Illegal Aliens: Economic Consequences: As Federal, State, and Local Governments Go Broke, and Unemployment Remains Dangerously High, It's Time Again to Count the Costs of Illegal Immigrants

Article excerpt

Maywood, California, a small city in Los Angeles County numbering about 45,000 residents, is broke. Such are the city's dire straits that in June it fired all of its employees and turned police and fire protection over to the county. Officials, naturally, pinned the blame for the situation on decreasing property tax revenues and the national recession, and indeed, they may well provide a small reason the city went under.

But the real reason is this: illegal aliens. As the Los Angeles Times reported in its article on the subject, half the city's population is illegal and has been for some time. Such is its population of illegals that Maywood proudly declared itself a "sanctuary" city a few years ago. Now, apparently, no one, least of all the city's Hispanic leaders and activists, got the connection between the city's worsening plight and the mushrooming number of illegals.

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In Santa Ana, 27 miles down Interstate 5, the school district has decided that every one of its 55,000 students will receive free breakfast and lunch regardless of whether they qualify for the program. At $2 per meal, that's $39.6 million annually to feed the school system's mostly Hispanic children before officials buy their first pencil. One can well imagine without looking too deeply that many of these students also are either illegal aliens or the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens.

Extrapolating these two examples across the nation paints a frightening picture: Illegal aliens are not only weakening the country financially, but are also often enticed to come here because of governmental social-welfare programs that should not even exist much less be available to illegal residents. The cost to American taxpayers is billions of dollars. And the federal government, which has responsibility for the nation's borders, literally does nothing about it. Its official policy is to deport only "criminal" aliens, which means the rest will stay and continue consuming resources via our social-welfare programs. One example: In September, Republicans narrowly defeated an insane plan to permit illegal-alien minors to stay in the country indefinitely if they meet a complex and unenforceable set of criteria. It is called the DREAM Act.

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Finding good figures on what illegal aliens cost is difficult because public officials typically do not include everything the immigrants consume. In June, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) published a report on the cost of illegal immigration that does include everything. It demonstrates the staggering result of the federal government's paralysis on the border issue. According to FAIR, illegal aliens cost American taxpayers $113 billion annually. Broken down, the direct cost to the federal government is about $29 billion, while the states pick up the remaining share of about $84 billion. Illegals cost each household in America, meaning the households of citizens who pay taxes, $1,117. The largest expense for illegals is educating their American-born children, some $52 billion. Not surprisingly, the states with the highest number of illegals also pay the most to feed, educate, house, doctor, and jail them.

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California's price tag for its 2.55 million illegals, FAIR reports, is $21.8 billion annually. As FAIR concludes, the cost of illegals accounts for all of the budget deficits California and New York now face in 2011: "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." Conclusion for these two states? Get rid of the illegals, the deficits disappear.

Why did Arizonans pass their controversial law that permitted police to check the immigration status of those with whom they have a lawful contact? …