Cost Study: Illegal Immigration Now Costs American Taxpayers At Least $151 Billion a Year
Washington, D.C. — A new report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) finds that, as of 2022, American taxpayers shell out at least $151 billion each year to cover the cost of illegal immigration. Broken down, the data reveals that taxpayers pay $182 billion annually to provide services and benefits to illegal aliens and their dependents. These costs are offset by about $31 billion in taxes that are collected from the estimated 15.5 million illegal aliens living in the United States, bringing the net cost to $150.7 billion annually.
- At the start of 2023, the net cost of illegal immigration for the United States – at the federal, state, and local levels – was at least $150.7 billion.
- FAIR arrived at this number by subtracting the tax revenue paid by illegal aliens – just under $32 billion – from the gross negative economic impact of illegal immigration, $182 billion.
- In 2017, the estimated net cost of illegal migration was approximately $116 billion. In just 5 years, the cost to Americans has increased by nearly $35 billion.
- Illegal immigration costs each American taxpayer $1,156 per year.
- Each illegal alien or U.S.-born child of illegal aliens costs the U.S. $8,776 annually.
- Evidence shows that tax payments by illegal aliens cover only around a sixth of the costs they create at all levels in this country.
- A large percentage of illegal aliens who work in the underground economy frequently avoid paying any income tax at all.
- Many illegal aliens actually receive a net cash profit through refundable tax credit programs.
The 2022 costs represent a 30 percent increase to taxpayers in just five years. A former version of this study, conducted in 2017 by FAIR, placed the annual net cost of illegal immigration at $116 billion. Most of the additional costs have been added in the past two years, as the Biden administration’s de facto open borders policies have triggered a historic surge of new illegal migrants pouring across our borders. Moreover, the updated price tag of $151 billion is a conservative estimate as there are additional costs incurred from illegal immigration, but there is currently insufficient data to provide reliable cost estimates.
FAIR’s comprehensive analysis looks at available federal, state, and local programs and services that are directly accessible to illegal aliens, or indirectly, through their U.S.-born children who qualify for all means-tested programs. In addition to the surge of illegal immigration since 2021, state and local governments have offered a variety of new benefits and services to illegal aliens, which have exacerbated the situation for struggling taxpayers.
Among the key findings in FAIR’s report, The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on United States Taxpayers:
- The gross annual cost of illegal immigration (the total amount before taxes paid by illegal aliens are factored in) is now $182 billion, annually.
- Taxes paid by illegal aliens only cover around 17.2 percent of the costs they create for American citizens, bringing the net cost to $150.7 billion a year.
- The largest component of the cost is K-12 education, which must be provided under a 1982 Supreme Court ruling. The annual K-12 education cost for illegal aliens (and their U.S.-born children) is $78 billion, of which $70.4 billion is borne by states and localities.
- Health care for illegal aliens costs taxpayers about $42.7 billion annually.
- A variety of food assistance and nutritional programs used by illegal aliens and their children cost taxpayers about $13.5 billion annually.
- Combined federal, state, and local criminal justice costs associated with illegal immigration run about $47 billion annually – not including the cost of damages to victims.
“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,” commented Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “To be clear, most of this enormous financial burden has been inflicted on taxpayers by the open borders advocates at every level of government. 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. 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.”
“The American people viscerally understand that no nation can flourish without controlling its borders and enforcing its immigration laws. The purpose of this report is to provide them with the true costs of these ruinous policies — $150.7 billion a year and growing with no inclination on the part of the current administration to address the problem,” Stein concluded.
BREAKING: AFL Sues DHS, Obtains Astounding Data: Barely One-Tenth of One Percent Of Illegal Minors DHS Let Into the United States Were Later Deported
— America First Legal (@America1stLegal) March 9, 2023
EDITORS NOTE: This FAIR Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.
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