Illegal immigrants and their children cost taxpayers $135 billion per year. This is the highest level of expenditure for illegal immigrants ever made by the United States, which includes free medical care, education, law enforcement. The Federation for American Immigration Reform released a report that despite claims from immigration advocates that illegal aliens pay substantially into federal, state, and local governments, FAIR estimates that the amount comes to just $19 billion, making the final toll on taxpayers to be about $116 billion.

FAIR estimated that local and state governments are being hit with more than $88 billion. The federal government, by comparison, is getting off easy at $45 billion in costs for illegal aliens.

Titled "The Fiscal Burden Of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers," the comprehensive report noted that costs have climbed about $3 billion since 2013. FAIR Executive Director Dan Stein praised President Donald Trump’s efforts to control illegal immigration and to control costs to government. By mandating E-Verify, building the border wall, and improving immigration enforcement, Stein said that the costs to taxpayers should diminish.

The FAIR report  documents that each of the 12.5 estimated illegal immigrants and their 4.2 million children (some of whom are US citizens) in the country cost taxpayers on average $8,075 in state, local, and federal spending. These costs include $23 billion for law enforcement, $9 billion in welfare, $29 billion in medical care, and $46 billion for education.

According to FAIR, the cost of teaching English to an illegal immigrant child averages $12,000+ per year, while in New York City the cost can reach $25,000. Additional costs per child would come from school-provided meals, health care, and welfare payments. California leads the rest of the country at $23 billion per year, followed by Texas at $11 billion, and New York at $7.4 billion.

The report shows that taxes paid by illegal immigrants do not offset their cost to American citizens and legal resident aliens. It estimated that 35 percent of the illegals operate in the underground economy and thus may not pay taxes. Also, many employers hire illegal aliens, pay them less than market rates and/or without reporting their payments to authorities. The report said, "The United States recoups only about 14 percent of the amount expended annually on illegal aliens. If the same jobs held by illegal aliens were filled by legal workers, at the prevailing market wage, it may safely be presumed that federal, state and local governments would receive higher tax payments."

Key findings:

-- The cost incurred for illegal immigrants and their children outweigh the taxes paid to federal and state governments by a ratio of roughly 7 to 1, with costs at nearly $135 billion compared to tax revenues at nearly $19 billion.

-- Almost $135 billion paid by taxpayers to cover the cost of 12.5 million illegal aliens and their 4.2 million citizen children amounts to approximately $8,075 per illegal alien and citizen child prior to taxes paid, or $6,940 per person after taxes are paid.

-- The federal government’s expenditure for medical costs was by far the highest at $17.14 billion, while law enforcement cost $13.15 billion, and general government services came in at $8 billion.

-- In order of magnitude, the three top states in expenditure are: California ($23 billion); Texas ($10.9 billion), and New York ($7.5 billion).



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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