This report estimates the annual costs of illegal immigration at the federal, state and local level to be about $113 billion; nearly $29 billion at the federal level and $84.2 billion at the state and local level. The study also
estimates tax collections from illegal alien workers, both those in the above-ground economy and those in the underground economy. Those receipts do not come close to the level of expenditures and, in any case, are misleading as an offset because over time unemployed and underemployed U.S. workers would replace illegal alien workers.
Illegal immigration costs U.S. taxpayers about $113 billion a year at the federal, state and local level. The bulk of the costs — some $84.2 billion — are absorbed by state and local governments.
The annual outlay that illegal aliens cost U.S. taxpayers is an average amount per nativeheaded 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 claimingtax credits resulting in payments from the U.S. Treasury.
With many state budgets in deficit, policymakers have an obligation to look for ways to reduce the fiscal burden of illegal migration. California, facing a budget deficit of $14.4 billion in 2010-2011, is hit with an estimated $21.8 billion in annual expenditures on illegal aliens. New York’s $6.8 billion deficit is smaller than its $9.5 billion in yearly illegal alien costs.
The report examines the likely consequences if an amnesty for the illegal alien population were adopted similar to the one adopted in 1986. The report notes that while tax collections from the illegal alien population would likely increase only marginally, the new legal status would make them eligible for receiving Social Security retirement benefits that would further jeopardize the future of the already shaky system. An amnesty would also result in this large population of illegal aliens becoming eligible for numerous social assistance programs available for low-income populations for which they are not now eligible. The overall result would, therefore, be an accentuation of the already enormous fiscal burden.