Illegal Immigration Costs U.S. $113 Billion a Year, Study Finds

The cost of harboring illegal immigrants in the United States is a staggering $113 billion a year — an average of $1,117 for every “native-headed” household in America — according to a study conducted by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

The study, a copy of which was provided to FoxNews.com, “is the first and most detailed look at the costs of illegal immigration ever done,” says Bob Dane, director of communications at FAIR, a conservative organization that seeks to end almost all immigration to the U.S.

FAIR’s opponents in the bitter immigration debate describe the organization as “extremist,” though it is regularly called upon to testify before Congress.

Groups that support immigration reform immediately attacked FAIR’s report and pointed out that it is the polar opposite of the Perryman Report, a 2008 study that found illegal immigration was actually a boon to the American economy. It estimated that illegal immigrants add $245 billion in Gross Domestic Product to the economy and account for 2.8 million jobs.

The FAIR report comes as President Obama moves immigration reform to the top of his agenda, and it is likely to be a rallying point for those who oppose the president. At a speech Thursday at American University in Washington, D.C., Obama argued that the entire immigration system is broken and needs sweeping reforms. Among the changes he said are needed is “a path for [farm] workers to earn legal status,” which the president’s critics called an opening for a new amnesty program.

FAIR’s report argues that there are two choices in the immigration debate: “One choice is pursuing a strategy that discourages future illegal migration and increasingly diminishes the current illegal alien population through denial of job opportunities and deportations. The other choice,” it says, “would repeat the unfortunate decision made in 1986 to adopt an amnesty that invited continued illegal migration.”

Click here to read FAIR’s Executive Summary

The report states that an amnesty program wouldn’t appreciably increase tax revenue and would cost massive amounts in Social Security
and public assistance expenses. An amnesty “would therefore be an accentuation of the already enormous fiscal burden,” the report concludes.

The single largest cost to the government of illegal immigration, according to the report, is an estimated $52 billion spent on schooling the children of illegals. “Nearly all those costs are absorbed by state and local governments,’ the report states.

Moreover, the study’s breakdown of costs on a state-by-state basis shows that in states with the largest number of illegals, the costs of illegal immigration are often greater than current, crippling budget deficits. In Texas, for example, the additional cost of immigration, $16.4 billion, is equal to the state’s current budget deficit; in California the additional cost of illegal immigration, $21.8 billion, is $8 billion more than the state’s current budget deficit of $13.8 billion; and in New York, the $6.8 billion deficit is roughly two-thirds the $9.5 billion yearly cost of its illegal population, according to Jack Martin, the researcher who completed the study.

Click here to see FAIR’s state by state costs.

“The most important finding of the study is the enormous cost to state and local governments due to lack of enforcement of our immigration laws,” Martin wrote.

The report found that the federal government paid $28.6 billion in illegal related costs, and state and local governments paid $84.2 billion on an estimated 13 million undocumented residents. In his speech, Obama estimated that there are 11 million.

But FAIR’s critics said the report wrongly included American-born children of undocumented workers in its study.

“The single biggest ‘expense’ it attributes to unauthorized immigrants is the education of their children, yet most of these children are native-born, U.S. citizens who will grow up to be taxpaying adults,” said Walter Ewing, a senior researcher at the American Immigration Council. “It is disingenuous to count the cost of investing in the education of these children, so that they will earn higher incomes and pay more in taxes when they are adults, as if it were nothing more than a cost incurred by their parents.”

He added that “the report fails to account for the purchasing power of unauthorized consumers, which supports U.S. businesses and U.S. jobs” and that it “ignores the value added to the U.S. economy by unauthorized workers, particularly in the service sector.”

Martin said FAIR expected that criticism, but that because the children are a direct result of illegal immigration, their inclusion was both fair and reasonable

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2 Comments

  1. Most Americans have never heard of the leftist End Game, if they did they would understand where Obama intends to take America.

    Historically leftists have believed Socialism/Marxism can only be achieved through deceit, lies and sacrificing anyone to advance their cause. Obama has already sacrificed the trust of Americans, repeatedly lied about most everything since he took office, and in the run up to the White House duped middle of the road Democrats to elect him President. Now Obama is ready to sacrifice the entire Democratic Party next election, giving amnesty to 12 million illegal immigrants.

    Middle of the road Democrats just can’t understand why Obama will throw them under the bus in November if he can get amnesty first for 12 million illegal immigrants. Obama wants to insure that when he leaves office, 12 million illegal immigrants can stay in the U.S., and the border is still open so 12 million more illegal immigrants can enter America; that will insure Obama’s leftist constituency can find back to back—several million foreign born residents to push for a Socialist U.S. Government. Do Americans actually think anything they say in protest will discourage Mexican illegal immigrants moving to their state? Mexican illegal immigrants come from a country where force is commonplace. But illegal immigrants do understand getting arrested by police and that is why they have to stop Arizona’s new anti-immigration law. Arizona’s new law threatens the leftist agenda that includes overburdening financially U.S. Government, local and state infrastructures to cause economic chaos.

    Leftists/Marxists historically move on democracies to take power when things are in chaos. Obama is now in position to cause that chaos. But unexpectedly, to the dismay of the left, Americans in state after state are standing up to support Arizona. If the Arizona law passes in enough states, and amnesty does not pass, the leftists will have lost a strong weapon to destroy America.

    Consequently leftists have become Desperate and are now in the process of trying to consolidate 170 liberal and civil rights groups into a coalition to match the Tea Party’s political energy and influence—this should be taken seriously. The first question: “Who are the players behind this new liberal coalition?” Historically in America leftists have displayed a victim mentality, giving up, not voting after the political tide turned against them as it has now. Obama as a Presidential candidate managed to motivate and hold leftist factions together; and gained the support of ethic groups that prior were at odds. However since the election Obama’s policies have fractured the left, Obama has lost most Independents. So who is going to organize and motivate the new coalition of 170 liberal and civil rights groups? In other countries, to affect the outcome of elections, extreme leftists have formed liberal and human rights coalitions that covertly were coordinated by Communists and labor unions.

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  2. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thank you

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