Illegal Immigrants Cost Taxpayers $750 Billion Over a Lifetime


We keep hearing that immigrants, even those here illegally, are better workers than Americans and, are in fact, superior to American citizens. There is another story to be told.

Steven A. Camarota, research director at the Center for Immigration Studies, found in a new study that the current population of illegal immigrants will drain nearly $750 billion from taxpayers over their lifetimes — amounting to six times the deportation costs.

He used the data from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) study and adjusted for illegal immigrants.

“Sometimes people say look, we couldn’t deport everybody because it’s prohibitively expensive,” Mr. Camarota said. “But if your only concern is fiscal cost, it’s pretty clear that letting them stay is a hell of a lot more expensive.”

He’s not looking for mass deportation but does want to see the issue discussed.

Mr. Camarota said the illegal immigrants tend to be low-skilled and less-educated than the native-born population. Though they also don’t have access to some services and benefits reserved for citizens and legal residents, they do get other benefits, such as education. If they have an anchor baby, they get all the welfare benefits for the child, including tax credits – IRS welfare payments.

Mr. Camarota concluded that those with advanced degrees are a $424,000 boon to the U.S. over their lifetime, but those who dropped out of high school are a $173,000 drain. Overall, it works out to a net cost to taxpayers of nearly $65,000 per illegal immigrant.

Alex Nowrasteh an immigration analyst at CATO said Camarota might have left out the age and if illegals are under 24 when they enter, they might become educated and earn more.

However, according to Camarota: The Heritage Foundation study estimated that, on average, illegal immigrants have 10 years of schooling. In an earlier analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies of illegal immigrants based on 2011 Census Bureau data, we found that 54 percent of adults have not completed high school, 25 percent have only a high school degree, and 21 percent have education beyond high school. The Pew Research Center estimated that 47 percent of all illegal immigrants have not completed high school, 27 percent have only a high school education, 10 percent have some college, and 15 percent have a bachelor’s or more.

The American Action Forum found last year that it would cost too much to deport illegals to this country.

The philosophy that has developed in this country which runs counter to our laws says we might try to stop you at the border but when you get here, we have your back.

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