During a recent visit to Orlando, except for one former Moroccan, all of our Uber drivers were former Venezuelans aged 50+. Via communication in a pidgin of English and Spanish, I learned that all of the former Venezuelans were chain migrants. Each had 4-5 children, at least one of whom lived in the U.S. and was therefore entitled to bring in both mom and dad. The guy who spoke the best English was a retired military officer. His pension was $2 per month.
It does not seem as though these folks are going to be net taxpayers, since all whom I met had earnings that would entitle them to subsidies for housing, health care, food, etc. American taxpayers will fund all of their medical expenses (about $11,000 per Medicare beneficiary per year plus these folks should be on Medicaid or subsidized Obamacare prior to age 65, so figure $500,000 total for health care?).
From “Immigration Multipliers, Trends in Chain Migration” (Jessica Vaughan, September 2017):
Over the last 35 years, chain migration has greatly exceeded new immigration. Out of 33 million immigrants admitted to the United States from 1981 to 2016, about 20 million were chain migration immigrants (61 percent).
According to the most complete contemporary academic studies on chain migration, in recent years each new immigrant sponsored an average of 3.45 additional immigrants. In the early 1980s, the chain migration multiplier was 2.59, or more than 30 percent lower.
I wonder if U.S. chain migration policy means that we can estimate the cost to U.S. taxpayers of a country experiencing an economic downturn. Let’s suppose that the meltdown in Venezuela has added 2 million chain migrant parents to the U.S. welfare state at roughly $1 million each (housing subsidies plus the $500,000 in medical expenses described above). Thus, it would be fair to say that Venezuela’s ongoing woes (can’t say “crisis” if it lasts for years, right?) will cost Americans at least $2 trillion?
(This does not account for the costs of congestion due to the fact that U.S. infrastructure is more or less fixed while the population grows. We experienced a traffic jam on a Saturday in Orlando and our driver said that was typical.)
Could we go around the world, figure out how many migrants from each country are already U.S. citizens, figure out how many parents, spouses, children, cousins, etc. have been left behind in the old country, and then estimate the cost to Americans if the economy in that country fails? We could then use these data to inform our foreign policy (usually starts from an isolationist premise, but due to our chain migration policy, it seems that our welfare is intimately intertwined with the welfare of any country that has previously sent us immigrants).
KMCO (thanks, Signature!), SeaWorld and Magic Kingdom from 2,000′ (thanks, Orlando Approach, for the 270 heading):