Jeffrey Passel of Pew clueless why anyone cares about costs of illegal aliens
Dalia Fahmy of ABC News offers "Expensive Aliens: How Much Do Illegal Immigrants Really Cost?" (link), an article similar in scope to the recently-discussed misleading article by FactCheck. She's slightly more balanced then the other article, but this at the end jumps out:
Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, takes the debate one step further. He points out that most attempts to find a meaningful number are usually futile, since the data are so difficult to collect. And anyway, he says, what is the point?
"We don't generally ask these questions about anybody else," says Passel. He points out that using the "cost" argument, one could make a case against parents who generally benefit more from public schools than the taxes they pay. "It's not a subject that there is a definitive answer to."
Obviously, the reason why people ask that question is because illegal aliens aren't supposed to be here. There are plenty of Americans who we'd be very lucky if they picked up and moved to another country, but we can't force them to leave. Foreign citizens who are here illegally are a different matter entirely: if enough people worked at it in an intelligent and effective fashion, we could encourage many or most to return home. That's the goal of things like the new Arizona immigration law; perhaps Passel needs to pay more attention to current events.