an independent Tea Party group in DuPage County, IL
A new report by FAIR, issued in July 2010, takes a comprehensive look at the fiscal costs associated with illegal immigration at the federal, state and local levels. According to the findings of the study, the annual cost of illegal immigration to U.S. taxpayers is $113 billion. Taxpayers incur some $28.6 billion in federal costs, but are also saddled with an $84.2 billion burden at the state and local level.
The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers is the most comprehensive analysis of the public costs of illegal immigration ever done. The report examines the impact of illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children on dozens of federal, state and local government programs. Even after the $113 billion annual price tag is offset by tax collections from illegal aliens, the net cost to U.S. taxpayers is $100 billion. However, as the report notes, the $13 billion a year of tax revenues from illegal aliens is misleading because government tax collections would likely have been considerably greater if legal U.S. workers had filled the jobs held by illegal aliens.
The release of The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers comes at a critical moment, as the Obama administration is reviving discussion of a sweeping amnesty for millions of illegal aliens. Contrary to the assertions of illegal alien advocates, the report finds that amnesty would likely increase fiscal costs over time. Although granting amnesty would result in marginal increases in taxes collected from current illegal aliens, newly legalized illegal aliens, now eligible for countless means-tested government assistance programs, would significantly increase the fiscal burdens.
The $113 billion annual outlay for illegal immigration breaks down to an average cost of $1,117 per native-headed U.S. household. But, because illegal aliens are not evenly distributed around the country, families in states with high levels of illegal immigration bear a significantly larger burden.
At the federal level, the costs of illegal immigration are fairly evenly distributed among a variety of programs. At the state and local level, education costs — including K-12 schooling, higher education, and English-language instruction — account for 58 percent of government outlays. The report provides state-by-state costs breakdowns of the costs associated with illegal immigration. In all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the costs of illegal immigration exceed the amount of revenues collected from illegal residents. California, alone, bears about one-quarter of the costs incurred by state and local governments — more than $21 billion.
In 18 states, including California, the annual cost of illegal immigration exceeded the 2009 budget shortfall. Oklahomans spent more than $458 million on programs and services for illegal aliens in 2009, which amounted to an astounding 6.838 percent of the state’s $7 million budget deficit.
The full text of The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers includes a program by program breakdown of the share of federal, state and local government spending on illegal aliens and their families. Advocates for illegal aliens have long attempted to argue that illegal aliens are a net fiscal positive, contributing more in taxes than they consume in public services and benefits. The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers responds definitively to that canard with verifiable data that demonstrates the enormous public burdens imposed by the government’s long-term failure to enforce immigration laws.