With ongoing violent protests in favor of amnesty for illegal aliens, immigration reformer advocates point to exponential costs taxpayers already pay for illegal immigrants, and how much more taxpayers would spend if they were given amnesty.
According to the most recent analysis by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), one illegal immigrant living in America today costs U.S. citizen taxpayers about $8,075. In total, illegal aliens cost American taxpayers $116 billion annually.
FAIR researchers note the increasing costs of illegal immigration is a “disturbing and unsustainable trend.” Costs to taxpayers have risen by nearly $3 billion since 2013, when illegal aliens’ total cost to taxpayers was $113 billion, according to FAIR.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says there are between 11 million and 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. About 3.25 million are protected from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program developed under former President Barack Obama.
The CBO estimates that American taxpayers would pay an additional $25.9 billion over the next 10 years if "Dreamers" were granted citizenship.
Libertarian think tanks and open borders advocates argue that illegal immigrants provide “net-gains” for American taxpayers. The Center for American Progress estimates that the loss of all DACA workers would reduce the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $460.3 billion over the next decade, with Medicare and Social Security contributions dropping by $24.6 billion. California would suffer a GDP loss of $11.3 billion; Texas, $6.1 billion, and North Carolina, $1.9 billion annually, it says.
But data produced by several organizations claims the opposite. The CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) say that the tax subsidized benefits that Dreamers would claim would far outweigh the taxes they may contribute.
"The average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services while paying some $10,334 in taxes [in 2010]," a report by the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation states. The report cites access to public schools and public infrastructure as well as access to welfare and medical benefits for U.S.-born children as factors.
If given amnesty, CBO and JCT estimate that the costs to fund illegal immigrants would increase on-budget deficits by $30.6 billion and decrease off-budget deficits by $4.7 billion between 2018-2027.
These deficits would be impacted by federal welfare programs and grant funding that Dreamers would be eligible to receive when they became citizens, such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The CBO estimates that federal education benefits for college for Dreamers would cost taxpayers an additional $1 billion between 2018 and 2022.
If the current immigration system continues to enable “chain migration,” whereby immigrants sponsor additional relatives to come to the U.S., the CBO projects that Dreamers would sponsor an additional 80,000 people.
Last year, the Trump administration attempted to end DACA, which spurred several lawsuits nationwide. To date, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is still accepting DACA renewal applications.
The Trump Aadministration has been ruled against three times in the matter, by federal courts in San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C. The district court for the District of Columbia gave the Trump administration 90 days to propose a better rationale for ending DACA, by late July, or the court will order DHS to accept both renewal and new DACA applications.
A new lawsuit led by the state of Texas, which includes six other states, is attempting to end the DACA program, and could potentially be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. If the court rules with Texas, there will be conflicting federal court decisions, which could result in various legal scenarios and, therefore, the need for the U.S. Supreme Court to settle the matter.