Saturday, October 17, 2015 12:06 AM

By: Andrea Billups

As domestic security has tightened and the economy has weakened, Americans have focused on solving the issue of illegal immigration and recovering the costs associated with it. Unfortunately, Indiana has suffered sustained negative impact from the cost of illegal immigration in recent years due to an unchanged undocumented population.

An estimated 85,000 illegal immigrants lived in Indiana in 2012, according to data from the Pew Research Center. They made up 1.3 percent of the state's population.

The annual costs to Indiana’s taxpayers were estimated at $608 million, according to data from the Federation for American Immigration Reform. This deficit was calculated before state revenue from illegal immigrants, totaling $38 million, was counted.

FAIR reported the following costs associated with illegal immigration in Indiana, broken down as such:

$373 million went to education
$72 million to healthcare
$38 million to justice and law enforcement
$45 million to public assistance
$81 million to general government services

Nationally, according to the Pew Research Center, the undocumented immigrant population had "leveled off" after dipping some during the Great Recession.

In 2012, "an estimated 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the U.S., down from a peak of 12.2 million in 2007 but unchanged since 2009," Pew noted.

In Indiana, those figures reflected that reality as population trends there indicated an insignificant change in unauthorized immigrants, to 85,000 in 2012 from 100,000 in 2009, given the margin of error at plus or minus 10,000.