Just ONE year’s flow of illegal immigration will cost up to $150 BILLION

· March 8, 2019  
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Pile of money
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Do American taxpayers matter in the debate over bringing in under our government completely unchecked number of illegal immigrants with few resources of their own?

On Wednesday, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified before the House Homeland Security Committee that at the current pace of illegal immigration, we will receive 990,000 migrants per year. Most of them are families from the most impoverished parts of Central America who, thanks to catch-and-release, will never be deported unless policies change. Has anyone thought for a moment what this does to the American taxpayer, not to mention the social and cultural problems in our communities and schools?

As explained by border officials, unlike past waves of Mexican migrants, most of these migrants are never being deported. What is the lifetime cost of one year’s flow of non-deported asylum seekers?

In 2017, Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies gave a conservative estimate that the net fiscal cost of each illegal immigrant crossing is $74,722. He used the fiscal cost estimates of immigrant based on education attainment from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) in order to calculate the cost of the average illegal alien. But as Camarota notes, the NAS uses “net present value,” which applies less value to the costs down the road than the immediate costs. He estimates that a straight approximation of “the actual net lifetime fiscal cost of illegal border-crossers, given their education levels, is possibly $140,000 to $150,000 each in their lifetimes.” These numbers include costs like criminal justice, education, and general use of public services balanced against taxes paid, which for a great many illegal immigrants is net zero or negative.

At 990,000 aliens per year, that would be a lifetime cost of between $138.6 billion and $148.5 billion our taxpayers are being forced to accept for a single year’s flow. Much of that cost will be borne by state and local governments, which don’t have the luxury of printing money to service debt.

But those numbers don’t even begin to fully quantify the enormity of the cost. Here are some important factors to consider:

  • Under our erroneous policies, when illegal aliens have babies in the U.S., those babies are considered Americans immediately and are eligible for every citizen benefit and welfare program under the sun. Many of these families are coming for the purpose of having American-born babies, which will augment the long-term cost both by adding to the population of those from illegal immigrant families and by allowing the families to collect more benefits.
  • In 2016, about 48 percent of border crossers were from Central America. Now it’s over 75 percent. Most of these people are from rural areas where, according to CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, “poverty and disease are rampant,” and large numbers of them “may have never seen a doctor, received immunizations, or lived in sanitary conditions.” In other words, the pool of migrants has likely grown even more impoverished and uneducated, on average, than when the CIS analysis was done on migration trends from several years ago.
  • Whereas in past years, most of the illegal immigrants were single adults from Mexico and often wanted to glide under the radar, the Central American families are almost treated as de facto refugees and will be more prone to openly use public benefits. In fact, a number of the children, who are a large share of the migration, are treated as refugees under the unaccompanied alien child policies. Therefore, the children and many of their sponsors will be eligible for more benefits than quantified in this standard analysis of illegal immigrant benefit use.
  • There are numerous upfront costs that are not included in long-term estimates of their costs to society. Given that they are coming in with so many illnesses and in such desperation, much of the increased costs for DHS, HHS, and even parts of our Defense budget are all the result of our refusal to have a long-standing deterrent at our border and to push back against the judicially legislated policies at our border.

Section 237 of the INA states that “any alien who, within five years after the date of entry, has become a public charge from causes not affirmatively shown to have arisen since entry is deportable.”

How is it that illegal immigrants can just pour into our country and there is no regard for their profound strain on our taxpayers?


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Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.