Illegal immigrants in growing numbers are flooding into so-called sanctuary cities and states where they are consuming up to $6,500 in taxpayer-funded services, according to a new review of costs in 10 small states.
The surge is having an outsized effect on smaller states and is cutting funds for services to veterans, children, and disabled Americans, according to the report provided exclusively to Secrets from the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
The report said illegal immigration costs the 10 states $454 million. “To put that figure into context, that $454 million expenditure is more than 200 times what the state of Montana budgets for its entire Veterans Affairs program, and it is 2.5 times the total sum that West Virginia invests in its state university,” said the report.
And, it added, illegal immigrants cost between $4,000 and $6,500 annually above any tax benefit they provide.
“In many ways, the influx of immigrants into less populous areas of the country has an even greater impact on long-time residents than it does in larger and more urban areas,” said Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “These areas have neither the tax base, nor the economic and social infrastructure to accommodate the needs of the growing numbers of immigrants taking up residence.”
“Many local officials tout immigration, including illegal immigration, as a remedy to economic stagnation. However, as this report reveals, the reality is precisely the opposite,” said Stein.
He added, “Illegal immigration, in particular, drives down wages and inhibits job opportunities for legal residents, while bringing more low-skilled, low-wage workers to these states. In turn, this increases costs to state and local governments, and discourages investment by businesses seeking a skilled labor force and lower overhead.”
The report comes on the heels of a key U.S. Supreme Court decision to let the Trump administration block entry to immigrants who are likely to burden taxpayers.
FAIR’s report also showed that sanctuary cities are a growing attraction for illegal immigrants, especially in smaller states where the costs of living can be lower.
The key findings from the report to Secrets:
- In each of these states, each illegal immigrant resident carried a net tax deficit of between $4,000 and $6,500 annually.
- Some 415,000 foreign-born reside in these 10 states, of whom about 88,000 (or 21%) are illegal immigrants. Additionally, there are about 35,000 U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants in these states.
- Collectively, these illegal immigrants and their U.S.-born children cost taxpayers in the 10 states about $454 million each year for the provision of essential services such as education and healthcare.
- Local schools struggle to provide educators and cover the costs of instruction for 50,000 K-12 students classified as Limited English Proficient.
- A growing number of sanctuary jurisdictions (29 and counting, including the entire state of Vermont), and lower living costs are a magnet for illegal immigrants.
- The growing immigrant population competes with legal residents for jobs in economically depressed areas.
“This report highlights the fact that the adverse effects of unchecked mass immigration, combined with an immigration selection process that does not choose people based on individual merit, job skills and education, are now being felt in all parts of the country. Americans, in every part of the nation, are being affected by antiquated and unenforced immigration policies, which is why it is at the top of the list of voter concerns heading into the 2020 elections,” said Stein.