Illegal Immigration Takes Billions Out of the Pockets of US Taxpayers

Colin Fredericson
By Colin Fredericson
April 25, 2019Politics
Illegal Immigration Takes Billions Out of the Pockets of US Taxpayers
Honduran migrants wait at the international border bridge in Ciudad Tecun Uman, Guatemala, as they wait to cross into Mexico on April 12, 2019. (Rodrigo Mendez/AFP/Getty Images)

Illegal aliens in the United States are costing taxpayers billions while receiving government benefits, according to experts.

A study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) shows that illegal immigration puts pressure on the financial resources of the government, with the total cost to the United States at around $116 billion. That figure is a combination of the costs to federal, state, and local governments.

The figure was obtained for 2017 expenditures and is an increase of $3 billion from the total expenditures on illegal aliens in 2013. The 2017 figure was found after subtracting the total economic impact of illegal immigrants, $134.9 billion, from the approximately $19 billion that illegal immigrants paid in taxes.

Meanwhile, the march of people looking to enter the United States illegally through the southern border has not slowed.

“A very big Caravan of over 20,000 people started up through Mexico. It has been reduced in size by Mexico but is still coming. Mexico must apprehend the remainder or we will be forced to close that section of the Border & call up the Military. The Coyotes & Cartels have weapons!” tweeted President Trump on April 24.

The money to support these illegal immigrants comes through social services meant for taxpayers. Taxes paid by illegal immigrants do not cover the social services they utilize in the United States, according to FAIR. Many illegal aliens who work outside of normal business regulations don’t pay taxes at all, and some make a profit through refundable tax credit programs.

Census Citizenship Question

Illegal immigrants in the country also affect an area’s population and therefore political representation and federal funding. This is a major factor in the current debate about including a question on the 2020 census about the citizenship of the respondent, NBC News reported.

The president also tweeted about the importance of this issue:

“The American people deserve to know who is in this Country. Yesterday, the Supreme Court took up the Census Citizenship question, a really big deal. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Whether or not to include a citizenship question in 2020 is a decision that’s scheduled to be determined by the Supreme Court in June, Fox News reported.

From the beginning of his candidacy Trump proposed the border wall as a way to help solve the illegal immigration crisis, along with reducing other problems like human trafficking and drug smuggling. President Trump’s immigration plans benefit legal immigrants who follow proper immigration procedure.

“They’re coming in illegally. Drugs are pouring in through the border. We have no country if we have no border,” said Donald Trump in a debate a month before he won the presidency, via CBS News. “Now, I want to build the wall. We need the wall. The border patrol, ICE, they all want the wall. We stop the drugs. We shore up the border.”

The Biggest Source of Illegal Immigration

Recently the administration sent a presidential memorandum aimed at the largest source of illegal immigrants: visa overstays.

“Aliens must abide by the terms and conditions of their visas for our immigration system to function as intended. Although the United States benefits from legitimate nonimmigrant entry, individuals who abuse the visa process and decline to abide by the terms and conditions of their visas, including their visa departure dates, undermine the integrity of our immigration system and harm the national interest,” reads the memo.

A study by the Center for Migration Studies revealed that for seven years straight, visa overstays have exceeded illegal border crossings as the largest source of undocumented aliens in the United States.

The White House has given both the Department of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State the task of coming up with solutions to combating visa overstays, both from countries with visa waiver agreements with the United States, and from those that do not have them.

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