Choice for Congress: More Illegal Immigration or Free College Educations for American HS Students?

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

October 3, 2017
money pile with grad cap
$116 Billion Annual Illegal Immigration Cost Would Cover
College Tuition Bills 
Mathematicians have long strived for ways to help people understand what staggeringly large numbers mean. Grasping the concept behind the billions and trillions referred to in economic, physics or population reports often don’t convey the desired dramatic effect because readers can’t meaningfully relate to such vast sums.

In an effort to help Americans get more comfortable with huge numbers, the Endowment for Human Development created an example to explain money (a single dollar bill) in non-monetary terms, specifically the height of stacks of one dollar bills: A stack of 100 one dollar bills measures .43 inches, 1,000 one dollar bills measures 4.3 inches, and one million one dollar bills reaches 4,300 inches or 358 feet, about the height of a 30 to 35 story building.

The optics of $1,000,000 in single bills reaching 35-stories toward the sky helps the numerically-challenged better understand how much money $1 million represents.

How then to relate to the recent Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) report which found that American taxpayers’ fund an annual $116 billion net cost to subsidize illegal immigration? Let Fox News host Tucker Carlson give the answer: “To put it into some perspective, Americans spend only about $70 billion every year paying tuition at public colleges and universities. So if you eliminate the expense of illegal immigrants, we could make every public college in the country tuition-free and still have nearly $50 billion left over to — I don’t know — fix decaying infrastructure, or subsidize health insurance for the middle class, or probably a lot more.” Watch Carlson here.

As Congress debates various amnesty bills that have encouraged more prospective alien amnesty-seekers to gather at the border, ask your representatives how they justify spending billions on illegal immigration when the money could be applied to higher education for deserving American kids. Find your representatives here at the CAPS Take Action page.

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