Buttigieg’s latest: Reparations for (wait for it!) illegal aliens

Buttigieg’s latest: Reparations for (wait for it!) illegal aliens
Pete Buttigieg (Image: YouTube screen grab via NBC News)

Last Thursday’s Democratic debate included a game of truth or dare where the goal was to see which candidate could push the liberal envelope the furthest.

Elizabeth Warren promised that as president she would “go to the Rose Garden once every year to read the names of transgender women, of people of color, who have been killed in the past year.” Apparently, the bulk of the roughly 400,000 who die in homicides each year don’t count because so many of them are white, a skin color the senator isn’t terribly fond of.

But Mayor Pete Buttigieg earned top honors for his suggestion that people who enter the U.S. illegally receive what amounts to reparations.

To show the idea was the result of deep, introspective thought, Buttigieg imposed two conditions on eligibility. To hit the jackpot, you first have to be a minor and, second, have to have been detained at the border by federal immigration officers.

In addition to cash money, Buttigieg  went on to say, these people “should have a fast-track to citizenship because what the United States did under this president to them was wrong. We have a moral obligation to make right what was broken.”

So how much would this little experiment cost? Asked for an estimate by The Nation, Columbia University economist Suresh Naidu came up with a figure of around $101,000 per illegal alien in 2014 dollars. He arrived at that estimate by computing the difference “between what undocumented Central American and Mexican workers get paid and what they would get paid if they enjoyed full equality of rights.” All told, Law Enforcement Today notes, that would set the nation back some $2.2 trillion. (It is unclear whether the estimate allows for the increase in minors showing up at the border each year in the hopes of being detained so they can cash in.)

Ordinarily, a number that high for a proposal that outrageous would have had a bigger impact — it would certainly have received wall-to-wall media coverage. But Americans have become so accustomed in recent years to seeing insane amounts proposed for pie-in-the-sky initiatives that the $2.2 trillion barely raised an eyebrow.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer and regular contributor to "Liberty Unyielding."


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