The High Cost of lllegal Immigration to Texans
By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. April 9, 2018
A mushrooming illegal alien population is having a severely negative impact on American taxpayers at the national, state, and local levels. Illegal immigration is costing Americans nearly $135 billion each year with the states bearing $90 billion of that cost. Taxes paid by 12.5 million uninvited guests total only $19 billion.
Texas taxpayers are shelling out $11 billion each year to support 1.9 million illegal aliens, the second largest illegal population in the nation. Texans are also supporting 625,000 of their U.S. born children with 537,000 of these attending local schools.
The tab to Texans is $4,429 for each illegal alien which places a heavy burden of $1,231 on each household.
Education: $8 billion
States are forced to educate illegal aliens and their children, refugees, and legal immigrant students through an unfunded federal mandate as required by the Plyler v. Doe Supreme Court decision in 1982.
Educating students who do not speak English as their primary language is exceedingly expensive. Programs must be funded for students with Limited English Proficiency, of which only 1 percent is funded by the federal government.
According to the Federation for American Immigration in 2016 report, LEP programs are growing faster than school districts’ ability to fund or run them effectively. Texas is among five states and Washington, D.C. in which 10 percent or more of all students are enrolled in LEP programs. In Dallas Independent School District there are 76 languages other than English as the primary language spoken in students’ homes.
The LEP program is creating a major drain on the Texas education budget and is siphoning off resources for all students.
Medical - $2 billion
Public hospitals are required to provide emergency medical assistance regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. This is yet another burden place on taxpayers through the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. Many illegal aliens use the hospital emergency rooms as free treatment for basic medical conditions.
In addition to those illegal aliens living in the U.S., others cross the border to access free medical care and then return to Mexico. Many illegal aliens use emergency care services for child delivery. Pregnant women also cross the border illegally to access free delivery and establish U.S. citizenship for their babies, thus setting up chain migration for the family.
Justice – $1.3 billion
Although immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility, the reality is that state and local governments incur major criminal justice expenditures because of the presence of illegal aliens. The costs fall into four categories: police operations for criminal activity, especially for drug trafficking and gang activity; pre-trial detention, court hearings, and probation for those accused of criminal offenses; state and local incarceration of illegal alien criminals; and border security.
Welfare Programs – $642 million
State welfare expenditures are made under the Child Care and Development Fund, the Temporary Assistance to needy Families, and Meals in Schools.