Tag Archives: illegal immigration

News Study Details Cost of Illegal Immigration

Similar to most contentious political issues, the question of illegal immigration eventually must be understood in terms of cost, particularly with a national debt of $20 trillion, and state and local governments facing economic challenges of their own.

A new report from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIRUS) . outlines the extraordinary fiscal burden imposed on U.S. taxpayers by illegal immigrants.

“At the federal, state, and local levels, taxpayers shell out approximately $134.9 billion to cover the costs incurred by the presence of more than 12.5 million illegal aliens, and about 4.2 million citizen children of illegal aliens. That amounts to a tax burden of approximately $8,075 per illegal alien family member and a total of $115,894,597,664. The total cost of illegal immigration to U.S. taxpayers is both staggering and crippling. In 2013, FAIR estimated the total cost to be approximately $113 billion. So, in under four years, the cost has risen nearly $3 billion. This is a disturbing and unsustainable trend.”

FAIRUS breaks down the expense for federal and state governments.


The Federal government spends a net amount of $45.8 billion on illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children. This amount includes expenditures for public education, medical care, justice enforcement initiatives, welfare programs and other miscellaneous costs. It also factors in the meager amount illegal aliens pay to the federal government in income, social security, Medicare and excise taxes.

The approximately $46 billion in federal expenditures attributable to illegal aliens is staggering. Assuming an illegal alien population of approximately 12.5 million illegal aliens and 4.2 million U.S.-born children of illegal aliens, that amounts to roughly $2,746 per illegal alien, per year. For the sake of comparison, the average American college student receives only $4,800 in federal student loans each year.

Fairus notes that the approximately t$22.1 Billion in taxes collected from illegal aliens offset fiscal outlays and, therefore must be included in any examination of the cost of illegal immigration. The net federal cost of illegal immigration is, therefore, $30.4 billion.

FAIR believes that most studies grossly overestimate both the taxes actually collected from illegal aliens and, more importantly, the amount of taxes actually paid by illegal aliens (i.e., the amount of money collected from illegal aliens and actually kept by the federal government). This belief is based on a number of factors: Since the 1990’s, the United States has focused on apprehending and removing criminal aliens. The majority of illegal aliens seeking employment in the United States have lived in an environment where they have little fear of deportation, even if discovered. This has created an environment where most illegal aliens are both able and willing to file tax returns. Because the vast majority of illegal aliens hold low-paying jobs, those who are subject to wage deductions actually wind up receiving a complete refund of all taxes paid, plus net payments made on the basis of tax credits..As a result, illegal aliens actually profit from filing a tax return and, therefore, have a strong interest in doing so.


“FAIRUS notes that “while barred from many federal benefits, state laws allow illegal aliens to access many state-funded social welfare programs. Because so little data is collected on the immigration status of individuals collecting benefits, it is difficult to determine the rate at which illegal aliens use welfare programs. However, based on the average income of illegal alien households, it appears they use these programs at a rate higher than lawfully present aliens or citizens. The combined total of state and local government general expenditures on illegal aliens is $18,571,428,571 billion… The calculation for each state is based on the state’s annual operating budget, reduced by the amount covered by the federal government. That expenditure is then reduced further based on the relative size of the estimated population of illegal aliens and their U.S.-born minor children. As noted in our population estimate, this means states like California, Texas, Florida, New York, etc., with larger illegal alien cohorts, will bear larger shares of these costs.

“Offsetting the fiscal costs of the illegal alien population are the taxes collected from them at the state and local level. Many proponents of illegal immigration argue that the taxes paid to the states render illegal aliens a net boon to state and local economies. However, this is a spurious argument. Evidence shows that the tax payments made by illegal aliens fail to cover the costs of the many services they consume.Illegal aliens are not typical taxpayers. First, as previously noted in this study, the large percentage of illegal aliens who work in the underground economy frequently avoid paying any income tax at all. (Many actually receive a net cash profit through refundable tax credit programs.) Second, and also previously noted, the average earnings of illegal alien households are considerably lower than both legal aliens and native-born workers.

FAIRUS estimates that states and localities collect $3.5 billion in taxes, which, after offsetting expenditures, results in a net state tax loss of $85 billion.

DACA: Facts Behind the Rhetoric

There is little doubt that “Dreamers,” those covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals series of executive orders, are sympathetic figures.  There is also the uncomfortable reality that those executive orders, initiated by President Obama in 2012, are also unconstitutional.

15 states and the District of Columbia are suing over President Trump’s cessation of DACA: New Mexico, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

However, attorney generals or governors of 9 states have pending suits over NOT ending it: Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia,

Senator Chuck Grassley  (R-Iowa) expressed the view that typifies the perspective of many in Congress: “However well-intentioned DACA may have been, the program was created by executive edict rather than by Congress as the Constitution requires. Because of President Obama’s executive overreach, DACA has faced numerous legitimate legal challenges, and now President Trump has asked Congress to sort it out…Any legislative solution is going to have to be a compromise that addresses the status of those who have been unlawfully brought to this country and upholds the rule of law. President Trump should continue to work with Congress to pass reforms through the legislative process that encourage lawful immigration. In the meantime, I expect that the Administration’s immigration enforcement priorities will continue to target the thousands of criminals ahead of those who have otherwise abided by our laws.”

Senator Diane Feinstein, (D-Ca.) who represents the state with more Dreamers—223,000– than any other stated “Congressional action is now the only way to guarantee that DACA recipients are shielded from deportation, and it must be our top priority. The DREAM Act—introduced by Senators Graham and Durbin to provide a path to citizenship for DACA recipients—deserves a vote as soon as possible.”

Pew Research  estimated that in 2012 about 1.7 milion people were eligible.  As of June 2016, USCIS received 844,931 initial applications, 741,546 were approved, 60,269 were denied, 43,121 pending.  Over half of those accepted came from California and Texas.

Immigration law is not done by presidential whim, it is a matter of legislation, passed by Congress and signed by the President. Title 8 of the U.S. Code is but one of the fifty titles and deals with “Aliens and Nationality”. 8 U.S. Code § 1325 – Improper entry by alien.   In fact, in 2014, when Obama attempted to expand the program, many governors sued and an injunction against his move was passed.

Obama could have chosen the proper Constitutional route and have a bill introduced in Congress, but simply chose to act on his own. Remember, he famously stated that he “couldn’t wait” for Congress to act, and proclaimed that he “Had a pen and a phone” and would willingly use them to get his way, despite the Constitution.

The number of illegals has soared in the United States from 3.5 million in 1990 to at least 11.3 million currently, and perhaps many, many more. Although cancelled by Trump, implementation of the cancellation has been delayed for 6 months to come up with a solution.  The fact is, for far too long, both political parties have called for comprehensive immigration reform, but nothing has happened. This may be the way to do just that.

The costs of illegal immigration, not from the dreamers but overall, have been enormous. 6.9% of k-12 students have illegal immigrant parents. In an exclusive interview on the Vernuccio/Novak Report usagovpolicy.com, commentator Megan Barth discussed how DACA’s “Dreamers” can obtain some federal benefits. The Daily Caller outlines this: “ DACA allows recipients to apply for social security numbers, which are required to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a major tax benefit for lower-income earners. The program allows recipients to participate in Social Security and Medicare as well, but they generally cannot receive benefits until retirement age. Generally speaking, DACA recipients are still ineligible for many forms of public assistance. Nonetheless, the program does expand access to some federal benefits.”

The growth in criminal gangs such as MS-13 has plagued communities across the nation. 27% of all federal prisoners are immigrants.

Dick Morris outlines the President’s strategy: If the Democrats don’t work constructively with the GOP to produce a real piece of legislation, the deadline of an expiring DACA program will force them into line. Facing the possible deportation of 800,000 of their constituents because of Democratic intransigence, the party — from Schumer on down — will have to pull in its horns so as not to impale a divided Republican party. Instead, the entire Senate — all one hundred members — will have to work together with stellar bi-partisanship to craft a solution.

The Huffington Post reports that “Lawmakers on Capitol Hill [have] broadly agreed that something should be done about young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and who will eventually lose deportation protections if Congress does not step in to help them.”

Lax Border Enforcement let MS-13 Grow

Americans generally agree that legal immigration is beneficial to the nation, but remain divided as to how tightly illegal immigration should be dealt with. An important part of that discussion is a candid discussion of what the dangers of illegal immigration are. Increasingly, attention is being paid to the rise of violent crime by the MS-13 crime organization.

According to Lifezette,  The Justice Dept. says the cost of incarcerating non-citizens in federal prisons exceeds $1.2 billion. Brendan Kirby reports that “Nearly a quarter of the inmates in federal prisons were born outside the United States.”

Crime from illegals costs far more than the expenses of incarceration. A DEA report notes that  “Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) pose the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States; no other group is currently positioned to challenge them. These Mexican poly-drug organizations traffic heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana throughout the United States, using established transportation routes and distribution networks. They control drug trafficking across the Southwest Border and are moving to expand their share, particularly in the heroin and methamphetamine markets.”

In June, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Chief of Carla Provost  testified  before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining the international MS-13 criminal organization, and its connection to illegal immigration.

Following lax enforcement of the U.S. border and the influx of illegal immigrants during the Obama Administration, substantial action became necessary. Provost stated that “…One of the biggest challenges we face are [transnational criminal organizations] TCOs such as the international criminal organization known as Mara Salvatrucha 13, more commonly known as MS-13. While MS-13 has had a presence in the United States and been a regional threat for many years, it has proliferated both throughout the United States and the region more recently, as our partners at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Justice have reported. CBP has faced many challenges in recent years, including large-scale flows of foreign nationals from Central America and Mexico. MS-13 took full advantage of these flows of foreign nationals into the United States by hiding in these populations to enter our country. As a result, American citizens have died, and domestic law enforcement across the nation has had to deal with the burden of MS-13 violence and drug-dealing on American streets on a daily basis.

“As a result of the Executive Orders issued by the President [Trump]…we are seeing a historic shift in illegal crossings along the Southwest border. Since January 2017, the number of illegal aliens we have apprehended on the Southwest border has drastically decreased, indicating a significant decrease in the number of aliens attempting to illegally enter the country. The number of illegal aliens apprehended in March 2017 was 30 percent lower than February apprehensions and 64 percent lower than the same time last year. This decline also extends to unaccompanied alien children (UAC).”

President Trump blames the rise of MS-13’s strength within the United States on his predecessor. “The weak illegal immigration policies of the Obama Admin. allowed bad MS 13 gangs to form in cities across U.S. We are removing them fast!”

There appears to be substance behind the President’s allegation. Fox News  reported in May that “At least 16 self-proclaimed MS-13 gang members were transferred out of federal custody and into community placement centers across the country during the border surge in unaccompanied children from Central America in 2014, according to a new letter from the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs…In 2014, the Obama Administration declared a humanitarian crisis after tens of thousands of immigrants flooded across the United States border. The dramatic increase in immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras overwhelmed border authorities at the time. Fox News has now learned that more than a dozen teenage gang members were captured during the surge. According to Johnson’s letter and documents obtained by Fox News, the gang members “freely admitted” that they were “active MS-13 gang members” and marked bathrooms inside a placement center in Nogales, Arizona with MS-13 associated graffiti…These documents appear to show that the federal government knowingly moved self-identified gang members from Nogales, Arizona to placement centers in communities across the country. As you know, it is common for UACs (unaccompanied children) to be released from their placement center while awaiting a court date. It is unclear from these July 2014 documents whether any of these self-identified UAC gang members were released…”

The White House further emphasized that sanctuary city policies were creating safe havens for MS-13. The Washington Times reported that “The Trump administration…put sanctuary cities front and center in its battle to take down the ruthless MS-13 street gang, saying the efforts to shield illegal immigrants was providing safe haven for violent criminals…’Cooperation is critical. It is often state and local law enforcement not ICE that first come into contact with transnational criminal organizations,’ Thomas Homan, the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told reporters at the White House.” Attorney General Sessions has emphasized the fight against MS-13.

The Daily Caller  quotes Attorney General Sessions:  “Because of an open border and years of lax immigration enforcement, MS-13 has been sending both recruiters and members to regenerate gangs that previously had been decimated, and smuggling members across the border as unaccompanied minors … They are not content to simply ruin the lives of adults—MS-13 recruits in our high schools, our middle schools, and even our elementary schools.

Robert K. Hur, the principal associate deputy attorney general, said Mr. Sessions had made the takedown of MS-13 a priority and had taken new steps to crack down on sanctuary cities to advance the fight.

The Washington Times  quoted Senator Ron Johnson,  (R-Wisconsin) chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, who has stated that

“The Obama administration knowingly let in at least 16 admitted MS-13 gang members who arrived at the U.S. as illegal immigrant teenagers in 2014…CBP apprehended them, knew they were MS-13 gang members, and they processed and disbursed them into our communities…”

The criminals entered the U.S. during the Obama Administration as “unaccompanied alien children.” According to Johnson, the media image of these minors was incorrect.  They were older teenagers, and predominately male. The gang members were part of the surge of UAC, or “unaccompanied alien children,” as the government labels them, who overwhelmed the Obama administration in 2014, leaving Homeland Security struggling to staunch the flow from Central America. Officials at the time said the children should be treated as refugees fleeing horrific conditions back home — though security analysts said the children were prime recruiting territory for gangs already in the U.S.

Mr. Johnson said the image of UAC as little children is misleading. Out of nearly 200,000 UAC apprehended between from 2012 to 2016, 68 percent were ages 15, 16 or 17 — meaning older teens. The majority were also male, making them targets for gang recruiting.

Why Democrat Leaders Oppose Border Controls, Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government concludes its review of opposition to funding the southern border wall

Arguments about the cost of the wall fail to make economic sense; cost-savings from reducing the number of illegal entries far exceeds any expenses incurred in construction. Steven Camarota describes the financial outline in a Center for Immigration Studies report:

“The findings of this analysis show that if a border wall stopped a small fraction of the illegal immigrants who are expected to come in the next decade, the fiscal savings from having fewer illegal immigrants in the country would be sufficient to cover the costs of the wall. Among the findings:

  • There is agreement among researchers that illegal immigrants overwhelmingly have modest levels of education — most have not completed high school or have only a high school education.
  • There is also agreement that immigrants who come to America with modest levels of education create significantly more in costs for government than they pay in taxes.
  • A recent NAS study estimated the lifetime fiscal impact (taxes paid minus services used) of immigrants by education. Averaging the cost estimates from that study and combining them with the education levels of illegal border-crossers shows a net fiscal drain of $74,722 per illegal crosser.2
  • The above figures are only for the original illegal immigrants and do not include any costs for their U.S.-born descendants. If we use the NAS projections that include the descendants, the fiscal drain for border-crossers grows to $94,391 each.
  • If a border wall prevented 160,000 to 200,000 illegal crossings (excluding descendants) in the next 10 years it would be enough to pay for the estimated $12 to $15 billion costs of the wall.
  • Newly released research by the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) done for the Department of Homeland Security indicates that 170,000 illegal immigrants crossed the border successfully without going through a port of entry in 2015.3 While a significant decline in crossings from a decade ago, it still means that there may be 1.7 million successful crossings in the next decade. If a wall stopped just 9 to 12 percent of these crossings it would pay for itself.
  • If a wall stopped half of those expected to successfully enter illegally without going through a port of entry at the southern border over the next 10 years, it would save taxpayers nearly $64 billion — several times the wall’s cost.”

The answer to the puzzling opposition to border enforcement by Democrat leaders is found at the ballot box.  As the New York Analysis of Policy and Government has previously noted, What may seem, at first impression, to be a position counter to the Democrats own key interests comes into focus when seen through the prism of politics on a national scale.

Governing magazine points out that “Democrats went into this (2016)election controlling the governorship, Senate and House in just seven states — that was their lowest number since the Civil War, when there were 15 fewer states. Now, they control just five states.”

National Review  study concurs.“President Obama’s recent executive orders granting provisional legal status to an estimated 5 million illegal aliens will likely allow an indeterminate number of them to cast ballots in elections across the United States — and it’s hard to see how it won’t affect the outcome of some number of close elections. Amnestied illegal aliens are now eligible to receive Social Security numbers and, in many cases, drivers’ licenses. Since the vast majority of states don’t require individuals to present proof of citizenship to either register or vote, and given the Obama administration’s zealous promotion of motor-voter registration and declared refusal to enforce Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (ensuring that only eligible individuals vote), it’s certain that appreciable numbers of amnestied illegal aliens will be able to vote. Furthermore, testimony…before the House Judiciary Committee revealed that under Obama’s amnesty some illegal aliens will receive advance-parole status — a glide path to citizenship and full voting rights…”

Voting in their own interests, unlawful immigrants who eventually vote, legally or otherwise, will overwhelmingly support Democrats. That is the primary reason for the opposition by Democrat party leaders to reasonable border control.

Why Democrat Leaders Oppose Border Controls

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government presents a two-part analysis of the opposition to the southern border wall. 

There has been insufficient examination of why Democrats have so vehemently opposed measures to restrict illegal immigration. The latest iteration of this is the threat to shut down the government if the latest government funding bill contains money for the southern wall.

Former presidential candidate Herman Cain has commented on the irony of this tactic.

“Back in 2013,” Cain writes, “when GOP members threatened a federal shutdown, they were called ‘terrorists’ and ‘hostage takers.’  Brian Williams famously carped that ‘All kinds of people are getting cheated out of salaries, benefits, medical treatment.’  That, in true Williams fashion, was a bald-faced lie, but it was the narrative the entire left-wing media decided to run with. As Mark Halpern admitted on MSNBC, the press was in Obama’s pocket and they were going to help him sell the anti-Republican narrative. It worked.  The GOP took a temporary hit and, for the next few years, Republicans would cower any time someone said the word ‘shutdown.’ Now, the circumstances have been reversed.  Having decimated their own party, Democrats are desperately searching for weapons with which to stall, delay, or derail the GOP agenda. Guess what they’re threatening…”

The Boston Globe recalls that “As a senator, Barack Obama once offered measured praise for the border control legislation that would become the basis for one of Donald Trump’s first acts as president…Obama was talking about the Secure Fence Act of 2006, legislation authorizing a barrier along the southern border passed into law with the support of 26 Democratic senators including party leaders like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Chuck Schumer…Now it’s become the legal mechanism for Trump to order construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico…”

Illegal immigration detrimentally affects many who are, or at least once upon a time were, core Democrat constituencies, including union workers and blacks, who have seen their job opportunities and salaries shrink due to increased competition from illegals.  The poor, who have favored Democrats because of the party’s support for social welfare programs, are forced to share limited federal assistance funding with a new wave of incomers. They certainly don’t benefit.

Last month, the New York Times pointed out: “The issue splits traditional Democratic constituencies.  It pits groups with competing material interests against each other, but it also brings those with vested psychological interests into conflict as Hispanics, African-Americans, labor and liberal advocacy groups clash over their conception of territoriality, political ownership and cultural identity.”

Democrat leaders have even opposed measures to deport illegal alien who have committed crimes. Matt Vespa, writing in Townhall  refutes Democrat’s characterization of ICE raids on illegal criminals as being prosecution of otherwise innocent illegals: Over the past couple of days, immigration enforcement agents have round up almost 700 illegal aliens—75 percent of which had criminal records. Rep. Nancy Pelosi disputed the claim, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement also confirmed the figure released by the Department of Homeland Security.

As the Dallas News  notes, “We can argue about whether America has an immigration problem. But it seems pretty clear that Democrats have an immigration problem…Josh Barro, a senior editor at Business Insider, laid out at length exactly what that problem is. Briefly: Democratic arguments about immigration mostly aren’t arguments…It’s easy to explain how immigrants benefit from an open door. Explanations of how the rest of us benefit tend to rely on the trivial or on abstract economic arguments that most people don’t find particularly intuitive or convincing. Those arguments look even more suspicious because they are generally made by the one group that visibly does benefit from a lot of low-skilled immigration, which provides the nannies, lawn-care, and food services that high-skilled professionals rely on to allow them to work longer hours.”

The report concludes Monday

Taxpayers Pay Heavy Costs for Immigration, Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government concludes its review of immigration costs

Many specific, costly areas highlight the economic weight of illegal immigration.

Louise Radnofsky, writing for the Wall Street Journal, reports:

“When federal lawmakers wrote the act overhauling the nation’s health-care system… they ruled out any possibility of extending health insurance to illegal immigrants. Local officials where many of those immigrants live are treating them anyway. A Wall Street Journal survey of the 25 U.S. counties with the largest unauthorized immigrant populations found that 20 of them have programs that pay for the low-income uninsured to have doctor visits, shots, prescription drugs, lab tests and surgeries at local providers. The services usually are inexpensive or free to participants, who must prove they live in the county but are told their immigration status doesn’t matter…Unauthorized immigrants account for at least one-quarter of the approximately 30 million uninsured people in the U.S., the Congressional Budget Office estimates…For communities that provide care to illegal immigrants, the financial commitment is significant. Interviews with officials in the 25 counties indicated that local initiatives provide nonemergency care for at least 750,000 unauthorized immigrants across those counties, costing them more than $1 billion a year—almost all from local funds.”

Educational costs for illegal immigrants are massive.  The Daily Caller,  citing Federation for American Immigration Reform statistics,  noted that “It cost taxpayers an estimated $43.9 billion to educate illegal alien students in the 2015-2016 school year, and $59.2 billion for programs to educate voters lacking proficient English skills.”

A study by the American Enterprise Institute notes that:

“According to the Pew Research Center, from 1995 to 2012, the percentage of K-12 students with at least one undocumented immigrant parent rose from 3.2 to 6.9%.  In California, this figure was 13.2%, and 17.7% in Nevada…In New York, almost 12% of public school students are undocumented minors, according to a New York Post article. A report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates the state will spend over $147 million in the 2014-2015 school year educating undocumented minors from the border crisis in 2014, a cost of $35,520 per pupil. California enrolls the highest amount of the nation’s 5 million English Language Learners (ELL) with nearly 1.5 million, and spends an estimated $12.3 billion annually educating children of undocumented immigrants.”

Law Enforcement costs are also a factor. A General Accounting Office  study found that:

“the number of criminal aliens in federal prisons in fiscal year 2010 was about 55,000, and the number of State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) criminal alien incarcerations in state prison systems and local jails was about 296,000 in fiscal year 2009…The number of criminal aliens in federal prisons increased about 7 percent from about 51,000 in fiscal year 2005 while the number of SCAAP criminal alien incarcerations in state prison systems and local jails increased about 35 percent from about 220,000 in fiscal year 2003… in 2005, [the General Accounting Office] (GAO) reported that the percentage of criminal aliens in federal prisons was about 27 percent of the total inmate population from 2001 through 2004. Based on our random sample, GAO estimates that the criminal aliens had an average of 7 arrests, 65 percent were arrested at least once for an immigration offense, and about 50 percent were arrested at least once for a drug offense. Immigration, drugs, and traffic violations accounted for about 50 percent of arrest offenses…About 40 percent of individuals convicted as a result of DOJ terrorism-related investigations were aliens. GAO estimates that costs to incarcerate criminal aliens in federal prisons and SCAAP reimbursements to states and localities ranged from about $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion annually from fiscal years 2005 through 2009…”

Taxpayers Pay Heavy Costs for Immigration

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government takes a two-part look at the cost of immigration to the American taxpayer.

 In the furious battle over illegal immigration, far too little attention is paid to the extraordinary costs borne by the American taxpayer to provide care and services to recent arrivals, legal and illegal.

Unlike earlier generations of immigrants, many of those arriving in the U.S. have an expectation of government assistance, and in fact do get taxpayer-funded help.  With an economy already nearing $20 trillion in debt, a crumbling infrastructure, burdensome taxes, and numerous needs, the question is of exceptional importance.

An Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) study found that  “In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services while paying some $10,334 in taxes. This generated an average annual fiscal deficit (benefits received minus taxes paid) of around $14,387 per household. This cost had to be borne by U.S. taxpayers.”

According to the Heritage Foundation “Today’s immigrants differ greatly from historic immigrant populations. Prior to 1960, immigrants to the U.S. had education levels that were similar to those of the non-immigrant workforce and earned wages that were, on average, higher than those of non-immigrant workers. Since the mid-1960s, however, the education levels of new immigrants have plunged relative to non-immigrants; consequently, the average wages of immigrants are now well below those of the non-immigrant population. Recent immigrants increasingly occupy the low end of the U.S. socio-economic spectrum. The current influx of poorly educated immigrants is the result of two factors: first, a legal immigration system that favors kinship ties over skills and education; and second, a permissive attitude toward illegal immigration that has led to lax border enforcement and non-enforcement of the laws that prohibit the employment of illegal immigrants. As a result of this dramatic inflow of low-skill immigrants,

  • One-third of all immigrants live in families in which the head of the household lacks a high school education; and
  • First-generation immigrants and their families, who are one-sixth of the U.S. population, comprise one-fourth of all poor persons in the U.S.”

Startling numbers have been revealed by a number of studies examining the fiscal implications of this issue. The Center for Immigration Studies  provides this overview:

  • “51 percent of immigrant-headed households used at least one federal welfare program — cash, food, housing, or medical care — compared to 30 percent of native households.
  •  The average household headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) costs taxpayers $6,234 in federal welfare benefits, which is 41 percent higher than the $4,431 received by the average native household.
  • The average immigrant household consumes 33 percent more cash welfare, 57 percent more food assistance, and 44 percent more Medicaid dollars than the average native household. Housing costs are about the same for both groups.
  • At $8,251, households headed by immigrants from Central America and Mexico have the highest welfare costs of any sending region — 86 percent higher than the costs of native households.
  • Illegal immigrant households cost an average of $5,692 (driven largely by the presence of U.S.-born children), while legal immigrant households cost $6,378.
  • The greater consumption of welfare dollars by immigrants can be explained in large part by their lower level of education and larger number of children compared to natives. Over 24 percent of immigrant households are headed by a high school dropout, compared to just 8 percent of native households. In addition, 13 percent of immigrant households have three or more children, vs. just 6 percent of native households.”

The Federation for American Immigration Reform adds this summary:  adds this summary:

  • “Illegal immigration costs U.S. taxpayers about $113 billion a year at the federal, state and local level. The bulk of the costs — some $84 billion — are absorbed by state and local governments.
  • The annual outlay that illegal aliens cost U.S. taxpayers is an average amount per native-headed household of $1,117. The fiscal impact per household varies considerably because the greatest share of the burden falls on state and local taxpayers whose burden depends on the size of the illegal alien population in that locality
  • Education for the children of illegal aliens constitutes the single largest cost to taxpayers, at an annual price tag of nearly $52 billion. Nearly all of those costs are absorbed by state and local governments.
  • At the federal level, about one-third of outlays are matched by tax collections from illegal aliens. At the state and local level, an average of less than 5 percent of the public costs associated with illegal immigration is recouped through taxes collected from illegal aliens.
  • Most illegal aliens do not pay income taxes. Among those who do, much of the revenues collected are refunded to the illegal aliens when they file tax returns. Many are also claiming tax credits resulting in payments from the U.S. Treasury.”

The Report concludes tomorrow

What’s the Cost of Protecting Illegal Immigrants?

As the Obama Administration’s time comes to an end, Democrats are desperately seeking to solidify the vast numbers of illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. during the past eight years.

Those they seek to protect range from those brought into the nation at a very young age (known as “dreamers”) to hardened criminals and gang members who pose serious threats to public safety.

60 Democrats, notes The Hill, have submitted two letters requesting President Obama to pardon approximately 750,000 youth who were brought to the U.S. by parents. While the President has the power to pardon individuals, legal questions could be raised about an act that appears to wholly offset existing law, as a mass pardon would.

Arguments about humanitarian actions for dreamers fall far short for other illegal immigrants. The City Journal  notes:

“Some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens. Yet in cities where the crime these aliens commit is highest, the police cannot use the most obvious tool to apprehend them: their immigration status. In Los Angeles, for example, dozens of members of a ruthless Salvadoran prison gang have sneaked back into town after having been deported for such crimes as murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and drug trafficking. Police officers know who they are and know that their mere presence in the country is a felony. Yet should a cop arrest an illegal gangbanger for felonious reentry, it is he who will be treated as a criminal, for violating the LAPD’s rule against enforcing immigration law. The LAPD’s ban on immigration enforcement mirrors bans in immigrant-saturated cities around the country, from New York and Chicago to San Diego, Austin, and Houston. These ‘sanctuary policies’ generally prohibit city employees, including the cops, from reporting immigration violations to federal authorities. Such laws testify to the sheer political power of immigrant lobbies, a power so irresistible that police officials shrink from even mentioning the illegal-alien crime wave. ‘We can’t even talk about it,’ says a frustrated LAPD captain.”

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) stated in April that in 2015, the Obama Administration released 19,723 people who had been convicted of a combined 64,179 crimes, including 134 sex offenses, 216 kidnappings and 196 homicide-related convictions. Despite that, advocates continue to impede efforts for the removal of the criminal aliens. Breitbart report reports that “Immigration advocacy groups are asking California Attorney General Kamala Harris to “block federal access” to the database containing names of gang members in the state.

There are, of course, issues beyond crime.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIRUS)  found that “Illegal immigration costs U.S. taxpayers about $113 billion a year at the federal, state and local level. The bulk of the costs — some $84 billion — are absorbed by state and local governments.”

Perhaps even more worrisome than issues relating to finance and crime is the problem of contagious disease.

The Southern Medical Association reports that There’s a growing health concern over illegal immigrants bringing infectious diseases into the United States. Approximately 500,000 legal immigrants and 80,000 refugees come to the United States each year, and an additional 700,000 illegal immigrants enter annually, and three-quarters of these illegal immigrants come from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Legal immigrants and refugees are required to have a medical examination for migration to the United States, while they are still overseas… Illegal immigration may expose Americans to diseases that have been virtually eradicated, but are highly contagious, as in the case of TB. This disease rose by 20% globally from 1985 to 1991, and was declared a worldwide emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1995. Furthermore, TB frequently occurs in connection with the human immunodeficiency virus…”“Troubling facts concerning health risks related to the wave of illegal immigrants who are crossing our southern border are coming to light…Historically, immigrants who legally sought entry to America (such as those through Ellis Island) went through a structured process that checked them for communicable diseases. In some cases, those found to present a health risk were quarantined until they no longer proposed a threat. In other cases, they were sent back to their country of origin. Today, Border Patrol agents have confirmed those now flooding across the border are not adequately checked for diseases because of the sheer volume, lack of proper screening techniques and lack of manpower…This is what we know. Immigrants coming here have been documented as having communicable diseases such as tuberculosis and swine flu. Because there is limited use of the vaccine for the former and limited effectiveness of vaccine for the latter (studies vary on the effectiveness of the swine flu vaccine; estimates range from 42 percent to 96 percent), individuals coming in contact with people with these diseases are at risk of becoming infected. Those most vulnerable to contracting illnesses from illegals are the first responders such as the Border Patrol agents. In turn, they may pass diseases and conditions on to their children, spouses, seniors and those with whom they come in contact who have compromised immune systems…It isn’t the diseases that we have been vaccinated against that are the most concerning, but ones like TB, which have developed multiple drug resistance, or tropical diseases such as Dengue fever that doctors may have difficulty diagnosing and for which there is no treatment.”

Some will argue that those seeking to protect illegal immigrants are doing so out of a humanitarian impulse.  Others contend that, since statistics overwhelmingly indicate that new immigrants, legal or illegal, tend to vote Democrat,  the motives are self-serving. In either case, the increased danger from crime and contagious disease, as well as the added expense to taxpayers, requires that policies protecting illegal immigrants must be seriously weighed against the significant detrimental impact they impose.

What Washington Must Do Now, Part 2

 Can the American people pull together after the bruising 2016 presidential election? There is a clear, even urgent, need to do so. The U.S. faces a number of extraordinarily troubling challenges. In Part One of our review, we discussed the nation’s faltering economy, its dramatically weakened national security, and the federal deficit.  Today, we review immigration, the plight of senior citizens, and the use of federal agencies for partisan purposes.

Immigration: The current wave of immigration is unlike any in America’s past. Far too large a percent of those arriving are doing so illegally, and soon seek public assistance, particularly straining state and local budgets.

Since so many have entered without any government oversight, the danger of re-introducing diseases long since eradicated within U.S. borders is significant.  According to the Southern Medical Association “Illegal immigration may expose Americans to diseases that have been virtually eradicated, but are highly contagious, as in the case of TB.”

The Washington Times reports: “Viruses we had finally eliminated from our lives are returning, and others we should never have to face are now crawling through our nation, targeting our children and families. In addition to the word “jihad” we now must re-introduce into our lexicon the words measles, polio, diphtheria, tuberculosis, malaria, scabies, dengue, and now ‘Zika.’ The Zika virus is emerging as a new threat, is spread by mosquito bites, but the CDC is now warning of a transmission through a blood transfusion and sexual contact. Symptoms include fever, rash, joint and muscle pain, and headache. The horror show part of this scourge is it can also apparently cause brain damage in the fetuses of pregnant women.

In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) declared measles eradicated in the United States. But then there was suddenly a 20-year high of 600 cases in 2014, more than all reported cases between 2009 and 2013, reports Breitbart News.

“The government and media blamed a lack of vaccinations for the spread, while admitting that it was an unidentified “foreign visitor” who likely brought the virus into the country. At about the same time, in the summer of 2014, a mysterious polio-like illness began to strike children in 34 states. Over 100 children were impacted, many left permanently paralyzed. The CDC has guessed at a possible cause, but there has been no official finding as to what caused so many young people to be condemned with a virus similar to what was eradicated in the United States in 1979.

What was happening just prior to the spread of previously thought annihilated viruses? The massive surge of illegal immigrants, including “unaccompanied minors,” at the southern border and their transportation to the interior of the country by the federal government.

“According to a report by the House Committee on Home land security, illegal immigration is also responsible for the rise in gang activity throughout the nation.”

Senior Citizens:  The past eight years have been devastating for America’s senior citizens.  First, their medical care has been imperiled. Obamacare implements $716 billion in Medicare payments in the time span from 2013 to 2022 in reimbursement formulas for Medicare providers. Breitbart quotes Obama economic advisor Robert Reich, who explained in September 2007: “if you’re very old, we’re not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It’s too expensive…so we’re going to let you die… Or we could just listen to Dr. Howard Dean, the former head of the Democratic National Committee, who said in July 2013 in the pages of the Wall Street Journal that the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board ‘is essentially a health-care rationing body. By setting doctor reimbursement rates for Medicare and determining which procedures and drugs will be covered and at what price, the IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them.”

The travails of seniors don’t end with health issues. Over the past eight years, seniors have received less in social security cost of living increases than at any time in memory.  This was based on formulas that make little sense.  The reduction in gas prices accounted for the alleged drop in the cost of living, but food, medical care and other expenses rose, in some cases sharply.

Add to those woes actions by the Federal Reserve to mask a faltering economy by keeping interest rates low, which affected seniors trying to live off their savings.

Agency Accountability: During the past eight years, the Internal Revenue Service has been used to target political opponents of the White House; the Department of Justice has refused to prosecute clear-cut cases of election violations by pro-White House interests; and the Environmental Protection Agency has been heavily influenced by non-governmental, politically motivated sources. The list could go on, but the principle is clear: federal agencies have been abused for partisan political purposes. Safeguards are badly needed.

Unasked, Unanswered Questions About Refugees and Immigrants

This week at the United Nations, the issue of refugees has taken center stage. The key question is whether the central problems will be addressed, or will the discussion be yet another forum for merely blasting the West for not resolving the disasters caused by non-western nations. In the United States, particularly, the drive to allow increased numbers of both illegal immigrants as well as refugees is combined with a White House push to accelerate the process of granting citizenship, a move motivated by statistics indicating that new citizens tend to vote solidly Democrat in the first generation.  The Administration’s stance against authenticating citizenship before registering to vote also means that many recent arrivals may vote even before being legally eligible to do so.

Outgoing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presides over his final session, which began with an unprecedented summit on refugees and migrants. A declaration was adopted calling for better treatment to the over 65 million displaced individuals, including 21 million classified as refugees (one quarter of whom arising from the Syrian conflict). According to George Soros’ Open Societies Foundation the UN will also commit to an effort leading to “safe, orderly, and regular migration” for all.

Mr. Obama is calling for specific actions to be taken. Robert McKenzie, writing for the Brookings Institute  describes the President’s three goals:

  • Increase by 30 percent the financing for global humanitarian appeals, from $10 billion in 2015 to $13 billion this year;
  • double the number of resettlement slots and alternative legal pathways for admission that are available to refugees, and increase the number of countries accepting refugees; and
  • increase the number of refugees worldwide in school by one million, and the number of refugees granted the legal right to work by one million.

A number of key questions are not even scheduled to be fully discussed:

  •  Rather than solely concentrating on the condition of refugees in host nations, shouldn’t the U.N. be more proactive in resolving the disputes that led to the need to flee?
  • Shouldn’t U.N. members that are responsible for creating the conditions that compel the need to become refugees be penalized, as well as being liable for the cost of caring for those who have fled?
  • The most acute current crisis, the Syrian refugee issue, is directly the fault of Syria’s leader, Bashar al-Assad, who has openly violated numerous human rights standards, fully aided and abetted by Russia and Iran. All three bear extensive moral, legal, and financial responsibility.
  • Shouldn’t the populations of the host nations bear some input into how many refugees are taken in? Leaders in both the E.U. and the U.S. have action without regard to domestic preferences.

There is significant dissent in both the European Union and the United States on this issue. It was, as the New York Analysis has previously reported, a key reason why the citizens of the United Kingdom voted to end their relationship with the E.U., and why Germans have turned against the party of Angela Merkel, who supported the acceptance of large numbers of refugees.

Increasing immigration, legal or otherwise, has substantial political implications for the U.S., a key reason Democrats have made increasing the numbers entering through any means a key goal.

Politico described the push this way: “The Obama administration and its allies [have held] scores of events  to nudge 8.8 million legal residents who are eligible for naturalization to become full-fledged citizens — and therefore, eligible to vote. The not-so-secret expectation is that most of them would probably register as Democrats, given the demographics heavy on Hispanics and Asians …Most of those green card holders are already on a path to becoming citizens and voters, and their politics skew Democratic.”

Since 1990, according to Pew Hispanic,  the number of illegal immigrants has soared from 3.5 million in 1990 to up to  at least 11 million today, accounting for about one-quarter of all immigrants.  (Pew also found that “the overall foreign-born population in the U.S. has gone up each year since 2009. The overall immigrant population rose by nearly 3 million from 2009 to 2014, reaching 43.6 million.”)

The numbers are in dispute. A Daily Signal  analysis indicates that the figure could be up to 30 million. A Bear Sterns examination found that “Illegal immigrants constitute a large and growing force in the political, economic, and investment spheres in The United States. The size of this extra-legal segment of the population is significantly understated because the official U.S. Census does not capture the total number of illegal immigrants…The number of illegal immigrants in the United States may be as high as 20 million people…Cell phones, internet and low-cost travel have allowed immigrants easier illegal access to the United States and increased their ability to find employment and circumvent immigration laws.”