Granting amnesty to illegal aliens, as President Obama and others propose, would not significantly increase tax revenues generated by current illegal aliens. However, over time, amnesty would dramatically increase public costs as newly-legalized aliens become eligible for all means-tested government programs.
A study released by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates that illegal immigration now costs federal and local taxpayers $113 billion a year. The report, The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers, is the most comprehensive analysis of how much the estimated 13 million illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children cost federal, state and local governments.
The cost estimates are based on an extensive analysis of federal, state and local spending data. The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers examines dozens of government programs that are available to illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children, both legally and fraudulently. The report provides detailed analysis of the impact of illegal immigration on education, health care, law enforcement and justice, public assistance, and other government programs.
The report also accounts for taxes paid by illegal aliens about $13 billion a year, resulting in a net cost to taxpayers of about $100 billion. However, the study notes that government at all levels would likely have realized significantly greater revenues if jobs held by illegal aliens had been filled by legal U.S. residents instead.
Federal spending on illegal aliens amounts to $29 billion, finds Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers. The lion’s share of the costs of illegal immigration is borne by state and local taxpayers an estimated $84.2 billion. In 18 states, expenditures on illegal aliens exceeded the size of those states’ budget deficits in FY 2009.