The information contained in this post is directly copied and pasted from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) website. Some formatting has been done to make this article readable in this format, no changes have been made to the content of this article, a link to the orginal is provided in the links section of this website. A full copy of the report can be obtained using the link below. - The Chemist
Analysis of the latest Census data indicates that California's illegal immigrant population is costing the state's taxpayers more than $10.5 billion per year for education, medical care and incarceration. Even if the estimated tax contributions of illegal immigrant workers are subtracted, net outlays still amount to nearly $9 billion per year. The annual fiscal burden from those three areas of state expenditures amounts to about $1,183 per household headed by a native-born resident.
This analysis looks specifically at the costs to the state for education, health care and incarceration resulting from illegal immigration. These three are the largest cost areas, and they are the same three areas analyzed in a 1994 study conducted by the Urban Institute, which provides a useful baseline for comparison ten years later. Other studies have been conducted in the interim, showing trends that support the conclusions of this report.
As this report will note, other significant costs associated with illegal immigration exist and should be taken into account by federal and state officials. But, even without accounting for all of the numerous areas in which costs associated with illegal immigration are being incurred by California taxpayers, the programs analyzed in this study indicate that the burden is substantial and that the costs are rapidly increasing.
The more than $10.1 billion in costs incurred by California taxpayers is composed of outlays in the following areas:
- Education: Based on estimates of the illegal immigrant population in California and documented costs of K-12 schooling, Californians spend approximately $7.7 billion annually on education for illegal immigrant children and for their U.S.-born siblings. Nearly 15 percent of the K-12 public school students in California are children of illegal aliens.
- Health care: Uncompensated medical outlays for health care provided to the state's illegal alien population amount to about $1.4 billion a year.
- Incarceration: The cost of incarcerating illegal aliens in California's prisons and jails amounts to about $1.4 billion a year (not including related law enforcement and judicial expenditures or the monetary costs of the crimes that led to their incarceration).
State and local taxes paid by the unauthorized immigrant population go toward offsetting these costs, but they do not come near to matching the expenses. The total of such payments can generously be estimated at about $1.6 billion per year.
The fiscal costs of illegal immigration do not end with these three major cost areas. The total costs of illegal immigration to the state's taxpayers would be considerably higher if other cost areas such as special English instruction, school feeding programs, or welfare benefits for American workers displaced by illegal alien workers were added into the equation.
While the primary responsibility for combating illegal immigration rests with the federal government, there are many measures that state and local governments can take to combat the problem. Californians should not be expected to assume this already large and growing burden from illegal immigration simply because businesses or other special interests benefit from being able to employ lower cost workers. The state must adopt measures to systematically collect information on illegal alien use of taxpayer-funded services and on where they are employed. Policies could then be pursued to hold employers financially accountable.
The state could also enter into a cooperative agreement with the federal government for training local law enforcement personnel in immigration law so that illegal immigrants apprehended for criminal activities may be turned over to immigration authorities for removal from the country. Similarly, local officials who have adopted "sanctuary" measures that shield illegal aliens from being reported to the immigration authorities should be urged to repeal them.
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