The Cost of Illegal Immigration to the United States

February 8, 2019

As President Donald J. Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fight over whether or not to fund the keystone of Trump’s 2016 campaign –the border wall –policy makers should also be prepared to address the issues that bring immigrants to this country illegally in the first place.

Chief among those draws is access to welfare and other taxpayer funded handouts.

Studies show that Texas ranks with California and other southern border states in the 70% of illegal immigrants receiving taxpayer funded welfare.

From the Houston Chronicle:

In Texas, 54 percent of legal immigrants and 70 percent of illegal immigrants receive welfare assistance, with illegal immigrants generally receiving benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children, according to the study, written by a think tank that favors reducing immigration into the U.S.

Overall, Texas tied with California and New York for the second highest immigrant welfare rates behind Arizona...

The welfare programs analyzed include Supplemental Security Income for low income elderly and disabled, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Women, Infants and Children food program, free/reduced school lunch,food stamps, Medicaid, public housing and rent subsidies. In fiscal year 2008, these programs totaled $517 billion. But these programs are also partially funded by individual state governments, especially Medicaid.

Illegal immigrants with children primarily use food assistance programs and Medicaid, with little or no cash or housing assistance. In contrast, legal immigrants have high usage rates for every type of program.

The Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) sets the national price tag for welfare given to illegal immigrants at $113 billion, a substantial net-loss compared to the tax revenue paid by some small segments of illegal aliens.

The Cost of Illegal Immigration to the United States

At the federal, state, and local levels, taxpayers shell out approximately $134.9 billion to cover the costs incurred by the presence of more than 12.5 million illegal aliens, and about 4.2 million citizen children of illegal aliens. That amounts to a tax burden of approximately $8,075 per illegal alien family member and a total of $115,894,597,664. The total cost of illegal immigration to U.S. taxpayers is both staggering and crippling. In 2013, FAIR estimated the total cost to be approximately $113 billion. So, in under four years, the cost has risen nearly $3 billion. This is a disturbing and unsustainable trend. The sections below will break down and further explain these numbers at the federal, state, and local levels.

More from their 2017 study can be found here.

Recent months have only seen a rise in taxpayer-funded handouts earmarked specifically for illegal aliens. From the Washington Examiner:

New Jersey became the 10th state to offer financial aid to illegal immigrants. Along with other states like California, Texas, and Connecticut, illegal immigrants in New Jersey can now receive in-state tuition as well as taxpayer funded scholarships.

This legislation is expected to cost New Jersey taxpayers $5 million annually,and could dramatically exceed that figure in the years to come.  Additionally, it will serve as further encouragement for more people to come to this country illegally.

Securing our southern border is a matter of national security.   A key element of that security is cutting off the incentives that bring immigrants to this country illegally in the first place.

The Texas Legislature should start by no longer providing in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.

Trending | Now