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Rep. Louie Gohmert: giving legal status to children won't help economy

"It is time to stop the luring of young children across the border by the activities of this administration."
By Aileen Graef   |   May 22, 2014 at 11:54 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, May 22 (UPI) -- Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said on the House floor Monday that immigration reform will lead to increased child sex trafficking and hurts the economy.

Gohmert was speaking about the rising number of undocumented children entering the U.S. when he said the debate over comprehensive immigration reform is causing the uptick in border crossings by minors.

"When legal status and amnesty is talked about here in Washington, it becomes a magnet and draws people in. And for all of the children that are drawn in illegally, you know that some get sucked into sex slavery," said Gohmert. He added, "Because of the talk of amnesty in this town and because we do not have a secured border, then this administration, and this Congress also, is complicit in helping lure people into sex trafficking."

Gohmert also argued that the U.S. should not offer legals status to these children because they cannot contribute to the economy.

"We have people saying, oh, if we just legalize everybody that is here, all of this new tax money will come flooding in," Gohmert told his colleagues. "There can be no debate that young children who are not working, even if they are legalized, for those who make the argument, gee, look at all the tax money that the Federal coffers will be getting if we just legalize everybody here, that is a bogus argument."

Economists have consistently asserted that making the immigration system more accessible would stimulate the economy. The Bipartisan Policy Center released a report last October saying comprehensive immigration reform would boost economic growth by 4.8 percent over the next two decades, 94 percent of the new residents would be under the retirement age of 65, real wages would rise by .5 percent and young workers would end up reducing the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next twenty years with a larger economy.

Follow @AileenGraef and @UPI on Twitter.
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