The Illegal Immigrant Deficit

Joe Guzzardi

With the federal debt ceiling debate at crisis level, Republicans and Democrats are rumored to be working hard to cut fat from the budget.

As usual, however, illegal immigration is not one of the variables under consideration. If I didn’t know better, I might think the United States didn’t have an illegal immigrant population that is at least 11-30 million strong. And I might also think, mistakenly, that since illegal immigration isn’t part of the budget debate, it represents no cost to taxpayers.

In his July 18 Fox News opinion column Bob Dane, communications director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, wondered how federal funding to millions of illegal immigrants could be left off the table. Since Congress refuses to discuss illegal immigration as a significant factor in layers of national debt, then we can sadly conclude that it has no plan other than to allow the status quo to continue. Doing nothing, however, guarantees that costs associated with illegal immigration will increase indefinitely

Dane offers several practical recommendations, with which I agree, that would not only gradually reduce expenditures on illegal immigrants but also would create job opportunities for millions of unemployed Americans.

According to FAIR’s analysis, American taxpayers spend $113 billion annually to subsidize illegal immigration. State and local taxpayers are the most heavily hit. They provide $84 billion in services while the federal government pays out $29 billion. With funding for illegal immigration—housing, education K-12 and college, ESL, emergency medical care and AFDC—obviously a major budget factor, the question for Congress is how to permanently eliminate those costs that taxpayers should not have to bear….

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