Democrats are quick to point to the economic benefits of illegal immigration, beginning with the claim that those in the United States illegally often pay taxes yet are not eligible for many of the benefits that U.S. citizens enjoy — there are any number of liberal DC think tanks that will crank out the statistics to support the claim that illegal immigrants are a net gain for America.
After two years of an effectively open border under President Joe Biden, where well over 5 million “migrants” have crossed into the U.S., which doesn’t count hundreds of thousands of known gotaways, it’s difficult to say what the overall population may be. The number 11 million has been kicked around for well over a decade, but the total number today could be 20 million or more — there is no clear approach to determining the true population.
And a new Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) study shows that illegal immigrants are costing U.S. taxpayers $151 billion a year, which represents a 30% increase in five years.
FAIR is considered a hawkish immigration group — which means they support border security and sensible immigration — and the group’s study “concludes that American taxpayers pay overall around $182 billion annually for services and benefits to illegal immigrants. However, those costs are offset by around $31 billion in taxes collected from what they estimate are 15.5 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.,” Fox News reported.
In 2017, FAIR estimated that illegal immigration was costing U.S. taxpayers $116 billion a year.
More from Fox News:
While illegal immigrants are not eligible for the majority of federal welfare programs, the study also takes into account services, such as education and food assistance programs, provided to the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants and also programs that they may be eligible for at the state level.
The largest cost that FAIR identifies is K-12 education, which the group estimates costs a total of $78 billion a year. Health care – including uncompensated hospital expenditures, Medicaid fraud and Medicaid for U.S. born children – is estimated to cost $42.7 billion a year. Costs related to criminal justice at the federal, state and local levels, which includes federal immigration enforcement, are estimated at approximately $47 billion a year.
Food assistance and nutrition programs, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) costs are estimated by the group to cost about $13.5 billion a year. The study estimates that each illegal immigrant or U.S.-born child of illegal immigrants costs $8,776 a year, and costs each taxpayer $1,156 a year.
FAIR President Dan Stein spoke about the “alarming” increase in costs, coming at a time when the country is struggling and the Biden administration having failed to stem the tide — more than 2.3 million illegal immigrants came in FY 2022 and Fox News noted that FY 2023 has so far eclipsed those numbers.
“As America struggles to meet countless societal needs while facing the realities of our staggering $31 trillion national debt, the costs of providing for millions of people who have no legal right to be in the United States continues to grow at an alarming rate,” Stein said in a statement.
“Not only is the Biden administration refusing to rein in illegal immigration or remove the people who are breaking our laws, they are promulgating policies that actually encourage more of it while offering new protections and benefits to those who settle here illegally,” he said. “Likewise, a growing number of states and localities create their own costly magnets for illegal aliens by declaring themselves sanctuaries and offering new benefits and services. This has to stop.”
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