As noted in previous sections, the economic impact of illegal immigration covers a wide stratum, including the costs for the collateral impact of crime, traffic accidents, education, health care, and the infrastructure. The ADDENDUM of this report contains even more.
As detailed in Importing Poverty: Immigration and Poverty in the United States: A Book of Charts the bottom line is that illegal immigration brings in a tremendous number of poor, unskilled, and uneducated people along with all their inherent problems.
As noted in a KGTV report, Illegal Immigration Could Cost Taxpayers Trillions, "The influx of illegal immigrants has effectively "imported about 10 million high school dropouts into the United States," said Robert Rector, a senior research fellow in welfare and family issues for the Washington, D.C.-based think tank."
While a smaller percentage than most countries, the US has our own resident poor and uneducated to take care of and, as rich as the country is, we simply can not support all the poor and uneducated who want to come here.
One can understand why Mexicans, the largest component of illegal aliens, come to the U.S. In Mexico, they are typically paid only $5.00 per day for their labor. When wages for Mexican workers rise, the peso is conveniently devalued to keep Mexico competitive with foreign countries like China and India. The owners of Mexican businesses often keep their money in dollars in American banks and escape the devaluation of their currency. Between that and the thoroughly incompetent government, the common people are forever doomed to poverty. Without a revolution in Mexico, America is their only hope. Unfortunately, the results of revolutions in countries to our south generally are not good.
However, just being poor or wanting to come here is not a valid reason to violate the national sovereignty of the United States. If so, most of the world would be here. While we already devote considerable resources to our resident poor, the USA does not have the resources for all the world's poor.
An article in the San Francisco Chronicle stated that Mexicans living in the U.S. send between $6 and $8 billion back to their families every year, making them the third-biggest legitimate force in the Mexican economy, after oil and tourism. Additionally, US taxpayers pay for all the direct and indirect costs of "housing" the Mexican illegal aliens. In essence, it's an unofficial form of foreign aide. Mexico isn't about to control its borders, since Mexicans fleeing their country for work in the U.S. send plenty of money back to their own country.
While the $6-8 billion number is often quoted, a fairly recent story in The Brownsville Herald, Banks seek stake in billions sent home, notes that some estimates place the amount of dollars going south in 2006 will be $45 Billion, which was up from an estimated $30 Billion in 2004.
Regardless of the amount, all that money is leaving the US economy and not creating additional job opportunities here. Additionally, all that money represents jobs Americans used to have.
Have you heard about the Social Security Proposed Totalization agreement with Mexico? Me neither, before starting the investigation for this report. Somehow it neglected to get reported in our local paper and TV news.
As reported by Bruce Barton in Totalization Sell-Out: What You Don't Know will Cost You:
"... the Commissioner of the U.S. Social Security Administration (Jo Anne Barnhart) and her Mexican counterpart concluded the U.S.-Mexican Totalization Agreement. This agreement had to be in place prior to the administration's second term and its all-out offensive for Social Security reform. This agreement would allow illegal aliens working in the U.S. to qualify for Social Security benefits with as few as six coverage credits, as opposed to the 40 now required of American workers.
Additionally, illegal workers could qualify for partial benefits after only 18 months (working illegally and with a false identity), while the American worker would still have to work 10 years in order to vest in the program. Lastly, families and dependents of illegal workers would be entitled to benefits as dependents and survivors, even if not residing in the U.S.
... The Social Security Administration's estimate is that only about 50,000 Mexican workers (both legal and illegal) will enter the program in its first year at a cost of $78 million. This ignores the fact that presently there are an estimated 5 to 6 million undocumented Mexicans now in the American workforce. In 2004, the SSA did a study and determined that there were up to 800,000 mis-matched social security accounts, many of which were workers using non-work social security cards, or worse, using stolen social security numbers.
Meanwhile, estimates of the SSA are that by 2050 only 300,000 Mexican workers in the U.S. would be in the system at a cost projection of $650 million annually.
Among its negative findings, the GAO summarized its report this way: "Under the Social Security Act, all earnings from employment in the United States count towards earning social security benefits, regardless of the lawful presence of the worker, his or her citizenship status, or country of residence. Immigrants [both legal and otherwise] become entitled to benefits from unauthorized work if they can prove that the earnings and related contributions belong to them. However, they cannot collect such benefits unless [or until] they are either legally present in the United States [hence the Administration's Guest Worker Program], or living in a country where SSA is authorized to pay them their benefits. [Hence an SSA office in Mexico City] Mexico is such a country."
This is so outrageous one would think it was an urban legend being spread over the internet. Unfortunately, this one is true.
Also see Critics say Social Security deal would give billions to Mexicans by Michelle Mittelstadt of the Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau where she reports "Federal officials insist it would cost only $105 million for the first 5 years." Right. Only if the cost overruns were deducted from their pay and Social Security. Oops, Congress and dimwitted bureaucrats are never held accountable and Congress exempted themselves and all Federal employees from the Social Security System.
They both have a MUCH BETTER retirement plan – funded by taxpayers of course.
"It represents a sell-out of American workers and their families," the group's analysis said. "Such a one-sided pact with its enormous financial risks should never have been negotiated in the first place."
Also see Totalization is a Bad Idea, by Representative Ron Paul of Texas.
If you want to see an actual copy of the Totalization Agreement, forced out of the Government bureaucracy by the TSCL by-the-way, go here.
In the opinion of this writer, such a scheme almost dwarfs the irresponsibility of allowing unfettered illegal immigration.
In any case, a 2004 study from the Center for Immigration Studies, The High Cost of Cheap Labor - Illegal Immigration and the Federal Budget, was one of the first to estimate the impact of illegal immigration on the federal budget. Based on Census Bureau data, the study estimates that households headed by illegal aliens used $10 billion more in government services than they paid in taxes in 2002. These figures are only for the federal government; costs at the state and local level are also significant.
The study also notes that if illegal aliens were given amnesty, the fiscal deficit at the federal level would grow by nearly $29 billion. Note that number is only for the direct costs and does not count all the indirect costs of the collateral damage being inflicted.
If the Government says the deficit will grow by $29 billion, you can be confident that the actual amount will end up much greater. In any case, just the education costs are greater than that much of a deficit however the politicians conveniently ignore that most of those costs are borne by the states.
At this point it is worth noting that Jonathan Weisman of the Washington Post reported in Cost of Senate Immigration Bill Put at $126 Billion:
"The Senate's embattled immigration bill would raise government spending by as much as $126 billion over the next decade, as the government begins paying out federal benefits to millions of new legal workers and cracks down on the border, a new Congressional Budget Office analysis concludes.
Law enforcement measures alone would necessitate the hiring of nearly 31,000 federal workers in the next five years, while the building and maintenance of 870 miles of fencing and vehicle barriers would cost $3.3 billion. Newly legalized immigrants would claim nearly $50 billion in federal benefits such as the earned income and child tax credits, Medicaid, and Social Security."
Amazingly, it seems that few people want to ask WHY we should be paying for illegal aliens to stay in the US.
Steven Camarota notes in a Judicial Watch Special Report, New Fronts in the Immigration Battle:
"All the research suggests that the reason illegal aliens create large fiscal [deficits] for the country is not their legal status, but rather their educational attainment. Sixty percent of illegals are thought not to have even a high school education, another twenty percent, a high school education only. All the research suggests that people with relatively little education make relatively little money in the modern American economy ...[As] a consequence, they tend to pay relatively little in taxes, even if they are legal and on the books.
At the same time, [these individuals] tend to use a fair amount in public services, reflecting their lower incomes. I estimate illegals pay about $16 billion a year to the Federal Government in taxes ... the difference between what they pay in taxes and use in services is about $10 billion. So right now the net drain on the Federal Government alone from illegal families is about $10 billion. If we began to legalize [these individuals] and they began to pay taxes and use services like legal immigrants with the same level of education, the net fiscal drain would roughly triple to nearly $30 billion."
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has a fairly recent article, The Estimated Cost of Illegal Immigration, where the net number is put at $24.4 Billion. However, as noted, some experts say almost twice that much is being sent out of the country and just the education and traffic accident costs are more than that.
As this paper has detailed, just the education costs could be as high as $34.5 billion. That and just $10 billion in services minus the $16 billion in taxes is a net drain is $28.5 billion, not $10 billion. Add in the collateral damage from crime and traffic accidents, as well as lost wages and the number really soars.
The aforementioned KGTV report, Illegal Immigration Could Cost Taxpayers Trillions, notes: "The National Academy of Sciences estimated that each immigrant will result in a $100,000 net annual cost to taxpayers." If that is the case then illegal immigrants are costing the country TRILLIONS of dollars, which is, of course, the point of the KGTV report.
As far as the author of this report has determined after many hours of searching, there is no official calculation of all the direct and indirect costs of illegal aliens. As referenced in this report, there is a piece here and a piece there but NOBODY IS TRACKING IT.
In any case, when you add up all the direct and indirect costs it would not surprise me if the amount exceeded $100 billion, per year. If the data for the costs of crime is correct, and the traffic accidents participation turns out to be as great as some indicators point to, then the number could easily exceed $200 billion.
Using the $200 billion figure and 300,000,000 million people in the US, that would be $667 for every person in the United States. However only 136,000,000 file taxes, and of those about 44,000,000 pay no taxes leaving about 92,000,000 actual taxpayers. For them, illegal immigration could be costing each taxpayer about $2,174 each. In states with high percentages or concentrations of illegal aliens the amount is even higher.
At $2,174, that amount would buy a head of $5.96 per head of lettuce every day of the year. What could you do with an extra $2,174? So much for a "victimless crime."
However, regardless of the economic costs, how can you put a cost on the Americans being molested, raped, killed, and murdered by illegal aliens?
For more information, see:
- Chilling Cost of Illegal Alien Immigration
- Welfare Reform and Immigrant Participation in Welfare Programs
- Fiscal Impacts of Undocumented Aliens
- Congressman: 'Parasitic' Illegal Aliens Burden U.S. Hospitals
- Hospitals 'Mugged' by Illegal Aliens
- The Number and Cost of Immigrants on Medicaid
- Illegal Aliens: The Health Cost Dimension
- 'Border baby' boom strains S. Texas
- Hospitals: Aid to offset costs of immigrants is necessary
- Illegal Immigration Costs California $10.5 Billion Annually
- Costs of Illegal Immigration to New Yorkers - $4.5 Billion
- The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Arizonans: Executive Summary
- Illegal Aliens in Federal, State, and Local Criminal Justice Systems
- The Earnings of Male Hispanic Immigrants in the United States
- The High Cost of Cheap Labor - Illegal Immigration and the Federal Budget