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Illegal immigrants cost everyone, but mainly American taxpayers who do not get paid under the table.

Amnesty Will Cost U.S. Taxpayers at Least $2.6 Trillion
by Robert E. Rector

The Senate is currently considering a massive immigration reform bill, the “Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007” (S. 1348).
This bill would grant amnesty to nearly all illegal immigrants currently in the United States.  

The fiscal consequences of this amnesty will vary depending on the time period analyzed. It is expected that many illegal immigrants who are currently working “off the books” and paying no direct taxes will begin to work “on the books” after receiving amnesty, and therefore tax payments will rise immediately.

By contrast, under S. 1348, benefits to these immigrants from Social Security, Medicare, and most means-tested welfare programs (such as Food Stamps, public housing, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) will be delayed for many years.

In consequence, then, the increase in taxes and fines paid by amnesty recipients may initially exceed slightly the increase in government benefits received. In the long run, however, the opposite will be true.

In particular, the cost of retirement benefits for amnesty recipients is likely to be very large.

Overall, the net cost to taxpayers of retirement benefits for amnesty recipients is likely to be at least $2.6 trillion.

Who Are the Illegal Immigrants?

According to the most widely accepted estimates, there were 11.5 million to 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States in the spring of 2006.

Because the number of illegal immigrants has, on average, increased by roughly 500,000 each year, the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. in 2007 is probably around 12 million to 12.5 million; however, these estimates are uncertain, and the actual number of illegal immigrants may be higher.

As Chart 1 shows, some 49 percent of illegal immigrants are adult males, 35 percent are adult females, and 16 percent are foreign-born children.

Living in illegal immigrant families are another 3.1 million U.S.-born children of illegal immigrant parents.

Because they were born inside the U.S., these children are considered citizens, not illegal immigrants.

Illegal immigrants now make up about 4 percent of the U.S. population, meaning that about one in twenty-five persons currently in the U.S. is here unlawfully. Illegal immigrants make up nearly one-third of the foreign-born population in the U.S.

As Chart 2 shows, more than half (56 percent) of illegal immigrants come from Mexico. Another 22 percent come from other Latin American countries, and 22 percent come from Asia, Europe, and Africa.








12 Responses to “Illegal immigrants cost everyone, but mainly American taxpayers who do not get paid under the table.”

  1. After careful review, anyone with a even a modicum of logic can come to no other conclusion: illegal immigration must be halted, illegal immigrants here now must be deported and legal immigration needs decreased from the approx. 2 million allowed in per year currently.

    Please review the following report on the FISCAL COST OF IMMIGRATION by economist Edwin Rubenstein released in April 2008:

    A partial summary of the report:

    The impact on 15 Federal Departments surveyed was: $346 billion in fiscal related costs in FY 2007.

    Each immigrant cost taxpayers more than $9,000 per year.

    An immigrant household (2 adults, 2 children) cost taxpayers $36,000 per year.

    Legal immigrants were not separated out from illegal immigrants for the fiscal impact study, but if they had been, the fiscal cost per ILLEGAL immigrant would be even more shocking than the figures quoted above.

    The most extensive and authoritative study, prior to economist Edwin Rubenstein’s “The Fiscal Impact of Immigration” (April 2008) , is the National Research Council (NRC)’s The New Americans: Economic, Demographic and Fiscal Effects of Immigration (1997).

    The NRC staff analyzed federal, state, and local government expenditures on programs such as Medicaid, AFDC (now TANF), and SSI, as well as the cost of educating immigrants’ foreign- and native-born children.

    NRC found that the average immigrant household receives $13,326 in federal annual expenditures and pays $10,664 in federal taxes—that is, they generate a fiscal deficit of $2,682 (1996 dollars)per household.

    In 2007 dollars this is a deficit of $3,408 per immigrant household.

    With 9 million households currently headed by immigrants, more than $30 billion ($3,408 x 9 million) of the federal deficit represents money transferred from native taxpayers to immigrants.

    Our national immigration policies have to work for the United States. While improving the plight of the world’s poor is a laudable goal, the finite resources we have available to fulfill that goal would be swamped if there wasn’t some orderly and manageable system in place to limit entry into the United States to what this nation can actually support. The more illegal aliens that are permitted to subvert the immigration system, the fewer immigrants we can accommodate who might actually produce a positive benefit for our country.

    The more we become a nation of illegal immigrants, the deeper we fall into anarchy.

  2. Have you heard the saying, when California sneezes, the rest of the country catches the flu? Generally what starts in California eventually spreads to the rest of the country. That is, unless a state takes measures to resist it. Unless every state realistically tackles illegal immigration by instituting Comprehensive Immigration ENFORCEMENT, which California has refused to do, this is what you can expect:

    As of 2006, California contained greater than 25% of the total illegal alien population within the U.S. Many of these illegals concentrate in Los Angeles. New statistics from the Department of Public Social Services reveal that illegal aliens and their families in Los Angeles County collected over $37 million in welfare and food stamp allocations in November 2007 – up $3 million dollars from September. Twenty five percent of the all welfare and food stamps benefits are going directly to the children of illegal aliens. Illegals collected over $20 million in welfare assistance for November 2007 and over $16 million in monthly food stamp allocations for a projected annual cost of $444 million. “This new information shows an alarming increase in the devastating impact Illegal immigration continues to have on Los Angeles County taxpayers,” said Antonovich, LA County Supervisor. “With $220 million for public safety, $400 million for healthcare, and $444 million in welfare allocations, the total cost for illegal immigrants to County taxpayers far exceeds $1 billion a year – not including the millions of dollars for education.”

    Just keep in mind that the $37 million a month is for only one county in one state and is only welfare and foodstamp benefits. It doesn’t include hospital care, education, fraud, wage depression, crime, depreciation of housing values, the portion of bad loans given to illegal aliens by banks, insurance costs and the myriad of other burdensome expenses that illegal aliens put on the backs of American citizens. There are 29 sanctuary cities in California and because of that there should be little wonder why so many illegal aliens stay in this state. They basically operate with impunity and even if they get arrested for a serious crime there is little chance of them being deported. They can sign up for welfare and food stamps with no questions asked and the hospitals provide them with free care as long as there are still emergency rooms that can’t turn them away for lack of funds. All things considered, California has rolled out the welcome mat for them.

    Is there any wonder that California is right now in a fiscal crisis emergency with a budget deficit greater than $14 billion and growing? Reliable estimates calculate illegal aliens cost the state $10.5 billion each year! So what’s Schwarzenegger’s solution? A 10 percent across-the-board reduction in state agency funding,, transferring $2 billion in spending to the next fiscal year and increasing taxes. Why not cut all public services to those not in the U.S. legally? Just a simple thought on my part that would go a long way to putting California back on its feet. A bell should be ringing in you head about right now that tells you this is what is coming throughout America if you refuse to act locally and demand that your political leaders act against illegal immigration.

    The Congressional Budget Office in December 2007 (CBO: The Impact of Unauthorized Immigrants on the Budgets of State and Local Governments) stated the tax revenues that unauthorized immigrants generate for state and local governments do not offset the total cost of services provided to those immigrants. Illegal immigrants are a NET COST LOSS and a burden to the budgets of all states. This cost is largely borne by the states and citizen taxpayers. Federal payments allocated by Washington fall far short in reimbursing state and local government expenditures.

    A report in April 2008 by economist Edwin Rubenstein titled the FISCAL COST OF IMMIGRATION, indicated:
    – The impact on 15 Federal Departments surveyed was: $346 billion in fiscal related costs in FY 2007.
    – Each immigrant cost taxpayers more than $9,000 per year.
    – An immigrant household, consisting of two adults and two children, cost taxpayers $36,000 per year. Legal immigrants were not separated out from illegal immigrants for the fiscal impact study, but if they had been, the fiscal cost per ILLEGAL immigrant would be even more shocking than the figures quoted above.

    The annual cost for uncompensated emergency care to Mexican Border States (California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas) is $200 million. California taxpayers paid $79 million for illegal alien health care. Texas paid $74 million. –Tom DeWeese, President of American Policy Center.

    The average annual cost per child for education is $7,161, totaling $109 billion to educate illegal aliens annually. The average cost of bilingual education is $1,200 per illegal student. U.S. schools annually educate 1.1 million illegal children. -Tom DeWeese, President of American Policy Center.

    A major cost factor in the conduct of school operations relates to the vast number of children of illegal immigrants in our classroom and the special-training dictates for many of those students being taught in their native language — some 82 languages in San Diego County, 112 languages in Los Angeles County. – North County Times, March 2008. In New York City alone, more than 200 languages are spoken in the public schools. –NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

    $108.2 million is spent each year by U.S. border counties in the four state region to pay for law enforcement, criminal justice and emergency healthcare services to illegal immigrants, states a February 2008 report from the United States/Mexico Border Counties Coalition (USMBCC). Current federal reimbursement returns only 11.5 cents on the dollar to counties for handling criminal illegal immigrant services.

    From 1999 through 2006, the 24 counties along the U.S.-Mexico border spent a cumulative $1.23 billion on services to process criminal undocumented immigrants through the law enforcement and criminal justice system. In fiscal year 2006 alone, the cost was $192 million. Yet, the federal government has only reimbursed these 24 counties $4.7 million for detaining criminal undocumented immigrants for fiscal year 2006 (and $54.8 million since 1999). These are staggering costs considering the rural nature and poverty level of most of these border counties. The costs to process undocumented immigrants come at the expense of basic, vital services to county residents. (Undocumented Immigrants in U.S. Border Counties: The Costs of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Services; U.S.-Mexico Border Counties Coalition February 2008)

    The average illegal immigrant family uses $2,700/year more in services than it pays in taxes. In 2002, this amounted to a $10.4 billion drain on the federal budget. Some of the greatest federal costs included: 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). According to the CIS report, since most of the illegal aliens currently in the workforce do not have a high school diploma, they only qualify for low paying jobs. That translates into low federal tax payments. Should illegal aliens ever receive an amnesty, it is estimated that net deficit costs would triple to $7,700 per household due to eligibility to all federal, state and local services. http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalrelease.html

    Furthermore; nationwide, 40% of households headed by an illegal alien receive welfare benefits and 56% have no health insurance. Standard & Poor’s reports that education of illegal alien children costs the states and federal government $11 billion dollars per year. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hduG9Dw0oYg

    Heritage Foundation research shows in FY 2004, at the state and local level, the average low skill immigrant household received $14,145 in benefits and services and paid only $5,309 in taxes (those that actually paid taxes). The average low skill immigrant households imposed a net fiscal burden on state and local government of $8,836 per year. That is approximately $9000 for EACH immigrant household of which at least 50% are illegal aliens.

    In California, each illegal immigrant will take $50,000 in services from the state beyond what he will contribute in taxes during his lifetime. -The Immigration Solution; Manhattan Institute, 2007

    Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation calculates that each immigrant who is a high school dropout, as most Mexican immigrants are, will end up costing taxpayers $85,000 over his lifetime.

    Taxpayers in our country pay more than $100 billion every year on health care and other services for illegal immigrants, including education, law enforcement costs, and housing. – Congressman Dean Heller-Jan. 2008 http://www.nevadaappeal.com/article/20080127/OPINION/729401847

    A Harvard University study released in January 2008 found that illegal aliens depressed wages in Arizona by $1.4 billion dollars. Hardest hit were low skilled legal workers whose wages fell by 5%. Wage suppression of American workers is a consistent effect throughout the country due to the employment of illegal aliens. http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/0109biz-illlegalscost0110-ON.html

    40% of the decline in employment of black men is due to immigration. Foreign workers are taking American’s jobs and depressing wages. And while Americans from all backgrounds are being harmed, lower to middle income African American workers are being disproportionately affected. –Dr. Frank Morris, former Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; February 2008.

    The World Bank reports (Worldwide Remittance Flow to Developing Nations Report) for 2006, $68.1 billion dollars were sent by migrant workers (more than 50% illegal aliens) mostly from the U.S. to Latin America. Mexico received 24.4 billion, South America 24.4, Central America 11 billion and the Caribbean 8.4 billion. This is a direct transfer of a huge portion of our economy to the third world; largely by a group of people (illegal aliens) who are not even authorized to work in our country much less have an established presence here.

    The U.S. government estimates that since 2003, Mexican drug trafficking organizations have repatriated $22 billion to Mexico from the U.S., which is 20% of all money sent to Mexico from it’s citizens residing, legally and illegally here during this interval. Drug money remittances have accelerated since 2002 when the U.S. government allowed banks to accept the Mexican Matricula Consular ID card. This has enabled these crime groups to engage in money laundering. (U.S. State Department report; March 2008)

    Questions you should be asking include “Why is even $1 of taxpayer money being consumed providing services and paying for the huge cost burden of illegal aliens in every state of America? Why are we allowing business and corporations to import cheap foreign labor (both legal and illegal) to drive down wages and put Americans out of work? Why are we importing a foreign workforce that transfers a significant amount of money from our economy to foreign nations?”

  3. Well said!
    Thank you, Zeezil!

  4. This really lays out the facts very well. Paul Waldman needs to see this. Maybe then he just might understand why Lou Dobbs is so against illegal immigration as everyone with a brain cell should be! Readers, this should forward to all your friends, relatives, contacts, political representatives and lawmakers at the city and state level. Knowing the facts will go a long ways towards decision making that will benefit America not foreign countries. Better late than never is all we can hope for – if we can just get them educated in time before we become a third world country and there is no turning back!

  5. did you know illegals can get food samps, but American seniors only get $14.00 a month. Lets corract this

  6. 1. Border security must be increased.
    2. You cannot deport all of the illegal immigrants so forget that idea, some of them can be deported, the ones who cannot contribute
    3. Let the ones that are here for x years remain and pay the penalty $5,000 or whatever, give them a SSN and let them work, this will probably put maybe $200 billion dollars back into the economy AND those who have just become legal, will now have to pay taxes, returning another gew billion back into the economy.
    I see it as a little help to our economic crisis.
    Don’t be blind. Think outside the box

  7. Good Day:
    Americans assume that any crisis or emergency would be responsibly reported by our news media. Not the case sadly.
    Media revenues are derived from Advertising. Advertising is paid on a tiered basis. Those stations with the best ratings get to charge the most money. Executives with high ratings get more pay. They are paid to sell us out.
    There is a solution. The Emergency broadcast Network was desighned to bypass T.V. Station’s politics or sluggishness. A Governor or Apointee in charge of public safety may use this system to notify the public of danger immediately. Stations not in compliance have their liscenses pulled.
    Americans (raised by TV) are trained from childhood that the box will warn them of dangers through the “Emergency Broadcast System” -a Fact. People need a little push. Many don’t believe there is an invasion. We see Illegals in massive numbers here in the former state of california. (they will soon reach 55%)
    Modern printing Equipment makes Gov’t issue Id’ and Liscenses almost obsolete as far as conterfieting goes.
    These felons commit Murder, Rape, And Embezle away our tax derived jobs. When Americans get tax derived Jobs that money is driven back into our economy. Illegals live in a cash economy and those taxes don’t get re-invested into our infrastructure in the same way.
    Mail your Gov’t Employee (rep’ senate’ Gov’) and tell your employee to declare an Emergency. The border states have been bankrupted. (they paid taxes for defense and got nada / yes we have had to learn spanglish in the occupied territories)
    Good luck,
    ……………..citizenpain5@yahoo.com /

  8. I was hit by a car at 4o mph and put in country hills health care center owne by mormons the larsons my mothers friends they took me from salem oregon and signed to finish surgery when i went for surgery they forgot the paperwork for 5 years they overdosed me on nut drugs in pure pain calling me a liar telling me i should have died what if i were christ #3 i lost my vision because they overdosed me i even put out the flag everyday for 370 people ,in may 2001 at jamacha liquer the iraqi storeowner bob told me the reason i was being tortured everyday was the people in those buildings killing women and children leaving babies lined up to die in the desrt everyday taking the oil for food money thats why i am being torture d they are computesr not people why they exsist i don’t know talking about knocking them down i agreed and he said how i said how tall he said hundreds maybe thousands of feet i said airplanes one high one low opposite side he said what about the middle i said ther isn’t one in time it would fall then went back to my hospital i asked everbody even the mexican businessman from upstairs what if it was wrong to knock down the building in iraq he laughed with bob the storeowner and said it is not wrong everybody wants those buildinsg down all they do is kill people ,all the mexicans ,asians
    south americans knew and lied to me ,then came 9-11-2001 i was in my hospital and i freaked out ,i told everybody but nobody did anything i went to the store waiting for the cops they never came bob told the mexicans just keep coming there is nothing they can do we will make them go broke ,i went to teh front counter and said you will be paid back he said by who i said the un he alughed and said i don’t think so,until i said ebngland he said maybe themi never went back he stayed until aug 2006 when i told a iranian ,he was iranian not iraqi ,mexico just cost you 2 trillion dollars thousands of lives and you pay them money, since i have got hurt you have done everysingle thing wrong ive been here since 1962 and can’t even get money while disabled to go to school ,and you pay the people who attacked you,sad
    welcome to hell ,everyday they said they were going to kill the white christian mother ,thats fact ,millions knew of the twin towers i had no memory till 2005 because of the mormons malpractice they do it all the time, gods truth
    Ernie Werdal

  9. “Lying basterd” it’s the other way around.
    The IRS is stealing billions,
    close to a 100 billion a year from illegal’s
    (IRS Set aside funds)

    Companies whom hire hard working so-called
    illegal’s that do the work of a lazy drug addict American,
    whom holds up signs reading will work for food
    (really for drugs or alcohol)

    Names that don’t match Social security numbers.
    If company did not do the paperwork it would
    be an accounting nightmare.

    The Company would have problems with the IRS
    and would make themselves look as if they were
    hiring Illegal’s so the go the whole nine yards
    to make it appear and to protect themselves

    Illegals are the best workers;
    Lazy Americans won’t do the labor intense work

    How many American drunk drivers kill other Americans? “
    Allot more than 13”

    Mexican nationals are also more
    well-behaved then Americans

    If you only knew how ignorant and brain washed
    you people are concerning Mexico

  10. I’m an american who works at a rim making factory and have worked there for a long period of time. So not all americans are lazy. And americans may do drunk drive but what about the mexicans who hit and run including deaths and the ones who are rapist and just go back to mexico like its a free ride home i think the law there trying to pass about mexicans getting pulled over and getting there green cards checked for and if you dont have it back to mehico for jew is a BRILLIANT IDEA! Americans need there jobs back and i think it should be a law here that if you live here you speak ENGLISH!!

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