skill immigrants.

In 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine put out a report called The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration. It found that immigrants who come to the United States with less than a high school degree, on average, cost the country $115,000 during their lifetime. For those in the 25 to 64 age range, the average cost is $176,000 and for those older than that, the cost is $254,000, based on data from recent immigrants.

Additionally, it found that people with high school degrees will on average cost the country $29,000 apiece. Those who come here in the 25-to-64 age range cost, on average, $70,000 apiece, while those older than that cost $170,000. This total excludes “public goods” including defense, subsidies, and “rest-of-the-world payments.” The formula considers taxes paid and benefits received.

However, when accounting for future inflation, The Heritage Foundation projects that the total net cost of an immigrant without a high school diploma in the United States over 75 years will be $640,000. The Heritage Foundation calculated that using data from the same research. 

The same research found that on average the descendants of immigrants with less than a high school degree ($70,000), a high school degree ($39,000), and some college education ($11,000) would all have net negative fiscal impacts on the country; the same is true of senior citizen immigrants of all education levels.