Report Estimates Annual Cost of Undocumented Immigrants’ Use of State Services at $10.5 Billion
California pays $10.5 billion annually to provide services, including health care, to undocumented immigrants, according to a report released Monday by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the Washington Times reports. According to the report, the state annually spends about $1.4 billion on health care services for undocumented immigrants, in addition to $7.7 billion for education and $1.4 billion for incarceration. The study estimates that undocumented immigrants pay about $1.6 billion in state and local taxes annually.
FAIR President Dan Stein said undocumented immigrants increase state costs, contributing to California's economic problems. "Predictably, the costs of illegal immigration have grown geometrically, while the state has spiraled into a fiscal crisis that has brought it near bankruptcy," he said.
However, Gerardo Gonzalez, director of the National Latino Research Center at California State University-San Marcos, said FAIR's estimates do not account for other contributions to the state economy by undocumented immigrants.
Stein said the state should enact legislation to collect information on undocumented immigrants' use of government services, as well as policies to hold undocumented immigrants' employers financially accountable (Seper, Washington Times, 12/7).