The staggering cost of illegal immigration: $135 billion per year

Published on September 27, 2017  |  By 2ANews.us 
In Illegal Immigration

Day laborers wait for work near a Home Depot store in Phoenix. (Image: Khampha Bouaphanh/AP)

Report: illegal immigration costs a record $135 billion per year

A report released on Wednesday by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) says illegal immigration is costing the U.S. taxpayers a staggering $135 billion each year.


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The report, arguably the most authoritative and complete study on the issue yet produced, says American taxpayers shell out approximately $134.9 billion each year to cover the costs incurred by the presence of more than 12.5 million illegal aliens and their 4.2 million (citizen) children.

States residents shoulder most of the costs associated with illegal immigration

Described as “both staggering and crippling”, each illegal immigrant and their family members cost U.S. taxpayers $8,075 per year for public education, medical care, justice enforcement initiatives, welfare programs and other miscellaneous costs.

State governments pay most of the costs associated with illegal immigration. The study reports the federal government pays $45.9 billion, with states shouldering the remaining $89 billion. According to the report, federal spending on illegal immigration totals $2,746 per illegal alien, per year. By way of comparison, the report notes that federal college loans to all U.S. citizens totals $4,800 per student per year.


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“A continually growing population of illegal aliens, along with the federal government’s ineffective efforts to secure our borders, present significant national security and public safety threats to the United States. They also have a severely negative impact on the nation’s taxpayers at the local, state, and national levels” – “The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on United States Taxpayers”, a 2017 Report by Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)

Taxes paid by illegal immigrant taxes cover only 16% of the costs they create for society

The study also exposes the lie often raised by advocates of illegal immigration that undocumented aliens alleviate their burden on society by paying their fair share of taxes. According to the report, such arguments are a “red herring”, with illegal immigrants paying a mere 16% of the costs they create, paying $18.9 billion in taxes, while leaving the remaining $116 billion to be paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

In addition, the report points out that, as undocumented aliens in a foreign country, illegal immigrants are more often employed in low-paying jobs, and therefore are more likely to receive a full refund of any state and federal taxes they might pay.

Three states lead all others in contributing to illegal immigration costs

Three states lead all others in contributing to the costs of illegal immigration. These are California ($23 billion), Texas ($10.9 billion), and New York ($7.5 billion).

At the state level, some examples of the costs associated with illegal immigration include the cost to taxpayers to support general governance, fire departments, garbage collection, street cleaning and maintenance, capital expenditures, and debt servicing. As more local “sanctuary” municipalities embrace illegal immigration, the services they provide grow proportionally, with the burden of paying for those increasing costs transferred to U.S. taxpayers.

Illegal immigration presents “significant national security and public safety threats to the United States”

The report concludes, “A continually growing population of illegal aliens, along with the federal government’s ineffective efforts to secure our borders, present significant national security and public safety threats to the United States. They also have a severely negative impact on the nation’s taxpayers at the local, state, and national levels.”

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