Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Federation For American Immigration Reform (FAIR) Reports That Illegal Immigrants Cost The U.S. $113 Billion And Alaska $139 Million Per Year

On July 6th, 2010, the Federation for American Immigration Reform issued a report on a study in which they estimate the annual costs of illegal immigration at the federal, state and local level to be about $113 billion; nearly $29 billion at the federal level and $84.2 billion at the state and local level. The report also includes state-by-state breakdowns, and showed that Alaska's cost to be about $139 million. The study also estimates tax collections from illegal alien workers, both those in the above-ground economy and those in the underground economy.

-- Read media story from Fox News HERE
-- Read seven-page executive summary HERE
-- Read 104-page full report HERE
-- Read comparison of state budget gaps and state expenditures on illegals HERE.

Key Findings:

-- Illegal immigration costs U.S. taxpayers about $113 billion a year at the federal, state and local level. The bulk of the costs — some $84.2 billion — are absorbed by state and local governments.
-- The annual outlay that illegal aliens cost U.S. taxpayers is an average amount per native-headed household of $1,117. The fiscal impact per household varies considerably because the greatest share of the burden falls on state and local taxpayers whose burden depends on the size of the illegal alien population in that locality
-- Education for the children of illegal aliens constitutes the single largest cost to taxpayers, at an annual price tag of nearly $52 billion. Nearly all of those costs are absorbed by state and local governments.
-- At the federal level, about one-third of outlays are matched by tax collections from illegal aliens. At the state and local level, an average of less than 5 percent of the public costs associated with illegal immigration is recouped through taxes collected from illegal aliens.
-- Most illegal aliens do not pay income taxes. Among those who do, much of the revenues collected are refunded to the illegal aliens when they file tax returns. Many are also claiming tax credits resulting in payments from the U.S. Treasury.

The state-by-state breakdown begins on page 52 of the full report. Tables 8, 12, 13, and 14 are of interest. Table 15 on page 77 reveals a total outlay for Alaska of $138.6 million. Categorical Breakdown:

-- K/12 Education: $62,400,000
-- LEP (Limited English Proficiency): $12,600,000
-- Medicaid: $7,800,000
-- SCHIP (State Child Health Insurance Program): $2,400,000
-- Justice: $6,800,000
-- Welfare: $16,700,000
-- General: $29,900,000 (defined as common taxpayer-funded municipal services; also includes free and subsidized costs of school meals, since states must provide 30 percent of matching funds to qualify for Federal funding)

Some have estimated the total of illegal immigrants in Alaska to be around 50,000. Because of Alaska's distance from the Mexican border, Alaska illegals are predominantly but not overwhelmingly Hispanic as they are in Arizona. Anchorage is still considered a sanctuary city for illegals by OJJPAC, but it is a passive sanctuary city rather than an active sanctuary city where cops are expressively forbidden from inquiring into the residency status of people. Former Anchorage Assemblyman Paul Bauer started a group allied to FAIR, called Alaskans for Legal Presence. I previously described it HERE.

Methodology: FAIR estimates the illegal alien population to be around 13 million, based on a 2007 estimate of 11.78 million by the Department of Homeland Security.

In their cost estimates they also include the minor children of illegal aliens born in the United States, which adds another 3.4 million children to the 1.3 million children who are illegal aliens themselves. They include these U.S. citizen children of illegal aliens because the fiscal outlays for them are a direct result of the illegal migration that led to their U.S. birth. They do so as well in the assumption that if the parents leave voluntarily or involuntarily they will take these children with them. The birth of these children and their subsequent medical care represent a large share of the estimated Medicaid and Child Health Insurance Program expenditures associated with illegal aliens.

FAIR uses data collected by the federal and state governments on school expenses, Limited English Proficiency enrollment, school meal programs, university enrollment, and other public assistance programs administered at the federal and state level. Estimates of incarceration expenses are based on data collected in the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program in which state and local detention facilities seek federal compensation for the cost of detention of criminal and deportable aliens. Estimates for other administration of justice expenditures are based on data collected from the states by the U.S. Department of Justice. General government expenditures are estimated for other non-enumerated functions of government at both the federal and local level.

Criticism of FAIR's study, some of it valid, has been forthcoming. Walter Ewing, a senior researcher at the American Immigration Council, said the report wrongly included American-born children of undocumented workers in its study. He also said 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. Read the Council's full response HERE. The first point is probably valid; the survey should have confined itself to illegals only. The validity of the other points depends upon how much value you assign to them; I don't believe any "benefits" conveyed by illegals comes close to offsetting the harm they inflict upon our infrastructure.

One critic of FAIR who can be ignored is the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC designates FAIR as a hate group, but they're merely preaching "guilt by association". The fact is the SPLC has long ceased to target merely violent racists and have now cast their net much wider to include numerous American patriots such as Ron Paul and Chuck Baldwin. Furthermore, that "guilt by association" can work both ways; the SPLC's blogroll is loaded with hard-core extremist websites such as Daily Kos and Firedoglake. So the SPLC has lost any credibility it had with mainstream America.


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  3. This whole debate over the rights of illegal immigrants is nothing short of ridiculous. Had my father known how easy it was to come over on a temp. visa and just overstay his visit I do not think it would have taken us 12 years to be allowed access. Seems like the only reason we had to wait so long is that we were immigrating from Europe not Africa or some other third world shithole.

    I have been saying for months now that the only thing that is going to come from the Arizona law involving illegal immigrants is going to be amnesty like was tried with Reagan. Not one bill of amnesty has ever done what it was supposed to do. It only inflates the problem which seems to be typical with all this new legislation that no matter how the people feel about the subject, gets pushed down our throats.

  4. Poornima Wagh7/13/2010 1:58 PM

    The United States government has "apparently" decided to become the charity organization for the rest of the world. The government "has decided" mind you WITHOUT the consent of its people to open the immigration floodgates of this country to all the illegal criminals and deadbeats from third world countries such as Mexico and others. I can assure you all that the amnesty program is going to worsen the problem of illegal immigration a 100 fold. The last amnesty given to these deadbeats, did not deter the problem just escalated it. Well people! here are the cold hard facts: The government of the United States is not for the people, but against it's own people. If Obama gives amnesty now, I will bet with a 150% certainty that the United States is well on its way and will become a third world country like Mexico within the next 10 years or so. The evidence is clear, look what we're importing into the country: a bunch of salad pickers, who don't want to assimilate, don't pay taxes, live on welfare, SSI and section 8 housing and form gangs. Gee people! welcome to the NEW United States of America! soon to become a third world country! We need to quickly wake up and get rid of this government, or you're not going to have a United States as we know it. Enough said! I hope I've driven home the message. Say no to illegal immigration and ask the government to take a hike. Strongly and vocally support Arizona's SB1070.

    Poornima Wagh
    Santa Barbara, CA