Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow Robert Rector appeared at a Bipartisan Policy Center panel discussion yesterday to warn about the high cost of amnesty to American taxpayers.

Full video of the 90-minute discussion is available from C-SPAN. In the above clip, Rector questions the fairness of an approach like the Senate’s Gang of Eight amnesty bill.

Rector noted that most Americans don’t realize that today the government spends close to $1 trillion each year aiding low-income individuals with nearly 80 different welfare programs. Providing amnesty to an estimated 11 million illegal immigration would add trillions more over the course of their lifetime.

We can barely afford to do that for U.S.-born citizens and for legal immigrants, but to try to apply this massive system of redistribution to people whose only claim to U.S. taxpayer resources is that they came here and broke the law — I think that’s a travesty and I think it’s an assault on the U.S. taxpayer.

There are other problems with the Gang of Eight’s bill in addition to the high cost. Amnesty encourages more unlawful entry — something Americans witnessed firsthand in the aftermath of the 1986 law. The current approach also fails to secure the border. Fixing the problems first — using a step-by-step approach — is better for America.