Dealing with the costs of illegal immigrantion
The costs of illegal immigration are staggering. In an article by the Center for Immigration Studies the following is shown:
WASHINGTON (August 25, 2004) Ã¢â‚¬â€ A new study from the Center for Immigration Studies is one of the first to estimate the impact of illegal immigration on the federal budget. Based on Census Bureau data, the study estimates that households headed by illegal aliens used $10 billion more in government services than they paid in taxes in 2002. These figures are only for the federal government; costs at the state and local level are also likely to be significant. The study also finds that if illegals were given amnesty, the fiscal deficit at the federal level would grow to nearly $29 billion.
Among the findings:
- Illegal alien households are estimated to use $2,700 a year more in services than they pay in taxes, creating a total fiscal burden of nearly $10.4 billion on the federal budget in 2002.
- Among the largest federal costs: Medicaid ($2.5 billion); treatment for the uninsured ($2.2 billion); food assistance programs ($1.9 billion); the federal prison and court systems ($1.6 billion); and federal aid to schools ($1.4 billion).
- If illegal aliens were legalized and began to pay taxes and use services like legal immigrants with the same education levels, the estimated annual fiscal deficit at the federal level would increase from $2,700 per household to nearly $7,700, for a total federal deficit of $29 billion.
- With nearly two-third of illegals lacking a high school diploma, the primary reason they create a fiscal deficit is their low education levels and resulting low incomes and tax payments ÃƒÂ¢?? not their legal status or their unwillingness to work.
- Amnesty increases costs because illegals would still be largely unskilled, and thus their tax payments would continue to be very modest, but once legalized they would be able to access many more government services.
If Illegals Stay, So Will the Costs. To the extent that policy makers have considered the fiscal costs of illegal immigration, they have generally tried to reduce the costs while allowing illegals to remain. But this strategy has not been effective because the average illegal already receives less than half as much in services from the federal government as do other households. Moreover, many of the costs are due to their U.S.-born children, who are awarded American citizenship at birth under current law. Other programs are simply too politically sensitive to cut, such as the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program. And others costs are unavoidable, such as incarcerating illegals who have been convicted of crimes. Conversely, enforcing immigration laws is both popular with voters and administratively more feasible. There are really only two options: either we begin to enforce the law, significantly reducing the number of illegals in the country, or we accept the costs created by the presence of a large pool of unskilled workers.
The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institute which examines the impact of immigration on the United States.
The whole article can be found here.
As you can see, this is a large problem. My question is what are we to do? How do we solve this problem?
Please take the time to read the article so that we can become more educated on this subject.