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How Much Does Illegal Immigration Cost America?

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America has a national debt of approximately 14 trillion dollars. What can our country do to stop this spending? Statistics show that 338.3 billion dollars are spent on illegal immigrants in America annually. (3) This amount alone would be enough to stimulate the economy for the real citizens of this country. If we were to tighten border security, we would be able to cut down our debt. Therefore, to minimize national debt, America should tighten border security and thus stop spending money on welfare, Medicaid, and education for illegal immigrants.

Welfare was established by Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression. (5) He designed it as a program to help single mothers with dependent children, old people who could not take care of themselves, and disabled people. Today, many people take advantage of this welfare, claiming they cannot find a job to support themselves or their families. It is estimated that states spend between 11 billion to 22 billion dollars on welfare for illegal aliens every year. Many illegal aliens do not report their earnings to the government for tax purposes and yet use a significant amount of government resources. This means hard working U.S. citizens, many of whom do not qualify for welfare, are forced to pay this burden through their tax dollars. Tightening U.S. border security would reduce the number of illegal aliens and thereby reduce the amount of welfare being spent on them.

The second reason America should strengthen border security is that our country spends a great deal of money on Medicaid for illegal aliens. Medicaid is a healthcare program that is funded by state and federal government(s) to help pay all or a large amount of medical costs for those who absolutely cannot afford it themselves. There are several factors that qualify a person for Medicaid, including age, pregnancy, income, and citizenship. People from other countries must have legally immigrated to America, and they must maintain citizenship for five years. However, this restriction is not always enforced. (5) Research reveals that 2.5 billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for people who have immigrated to the U.S. unlawfully. (4) Many states are currently in financial trouble due to budgets burdened with significant Medicaid expenditures. In defiance of federal law, California currently allows illegal immigrants to receive Medicaid benefits without proof of citizenship. In contrast, Arizona, realizing enforcement of immigration laws was paramount to its survival, included wording in its bill, SB 1070, stating in part that federal, state and local officials must inquire as to the legal status of those applying for public aid. (2)

It is estimated that 12 billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary education for illegal immigrants. In California, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous vote, upheld the state’s 2001 law allowing illegal immigrants to receive in-state college tuition rates. (1) Doing this causes California to lose revenue by not being able to charge higher out-of-state tuition rates for illegal aliens. Many states allow illegal immigrants into their public school systems because they do not check the legal status of those applying to schools. For example, the 2001 California law regarding college tuition, states, in part, “…illegal residents are required to have attended high school in the state for at least three years and to have graduated.” (6) This means money that could be used for education of legal citizens is lost. In an era when the federal, state and local governments are looking to cut their budgets, stopping the admission of illegal immigrants into our public school systems could save a significant amount of money. The best way to stop such admissions is to tighten border security.

In conclusion, America’s national debt would be lower if we did not spend billions of dollars on illegal aliens. Our country provides them with welfare, Medicaid, and public education. The sad truth is that some states do not even care they are spending money on illegal aliens. The 338.3 billion dollars the U.S. spends annually on benefits for illegal aliens is more than triple the cost of the Iraq War, which is an estimated 100 billion dollars every year. If we strengthened border security, then illegal immigration would be significantly reduced. The money we save by reducing illegal immigration could be used to decrease the national debt and stimulate our economy.

Works Cited
Frayer, Lauren. “California OKs In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants.” Aol News. (30 Jan 2011)
“Senate Bill 1070.” Az Leg. (30 Jan 2011)
“Bankruptcy 101.” Catfish1.
“The High Cost of Cheap Labor: Illegal Immigration and the Federal Budget.” Center for Immigration Studies. (30 Jan 2011)
“Welfare: How Will it Fare?” Library Think Quest. (30 Jan 2011)
Gorman, Steve. “Calif. Court Upholds In-State Tuition for Illegals.” Reuters. (30 Jan 2011)

Join the Discussion

This article has 27 comments. Post your own now!

simplyfeel said...
Apr. 1, 2011 at 10:34 pm
You know what would be a better solution for lowering the spending amount on illegal immigrants? Making it easier to become legal. There should be an immigration office in every state where and immigrant can go. There, workers at he office while file to have their backgrounds sent over via the internet from their homeland to the immigration office. Everything to be known about the immigrant is on document. If they have a bad criminal history, kick them out. If they are clean or have a relatively... (more »)
ConstanceContraire replied...
Mar. 5, 2012 at 4:59 pm

thank you simplyfeel and  

Princess Grace newsflash but not all Mexicans are criminals 

TxDragon said...
Mar. 31, 2011 at 10:04 pm
Thank You!!! thank you for writing the facts and defending America :)
PrincessGrace replied...
Apr. 3, 2011 at 12:07 pm
Thanks for the support! :)
spiritualrevelationrevealspainandrevolution said...
Mar. 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm
our companies are genetically modifying food so it can be mass produced (but also makes it somewhat dangerous) in consequence mexican farmers and labourers cant compete and HAVE to come  up here, its not their fault, its our unregulated market. theres also more reasons to uphold my statement but you can look them up
Treefiddy replied...
Mar. 21, 2011 at 5:12 pm

First of all, genetically modified food is not dangerous. I dare you to show me one scientific journal report which has found any conclusive evidence of its dangers. Also, stop it with the anti-America, anti-capitalist rhetoric. The reason why Mexico is in the sorry state it is in is because of institutionalized government control and lack of private property rights over their economy. They have a corrupt, dispicable government that prevents markets from being established, coupled with... (more »)

OneBlackGirl replied...
Apr. 2, 2011 at 5:43 am
Genetically modified milk is 5 times more radioactive than an x-ray. And most Americans drink at least one glass of milk per day.
ConstanceContraire replied...
Mar. 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm


the reason you cant find a scientific journal on it is because the professors that try to publish it get fired and/or discredited. 


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