The Watercooler ~ Illegal Immigration Costs California Taxpayers $25.3 Billion per Year

Just one day before Governor Jerry Brown signed California’s $108 billion dollar budget for the coming fiscal year, the Federation for American Immigration Reform released a report for 2014 finding illegal immigration costs California taxpayers $25.3 billion per year.


Washington, D.C., June 19, 2014: A new study released by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) finds that providing education, health care, law enforcement, and social and government services to illegal aliens and their dependents costs Californians $25.3 billion per year according to FAIR’s report The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on California Taxpayers. The state’s 3 million illegal aliens and their 1.1 million U.S.–born children cost the average California household — headed by a U.S. citizen — $2,370 annually.

Among the report’s key findings:

Funding the K-12 education for children who are themselves illegal aliens and for the citizen children of illegal aliens accounted for the largest share of the cost to taxpayers at $14.4 billion. These services included standard public school educations and supplemental English language instruction. Despite federal funding, the average per pupil expenditure is $10,450 each year.

Justice and law enforcement costs — policing, court and incarceration — associated with illegal aliens soared to more than $4.4 billion.

Medical services cost taxpayers approximately $4 billion, including $388 million associated with 68,000 births to illegal alien mothers.

Public assistance — low-cost meal programs, free immunizations, etc. — are available to residents regardless of legal status. The $792 million price tag for these services is borne by California taxpayers.


The report found that taxes collected from illegal aliens amount to about $3.5 billion annually — hardly making a dent in the $25.3 billion in expenses incurred by citizens and legal residents.

To put it more succinctly, over 23% of California’s $108 billion budget will cover the fiscal burdens of illegal immigration.

More than anything else, what bothers me about the information in this report is that the average California taxpayer has no idea what illegal immigration is costing them because the politicians refuse to tell them (and may actually have no idea themselves…a sort of willful ignorance on their part).

In conclusion, the FAIR report states:

Twenty-five billion dollars a year in costs associated with illegal immigration represents a fiscal crisis that affects California’s ability to meet its basic obligations to citizens and legal residents,” said Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “While clearly the Federal government bears responsibility for its failure, or refusal, to enforce our immigration laws, in California’s case many of the burdens of illegal immigration are self-induced.

“Despite overwhelming evidence that illegal immigration represents an unsustainable fiscal burden to the state, the California Legislature and local governments across the state continue to provide new benefits, new services, and new privileges to illegal aliens, even as the state neglects the needs and concerns of other Californians. The costs will continue to grow so long as the state continues to reward illegal immigration and impedes immigration enforcement. California taxpayers will continue to be the losers in this unhappy scenario.”


Let this report be a warning to those of you engaged in battles to prevent the left from turning your state into a sanctuary state. Letting illegal immigrants run rampant is truly a shabby bargain for anyone who knows how to add and subtract.

The Watercooler is always an open thread.


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