The Real Cost of Illegal Aliens….

This study is one of the first to estimate the total impact of illegal immigration on the federal budget. Most previous studies have focused on the state and local level and have examined only costs or tax payments, but not both. Based on Census Bureau data, this study finds that, when all taxes paid (direct and indirect) and all costs are considered, illegal households created a net fiscal deficit at the federal level of more than $10 billion in 2002. We also estimate that, if there was an amnesty for illegal aliens, the net fiscal deficit would grow to nearly $29 billion.

Among the findings:

  • Households headed by illegal aliens imposed more than $26.3 billion in costs on the federal government in 2002 and paid only $16 billion in taxes, creating a net fiscal deficit of almost $10.4 billion, or $2,700 per illegal household.
  • Among the largest costs are Medicaid ($2.5 billion); treatment for the uninsured ($2.2 billion); food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches ($1.9 billion); the federal prison and court systems ($1.6 billion); and federal aid to schools ($1.4 billion).
  • With nearly two-thirds of illegal aliens lacking a high school degree, the primary reason they create a fiscal deficit is their low education levels and resulting low incomes and tax payments, not their legal status or heavy use of most social services.
  • On average, the costs that illegal households impose on federal coffers are less than half that of other households, but their tax payments are only one-fourth that of other households.
  • Many of the costs associated with illegals are due to their American-born children, who are awarded U.S. citizenship at birth. Thus, greater efforts at barring illegals from federal programs will not reduce costs because their citizen children can continue to access them.
  • If illegal aliens were given amnesty and began to pay taxes and use services like households headed by legal immigrants with the same education levels, the estimated annual net fiscal deficit would increase from $2,700 per household to nearly $7,700, for a total net cost of $29 billion.
  • Costs increase dramatically because unskilled immigrants with legal status — what most illegal aliens would become — can access government programs, but still tend to make very modest tax payments.
  • Although legalization would increase average tax payments by 77 percent, average costs would rise by 118 percent.
  • The fact that legal immigrants with few years of schooling are a large fiscal drain does not mean that legal immigrants overall are a net drain — many legal immigrants are highly skilled.
  • The vast majority of illegals hold jobs. Thus the fiscal deficit they create for the federal government is not the result of an unwillingness to work.
  • The results of this study are consistent with a 1997 study by the National Research Council, which also found that immigrants’ education level is a key determinant of their fiscal impact.

 

About the Author
Steven A. Camarota is Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C. He holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in public policy analysis from the University of Virginia. Dr. Camarota often testifies before Congress and has published widely on the political and economic effects of immigration on the United States. His articles on the impact of immigration have appeared in both academic publications and the popular press including Social Science Quarterly, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Campaigns and Elections, and The Public Interest. His most recent work published by the Center for Immigration Studies includes: Immigration in a Time of Recession: An Examination of Trends Since 2000; Where Immigrants Live: An Examination of State Residency of the Foreign-Born; Back Where We Started: An Examination of Trends in Immigrant Welfare Use Since Welfare Reform; and The Open Door: How Militant Islamic Terrorists Entered and Remained in the United States, 1993-2001.

 

2 Responses to “The Real Cost of Illegal Aliens….”

  • Dave Francis:

    After 1990 more people have covertly arrived here than any time since immigration numbers have been recorded. In the previous 20 years, immigration has exploded to over 1 million newcomers a year, that it is three times the conventional standard. Immigration is not just one issue that profoundly affects our children and grandchildren, but goes far beyond today’s challenges we must deal with such as jobs, the economy and loss of revenue from paying equally for our uninsured Americans but illegal aliens as well. Our countries population has more than doubled from 203 million in 1970 and an impending 439 million in 2050, according to the Census Bureau. Immigration is estimated to cause eighty-two percent of propagation between 2005 and 2050 as estimated by The Pew Hispanic Center. Congress has caused this radical population, without thinking of future consequences or the incessant extortion of U.S. taxpayers by the IRS to pay for these people–illegal and illegal.

    Yesterdays immigrants came with nothing; expecting nothing. But those illegal immigrants, who have come here since 1986, expect free welfare and public assistance and demanding even more through demonstration in our streets. These are economic illegal aliens, made easy to come here through porous borders and even less internal enforcement. $113 Billion dollars a year and climbing, doesn’t seem that much under the present doldrums of a 14.7 Trillion dollar U.S. deficit? But this money should not be going to foreigners, when America have their own crushing poverty, within its states? A good beginning to the long road back, is by all patriotic citizens or legalized residents insisting that Congress adopt Lamar Smiths mandated E-Verify bill (H.R. 2885), identified as the “Legal Workforce Act” . Contact your own local Senator or Representative or federal politician at 202-224-3121.

    The consequences of illegal alien workers being hired will be alleviated by turning the tables on less than honorable business owners, who are stealing jobs from American workers to buttress their enormous earnings. There are no short cuts in this massive problem as a way back to national sovereignty or the way our government is suppose to work. A failure to secure our borders is not an option, or to enforce the laws of the 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act. None of this illegal population would have happened if previous administrations had enforced all policies. The “Legal Workforce Act” has the intensity, to reject those illegal workers and open many jobs for citizens and permanent residents. Like any other developed country with growing industries, we always have the inducement of a good place to live, if you qualify for a special preference visa. Only the highest eligible skills should be expedited, and those who are considered—ECONOMIC–aliens must be turned away.

    THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT STATE IMMIGRATION POLICING LAWS IN ARIZONA, ALABAMA, GEORGIA, UTAH OR ANY OTHER STATE SOVEREIGNTY. IT IS EVERY AMERICAN STATES PROBLEM AND ITS RESIDENTS. IT’S NOT JUST A RICK PERRY ISSUE, MITT ROMNEY, OR ANY PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL; IT’S EVERY AMERICAN PROBLEM WHO STILL REMAINS JOBLESS. IT’S A GROWING CATASTROPHE FOR ALL OF US, WHO ARE FORCED BY LAW TO SUPPORT HEALTH TREATMENT, EDUCATION AND A WIDE CORNUCOPIA OF PUBLIC SERVICES TO FOREIGN NATIONALS. WHOEVER ARRIVES IN THE WHITE HOUSE MUST HOLD THE SOLID IDEALS OF THE TEA PARTY.

    “…GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE…”
    by President Abraham Lincoln, June 1, 1865

    We can no longer afford the expense of illegal entries, which have arrived here by the millions adding to the impoverished amongst the jobless Americans. This country is being handicapped on all levels of government, by the insistence from both political parties that we must support everyone who enters this country. The costs have spiraled to over 100 billion a year, with public assistance. Then again, nobody ever speaks about the billions of dollars that leaves this nation, from the illegal pay packets of workers spirited from the US to foreign financial institutions. That is money not going into our economy.

    Moreover funneling so much cash out of the United States (about $500 billion through banks and “regular” tracked wired transmission systems, plus over $500 billion in cash income to criminals such as illegal alien smugglers, drug cartels etc), illegal’s then collect various social services, welfare, food stamps, unpaid medical care, WIC, and more. Believe it or not, much of these government checks are picked up at Post offices boxes in other countries, including fraudulent child tax credits. India alone has retained its position as the highest beneficiary of global transmittal flow at $52 billion in 2008, the World Bank has said in a report. Then Mexicans remit about $24 BILLION a year (2007 figure) to its banks. This money should be going to our own poor, to elderly pensions and aid with running our hospitals and the education system. Investigate these references and sources for yourself, to see where money that is being used to appease foreign nationals.

    If Farmers and the agricultural giant corporations WANT labor from south of the border, then their hires must be registered, given full benefits through the farmers and business owners and be able to track them, like the authorities do in Mexico? American taxpayers should not be paying for the labor, such as health care and the education for all family members.

    Only the TEA PARTY has guaranteed to its millions of members that our immigration laws will be strictly held to the highest degree. The border must be our first line of protection against the criminals of every designation, and those who come here through the impaired fencing. E-Verify bill (H.R. 2885), recognized as the “Legal Workforce Act” can be the second line of defense for in-house audits, to siphon out foreign workers. A third line of defense is the patriotic American who informs ICE at of irregularities in all occupations at 1-866-DHS-2ICE (866-347-2423). SEE SOMETHING? DO SOMETHING?

    This does not mean just a laborer working for a greedy contractor, but even middle management in a factory. Also stand with Secure Communities that any individual who is processed in police custody, is fingerprinted and checked through ICE and homeland Security databases. American Patrol, a pro-sovereignty group hosts on its website, a daily headline from thousands of newspapers, dealing with corruption in politics and immigration. NumbersUSA has internal firsthand knowledge of Congressional happenings and immigration. Judicial Watch reveals the corruption in all Washington agencies, along with the same resonating in each states capitol.

    A federal judge’s resolution last week left Alabama’s strict new immigration law largely intact is already having a key impact throughout the state, as hundreds of children stayed away from school. The state’s anti-immigration law is now in effect, including a provision that requires schools to check the immigration status of students. My guess is that thousands of illegal families will be pursuing a new home, such as the Sanctuary state of California or any state where immigration laws are lax and remain unenforced. In California 7.5 million low income are on Medicaid (MediCAL), so how many of these people are illegal migrants and immigrants?

    One Old Vet saying, “Stand next to me and you’ll never stand alone.”

    MY EARLIER BLOGS: http://brittanicus-enoughisenough.blogspot.com

  • [...] a small percentage of the Mexican illegals in the U.S. pick our crops, while 29% pick our pockets…they’re on [...]

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