Border surge highest since 2011, each illegal immigrant costs $70,000, 7x deportation price

by Paul Bedard
| October 31, 2018 09:48 AM

The net costs to taxpayers for every illegal immigrant who sneaks into the United States has reached nearly $70,000, about seven times the cost of deporting them, and about $70 billion, according to a new report.

And, according to federal Census data, the surge of legal and illegal immigrants across the Mexico-U.S. border has reached a new high since 2011 and matched the historic high of 1.75 million set in 1999.

The latest Census data from 2016 shows that immigrants continue to come into the United States, both legally and illegally, and the costs to taxpayers in enforcement and social services continues to rise — even when offset by the taxes they pay.

Source: Center for Immigration Studies

In two timely reports from the Center for Immigration Studies, the surge in numbers and price in the hit to taxpayers was revealed at a time when a new caravan from Latin America easing its way through Mexico is heading to the U.S. border and prompting threats from President Trump to block it from entering and ending birthright citizenship.

Donald J. Trump

So-called Birthright Citizenship, which costs our Country billions of dollars and is very unfair to our citizens, will be ended one way or the other. It is not covered by the 14th Amendment because of the words “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” Many legal scholars agree.....
6:25 AM - Oct 31, 2018

The first analysis revealed the huge surge of legal and illegal immigrants into the U.S., enough to double the population of Philadelphia every single year.

Source: Center for Immigration Studies

Said CIS “Newly released data show that 2016 tied with 1999 as the highest single year of immigration in U.S. history, with the arrival of 1.75 million new immigrants (both legal and illegal). The new numbers represent a continuation of the dramatic rebound in new arrivals since 2011, when annual immigration bottomed out after the Great Recession. Newly arrived immigrants include new green card recipients (permanent residents) and long-term ‘temporary’ visitors (e.g. guestworkers and foreign students), many of whom eventually become permanent residents. They also include new asylum seekers, as well as new illegal immigrants who sneak into the country or overstay a temporary visa.”

Other key takeaways from that report:

*Mexico and India are in a statistical tie as the top sending countries, with 196,000 and 194,000, respectively, arriving in 2016. China was third, with 171,000 new immigrants.
*The dramatic increase in new immigrants settling in the United States in recent years is primarily driven by the nation's generous legal immigration system, both long-term temporary visa holders (e.g. guest workers and foreign students) and new permanent residents (green cards).
*Based on past patterns, when the data becomes available for all of 2017, it may show 1.61 million new immigrants arrived in all of 2017, though that projection is only preliminary. If correct, it would mean that new arrivals in 2017 were lower than in 2016, but still higher than any year since 2000, with the exception of 2016.

In the second report, the costs of illegal immigrants to taxpayers showed that amount spent is $69,570 per illegal immigrant over their time in the U.S., or $69.6 billion per million illegal immigrants.

Steven Camarota, the director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, said that inflation has helped to raise the costs of caring, housing and law enforcement for illegal immigrants by $3,000 since 2016.

Camarota explained the costs this way:

The reason illegal immigrants are unambiguously a net fiscal drain is that less-educated people, native-born or immigrant, earn on average modest wages and as a result they tend to make modest tax contributions, while needing significant social services. As we pointed out in our prior study, research by the Center for Immigration Studies, the Pew Research Center, the Heritage Foundation, and others have all found that a very large share of illegal immigrants have relatively few years of schooling — most have not completed high school or have only a high school education. The fiscal drain illegal immigrants create is not because they are all lazy and on welfare, nor it simply because they often work off the books and don't pay taxes. Rather they tend to earn wages commensurate with their education levels and, as result, they typically have low incomes on average, though there are individual exceptions. Those with low incomes as a group, regardless of legal status, use more in public services than they pay in taxes. It's why cities and states worry so much about losing their middle- and upper-income tax base. It is middle- and upper-income residents who pay most of the taxes, which does not describe the average illegal immigrant.