The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) is a great resource for facts and figures on immigration without all of the emotional baggage. What about the facts on the REAL cost of illegal immigration? Please listen to Dr. George Borjas and read Steve Camarota’s info on the huge cost of immigration.
We know that it’s a full-court-press to tug on the heartstrings of Americans in order to keep DACA but it’s NOT financially sustainable! Don’t forget that America is $20 trillion dollars in debt…The total fiscal drain for the entire illegal population is estimated at $746.3 billion.
Deportation vs. the Cost of Letting Illegal Immigrants Stay
The findings of this analysis show that the average cost of a deportation is much smaller than the net fiscal drain created by the average illegal immigrant. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported the average deportation cost as $10,854 in FY 2016. In FY 2012, ICE removed 71 percent more aliens with a similar budget, creating an average inflation-adjusted cost of $5,915. This compares to an average lifetime net fiscal drain (taxes paid minus services used) of $65,292 for each illegal immigrant, excluding their descendants. This net figure is based on fiscal estimates of immigrants by education level from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS).1 The total fiscal drain for the entire illegal population is estimated at $746.3 billion. Of course, simply because deportation is much less costly than allowing illegal immigrants to stay does not settle the policy questions surrounding illegal immigration as there are many factors to consider.
In April of this year, ICE reported that the average cost of a deportation, also referred to as a removal, was $10,854 in FY 2016, including apprehension, detention, and processing.
Partly due to policies adopted in the second term of the Obama administration, ICE removed nearly 170,000 fewer aliens in 2016 than in 2012, even though it actually spent 8 percent more in 2016 in inflation-adjusted dollars. The removal of so many more illegal immigrants in FY 2012 means that the average cost per removal in that year was $5,915, adjusted for inflation.
If the average cost of a deportation was what it had been in FY 2012, then the larger enforcement budget in FY 2016 would have allowed for 200,000 more removals without spending additional money.
Costs of illegal immigrants:
Researchers agree that illegal immigrants overwhelmingly have modest levels of education — most have not completed high school or have only a high school education. There is also agreement that immigrants with this level of education are a significant net fiscal drain, creating more in costs for government than they pay in taxes.
The NAS estimated the lifetime fiscal impact (taxes paid minus services used) of immigrants based on their educational attainment. Averaging those estimates and applying them to the education level of illegal immigrants shows a net fiscal drain of $65,292 per illegal — excluding any costs for their children.2
Based on this estimate, there is a total lifetime fiscal drain of $746.3 billion. This assumes 11.43 million illegal immigrants are in the country based on the U.S. government’s most recent estimate.
The fiscal cost created by illegal immigrants of $746.3 billion compares to total a cost of deportation of $124.1 billion, assuming a FY 2016 cost per deportation, or $67.6 billion using FY 2012 deportation costs.
Important caveats about these estimates:
The NAS projects future fiscal impacts. A significant share of the current illegal population are not recent arrivals, so some of the net burden they create has already been incurred. We estimate that one-fifth ($13,058) of the average fiscal deficit the current population of illegal immigrants creates has already been incurred by taxpayers.
The above cost estimates are only for the original illegal immigrant, and exclude descendants. Using the NAS net cost estimates for the descendants adds $16,998 to the net fiscal drain.
ICE’s estimate for deportation costs does not include the costs of the immigration courts run by the Department of Justice. Dividing the court’s budget in 2016 by the number deportations adds $1,749 to the average cost of a removal and $770 to the 2012 cost, in 2016 dollars.
To create its long-term fiscal estimates, the NAS uses the concept of “net present value” (NPV), which is commonly used by economists. This approach has the effect of reducing the size of the net fiscal drain that unskilled immigrants create because costs or benefits years from now are valued less relative to more immediate costs. If the NPV concept is not used, the actual net lifetime fiscal cost of illegal immigrants is likely $120,000 to $130,000 per illegal alien, or between $1.4 and $1.5 trillion for the entire illegal alien population, excluding descendants.
HARVARD ECONOMIST REVEALS HUGE COST TO AMERICAN WORKERS:
Read more: CIS